Friday 24 January 2020

Video: Looking back on our time in secondary school

What we love to remember – and what we hoped we’d forget

Darragh Collins

When people look back at their time in secondary school it can provoke many emotions – from blissful reminisces to terror.

Irish secondary schools are often unique as many contain strict rules of discipline, religion, limited subject choices, under-developed facilities and the compulsory Irish language.

We spoke to some people of Dublin to find out what they remember – and what they’d rather forget. 

“I just think it was the craic and camaraderie,” said Peadar Gill when asked of the positive aspects of attending an Irish secondary school.

“A lot of Irish schools have small numbers and it’s easier to make friends,” he added.

The average number of students in the US high schools is 760 students. Irish schools generally have a much smaller number. Most of those we spoke to saw this as an advantage.

Ben O’Byrne said: “I found that until I got to Transition Year that I hadn’t done a whole pile of creative subjects. It was only in 4th year that we had a film making workshop and learned that it’s what I wanted to do, and I now make films for a living. I think more of an emphasis needs to be put on creativity.”

Eric Byrne said that although he thoroughly enjoyed his time in secondary school, he found attending a Catholic school to be a frustrating task:

“I was made go to confession from a young age, and that’s not something that I enjoyed. I knew even when I was a kid that it wasn’t something that I wanted to do.”

He also added that one of his greatest memories came on his 16th birthday,

“It was my 16th birthday and my mates and I had detention on a Saturday. We were all in together and it was the same day as the school was hosting an open day for kids in 6th class. There wasn’t a whole lot of supervision that day and we all just ran riot around the school going mad! It was great craic.”

Something that a lot of students enjoy about attending Irish schools is the relationship students have with teachers. Hannah O’Neill said:

“I remember hiding behind blinds and jumping out at teachers.”

Her friend Charlotte Morgan adds they typically wouldn’t get in trouble for messing like this:

“The teachers get in on it too.”

Check out to video above and leave a comment on what you think are the best/worst things about attending a school in Ireland.

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