Past-Pupil, Hope Kudryashova, graduates from Royal College of Surgeons

Past-Pupil, Hope Kudryashova, graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons yesterday. Her story was featured in the education supplement of the "Irish Times' newspaper. Hope expressed her gratitude to St. Aidan's for 'going the extra mile' in helping her achieve her goals.

Here is the article in full- By Carl O Brien of the Irish Times

*The route from Jobstown in west Dublin to the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin’s city centre is a flat 10km or so. But for Hope Kudryashova, it is a journey that has involved crossing some of the deepest ravines of the social divide.

Yesterday, Kudryashova (23) was one of 250 future doctors awarded medical degrees at a conferring ceremony in Dublin. “I feel really proud today,” she says. “To just get this far given where I’m from and to pass all my exams feels like a big deal. I’m the first person from my area to go the Royal College Surgeons. Hopefully, I won’t be the last.”

Few at the ceremony had to vault the kind of barriers she faced growing up in one of the most deprived areas of the State. Unemployment close to her home is several times the national average. Early school-leaving rates are among the highest in the country. Literacy is a major problem, too. Hope was always a bright spark. She did well at school – but it meant she became a target for bullying.

“I ended up attending counselling and seeing a psychologist,” she says. “There were days when I avoided going to school. We got a letter at home from the Department of Education to the house because I missed so many days.”

She moved house and schools, which proved transformational. Teachers at St Aidan’s, a disadvantaged Deis (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) school in Tallaght, went the extra mile to help her fulfil her potential.

“When they saw children with potential and goals, they did so much to help,” she says. “Chemistry wasn’t available as a Leaving Cert subject, but I wanted to study it. I couldn’t do the experiments on my own, so my biology teacher helped me and organised for me to go to the Institute of Technology in Tallaght, where they ran through them for me.”

Her family, too, were a big support. Hope’s parents – originally from Russia – encouraged her and her father helped instil an interest in maths and logic.

A stellar performance in the Leaving Certificate meant she was able to fulfil her dream of studying medicine.“I’m fascinated by the workings of the human body and I thought it would be really nice to have the ability to help change people’s lives for the better.”

Success stories like Hope’s, though, are rare. Many colleges now have access programmes for people from deprived areas. The RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), for example, sets aside 5 per cent of its EU places for such students. However students from disadvantaged areas remain significantly underrepresented at third level, even more so in high-points courses such as medicine. Poverty is one barrier, she says, and poverty of expectation can be much more corrosive, but simple support and encouragement can have a profound influence.

There is a lyric from a song by the rock bank Metric which tumbles around her head and captures how she feels. “It says something like, ‘wish for less things to wish for and for more things to work towards’. When I have kids, I’ll tell them that. Work for it. The pleasure of getting something you work for and pulling yourself through is something else.”**

Hope on her graduation day

Hope on her graduation day

Book Club

St. Aidan's Book Club has been reading Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo. We discussed the book at our book club meeting in Old Bawn Community School on Wednesday, 7th May, 2014. One of our students told us, that Kensuke’s Kingdom 'was a brilliant book with a amazing friendship between an old and wise Japanese man and a young boy'!

We had a great day talking, eating pizza and quizzing about the book. Thanks to the Librarian in Old Bawn for hosting the event and to the 2nd year students who joined in - Mark, P.J. and Tyrick. We all agreed with Kensuke that - “Life must not be spent always hoping, always waiting. Life is for living”.

PJ O’Keeffe

Student Council trip to Glanmore Foods

Last month the student council, Leanne Russell and Ms Sloyan went to visit Glanmore Foods in Blanchardstown. We went because we wanted to get our school canteen remodelled and to make changes to the food served there.

Before going into the factory we had to wear clean hats, clean bags over our feet and an apron. We also had to wash our hands before we went touched anything. Kevin, the Manager, took us around the factory to see how the food was made. We went into the jelly room, fruit room and bread room. After a long day we went and had a cup of tea and some food. After all that we went back to school.

By Dylan Salinger (2nd Year, St. Lucys)

WRaPParound Workshop with Garry McCarthy

On Thursday, 1st May our Librarian Ms Flynn took the students who participated in WRaPParound 2014 to the National Library to perform our Rap ‘One’ which celebrates equality and diversity. ‘One’ was performed by Daniel Oladeji and Nathan Mangan who said ‘the world isn’t a perfect utopia but if we work together the world can be a place where we live together in peace and harmony’.

