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Year 8 Pupils reflect on their life journey .
The theme for the Year 8 morning was ‘ Life is a journey’ and it gave the Year 8 pupils an opportunity to reflect on a very important part of their journey – the transition to secondary school. The event was held in Star of the Sea parish centre and was led by our school Chaplain, Fr Raymond McCullagh.
There was lots of fun, laughter (especially when Fr Raymond dressed up as Woody from Toy Story) but there was also time for meditation, reflection and prayer. Fr Raymond used clips from the well-known Pixar films ‘Cars’ and ‘Toy Story’ to illustrate that life is a journey, but that the adventure is in the journey itself, not the destination. He got the students to do their own timeline of life so far and to mark on the ups and downs they have experienced so far. He urged the students to become aware of how special they all were as they were all created by God and born unique.
Fr Raymond told the Parable of the Pencil to illustrate that in life what matters is what is on the inside of each person, sometimes we need to be sharpened to become a better person (and painful as that is sometimes it is necessary), that we must leave our mark on this world, and we can always make mistakes and rub them out and start again. An important part of the journey will involve friends and how we look after them He followed this with the story from the Special Olympics when an athlete was going for gold and leading the race but then he realised his friend had fallen, he was faced with the choice of continuing running and being guaranteed the gold medal, or stop and help his friend, he opted to look after his friend and both of them were cheered as they crossed the finishing line last.
The morning ended with a prayer service and all reflections from the students were gathered and offered in thanksgiving. The school would like to thank Star of the Sea Parish for allowing us to use the Parish Centre and Fr Raymond for all his wonderful work in helping our young people on their spiritual journey.
Fr Raymond praised the thoughtful and sensitive way that the year 8 pupils took part in the morning’s activities and reflections describing them as “one of the best year groups I have ever had the pleasure of working with”.
Monday 9th November witnessed ‘Code School’ in DCP as 18 A2 ICT pupils attended a C# programming workshop, delivered by MSc Computer Science students from Queens University, Belfast.
Pupils were introduced to basic programming concepts such as using the output console, working with variables, methods, documenting code, and identifying and eradicating errors or ‘bugs’ in their code.
Facilitated by Diane Murdock and Andrew Fletcher, both students from QUB, pupils grappled with the syntax and logic of creating basic code that focused on input, processing and output in the console feature within Microsoft Visual Studio environment.
As the number of pupils in DCP interested in a career in the IT industry grows, it was an excellent opportunity for pupils currently applying for Computing and Software Engineering courses at university to sample the world of programming in the C# language.
All pupils enjoyed the workshop and further enhanced their interest in programming, problem-solving and creative use of ICT with a focus on programming.
C# language is used extensively in local and international software development companies. It is a powerful and flexible programming language and like all programming languages, it can be used to create a variety of applications, even games (as shown by Diane at the end of the workshop).
Creating ties with local universities is a focus of the ICT department at DCP and Mr McDaid and Mr Lynch hope to invite staff and students from Queens to return in the New Year with a similar workshop.
The ICT department would like to thank Diane and Andrew, and their lecturer Neil Anderson for making the workshop happen and it was indeed a great taster for the DCP pupils who are interested in a career in the ever-expanding and exciting world of computing and software development.
Ruairi Porter is a prize-winning school reporter
Ruairi Porter, a year Dominican College pupil was delighted to learn this week that a discursive article he had written had seen him selected as one of the winners of a C2K Young Journalist competition.
Ruairi entered this competition on the advice of his English teacher Ms McGowan as part of a module on journalism his class had been working on. Ruairi’s theme was “Is technology making us smarter or dumber?” and Amy Maxwell, one of the C2k Newsdesk judges, praised his piece in the following way:
“We thought Ruairi’s report was extremely well-written with a catchy opening. He had clearly examined both sides of the argument and used quotations to back up his statements”.
Ruairi ironically admitted that he had used the internet to help him research the topic before coming to the considered conclusion that it all depends on the individual user and he expressed his delight at seeing his work in print on the C2k Newsdesk.
Ruairi is pictured with Ms McGowan, Head of English.
Click here to view Ruairi's article.