St Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush
Europe's first CFES School of Distinction

Feel Good Friday Fix #2

Our last installment of our Friday pick me up for this academic year.
Feel Good Friday Fix #2

Our last Feel Good Friday Fix update of this academic year as we head into our final school week before the Summer Break! The below articles are just a small reminder of all the wonderful & creative things that are still happening in our school community despite the challenges of separation.

As always St Joseph's continues to shine a light and do things our way, with a little pizazz and sparkle.

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coolDonate your Distance, Donate What You Can Afford


The Uganda Team of 2019 are organising a wellbeing stroll/walk/run for Aidlink to support their Dublin to Uganda fundraiser that happened on Wednesday.

Help the team cover 250km and raise €1000
Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Fundraiser details & Donation Information can be found here:

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cool Site Acquisition for New School - WooHoo!

At the end of April Dr James Reilly Chairperson of the Board of Management was delighted to announce that the acquisition of the circa 12.94 acre reserved school site at Kenure, Rush, Co. Dublin, by the Department of Education and Skills had been completed.

This site will act as the permanent location for both St Joseph’s Rush and Gael Scoil Ros Eo as a campus arrangement.

It was with great pleasure he told us that the building project can now progress to architectural planning stage.

Dr Reilly extended his many thanks to the Parents Association, the Rush Stands Up, students and all those who worked with the Board of Management in delivering this project for the young people of Rush.

Certainly some VERY exciting times ahead. What wonderful news to end the academic year with. We look forward to seeing how the plans progress.

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coolIsolation Creativity

If you enjoy, with envy, the artistic talents of others then Mr Byrne is someone you need to follow on Twitter!
He has been sharing artwork completed by his & Ms Barrett's students during lockdown and it would take your breath away - the creative talents of the art students in St Joseph's is next to none.

Mr Byrne created this video compilation of a collection of work from students in his and Ms Barrett's classes. It is all UNREAL.
Well done to all the St Joseph's artists, what a creative and productive way to get through quarantine!

coolThe Science Department CHALLENGES YOU!

Many of you may have grown new plants by sowing seeds, but Science has other tricks up her sleeve.
Keen gardeners trying to keep on top of their weeding may be familiar with these methods of reproduction.
Some science students took the "grow a plant from a bit" challenge with great results.

Check out 2nd Year student Charlie Savage's unreal tomato plant he grew from a tomato seed!


You might be inspired to try some of these methods yourself. The students found the following video useful:

cool Introducing our new... Head Boy & Head Girl

On Thursday 14th of May it was with great pride that Ms Hayden announced St Joseph's new Head Boy/Head Girl.
A huge congratulations to Head Boy Senan Monks, Deputy Head Boy Seán O' Dea, Head Girl Rachel Dillon and Deputy Head Girl Dara Cullen.

We wish them all the best in their new roles and look forward to working with them and the rest of the team in the coming year. There are great things to come from this team, for sure!

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coolCoordinate Geometry Prize Winners

Does Ms Clarke know how to run a maths competition or what??

Over the Easter Ms Clarke's 1st & 2nd years coordinate geometry skills were challenged. Well done & Congratulations to 1st year students Elina Velicko & Shauna Jameson and 2nd year student Darragh Tobin for winning the prizes she had up for grabs.

A hamper most of us would love to get in the post!

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coolThe Isolation Review 2nd Edition

Well they've only gone and done it again!!

Another cracking edition of The Isolation Review. Mr Dowling and his 2nd years are giving the major publishing houses a run for their money with these publications and an interactive one this time too! How fancy!

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To view this publication click on the following link: The Isolation Review Issue 002

Well done to all the student and teacher contributors for this issue. It is a phenomenal piece of work, another super record of our time in isolation.

coolTY Euro Club Zoom with MEP

On Friday, May 8th, the TY "Euro Club", Young Ambassadors of the EPASP (European Parliament Ambassador School Programme) and Ms Irwin (as Senior Ambassador) were invited to a Zoom Meeting with MEP David Andrews, along with 5 other Dublin schools. This event was organised by the European Parliament Office in Dublin just ahead of the Europe Day celebrations. The event was a substitute for the 'real meet up' which usually happens once a year. At this event, the Young Ambassadors get to talk and share their experiences of the Programme and receive their Certificates.

Ellie Rogan Byrne, Saoirse Daly, Megan Collins & Rowena Leahy were our representatives on the day. These students and the other TYs who have been involved in the programme this year have been very active Young Ambassadors.

Such a positive connection and phenomenal achievement. Well done to the students and Ms Irwin for their dedication and commitment to this project in the face of school closures.


coolStudent Forum Doing SUPER Work!