15 schools from around the country took part in the event and each school had a Rap or Poem to perform. Everyone gave an excellent performance especially St. Aidan’s legend rappers Nathan and Daniel. You can watch the video of their performance below.

Thanks to Garry McCarthy who helped us write and perform our Rap’s. A great day was had by all and the boys are looking forward to performing at Dublin Culture Night in September.

Listen and enjoy some of our raps and poems below (the top 3 are this year's raps).

Daniel Oladeji (2nd Year)

Calligraphy Workshop

The library hosted a Calligraphy Workshop on Tuesday, 1st April. Local calligrapher Ann Cannon came in to teach us. Calligraphy - fancy writing- is beautiful, decorative writing. Ten students from 1st to 3rd year took part in the workshop and surprised themselves at what they could write with a fine nibbed pen and ink!’

One of the students in the workshop told me afterwards ‘that it was a great experience to use the pen and dip it in the ink and be able to write with it so neatly – it’s not like any other writing that you do cause it’s so neat and beautiful’

Lauren Daly (2nd Year)

Special "Inside St. Aidan's" Supplement in Today's Tallaght Echo

A special 8-page 'Inside St. Aidan's' supplement was published in toady's TAllaght Echo Newspaper. Students have been working with Simon Walsh from Ballyfermot College of Further Education to produce a newspaper that was written for young people by young people.

Many of our students were involved and the articles cover topics such as fashion, music, sport and creative writing as well as detailing many of the wonderful projects that we undertake in St. Aidan's.

Well done to all involved. Your work has really paid off... the supplement looks amazing!!

Classical Studies Workshop at Trinity College

On Saturday the 12th of April a group from St. Ciaras, 2nd year went on a trip to Trinity College for a classics workshop. They took the bus into town and went to Starbucks for a hot chocolate before heading off to Trinity College. They teamed up with students from other schools and got split into groups with them. There were four stations with classics related activities. The groups rotated around each station so that everyone got to participate.

The first station was Greek writing, were the students learned how to write their names and dates in Greek and got to write them onto parchment paper using wood and ink.

The second station was the Latin alphabet. Here the students learned about the letter of the Latin alphabet and words that are derived from Latin that we still use today. They wrote their names and the names of their school onto papyrus, an ancient form of paper used by the Egyptians.

The third station consisted of learning about Roman coins. At this stations they were thought about the currency and value of Roman coins. They got to hold them and inspect them. The students acquired a lot of information on the background of Roman coins. The fourth and final station was a very fun activity where the teams got to mould clay figurines based on the mock models of Greek and Roman clay offering to the gods.

The groups got a half an hour break between the activities and St. Ciaras went to Mc Donalds for their lunch. They took a bus back to Tallaght and were very happy with the events of that day. The workshop was very fun and informative. Many thanks to Ms. O Reilly and Ms. Mc Vicker who arranged the trip.

By Mei Lee Xu and Rachel Kedney

CSPE Trip to Leinster House

On the 12th of March 2014 , Ms.Hughes CSPE class went on a trip to visit Leinster House. It was a sunny day and the class took a luas into town. First they visited the Irish Museum of National History , where they saw many interesting species of animals and insects found in Ireland as well as from places all around the world. Afterwards they went to Mc Donalds to get their lunch.

Next they headed off to take a tour around Leinster House. Firstly , they entered the Chamber of the Dáil where debates and elections by the TDs take place. This room is very important as decisions on how the country is run are made in this room. It is often is shown on television. Secondly, they walked around the Taoiseach Portrait Gallery where they saw hand-painted portraits of our past taoiseachs. They then observed a debate in the Senate on the use of Ireland’s energy. The topic of windmills in Conamara was briefly brought up .The subject of Norway’s use of energy was discussed and how we can learn from them. They were then shown the flag that John F. Kennedy gave Ireland. A picture was taken outside the Dáil of the class , to commemorate this great day.

The students then took a luas back to the school. They thought the trip was very interesting and amusing. This has been a great experience and we wish the very best of luck to the third year students on writing about this event in their Action Project.

By Mei Lee Xu and Rachel Kedney.

