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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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New Fexco partnership to create 75 jobs

Kerry based financial technology and business services company Fexco and digital services company, TEKenable have announced a strategic partnership to help create 75 new jobs by 2025. The Fexco Managed Services […]

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Kerry based financial technology and business services company Fexco and digital services company, TEKenable have announced a strategic partnership to help create 75 new jobs by 2025.

The Fexco Managed Services and TEKenable partnership will see both organisations co-invest in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Products and Salesforce Cloud Solutions and Services aimed at improving their collective customers end-to-end experience across both Irish and UK markets.

This partnership combines TEKenable’s experience in providing Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultancy, development, and support services to their customers, with Fexco’s experience of premium operational delivery, customer management and process optimisation experts. This partnership will also see the creation of 75 new jobs by 2025, with roles created within Digital Customer Experience, Predictive Customer Behaviour Analysis, and Automation & Operational Efficiency services.

“This partnership will help us build on our collective strengths, and deliver the perfect blend of premium operational expertise, support, and resources to maximise the potential of Microsoft Dynamics 365 in improving our customers’ digital end to end experience,” Martin Ryan, Managing Director of Fexco Managed Services and Advisory Services, said.

“This will see us and TEKenable collaborate across multiple sectors and reinforce our position as trusted advisors who deliver transformative services for our clients.”

TEKenable was founded in 2002 by Nick Connors and Peter Rose is an innovative technology company focused on delivering digital services through Low Code platforms to medium and large-scale enterprises in Ireland, UK and EMEA.

Nick Connors, Managing Director with TEKenable added that “this partnership will see us work with Fexco Managed Services to bring solutions, products and services offerings that will fundamentally change the end-to-end experience of both our customers, and their customers”.

“We predict that we will see growth from a combination of existing and new clients over the coming three years.”

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Headford man’s 1948 Jaguar the star of car run

A staggering 157 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles took part in the 12th annual Car and Honda 50 Run, organised by Ballymac Vintage Club on Sunday. The O’Riada’s Bar […]

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A staggering 157 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles took part in the 12th annual Car and Honda 50 Run, organised by Ballymac Vintage Club on Sunday.

The O’Riada’s Bar and Restaurant-based event raised money for the nearby Glanageenty Walkways and followed a new for 2022 route via Ballymac, Raemore, Knocknagoshel, Brosna, and Mount Eagle before the finish line in the Mart Yard in Castleisland.

Gerard Healy from Knockysheehan, Headford, Killarney had the oldest cars on the run.

He has owned his 1948 Jaguar Mark 4 saloon for the last seven years.

“This car was manufactured in Coventry after World War Two,” he said. “And it was then shipped to Ireland in kit form to avoid high import duty on complete cars. It was reassembled in Dublin and painted emerald green. This is a Sligo car, the first owner was a Miss Teresa Ferry, it was very unusual for a lady to own a car in those days.”

The car was then sold to a vicar and then a soldier before, somehow, ending up in The Netherlands. There it underwent a full restoration in 1999.

Gerard bought the car from a restorer called Roberto Verboon.

“I was proud to bring the car back to Ireland,” he added.

Thanks to generous support from local businesses and sponsors including O’Riada’s and BG Motors over €500 worth of spot prizes were handed out on the day.

Listry’s Tony and Kay Darmody were prize winners after judges were impressed with their Hillman Minx Convertible.

George Carey from Tralee won the motorcycle award with his finely turned out 1986 Honda 90.

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