The theme of the Philosophy week was Emotional Intelligence- from Crisis to Calm. The means of engaging everyone in the week was: lots of reminders in advance, notices on the walls with wise sayings like: “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die…’ (Buddha); and a big banner on the way into the Front Hall of the School by the Art Teacher, just in case you might forget.
Monday Morning Assembly was addressed by a former pupil, Jonathan Delaney, to say what it was like, thinking you were going to die during the tsunami ten years ago, when instead of dying, he actually saved someone else’s life as well as his own. Ms. Sweeney and Mr. Telford gave moving presentations.
Tuesday was devoted to four experiences from 10:00 to 3:00: Improvisation Drama with Mr. Flynn, an Art Experience with Ms. Sweeney, Emotions and Me talk and interaction with Ms Trish Murphy in Avila, and a Mindfulness meditation with Orlaidh O’Sullivan, also in Avila. Philosophy lessons this week were devoted to the theme also.
Reading the feedback (100 feedback sheets were submitted at the end of the week) – the students overall awarded their experiences of the event a 7 out 10, with a fairly appreciative set of comments and suggestions. This is a good score from anonymous questionnaires with teenagers, which they mostly were. Thank you to the main organisers and main presenters. It is a big thing to take lesson time out for something like this, but it seems to have been worth it!