PRESENTATION Brothers College, one of Cork’s most successful secondary schools, is this year celebrating its 140th anniversary.
The school boasts an impressive history, both academically and in sporting terms.
The all boys, fee-paying school is regularly praised as one of Ireland’s finest second level establishments.
The college was founded by the Presentation Brothers in 1878, at the South Mall.
Soon afterwards it moved to the Grand Parade and, in 1887, to the Western Road.
The present complex, on Mardyke Walk, was completed in 1985.
The school is regularly at full capacity, with 720 students as well as 60 teachers and staff.
Hard work from the students, mentoring from dedicated teachers and support from family, are all key to the success of the boys, said David Barry, principal of Presentation Brothers College Cork.
“We’re a community, first of all, we all work together which is one of the most important things,” said Mr Barry.
“As principal, I manage the day to day running of the school. We have two deputy principals, one for the senior and for the junior schools,” he added.
“We also have a great middle management team, year heads and fantastic teachers, who all work to the best of their ability to ensure the boys have the best education they can possibly have here.”
As well as an educational structure, Mr Barry said the school works to ensure the boys are also cared for holistically.
“We have a really caring community, the boys are really looked after,” he said.
“We have a chaplain, two guidance counsellors, one for the senior school, one for the juniors.
“There’s also great student leadership within the school, which is great for student voice, an important aspect of the school,” he added.
“We have 6th-year peer mentors and prefects. It’s about giving the boys the opportunity to get involved.
“Once they’re happy, they’re able to learn,” explained Mr Barry.
Learning is certainly a key part of any school, but this is emphasised when that school is famed for its success at sending students on to third level.
“There’s an expectation and our aim is to always meet that expectation,” said Mr Barry.
“For us, we pride ourselves on the academic record in the school and there’s always that focus.
“We want the boys to thrive, realise their potential and for our record to continue,” he added.
“Many of the boys view third level as a natural progression and they work hard towards that.”
However, Presentation Brothers’ also boast a strong reputation in sports and extra-curricular activities such as debating.
“A large part of our school is extra-curricular,” said Mr Barry.
“We offer rugby, soccer, rowing, debating, GAA, golf and tennis, a wide range of activities in the school.
“It’s about giving the boys a wide range of educational opportunities, not just academic,” he added.
“They will thrive when they’re doing other things like sports as it opens their mind.”
The school has received national attention for its success on the rugby pitch.
In 1974, An Post issued two commemorative stamps to mark the centenary of the foundation of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).
The two stamps feature the same photograph, showing three Irish International players, Barry McGann, Colin Grimshaw and Donal Canniffe. McGann (class of 1976) and Canniffe (class of 1977) were both PBC boys, while Grimshaw was a Queen’s University, Belfast player.
“The students need something different, something outside of the academics,” said Mr Barry.
“Sport and extra-curricular activities give them the opportunity to get involved in the school community, experience new things and meet new people in other schools, whether that’s through rugby, GAA or debating.”
Appointed as principal just over 12 months ago, Mr Barry said it has certainly been a year to remember.
“The highlight was being appointed as principal and from then, getting the opportunity to work with the staff and students.