There were cheers but no visible tears at Colaiste Iosagain, Portarlington on Wednesday as the class of 2012 collected their results.
The first students were there well before 9am, with Tadhg Matthews first to be personally handed his results by Principal Seamus Bennett.
“Absolutely delighted,” was his verdict on 420 points, 90 more than his first preference course Computer Game Development in the University of Limerick required last year.
“With these points I’ll be shocked if I don’t get in,” he said before heading off to work with a definite smile on his face.
He was one of a number of people tempted to do higher level maths because of the extra 25 points. A chorus of “yes” was the response from Sarah O’Donohue and Lauren Garry when asked if the extra points had tempted them to take higher level. Both agreed that it had been a difficult road but was worth it.
“It’s a really long course and parts of it were fairly hard,” said Lauren, while Sarah said the exam itself had been frustrating, with the questions “almost like on the English paper.”
One of their male classmates said however that “there’d have to be 125 extra marks” for him to attempt it.
Barbara Amolo came to Portarlington three years ago from Uganda and was on the 2012 Student Council hoped her 515 points are enough for biomedical science in UCD.
And there was delight too among the Leaving Cert Applied students, with Stacey Horrigan and Lauren Donoher delighted with their Distinctions.
Maths teacher Monica Lyons Carty was delighted overall with the results, and said Project Maths, the controversial new maths course had been “a difficult road, but I hope it will be worth it.”
Colaiste Iosagain had an advantage in being part of the pilot project, but the papers “are still challenging, and students have no idea what’s coming up, and no choice on the exam paper.”
Every student who took the higher level paper passed and got the bonus points.
Principal Seamus Bennett said the 2012 Project Maths experience had been a good experience for students, and gave great credit to his teaching staff for their work in making “maths a success story for us.”
He expects two higher level classes in both fifth and sixth year this year. He said it’s important that each student personally receives their results, so they have a chance to ask any questions about future options.
“It’s quite emotional, and some students can be upset, but it’s also a chance to say thanks and to say goodbye. Already they’re starting to miss the school,” he said.
He looks forward to the chance to meet his former students as young adults, moving on with their lives. He congratulated all students and wished them the best of luck in the future, at college, at work or repeating.
He also had high praise for the school’s highest achiever, shy but hardworking Aoife Kennedy, saying she deserved her 535 points.
“She was exceptionally hardworking and talented,” he said.