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Relief for students as State exams finally begin

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Killarney Community College students Stefan Lajdar said it was easy enough once he got going.

Aoife O'Brien student of Killarney Community College said the first exam wasn't too bad.

Bharragh O'Shea from Killarney Community College felt his first exam went pretty well. "I thought it was easy."

Happy to get it over and done with was Adam O'Connor from The Sem.

Kayleigh O'Connor and Bethany Kelly pictured ahead of their Home Economics exam on Wednesday afternoon.

By Michelle Crean and Grigoriy Geniyevskiy

Although it was a Leaving Cert like no other - that didn't stop some students from feeling nerves and others relief - as they finally began their State exams on Wednesday morning.

After a mix of homeschooling due to the COVID lockdowns, it was a tough final year for the Sixth Years who at times had no idea if they final school exams would even go ahead.

Some have opted for no exams, while others want a mixture of Accredited Grades combined with the option to sit the exams.

And it all began on Wednesday morning as English Paper 1 was first up followed by Home Economics in the afternoon.

REACTION

For Killian O'Brien, a student in St Brendan's College, he said that there was no stress as he headed in.
"I'm grand out, not stressed at all."

George Griffin, also a student in St Brendan's College was glad to begin the final leg of his school journey and said he too felt grand about it.

"Predictable grades are a good backing to it, it levels out the stress."

His classmate Darren Counihan was "not too worried" about what was ahead of him.

"You can only go up in points, not down thanks to accredited points."

Luke Tindall, also a student in the school said he was alright and "not too stressed"

For Adam O'Connor there was some nerves.
"I'm feeling a bit of everything, but mostly stressed," he said. "I'm just waiting to get it done and over with."

In Killarney Community College Oliwia Bielanska spoke to the Killarney Advertiser after coming out of her first State exam.

"I was nervous at first, but once I started writing it was all good."

Aoife O'Brien from the same school said she was "kind of nervous" but that "it was fine".

"It wasn't too bad."

Stefan Lajdar, also a student in Killarney Community College said it went "alright".

"I finished a bit earlier. I was a bit under pressure before the exam, but it was easy enough. We have a backup with the predicted grades so it was fine."

A turbulent year

Principal of Killarney Community College, Stella Loughnane, acknowledged the uniqueness of this year. "This year has been a turbulent and emotional year for this particular Leaving Cert group. Thankfully, all of our students sitting these exams have the security of knowing they already have an accredited grade from their subject teacher and can really try to improve on that when sitting their chosen exams. I think this is of great comfort to students and will ease some of their nerves.The majority of our students have embraced this challenge and chosen to sit their exams."

She added that also this year there are a lot more COVID guidelines from both the Department of Health and the Department of Education that both the school and students must adhere to.

"This year has shown how adaptable our students are, therefore I don't believe they will cause too much fuss. However, like every other year, our students arrived with the age old butterflies in their stomachs but a willingness to begin their exams."

Sean Coffey, Principal of St Brendan's College said it was great to see the exams finally underway.

"It has been the most incredible two years for the students. This is as fair as you can get really. I would say the Sixth Years had a less disruptive year than other students as they had their eye on the prise and could see the finish line in sight."

Killarney Community College student Stefan Lajdar said it was easy enough once he got going.

Aoife O'Brien student of Killarney Community College said the first exam wasn't too bad.

Bharragh O'Shea from Killarney Community College felt his first exam went pretty well. "I thought it was easy."

Happy to get it over and done with was Adam O'Connor from The Sem.

George Griffin from St Brendan's College pictured before Wednesday's English exam.

Darren Counihan student from St Brendan's College said that he was not too worried ahead of the first exam on Wednesday.

Killian O'Brien from St Brendan's College said he wasn't feeling stressed before the first exam on Wednesday morning.

Katerina Polyakova and Maryia Casey from Killarney Community College pictured cramming in some last minute revision before Wednesday's Home Ec exam.

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The tax you’re really paying for your health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?” In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word. We have it, and we use it, and, […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?”

In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word.

We have it, and we use it, and, of course we pay for it. We justify the constant ratcheting-up of our tax burden to pay for rising health-care costs. That tax is on our wallets.

We also pay another type of tax: When we’re unhealthy, we don’t get to do the things we like. When we’re overweight, we don’t always say “YES!” when our kids ask to go to the swimming pool.
When we’re unfit, we don’t take our buddy’s invitation for a weekend hiking and camping trip. We can’t start jogging because our knees hurt; can’t lift weights because our back hurts; can’t cut down calories because we feel we need the energy.

Those things are taxes. Physical taxes, but they’re not the worst taxes we pay.

The worst tax we pay is the mental tax.

When we’re self-conscious about our fitness or health, we don’t want to start exercising. We don’t want to look dumb or fail.

We don’t want to start a new lifestyle because our families will say “good for you”, because they know we need it, or they’ll say “you don’t need that …” and lie. Or they’ll roll their eyes because they know we’ve failed before.

When we’ve been away from the gym for four months, we don’t want to do that first workout because we’re going to be last. It’s going to suck and we might get embarrassed.

SELF IMPOSED TAX

The Government makes us pay financial tax, but the other two – physical and mental – are self-imposed.

No one cares if you’re slow.

No one cares if you finish last.

No one cares if you blow your nutrition this week and have to start all over again.

You’d stop caring about what others thought about you if you realised how rarely they actually do.

Everyone thinks about themselves, mostly. That’s the tax they’re paying – and most of us overpay.

We’re taxed enough. Stop worrying about what you look like and start caring about what makes you feel good.

If you’d like to start taking steps in the right direction with your health and fitness, call in for a free consultation with us at Activate. Visit www.activate.ie/free-intro for more information.

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Tractor run raises €500 for charity

By Sean Moriarty Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019. 30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980. Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019.

30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980.

Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ on Lewis Road, the convoy travelled to the communications mast near Coolick in Kilcummin, where participants enjoyed views of the wider Castleisland district and Killarney Valley.

“Some of the drivers were never up there before and they were amazed with the views across the two valleys,” organiser Tom Leslie told the Killarney Advertiser.

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