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New Bus Park!

Posted by admin on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

St Louis paves the way for parking.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month I’m sure you’ve noticed the construction work going on in the development of our new bus lane and parking area. There has been much controversy over this project, from its initiation in May/June up to today, mainly because of the lack of information given to us about just what exactly is going on!

Now before you go off on a rant about how the money would be better spent on books or paper or even printing credits, you should know that it was a matter of safety for numbers, or, better put, safety in figures.

The money the school received was a grant specifically for the new bus lane and parking initiative. Anyone who had to get the bus last year will know how dangerous the system was, it was a miracle no one got run over! Luckily the inspectors thought so too and our school was awarded the necessary funding.

Now I’m not saying the new system is perfect, but practice makes perfect and once construction is completed we should see a much less hectic home time that runs efficiently and, more importantly, more safely.
Aine

 
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Healthier Living

Posted by admin on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

The importance of Healthy Eating and Small Changes

We are all aware of how having a poor diet is associated with many health risks that can cause serious illnesses, such as: heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. Looking around our canteen and even at break time you can see how poor pupils’ diets actually are.

Our school has gone a long way to addressing some of the issues that exist through poor diet. We took out the Coke machines and replaced them with water, we are a nut-free school and our canteen offers salad with every meal. Is it enough?

Our students and parents need to support us in changing attitudes to food. By making small changes to your diet and making smart food choices you can help protect yourself from these health problems. If you begin to make small changes to your diet now such as having a healthy nutritious breakfast each day you can slowly begin to get healthier and this can lead to you staying healthy throughout your life.

By making small changes and taking small steps to be healthier you will begin to get all the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy, active and strong. Making small changes to your diet and amount of physical activity you do can go a long way, and it’s easier than you may think.

The link between good nutrition, a healthy weight and a reduced risk of chronic diseases and overall health is too important to ignore, let alone the difference it makes to brain function and concentration so start making small changes each day even if it is only changing what you have for breakfast every day!

Breakfast Idea:
Whole – wheat toast with almond butter and banana.

•Slice of 100% whole wheat bread
•1 TBSP almond butter
•1/2 banana sliced

Put the bread in the toaster, spread the almond butter on top and then slice the banana and place it on top of the toast.

This filling meal is packed full of potassium, fibre, calcium and protein.

Bananas are full of potassium, and naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.

The best health benefit of almond butter it’s good for your heart and it is rich in monounsaturated fats. It also provides you with energy throughout the day. Don’t be afraid of including good fats in your diet, we need it for energy. Sugars hidden in every day foods is much more of a concern.

Keep it clean,
Katie

 
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European Day of Language

Posted by admin on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

Hola, dia duit, bonjour, hallo!

It’s that time of year: European Day of Languages is upon us again. Back for its fifteenth consecutive year, the European Day of Languages is an incredibly successful initiative created to celebrate linguistic diversity in Europe.

Those pupils returning to the school will probably be aware of it as it’s celebrated annually in school, and for those just joining the school – yes, you will have to sit through films you don’t understand every year, and yes, you will be offered to try food that sounds… less than appetising to say the least. For some it’s a fun excuse to get out of class, but it shouldn’t end there.

Did you know there are over two hundred European languages? Or that according to a survey published by the European Commission, 51% of people in the EU are at least conversational in English? The number of people in the UK who are able to speak a second language dwindles in comparison – just 38% of people in the UK can speak a second language.

So why is it so important? Well, as any careers adviser will tell you – just ask Mrs Devlin! – language skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace. More than a third of companies (36%) hire employees specifically for their language skills and not just those who are fluent in another language. Most employers (an incredible 74%) are more likely to hire those who are even just conversational in a second language.

And besides that, languages can be fun! I know, I know, you’re probably shaking your head. “Who wants to learn verb tenses?… Participles give me a headache… and not to mention all those gendered nouns”. I get it, trust me, there are still times I wonder what ever convinced me to take a language for A Level, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives, and hey, you probably know more than you realised: just take a look at this short advert by the Irish language initiative, Líofa.

