Sacred Heart Schools From Across Europe Gather in Dublin for Inaugural Comenius Debate
Students from Ireland, Austria and Scotland join at Mount Anville Secondary School for the culmination of a two year project prepared solely via social media channels
Students from four different secondary schools across Europe joined together at Mount Anville Secondary School, Dublin, for their inaugural Comenius debate on April 29th 2014. The four schools, all part of the Society of the Sacred Heart include Mount Anville Secondary School, Dublin; St. Catherine’s College, Armagh; Sacre Coeur Wien, Vienna, Austria; and Kilgraston, Perthshire, Scotland.
The schools, which share the same five Sacred Heart goals including faith, character, intellect, community and social awareness, began a two year Comenius project in September 2012 with the objective of building stronger links with each other. The teams, one from each of the four schools on the opposing sides, have been working together on their debate topics exclusively through social media channels and only met for the very first time before the debate began.
This year’s focus is on the theme of ‘Social Awareness’ and to tie in with this subject the debate topic today was ‘Should Africa Go it Alone?’ The debate was chaired by former Minister, Liz O’Donnell and adjudicated by Mary Casey; solicitor at Mason, Hayes & Curran, Eamonn Meehan, CEO of Trocaire and Bryan Sheridan, former AIB Group Law Agent and auditor of solicitor’s debating society at UCD. Over the past two years each school has worked locally on their own projects relating to social awareness issues and the debate brought them together for the first time.
While the key objective of this Comenius debate was to show the students that despite living in separate countries, they could still work together and collaborate their efforts through social media channels, the overall aim of the programme is to broaden the horizons of the students and to encourage them to think globally about bigger issues which are at the heart of the ethos of every Sacred Heart School in the world.
Speaking about the debate, Aoife Curtis, student at Mount Anville Secondary School said, “I really enjoyed today’s debate with the other Sacred Heart schools as I had never been involved in anything like this before. My team and I have been working together in the lead up to today but we have only ever talked through social media so it was really exciting to finally meet them face to face this morning! The project has really opened my eyes to the fact that Mount Anville is part of a much wider network within Europe and that there are plenty of opportunities available to students who are part of this.”