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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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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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