2nd & 3rd year students with Ms. Hughes at Leinster House

UCD 'Future You' Program

UCD Future You

A total of fifteen students from St Adians’ participated in UCD Future You mentoring program along with many other students from a total of nine schools all over Dublin. Monday 13th January a coach picked up these lucky students from the school at 11:30 and went on their way to pick up another school on the way. Every student from St Aidian’s chatted together and there was a huge buzz. Everyone was excited about meeting their two mentors that would be working with them throughout the rest of fifth year and the start of sixth.

Upon arriving at UCD all the students made their way to a lector hall where the welcoming ceremony was being held. The room filled with many students from different schools and the atmosphere was sensational. You could feel the excitement from the room. After a welcoming speech from the organiser of Future You UCD and other speeches from a Citi bank Sponsers, a student from KCS and a mentor of the UCD Future You.

Once the speeches were done, we were brought out to collect a folder, pencil case and A4 pad and then got lunch. We didn’t stay for long after that and soon we were on our way home, the excited chatter from the St Aidian’s never dying down.

Today, St Aidan’s were met with a former pupil Kate, who is now a mentor for the UCD Future You program. Maria is also a mentor for St Aidian’s. The students had two classes with these mentors and in this one session we learned a lot about collage life and stuff. They were not like teachers trying to lecture us, but they were laughing and acting like they would around everyone else which personally made me feel more comfortable speaking to them.

We learned that there is a competition going on with the UCD Future You and St Aidian’s will be VICTORIOUS!

By Janessa Scott (5th Year)

Make a Book Exhibition

On the 5th of March second year students from St. Aidan's visited the Civic offices in Dublin for the annual Make a Book display. The class had worked on a book of poems, entitled "Waters Run Deep Still" with poet Colm Keegan. They then typed up their poems and illustrated them with pictures from the Internet. In addition to their book, the students involved recited and recorded their poems and these recordings were made into a short video which was also displayed in the foyer of the Civic Offices.

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Their work was fantastic and as always the students did St. Aidan's proud. The Make a Book organisers were so impressed with the quality of the St. Aidan's students' work that they asked us could they take our poems to display them in Cork next week! 


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Well done to all involved! 

Poems can be read or listened to below. 

3rd Year Art Projects- Lino Printing

Four students from Ms. O Brien's Art class arranged to come in to work on their projects during their free time during mocks. They were working on their lino printing and we think it's fair to say that their hard work is paying off!

Sobuj Khan worked on cricket theme prints. Ieva Kalane was printing Lana Del Rey. Kim Thai Nhu covered things that fly and Damien Howard chose Bruno Mars as his theme. Fantastic!!

2nd Year ESS Trip to Glendalough

Second years went to Glendalough with their ESS class, Ms.Abbey , Ms. Wosser and Ms. Sugrue, to study about how V Shaped Valleys turn into U Shaped Valleys.

It was a breezily cold morning. There was a drizzle of rain but we hopped on the bus and on away we went to Glendalough. As our journey went on we were talking and waiting until we arrived. We finally arrived and there was a strong wind blowing. After we got changed and we began our tour. We walked to the through graveyard (R.I.P) and saw the limestone that has been moved through Glendalough by the glacier. It took us about 15 minutes to walk up to the steps to see the waterfall. As we were at the waterfall we took a lovely group picture. We also took a fantastic class picture at a tree.

On the way home kindly Ms.Sugrue bought us Mc Donald’s and a soft drink. It was good day all around- an enjoyable and a educational trip.

By Tobi Adesanya (2nd Year)

5th Year Luas Trip

St Paul’s class from St Aidian’s attended a tour of Veolia, the Luas company. We learned a lot during our visit to Veolia, we learned how the tram works, how they work with the civil services of Dublin to prevent as much casualty as possible and we also learned how to drive and manage a Luas Tram. We learned that if there is a fire near the Luas line, the company will shut down all the power from there to assist the fire brigade in the saving of lives in the fire and we learned they do this from the computers in the control room.

While on our visit we visited the main control room of the Luas and we could see the other control room through a window that separated the main control room to another control room and we could see the workers in action. We learned were shown how they were able to cut off power to one line and then we learned how we could read the Luas. We learned that there are two buttons, one that could be used to shut off the entire Luas in a few seconds. In the control room we were able to see the cameras at the other Luas stops and we seen how the signal can travel anywhere within a few mili seconds!

We also visited the trams. We were able to sit in the driver’s seat and see the controls in the little box of the driver. We learned how to read the Luas controls and learned that a Luas can go up to 70 km/hr.

