Pictures: ‘Happy out’ after first day of Leaving Cert exams in Cork

This year marks the full return of externally delivered examinations for all Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle candidates.
Pictures: ‘Happy out’ after first day of Leaving Cert exams in Cork

Leaving certificate students (from left) Ben O'Connor, Shane Kennedy, Mark O'Connor and Darragh Lynch are sitting their exams at Coláiste Chriost Rí, Cork. Picture Denis Minhane.

“THERE was a bit of nervous apprehension, which is always the case on the first day, but they were happy enough. I think the students were delighted to be doing the exams,” said Coláiste Chríost Rí principal Pádraig Mac an Rí after his students completed the first day of their State examinations yesterday.

This year marks the full return of externally delivered examinations for all Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle candidates.

Mr Mac an Rí said his students were ‘happy out’ after the first day of the Leaving Certificate exams.

 Alan Wiczolek, Shay Leahy-O'Driscoll and Kyle O'Connor all set for their leaving cert English paper 1 at the North Monastery Secondary School, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Alan Wiczolek, Shay Leahy-O'Driscoll and Kyle O'Connor all set for their leaving cert English paper 1 at the North Monastery Secondary School, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

“The lads were happy out. They were all smiling and looking forward to their next exam. They seemed to be very happy with English Paper 1. It was a good start for the Rí students.”

 Students Jessica Conway and Sophie Crowley, looking relaxed before taking their Leaving Cert English exam papers at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork. Picture: David Keane
Students Jessica Conway and Sophie Crowley, looking relaxed before taking their Leaving Cert English exam papers at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork. Picture: David Keane

The principal was full of praise for the 106 Leaving Cert students who started their exams yesterday.

“They have done very well considering the amount of disruption they have endured. This group has been lovely right through and has worked hard. I am confident they will do well.”

Mr Mac an Rí said it was great to have the State examinations back in-house again.

 Students Sam O'Connor, Harry Buttimer and Patrick McGrath, arriving to do their Leaving Cert English exam papers at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork.
Students Sam O'Connor, Harry Buttimer and Patrick McGrath, arriving to do their Leaving Cert English exam papers at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork.

“It was lovely to have the actual exams back, that sort of feel around the school. You can’t beat the experience of sitting the exams in-house. They have missed out on that experience.”

He said the current exam structures try to recognise students’ strengths.

 Students Kerrie Lyons, Laurie O'Sullivan, Maeve Lynam and Rachel Ahern, are all smiles before taking their Leaving Cert English exam papers at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork.
Students Kerrie Lyons, Laurie O'Sullivan, Maeve Lynam and Rachel Ahern, are all smiles before taking their Leaving Cert English exam papers at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork.

“The Leaving Certificate is a stepping stone. The pathways that exist in education now are brilliant. We have noticed this year a bit of interest in apprenticeship routes, which is good. There is more choice for students nowadays. It used to be the case of the Leaving Cert or bust, now it plays to people’s strengths. The exams do try to recognise people’s strengths in different areas.”

 Students waiting to receive their Leaving Cert English exam papers at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork.
Students waiting to receive their Leaving Cert English exam papers at Colaiste an Chroi Naofa, Carraig na bhFear, Co Cork.

North Monastery Secondary School principal Tony McSweeney said there was a “nervous apprehension” among his Leaving Certificate students before they commenced their exams.

“There was a small bit of nervous apprehension, but they were all in good spirits. They couldn’t wait to get going. I reminded them that this process is like a marathon and the first exam is their first mile, so they need to develop good habits and a bit of confidence.

 Principal Tony McSweeney chatting with students Lloyd Okpe, Soadman Choudhury and Barry Hickey prior to their junior cert English paper 1 at the North Monastery Secondary School, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Principal Tony McSweeney chatting with students Lloyd Okpe, Soadman Choudhury and Barry Hickey prior to their junior cert English paper 1 at the North Monastery Secondary School, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

“Our Junior Cycle students were very relaxed and calm.”

Mr McSweeney said his students were happy with how their first day of exams went.

“Everyone was happy enough. There is a big relief having completed the first exam.”

He said the school strives to ensure that when the Leaving Cert students conclude their exams, they have the ‘competencies’ to succeed.

“We want to make sure that when they leave, they have the skills, knowledge, and the competencies to succeed in whatever aspect they decide to pursue. We are there to support the students and even when they finish, we are there to support them in any capacity. They are now Mon boys and there is a great sense of pride which comes with that.”

A total of 90 students are sitting the Leaving Certificate in Carrignavar secondary school Coláiste an Chroí Naofa.

School principal Colm Ó Corcora said there was a ‘real sense’ of normality as the exam process commenced.

“The nerves are now gone. They all seemed to be very happy with the choice they were given in English Paper 1.

“I’m confident they will do well. They were very well prepared by their teachers. They have put in the work. Now it is a case of performing and getting through the next two weeks,” he said.

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