The Student Forum Learning Hub team have been running lunchtime study skills zoom calls with first year students. Each week has grown from strength to strength with every session showing super success. Learning Hub Leaders have demonstrated excellent student voice skills engaging with peer to peer teaching and learning.

In recent weeks The Student Forum have also joined the Irish Secondary Students Union (ISSU). They attended their first ever annual assembly on Saturday 9th May. The event was streamed live on Twitter.

As if these guys weren't doing enough they've also set themselves up on instagram!
You can follow Student Forum by searching their instagram handle @stjosephsrush

For more information on Student Forum or Learning Hub please email

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coolMs Davidson & her TY Students host Zoom Open Mic

The TY Band had a wonderful Open Mic class at the end of April. Ms Davidson reported how wonderful it was to have everyone play together and share music live again!

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coolAt Home With 3D

Ms. Quinn asked her form class (3D) to document their time at home.
The task: To share a photo of an activity that they had participated in since the school closed.

As the photos rolled in there was evidence of lots of baking/cooking, gardening, exercising, playing games, making jigsaws and spending valuable time with their family and pets. As Ms. Quinn created a pic collage of all the photos she soon realised that her class had been making the most of this time at home and she really needed to up her game!

Ms Quinn and 3D hope this collage will inspire others to try something new during this time.

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cool 1st Years Bring Their Pets to Class

Ms Dempsey hosted an online Irish class where students were encouraged to try their best to bring their pets on Zoom, if they thought their pets wouldn't sit still, they could bring pictures instead.

Ms Dempsey was happy to report many animals joined the Irish lesson with 1F, they had 4 birds (including a chicken) and 5 dogs on screen!
Students were to talk about their pets (as Gaeilge) sharing with the rest of the class what pet they had, their name and age. Students who didn't have a pet of their own enjoyed meeting their peers furry friends and told the group what pets they would like to have or what animal they would like to be!

The animals with their student pawrents and the antics they got up to in class include:

  • Maya and her beautiful bird Opel.
  • Annisha and her dog Sammy who is great at agility tricks, Annisha is a great trainer! He showed us his jumping skills in the garden.
  • Liam and his green and blue birds Burger and Shadow! (His lively dogs Otto and Juno made appearances on Zoom but wouldn’t stay for photos. And he told us about his horses Tiny and Willow. So many pets!)
  • Jasmine and her lovely little dog Molly
  • Seán brought his chicken Jemimah! (Who unfortunately pooped in his room and had to leave...)
  • Freya had photos of her old pet Hamsters Autumn and Winter and her Rabbit Reuben (unfortunately they are no longer with us but she wanted to tell us about them!)
  • Lastly Ms Dempsey brought her dogs Maddie (in the photo) and her other dog Juno made an appearance to meet Liam’s dog Juno!

I'm not sure if as much fun has ever been had in an Irish class, ever!
Well done Ms Dempsey and 1F for the fabulous Irish class and thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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cool5th Year Music Performers

Ms Lynch and her 5th years have been busy creating beautiful music while apart. Another subject that has reaped the rewards of some creative alone time! A huge thank you and well done to Nathan, Rachel & Lauren for sharing three of their performances with us.

I think you'll agree, three very talented students right here! Don't forget us when y'all are famous!

