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Transition Year

  • Worldwise Global Schools(WWGS) and Eco-Unesco 2017  

    ‘L.E.A.F’ by Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Tralee.

    A group of 6 TY students have created an environmental themed pathway on the school grounds!!!

    In a venture sponsored by WWGS the pupils aim to spread the message of the Global Goals for Human Development among the school and wider community while at the same time creating a space for mindfulness and wellbeing.

    For this project, they created a pathway that would be a permanent fixture in the school. It will be called ‘Living Classroom’ and it will be a place where students and staff could relax and get some fresh air for their own mental wellbeing. At the same time people can read infoemation about the Global Goals for human development The path is around 300m long and will consist of metal plaques with various global goals on them. Accompanying the plaques will be art designs and sculptures made out of recyclable materials.

    The project is called L.E.A.F, or ‘Leading Environmental Awareness Further’ and they are definitely leading environmental awareness further.


    in the Young Environmentalist Awards 2017

    This project has reached the final of the Young Environmentalist Awards 2017 and it needs your votes to have a chance of winning in the competition.  The students have worked very hard through the year on what has become a very significant project that not only improves the grounds in the school but has educational import as well.  We are asking you to vote for them….

    Just click on the link below and follow the instructions. The Mounthawk project is in the last section and very close to the bottom of the list of projects:

     Poll Instructions:

    Please vote for ONE PROJECT OVERALL – don’t choose one project per category. To ensure a fair use policy you can only vote ONCE PER DAY.

    Voting is open on 2nd May and closes on the 15th May. The winner will be announced at the Showcase and Awards ceremony on 23rd of May.

    We have been working with WWGS for a number of years now and thanks to their funding we are almost finished the first phase of our “Wellness Way”.

    It was a bleak start at the beginning of the Year….


    And it took a bit of thought to get the plan in place…


    And a bit of planning on paper of course….


    but the results are just great….

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    the path invites us to follow…

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    Young Social Innovator Workshop with Second Years, Class 2.10 – 12/03/2014
    While not strictly a TY Project, this workshop paves the way for future TY participants in YSI.
    The class of 2.10, Second Year, took part in a two and a half hour workshop on Social Innovation. This work shop allowed students to look at various social issues and discussed and even debated these issues in a fun, relaxed environment! Thanks to Ms Hunt for putting this workshop together!

    This video was put together by Ms. Hunt.

    Model EU Council Debate, Dublin Castle 2014 – By Meg Hurley 4.4


    On the morning of March 4th Sadhbh Walsh, Jamie Bourke and I nervously entered the Printworks building in Dublin Castle. After weeks of preparation, with the help of Ms. S Carey, the debate had finally arrived. The motion was fracking, a topic we had researched at depth, and we were there to represent the country of Luxembourg. The morning began with a pleasant breakfast where we socialised the other schools or ‘Member States’. Soon we entered the conference room which looked intimidating and impressive decorated with the flags of the EU. We were against the proposed directive and so we set out to fight our points when the debate began. I read our opening speech, and Sadhbh continued on to debate very strongly in the first round of open discussion. Jamie acted very effectively as our advisor, handing us points when needed.

    Tensions were high when lunch began after the somewhat heated first round of debate. Each country sought to make Allies over sandwiches and cake. We held delegations with the Czech Republic, Cyprus and several other countries and succeeded in forming a compromised proposal. We were excited as the second round began. This time I debated in representation of our team. We passionately argued our points, as did every country, in the race to see whether the directive would be passed. Our team was confident and proud of our performance, though we recognised the excellence presented by many of the other countries. After hours of extensive debating on the motion, much to our satisfaction the directive was not passed. Unfortunately we did not win, however, we did not allow the loss dampen our pride and sense of achievement in what we had done.

    We ended the day by going on a brief shopping trip around Dublin, with some of the other TYs who had come to support us. On the train home we reflected on the day and realised what a rewarding and frack-tastic experience it had been.


