The pressure on Leaving Cert students comes more from external factors, rather than from the exams themselves – according to one secondary school teacher speaking ahead of this year’s State exams.
“Students are under a magnifying glass from people around them; it takes away from their chance to focus on their own capability and flourish,” said Anna Flaherty, a Science and Mathematics teacher at Coláiste Cholmcille in Inverin.
With the Leaving Certificate exams set to start on Wednesday, tensions are already high – not only for the students taking the exam, but for the parents who are at a loss of what they can do to help their child.
Anna believes that the pressure from the outside asking how many points did you get can just ‘inhibits a student from relaxing and putting their best foot forward’.
She claimed that the overshadowing worry from this can be damaging before the exams even begin.
“We as a society must acknowledge how we treat the younger generation and have more sensitivity and respect,” she said.
The National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCPP) offers information on their website but also a helpline phone number, 1800 265 165 and email, firstname.lastname@example.org which gives access to qualified guidance counsellors who offer support and advice to both students and parents during this difficult time.
Many people believe that the Leaving Certificate is unnecessarily stressful and does not give an accurate reflection of what the student is capable of, but Anna believes that it is a ‘well rounded, though undoubtedly tough exam to get through’.
“The array of subjects that the students have under their belt provides them with diverse opportunities and areas that they can delve in into again and again, depending on where their choices and interests take them as they learn more about themselves and as they mature with life,” she said.
This is in stark contrast with the A-Level Examinations in the UK, where the student must pick two to three subjects after the junior cycle and are therefore more restricted if they change their career choice.
Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin Leaving Cert student, Shannen Flaherty, disagrees. “Its importance is overrated and exaggerated,” she said.
And she felt the amount of emphasis based on one set of exams is ‘simply cruel’.
“It’s all based on academics which leaves no room for those with practical minds to expand and allow themselves to acknowledge their own talents, that can’t be shown in a classroom or on a piece of paper.”
On the other hand, Clíona Lee, also a student of the same school, believes we have a ‘decent system’.
She feels that there is a wide variety of subjects and a variety of levels within the subjects to accommodate all people, although she does acknowledge it’s hard not to get ‘bogged down by external pressures from peers and parents’.
She believes there are so many ways to achieve whatever career interests you and that the Leaving Cert is ‘merely a stepping stone in that direction’.
“For me the Leaving Cert is a very intense yet pleasant experience,” she said.
The Leaving Certificate is different for everyone – but, as Anna Flaherty says to all her students, at the end of the day the most positive, encouraging thing to say to your child is to do their best.
“That’s all that matters in life; then you can always be proud regardless of the results.”
Galway passengers are all smiles at Shannon!
The smiles on the faces at Shannon Airport very much told its own story this week – with passengers taking to skies as the easing of restrictions and the first day of the European Digital COVID Certificates took effect.
And it wasn’t just the joy of travel starting to resume that lifted spirits at the airport but also the announcement by Ryanair of a new once-weekly service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) to commence on August 7 – the third new service announcement for Shannon Airport over recent weeks.
There was a real sense of excitement as passengers of all ages became very much at ease with the heightened public safety measures in a ‘back-to-the-future’ day for the West of Ireland gateway airport.
There were reunions as inbound flights arrived but also a palpable degree of anticipation as others got set to depart on the earliest flight out of the airport today, the 7:10am flight to Gatwick.
Among those boarding was Clarenbridge native Claire Tomlin and her husband Jake, together with their three children, including their twins who turn a year old next week.
“It’s been amazing to get back. The kids saw their grandparents for the first time and their cousins and aunties and uncles, so it was fantastic,” said Claire.
“Shannon is just so convenient for us because it’s only about 40 minutes’ drive. So, it just makes everything a lot easier in terms of getting to and from places with little ones. So, yeah, Shannon is a great resource for us. Really, really good. We hope to be able to go back more and more.”