coolTY Graduation 2020

On Wednesday the 20th of May, the Transition Year Class of 2020 marked the end of their year in a very different way, with the school's first ever virtual awards and graduation ceremony. Back in their uniforms for the first time since the 12th of March 2020 and with almost full attendance, the group re-connected to reflect on their journey of personal growth and development, to recognise and celebrate achievements and to share the memories made. Our students were incredible from start to finish and really showcased what fine young adults they have matured into. They were a credit to themselves, their families and the school. Senior Management, their TY Coordinator, Year Head and Form Teachers were bursting with pride. Students across the whole year group received module awards and overall TY awards were presented in the following categories: Mentoring, Creativity, Positivity & Kindness, Personal Development & Growth, Attitudinal, Leadership, Spirit of TY and the TY Student of the Year Award. The ceremony featured special messages from Trisha Lewis of Trisha's Transformation, Dublin Footballers Siobhan Woods and Brian Fenton and musician, Gavin James, all congratulating the TY class of 2020. Over the course of the year, we've realy discovered how talented and creative the students are as a year group and many of you would have seen this in action at our TY Musical, 'Seriously Elle!'. Celebrating this creativity took centre stage at Wednesday's ceremony, with students designing images and writing poetry especially for the occasion, which can be seen below.
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1) Painting with all the logos - designed by Amy Casey - bringing the core purpose (eg: skills: communication, working with others, creativity, managing myself) and all of our external partners together that make up TY in Rush.
2) Train painting - Rachel Lam - depicting TY as a journey, where the destination was unknown. Each journey was unique to the individual. That journey may have been based on confidence building, self-discovery, personal growth, new friendships, letting go of old friendships. Each journey brought something new and different every day, symbolised by the question marks after the word 'destination'. The code number of 108 on the train represents the TY 2020 team - 102 students, TY Coordinator, Year Head and four form teachers. The dark clouds symbolise uncertainty, and the uncertainty we faced with the arrival of Covid-19.
3) Butterflies - Carla Phillips - TY as a symbol of growth, depicting the growth of the students from a small, shy caterpillar beginning in August 2019 in the bottom right, to a butterly, who with strenght is graduating from TY with experience and memories as supports, represented by the leaves eaten by the caterpillar, listing all of the activities that took place in TY.
4) Poem - Keelin Sheppard.
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The TY Class of 2020 have been a pleasure to work with and I wish them all the best going forward! Enjoy the summer- Mr Reade.
Congratulations to all the TY students, to Mr Reade, TY Coordinator & Ms Kiely, TY Year Head.
What a beautiful send off and marker of the extraordinary year that was had by all! Enjoy a well deserved Summer Break!

To finish off our Feel Good Friday Fix and this academic year some of the teaching staff have given us a little look into their new Quaranteaching lives sharing some routines, tips, tricks and advice!
  • Ms Boyd is chasing sheep in Donegal
  • Ms Martin is bouncing on an exercise ball
  • Mr O' Hara reminds us to check in with others
  • Ms McCarthy struggles with countryside Wifi
  • Mr Grimes learns to Haiku
  • Ms Irwin is a poet... and she didn't even know it
  • Ms Brophy is a baker now with two new teaching assistants and
  • Mr Mulligan has some new cows!

"A day in my life has certainly changed. I can go from being on a Zoom class to feeding lambs. One minute I am marking and the next thing I’m chasing sheep across a field. I have alternated between setting assignments and filling doses or injecting lambs. You could say my day certainly has variety in quarantine." - Ms Boyd

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“I've been keeping myself sane by keeping to my school timetable. Walking everyday, sending and receiving jokes and sitting on an exercise ball to work at my computer to save my back.... it’s more comfortable than a chair!!!!!” – Ms Martin

“For me, digital teaching/learning provides a much needed structure for us as teachers and the students, that takes up a big portion of the week. I am big into sport in general and I play Gaelic football. It’s tough not being able to train with the team and to play matches, especially with the weather being so good. I try to keep very active and do some form of exercise every day. Apart from that, the rest of my typical week would be mainly filled with: Netflix, podcasts, piano, listening/discovering new music, reading and Zoom call catch-ups/quizzes with friends.

What I have found important and helpful over isolation is forming and maintaining good habits by making a daily/weekly schedule and sticking to it. Plan your school work, exercise, cooking, baking and whatever else you want to do. Being able to tick off activities/tasks as you complete them, creates a great sense of achievement, focuses the mind, keeps productivity high and will motivate you to maintain that.

I would recommend trying new things: In the world of technology we live today, you can access any recipe you want to cook or bake something you haven’t before. Also, you can find all the guidance you need on YouTube to try meditation (can be very good for your mental health), yoga or an instrument.

My advice to you, be conscious of how much time you spend on social media, endlessly scrolling and watching videos. At the same time, it is important to keep up (if not increase) communication with friends – ask how they are, chat, laugh and listen. The value of checking-in on those who are close to you (family and friends) cannot be underestimated and it is often appreciated more than you will ever know.” – Mr O’ Hara

“My day to day life as a Year Head has definitely changed drastically for me. I no longer get to meet my charges each morning and have come to realize how we all took our day to day conversations, greetings and sometimes my 'nagging' to go to class for granted. I am now relying on my laptop and working WiFi (not always reliable in the countryside) to keep in touch with everyone. As many of you know I am from Cork originally, so like a lot of you it has been a while since I have seen my family. As my husband is working full time, I am living in a very quiet house - something I most certainly wouldn't be used to. I am lucky however to live in the countryside, so I can get out and walk every day, and am enjoying reading more. It is really peaceful. I know one thing I have certainly learnt about myself is that I am a 'social butterfly'. I am really looking forward to the day when we can reunite as the community we know so well in St Joseph's.” – Ms McCarthy

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“So I'm spending this time writing haiku's... I googled 'how-to-write a haiku' I learned that there are only three lines in a Haiku, 5 syllables in the first, 7 syllables in the second and 5 syllables in the last line. The rules after that are up to the poet! I do fancy myself as a poet, so I sent Ms Brophy my first batch of Haiku’s. Like the wonderful teacher she is she corrected my work and provided feedback.

