An ordinary school morning took an exciting twist recently when Irish Olympians Natyalya Coyle (Modern Penthalon) and Darren O’ Neill (Boxing) paid the school a suprise visit. After the initial flurry of excitement, Natalya and Darren were welcomed by pupils and staff with a standing ovation. They went on to spend an hour fielding all sorts of interesting questions on their sporting careers. Olympic 2012, training, drug testing, nutrition and competitiveness were amongst the topics discussed. The pupils learned that Darren who captained the Irish team in London last summer, rooms with John Joe Nevin on every occasion they compete together. They also learned that Natalya can eat as much as she likes as often as she likes as five disciplines require lots of food, Darren on the other hand has to “eat lettuce” to make the weight for a match! Darren is no stranger to the classroom as he is a primary school teacher. Natalya brought with her the Olympic torch which she carried for her 300 metre run. In total 8,000 people carried the torch. All 8,000 of them are represented on the torch by 8,000 holes. Would you believe that the food hall in the Olympic Village was as long as four football pitches and as wide as one – it had food from every country in the world and even had a McDonalds! Natalya and Darren were very generous with their time. Despite having a Sports Council event to attend to later that morning, they signed autographs and posed for photos with pupils. They are wonderful ambassadors for their individual sport and for their country. The school is very grateful to the McQuaid family, Dunsany who made this visit possible and to these fine young athletes for their time and inspirational talk.
We have been awarded our Blue Flag by the European Movement ‘s Bluestar Programme. This was a whole school project which had historical, cultural and geographical components. Each class learned about EU countries, with the senior classes completing in-dept individual projects on theEU member countries. The programme tied in well with the school’s participation this year in the Erasmus Student Programme run by St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. Klará Szabó (Hungry) taught at the school twice weekly throughout the year bringing with her her own brand of musical magic while Laura Sinikallio (Finland) and Anna Pragrova (Czech Republic) came on board to assist the pupils in an exciting Europe Day in early May which was attended by Klará, Laura, parents and past pupils. Catherine Bockett, the school’s principal was invited to join a group of teachers from all over the country on a two day trip to the European Parliament in Brussels in July. Who knows what exciting study opportunities this will open for Dunsany’s pupils next year.
Projects completed by the pupils
Klará Szabó (Hungry) working with pupils