Wednesday 8 May 2024

Toilet Twinning Project

On Friday 19 April, The High School Dublin Parents Association presented a cheque for €280 to the Student Council, marking the end of several months of fundraising for a charity called Toilet Twinning. Funds have been raised in The High School and by the Parents Association this year for Toilet Twinning, a charity that builds safe, sustainable, and clean toilets for families living in extreme poverty. Working with Toilet Twinning, who are partnered with Tearfund Ireland and Cord, we will now be able to 'toilet twin' eleven toilets in our school with other toilets across the world. This means that our toilets are linked to modern and hygienic latrines across the globe, connecting our school to the global community and opening doors for a new wave of understanding for pupils, staff, and visitors to The High School. Our twinned toilets will now have framed pictures of our international toilet twins outside their doors, along with pictures of our twins and GPS coordinates included so we can locate them on Google Maps! Soon, student and staff toilets at HSD will be twinned with latrines in Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan Malawi Nepal Zimbabwe Zambia Uganda Tanzania Côte d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Together as a community we have raised just over €1,000 for Toilet Twinning!

Raising awareness about Toilet Twinning at school these past few months has been a real labour of love for me personally. I discovered this charity during a Model United Nations trip to London in October 2023; I was struck by how original and ultimately fun its concept was. I couldn't shake off the idea and brought it up at a Student Council meeting where many others also liked it. After obtaining permissions from various individuals going through bureaucratic channels presenting an informative video about Toilet Twinning during assembly we organized a non-uniform day on February 9th to raise funds for this cause. Shortly after that generous offer came from Parents Association offering donation too.
I would like to express my gratitude towards every student teacher in school all members of Parents Association who helped spread awareness about Toilet Twinning donated on non-uniform days supported this project. Thanks to our cooperation as community we made significant difference improving lives families worldwide making sanitation safer.
If you are interested in learning more about or making a donation to Toilet Twinning for your own loos as home, please visit
Leo Shorten

Friday 3 May 2024

Mental Health Week

As we approach Mental Health Week, it is essential to recognize the significance of this event. Now more than ever, the spotlight on mental health education and inclusivity is crucial.

This week provides a platform for breaking down stigmas and improving our understanding. By raising awareness and encouraging education, we empower individuals to recognize their mental well-being and support others.

Mental Health Week isn't just about acknowledging the challenges but celebrating resilience, courage, and the journey toward wellness. It's a reminder that mental health is a fundamental aspect of our overall well-being, deserving attention, care, and understanding.

This year, we are excited to focus on four core values: connection, awareness, curiosity, and generosity. Each day of the week will be dedicated to exploring and embodying these values.

Tuesday: Connection

On the first day let's prioritize building connections with ourselves and others. Whether through meaningful conversations or acts of kindness or shared experiences.

Wednesday: Awareness

Day two encourages us to be aware of our thoughts, feelings, surroundings. We will host The Evening of Memory and Reflection which will provide an opportunity to honor those who have passed away.

Thursday: Curiosity

Curiosity fuels growth and learning. Today let's approach our experiences with open minds sense wonder Let's explore new hobbies challenge ourselves try something different embrace joy discovery.

Friday: Generosity

Generosity comes in many forms from offering support those in need practicing self-compassion Today let's express kindness generosity towards ourselves others Small gestures can make big difference someone's day."

Saturday: Darkness Into Light

Pieta is largest suicide bereavement support service Ireland Every year Pieta offers vital long-term support over 600 families This counseling also available person via phone video.
Elisa MacGabhann

Friday 26 April 2024

Junior Drama Success!


"My Dinner with Jeffrey" is a particularly special play written by two Form 5 pupils at The High School: Leo Shorten and Max Lyons. The play features an array of bizarre and comical characters, from a formidable mafia boss to a slightly eccentric Antarctician potato seller, who arrive at Jeffrey Mallet’s dinner party. However, the party takes a turn for the worse when murder strikes, leading the eclectic mix of characters to scuffle over the murder of a fellow party-goer as each had grounds to be a suspect.

The aptitude and finesse of this year's cast made the play stand out. The capabilities of both older and younger pupils, along with the strong affinity between cast members, were palpable and impressive for the audience. Enormous effort was put into ensuring that the production ran smoothly: Ms Browne and Ms Forder, responsible for directing the play, dedicated significant work to structuring rehearsals, managing props efficiently, and handling various other aspects. The remarkable application and enthusiasm from the backstage crew added to an exciting and enjoyable collaborative experience.

The flair and talent displayed by this year's cast in "My Dinner with Jeffrey" Junior Drama production were particularly special. The dedication and zeal shown by those involved in directing alongside backstage support were truly impressive. Overall, producing this play proved to be an exciting and satisfying experience. When asked about their writing experience for the play, both writers expressed their happiness with the final product due to all the hard work invested by both cast and crew paying off well. They mentioned having fun during its creation process while hoping that everyone involved also enjoyed making it as much as watching it.
Olivia Leonard

The High School MUN Triumph


On 13 and 14 April, 150 pupils from fourteen schools were welcomed to The High School to participate in our second annual Model United Nations Conference. Model United Nations, or as we often refer to it, MUN, involves each school being assigned a country and each pupil debating topics, representing that country. At our conference we had seven committee rooms, ranging from Security Council to Health and Youth, Disarmament and Security to Social Cultural and Humanitarian. We also had a Historical Committee, which debated topics such as the Iranian Hostage Crisis and the Soviet Blockade of Berlin. MUN is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to learn how to collaborate and compromise to solve some of the biggest issues that face our world, such as Nuclear Energy, Terrorism, and the Role of Social Media.  

