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Malaga 17


 Dominican College’s Centenary year continued with the Spanish Department’s trip to the city of Málaga, on the coast of Andalucia in Southern Spain.

Twenty two GCSE Spanish students, under the leadership of Ms O’Connor and Mr Canning, stayed in a hotel close to the beach and the centre of the city and enjoyed four days of activities, cultural visits and fun!
The group enjoyed a guided tour of Málaga, taking in the famous sights including the Port, Cathedral, Roman amphitheatre, Moorish fortress and Picasso’s birthplace.
We visited the famous Spanish department store, El Corte Inglés, and narrow streets of the Cathedral area with its typical Spanish architecture.

On the Sunday we had an early start to go to the Selwo Marina Park where we saw displays of penguins, exotic birds, dolphins and sea lions.
Our evenings were spent bowling and dining in a pizzeria with beautiful views of the famous port of Málaga.
All our pupils thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to visit Spain and soak up the atmosphere
of Andalucia, not to mention the warm Mediterranean weather!
R. O’Connor

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Start of Year Mass 17


From the smallest mustard seed grows the greatest tree

Dominican staff and pupils gather for Start of Year Mass

On Thursday 28th September our entire school community gathered for our start of Year Mass. Our September Centenary special event was held in Star of The Sea and was celebrated by Fr. Raymond McCullagh, our school chaplain.
In the entrance procession our youngest pupil, Ewan Craig, was handed the candle symbolising the faith of the Dominican sisters by Sr. Lucina. Pupils carried up other symbols of the school such as a picture of St. Dominic, a list of the names of the sisters who have served in Portstewart, pictures of the school, a school scarf and old school roll books.
Taking the parable of the mustard seed as the inspiration, Fr.Raymond spoke in his homily about how God’s plan is much bigger than any of our dreams. He spoke of the “mustard seed moment” when Ciara, a friend’s daughter, donated her much money to a homeless man and how this reflected the small acts of kindness of Frederick Osman which make such a big difference.
Turning to the “mustard seed moment” of the Dominican sisters arriving in Portstewart in 1917, Fr. Raymond reflected on how amazed they would be by the scale of the school in 2017 concluding: “This is what happens when we plant mustard seeds which are rooted and grounded in Jesus’s love and which are sustained by God. This is the importance of doing small things well”.
Fr Raymond challenged our students of 2017,our largest ever school population, to think of the changes they might make which they would never see and to think how in 20, 30, 50 or 100 years’ time, people might thank us for the mustard seed moments we bring.
Our junior choir performed the beautiful hymn “10,000 Reasons” and the senior choir added beautiful music through the celebration. Amy North and Molly Byrne played a harp and violin duet during the offertory.
Ms Ronan congratulated pupils on their reverential and respectful behaviour throughout the celebration and thanked FR Raymond and Fr Austin.

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Year 8 Mass 17


You are God’s work of Art

Year 8 Celebration Mass
Year 8 pupils and their parents gathered on the evening of Thursday 5th October for a special celebration Mass to welcome them as the newest members of our Dominican family.
The theme of the mass was taken from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where he stated that we are all God’s work of art.
Pupils had worked on producing their own work of art based on their first Dominican photo.
In his homily, our Celebrant, Fr. Raymond asked pupils to take a peek inside an old shoe box. Reflecting on the mirror inside he asked pupils to consider that is it is what we are inside that matters. He spoke of a friend of his Gillian who lives in the L’Arche community in Belfast and how she faces her bathroom mirror every morning and shouts “Gorgeous” at the face she sees.
Fr Raymond told our Year 8 pupils that society will often challenge and aim to undermine our identity, our gorgeousness but that we are all uniquely and specially God’s work of art.
In the post communion reflection, Mr Ramsay, challenged pupils to “Dream big… persist … because with an idea, determination and the right tools, you can do great things. Let your instincts, your intellect and your heart guide you”.
Pupils received two special gifts to mark the beginning of their Dominican journey in this our Centenary year, a DCP Centenary badge and a Book of Reflections.

