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What the School Roadmap means for the Class of 2021

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The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by all students and the loss of face-to-face teaching hours experienced by the incoming exam students in September has been of major concern to students, parents and teachers. The long awaited guidelines published by the Government earlier this week, ‘Reopening Our Schools – The Roadmap for the Full Return to School’, have addressed the concerns in relation to incoming third and sixth year students. It has been recognised that in light of the huge disruption to classroom teaching, changes are needed in relation to assessment for certificate for these exam students. The detailed arrangements in relation to the Junior Certificate examinations in 2021 will be made available before the start of the school year, but the guidelines clearly state the number of classroom based assessments to be completed by those entering third year has been reduced and the dates of completion of some elements will be extended into the new school year.

Leaving Cert Class of 2021

The Department have also recognised that some changes will be needed in the assessments for students sitting the traditional Leaving Cert, Leaving Cert Applied and Leaving Cert Vocational Programme in 2021. There is no plan to change the structure of questions or the assessment components as both students and teachers are very familiar with these and have been planning towards them all through fifth year. The changes will vary across subjects but in all cases they will involve some combination of the following:

* Students will be provided with greater choice in written exams through the provision of additional questions and/or adjustments to mandatory sections on written examination papers.

* The dates on which coursework briefs are issued will be brought forward to allow extra preparation time for students and teachers.

*In some subjects, changes to the requirements for practical exams will be made to reflect the need to manage access to equipment necessary to complete such exams.

* In the case of LCA students, the number of tasks to be completed will be reduced from three to two.

* Arrangements for the examination of the tasks, to include interviews, will be based on the most up-to-date public health advice.

Additional supports to students

As well as the adjustments to the examinations the Government has placed emphasis on supporting student well-being across all year groups in the transition back to the school environment and during the ongoing stress and anxiety caused to young people during the pandemic. An allocation of 1,080 additional teaching posts, including 120 guidance counsellor posts, will be provided to ensure that students are getting optimum teaching and learning opportunities as well the personal, social, educational and vocational support that is so badly needed at any time, but particularly at a time of uncertainty. Full details of the Roadmap can be assessed on www.assets.gov.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore & PRO of Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She can be contacted on careerfocusnow@gmail.com.

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Local soprano releases new single

Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single. Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday. ‘Before […]

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Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single.

Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday.

‘Before You Leave Me’ has a Jazz influence. Mary has been writing her own songs since March this year covering several different genres.

“Tony O’Flaherty of Sonas Studios has brought my songs to life and I am delighted with the production on the songs,” Mary told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Fun Urban Orienteering event coming to Killarney town

The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30. Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in […]

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The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.
Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30.

Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in Ireland hope that this year’s event will inspire even more people than previous years and has funded multiple flagship as well as local events run by the Network of Local Sports Partnerships, including this ‘Family Street Orienteering Kerry’ event.

“This free event looks to offer everyone an opportunity the get out and be active and maybe try something new,” Gearóid O Doherty, the Coordinator of Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership said. 

“Urban Orienteering is an activity that you can do on your own or with your family and friends. You get to challenge yourself a little and still go at a pace that suits you – and what a beautiful location to do it all in, Killarney town!

“With many people possibly new to the Kerry region, be that through work, college or otherwise, this is an ideal way to get involved in the community and explore the streets and lanes of Killarney in a fun and active way.”

The Kerry Orienteers Club have designed the courses for this event and are looking forward to the excitement of it all and helping those new to the sport to continue taking part in the months and years that follow.

“We know that, for a lot of people, this will be their first time trying orienteering, but they can rest assured, as we will be there to talk them through it and help them out if needed,” Brendan O’Brien from Kerry Orienteers said.

“If it is something they want to try again, we can signpost them to other events, both locally here in Kerry and indeed nationally. Orienteering is a fantastic sport that allows you to build your skills and confidence, with all events having a variety of routes to cater for all levels.”

To cater for physical distancing and government guidelines, there are several staggered start times for participants to choose from, beginning at 6pm and the last group heading off at 7.30pm. With free t-shirts for all who sign up and additional workshops onsite, from the likes of Leave No Trace Ireland, it is sure to be a fun and vibrant evening, all stemming from the start point at ANAM – Killarney’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Places are limited for this event. Free online registration is available and those looking to attend are encouraged to book their place early to avoid disappointment.

For more information, you can visit any of the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership social media accounts or go to www.sportireland.ie.

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