'The aim is for every student to become the best version of themselves'
Christian Brothers College, Cork
There are few certainties in life. But one virtual certainty is that if you sit your Leaving Cert at Christian Brothers College (CBC) in Cork, you are going on to third level education.
CBC has been consistently listed among the best secondary schools in Ireland in terms of third level placement - with a 100pc rate of student progression to third level since 2014.
In the past decade, almost 100pc of all CBC Leaving Cert students went on to third level education.
CBC principal David Lordon says the credit for such an impressive commitment to third level education extends from CBC's teachers to parents and the students themselves.
Founded 130 years ago, CBC now has over 900 pupils in its secondary school and 150 students in its adjacent preparatory school. It operates with 65 teaching staff and is currently planning an ambitious redevelopment including a state-of-the-art new five-storey school building.
Mr Lordon credits the 100pc third level placement rate to a long-standing school culture of hard work and commitment to excellence.
"All stakeholders - from teachers to students and parents - are fully committed to this," he says.
"When our students come here they are happy to be here and they want to be here.
"They become part of CBC and CBC becomes part of them."
The aim, he explains, is for every student to become the best version of themselves possible.
"We are blessed with the teachers we have here in CBC. They are committed to offering the best possible education to students and are very aware that education is always evolving and always developing - it is never static.
"Our teachers are a living embodiment of what we are trying to achieve."
Mr Lordon says the school understands that it doesn't just help students to reach third level, it must prepare them for the next stage of their academic careers and adult lives.
"We have a responsibility to give them the building blocks so that when they are there, their third level experience is successful."
Over the past 10 years three CBC students - Conor Durkan, Rory Crotty and Alex Burke - achieved the highest marks nationwide in the Leaving Cert.
In 2018, 12 academic university scholarships were awarded to CBC Leaving Cert students.
But CBC is also very proud of its commitment to non-academic activities.
The school traditionally ranks as one of the powerhouses of Irish schools rugby and proudly counts Ireland and Munster star Donncha O'Callaghan among its past pupils.
The school has also recently deepened its involvement in Gaelic games, recently making it to the semi-finals of the Dr Harty Cup, the most prestigious schools hurling competition in Munster, and beating several proud hurling schools along the way.
The school also works hard to instil civic values in its student body, participating in a range of charitable fundraising campaigns and social justice initiatives. Through the Christian Brothers, students participate in a special Zambia Immersion Project which sees them travel to the African country to see at first hand the importance of development work.
A member of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust and a sister school to CBC Monkstown in Dublin, CBC has as its motto Certa Bonum Certamen or 'fight the good fight'. Since 1888, it is a motto the school has proudly lived up to.