Thursday, 26 November 2015

Hi! My name is Ciara and this is the first time I've had a blog. I hope it will be interesting and exciting. I am currently in Transition Year. I'm loving it so far because I can do things I didn't have time to do last year. Also, I've already learned lots of new things but through different ways of learning, such as going to exhibitions and listening to guest speakers. I always loved getting involved in extra- curricular activities and I think this school year will be an opportunity to develop new skills and put more time into my extra- curricular activities.

Here's what I've been doing in TY so far:

My First Day of Transition Year
On the first day back at school, the new TYs gathered in the school hall. After Ms. Barry, Ms. Smith, Mr. Kerrigan and Ms Leonard gave us an introduction to TY, Ms. Leonard divided us into our classes. We then went to our classrooms to meet our tutors. After this, we had classes. They were really fun. Today made me really excited about what's to come in TY.

On Wednesdays, we would usually have work experience but on this particular Wednesday, work experience hadn't started yet. Instead, we had a full day of workshops.

The first workshop was in the library and was on First Aid. It was really useful and fun, too.

After lunch, we had the other workshop. It was about etiquette. We got to use exfoliator on our hands.It smelled so nice! We learned things about how to dress and how to have a good posture when walking.

Junior Cert Results!!!!!
On Wednesday 9th September, we had a day off, but we had to come in at 12 o' clock to get our Junior Cert results back. We lined up in the hall in our Junior Cert class groups, which was funny because some girls are now in fifth year and others (like me) are doing TY. After receiving the results, we were allowed to go home.

Migrant Crisis
As the migrant crisis has been in the news a lot, especially around the time we came back to school, it has been the main focus of some of our classes. We wrote speeches about it for English class and looked at articles on it in religion class. I have really become more informed about what is going on.

 I thought this year's retreat was different to other years, as it was more varied and we did lots of activities. I really enjoyed it and spent most of the day looking forward to going to Carlingford the next day.

The next day we arrived at school with suitcases, ready for our overnight trip to Carlingford.We left at about 9 a.m. When we finally arrived, we were split into two groups. My group were told we were going to be doing water sports first. We headed for the pier. There was a changing room there where we got ready. We had to wear helmets and life jackets. We each grabbed two paddles. We had to bring the rafts down to the water . We then had to row over to a platform. We counted out loud to keep everyone rowing in sync. We arrived at the platform and were helped out of the raft by the instructor. We all stood on the (very small) platform.. Next I felt the instructor touching my shoulder. I assumed he was fixing the strap on my life jacket. I thought to myself "they seem very good about safety here.". And then SPLASH!!!! He had grabbed me by the shoulders and flung me into the cold water!  I grabbed on to the platform and the girls were helping me up when they saw my shoe in the water. I didn't care though, I just wanted to get back onto the platform. My shoe is probably still floating around in the sea somewhere!!

After doing water sports, we had lunch. The next activity was laser tag. We all got changed into camouflaged suits and we got divided into a red and a blue team. Everyone had a "gun". It was raining on us but we were already wet from the shower after the water sports. We had to cover the guns with a plastic bag to keep them dry. We then walked up a really steep hill and we headed into the forest. We all went under a shelter and the instructors gave us a talk about how to play laser tag safely. Everyone had to put on a light up headband.  The laser tag was confusing at the beginning but after a while I began to understand it better and it was so much fun. There was also a lot of teamwork involved.

After the laser tag, we made our way back down the hill (this was so much easier than going up !!!). We had dinner and ice cream with caramel sauce and then we had some free time. Later in the evening we went on a blindfolded walk in the forest. It was kind of bright when we started but it was almost completely dark when we took off the blindfolds.

The next day we woke early and had breakfast. We did a course called "Challenge Island" and we also got to have a go on a zipline. After lunch, we headed home on the bus. We were all really tired after going to bed late and doing two days of activities but thankfully, we had the weekend to look forward to. I'm sure Carlingford will be remembered as one of the highlights of TY.

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