Newsletter November 2017

We are delighted to be sharing with you the first digital version of the school newsletter. The news team, along with the help of Garry and Colin, have worked tirelessly to collate information and reports on the activities and achievements of the school body over the past month.


In this month’s newsletter:

  • P.B.L. Week, a report by Matthew Quinn
  •  2nd Year visit to Leinster House and the National Gallery, reports by Benat Potokci and Shane Downes
  • Photos from our Halloween Fancy Dress and details about the winner
  •  Over the Rainbow, an interview with Stepaside ETSS student Erwin Wright
  •  Gaelic Football Team Stand Tall, a report by Warren Chong
  •  Details on our Poetry Aloud Pioneers
  •  This Country Life, a report on the Second Year ecology trip, by Sarah Mulvey
  •  Information on Guidance
  • Photographs of our brilliant committee members
  • Information on our school Shoebox Appeal for Christmas


Just click on the following link for the full version:


Happy Half Term!

As the first term of the year has come to an end, the past month has been Spooktacular!! The last day of  term came to a tricky conclusion with everyone in SETSS taking part in a ‘fancy dress’ competition. The entrants entered into the spooky spirit with the most grotesque and grandiose gore fest ever seen in the shockingly spectre-filled suburb of Stepaside.

Everyone have a fangtastic  mid term and remember they”ll be watching yoooooooo and trying to catch you in our web of online homework assignments, remember to stay healthy over the mid term break and keep exorcising!

By Sarah Mulvey & Garry

Competition Winners

First Year Aiken

First Year Plunkett

2nd Years


Senior Technical officer in Department of Education building department visits Stepaside ETSS

Recently, Stepaside ETSS was visited by renowned architect, Bill Kavanagh, who presented a very informative talk about building schools. Bill is a Senior Technical Officer for the Department of Education. His job is to detail the shapes and builds for different schools nationwide and detail the designs for the builders.

Upon his arrival, he was greeted by student representatives, Luca and Shannon. Barbara, our school Principal, attended the meeting. She was accompanied by Technology teacher, Feargal, and the students of 2nd year Technology.   The 2nd year Technology class were very excited to meet Bill Kavanagh and participate in his presentation on building skills.

The students interaction began with Siddharth, who explained what we had done so far in our technology class.  We explained how many classrooms we estimated we will need in our 1000 student school. After considering this question closely the technology students showed a diagram of the Music Room, Swimming Pool, Science Room, Sports Hall, Home Economics Room, Science Room and many other rooms which we had designed.  We also showed a video that Kyle had built on Minecraft of the P.E. hall for our new school.

Luca then explained his Excel Sheet of the new school which detailed the rooms which we require such as Administrators offices, General Classrooms, the need for windows in the middle of the school, lockers, toilets, the common area, a utility room, a maintenance room, a garden and, to help make our school wheelchair accessible, a lift.

Bill Kavanagh then explained how he decides where to positions the classrooms depending where the sun rises and always tries to maximise natural light and minimise electricity costs.

The students then asked Bill if he was only involved in construction in Dublin. He told us that he was involved in constructions in many different counties such as Donegal, Leitrim, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Wexford.

Bill told us how there has been an increase in building contracts recently. He told us that there are currently 3,900 national schools and the rest are primary schools. He told us that every year his Department has a budget of €650 million.

According to Mr. Kavanagh our school, which holds 1000 students, would need only 2 floors and an estimated 27 general classrooms. Stepaside Educate Together National School, the school beside us which is currently being built will cost in the region of €10 million.

Typically, Bill is given school plans anywhere from 18 months to 2 years in advance of building.

The students then asked Bill what was the biggest school that he has planned. He told us one of the biggest schools that he has planned was built in Gorey and accommodates over 1000 students.  It takes about 2 years to start and finish building a school and they have to pay a premium to make sure schools are built quickly.  A school that is being built outside this schedule, without paying the premium, takes up to 5 years to complete.

I was most interested to discover that the Stepaside Educate Together National School is one Ireland’s rapid builds.

I was even more fascinated when Bill told us how they once found guns and swords on a site. He added that these weapons may have been used for serious reasons in the 17th century!

In urban sites they are able to take x-rays of the grounds to determine whether there is anything of interest buried. These archaeological surveys can take up to four months to complete and are evidence of the importance placed upon preserving our unique cultural heritage.

Always interested in the practical details, the students asked him how much a school that had 1000 students would cost to complete. He said a 1000 student school can cost anywhere from €10milion up to €22milion.


