Parents Council news
A motivational talk at Scoile Mhuire for Leaving Cert Students and their Parents
Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar hosted a very informative talk on Thursday evening January 17th. The talk was aimed at parents and guardians of students taking the Leaving Cert in June 2013 and explored the many issues that influence students’ success in their first year of study post Leaving Cert.
The Parents Council are very pro active and involved in supporting the education of the students from 1st year right up to 6th year and on this occasion invited Catherine O’ Connor, to speak at the school.
Catherine O’Connor (MA Ed) works as a Student Recruitment specialist at Trinity College Dublin and has over twenty years experience in the design, delivery and management of educational programmes. Having lectured and tutored at Diploma, Degree and Master’s level at Trinity College and Dublin City University, she has also researched and published within the areas of education and educational technologies.
Ms O’ Connor’s talk was on the transition for students and their parents from second level education to third level education and what that break away from home entails not just for the student but also for the parent/guardian. The background to this talk focuses on preparing the student for changes in their lives, the pitfalls encountered in college in the first year, making the right choices for them, where to look for assistance and who to ask for help.
Key areas covered included:
Getting to know how the third level system works.
What makes students successful in college?
Why some students withdraw from college?
What faces students on that first week in college?
How to communicate with college offices and staff.
How to have fun safely.
Socialising and the law.
Study and part time work – getting the balance right.
Parent’s and student’s expectations – are they mismatched?
This is Ms O Connors’ second year to visit Coláiste Mhuire. The aim of the workshops is to empower the students by being informed about the many issues that influence success in first year of study post the Leaving Certificate, changing relationships between students, parents and schools and addressing the many challenges faced by students making this transition. It also looked at the demands placed on students by the college system and questions the expectations of parents and students alike in these difficult economic times.
The evening talk continued with related topics such as
- Choosing Electives
- E-Learning and Support
- Tutorials /Seminars
- Labs /Demonstrations
- Reading Week
- Group Work
- Academic Writing
- HANDBOOK –the gospel
- Knowing the college system
- Keeping fit and healthy
- Over 18 ‘s and the law
- Living away from home
- Safety issues
- Dealing with homesick
- Open communications
- Public Transport
- Travel Insurance
Overall the workshops and evening talk was extremely well received and it is hoped that the Parents Council can repeat this wonderful day in 2014.
Why chose Colaiste Mhuire?
The Colaiste Mhuire open day is being held on Saturday 19th January in the school from 10 -12 am. The parents’ council feel it is important to highlight this important day in the school calendar and give our perspective to parents off potential students.
Colaiste Mhuire is the oldest second level school in Mullingar and has a very proud tradition of educating students for life. Well known past students of the school are now working in very diverse fields such as government, academics, entertainment, social work, sport and business. These include – Willie Penrose (our local T.D. and an accomplished footballer), Gerry Whyte (Professor of Constitutional Law at TCD), Niall Breslin, Niall Horan, Graham Dowling and Brian Masterson (all working in music). Brian McCabe and Fergal O’Brien are leading university research teams in environmental engineering and regenerative medicine at NUIG and TCD. Sean Tierney is a leader of the Irish Medical Organisation and Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons. Ken Owens is partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers while Paul Raleigh is leading Grant Thornton International. A quick search through facebook or linkedin shows the huge range of careers taken by past pupils of the school, both here in Ireland and overseas. Large numbers of past students went on to establish their own businesses and contribute successfully to society.
All past past-pupils have one thing in common. They benefitted from a broad based education which prepared them for their future life. While this involved subject specific choices, the most important aspect of the Colaiste Mhuire experience is the personal development of the individual. Our school achieves this by the wide range of facilities, individual mentoring system, transition year and participation in extracurricular activities. While there are no more Christian Brothers teaching in the school – the strong Christian ethos lives on. Every student is encouraged and facilitated to ‘be the best that he can be’ in whatever walk of life he chooses. In Colaiste Mhuire students are supported both academically by the teaching staff and personally and vocationally by the frontline Guidance and Counselling Service available to all students in the school. Students are cared for in an inclusive way and encouraged at all times to seek help if they are in any difficulty in their personal or academic life. A strong supportive discipline is upheld in the school. Anti- bullying, childcare and homework policies are strictly applied to provide a safe and productive learning environment with positive outcomes for all members of the school community.
The decision to be taken by you and your son is important. We encourage you to think carefully about it and attend this open day to view the facilities, and become familiar with the broad subject choices on offer and meet the existing pupils and teachers.
News Update – Leaving Cert 2012
Our 2012 leaving cert students achieved great success. A total of 9 students were offered entrance scholarships to 3rd level colleges based upon leaving cert exam results. This puts Colaiste Mhuire at the forefront of schools in the country and indeed in County Westmeath.
Gary Burke and Mauro De Luca were offered the JP MCManus All Ireland Scholarships 2012. Former US President, Bill Clinton, made the presentation last November. Gary describes ‘his time in school as being very beneficial while also being a challenge’ He was ‘extremely relieved that his financial burden in college has been lifted.’
Mauro De Luca in accepting his award from Bill Clinton said that Colaiste Mhuire ‘fostered his love for physics and maths, and he felt honoured to be part of the school community’.
Leaving Secondary School
Catherine O’Connor is coming to Colaiste Mhuire on Thursday 17th January at 7.30 pm to give a talk to pupils and parents on the issues and preparations needed when a student leaves second level education. She will give a special talk to students during the day regarding motivation to study, study skills and decision making. We recommend all parents and students attend this talk, especially if you have a student in leaving cert. Parents of students in other schools are very welcome to attend this event. Many school career talks in the school have also been organised in the coming weeks and will be delivered by admissions officers from the many 3rd level colleges and universities.
The composition of the parents’ council is: Bernard Flynn (Chair), Sandra Neville (Vice Chair), Breda Ward (Secretary), Rita Gilmartin (Ass Secretary), Patricia Cronin (Treasurer), Jackie Costelloe (Ass Treasurer), John Hunt (PRO).
We hold our meetings on the first Wednesday of every month at 8.00pm. All are welcome and it is fair to say that we get a good turnout every month.
The National Parents’ Council is holding a meeting in Colaiste Mhuire on 5th March. All are welcome. As parents we are concerned about the national reduction in career guidance counselling. The big loser in this initiative is the student. This meeting will also give training to adults on participating in parents councils. The National Parents Council Post Primary has a very useful website www.npcpp.ie.
School Web Site
We encourage parents to check the school website (www.cbsmullingar.ie) regularly for any updates on activities and news about the school. Our Principal, Joe O’Meara, does an outstanding job on keeping it up to date and interesting.