New Students in Coláiste Íosagain..Heifers and Chickens !

Report by TY student/s on this amazing multi facted project :

This years TY mini company have came up with the idea of rearing
twenty-six chickens and three weanling heifers for the TY mini
company. We are doing this in our TY mini-company class with Mr. Mitchell. This
is a huge task and a massive challenge to bring into a school of 950
students. The enterprise to date has been very busy and exciting. Already the students with the assistance of Mr O Donnell have built a chicken coop and fenced off a paddock in the school field where the heifers will be raised.

This enterprise has many positive, pro-active
challenges which is teaching us all in the TY mini company how to take care
of animals, budgeting and all about farm health and safety. This is also a
big opportunity as it helps students to understand what it takes to own and
look after animals. This is not an ordinary TY mini company it is a real
life mini company. It teaches students about real life situations and it
can open student’s eyes about everyday farming life and the mammoth task it
is to look after livestock and poultry.

The company consists of different committees such as the feeding Rota,
accounts committee, health and safety committee etc. which involves all
students in the TY mini company. Two students a day are in charge of
feeding the heifers and chickens and this changes each day of the week. It
also includes Saturdays, Sundays, weekdays and holidays. We now realize
that with farming you never have a day off!

There are many different roles in the company including advertising,
cleaning and accounts and many more which involves all TY mini company
However, we are also using the mini company to promote a positive mental health message. The school is participating this year in the Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Programme. This initiative is organised by TY students, Ms M Nolan, Ms Eustace, Ms N McCarthy, Ms C Nolan and Ms Browne. This is a whole school initiative and it is a fine example of cross-curricular interdisciplinary learning at it’s best. We have painted our chicken coup Amber and we have displayed on the coop the very important message that, It’s OK not to feel OK and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.We have also painted the fencing in the field amber to highlight our campaign.

Friday the 23rd Oct was a day of intense excitement in the school as the heifers arrived in the school to loud cheers and a warm welcome. The Hereford Association with the assistance of Joe Deverell has arranged the purchase of the heifers and also a heifer has been kindly donated by the Tobin family. Coláiste Íosagain went amber on Friday as the animals were welcomed and the Ambassador Schools Programme was launched.This campaign is building on the brilliant work completed last year by the Launch of the Help is At Hand campaign by MS Browne and LCA2 as well as the completion and raising of Amber Flag.Ms M Nolan TY Co-ordiantor addressed the assembled audience of 2nd year and TY students and spoke about the wonderful work being done and thanked everyone for their contribution.
Deputy Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Foreign Affairs was on hand to unveil the board which bears the message of the program. Also, a large banner which bears the message , ” It’s Ok not to feel Ok and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help ” , was used to lead the cattle into the school field. This banner will be used at future school functions and activities to spread the message and highlight the cause. They were blessed by Fr Hughes and have now settled in to their new home. Fodder and materials been donated by Glanbia Monasterevin, McMahons,Fletchers, Coleraine Sawmills, Oakdale, Des Bagnall, the Flint family, the Whittle family, Michael Luttell and Tom Tynan.

We will be hoping to sell the chickens in December and with the profits we hope to purchase laying hens. The cattle will be auctioned later on in the year and we look forward to this big event. Some of the proceeds will be donated to Cycle Against Suicide and the remainder will be our mini company profits.

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