For our opening ceremony we managed to get a special guest, Ivana Bacik TD, to share her wisdom on the importance of involvement in political affairs. The inspirational speech set the tone for a very productive weekend of debating. The debating was at an extraordinary standard and every delegate was well-prepared on the range of topics we were debating. Although it was an event discussing serious issues, plenty of fun was also had with our in house magazine and joke awards for "best dressed" and "best ship"! 

On Saturday we had a General Assembly which allowed all the attendees to show off the knowledge they had gathered over the weekend and find out what had happened in the other committee rooms. At General Assembly we debated a range of topics such as Soil Degradation, Vaccine Supply and Uptake, and Piracy in International Waters. As is customary, we concluded the conference with prizegiving, which was exceptionally difficult due to the excellent participation of all attendees. The conference was closed in classic MUN style, with the bang of a gavel, signifying the end to another fantastic weekend.  

This conference was a fantastic end to a busy year of Model United Nations. All the pupils and teachers who attended had a fantastic time and we are all looking forward to next year! 
Ciara Morton

Feis Ceoil Champions

On 20 March The High School Orchestra participated in the Post-Primary Orchestra competition at the Feis Ceoil, a national music competition celebrating its 128th year. We presented a diverse repertoire of beautiful and challenging pieces: "Norwegian Dance No.3" by Edvard Grieg, "Nimrod" from the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar, and the Theme from E.T. by John Williams. Each piece stood out uniquely: Grieg's composition was lively with a fast-paced and upbeat tempo, while Nimrod was characterized by its slow, harmonious, and expressive nature. The Theme from E.T., on the other hand, was uplifting and exhilarating to perform.

In preparation for the competition, we dedicated our Thursdays to rehearsals leading up to the event and intensified our practice during the week preceding Feis Ceoil. When our performance time arrived we gave it our all. Despite uncertainty about how we fared compared to other schools' performances, upon hearing the results announced, we were thrilled to discover that we emerged victorious! This marks The High School's third successive triumph in recent years at this prestigious competition.

The success is attributed to everyone's hard work and dedication within the orchestra: it truly paid off. Our special thanks go to Ms Hayes and Ms Bourke for their invaluable support throughout this journey.  The High School Orchestra performed at the Feis Ceoil Prizewinners' Gala Concert on the main stage at The National Concert Hall on Wednesday 17 April.
Michael Binchy

Monday 22 April 2024

Gaisce Hike

Over the past year I have been participating in the Gaisce President's Award. As part of this myself and the others taking part completed the venture part of this award. The requirements were that we completed a hike of a significant distance and difficulty, and cooked for ourselves within a hostel environment.

On Thursday 11 April we went home and came back to school for 5.45 pm after a quick meal and a (in my case frantic) flurry of packing. Gear was checked, bags were loaded and we headed off to do our shopping at a local shopping centre. Ingredients bought and all students accounted for the second leg began. We stayed at the Glendalough international youth hostel (one I would definitely recommend) and got our rooms assigned. When the rules of the hostel were gone through there was one that really stuck out to me, it read: Don't mess with our goat. Apparently a not so friendly goat has taken up residence in the area surrounding the hostel and is hostile when provoked (like us all).

The next morning we had a choice between a cooked or a continental breakfast and headed off after we had finished and packed for the day. We started walking at around 10.30 am, and after a while on paved ground the path gave way to more challenging terrain. When we stopped for lunch we were all significantly more muddy and tired. The hike continued up into even more mud, at which point the fog closed in. I remember hearing shrieks of laughter in the distance as more and more people skipped and slid down the mountain.

In tip-top shape we entered into the last leg of the hike. By this point we were all exhausted and ready for home so when we finally finished sighs of relief were heard all around. After all of this we still faced into the final part of this challenge, and in hostel conditions this was just that: a challenge. My group shared a pasta dish and split the cooking and washing up. That evening we also got the opportunity to look at the stars from the Glendalough Lake. They were absolutely stunning. The next morning we all loaded our kit back onto the bus and headed back to school.
Isobel Kearney

Form 5 Agricultural Science

Last month, pupils in Form 5 studying Agricultural Science visited the farming marts and UCD research farm. We met at 8.00 am that morning to have a class and then left on the bus an hour later. We arrived at the mart in Kilcullen Co Kildare and were told some about some of the abbreviations of breeds and other information that would be given about the animals on the board such as weight and age. We also were told about the bidding process and allowed to pop behind the announcer’s desk. We then sat back and watched as the cows were sold and brought in and out of the ring. It was eye opening to see behind-the-scenes activities which helped us learn about cattle breeds through first-hand experience.

After visiting the mart, we drove another few minutes to the UCD research farm. We were given boot covers and then promptly started our tour. We got to see so many lambs, some just hours old. Everyone loved them, it was possibly one of the best parts of our tour. They explained the lambing process while discussing sheep qualities essential for farms' operations. Additionally, we observed milking technology demonstrations, saw cows awaiting milking, encountered a calf up close, and learned about cow outputs including year-round milk production capabilities.

Next on our tour was we explored various aspects of farm operations like new drone technology expected in upcoming years along with insights into machinery functionalities such as combine harvesters.  Safety protocols were emphasized during Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) demonstrations with quizzes focusing on farm safety rules highlighting potential hazards.

In the equestrian area of the farm pupils engaged with horses to understand their anatomy, focusing on the importance of hooves and the significance of horseshoes. Discussions revolved around different crop values encompassing oats, rice varieties, and various seeds types presented to us. A pupil shared findings from an experiment comparing different grasses ranging from red clover to perennial rye plants. At day's end a presentation was followed by distribution of goodie bags before boarding buses. The day concluded with quizzes reflecting educational experiences gained throughout this enriching field trip when we returned to school by 5.00 pm.
Saoirse Reilly