Leaving Certificate Celebration 2017!

Last Monday, Donabate Community College hosted a small ceremony to congratulate the Leaving Cert students of 2017 who had excelled and achieved the top marks across their peer group. In total, eleven students achieved over 500 points in their exams, a big increase on last year. School Principal, Mr. Creevey welcomed the gathering of students, their families and teachers and congratulated the students on their wonderful achievement. After an opening song from sixth year student Aoife Fennell, Mr. Creevey introduced Dr. Deirdre Keyes, the Education Officer of Dublin & Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB). Dr. Keyes spoke to the gathering and congratulated the students on their accomplishments. She added that these students were superb role models for the school population and the wider community. In an era when distractions for students is at an all-time high, the successes of these students was exemplary and Dr. Keyes wished the students continued success as they continue with their education. Dr. Keyes then presented each individual student with a glass plaque to commemorate their accomplishment.

Adam Colgan received the accolade for receiving the best Leaving Certificate points with 566. He received his first choice in the CAO offers two weeks ago and will study Biotechnology in DCU. Adam is looking forward to the freedom that University allows and when asked what advice he had for the new 6th Year cohort he said to prepare for class tests and the mocks as if they were the real Leaving Cert exam to assist with dealing with the pressures and timings of a real exam.

Clodagh Martin has confirmed her place in DCU studying Genetics and Cell Biology. She received 565 points and is really looking forward to a fresh start and meeting lots of new people. Clodagh’s advice to the 6th Years was to complete assigned homework with extra effort and focus on all class tests, in order to allow the information to be easily recalled. Alison Wall will also attend DCU having received 520 CAO points and she will be studying Global Business and she echoed Clodagh’s advice for students.

Sarah McGrath will be starting university in UCD where she will study Radiography. Sarah is looking forward to exploring the UCD campus and getting to know new people through the various clubs and societies. Sarah advised students to come up with a plan of what they want to do and what they need to do to get there. She also stressed the necessity for taking breaks when studying to keep the mind fresh.

Kate Ryan will join Sarah in UCD as she has accepted a place to study Law with Social Justice. Kate is really looking forward to the new experiences in university and seeing the differences from secondary school including new people and new activities.  Kate urged students to begin working from the start of the year to allow them to stay on top of everything so they can enjoy their final year in secondary school. She also encouraged a balance between work, exercise and fun! Rachel Burke agreed with Kate stressing that students should spread their study over the year so that it is not too overwhelming at the end. Rachel Burke will be attending Trinity College and will be studying Occupational Therapy.

Matthew Wright has received a place in DCU where he will study Physics with Biomedical Science. He is really looking forward to being able to focus on specific modules or subjects that engage him, making new friends and catching up with some familiar faces in a different environment. Matthew’s advice to students was to aim for the best Leaving Cert they can possibly get rather than the CAO points of the previous year’s course as the points can fluctuate from year to year and what is enough one year may not be the next. Matthew also reminded students that they are still human and that they are bound to have difficult days. On those unproductive days, Matthew said to try and still complete some element of study. Whether it takes two minutes or twenty, once they walk away feeling they have learned something, then it was time well spent.

Oisín Dineen received 521 CAO points and is going to be studying Actuarial and Financial Maths in DCU. Oisín is looking forward to utilising the various sports facilities that are available in the university. His advice was to be mindful of project deadlines and suggested students try and get as much of their project work for subjects complete prior to the mocks to allow students to focus on their Orals in languages in March. Watching out and planning for deadlines was Oisín’s most important advice.

Conor McMahon received 510 CAO points and will be studying Biomedical Science in DIT from September. He is hoping this will lead to a career in pathology and a job in the medical field in the future. Conor is looking forward to learning more about science in college having studied both Biology and Chemistry in his Leaving Certificate. Conor’s advice would be to focus on the balance between work and play. Conor argued that spending all the time on study would not be beneficial as students would get worn out. Finding a balance allows for students to be more efficient and alert at school while allowing them to enjoy their free time at home. Planning and study plans were key to Conor’s success!

Seán Leahy will join Rachel in Trinity College and he has accepted a place studying Ancient History and Archaeology. He is really looking forward to studying the various facets of his course and engaging in student life. His advice for students is simple; do your homework and practice exam technique – both of which are keys to success.

The short ceremony ended with a performance from fifth year student Harry Fennell and with a reception for the students where there was an opportunity for photographs and an opportunity to chat informally about their plans and hopes for the new Academic Year. Thanks to Dr. Keyes for taking time out from her busy schedule to visit us and celebrate with our students. Thanks also to Mr Collins and Sean Lyons for their assistance. We would like to congratulate all our students and wish them well as they begin their new journey, wherever that might be.