Now that I’ve convinced you (and if I haven’t, humour me. Who knows? You could end up finding your new favourite hobby or the vital skill needed for your future career) how can you go about learning more about languages?

Well, the official website of the European Day of Languages is a good place to start. It offers more information about the annual event, language quizzes and games, language trivia and other fun resources to start you off.

Another personal favourite of mine is Duolingo, which is also available as an app on Android and Apple devices. It offers twenty different languages for English speakers, with many more currently in development. Finally, we have a wonderful language department here at the school, with many dedicated teachers who are always willing to offer a hand to those in need.

So what are you waiting for?

¡Vámonos! Ar aghaidh linn! Allons-y!

And good luck to everyone with their efforts!

Erin

 
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Why so Blue?

Posted by admin on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

Boosting mental health in winter months.

Why do we feel bad in the colder, darker winter months?

The main reason why we feel blue in the darker times of the year is because there isn’t a lot of sunlight getting past the thick, winter clouds and this causes our bodies to feel lethargic, down and grumpy due to us not getting enough Vitamin D in our bodies. It can be hard to stay cheerful when the days are short, the nights are long and the temperatures are low so do not blame yourself! This is quite common.

How can we feel better without moving to Florida?

Below are a couple of things you can do to brighten the gloomy days:

1. Make A Journal
When you are feeling down and are not sure why, a simple self-reflective exercise can help you to take control of your mood. Start by setting aside fifteen minutes to write down everything that is bothering you, whether these sources of stress and unhappiness are significant or small. By doing this, you are eliminating the amount of stress you’re experiencing because these feelings are no longer just in your head.

2. Don’t take a nap
Although this is one of the many things you can do to avoid your problems, it is actually proven that napping makes you feel worse! Despite it feeling as though it may be a temporary fix. Instead, you could go outside for a short walk or even to get some fresh air if you’re stuck inside all day.

3. Be healthy!
This is one of the most cliché things that you could find in a list like this but trust me, being healthy on the outside is a guaranteed way to be healthy on the inside. You could start by going for a short walk after school (instead of that nap you would much prefer), or you could make an attempt to eat better by making a smoothie a couple of days a week or including the veg that you would most likely say no to when dinner is being served.

4. Vitamin D Supplement
Another thing you can do if you are feeling down is look into buying Vitamin D supplements. These will be found in the medicine section of most chemists/common drugstores and they are just a simple way to boost how you feel throughout the day.

5. Take Care of Yourself
There are many ways in which you can use simple things to boost your mood in the evenings:
• Shower every evening/take a bath once a week to make sure you are clean and fresh
• Watch your favourite show (not excessively in one night!)
• Have your favourite snack (everything in moderation!)
• Buy yourself somethin’ nice – go out for a good meal with your friends, buy pamper accessories or buy new clothes
• Try and forget about school every once in a while – no one needs that stress!
• And most importantly:

“Treat Yo’Self!”

 
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Welcome Year 8s!!

Posted by admin on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

How to survive year 8!

Coming into secondary school as a year 8 student is a very daunting experience. It is a huge change from primary school and can often leave pupils feeling stressed. I sat down and talked to year 8 student Mia Morgan to find out her thoughts about year 8 and what year 8’s are struggling with. She told me that getting the bus is often scary, making new friends is intimidating and overall the first year is a hard experience. So I’m here to help year 8’s to get through the first year with my top tips!

  1. Other first years are just as scared as you are, so don’t worry about talking to them as they are going through the exact same thing.
  2. The goal isn’t to have as many friends as you can in school, you’ll be much happier with a small group of small friends that will stick by you throughout the years
  3. Sounds cheesy but stick to your true self. There’s no need to change yourself and your personality to fit in with others, be yourself no matter what.
  4. Stay organised! From the get go make sure you keep your work in separate folders and always record and check homework tasks in your planner.
  5. As students find the bus scary, try to find a friend in your year or the year above that gets your bus to make sure you get on the bus and have someone there for you.
  6. Finally if you feel like you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to talk to a member of the blog team, Miss King or any member of staff that you feel comfortable around!!!

