THE CONCEPT of pathetic fallacy is one that most Leaving Cert English students should be familiar with and since the sun was shining high over the Sacred Heart Secondary Secondary School and nearby Rice College last Wednesday morning, the omens should have been good. And they were, by all accounts.
Both principals, Mary Ryan and Michael Rabbette had broad smiles on their faces when The Mayo News called by to check out how this country’s up-and-coming leaders were faring in the exam stakes.
It is 9.40am and Donna Hestor from Newport is nervously tearing open her big brown envelope. She hopes to do Primary School teaching at St Patrick’s Drumcondra or at the Marino Institute of Education. Things are looking good as she scans her points before returning to her waiting mother.
Inside, longtime Principal, Mary Ryan is congratulating the next student. Suspended emotion is etched on her face as she tears open her results. The broad smile and loosening shoulders tell a happy tale.
Ninety girls – 14 of which sat the Leaving Cert Applied – sat the State exam here this year.
“Across the board we are very happy,” Mary Ryan said. “The results are very solid and once again we are above the national average with a lot of students achieving over 400 points. We also have students who achieved excellent results in languages, including Chinese, Bulgarian, Lithuanian and Russian.”
Responding to a Mayo News question about the high national failure rate in Maths and Science, she said: “We are one of the pilot schools doing Project Maths, an innovative new programme introduced through the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment). We are the only one in Connaught and one of 24 schools in the entire country.
“The whole idea was to make Maths more interesting and adaptable. So naturally we were a little worried but we are really happy with our results. This new programme will be introduced nationally from September.”
Praising the students for their good results, she also complimented the teachers, and parents. “None of this would have happened if there wasn’t great collaboration without the entire school community working together,” she added.
UP the road in Rice College, the soon to be formally appointed Principal, Michael Rabbette, was also in high spirits.
“These lads were an awful solid bunch. They practically all got what they wanted and a lot of them got over 500 points, with one student achieving 585 and we had a student who got an A1 in Higher Level Maths.
“From the word go, they asked could they do Saturday study, which was then paid for by the Board of Management. On average about 30 of them turned up each weekend from 10am to 3.30pm. That shows their commitment.
“They are the type who will stay in education and value how it will further their careers. It was such a pleasure to have them in the school over the last five or six years,” Mr Rabbette said.
While some of the students preferred to mull over their results quietly and privately, Matthew Conlon from Rosmoney was happy to share his good fortune with The Mayo News.
“I am absolutely delighted with my results. I got what I wanted and I am going to do Business Information Studies in Galway. But first I am looking forward to meeting all the Leaving Certs tonight in Westport to celebrate, we deserved it after a hard year.”