Cork students who opted for written exams get ready for Leaving Cert to begin today

Cork students who opted for written exams get ready for Leaving Cert to begin today

Examination Co-ordinator and Teacher Michael Browne with School principal Maighréad Finn at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Charleville, Co Cork where three pupils are sitting their leaving certificate examinations. Picture Dan Linehan

CORK students who have opted to sit exams will commence their Leaving Cert today and complete their papers over the next few weeks.

The vast majority of students are due to complete two or three exams, with only a few sitting the formal exam after declining to go down that route of the calculated grades option.

Three students are due to complete a total of ten exams in St Mary’s Secondary School Charleville, over the coming weeks. Acting Principal Maighréad Finn revealed the North Cork school is all set to go.

“We are all set. We collected the examination papers on Sunday and the centres are all set up. It is happening, but I get the sense that the vast majority of people out there don’t realise it is happening.”

The first students in Charleville secondary school are due to begin their Leaving Cert examinations today at 5.30pm when they sit the biology paper. The geography exam will be held tomorrow.

Ms Finn is delighted the students will finally get the opportunity to sit their Leaving Cert examination.

 The papers have arrived at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Charleville, Co Cork where three pupils are sitting their leaving certificate examinations. Picture Dan Linehan
The papers have arrived at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Charleville, Co Cork where three pupils are sitting their leaving certificate examinations. Picture Dan Linehan

“The students have been through so much. They have had to contend with the uncertainty of the exams, online learning, the different types of assessment, the appeals process, the publishing of the results and the grading. I really admire them for their attitude. They deserve huge credit for their resilience and dedication.

“The absence of the Leaving Certification in June had a huge effect on students. A lot of students just want to sit the exam. The determination these students are showing is phenomenal.

“As a school, we would feel quite strongly the Department of Education treated them so horrendously with the whole fiasco of the calculated grades and the adjustments that were made. It was shocking and disgraceful. Students were treated very poorly. It is almost as if our secondary school students have been forgotten about. They have been badly treated.”

Ms Finn added that staff at the school are logistically very comfortable with holding the state examinations.

 Examination Co-ordinator and Teacher Michael Browne with School principal Maighréad Finn at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Charleville, Co Cork where three pupils are sitting their leaving certificate examinations. Picture Dan Linehan
Examination Co-ordinator and Teacher Michael Browne with School principal Maighréad Finn at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Charleville, Co Cork where three pupils are sitting their leaving certificate examinations. Picture Dan Linehan

“We have one examination centre. There will be one subject per night or held over the weekend. There will be no overlap with exams. All the Covid protocols are standard at this stage. We met the superintendent on Sunday to ensure the contract tracing protocols are in place. They will wear their mask and sanitise their hands as per official guidelines. We actually have extra protocols here in the school. We put in extra sinks for the students on their arrival, so they can wash their hands even before they sanitise. We are pleased to say we haven’t had any near eventuality with Covid. The way the centre is set up, they will be socially distanced anyway,” she added.

Four students will sit their Leaving Cert examinations in a variety of subjects in Coláiste An Phiarsaigh, Glanmire with their first examination due to commence this Wednesday evening. School principal Micheál Ó Tuama revealed all the various stakeholders have worked together very well to ensure the students are prepared.

“Everything is in order. All the teachers have been a great help to the students. The teachers have given them extra support. The level of support from the Department and the Exams Commission has also been great. They have got a lot of background support.

 Examination Co-ordinator and Teacher Michael Browne with School principal Maighréad Finn at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Charleville, Co Cork where three pupils are sitting their leaving certificate examinations. Picture Dan Linehan
Examination Co-ordinator and Teacher Michael Browne with School principal Maighréad Finn at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Charleville, Co Cork where three pupils are sitting their leaving certificate examinations. Picture Dan Linehan

They have allowed us to employ an exam aide. They have also allowed all secondary schools to employ attendants to be available to the superintendent in the hall. There are also dedicated centres available for students with special requirements. It is all coming together. It has run very smoothly,” said the principal.

“We have been in constant communication with our four students. They have been meeting teachers at weekends and on our half-days to do a bit of prep work ahead of the exams. They are each doing one or two exams. They are excited, nervous, and apprehensive. They are also glad they are coming to the final hurdle in terms of this process,” he added.

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