Pictures: ‘Community feel’ as school’s in-person open nights return

Students and parents from 12 local primary schools got an in-person tour of the Passage West secondary school, with staff members and students on hand in every room to answer queries and chat about the school.
Pictures: ‘Community feel’ as school’s in-person open nights return

Teachers and students Daniel Moynihan, Jane Finlay, Úna McCarthy, Louise O'Donovan, Principal Tony McSweeney. Simone Jennings and Grace O' Reilly at the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon

THE principal of St Peter’s Community School in Passage West said there was a real “community feel” to the open night held in the school recently.

Students and parents from 12 local primary schools got an in-person tour of the Passage West secondary school, with staff members and students on hand in every room to answer queries and chat about the school.

School principal Tony McSweeney said the open night went very well.

Cían and Daniel Young from Cobh in the engineering room during the open night that was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. Picture David Creedon
Cían and Daniel Young from Cobh in the engineering room during the open night that was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. Picture David Creedon

“There was a fantastic turnout. It was a very successful night. It was our first in-person open night for three years and while there had been an indication of strong interest with the calls and queries we had got, the numbers who attended far outweighed what we had anticipated, which is a very positive reflection of the school,” he said.

The secondary school principal said in-person visits from students and their parents always help them to make an informed decision when deciding which secondary school to choose. “It was fantastic to welcome our prospective students, along with their parents and guardians, into our school. I really do feel that each child needs to make an informed decision when it comes to the transition between primary and secondary school. I believe that this can only be fully done when the visit to the school is complete,” he said.

Gary, Ciara and Harry Tett looking at woodwork producded by the students at the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon
Gary, Ciara and Harry Tett looking at woodwork producded by the students at the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon

“There was a real sense of a community feel to the evening, which was fantastic.

“We are fortunate there is high- quality teaching and learning in the school which underpins all that we do. That was certainly the feedback we got from parents and guardians at the open night,” he added.

In the lead-up to the open night, Mr McSweeney visited 15 local primary schools in a bid to attract students to the progressive secondary school. He was delighted with the turnout.

 Fourth year students Katie Hanlon and Abbie O' Halloran with samples of their baking in Home Economics during the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon
Fourth year students Katie Hanlon and Abbie O' Halloran with samples of their baking in Home Economics during the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon

“We had representation from 12 schools at the open night, which was great,” he said.

“This included pupils from Star of the Sea, which is next door, Douglas, Frankfield, Rochestown, Cobh, and in as far as Turner’s Cross, which is fantastic.

“There was fantastic work put in by all the staff in preparation for the event.

“The shining lights on the night were our students, who answered questions, gave tours, and participated in the practical subject demonstrations. They are part of the exceptionally competent young men and women which make up our student cohort.”

Leaon Tag with his daughter in the science lab during the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon
Leaon Tag with his daughter in the science lab during the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon

Mr McSweeney said the school is in a ‘fantastic’ position to cater for new students.

“We are in a good location. We have very good facilities. The school is in a fantastic position from both facilities and curriculum-wise. The wide range of subjects we offer in the school is also a big selling point and caters for everyone,” he said.

“We are looking forward to welcoming new students.”

Students Edward Lin, Jasmine Onifade and Simone O'Sullivan get involed in cake decoration during the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon
Students Edward Lin, Jasmine Onifade and Simone O'Sullivan get involed in cake decoration during the open night which was held in St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. - Picture David Creedon

St Peter’s Community School received funding approval from the Department of Education during the summer for an extension programme. Mr McSweeney said when this is completed it will double the current student capacity.

“We received approval for funding from the department during the summer,” he said. “It is in progress at the moment. We currently have 380 students. When our extension is completed, it will cater for up to 750 students.”

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