We also travelled down by Luas to the Veolia HQ in the Red Cow by Luas. When we got there we got reflective jackets and then were split into groups and brought to the control room and to the trams. From the main entrance you could see down to the men working on Luas engines! That was pretty cool. After the tour we went to another building where we met lots of people. We met the Ticket inspectors, the ticket inspector manager and the driver and lots more! We learned a lot from speaking to them and asking them questions and it was really interesting too. We had our lunch there and when we were going, they put a message on the Luas saying ‘Hi St Aidian’s!’ It was cool.

The most interesting thing that I learned that there is over a 1000 volts of electricity but using a transformer they are able to limit that down to 700 volts, which is enough to power the Luas. Another thing that I thought was interesting was the engineers as they worked on the engines, although we didn’t go down to them we could see them through a window in the lobby.

Luas ticket inspectors get a lot of discrimination, and it is horrible. Everyone is a person and no one should be treated differently. Everyone deserves to be treated as you would like to be treated yourself, it doesn’t matter about race, marital status or gender.

Thanks to Ms. McDonald and Veolia for organising the trip for us.

By Jenessa Scott (5th Year)

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

A few weeks ago, St Paul’s 5th year students went with Ms O Reilly and Ms McVicker to the IFI to see ‘The Great Gatsby’ directed by Baz Luhrmann starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. We all met at Central Bank in town and at ten O’clock made our way to the IFI just around the corner.

The was a number of people there all from different schools, coming to see ‘The Great Gatsby’ because it is their novel for the Leaving Cert and it gives a fantastic insight to the world of the text back in the 1920’s. Many people were dressed up as if they were back in the 20’s. The costumes were amazing! Girls were in dresses and boys were in suits. Not everyone nwas in the dressing up spirit, but prizes were given to one of the students who did dress up well. They won a copy of ‘The Great Gatsby’ on DVD.

The film was excellent. There was an electric buzz going around the room. Everyone was excited and eager to see the film. A woman led the introduction and after the lights went down, the film started. It is avery entertaining film one I would highly recommend viewing, and I will personally be watching it again.

After the film had ended, we all filed out of the theatre. There was a huge atmosphere of excitement! Everyone was thrilled with the movie and got a real insight into the of Gatsby and his rich companions' world.

After we all filed out of the theatre, Ms O Reilly brought us to Trinity College to see the ‘Book of Kells’ and the library. After that, everyone went their seperate ways but ended up meeting each other in ‘Burger King’. Because St Paul’s are doing ‘Kris Cringle’ among their class, most people went shopping in town to find their person a gift!

The day was fantastic. Everyone had a blast! Thank you Ms O Reilly and Ms McVicker!

By Jenessa Scott (5th Year)

Author, Alan Gibbons, Visits St. Aidan's.

Alan Gibbons came to St. Aidan’s to talk about his books, his life and how he became an author. Ms. Flynn, the librarian, e-mailed Alan to ask him to come to our school and talk to the students and also to do a workshop with some of them.

Alan told us that his grandmother was from Belfast, moved to Wexford and then settled in England. Alan now lives in Liverpool with his wife and children.

He said that he was an ordinary teacher who wrote books. He has written 50 books and hopes to write 100! One day in school he heard someone running in the corridor. He went out to see who it was and it was the secretary. She told him that his book had been chosen for a Blue Peter award. He was against several other authors. He won the award. The book is called ‘Shadow of the Minotaur’.

Alan told us about how his stories are inspired. He talked about a girl, her name was Sophie. She was walking home one night and saw a man being beaten by a couple of lads. She ran over and protected his head. The gang who were beating the man started beating her. Several months later she died in hospital. Alan wrote a book based on Sophie but had to leave parts of the book out because of parts of the law. The book is called “Hate”.

Alan also did a workshop with some of the students. Together we wrote a book on a haunted house in Tallaght. Alan wanted it to have a ghost in it. He also wanted the book to have a similar scary effect to ‘The Shining’.

Mr O Brien said it was a privilege to have such a well known author as Alan Gibbons in the school. The students were really captivated by what he had to say about his life as an author and in particular and about his book The Edge, which we all enjoy here in our English classes.

A huge thank you to Ms. Flynn for organising the visit and to Alan himself for taking the time out to visit out our school. It was a brilliant day!!