By Benat


Celebration of Achievements Day

Here’s a few photos form our Celebration of Achievement Day. Well done to everyone!

WorldWise Global Passport Awards

The WorldWise Global Schools programme was delighted to award Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School the Diplomatic category of Passport at our Annual Conference in Croke Park on the 27th April.

The Global Passport Award was established in 2014 to recognise and validate schools’ Development Education (DE) achievements and progress across different aspects of school life. These areas are represented through the 7 Passport Stamps:

  • Curriculum
  • Extra-curricular Activities
  • Teacher Capacity
  • Student Capacity
  • Policy and Ethos
  • School Leadership
  • Community Engagement

Our school has been awarded a Global Passport this year in recognition of its excellent DE work, particularly in the areas of Extra-curricular Activities and Student Capacity and School Leadership. We hope that this Award, which is valid until 2019, will help to spark further interest and engagement in DE across our school community, and motivate teachers, students and parents to continue to explore and act on issues of global justice.

As part of the Global Passport Ceremony, Michael Doorley, of Concern WorldWide, presented our school with the Award. Michael is a lead on the consortium, which oversees this Irish Aid Funded programme. Well done again on all the excellent DE work all involved have been undertaking in our school!

NO REPRO FEE 27/4/2017 Tackling climate change and ensuring a more sustainable world for all are the headline issues being addressed at this year’s WorldWise Global Schools (WWGS) Annual Conference today in Croke Park. Pictured at the conference winning the Diplomatic Global Passport Award is Luke Williams and teacher Sallie Ennis from Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School in Dublin with Michael Doorly, Head of Active Citizenship at Concern. The event will provide a platform for Irish secondary school students to speak out and take action on critical global issues, as they call for the Irish government to take the issue of sustainability seriously. 300 students from over 60 schools across the country, along with their teachers, convened in Croke Park for the 4th WorldWise Global Schools Annual Conference. The event provides a platform for participants to discuss and debate three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which provide the framework for reducing poverty and inequality globally by 2030. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

Stepaside ETSS at their first East Leinsters

In a sun kissed Santry stadium, Stepaside ETSS shone a bright light at the East Leinster Schools Track and Field event today. Our school has created a new tradition. With  lots of determination, the athletes from the South County have led the way forward for future events of such nature.

Thanks to a lot of hard graft behind the scenes by coaches Sallie Ennis and Ross McNerney, our athletes well and truly showed true grit today. Besides the effort shown on the track, many remarked on the Olympic spirit shown by our sport stars both prior and post-race. This writer witnessed handshakes and congratulations offered to rival athletes; old friendships rekindled; and most importantly very vocal support for their peers.

Nicole ran an incredible race and was placed 4th in her sprint. She narrowly missed out on qualification for the next round and she is well on her way to great things on the track in the near future. Kuba gave great service to the school in the Minor hurdle event. He can be hugely proud of his performance and like Nicole is one for the future in this discipline.

Cian also narrowly lost out on qualification in the 500m event with a very strong finish. This writer is of the opinion that with further training and a step up in distance would bear fruit. Mallaidh and Alannah gave trojan performances in this event and were both hugely unlucky. Mallaidh got boxed in quite early which cost her in the run in for home. While Alannah, reminiscent of Grimm’s Cinderella, discarded half of her footwear in the early stages of the race.

A fairy tale meeting for Stepaside continued with Dylan who showed a great start in his 500m event. A shortening of trip may also be on the cards for this local man. The school has a lot to be hopeful for per the performances of Dominic and Guy in the 1100m. With temperatures reaching 20 degrees for this event, this pair of first timers can take many positives from today. 

 Runs from Kelly, Ben, Bilal, Shannon, Kyle, Manuel and Sadbh showed a sample of the talent we have in our school. Indeed further training and focus on these events will lead to greater success.

 Finally, Matthew’s performance in the 1500 is one that had the entire group of spectators on their feet cheering. His 6th place performance was one for the ages. While he did not conquer today he fought well and truly captured the spirit of all that is good in athletics. The teachers who accompanied the athletes were absolutely thrilled with performances, the effort shown and the exemplary behaviour displayed by this group of students. Not only were they athletes, but wonderful ambassadors for our school and Educate Together Secondary Schools as a whole. The future is indeed bright.

By Thomas Cashin

Enterprise Awards

Congratulations to Sadbh who won the prize for Best Presentation at the County Finals of the Enterprise Awards. All in Stepaside ETSS are very proud of her. Well done Sadbh!