Principals' advice as Leaving begins
SPARE a thought for Wexford students all over the county about to begin sitting their State exams.
The Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate Exams began on June 4 and will end on June 20, with 1,753 students expected to sit the Leaving Certificate in County Wexford.
That figure is split almost evenly between the sexes in the county, with 877 girls and 876 boys.
For the Applied Leaving Certificate Exams, which is a more practical and project based curriculum, a total of 139 Wexford students are expected to sit exams, a figure made up of 90 boys and 49 girls. Across the county, a total of 2,156 Junior Certificate pupils are due to sit exams, which are mooted for a more assement based course.
Robert O'Callaghan, Principal of St Peter's College, said the school has been been educating boys in Wexford for the past 203 years, and has some 110 boys sitting the Leaving Certificate and 132 pupils doing the Junior Certificate exams, over the next two weeks.
'My advice to the lads is to stay focused and keep going to the end, and to do the best they can. I wish them all the very best of luck,' he said.
He acknowledged that exam time is a difficult time for parents and students alike.
'Remember this is just a stepping stone to the next phase of their lives and don't forget to celebrate with your children when this whole process is over,' he said.
Principal of St Mary's Secondary School for girls in New Ross, John Michael Porter, said 103 girls were sitting the final years exams there with 114 students expected to sit the Junior Certificate exams.
He advised students to maintain a good balance of food, rest and exercise and to avoid cramming.
'I want to remind students that there is a good support system around them and to relax a bit and remember that they already have a good amount of work done,' he said.
'I ask parents to try and keep a sense of normality about the whole process at home and to try to sit and eat together as much as possible which can help to reduce the stress levels,' he added.
The Principal of Gorey Community School, Michael Finn, said his school expected 240 students to sit the standard Leaving Certificate exams there, with another 20 sitting the Applied Leaving Certificate exams and another 240 pupils sitting the Junior Certificate exams.
'My big advice for students over the next two weeks is to make sure they are eating well, and getting a full nights sleep and to avoid falling into the trap of staying up late at night studying because sleep deprivation and poor nutrition will reduce their performance,' he said.
Finn also advised parents to keep a watchful eye over their children and ensure they are sleeping and eating well.
'I'd ask parents to try to put up with their exam stressed children over the next fortnight because they are going to be cranky and a bit narky,' he said.
As one of the largest schools in the country with 1,550 pupils, a wide range of subjects are being examined, however Finn pointed out that there were two dates when students had exams that clashed.
'We have five students who are studying Japanese and Technology, both scheduled for the afternoon of June 20, so they will do Japanese as planned, then have a half hour supervised break, and then sit the exam they missed,' he said.
'Another four students, studying both Construction Studies and Classical Studies, have clashing exams a week earlier on Friday June 13,' he added.