Students in Years 11 were lucky enough to have their Retreat Day, Monday 17th January. They were guided by the experienced and dynamic STEP Team. Their day featured interesting and thought provoking (and some very creative!) sessions and workshops.
We thank Mr McCarthy for organising this wonderfully worthwhile experience for our students.
Here are some reflections from our Year 11 students: –


Journaling was the first session that our class did on our retreat day, centred around the theme of dealing with stress. Here we learned about different types of journaling such as sketching journals, daily journals, big question journals and blogs. We each received a sheet to fill in our year in pixels, this is a colour coded visual way of tracking and monitoring our emotional well being, which I thought was a clever idea. We also discussed who kept journals, Anne Frank, for example. We considered what her diary ‘Kitty’ meant to her, to her family, survivors of the war and readers all over the world. We then explored the benefits of keeping a journal (venting, a creative outlet etc.) and reasons why they can be hard to maintain. We all came away from the session with ideas of new ways to keep track of our well being, new ideas of how to de-stress and some of us left inspired to start journaling. Overall, it was a great, relaxing, interactive way to start the retreat and we were given some biscuits!                                                                                                                                                                      Molly Wegnerek 11J


During the Identity session, I learned that I shared the same personality as some famous people and my friends. It helped me also find out what my future bucket list was based around.

Stress Wonderland 

Stress Wonderland was a new way to learn how to cope with the stress of Year 11. From playing with Playdoh to writing down your worries and shredding them, this activity really helped me understand the different methods of reducing my stresses and worries. This task has enabled me to see that unwinding doesn’t always involve sitting still and taking deep breaths; you can also be active by playing games.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Caoimhe McGinley 11Y

Here are some more stuednt reflections: –

  • I enjoyed the relaxed sessions.
  • I liked learning about forgiveness.
  • I liked sitting with friends.
  • I enjoyed reflecting and being with my friends.
  • I enjoyed how inclusive the sessions were.
  • I liked that we were able to take a break and relax during the sessions such as in Stress Wonderland.
  • I liked that we had a break from our usual activities to focus on some important things that often get overlooked such as stress management.
  • It gave me time away from stressful lessons and allowed me to relax.
  • I relaxed and found ways to help my de-stress.
  • I enjoyed the Identity session, as it helped to acknowledge some stuff about myself.
  • I enjoyed being able to spend time with my friends and being able to learn others’ opinions.