Monday 15th to Friday 19th of January marked our second year of H.O.P.E week in Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré. The idea came about in October 2016 when some senior students approached the pastoral care team with an idea to run a positive mental health awareness week in our school community. Hence H.O.P.E. (Heroes of Positive Engagement) was born.
On Monday when entering the junior social area students were treated to a beautiful butterfly display designed by the art department. Throughout the week at the reception area the ‘Hope Board’ displayed apps, songs, recipes and quotations that are associated with positivity. During break time on Monday ‘butterfly buns’ and healthy treats were distributed to students to mark the occasion. After school students were invited to attend a mindfulness/meditation session. On Tuesday there was a Careers Information Day for our 6th year students and our Further Education students. The purpose of this event was to provide information to students to help them realise their full potential. Students were able to attend a yoga session after school on Tuesday.
Many thanks to Oonagh Hogan from Aware who spoke to our senior students on Thursday and Friday. Aware have a ‘ Beat the Blues’ campaign designed specifically for secondary schools. Thanks also to Stella O Malley who spoke to parents on Thursday night about how to support young people and how to help them grow confident, resilient and strong. Stella O Malley is a psychotherapist, writer, best selling author and public speaker with many years’ experience as a mental health professional. Her talk was very enlightening and informative and we are very grateful to her for giving of her time.
As well as speakers during H.O.P.E week we were delighted to have some fun lunchtime and after school activities. A ‘Wish Gig’ hosted by former students was held in the gym during lunch time on Monday. ‘An Dreoilín’ echoed throughout the Coláiste during Tuesday lunchtime. This energetic dance got everyone’s feet taping and raised the serotonin levels in the school. On Wednesday the choir captivated their audience with their own arrangement of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’, a ‘Clear Your Head Walk’ was organised for after school. Throughout the week each year group did some fun activities together in the school gym.
There was also an English Dept. initiative that asked students to write poems or stories of hope, or poems or stories about people who inspire them. These were displayed on the way to the school library. Students also wrote messages of hope to Mary Nolan Hickey who at present is walking Ireland’s coast line. Mary is doing this in aid of R.N.L.I. lifeboats. A fifth year all female R.E. class has led the initiative and is posting a box of hope to Mary this week. In it are gifts of socks, a water bottle, hair bands, chocolate, sweets and a book containing over two hundred letters of hope written by different R.E. classes in the Coláiste. Also on Friday, some third year student organized a cake sale in aid of Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin at break time in the first year social area. This too was a moment of hope that looked beyond our own community and 100€ was raised in ten minutes for this very worthy cause.
Friday was a ‘Bright Colours Day’, a free non-uniform day where staff and students wore their brightest colours. This year the students were treated to the arrival of ‘special guests’. When students arrived to the gym on Friday there were squeals of delight when they realised the ‘special guests’ were no other than the famous Tipperary duo ‘The 2 Johnnies’. Our junior and senior students were treated to their very own concert from the famous comedy act. Students sang along to their well-known songs ‘When I Play for the County’, ‘Drop Back Junior B’ and many others. Johnny ‘Smacks’ McMahon is a former student of Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré, everyone in the Coláiste is immensely proud of his achievements. We in Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré are very grateful to Johnny B O Brien and Johnny ‘Smacks’ McMahon for giving of their time and supporting the event. They started everyone’s weekend on a very high note! The members of the group gave every student and staff member a night light with HOPE printed on it. That evening each person was asked to light the night light and send a picture of it to someone who gave them hope. We are very grateful to all who helped in relation to H.O.P.E week. To all who have supported our school we say thanks, and may “hope” follow you and yours.