SOME 86 first-year students began a new and exciting era in their educational journey in Coláiste an Chroí Naofa, Carrignavar this morning.
School principal Colm O Corcora said the day was successful after the early morning nerves abated.
“It went very well. They were excited and a bit nervous. There was great noise and chatter in the school corridors. It was great to hear. They had the school to themselves. We gave them a tour of the school. They had an opportunity to talk to our Meitheal fifth-year team. Our senior students gave them a good insight into the school,” he said.
Mr O Corcora has great sympathy for the first-year students who missed out on a lot of school last year due to the pandemic.
“It is tough on this particular group of students as they missed so much time last year. They were visibly nervous coming in, but by the time they were leaving, they were smiling through their masks. We could see it in their eyes.
“They came in quietly and they left chatty. That is what we want. Eight six is a great number of new students. Our catchment area is very big. They come from Carrignavar, Glenville, Whitechurch, Dublin Hill, Ballyvolane, Upper Glanmire, and Watergrasshill.
"Parents are deciding to bypass schools that may be closer to them to come here which is very encouraging. We take that vote of confidence very seriously. We have great teachers.
"We had an induction programme on Tuesday for our new teachers. The calibre of people that were there was superb. It fills me full of hope,” he added.
The first-year students will return to the co-educational secondary school next Monday. The school principal is looking forward to the journey ahead. “It is the start of an exciting journey for them. Within a week they will know the geography of the school like the rest of us. They will settle in very quickly.”