WHILE rain cascaded down incessantly, it failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the sixty-five girls at Scoil Chríost Rí, Presentation Secondary School, Portlaoise who collected their Leaving Certificate results.
Delighted Principal Helen O’Donnell commented, “It may be dreary outside but there was plenty of sunshine and joy inside here today.”
Students began arriving from 9am, many accompanied by their parents and Ms O’Donnell outlined, “It is a special day for parents and families as they invest so much in the Leaving Cert. We had a significant number of students that got over 500 points and they’ll be aspiring to do various courses in college. And while congratulating the students - you couldn’t but be so proud of them, I’m equally proud of the teaching staff.”
In maths, Scoil Chríost Rí boasted a 100% pass rate. “We had a 100% success rate. We’d a bigger number doing the higher level – nobody failed.”
She highlighted that in line with the national picture results achieved in Irish ‘were very good’, reflecting the fact that 40% was on offer for the oral Irish.
“The sciences were very, very good, chemistry, biology and languages, including Polish and Latvian and Russian. All positive and from what I can see most of the girls seem to have got sufficient results to secure their first choices but until we see the first round of offers, and the extra 25 marks on maths, it will be interesting to see how that impacts on it.”
Ms O’Donnell remarked that while there is pressure on students sitting the Leaving Cert that it builds over time and added, “You could see from the students, those who focused well for the two years and balanced the work did very, very well and it does make a huge difference if they can do that.”
She continued, “We also have the LCVP (Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme) and while we had 65 students doing the Leaving Cert, 40 of them did the LCVP and they did extremely well and it gives them a chance to gain extra points as well.”
With 150 first years coming in, Scoil Chríost Rí, will have 680 on its roll book for September. Ms O’Donnell said this will bring its own challenges and concluded, “But we’re fortunate we’re in a position to recruit staff and that we’ve been recruiting over the last two years and getting new people and they work very well and complement the experience that is here. We’ve a fantastic staff. There is a mix of experience and new fresh ideas.”