Good Luck!

Congratulations for getting here

Above all…enjoy, it goes all too fast.

Sian

 
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Here Ye Here Ye!!!

Posted by tbrown353 on Sep 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

Come, one and all, for all your literacy needs! Are you a member of the junior school and require help with improving your spelling, punctuation, grammar, presentation, vocabulary… *ahem* sorry about that; got a little carried away-you know how it is.
Nonetheless, are you in need of any form of literacy help? Then come forward and enrol yourself today in the handwriting mentorship program, to gain support and advice from a kind and caring senior student who will help you to improve your literacy skills. For more details please contact

Ms King
Room 65
Mount Carmel
St Louis Grammar School
Kilkeel
BT34 4EU

All welcome. We don’t bite. If you don’t ask, you won’t get!

 
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Transition!

Posted by tbrown353 on Sep 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

Every day I wake up and realise that I am finally a senior. I know that saying that probably sounds weird but it’s still not quite real to me yet. I have to say it feels like quite an accomplishment because I have made it through 12 years of school which is three quarters of my life. I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed the past five years at St. Louis and I really hope that I enjoy the next two years especially because they will not only be my last two years at St. louis they will also be my last two years in a familiar place surrounded by friends.

As we all know the school year flies by and its over before you notice, in June it’s still hard to believe the past ten months have gone especially when it still feels like the beginning of September when everyone is counting down the days to Halloween so we can all take a break from homework and early mornings. However, I’m hoping that the next two years of school don’t pass me by too quickly because I’m not sure that I’m ready to be considered an adult yet.
From my very first day in St. Louis to my last day in year 10, I can recall every single teacher constantly reminding us junior students that all the work we were doing then would assist us in the next two years of middle school and GCSE’S. Then of course came the dreaded talk about ‘A’ levels and the ‘jump’ from GCSE to ‘A’ level.

I can most definitely assure you that it was a ‘jump’ and I have only been back at school for three weeks. I can honestly say that I thought it would be a small jump with only a couple of hours of extra homework a night. After all, that’s what the study room is for isn’t it? I can assure you that the transition from middle school to senior school is definitely not a ‘small’ jump – unless you would classify six hours of homework a night as a ‘small’ change from the usual one or hour hours that you would typically do at GCSE. It is more like a frightfully large jump.

However, of course it also has many benefits such as the new uniform. It’s always nice to have a change especially after having to wear the same uniform all day every day for the past five years! There’s also the fact that you can do the subjects you love. After all I highly doubt anyone really enjoys all ten GCSE subjects that we have to choose. I can most certainly say that I did not enjoy all ten of my subjects. There was always that one class that I dreaded going to each week, but now I look forward to all my classes. All I can say is choose your subjects wisely because, after all, the grades you achieve in that subject will determine your future, therefore we may as well enjoy the subjects that we will be immersed in for the final two years of high school.
Katie

 
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Choices, Choices, Choices!!

Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

Options week 2016

We all know that Options Week is an extremely stressful time for everybody – be it for GCSEs or A Levels. So, what are the things we should consider when making such an important decision?

1. Should I base options on what I enjoy?
This is a very important thing to consider because, since you will have to commit to this subject for two (yes two!) whole years, you have to make sure that you actually enjoy the subject!

2. Should I choose a subject because my friends are doing it?
It is important not to give into peer pressure about subject choices as this is YOUR future, not YOUR FRIEND’S. Go ahead, be selfish! There is no point of doing a subject you have no interest in just so you can be with your friends.

3. How much should money and future salary be a factor when I’m choosing GCSEs?
It’s really tempting to look up the average salaries of a whole bunch of jobs to see what subjects could lead you to a job that pays well. If you’re asking yourself what jobs pay well, it’s possible you haven’t got a set career goal and you’re still open to options.

