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Kerry Education and Training Board’s pioneering Parents Forum

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Kerry Education and Training Board recently held its fourth and final Parents Forum for the 2017/18 school year. Parents attending this forum are representing members from their respective parents councils. The forum was first established in 2006 to promote effective liaison and consultation between schools and parents and to promote the interest of the students in the eight ETB schools.

This year’s agenda covered areas such as the Kerry ETB Strategy, ICT advancements, physical education priorities, mental health awareness, new Junior Cycle curriculum developments and discussions on healthy eating and well-being. Of major interest was the feedback from the first online applied maths curriculum that was piloted in Kerry ETB Schools this year. This involved fifth year students undertaking online classes via Skype on Tuesdays from 6-8pm with professional teaching support delivered during Saturday classes hosted in the IT Tralee. This proposal came from the Parents Forum last year. Ann O’Dwyer, Director of Schools thanked the Parents Forum for suggesting this initiative and for generating new and pioneering ideas.

At the forum Jeremy Wrenn, Schools ICT Support Officer from Kerry ETB, introduced the new Junior Cycle ICT course that is planned for Kerry ETB schools in 2018/19. Its introduction is further proof of Kerry ETB’s commitment to giving it students the most up to date ICT skills that will ensure they are fully equipped with the relevant 21st century educational tools when they leave school after Leaving Certificate. The Parents Forum welcomed this new course and were also offered places on a Technology for Parents course that will be delivered free of charge by Kerry ETB in September.

At the conclusion of the Parents Forum the importance of parents coming together to share their ideas and experiences from their respective parents councils was reiterated, as was the necessity of parents having their voices and opinions heard by the Kerry ETB management.

Rosari O' Connor, Chairperson took the opportunity to sincerely thank David Musgrave (Killarney Community College), Helen O’Brien (Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí) and Cathy O’Donovan (Coláiste na Sceilge) for their outstanding service as their tenures on their parents councils have now come to an end. The agenda for the 2018/19 school was set with the forum looking forward to continuing its great work next year.

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]

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By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.

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Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]

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Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

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