Last week, while our Leaving & Junior Certificate candidates settled into this intense exam period, the pupils in the other Forms took part in a variety of trips across Ireland. Form V spent four days in the Burren, their traditional ‘Trips Week’ expedition, doing a variety of Biology & Geography fieldwork but with plenty of opportunity for fun in the sun too (we got a lot of sun). The trip began with a walk ‘n talk up Blackhead followed by surfing / rock climbing at Lahinch before experiencing a stunning sunset at the iconic Cliffs of Moher. The vast majority of the fieldwork was carried out on Thursday – the Geographers exploring Liscannor Bay while the Biologists studied both sandy and rocky seashores near Fanore – while Friday began with a hike up Mulloughmore Mountain before the Geographers went caving and the Biologists hunted for orchids (and saints) at Slieve Carran. Finally, on Saturday, they all visited Ailwee Caves & Birds of Prey Centre before heading home.

Our Transition Year pupils spent the week in the Achill Outdoor Education Centre doing a variety of activities, again in glorious early summer sun. The activities included kayaking, surfing, coasteering, hiking, swimming and, on the final evening, camping out in the Achill countryside.

Pupils from Forms I, II and Primary took part in a variety of day trips over the week, usually within an hours drive of Dublin. Trim Castle, Mellifont Abbey, Glasnevin Cemetery, Croke Park (Skyline Tour & GAA Museum), National Aquatic Centre, National Aquarium (in Bray), Bray Head (hike), Kilruddery House & Gardens, the National Gallery (Nolde Exhibition), St. Michan’s Church, Museum of Modern Art (Frank Bowling’s exhibition ‘Mappamundi’), Dublin Zoo, the Kippure Estate, the Botanical Gardens, St. Enda’s Park, Marlay Park and, the less leafy, Tayto Park were all visited over the four days – luckily all in glorious sunshine.

Evie Pringle in Form II describes her favourite moment of the week – Frank Bowling’s exhibition ‘Mappamundi’ at the IMMA.

I loved his use of vibrant colors splashed in an array of patterns across the canvas. He managed to stick everyday objects onto a canvas, slap a bit of paint on it and make it into a beautiful piece of thought-provoking art. His paintings were massive, much larger than your average painting, covered with layers and layers of acrylic paint, prints, marbling techniques and materials such as styrofoam. He often painted maps, usually of Africa, into his pictures. He sometimes started with a print on the canvas and then painted over it, or hid drawings or paintings under layers of paint, giving the impression that he paints for himself rather than for other people. This I like as it means he paints what he likes and it really brings out his personality. It turned out to be a really great day although my feet were a bit sore by the end.

Below is a large selection of photos from all the trips over the week.