This week we completed the election of our new Student Council. Nine children from 3rd to 6th class were elected following a wonderful campaign. The children will now provide a voice for all the pupils in our school with the aim of making our school the best it can be!
Well done to all the candidates who put their name forward for election. There were some wonderful posters on display and the presentations were innovative and considered.
The newly elected members of the student council held their first meeting on Friday. They will now focus on gathering ideas to make our Active Week one of the best ever before meeting again in two weeks time.
This week the infant classes were learning all about The Zoo in Aistear. The animals were treated by the zoo vets and children designed and built their very own zoos.
Over the past three years, we have been working together to introduce cursive writing throughout the school. This has been incredibly successful and the children’s writing has improved immensely. Part of this process is granting a Pen Licence to pupils when they have successfully mastered writing with pencil. This week the children in 3rd class were presented with their Pen Licences by Ms. Walsh and Mr. Healy. The girls also got a new pen to use from now on!
Our After School Activities continue each day with the children enjoying Cookery, Speech & Drama, Funday Monday Club, Chess Club, Basketball and the newest additional is Games Club with Ms. Bohan and Ms. Ralph.
This month we focused on Gaeilge for our Star Pupil Awards. The pupils made a great effort to speak more Irish throughout the day, especially during Seachtaine na Gaeilge. Here are this month’s winners. 🌟
It’s a rare and magical experience, to stand shoulder to shoulder with your team-mates, and to sing the National Anthem before an All Ireland Final. It is in that very moment, as the hairs tingle the back of your neck, that you really appreciate the value of sport, of friendship, of preparation and of pride. And as you holler out those final words ‘seo dhíbh canaigh Amhrán na bhFiann’, the magnitude of your achievement comes sharply into focus.
The morning began in UL with a group game against Fossa NS, Killarney on Court 2 at the scheduled time of exactly 10:54am – everything about the day was planned to the exact minute by Volleyball Ireland and we applaud them for their efforts. Fossa, home to the talented Kerry footballer David Clifford, began brightly and soared into a 6-2 lead. Maintaining your serve is key to winning these games and a tremendous volley from Patricia Dyl Phillips won back serve for the Pres. Three perfect serves from both Nicole Egan and Gemma Jordan provided a platform for Presentation Panthers to take an 8-6 lead, a lead they would hold for the remainder of the match. Winning the first game on a scoreline of 31-19 boosted the girl’s confidence greatly heading into round 2.
The Heath, Portlaoise, provided the opposition in the second group game. Pauline Kwapinske landed her first three serves in this game to open up an early advantage. Lily Purcell, playing with an injured wrist, was pivotal in this game. Her digs and chasing of the ball ensured an easy 42-10 win and perhaps this game hinted that something special may be on the cards.
The final group game quickly brought the team back down to earth, and the dreams of cruising into an Ireland Final were suddenly splashed with a shower of reality as St. Ita’s Falcons, Loughrea powered to a comfortable 30-12 victory over the girls in wine. In truth, the loss demonstrated how the skills of volleyball can be honed and finessed to a standard we had not seen in this competition before.
Two wins and that one defeat resulted in a Quarter Final place against another Kerry team – Spa NS, Tralee. In hindsight, one could argue that this was the girl’s best team performance of the day. Nicole Egan was superb throughout, landing all her 9 serves and finding the energy to dig and volley when all seemed lost. With the teams level on five occasions, it was clear that concentration and determination were going to be key to being ahead when the final whistle would blow after 10 gruelling minutes. At 20-20, the Panthers won back serve as a stray Kerry serve drifted outside the court. Lily, Gemma and Anna all held their nerve to land their remaining serves and win the final 8 points of the game to claim a spot in the All Ireland Semi Final!
This time it was St. Ita’s Hawks, Loughrea that provided the opposition – St. Ita’s Falcons had also made it through to the other semi final to play St. Joseph’s Templemore. With butterflies churning in the tummies, the girls took to the court in a bid to make it through to the final. This time it was the turn of Anna Crawford to lead the team with some incredible touches and accurate serves. A blistering start saw Presentation Panthers go 10-1 up and a sense of anticipation could be felt by all. Cheered on by the members of Presentation Pythons,- the girls traded score after score with the Galway team right up until the final whistle sounded. It ended 28-18 and suddenly the realisation of an All Ireland Final beckoned!
