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23-02-2012

European Studies students attend Euroscola

Students from the 32 counties participated in Euroscola on 23 February via the European Studies Programme.  The schools represented were: Mercy Secondary School, Kilbeggan, Portumna Community School, Co. Galway, St. Mary's College, Arklow, Devenish College, Enniskillen, St. Killian's College, Garron Tower, Co. Antrim and St. Pius X College, Magherafelt, Co. Derry.  To read a report from one of the students at St. Pius X College click on the orange heading.

Year 13 Geography students from St Pius X College represented the UK at last weeks Euroscola - European Youth Parliament.  The students competed to win the three day trip, with travel and board funded by the European Studies Office. St Pius X College provides many opportunities for students to work collaboratively with others within the college and the community.  In order to win the prize the students documented their experiences working with the college's feeder primary schools in an after-school 'Extended Schools Project' where primary school students attend cookery, sports and arts classes in the college.  They also presented an overview of the 'Paired Reading' literacy initiative, whereby pupils help develop the literacy skills and integration of foreign national pupils within the college.
The students attended the event in the hemicycle within the European Parliament to take part in a European debate and experience diversity and unity at first hand.  The parliament had a seating of over 350 students representing 17 of the member states.  At the event the students were familiarised with the workings of the European Institutions and had various opportunities and forums to express their personal opinions and debate pressing issues. The initial meeting involved each school presenting themselves in another European language.  Roisin McGlone very confidently introduced St Pius X College in French.  The question and answer session which followed allowed students to address the council represented.  Aine O'Donnell questioned Europe's priorities in securing future fuel supplies from the Middle East.  This was a question welcomed by the council.   Thereafter the interaction of the young people of different nationalities was facilitated by the students working in multilingual groups discussing a variety of subjects ranging from 'Migration and Integration' to 'Europe's future'.  Lunch was an opportunity for great interaction and fun through a multilingual game.  

After lunch the students returned with each working group adopting a resolution that its rapporteur defended in plenary.  The end of the ceremony was heralded by the European anthem.  

St Pius X College is very proud of its student's achievements.  Mrs Diamond, Head of Geography, commented, 'The students displayed fantastic enthusiasm for the event.  They were exemplary ambassadors for St Pius X College and the UK.  We would like to pay tribute to the European Studies Office and in particular Mrs Dolores Stinson for facilitating this initiative.