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The end is in sight for Leaving Certs

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors


Well done to every single student in the Class of 2021! You have managed to navigate most of your senior cycle in the backdrop of a global pandemic, including undertaking over six months of online learning.

You have shown yourselves to be resilient, adaptive and committed to just getting on with things in spite of lots of challenges personally and educationally. Your families, teachers and society as a whole are proud of you so I hope you feel proud of yourselves.

After what may have seemed a long journey through times of uncertainty, difficult decisions around exams and accredited grades, the pressure of completing assignments, projects and assessments later than normal in Sixth Year, while also trying to study and revise – you are almost there now.

As you approach the final hurdle of the exams, keep in mind that while the Leaving Cert is an important exam and big milestone, it will not define you for the rest of your life. It may be hard to imagine that right now as you grapple with trying to balance last minute revision with the exam stress and anxiety that comes in as part of the Leaving Cert experience. Try to use that stress to drive you on rather than immobilise you.


After many years of supporting students before, during and after exams, I can tell you that regardless of what happens in each exam, you will have lots of options available to you and an interesting journey ahead. The following tips might help in the final days coming up to the exams and as you navigate your way through them.

TIPS FOR THE EXAMS


Stick to a good routine with a healthy balance in terms of revision, rest, fresh air, sleep and diet. Don’t be tempted to work late at night as it is usually unproductive and impacts on your concentration the following day.

Keep your social interactions with others to a minimum during the exams and encourage family members to do the same so as limit the chance of contracting COVID.

Have a schedule of the exams with the dates/time highlighted hanging up where it is obvious and visible at home and take a photo to save on your phone.

Set two alarms for the mornings of exams and allow lots of extra time. You will need to be in your assigned seat in the exam centre at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam on day one and 15 minutes before all other exams.


Don’t forget your face covering as they are required, so have a couple spare with any utensils needed for the exam.


Hydration is really important during the exams to help with concentration during longer papers, so make sure you have plenty water.
The first thing to do when you look at the paper is to read the instructions carefully, your teacher will have gone through these many times with you. Mark all the questions you are going to do and right out a quick time plan for yourself.


If you feel you are becoming really anxious, focus on controlling your breath to bring a sense of calm. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds, hold your breath for one, breathe out through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat for one minute.

Focus on exactly what you are being asked. The most common feedback from examiners is that students give a lot of irrelevant information so keep glancing back at the question to keep yourself on task to target the marks.


Try to avoid too much discussion after each paper. ‘Post-mortems’ of the exams are rarely helpful and can add to stress levels so once each exam is done, take a break and then move on to preparing for the next one.

In my eyes you are already achievers, survivors and future leaders for the brighter days that lie ahead. Go n-éirí libh ar fad, the very best of luck to each and every one of you!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 

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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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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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