That traditional cheer erupted as the last note of Amhrán na bhFiann was sung and Nicole, Anna, Gemma, Pauline, Lily and Patricia took their paces on Court 3 at 13:43pm – everything still exact, everything still possible and everything still to play for. Again it was the blue and gold jerseys of St. Ita’s that stood on the far side of the net. The Falcons had beaten Templemore and were back to face us yet again.
In a rip roaring contest, the teams shared scores as the race to 25 began. Errors were aplenty from both sides as tired bodies and nervous energy collided. The girls from Templemore joined our supporters to cheer on the Panthers in what can only be described as a touch of class. With the game tied at 16-16, it was anybody’s title to win and Ms. Ryan and Mr. Healy struggled to be heard over the deafening noise that filled the UL Sports Arena. Unfortunately, it was St. Ita’s who would find the crucial scores and deservedly claimed the title, 25-19. So close!
The day ended with a medal presentation and, although disappointed to have fallen at the final hurdle, there was a palpable sense of pride and achievement as the girls collected their All Ireland Runners Up medal. Volleyball is a wonderful game that has provided our two teams with experiences that will long live in the memory. After all, it’s not every day you stand smiling, shoulder to shoulder, with your friends to sing the National Anthem before playing in an All Ireland Final and collection a national medal!
It is over two years since Jerry Ryan last sent a bus to Presentation Primary School to take a school team to a sporting event. The loss of such days and experiences to the lives of our young people cannot be underestimated. For that reason, it was extra special that our Volleyball team travelled to Kilkenny on Thursday to compete in the Regional Finals of the Volleyball Ireland Primary School’s Tournament.
There was huge interest in Volleyball over the past few weeks as over 30 pupils trained in the hall every lunchtime hoping to make one of two teams to be selected to wear the wine jersey. Unfortunately only 14 pupils could travel on the day but huge credit must go to all the girls who trained and improved so much during this time.
After much deliberation and consideration, the make-up of Presentation Panthers and Presentation Pythons was decided and the two teams headed off for The Watershed in Kilkenny feeling very nervous and unbelievably excited!
In a twist of fate the first game of the day saw our two teams face each other on Court 4. This proved to be a great opportunity to ease into the competition and get a feel for the arena.
Presentation Pythons then played Gowran B, Kilkenny. This proved to be a great spectacle with the game in the balance right up to the final whistle. After 8 enthralling minutes the Pythons won out on a score line of 23-20.
St. Joseph’s Templemore were the next opponents for both our teams. While the Panthers came up short on a scoreline of 14-21, the Pythons were in inspired form to shock Templemore with an 8 point win, 23-15. This result really threw the group wide open and would eventually mean that score difference would unfortunately come into play.
The Pythons finished the group with their third win of the day by overcoming a determined Dunamaggin team by a mere 4 points, in a game where at one point we were 10 points down!
Panthers were now under pressure having lost to Templemore. No further loses could be afforded if they were to be in with any chance of progressing. An emphatic 30-10 win over Gowran NS rebuilt the confidence lost earlier and subsequently a dominant 21-10 win over Dunamaggin meant a rush by all to view the table to see who was going to progress to the semi finals!
With the tightest of margins, the Panthers topped the group ahead of Templemore with the brave Pythons missing out on score difference. In what can only be described as total team spirit, the Pythons rallied around the Panthers, giving them the courage and encouragement to go and win the semi final at a canter, beating Gowran A by double scores, 30-15.
That win guaranteed that the Presentation Panthers would qualify for the National Finals in UL on 21st March. However, a final against St. Joseph’s, Templemore was still to be played. The Panthers were now in full stride however, and eager for revenge over the only team to beat them in the group stages.
Saving the best for last, the six girls wearing wine started superbly and cruised into a 10 point lead, a lead they would hold right through the game. The final whistle was greeted with screams of pure elation as Presentation Panthers celebrated winning a tournament that reminded us of the importance of sport, team spirit and friendship.
We now look forward to the All Ireland Finals in UL in two weeks time. Well done girls!
This week we celebrated World Book Day. Pupils took part in a number of activities to mark the occasion. While we like to teach pupils how to read, we really enjoy helping them to foster a love of reading!
Thanks to Ms. Walsh and all the staff for organising so many activities throughout the week.
It has been a busy few weeks in the Pres recently. We are slowly emerging from the restrictions of the past 18 months. Thankfully pupils are now back enjoying all our After School Activities including Cookery, Camogie, STEM, Speech & Drama, Homework Club, Chess Club and Tin Whistle Club.
We have also upgraded our soft play area and the children are really enjoying exploring the area and challenging themselves to be adventurous.
Here are some of the highlights with dozens of photos in the gallery also.