    Young Social Innovators Dragons Den – By Elaine Heaslip 4.4
    On February 4th 2014, three members of the Young Social Innovators group “Don’t go with the Flo”, Elaine Heaslip, Eva Lee and Christine O Sullivan went to The Lifetime Lab in Cork City to pitch their project to the Y.S.I Den’s Dragons.
    “Don’t go with the Flo” fights against the fluoridation of our Irish water supplies. Currently, 98% of European countries do not add fluoride to their water. Ireland, unfortunately, is still in the 2% that do. The team did research behind fluoride and learned that there are serious health effects caused by it being in our waters and people are unaware of these health effects, as they think fluoride is good for your teeth and don’t question it, but the fluoride that is good for your teeth is a naturally occurring mineral called calcium fluoride. However what is added to our water is a highly toxic, man-made chemical called sodium fluoride.

    The team pitched their idea on how they plan on using social media to raise awareness to the public about the health effects of fluoride and to promote their group “Don’t go with the Flo” to a wider audience than just their local area. The team plan on doing this by creating a series of short video clips that will be put on social media sites with a view to hopefully go viral. The Dragons seemed really interested in hearing about their project and their ideas and were very impressed when the team showed them the first instalment of the series called “The Effin Helpless Line”.

    After the group presentation, they were asked a few questions by the Dragons who were very intrigued by their findings. The team then waited in The Lifetime Lab with their teacher Ms. Martha Brassil who accompanied them to the Den. The group were called back into the Dragons to get some amazing news – they awarded “Go with the Flo” €610 to fund their project! “Go with the Flo” were absolutely delighted, it was a nerve wrecking but a brilliant experience.!

    Check out the story here on the Kerryman:


    Transition year Trip to Italy 2014

    “This is a brief compilation from our wonderful trip to Italy last February, 2014”

    This video was put together by Ms. Hunt.

    Transition year IT Module – By Allanah McElligott and Jamie Bourke

    Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School has recently introduced an IT module as a pilot programme for the Transition Year students. The students are encouraged to bring their laptops or tablets to school to access the school’s Internet for their classes. These are being used as interactive learning platforms. While the devices are not replacing textbooks, they provide multiple learning opportunities for teachers and students alike.
    Mr Pat Fleming, vice principal of the school, has disclosed that the project has been successful so far, with very few minor difficulties which were easily resolved. He wishes to trial the programme with Transition Year students, with hopes to expand the module to other years in the school. The programme is being tested on Transition Year students as these students have no set curriculum. In Transition Year, there is less requirements for bulky bags containing textbooks and copies. The programme also gives the teachers a broader scope for material and provides the opportunity for creative learning.
    Students Emma Leahy and Sinead O’Mahony are both participating in the module. They commented on the convenience of the devices and the speed of the Internet. Emma said “I think it’s really useful, because we can use it for projects and we don’t need to go to the computer rooms anymore.”
    The module will be assessed later in the year and is being considered for other years. Mr Fleming has described the module as being revolutionary and hopes to expand it.


    COSI – – by Alannah McElligott 4.3

    The Community of Social Innovators group is a group of fourth and fifth year students in Mercy Mounthawk who are dedicating their time and effort to making their community a better place. The COSI group is made up of Transition Year students, Tamsin Stack, Éabha McCarthy, Karen O’Brien, Patrick Slattery and Connor O’Donoghue, and fifth years, Michael Ryan, Darragh Costello, Fearghal O’Rourke, Aisling O’Malley and Emma Moynihan, all of thom work with their teacher, Veronica Hunt. This year, Mounthawk has chosen the theme “Health and Well-Being”. The group recently travelled to Cork, where they participated in a training day. Here, they interacted with other students from schools around Ireland, and discussed ideas for promoting their chosen themes. “It was a great experience”, said Transition Year student, Tamsin Stack. “We learned all about other schools’ projects and showed them what we’ve done so far.

    So far, the Mounthawk students have set up a Wall of Gratitude in their GP area, where members of the school can read what other people are thankful for, and letters that people have written to special people. They have also held a 5km Fun Run for the school, to promote health and fitness. The group each got involved for different reasons, but mostly, they wanted to make a difference to the lives of other people. Michael Ryan wished to stress the importance of this year’s theme: “Obviously, everyone is aware of physical health, but there seems to be a stigma surrounding mental health, so we felt like we had to draw attention to it.” The students hope to continue their fantastic work in promoting Health and Well-Being in their school.


