Coláiste Íosagáin was a epicentre of celebration and relief as approximately 140 students received their results at the Portarlington school last week.
The recurring theme was relief at passing maths, whether it was pass or honours, with many students satisfied that they had done enough to guarantee their preferred choice of course.
“I am immensely proud,” said Leaving Cert year head, Karen Walsh. “They have done huge work over the last five years and this shows that hard work does pay off,” she said.
“I think the students positive attitude and camaraderie is very obvious,” she said as students hugged and congratulated each other after the all important envelopes were opened and results were finally known.
The Portarlington school is the main secondary school in the area and takes in students from a large hinterland in Laois and Offaly. Numbers sitting the Leaving Certificate are expected to be up next year when around 150 students will sit the final exam.
While the Leaving Certificate is the end to school years, staff at the school pointed out that it is not the end of education for many, with several options open to people.
Geography teacher Marian O’Boyle added: “The students seem very happy. We had several students who achieved over 500 points. A lot of people are happy because they have got the points for the courses they want”.
With so many students sitting the exam at the school, there were also some who didn’t do as well as they hoped and may miss out on their preferred choices for college. Ms O’Boyle said these students should take time to consider their next step. “They should review other options. There are many possibilities such as PLC courses, there’s the option of repeating or maybe taking a year out,” Ms O’Boyle said.
One student at the school, Lorraine McEvoy was just short of the magical 600 maximum mark, achieving 580 points.
Students at the school planned to take up a variety of courses from maths actuary, to nursing, carpentry, home economics and biology etc.