THE motto at St Mary’s CBS, Portlaoise is ‘From Each His Best’ and proud Principal Tony Brady declared that each of the fifty-seven students who obtained their Leaving Certificate results last Wednesday morning certainly gave of their all.
“We look at it from both perspectives,” he explained. “At one end of the spectrum you might have lads who get learning support and all those lads got their Leaving Cert which is just as big an achievement on behalf of the students, teachers and the parents and we’re just as proud of them as we are of the high achievers.”
He added, “When you look at the results, the lads are getting the results that they are capable of and you can’t ask for anymore of the students.”
Mr Brady said he ‘was very happy with the results across all subject areas’ and hailed Project Maths as a success. “The maths results were absolutely excellent and I’d have to say despite misgivings the lads are very happy. There was a very small failure rate this year. So certainly Project Maths has alleviated that problem because maths is very important and the one subject students can’t fail.”
He suggested that the ‘vast majority’ were on course to securing their number one CAO choice but added that ‘there was an unknown element’ owing to the extra 25 points on offer for higher maths. “It might drive up the points of some courses,” remarked Mr Brady and so it proved when the first round offers were made on Monday.
A number of students achieved over 500 points, including Michael Finlay and Dean Lynch who got 575 and 570, respectively, which the Principal described as ‘a remarkable achievement on their behalf’.
Portlaoise CBS is growing all the time and Mr Brady pointed out, “When I started here five years ago there were 380 students in the school. We’ll have 600 here in September. It is a huge increase and we expect within the next three years we’ll have between 700 and 800 students.”
And he is excited about the prospect of First Year students using iPads from September.
“We’ve a big project starting as our first years will be using iPads for the first time. We are blessed with the facility we have and it is important for us to keep at the cutting edge of education and to be a leader in the field, not just follow, to actually lead. And it is good for the students of Portlaoise we are in a position to do that.”