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European Day of languages and Spanish Trip to Malaga

September 26th 2001 saw the European Council launch the European Day of languages to celebrate cultural diversity among more than 800 Million Europeans. The aim of the day is to promote the benefits and values that languages can bring to young people.

Our languages department began work last week on an EDL video to showcase the rich linguistic diversity within Dominican College. This video was shown at junior and senior school assemblies and pupils had the chance to enjoy traditional break-time crepes and a lunchtime languages quiz.
Well done to all the pupils who took part in this production and to Miss Ellis and the language teachers who helped produce such a fabulous film.

DCP marked the start of the European Day of Languages 2017 with a quick meeting of the 22 Year 12 pupils who will be setting off for Málaga this Saturday, accompanied by teachers, Rosemary O’Connor and Brian Canning. The group will stay close to the city centre, where they will enjoy a guided tour of the cultural sights, an evening’s bowling and a visit to Selwo Marina Park. They might even try to bring back some Spanish sunshine!!

The pupils travelling to Spain are: Bart Drozd, Charlie Flack, Dylan Ferris, Eoin Crawford, Jake Duddy, Jake Stewart, Luke McKergan, Luke Pearson, Matthew Armour, Matthew McCloy, Ciara Campbell, Aoife Culkin, Claudia Turner, Dara Holmes, Ellen Armour, Ellie Horsburgh, Emily Brownhill, Erin Little, Jenna Douglas, Lauren Thompson, Neve Christie, Rachel Mitchell.

Latest update on EDL click here. For information on Junior Languages Club click here.

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Habitat 17


Following in the footsteps of previous Habitat groups to Ethiopia, in September 2016 our school began planning a group visit to Romania to support the work if Habitat for Humanity.

Nine pupils from U6; Lauren McLaughlin, Becky Ford, Cora Lagan, Bronagh Mullan, Nuala Mullan, Naomi Black, Aoife Etherson, Sophie Ramage and Brenda Grant, all agreed to take part in the trip and began an extensive campaign of fundraising which would continue throughout the 2016-17 school year.

On June 28th, with the last A Level exam papers complete, the nine students accompanied their team leaders Miss Campbell and Miss Smyth for nine days which they all concurred would be not merely the trip of a lifetime but a life changing and life-affirming experience.

On arrival in beautiful Bucharest, the group established a base four hours away in Constanta from which they commuted each day to their building site in Cumpana.

The working day for the Dominican team began at 6.00 am and continued until 5.00 pm. Daily temperatures often reached 41 degrees and the group set about their tasks with courage and determination.

Little in the girls’ A level studies prepared them for the daily rota of work which included rebarring in preparation for foundations, learning to operate a cement mixer, digging and draining fencing holes. The team found their special skills lay in step building and they would go on to complete four sets of front door steps for houses.

The team forged a special rapport with each other and established a close relationship with the Romanian families who would move into the completed houses. Over the course of nine tough days of manual labour, the group found the time to share stories with the locals and to appreciate at first hand the importance of the work of charities such as Habitat for Humanity.

The group would like to thank the entire school community for helping in their fundraising which allowed the girls to convert their efforts into brick and mortar which will provide a permanent legacy of their time and talents. In a special way the group would also like to thank Fr Raymond, our school chaplain, for inspiring the trip and for his constant support for their endeavours and to Adi, the Habitat leader in Romania, who helped the group at all stages of their mission. 

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Eco Club 2017

Eco Club Assembly

The Earth does not belong to you; you belong to the Earth..

This morning’s assembly was on the theme of the environment and Caitlin Porter (U6) gave a presentation on behalf of the Eco Club.

This club has worked for many years, in the words of Ms Ronan,“ To pay attention to corners of our school where no one else pays attention to and to leave our school a better, nicer place for us all to share”.

Caitlin explained, on behalf of her eco – group colleagues, that there would be a special Open Afternoon this Wednesday at 3.30 in Miss Thompson’s room to showcase and promote the work of the Eco club.

She explained the inclusive nature of the work of the club and encouraged new pupils, particularly our Year 8 pupils, to come along and participate. Future work will include the creation of willow tunnels and painting and maintaining the eco gardens.

The Eco club very much look forward to meeting all future eco-warrior on Wednesday.

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