Friday, 22 March 2013

Six Word Story Competition Winners!

With over one hundred entries our  'Six Word Short Story Competition' has been a great success.  Transition Year class Tara's debated and argued as they tried to narrow down the very strong entries.  The standard was very high and included entries from all year groups from both Higher and Ordinary classes.  But finally after all of the debating, the top three were chosen! 

And so the winners are:

1st Place:  (15euro Easons Voucher) 
By:  Lauren Moriarty (5th year)

2nd Place:  (Easter Egg)
By: Kelly Harris (5th year)

3rd Place:  (Easter Egg)
By Melanie Arutunyan (1st year)

Well done girls, these are fantastic 'Six Word Stories'!  We all look forward to reading your work in the future!

To read all of the entries, please click on the link below...
Six Word Story Entries

Thursday, 21 March 2013

'First Death in Nova Scotia' and 'Mid Term Break'

As part of their study of the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, 5th year students Hannah McMahon, Aisling Taaffe and Dearbhla Maguire noted the differences in the treatment of the theme of death by Elizabeth Bishop and a poet from their Junior Cert days, Seamus Heaney!  Comparing both 'First Death in Nova Scotia' and 'Mid Term Break', Aisling, Hannah and Dearbhla made some very interesting observations and communicated them in a beautifully fluent manner.  Well done girls!

21st March 2013 - International Poetry Day

World Poetry Day was declared by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 1999 and is celebrated on 21 March.  The aim is to promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry.  According to UNESCO: 'World Poetry Day is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities'.
The English Department have decided to share with you a beautifully crafted poem written by Leo Marks.  What is fascinating about this poem is that he wrote it on Christmas Eve 1943 and he gave the poem to Violette Szabo on March 24th 1944 to use as code during the Second World War.  The poem is entitled: 'The Life That I Have' or it is sometimes referred to as 'Yours'.

The Life That I Have

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

Please feel free to email your favourite poems to us at:

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop, the American poet, is on both the 2013 and 2014 Leaving Certificate English course.  She is a firm favourite with students for her accessibility, as well as her thought-provoking themes and vivid imagery.  Here is a list of websites the English Department have put together that may be useful for Leaving Certificate students studying Bishop for their exams.

Monday, 11 March 2013

'The Fish' by Elizabeth Bishop

Please click on the video below to view a short video based on 
Elizabeth Bishop's poem, 'The Fish'. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Leaving Cert English Syllabus 2015

The Department of Education have just published the prescribed material for the Leaving Certificate English Examination in 2015.  So for those of you beginning 5th year in September 2013 you might like to click on the link below to see what novels, plays, films and poems you will be studying!  

Students are always eager to learn which of Shakespeare's plays are on their course...and for you lucky 2015 candidates, you will have the pleasure of studying 'Othello' as a Single Study Text or 'King Lear' as part of your Comparative Course!


Friday, 8 March 2013

Acrostic Love Poetry

In the run up to St Valentine's Day, Ms Watters' 1st and 2nd year English classes ran 'An Acrostic Love Poetry Competition'.  Well done to all the girls who participated, the standard of creativity was excellent.  

Special congratulations to the winners: Orla Doherty, Roisin Duffy and Claire Mallon.  

Click the link to read some of their fantastic poems: Winners of 1st Year Acrostic Poetry Competition

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

School Days....are they the best days of your life!?

Helen Yuen, from Ms Thomas' English class, has written a lovely poem about being a Loreto student and what it means to her!  She has very kindly given us her poem to publish to help inspire us all to pick up our pens during 'World Book Month' and get our creative juices flowing!
School Days, Happy Days!
I'm always happy when I'm with my friends,
I stand by them until the very end,
Sometimes they understand how I feel,
And say a prayer for me when they kneel.
Our school Mass is lots of fun,
It is very meaningful for everyone,
Every smile in the room brightens my day,
From early morn until the noon.
All together, everyone,
We're like a family becoming one,
We greet each other with laughs and smiles,
Or hang around for a little while.
All these moments will stay with me,
For soon they will become a memory,
As time goes on I ask you please,
To answer my prayer and remember me.
Written by: Helen Yuen
(Ms Thomas' English Class)

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Single Text In Focus

This evening some members of the English Department attended a conference on correcting the Single Study Text for the Leaving Certificate.  Raymond Frawley, former Chief Examiner of the Leaving Certificate English Examinations, provided '10 Commandments' for students to remember when they are answering their Single Study question and five things that examiners look for when they are correcting this question.  Try to remember these tips when you are writing your next essay! 
  1. Keep your personal response at the heart of your answer
  2. Keep your focus on the question at all times
  3. Analyse and discuss the text
  4. Give your opinions with conviction and energy
  5. Write fluently
  6. Make clear connections between paragraphs
  7. Be confident that you can assess the success of the writer's style
  8. Don't give large chunks of summary
  9. Don't give unfocused character sketches
  10. Don't skim the surface of the text - dig deep
"A sound understanding and a genuine appreciation of the features of the writing"
"A genuine interest and perceptive analysis of the text"
"Students should engage clearly and never lose focus of the question"
"You can't beat passion and energy, allied to good knowledge of the text"
"Make a convincing and compelling argument that is well supported
with judicious quotation"

Monday, 4 March 2013


14,500 Transition Year students from all over Ireland entered the National Press Pass Journalism Competition in October and our very own Aine O'Connell was awarded 2nd place for her Feature article:  'When Bubbles Burst and People Pay'.  Aine was presented with her award by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Wednesday 27th February in the Convention Centre in Dublin.  Well done Aine and we are all looking forward to reading your work in the future!

To read Aine's article, please click 'When Bubbles Burst and People Pay'

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Six Word Story Competition!

Please visit our COMPETITION page to see how you can enter our story competition 
and be in with a chance of winning of a book token! 


Welcome to the new blog by Loreto Secondary School's English Department!

We're just getting started here but soon our site will be full of useful links, notes, videos and podcasts.  We also hope to use the site for English Dept announcements and to showcase the talented writers of Loreto Secondary School, Navan!