22 May 2022

Jam-packed programme for Wellbeing Week in Offaly school


International boxer and past-pupil Grainne Walsh gives a talk at Killina during Wellbeing Weekh fives a talk at Well

Last week was the annual Wellbeing Week in Killina Presentation Secondary School and once again was a week jam-packed with talks, activities and demonstrations, culminating in a hugely enjoyable Talent Show which saw a wide cross section of students display a variety of talents- some hitherto well hidden, and in one or two cases, one might say best hidden!

The theme of the week was  the power of positivity, with the emphasis on  encouraging students to develop good habits,  enabling them to develop resiliency,  healthy relationships and the tools to manage their emotions positively and constructively. 

Throughout the week, there was a mixture of in class activities , talks, demonstrations and physical activity, and among these activities was the design of a ‘Gratitude Wall’ encouraging students to "Do more of what makes you happy", Mindfulness in class at the beginning of each day,  canal walks, a coffee morning,  bonding games, and minding pet lambs!

Each year group had physical activities and a guest speaker on a particular facet of wellbeing.  Past pupil and Olympic hopeful Gráinne Walsh spoke to our 3rd years about goal and target setting, working to your strengths, coping with challenges and setbacks, and staying motivated.  Gráinne did an excellent presentation, and also worked with our TYs in their physical activity.  

Lorna Heffernan of Aspen Counselling Tullamore gave a talk to 2nd Years on  the importance of positive self- talk and self-care, developing respectful,  kind, trusting and nurturing friendships with a small group of genuine friends.

Alison Harte from Jigsaw also spoke to 2nd years about recognising anxiety and the importance of looking/asking for help,  being open and talking about our feelings.

Senior pupils participated in workshops around consent,  healthy relationships and domestic abuse, recognising controlling/ coercive,  unhealthy relationships, including a presentation from the Offaly Domestic Violence Support Services.

Throughout the week, each year group did a range of outdoor physical activities, so a special thank you to Ms Keenaghan, Ms Guest and Ms Egan for running these- the highlight was surely a highly competitive tug o’ war contest for the 1st years!  6th Years also got to enjoy a coffee morning, and an opportunity to take a break from the books and just chat and relax together.

The week rounded off with a hugely entertaining Talent Show, featuring music, song, improvisation drama.  We were privileged to welcome back our 3 All Ireland heroes from last August, namely Cathal Donoghue, Seán ‘Chip’ O’Toole and Ed Cullen to launch the show.   The annual 6th Year Novelty acts were once again show-stopping, with the girls’ brilliant choreography complemented by the imaginative Rocky recreation from the lads, but without a doubt, the stars of the show were our ballet troupe of Jack Kelly, James Scully and Emmett Doyle.  Some talents went obviously  unnoticed through the years!!  Funds raised from the Non-Uniform day were all made through voluntary donations, and will be divided between Jigsaw, Pieta House and the school wellbeing fund.

A huge thank you to all the guest speakers who all made a huge impression on the students, and thanks to all the staff who helped out and assisted in facilitating all of the activities through the week.  A special thanks to Ms Kennedy, who coordinated the week’s activities, and who put in a huge amount of preparation and thought into the week, and also to Ms Kavanagh for her work through the week with our talented musicians and choir.

Finally, a huge well done to all of the staff and students who participated in Climb With Charlie at Croghan Hill on Saturday in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.  MND has unfortunately taken its toll on our school community in the last few years, and we remember in particular at this time former teacher Ms Stella Horan, a person who embodied the positive wellbeing message within the school community in her years here.

We also look forward this week to a brand new initiative within the school, celebrating Neurodiversity Week, which will raise awareness and provide information about the wide variety of differences in how our brains function and process information and sensory responses, and how these can differ from one person to another.

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