It has been a difficult couple of weeks for Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied students as you grappled with making decisions about accredited grades and exams. Regardless of what choices you have made, the important thing now is to plan out your time between this and the written exams so that you can pace yourself properly. Make sure you are clear on all the deadlines and key dates and try to stay as focused as you can on the end goal – to get through the Leaving Cert and beyond it to brighter times for everyone.
This past week brought announcements on further changes to be made to written exam papers to give more choice to candidates. The full document can be found on www.examinations.ie. Make sure you take time over the Easter holidays to check the detail of the changes for your particular subjects so that you can use your time more effectively and efficiently in the run up to the exams. Many of you are taking oral exams and music practicals over the Easter holidays, and while they are being conducted under different circumstances this year give them your very best shot as they are a great way of picking up marks that will boost your grade when added to the written paper. Orals for Leaving Cert Applied students will take place from May 3 to 12, the practical performance test will take place from May 17 to 21, and interviews for LCA practical coursework will begin on June 8.
Use a three step approach
To help you to plan out your use of time and to make sure you can pace yourself over the coming months I recommend a three stage plan as follows:
1) Put together a calendar for yourself between here and the end of the exams and mark in all the important dates that are relevant to you and the subjects you are doing. This will help you to feel organised and stay focused on the priorities on a weekly basis. A list of revised completion dates for coursework (including projects) has been issued by the State Exams Commission and is available on www.examinations.ie, as well as the timetable for the written exams which will run from June 9 to 29. Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP) Link Modules final exam will take place on Saturday May 8 and the Computer Science exam will take place on Saturday May 22.
2) Do out a weekly timetable at the beginning of each week including the important dates and deadlines for you that week, list your tasks that are a priority including written assignments and/or revision and don’t forget to include well-being activities such as fresh air and exercise as well as a productivity reward for yourself at the end of the week!
3) For the Easter holidays and weekends up to the exams do out a daily revision plan including your time slots for study, tasks you need to complete, topics you need to cover, and don’t forget your well-being breaks and activity!
It has been a stressful year so far, so use the time over the Easter holidays to recharge the batteries. It is also a great time to do further research into the course and career options you are considering for after the Leaving Cert. There is still plenty of time to look at college courses, post-Leaving Cert courses, apprenticeships and traineeships. Try to strike a balance between rest, relaxation and revision so that you can pace yourself in the final term to work well up to and including assessments for accredited grades and the written papers. All your effort will be worth it in the end!
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Chance to win a house in Killarney and support Kerry GAA
The Kerry GAA County Board has launched a ‘Win A House draw’ for a new house in Killarney . Funds raised by the draw will go towards the running expenses of the various Kerry football and hurling teams. The three-bed house is located in the Ceide Spris development just off the Park Road is built […]
The Kerry GAA County Board has launched a ‘Win A House draw’ for a new house in Killarney
Funds raised by the draw will go towards the running expenses of the various Kerry football and hurling teams.
The three-bed house is located in the Ceide Spris development just off the Park Road is built to modern energy standards, it represents a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved at a cost of €100 which will go a long way to supporting Kerry GAA.
“As a volunteer-based organisation, we have always had to fundraise to support our teams and clubs. We are delighted to be in a position to have a dream house available for a lucky winner,” Kerry GAA PRO Leona Twiss.
“While only one person can win the house, there will be plenty of cash prizes and match tickets to be won along the way. The sooner you purchase your ticket, the better chance you will have at winning those additional prizes.”
To enter the draw visit: https://www.kerrygaa.ie/winahouseinkerry/
More great choices for large shrubbery
Following last week’s article on large shrubs, I received many comments, suggestions and questions, leading me to believe that there were quite a few people unsure of what to plant in a large space. I felt at the end of the article there were definitely more plants for that list so here are some […]
Following last week’s article on large shrubs, I received many comments, suggestions and questions, leading me to believe that there were quite a few people unsure of what to plant in a large space.
I felt at the end of the article there were definitely more plants for that list so here are some more great choices for the large shrubbery.
The bottlebrush, or Callistemon, is named appropriately for the shape of its flowers which are bottle-brush like spikes of many small flowers with long stamens, giving it that brush like appearance. Usually red, they are also available in yellow and pink. They flower in summer and into autumn adding a lovely splash of colour. Their leaves are hard and spiky with arching branches. Cut them back immediately after flowering or they will not flower the following year. If they do grow out of hand, they will tolerate a hard cut back.
Ceanothus, or the Californian lilac, is an often evergreen shrub bearing dark blue flowers. There are several sizes from the low creeping C. repens, to the tree like proportions of C. thyrsiflorus. An ideal candidate for the large border is C. ‘Gloire de Versailles’, which has large blue flowers from July to the end of autumn, (deciduous), or C. ‘Southmead’ which has dark blue flowers in early spring (semi-evergreen), or C. ‘Blue Mound’ which has deep blue flowers (evergreen). I find with all ceanothus that their flowering times seem to be very weather dependant!
Forsythia is a large common shrub which flowers early in spring before the leaves appear. I mention it as it seems to have gone out of fashion completely, though it adds such a fantastic yellow brightness in those dark February days.People often complain that it either grows out of all proportions or that it does not flower. If pruning, do so immediately after flowering. ‘Golden Nugget’ is possibly one of the smaller varieties at a natural five foot.
An unusual, but well worth finding plant is the Sorbus reducta. It is a low 1-1.5m type of mountain ash, with all the great features of its larger tree relatives! It forms a thicket – yes, it does sucker, but does not take over, has white flowers followed by dark red berries which fade to a creamy colour. Like most mountain ashes, its autumn colour is blazing!
Butterfly bushes, buddleja, are a much maligned plant as it can self seed and become a bit of a nuisance. However, it does not really self seed much in gardens where the conditions are not ideal, (ideal conditions – derelict, dry, stony waste land). Most cultivated varieties are sterile, so there is no reason to avoid them! B. colvilei is a very unusual variety, being semi-evergreen with large panicles of tubular dark pink flowers – these clusters can reach up to 20cm. B. davidii is the common butterfly bush and is available in a range of colours such as ‘Black Knight’, deep, deep purple, ‘Empire Blue’, blue flowers with orange centre, ‘Royal Red’, deep pink/maroon. One of my favourites is ‘Harlequin’ which has variegated leaves. There is a range of smaller butterfly bush available too; the ‘buzz’ series.
These remain compact, up to 1m, however their flowers are not quite as impressive! To remedy that, plant breeders have come up with a new variety – the ‘Rocketstar’ series. I have only just planted one, but it promises a diminutive 80cm with the same large flowers as large varieties have. If this plant does what its creators claim, it will certainly be a hit in my garden!
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