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The President’s Award, Gaisce, is a National programme designed to encourage students to push their boundaries out and gather experience in areas they would not otherwise explore.
There are three levels of achievement, starting at Bronze and working through Silver to Gold.
Every year Sligo Grammar School TY students opt to go for the Bronze award and sometimes students in 5th year go on to claim their Silver award.
For some of the new 5th years the school year started with a trip away to Glendalough. This was the final part of their Gaisce programme, started in TY. Gaisce, the President’s Award, is a challenge to young people to develop new skills and get involved in the community over the period of a year. Each participant is asked to take on a new personal skill, a community activity and a physical activity. These challenges take place over an extended period, 13 weeks for each element with an added 13 weeks of activities in any one of the challenge areas – 26 weeks in all. This is, clearly, a big commitment and well done to the students who persevered throughout TY. The culmination of the year was an “adventure” trip over two days. The SGS students went on a two-day hike in the beautiful Glendalough area. They were accompanied by Mr Lynch and Ms McManus. They will be presented with their Bronze Gaisce awards later in the term. Anyone who wishes may now go on to the next Gaisce level – the Silver Award. This year’s TY students will have their chance at the Bronze Award under the guidance of Ms Tiernan. The Gaisce challenges really help the students develop in terms of their personal skills, their physical fitness and as caring and involved citizens. A very valuable TY opportunity.
GAISCE, THE PRESIDENTS AWARD
In 2020 we had 27 students completing their Bronze Gaisce Award. During TY they took on a physical skill, a personal skill and a community involvement activity. The final part of their Gaisce Award was to complete an Adventure Journey. On the 29th of August, they travelled to Westport, where they cycled the Greenway from Achill to Westport, a distance of nearly 50 km. The students stayed overnight in a hostel in Westport. Our Bronze Gaisce Award students should be congratulated on their achievement and their enthusiasm and commitment to the award. Thank you to Ms Tiernan and Mrs Lipsett for making it all possible!
Students have to complete 1 hour a week in Personal, Physical and Community activities for a total of 13 weeks for 2 of the sections and 26 weeks for 1 of your choice. They then have to complete an adventure trip.
Achieving this award demands commitment on the part of the student, but in return the student is rewarded with a great sense of achievement and community spirit. there are also health and creative benefits as the students take up a new activity and develop new skills.
Examples of community involvement might be working with people with special needs, training younger sports teams or working with community groups to make the area a better one to live in.
The Personal and Physical components might encompass things like taking up a new sport or activity in one of the many local clubs – the list is endless, and learning a skill be it cooking, playing music or gardening.
If they wish students can continue to work for the Silver Award in 5th or 6th year.
Students who participate in the Silver Presidents Award need to put in twice the amount of effort as they did with their Bronze Award if they wish to succeed .