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Tag Archives: Leaving Cert

Young Clare mother: ‘I was absolutely terrified’

A mum at 17 just after her Leaving Cert, Rachel O’Connor spoke to Owen Ryan about her journey and featuring in a documentary on single mothers NEARLY everyone who does the Leaving Cert finds it stressful, but there are different levels of stress. Rachel O’Connor did her Leaving Cert six years ago. At the tender age of 17 she was eight months pregnant, and as stressful as that on its own would have been, it was even more difficult as she had kept her situation to herself. Other students would have felt they had plenty on their plate with theorems, formulas, French and Irish grammar, Rachel had all of that on her mind, along with the fact that she was on the brink of becoming a mother, while still a child herself. Her daughter Ella will turn six in a few weeks, and since her birth Rachel has gone on to get a degree from Mary Immaculate College and is …

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Students ‘upbeat’ as exams begin after challenging year

STUDENTS began the Leaving Certificate exams on Wednesday, with this year’s group having had to endure an unprecedented level of disruption, with the last two school years pockmarked by long absences from the classroom, remote learning and uncertainty over whether the exams would even happen. This year students are getting predicted grades as well as having the option to take the exam. Those who do the exam will take whichever grade is better, their actual result or the predicted grade, and St Caimin’s principal Alan Cunningham said the trepidation that usually goes with the start of the Leaving Cert was absent on Wednesday morning. ”The atmosphere this morning before the exam was a lot more relaxed than normal.” He said that a substantial number of students had opted not to sit the exam. “We’re just going through it now, I’d say there’s someplace between 55 and 65% of them (doing it) I’d say. A small bit more than that had …

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Minister praises ‘phenomenal’ work of schools as Leaving Cert begins

MINISTER for Education Norma Foley has reassured Leaving Cert students in Clare that everything is in place to give them the best possible outcomes for their futures. Speaking on a visit to Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg in Ennis yesterday (Tuesday, June 8), ahead of the start of the State exams, Minister Foley welcomed the fact that the vast majority of students have opted to take both written papers and predictive grading. “I’m very pleased that more than 91% of students have opted for both, so they’re giving themselves the best possible opportunity and I think that’s to be welcomed,” she said. “It’s also a tribute to the foresight of the partners in education and in particular the students themselves who advocated very strongly that there would be the two options. I would like to take the opportunity to wish the students of Clare and indeed all students every possible good luck and good fortune.” Minister Foley, who comes from a teaching …

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“There was so much denied to them”

2020 has surely been the oddest year to be a Leaving Cert student, with the exam, the great rite of passage, not actually happening at all but the young people still getting a set of results. Despite results being distributed online these days, until now former students have still come to St Caimin’s to meet their former classmates on teachers on the big day, but it couldn’t happen this week. “No, unfortunately not, it was another one of those things that were denied to the year group I’m afraid. It’s an awful shame, it’s normally a great day when you meet them all and wish them all the best. It would have been a logistical nightmare to bring them in,” said principal Alan Cunningham. He feels those whose school days concluded in 2020 have missed out on an awful lot of important experiences. “There was so much denied to them. We’d always have a graduation mass celebration, our awards ceremony, …

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“The unknown was the disaster for everyone”

THE Leaving Cert is one of the great Irish rites of passage but the class of 2020 will never negotiate it. It may not be ideal but Alan Cunningham, principal of St Caimin’s in Shannon, feels it is probably the least worst option at this stage. “Yeah, the unknown was the disaster for everyone. Taking into account everyone’s wellbeing, keeping them hanging until July 29, when it might not have happened either. They had to come up with some kind of plan and it is what it is now, we can all get on with it and see how it comes out the other end.” Some young people are happy with the idea of predicted grades, but not everyone is, he feels. “There’s a fair mix. You’d have some people delighted with it and some people who would feel they have a better chance on the day, with the paper. Every student has their individual way of looking at it. …

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St Anne’s Virtual Community Offers Support for Students

LIKE thousands of schools across the country, St Anne’s Community College in Killaloe remains closed in a bid to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. And while the 500-strong student body are following the new rules of social distancing and staying apart, they are coming together online to keep their spirits up and to avail of support and guidance in these challenging times. School Chaplain Karol Torpey, who lives in Feakle, told The Champion that the school’s social platforms have come to fore in the current crisis. “Our Facebook page, Humans of St Anne’s Community College, is now operating as a virtual chaplain’s office. It’s a way of getting as much support and advice to people as possible and of gauging how people are feeling.” The importance of staying apart in order to protect the vulnerable is one key message that the school has been promoting across its social channels: “We have been working hard to get the message of …

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Leaving and Junior Cert exams start

Almost 121,500 Leaving and Junior Certificate students began their written exams across the country this morning (Wednesday). In Clare, in the region of 2,800 students are sitting exams. Education Minister Richard Bruton extended good wishes to students, reminding them that while these exams are important, “they were just one pathway in education”. “A range of opportunities now exists which will help students to fulfil their ambitions,” he said. Nearly 57,000 Leaving Cert students kicked off the exam with English Paper 1 this morning. Around 62,000 Junior Cert students faced the English and CSPE exam. It is the first exam under the new junior cycle English programme, where the paper accounts for 90% of the grade.

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Leaving Cert ‘alcohol celebrations’ warning

Alcohol Action Ireland is encouraging parents to talk to their children about the risks associated with alcohol ahead of the release of the Leaving Certificate results on Wednesday. “Students deserve to go out, celebrate getting their results with their friends and we hope they enjoy marking this milestone in their young lives,” said Conor Cullen, head of advocacy and communications with Alcohol Action Ireland. “We know that, for a significant number of young people, their plans to celebrate this week will include alcohol and this is reflected by the fact that they are being targeted by venues, particularly through social media, with drinks promotions that encourage the type of harmful alcohol consumption that is a threat to their health and wellbeing,” said Mr Cullen. “It is also important to remember that many young people attending venues running these types of promotions will be going there having already consumed alcohol, with the widespread availability of very cheap alcohol on offer in the …

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