My feedback: I couldn’t count syllables.
A revision of my work created the following masterpieces…”

Growing Pains
Learning the haiku
Oh dear, can't count properly,
Embarrass self much?

4 Legged Heroes
What? Another walk?
We already walked today!
... The human needs me...

The Most Humble
Humility? Me?
Modesty? Absolutely...
Humble... Perfect... Me - Mr Grimes

A Poem by - Ms Irwin

Poem Title:A new Phenomenon in this era of Pandemia

I have emoji addiction

It relieves vocal restriction

1000 words in just one click

Brightens a sentence im Augenblick*. (* German = in a moment)

Thumbs up,cool glasses,and a pic.

Relieves the stress even for a bit

Suddenly answers come positively

I’m loving this new creativity

Some show concern about my addiction

My concern is about interaction

And both sides get enjoyment

Even for a short moment

“You really like those emojis”, I’m told

It’s true,emojis have taken hold.

“Over isolation I have really learned that so much of my teaching day to day is the interaction & reactions of human communication something that cannot be emulated virtually. I never realised how much I enjoy the day to day story, watching & listening to the storyteller, their expressions & delivery, the reaction of the audience. I find it fascinating. In exchange I’ve been reading some books, doing a little of my own writing and playing my new piano I was lucky to have delivered JUST before lockdown! Amen! My advice to anyone is to take one day at a time. Yes, it’s cliché now to say these are “unprecedented times” we all know that, but it is the truth and the reality we now live. There is no guidebook or manual on how to be or feel. So, take each day as it comes, be understanding of yourself and others around you. Be kind. Everyone will have their own ways of dealing with what is going on in their immediate life.

Routine has really helped me keep a structure to my day. I get up every morning and take my two puppers Bella & Alfie for a long walk. We try to get out the door before 7.30am, that means I’m back organised with cup of tea in hand for 8.45am. I follow my class timetable checking in with my students when I am meant to have them and work away on other things in the background. Sometimes Bella & Alfie want to be home-schooled while I’m trying to work at the kitchen table. Teaching can be ruff but they have been very good teaching assistants, rewarded with treats at the end of the school day. In the afternoon when I’m finished my school work I like to play piano and sing or go outside and read my book in the garden if the weather is nice. No tan to show for it, just more freckles! I’ve always enjoyed cooking but I’ve now turned my hand to baking and found a whopper 3 ingredient recipe for Nutella Cookies, they are unreal! 150g self-raising flour, 240g nutella, 2 medium eggs. All into one bowl and mix until smooth. If you want to get adventurous a bag of smarties or M&Ms folded in at the end makes for some colour and works really well. Roll into small dough balls and bake on a tray in the oven (180c) for 10-20mins (depending on thickness). I double the ingredients to make a bigger batch and then keep the extra in an airtight container. Fool proof, trust me. GBBO here I come!

I would encourage everyone to find their routine and stick to it. Now is your time to try new things, what have you got to lose? Fill your day with productivity, creativity and fun. When this is all over I know we’ll come out the other side more resilient humans than we were before, which will be pretty awesome! I look forward to seeing people (other than my husband) soon.” – Ms Brophy

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“During my time in quarantine I have been spending loads more time on the farm, I even purchased 6 new Angus Bullocks.

When schoolwork/farm work gets too busy I like to go for a run or take my dog Marley for a walk, which really helps to clear my head after a long day.” – Mr Mulligan

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Heading into next week we wish our students a fun, creative and productive end of term!

We know you have all done your best given the current circumstances and are looking forward to a well deserved break. Enjoy the summer holidays, remain sensible and stay safe.

We look forward to being reunited more than ever this coming August/September 2020!

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Oct 02
Friendship Week
Oct 05
School Tour
Oct 06
LIFT Mentoring 1 (1 hr)
Oct 12
6th Year Parent, Teacher & Student Meeting
Please support our fundraising Sale of pre-loved clothes in aid of St Joseph's Aidlink Immersion project to Uganda.
Thank you to everyone who supported our recent Golf Classic in aid of the St Joseph's Uganda Immersion Program.Congratulations to all of the winners who are posted below.
Convent Lane, Rush, Co. Dublin
01 843 7534
Digital Technology Awards
One Good School Award 2022-2023
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