Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh prides itself on being a welcoming and open-minded school placing a significant emphasis on the development of the whole student; “We make sure no student is ever left behind. We’re very proud of our tradition, our staff, our achievements, and our students in particular," said Principal, Micheál Ó Tuama
Located in the heart of Glanmire, embracing the Irish culture is one of the many aspects of Coláiste an Phiarsaigh that sets them apart from other schools, as well as giving respect to individuality and the views and thoughts of other people. "Our main focus is to provide a first-class education and allow each student to fulfill their full potential," said Micheál.
The Department of Education and Skills have granted Coláiste an Phiarsaigh a significant extension meaning that first-class education can now be provided in a first-class environment.
"We’ll be increasing our numbers significantly and bringing more students into the school. We’ll also be able to broaden our subject choice significantly, which we’re in the process of doing through surveying students, staff, and parents to look at what demand is out there for certain subjects.
"There will be lot more facilities to cater for our students with special needs and to further provide the right support for them. We’re hoping to have a new sports hall, a new basketball court, and new playing areas which is all part of the overall plan."
Coláiste an Phiarsaigh promotes and embraces students from different Gaelscoileanna that are dotted around the city but also outside the city. "Our school is not restricted to students from all-Irish speaking schools nor is it restricted to households where Irish is their spoken language, we have many different nationalities and cultures here.
"We have an open-gate philosophy and we’re very welcoming of every student who has a genuine interest in coming here and being educated through the medium of Irish."
Coláiste an Phiarsaigh has powerful experience and tradition in teaching; "We have a wonderful staff and structures in place to facilitate the transfer and the movement of students from primary school to secondary school." Their immersive education approach has proven to be very successful, according to Micheál.
If the student and parents are dedicated and buy into Coláiste an Phiarsaigh's ethos they will succeed, "we have a huge caring ethos and many different layers of assistance available, for example, we provide extra classes in Irish for first-year students to help pick them to improve their Irish.
"Not all of our students come from traditional Gaelscoileanna, many come from English-speaking primary schools, but when they’re in here, they’re immersed in an all Irish education. In fact, very often those students have to work that little bit harder and so they’re a bit more motivated and they’re a bit more dedicated and often they have a bit more fight in them, they’re the students that make an impression."
Part of the ethos in Coláiste an Phiarsaigh is for each student to develop a grá for the Irish culture and to have very open communication between staff and students, embrace individuality, promote extracurricular activities, and make sure students develop to their full potential.
"The atmosphere in this school is friendly, understanding, and embracing, we also promote independence amongst our students; independence of learning, and independent thinkers.
Our ethos also promotes self-confidence, self-respect, responsibility- Irish being at the core and is the heartbeat of the school in everyday communication, inside and outside of the classroom."
Coláiste an Phiarsaigh prides itself on the wide range of activities it offers to its students outside of the classroom also. There’s a healthy interest in nationwide contests like the BT Young Scientist while Robotics and debating in both Irish and English also take centre stage. The school also has a proud history in basketball, hurling, football, camogie, and ladies’ football. There are numerous other clubs that help new students settle into life in the school while every effort will be made to accommodate all interests, and this has seen the school found rowing and swimming clubs in recent times.
A student from last year's academic year was awarded a golf scholarship in America, thus a golf team was set up to facilitate that. "A huge array of extracurricular activities are available here, staff and past pupils get involved too. PE is also a Leaving Cert subject here in the school. We take part in the Young Scientist Exhibition, we have drama and debating in both Irish and English. We have a tennis team, a swimming team, an athletics team, basketball is also very significant here in the school, the list goes on," said Micheál.
For more information visit www.colaisteanphiarsaigh.ie