Friday, 22 March 2013

World Book Day Class Magazines

Please find below a collection of class magazines created by pupils from Newbridge College. The magazines were created as part of a collection of activities that were taking place in the school to mark World Book Day. Well done and thanks to classes 1V,1Y, 1X, 1Z and 2A. We hope you enjoy. (There's a bonus WBD activity from 3B at the end!)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

College Press: Easter Edition

This term's College Press is now available around the school and here on the Blog. It's 'choc' full of surprises, reports and ideas on what to do this Easter break. Thanks again to Mr Doyle and the eggceptional College Press team!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Now That's What I Call Learning! Vol.1 (Leaving Cert 2013)

What do all my Leaving Certificate pupils like? Music. Hhhm, how can they use that to their advantage I thought?

Are you are a leaving cert. pupil (or teacher for that matter) that has got that recent hit single stuck in your head? Then why not turn it to your advantage!? Take a current text that you are studying, pick a song you really like at the minute and mash up the lyrics! It's certainly not as productive as doing out all those revision notes or completing an extra exam question for your teacher to correct as both of which are just mandatory over the next couple of months. But mashing songs is something different that can give you a productive break from the revision marathon and might just give you that bit of help on the day of the exam.

Here are a few different ways it can work:

  1. Summary - Having trouble remembering the main events/plot of a text? Mix the song with the major events of your text. See 'Macbethelmore' below.
  2. Characters - Who are the main characters and why are they important? Mix a song you currently like with all the characters in a certain text. Even just try and fit them all into a verse or chorus.
  3. Themes - What are the major themes of your text? Rich and Shakespeare deal with very different themes in their poetry. Could you link their themes to different songs?
  4. Quotes - The dreaded quotes. They have to be there to support points and you can't just paraphrase! If there are ten quotes from a text you must know maybe at least half of them could fit in a song you currently like.
  5. Key Moments -  'The Great Gatsby' has lots of different key moments for example. I've mixed Justin Timberlake's Mirrors to include the ultimate moment of the revelation of the character of Gatsby.
You can easily find the lyrics to all current songs online and then find the instrumental version of the song on Youtube. Nobody need know you have done it! But I've been changing songs for the last few weeks and found that the original lyrics are now a distant memory when I hear the song on the radio. It might help with your exams or it might just be the fifteen minute break for fun that you need during exam revision season. Either way, be careful you don't destroy a song you love forever!

Mirrors/Gatsby/Key Moment

Original Hook

Cause I don't wanna lose you now
I'm lookin' right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I'll tell you baby, it was easy
Comin' back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn't get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it's clear as this promise
That we're making two reflections into one
Cause it's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me

Revision Hook

Fitzgerald's trying to tell us now
Gatsby can never really love Daisy
Resentment that he has in his heart
Is a space that Buchanan holds
He wants her to renounce him now
Daisy tells him it's just not that easy
Comin' back into you once she figured it out
You were right here all along
I love you now dear Gatsby
Is it not enough that you have me?
I couldn't be any clearer
Tom Buchanan will always be family
Don't get stuck in this moment
What you want is just unattainable
But I do love you now Gatsby
Please let go you have me, you have me


(Mackelmore starts Thrift Shop by saying what what what what seven times, but I start by saying 'witch witch witch witch' three times to remind me of the importance of the number three in Macbeth. Edit your songs to remind yourself of the points you keep forgetting)

(Witch, witch, witch, witch x3)

I'm gonna steal the throne
Only got a bloody dagger in my pocket
Witches have me hunting, looking for Duncan
This play is bloody and gruesome

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Quizlet: Make the revision process fun and digital.
Thanks to @gorillageoblog for sending me in the direction of Quizlet. I've been trying it out for the last couple of days and I am really impressed. Listed after this Julius Caesar example (you can shuffle the cards and click the audio directly from this embed) are some features I like already about the site:

  • Free for teachers (For your first eight classes and a Pro version is available for $15)
  • Free for pupils to join and use
  • Available on online, iOS and Android
  • Create revision flashcards
  • Add pictures from Flickr
  • Automatically adds audio to written texts
  • Ability to create new revision sets
  • Ability for pupils to add to and edit revision sets for collaborative learning
  • Ability to physically print or embed flashcards
  • Turn revision into games. (Space Race is great! Makes learning fun)

First Year Poetry

My first year class were given the following assignment recently.  Write a poem on any theme that doesn’t rhyme.  Here are some examples.  The first is one that breaks the rule as an introduction to the poems.  Enjoy!

Ms Little

It Has to Rhyme!

Writing a poem that doesn’t rhyme
Is like committing the biggest crime
How can I learn to write
When my choices of words are apparently not right?
It’s driving me crazy
And I’m feeling kind of hazy
I just can’t write a no rhymes poem
So I might as well go home
The teacher says I shouldn’t
But if I could I wouldn’t
I’d rather make it rhyme
Otherwise you’re wasting my time
I’m very sorry for not following the rules
But this exercise is made for fools!