It was smiles all around for Shannon Airport staff as they got back to doing what they do best. “Well, today is a great day because you can see the atmosphere around the place, people are at ease here and they’re glad to be back, they’re glad to get up in the sky again,” said Shannon Duty Free Sales Associate Helen Quinlivan.
“It’s great to see the excitement. People are really looking forward to going back and seeing their loved ones and they’re very at ease.”
Galway In Days Gone By
Silence is golden
Leaders on both sides have stated that the best assistance the country can give in the making of peace is to keep silence.
During the past week there has been a great deal of speculation, most of it harmless enough, as, for instance, the enterprising American journalist’s “exclusive” on the first meeting of the British Premier and the President of the Irish Republic; much of it positively mischievous, as the case of the efforts of a certain journal, which has grown hoary in the reputation for throwing in the apple of discord, to anticipate failure in advance.
Our American colleague was on surer and on safer ground when he told of how de Valera and Lloyd George met.
“Mr. Lloyd George,” he cabled, “was sitting at his desk when the Irish President entered. For just a minute these two gazed fixedly at one another. Then the British Premier walked across the intervening space and shook de Valera by the hand. He led him to a seat where they sat side by side. The atmosphere was tense. They faced one another. Then Lloyd George reached down for a box of cigars. But the Irish President is of Spartan mould. He neither permits himself to drink nor smoke. He politely but firmly waved the box away. Mr. Lloyd George, however, selected and lighted a Havana, and as the smoke curled upwards the atmosphere became decidedly easier!”
The wise and practical man always lays by a store against the time when supplies will be scarce. One of the most serious effects of the prolonged drought is the scarcity of supplies of fodder for cattle-feeding during the coming winter and spring.
The hay crop is not more than half the average yield. The corn crop is far below normal. Turnips in many districts are a partial failure. We have frequently emphasised the importance of growing catch-crops to supplement other feeding stuffs raised on the farm, but it is only under circumstances such as the present that their utility is brought home to farmers. Owing to the early harvest, a larger area than is usual can and should be put down this season. This would make good, to some extent, at least, the shortage of hay and other feeding-stuffs.
The demonstration plots laid down by the County Committee of Agriculture have shown that catch-crops, such as vetches and rye as well as other mixtures, can be successfully grown in all parts of County Galway.
We would urge on farmers the desirability – nay, the necessity – of procuring seed and making early preparation for the sowing of an increased area of catch-crops this season.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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A home that can generate rent!
New to the market is this lovely, extremely deceptive and impressive home situated only 450 metres from Clarinbridge village.
Stonebridge House is located on a fine site with a tarmacadam driveway, mature shrubs and trees, water feature, decked area and stables to the rear all adding to the many delightful features of this well-built home.
It was built in 1982 and extended in 1993, creating a bright, spacious home which is perfect for today’s busy, modern family lifestyle.
The main house is a six-bed residence with a two-bedroomed basement apartment offering 3,000 sq ft of family living accommodation.
This makes this property perfect for multi-generational living or should you wish to rent out the basement apartment, can provide you with extra income.
The welcoming half front door takes you into the hallway where there is a ground floor bedroom to your left and to your right. Further down the hallway to your right leads you into the spacious kitchen/dining area perfect for family life and entertaining, with plenty of storage space, a Stanley range cooker set into a gorgeous cream brick inglenook with an added feature of a back boiler that heats the water and radiators.
There is an office/media room off the kitchen which every house needs nowadays, as today’s family spends more and more time on the web.
Double doors open to the large tastefully decorated sitting room with a feature fireplace and a solid fuel stove. The den area is filled with natural light with plenty of windows and patio doors opening onto the garden and patio area. Also on this floor is a guest toilet.
Upstairs on the first floor is the spacious landing with built-in storage cupboards and leading to four fine bedrooms and the main bathroom. Another bonus to this beautiful home is the installation of a convenient central vacuum system which is known for its removal of allergens and dust when cleaning and not having to drag a vacuum from room to room!
The asking price is €495,000. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact DNG Brian MacMahon on 091 638638.