    The Irish Beaver Computing Contest – By Alannah McElligott 4.3and Sarah Hartnett 4.2


    The Irish Beaver Computing Contest is a partner in the International Bebras Computing Contest. It is an All Ireland problem-solving challenge with a focus on computational and logical thinking, and plays a part in introducing Computer Science to students. Six students from Mercy Mounthawk were chosen based on their exceptional Junior Certificate mathematics results. These students are Caoimhe Barry-Walsh, Patrick Slattery, Conor O Nuallain, Sean Dowling, Ciara Holmes and Christine O Sullivan.

    The contest is completed online and under the supervision of a teacher. It takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. Many of the students hadn’t even considered the possibility of their maths results being this good, and it was a surprise to all of them. Coaimhe Barry-Walsh said “It was a huge shock to be chosen, but it’s a great honour all the same.”
    In 2012, over 525,000 students from 21 countries were involved in the competition. Ireland will take part for the first time in November 2013, when over 750,000 students from over 25 countries are expected to participate.
    Sean Dowling was very humble, admitting that he did not think that his results were that good, and admitted that is was a huge shock to receive his letter today. He commented, “It’s a great acheivement and I’m looking forward to progressing to the next stage.”
    Another delighted student was Conor O Nuallain, who said that he was really happy when he received his letter and immediately told his family the news. “I told my parents straight away and they were delighted.”
    The final student to receive her letter was Ciara Holmes. She explained that she was to do the contest online during the dates 11th and 15th of November. “It was a fantastic surprise and I cannot wait to take part.” All of the students are to be recognised for thier amazing acheivement and look forward to participating in the competition.
  • “This is a brief compilation from our wonderful trip to Italy last February, 2014”

  • TY Shorts


    The TY students of Mercy Mounthawk have been busy creating their own short films for their English module. Inspired by local and international short films, the students will be showcasing their work in the new Halk Talk broadcast. Here is a sample of what is to come:

    This is a short film made by student’s of Mr Redican’s English Class:

    Here is a film trailer created by students of Ms Hunt’s English Class:

    Here is a video on the Human Rainbow we created last year:

  • Hawk Talk is a new newscast by the TY Class of 4.3. Hawk Talk is a current affairs broadcast, capturing all the goings of our school community in Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk.

    Eco-Unesco Eco Den- Cork 13/03/2014

    The Transition Year Students of Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk, travelled to Cork to participate in the Eco-Unesco Eco Dens competition. This was the Munster round and five of our teams spoke to the adjudicators. It was an excellent day and they anxiously await the results!

    Inter-TY Sports Day – Tralee 12/03/2014

    The TY students of Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk, as part of their YSI initiative, organised a sports day for the neighbouring schools TY students. It was a brilliant success and thanks to all the TY students who attended!

  • Launching in March 2014, a new newspaper by the TY Class of 4.3! Hawk eye will chronicle our life and times in Mercy Mounthawk.

    hawk eye




    Here are a selection of photos and video from the Transition Year Fashion Show 2014. The night was a tremendous success raising funds for school developments. Great credit is due to the hugely energetic organising committee and to teachers Veronica Hunt and Eileen Flanagan. Thanks also to all of the Tralee retailers who supplied the clothes once again this year. Your continued support is invaluable to us.

    The theme for the night was “Dancing Aropund the Globe” and was chosen to celebrate the cultural diversity of our school.


  • A great evening of awards and entertainment took place on Wednesday 25th May with the Transition Year Graduation evening.

    There were numerous awards given out on the night but the top male and female student awards went to Liam O’Leary and Ali Feely respectively.  Well done to them and to all our winners.  Congratulations to all the students on completing a very successful Transition Year.

  • Berlin 2017


  • September 2012 sawchinese1
    the new Chinese Language and Culture Programme designed by The Confucius Institute, UCD, being rolled out to Transition Years at Mercy Mounthawk.
    This excellent course combines a mixture of language learning, cultural studies, student based projects and is rounded off with a Chinese Oral Exam and a very tasty meal in a local Chinese restaurant. It has certainly proven to be a thoroughly educational, diverse, enjoyable and popular course for TY students as it was eagerly chosen by many!
    The excellent opportunity of an introduction to the most spoken language in the world did not go unnoticed as students expressed their keen interest in continuing Chinese studies in the future, mentioning the business and economic possibilities involved!

    Below are images from a lesson in Chinese Dumpling Making (Jan 2014)

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