By Deryn Mooney

A Friend to All
She stood alone; A grand old tree,
Amid the meadow’s summer’s day,
The birds still perched upon her dying arms
Embraced like always, protectively,
Chirping proudly as summer passes
As winter is drawing near,
Weather changing, time racing
Life as we know it renewed.

Her fruit long gone, her prime well passed
Life is like a precious gift.
As rings appear, the winter nears.
As days pass by we say farewell
To generations, a serving friend.
By Kate Hannon

Lent is a time that comes around every year,
It lasts for forty days and forty nights.
You have to give something up,
Something you love a lot like
Sticky sweets, custard creams, crunchy cookies
And things like that.

When you go into a shop
It’s like what you gave up is calling your name
Or jumping off the shelf to go to you
Like a dog when he wants to say hello.

You start to realise how much you miss it
And forty days and forty nights seem
A whole lot longer.

By Victoria Traynor

The Night
As the stars close in
The moon at its brightest
A gorgeous pearlescent white
I know my favourite time of day
And it’s not at day, it’s at night.

There’s an eerie chill
On the moonlit ground
Frightening hooting owls
The sky is as black as coal
Only with sprinkles of glitter
Children say their prayers
Then all get into bed
Where their eyelids start
By Thomas Rynne

The Beast
Running from the Beast at night,
The trip trap of his feet on the forest floor,
Like a horse kicking at a stable door.
His teeth are so thick and sharp,
He could eat me with one quick bite.
With his cold-blooded claw-like hand,
He rips through branches to get me.
Then suddenly there is no sound at all,
One last breath then I see his ginormous grey claw,
I am eaten like a grape in one bite.

Oh that was a terrible night.
As I lay in his stomach squashed very deep,
I wished I had not woken him from his sleep!

By Rachael Murphy

softly, swishing, sea shells
wind whips, wave washes
flip flop fish fall
seagulls skimming surfaces
grass growing, sand blowing
beach bronzes

By Aoife Morrison

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Children of Men: Minutes 52-68

In this edition of the series:

  • Jasper makes the ultimate sacrifice
  • Theo finds a reason to go on
  • No schools in the future: a good thing?
  • Does the Human Project exist at all !?

Monday, 11 March 2013

Imagery in Macbeth: 5th Year Presentation

This is a PowerPoint on 'Imagery in Macbeth' by three  5th years from Ms C. Kelly's English class. A hearty well done to the girls, Sorcha Lavelle Walsh , Katherine Murphy and Bronagh Galvin, for a superbly researched and created piece. Ms Kelly reliably informs me that the girls also gave a fantastic presentation of their work to the class.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Short Story Writing for J.C. English

Over the past few weeks I have been working with a group of third years on how to write short stories. Being able to write a good short story is not easy. It is however well worth the effort. Story telling is something humans have been doing since the first cave paintings. By creating a story you are creating a whole new world for a reader to enter and hopefully get lost in. In a very immediate sense, for third year English pupils, it can be worth 70 marks of your J.C. exam. Nearly 20% of your final grade. Other writing genres are and will be available on the day of your J.C. exam, in Section II, but in my experience as an examiner and teacher, a really well written short story is often the hallmark of an A candidate.

Please find below the outline of a story arc. The great thing about short story writing is that there are no real rules. Will your characters have super powers? Does your story begin in 2013 and end in 2213? Does it take place at your local GAA pitch or a moon of Jupiter? The creative possibilities are literally endless. However, short stories do generally have certain features. In my third year class this year we used the story arc below to help create and frame our stories. We also created some Puppet Pals animated videos to help practice creating features like problem-complication-resolution. We hope it might help a little with J.C. 2013 reaching its climax soon!

View the Story Arc as a guide, not a set of rules.
(Click the image for a better view or right click the image, press save as, then print the picture out for your revision notes if you wish)

Aliens vs People

Thursday, 7 March 2013

World Book Day 2013: Visiting Author

Margaret began by telling us about her life. 
She gave us tips on writing a book and then read us a chapter from her book.

 On Wednesday 6th March our English teacher Miss Carey invited Margaret Scott, a local author, to our school. Margaret has just published her first novel “Between You & Me”.

Sarah Henry presents Margaret with a bunch of flowers on behalf of the class.
After her book reading we had a question and answer session where we asked her where her inspiration came from and what types of books she enjoys herself. She gave us a copy of her book as a prize for whoever could write the best opening paragraph of a novel in class the following day. Eleanor Younge won the novel on Thursday.

TYD would like to thank Margaret for giving us an intriguing and informative insight into her life and writing a book. We would also like to thank Miss Carey for organizing the visit. Margaret has secured a three book deal with Poolbeg Publishers and we hope to see her next novel on the shelves in the coming months.

Miss Carey and Margaret Scott.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Children of Men: Minutes 39-52

Some topics I discuss in the fifth video in the series:

- Luke's rise to power.
- The development of Kee and Theo's friendship.
- Where are the Azores!?
- Patrick gets kicked from a car...again!