On reflecting on the past year Bernardo Hogemann wrote:
‘One of the most positive aspects of the year is that, even though our year has been met with regulations, this means that our next year will be met with even more opportunities for the things we have missed.'
I believe this resilience, positivity and contemplation sums up the strength of the First Years of 2020/21. Entering into an ignominious school environment of social distancing, mask wearing and sanitising, the lads have persevered and did so with humour and togetherness. Although they missed out on so much of what makes De La Salle great, the boys rallied to make their first year in secondary school memorable. New friendships were formed early on and they took to their new subjects enthusiastically. Their teachers commented on their interest and eagerness to learn and we look forward to seeing their development as budding scientists, entrepreneurs, woodworkers over the coming years.
One thing that could be worked on is their rhythm. I think Ms. Plunkett still has a headache from the atrocious banging during the fun Samba drumming workshop before our Christmas break.
However, we all know that school life took another blow when we entered into lockdown after Christmas and the school returned to remote learning. Yet again the boys showed their metal and with thanks to their parents and teachers, the learning continued. We were so proud of the fact that the boys’ attendance and engagement with their lessons and school work was of such a high standard.
The final term allowed the boys to experience some of the extracurricular activities that we have on offer here in De La Salle. Sports day was enjoyed by all and we were able to get a glimpse of their sporting prowess and there are some very fine athletes in First Year. Although their interactions were limited by Covid protocols, the 5th Mentors were always eager to help out with the First Years and organised table quizzes and the highly successful football tournament. Huge thanks to all of the Mentors for their support this year. The Tag Rugby tournament was another fun afternoon and hopefully we will see more of this talent on our rugby fields when school returns to normal.
The end of year Prize Giving highlighted the academic achievements in the various subjects and the awards were spread out throughout the year group showing the wide ranging talents and skills of the students.
However, their greatest achievement was how well all the lads dealt with the hindrances that school during a global pandemic caused and for that we are so proud of the students of First Year 2020/21. Hopefully next year the mask can be lifted and the lads will really experience what it is to be a student in De La Salle College, Churchtown.
Mr T. Cronin (Year Head, 1st Year)