Pictures: Cork secondary school celebrates 'fantastic' first year

The co-educational school opened for 21 first-year students last September.
Pictures: Cork secondary school celebrates 'fantastic' first year

Principal's award recipients Rian O'Mahony and Tomasz Cymerkiewicz pictured with the school principal Nicola Barrett.

THE Le Chéile Secondary School in Ballincollig has celebrated its first year. 

The co-educational school opened for 21 first-year students last September.

Academic excellence award winners Connor Knapp and Jayden Doyle pictured with the school principal Nicola Barrett.
Academic excellence award winners Connor Knapp and Jayden Doyle pictured with the school principal Nicola Barrett.

The school has held its inaugural end-of-year awards, a ceremony that will become an integral feature of the school calendar.

School principal Nicola Barrett said there was a noticeable difference in the students at the end of the academic year.

Positive Behaviour Award winners Leo KJ and Erky Sosadzin pictured with class teachers Aoife Barry-Murphy and Adam Kelly.
Positive Behaviour Award winners Leo KJ and Erky Sosadzin pictured with class teachers Aoife Barry-Murphy and Adam Kelly.

“It was a fantastic year,” Ms Barrett said. “The difference in the students from day one to now is amazing.

“They were so quiet and shy on day one and now they are extremely confident. They have become a group of leaders and excellent role models. I am very proud of the first cohort of students. They have set the bar for future year groups. They got the individual attention and care throughout the year.”

40 students have already enrolled to commence first year in September, while the school is also setting up an autism class. 

“There are about 40 students coming into first year this September,” Ms Barrett said. “We will also be opening an autism class which is very exciting.

Overall student of the year winner Connor Knapp pictured with the school principal Nicola Barrett.
Overall student of the year winner Connor Knapp pictured with the school principal Nicola Barrett.

“We will be more than doubling our first-year intake, but, at the same time, we are in a position to provide an environment where we can actively care for each student and provide an exemplary education.

“We are the first secondary school in Ballincollig to open an autism class and the class is full. The need was there and, thankfully, we have fulfilled that need.

“We are ready now to move onto our second year and to look after the incoming first years. We have a lot to look forward to,” she said.

The secondary school teacher paid tribute to her colleagues for providing excellent teaching throughout the year.

“The staff have been fantastic, innovative, and proactive,” Ms Barrett said. “They have really looked after and engaged with the students, while also providing excellent teaching and learning throughout the year.”

Athlete of the year award winner David Dunne pictured with PE teachers Aoife Barry-Murphy and Kate McCarthy.
Athlete of the year award winner David Dunne pictured with PE teachers Aoife Barry-Murphy and Kate McCarthy.

The Le Chéile Secondary School is currently based in the former Cork Film Centre building in Ballincollig. 

Ms Barrett said they will be moving to the grounds of Ballincollig Community School in October.

“A fantastic modular building will be going up there,” Ms Barrett said. “That will be ready in October, and we will move over then.

“It has 11 classrooms, practical rooms, and the autism suite. The department are also giving us options to provide different modules for PE, so we can bus the students to Ballincollig or the local surrounds which is fantastic. We are looking forward to this.”

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