People associate the Canary Islands with a sunshine holiday destination but they sometimes forget about what it is like to live there.
Well the students of Heywood got an idea of that when they showed a group of students from Grand Canaria and showed them the facilities available in Heywood.
The students were fascinated and amazed at the practical rooms available to the Heywood students. They had no rooms or facilities for woodwork, metalwork, technical drawing, home economics or art and had limited science laboratories compared to their Irish counterparts.
They were surprised that classes had a maximum of 25 while in their school it often ran to over 30 and were impressed and delighted by the range of subjects, facilities and sports options in the school.
Spain has also experienced a recession and it has effected education badly there and they were envious of the Irish facilities. Overall they were impressed with the greenery and lushness of Ireland and impressed with the friendliness of the people, but shivering in the chilly Spring they preferred their own weather.
Meanwhile some other students from the school got a taste of college life. Discovering what college life is really like is difficult and the differences between school and university are striking and hard to imagine for school students. So an opportunity to spend a day following some university students in UCD was seized with glee by several students at Heywood Community School. It was part of the Access link the school has with the college and in conjunction with Portlaoise College five Heywood students travelled before dawn to UCD to be paired up with their partner students in UCD. They went to lectures, tutorials, lab sessions and workshops or whatever the students had and got some idea of what a typical day involved for a university student. It was a great success and the Heywood students were delighted with the experience and are looking forward to their own time in college with a greater understanding and appreciation of what is involved.