Word of the day October 2021

Word of the Day September 2021

Word of the Day January 2021

Word of the Day December 2021 (1)




My name is Cathleen Kennedy and I live in Portmarnock. I was actually one of the first pupils to attend Portmarnock Community School back when it opened in 1979 – it was a very small school then with only 2 compounds, only 3 classes – Valentia, Rathlin and Lambay: all first years, and a handful of teachers.

I enjoy reading (of course) as well as cooking and in particular baking, painting small items of furniture and going for long walks along the beautiful coast between Portmarnock and Malahide.

My favourite genre of books is actually Cookery Books – I read these like most people read novels and often have a few stacked on my bedside locker.

I do like reading fiction and other books too – I usually alternate between something deep and dark and something lighter. Since I started working in the School Library, I have enjoyed reading some of the many books we have on our shelves and I am always happy to recommend a book that I’ve enjoyed.

Some of my favourite reads over the past year include:

  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri – beautifully written and heartbreaking account of the violence in Syria and a harrowing and dangerous journey towards a faint glimmer of hope; a new life in Britain.
  • The Choice by Philly McMahon – true story of a Dublin GAA star’s journey to success, and the stark comparison with his own brother’s very different journey. A must read for all teenagers.
  • The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson – a lighthearted tale of the almost unbelievable life of a 100 year old man, recounted intermittently within his most current and just as remarkable adventure.
  • Ottolenghi The CookBook by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi
  • The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan – beautifully written as a series of verses, this tells the tale of a young Eastern European girl and her mother who travel to England in search of her father, whilst facing the usual teenage issues of bullying, first love, being different and finding her passion.
  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – told from the alternating perspectives of teenage twins, a boy and a girl, each going through their own turmoil and finding their way in a fast paced confusing world.
  • Veg by Jamie Oliver
  • Every Falling Star by SungJu Lee – a heartbreaking memoir of the journey of a young boy from his sheltered comfortable life in Pyongyang to the abject poverty, famine and fight for survival he faces outside of the capital.
  • The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and how an insight into his past, present and future, changes his entire perspective on life.

Quite an eclectic mix!



Our NON-FICTION section lines the wall of the Library and is full of books on the following subjects and more:



– including World History, Irish History, American History, European History, British History and the World Wars. We also have a selection of the Horrible Histories series which are a fun way to learn some real facts about our past.


– local and Irish and World Geography


– including Soccer, Irish Sports (GAA, Hurling etc), Rugby, Basketball, Volleyball, Athletics and a selection of other sports plus some biographies and autobiographies of some of the big names in sport.


– various books covering everything from Vegetarian Cookery to Cake Decorating.



– a selection of gardening books and projects.



– including crafts and projects, needlework, soft furnishings and home decor.



– a nice selection of books on animals and their habitats.



– a diverse range including Mary Robinson, Pope John Paul II, Barry Sheen, James Joyce, Stephen Gerrard and Archbishop Desmond Tutu


– everything from Of Mice and Men to Pride and Prejudice.



– a varied selection including everything from the Collected Works of William Blake and the Poems of Oscar Wilde to Rusty Nails and Astronauts and Give us a Goal.



– many of his most popular plays including Hamlet, A Midsummer’s Night Dream and King Lear plus a selection of books about the playwright and his work.



– various artists, photographers and film makers as well as theatre and other creative arts.



a variety of books covering subjects such as Music History, the Composers, Musical Instruments, Music Theory and Music Technology


Chemistry, Biology and Physics as well as general Science books plus the wonderful Eye-Witness series which are very popular.

THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE – including a selection of dictionaries and thesauruses as well as specialist books on grammar and writing skills and some full sets of encyclopediae.


– a small selection of books in French, German, Irish and Spanish as well as some dictionaries.

We also have smaller selections on a variety of subjects including PSYCHOLOGY , GENERAL KNOWLEDGE, HUMAN ECOLOGY, CUSTOMS & ETIQUETTE and WORLD RELIGIONS



Amongst our fiction shelves we have:

Irish Fiction Writers – Roddy Doyle, Brendan O’Carroll,Joan O’Neill, Eoin Colfer, Sarah Crossan  etc

Trilogies and Series – including His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, the Harry Potter series, the Eragon trilogy, the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness, etc.

We also have a wide selection of Young Adult Books, suitable for everyone from age 12 to 19+.



Our Library Notice board display changes regularly to reflect the various seasons and events throughout the year. I always try to include some of our popular books within the display to encourage the students to call in to the Library.

It is also used to give notice of Library events and closing dates for competitions.





At Lunchtime, students can access the Library to play board games such as CHESS, CONNECT 4, 30 SECONDS, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, SCRABBLE, TABOO, 5 SECOND RULE, CLUEDO, MONOPOLY, DRAUGHTS etc. Some students also hold mini clubs such as Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh.  It is always a fun and busy hour.

We held a CONNECT 4 competition in October 2019, which proved such a success that another competition is taking place during January 2020.

On Tuesdays there is also a WARHAMMER club which is proving to be very popular particularly with our 1st and 2nd Year students.

We also have 5 computer terminals in the library which are extremely popular at lunchtime. These computers are also available for use by students during the day for project work and research. All students receive a printer card with their journal which allows them to print and photocopy throughout the year.

And we have 7 study booths which are often in use in the run up to exam times or for last minute studying for a class test.



Every morning a new Word of the Day is written up on the notice board in the Library together with its meaning and an example of its usage. These words are also circulated on a monthly basis to the English teachers to be shared with their pupils. We regularly include commonly misspelt words and new and unusual words that might help expand vocabulary.

Word of the Day January 2020

Words and Grammar Tips for November 2019: here.

December 2019: here.

Word of the Day videos:

Library Team Christmas Video

Word of the day 10

Word of the day 9

Word of the day 8

Word of the day 7

Word of the day 6

Word of the day 5

Word of the day 4

Word of the Day 3

Word of the Day 2

Word of the Day 1



    Everything points to Portmarnock community school