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Take time to think about what is best for you!

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The announcement by Education Minister Norma Foley that Leaving Cert students are to be given a choice between opting for Accredited Grades, sitting Leaving Cert Exams or the option to do a mixture of the two, has been broadly welcomed by students. Most of the students I have spoken to are relieved that there is a choice. However, for many of you that has raised lots more questions and worry about how to choose which option is best. My advice is to look carefully at the information as it becomes available in the coming weeks before deciding what the best choice is for you personally. In the meantime engage with your online work and study and try to stay as focused as you can on the end goal – to get through the Leaving Cert and beyond it!

 

The Choices

Accredited Grades: You will have the option to opt in to receive State Examination Commission (SEC) Accredited Grades via the student examinations portal on a subject by subject basis. Just like was the case for the Class of 2020, these grades will be based on the professional judgement of the teacher, will go through a form on in-school alignment and then will be subject to the national standardisation process, details of which have not yet been issued. The closing date of student work that can be taken into account for the SEC-Accredited Grades process will be May 14. The Minister has said that the oral and coursework component of the exams will not form part of the Accredited Grade process. Schools will close on May 28 to allow for the administration part of the grading process to take place.

Leaving Cert & LCA Exams: The timetables for the Leaving Cert exams which are due to start on Wednesday, June 9 are now available on www.examinations.ie. You will have the option of doing one, some or all of the exams and details of when and how to register will be issued in due course. Orals, coursework and practicals where it is possible to do them, will form part of the examination process. Orals are expected to take place over the Easter holidays and practicals where possible soon after that.

The option to do both in some or all subjects: You may opt for a mixture of Accredited Grades and written exams for some or all of the subjects. In this case, if there is a difference between the grades for any of the subjects you will get the benefit of the better grade on results day. It is envisaged that results will be issued at the normal time in mid-August. Students will get only one set of results (the better result in each subject) and a few days later specific information on the breakdown will be issued through the student portal for a limited time and students will be informed about the appeals process.

The SEC’s Candidate Portal is expected to open in the week March 8 to allow students to make choices. You will need to register, confirm your subjects and levels and then opt for the exams and/or the SEC Accredited Grades. Further details will be issued in advance. There will be no fees payable for the 2021 exams or for SEC Accredited Grades.

There is a lot to take in and think about over the coming weeks. It may be a difficult decision to make but remember you have nothing to lose by opting for both. Getting back to face to face teaching and learning will bring a much needed boost to those of you who have been struggling with working remotely and being back in the classroom with friends and teachers will bring a renewed sense of energy and reassurance in this really difficult time.

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The secret is in the book!

By Michelle Crean  The secret to finding your true happiness is all in a new book which will guide readers to unlock their potential. Brazilian native Michelle Hadad, who moved to Ireland 14 years ago has written ‘The Secret Box: Concave and Convex’, a 432 page book which addresses the issues of suicide and develops into […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

The secret to finding your true happiness is all in a new book which will guide readers to unlock their potential.

Brazilian native Michelle Hadad, who moved to Ireland 14 years ago has written ‘The Secret Box: Concave and Convex’, a 432 page book which addresses the issues of suicide and develops into two different narratives.

It is also a follow up to her previous work ‘The Secret Box…Finding the Key’, a 192 page paperback launched by Michael Healy-Rae TD and reviewed by now retired judge James O’Connor, in October 2017.

Michelle, who studied adult psychology and is a NLP practitioner who encourages clients to transform limiting self-beliefs, explains that this version continues the story of Maria from the first book.

In the first book, the reader compares and contrasts their own life experiences with those of Maria and ask themselves the very question posed at the end of the book in the final chapter or ‘Padlock 13’ – “who are you?”

“Readers are outside the box, they see their own stories – that’s when we judge others,” Michelle told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It is fiction and the story is in two versions, the positive is bigger than the negative. There is always hope regardless of pain.”

She added that people need to forget about what others think, and focus on their own values and traditions.

“It’s a self help book, it doesn’t matter what people think of us, life’s too short. I’m motivating people in a positive way because of my NLP and psychology qualification.”

However, she emphasised that readers don’t have to have read the first book to understand the second one.

“Maria is the leading figure and there’s a few characters from book one but you don’t have to read that to get book two.”

She added that she’s thankful to everyone who helped her along the way.

“I have been blessed to have met so many people to help with my books.”

Both books are available from O’Connor’s Centra, The Reeks and Horans Health Store on Beech Road.

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Green light for teen accommodation

By Michelle Crean  Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.

An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.

The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.

The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.

The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.

The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.

Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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