September 2019: Our son has always been a well-motivated learner taught by committed teachers, and we have always been happy with his school experience. But the difference in his experience in Leinster Senior College was that there was absolute clarity about expectations. Everyone “kept their eye on the prize”, i.e. the purpose of this additional repeat year was to optimise Leaving Cert results and all energy was directed at this. The style of teaching was very tailored to this outcome & while it was clear that the Leinster Senior College teachers were working very hard, it was also clear that students had to match their effort. In my son’s case, this brought about what I can only describe as a seismic shift in achievement, netting him an additional 174 points. This massively exceeded our hopes and ensured that he was offered his CAO first choice in the first round.
Leinster’s clarity of purpose gave great security to students and contributed to their well-being over the year; prior to my son’s involvement with Leinster Senior College, I would have thought that it would have presented a very high pressure environment for students. But because the students are so well prepared, their stress levels were maintained at a very functional level. As someone who teaches in a mainstream voluntary secondary school, I would hope next year to bring some of that clarity of purpose into my own Leaving Cert classes.
Our son was truly valued & respected for the hard-working, conscientious student that he is, and given loads of affirmation, the result of which apart from securing the chosen college course, is that he is going to College with a very clear understanding that the outcome is shaped by the student input.
My husband is an associate university professor & many of his students have come to College without having made the connection between student work & student results. Getting into College is only the start of the challenge and this past year has built our son’s skills so that he is going to College on a wave of confidence, from all of us.
Frances Moloney and Dr. Philip Cummins (September 2019)
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