You can find out more about Alan Gibbons on his website or you can follow him on twitter

By Paula Noonan, 3nd Year, St. Colemans

'Unwrapping Christmas' at the National Concert Hall

On Tuesday, 10th December the 2nd years with the most positive sheets went to the National Concert Hall with St. Aidan’s Librarian Ms Flynn. The student’s from St. Ciara’s were Rachel, Mei Lee and James. The students from St. Lucy’s were Laura and Lauren. The student’s from St. Anthony’s were Tobi and Carla and the students from St. Enda’s were myself PJ and Latifa.

All of went to town on the LUAS starting at Fortunestown near Citywest. When we arrived at Jervis Street we walked up Grafton Street to St. Stephens Green were we made a wish in the fountain and checked out a group of three bronze figures – representing the Three Fates, who weave and measure the thread of man’s destiny. When we got to the Concert Hall it looked enormous and the lunchtime concert was sold out! Ms. Flynn got us balcony seats right behind the orchestra. The concert started at 1.05 and it was called ‘Unwrapping Christmas’.

The concert was broadcast live on Lyric and the Niall Carroll told us about each piece before the orchestra played it; the pieces were:- The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Nutcracker Suite, Miniature Overture, March, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Sleigh Ride, Claire de Lune and the Gold and Silver Waltz.

I would give this fieldtrip 15 out of 10.

PJ O’Keeffe, 2nd Year St. Enda’s

Jeff Kinney at the RDS

On Sunday the 8th of January a group of lucky students went to see Jeff Kinney, author of the popular Wimpy Kid Diaries, in the RDS.

Kinney was very comical and a complete practical joker. He told us about how he creates his books. He first of all thinks about the jokes, then he starts thinking about his storyline and finally he draws the illustrations and the book is ready to be published. At first Jeff wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist but he couldn’t make it in the business so that’s how he got into diary of a wimpy kid. He based a lot of things on his family and friends. He is actually kind of a normal guy he says that he usually sleeps a lot during his book writing.

Jeff also has a website called which allows you to create your own characters and mess around with them it is actually good fun.

I would like to name Jeff Kinney The King of Practical Jokes. Overall it was a great afternoon we also got our book signed. It was an honour to get our book signed by Jeff Kinney. I want to say big big big thank you to Ms Flynn for bringing us there.

By Daniel Oladeji (2nd Year, St. Ciaras)

Robbie Keane visits St. Aidan's!!

There was unbelievable excitement today when Ireland football captain and St. Aidan's past pupil turned up at our whole school assembly.

More photos videos and pics to follow next week but for now here is the video we made for Robbie and a couple of photos of Robbie at the assembly and with some of our lucky students.

Kits for Christmas Appeal

St Aidan's Community School is taking part in Radio Nova's 'Kits for Christmas' appeal for the ISPCC. If you have any old jerseys or sports kits at home please bring them into school (or send them in with your child, niece, nephew, grandchild… whoever you can find!) and leave them in the box in Ms. O Reilly's office.

The Radio Nova Hummer arrived today to deliver the 'Kits for Christmas' box. This caused great excitement all round... particularly with Sr. Ann who couldn't wait to jump into the driving seat! We think it suits her ;)

Open Day 2013

On the 12th of November , St.Aidans had an open day to show 5th and 6th class pupils from schools around the area what a great school we have here. Le Cheile warmly welcomed our younger guests with a wonderful performance. There was a lot of activites going on within the school and a tour was made of all the classrooms.

Ms. O’ Reilly had an interesting classics display in which she offered many Ancient Greek delicacies such as olives , Garum (fish sauce) with bread, grapes, pomegranate seed and dates. The metal work and wood work rooms had examples of past pupils' work which showed what students in St. Aidans can achieve. Demonstrations of experiments were shown in the science room. There was a maths corner with many fun maths games and puzzles.

Down in the library , Ms. Flynn was showing off our pupils wonderful chess skills and our brand new press-room was shown. Mr. O’Brien had a fun history quiz in his classroom. Two students from Mr. Tunney’s C.S.P.E. class made a speech about animal rights and showed our guests the chickens our school rescued. The children were delighted!

There was an art room display and our student’s works were exhibited. The Home Economics room were cooking tasty snacks such as pizza, rice crispies, lasagne and chocolate cake. Within the room there was a pillow cover display and a small display about the body.

The 5th and 6th class pupils had a wonderful time. We hope to see them again next year. Thank you to all the teachers , staff and students who contributed to this event.

By : Mei Lee Xu and Rachel Kedney (2nd Year, St. Ciaras)