Friday the 11th of May, 37 second year students from Presentation Secondary Ballingarry, Thurles, took off on an action packed day as part of their positive behaviour programme.
The students set off early for Castlecomer Discovery Park in Kilkenny. There on a wonderful 80acre park, they got a chance to discover and learn about their coalmining heritage. All students were very impressed with the interactive multimedia coalmining expo. They were transported back in time over 300 million years to find out how coal was first formed in the enormous swamp forests and see some of the first plants and earliest animals to walk the land even before the dinosaurs. The expo also explored the local mining history and heritage uncovering the daily lives and working methods of miners, their families and relatives.
One of the highlights involved the students having the opportunity to crawl along a mine shaft and experience first hand how confined and difficult it was to work in that space. For students whose grandfathers or granduncles worked in the Ballingarry mines this was a particularly poignant experience. Joelle Mahoney’s father is currently working in the Lisheen Mines in Moyne, Thurles.
Later in the morning the students got a chance to reconnect with nature and engage in an active learning workshop based on their junior cert science course. They really enjoyed an outdoor all hands on operation, which involved catching bugs and insects. The students thoroughly enjoyed the freedom and experiential aspect of this element of the day and needless to say it was a group of boys (Liam Fennelly, Joseph Morris and John Walsh) who managed to collect the biggest jar of invertebrates.
Once the morning’s educational aspect of the day was over, the students headed to McDonagh Junction for some serious clothes shopping in the company of Bean Ui Laocha and Ms. Bourke. This was followed with some fun in the bowling alley. While the afternoon activities were meant to be relaxing we saw some seriously competitive bowlers not to mention the dance off between Bobby Chapman and his classmate Bridget Cleere. An enjoyable and very educational day was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Here is what some of the student’s said: “My favourite part of the day was the mining expo. It was a great experience for me as my granddad and granduncle were both miners in Ballingarry,” said Conor Ivors
“I really enjoyed learning about the mining and the bowling was great also,” said Sophie Quinn. “We loved the shopping and the bowling,” said Emma Burke and Nicole Scott.
“The dance off between myself and Bridget Cleere was a highlight even if she did beat me” added Bobby Chapman