4. Do universities care about which GCSE options you choose?
For some degrees, or careers, their requirements for GCSE and A-level subjects aren’t too limiting. For example, most unis don’t mind which subjects you’ve studied before if you want to do a law degree – they just want you to have done well in the (usually ‘traditional’ or ‘hard’) subjects you chose, such as Maths and English as the minimum grade requirement for standard university courses is a C in Maths and a C in English Language.

5. Whose advice should I listen to when choosing options?
Your best bet for getting advice on a subject like this is to listen to:
-Teachers at your school are really well-placed to offer you advice and support; do talk to your teachers if you have any questions about your subjects and how it all works.
-Mrs. Devlin is very good to talk to as she knows a lot about the academic world and whatever your questions are, she will be able to offer support, resources and information to help you with your choices
-Your siblings/relatives who have previously studied GCSEs or A Levels is also a good option because they know the ins and outs of the school and have the ability to give first hand advice.

On the whole, I wish everybody who is choosing subjects at the minute the best of luck and remember, BE YOU!

Caitlin : – )

 
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New Years Resolutions

Posted by tbrown353 on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

New Year, New Opportunities! By Sian

Make 2016 your year and consider trying some of the following things to have a memorable year!

1. Are you one of the many who are determined to get in shape this year, well forget about those crazy diets and intense work out sessions! A food box subscription could help you become healthier this year, they’re tasty too. Graze will deliver a hand-picked box of goodies to your door each month starting from £3.99 per month.

2. Why not start a journal to remember the best moments of the year? Stick some photos in too and record thoughts on your favourite days to look back on at the end of the year!

3. Volunteer! Why not go out and volunteer somewhere local over the summer or Easter break? It’s perfect to add to your CV too!

4. Get a Netflix account! Starting from £5.99 you can watch all your favourite TV shows and movies in one place.

5. Explore more! You live in a beautiful area so when the weather’s good go out for walks and hikes, this will also keep you in shape.

6. Make a second Snapchat account and send snapchat photos and videos throughout the year and at the end of the year watch it all to see the year’s highlights in one place!

7. Go camping! When the weather is good get some friends together and go camping whether it’s at Cranfield or Kilbroney Park, it’ll be a good time.

8. Go for a day out in Dublin or Belfast! Have a fun day out with friends or family in the city maybe even when there’s events on such as Pride 2016, St. Patricks Festival or visit the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

9. Study hard for exams but enjoy the summer with friends!

Last but not least- read a good book!

Useful Links:
Graze: https://www.graze.com/uk/
Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/gb/
Visit Belfast: http://visit-belfast.com/whats-on/events
Visit Dublin: http://www.visitdublin.com/home/

 
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Fujitsu- we love you!

Posted by tbrown353 on Nov 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

ICT Trip to Fujitsu, Belfast

Similar to the past couple of years in St. Louis and thanks to Mrs McMullan, year 13 ICT students had the opportunity to go on a day trip to Fujitsu; a company who provide information technology solutions for businesses including application services, IT consulting, infrastructure services and products.

What was the purpose of the students going to Fujitsu?

The main purpose of us going on this day trip was to see first-hand what it was like to be in a company and practice the skills that we, as students, were learning (such as web design, handling a customer’s needs and working with databases in an efficient way) in a real environment that is time sensitive.

What activities did we do?

As both Applied ICT students and ICT students attended the event, there were two different workshops that took place. Since I do regular ICT we had a quick session of what the workers like to call “speed dating”, which is essentially asking selected workers in the company questions in quick succession in relation to their job/their opinion of it. Following this, we were given a talk from one of the workers about web design – which was very interesting as he used a real example of the Belfast Library and how the company remodelled their entire website.

Next was my favourite part; the lunch. Just kidding. It was good though.

After this came the final part of the day which was a talk given by one of the workers on the topic of databases, which was very helpful as we are currently in the exact same position as they are, except they are getting paid to do it and we are not (sadly).

Personally, I think that this trip to Fujitsu was very beneficial! It gave us the chance to put our written theory and coursework outlines into something that we could see as a physical and ongoing project.

An opportunity I would heartily recommend if you get the chance!

Caitlin

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