'We try to plant the seed that it is possible to achieve whatever it is that they want'
Assumption Secondary School, Dublin 12
Over the past 10 years Assumption Secondary School in Dublin 12 has undergone a remarkable change that has seen it double the percentage of students it sends on to third level.
Principal Siobhain Hoey said this has come from instilling a can-do attitude in the girls studying there.
"Teaching students how to learn and enabling them to recognise their learning strengths is a fundamental aspect of our classroom activities," she said.
The Sunday Independent school league tables show that last year the school sent all of its students on to third level.
More than half of these (58pc) went on to university.
"We are very proud of our students both past and present," said Ms Hoey. "I am hugely impressed by the commitment of the school and the staff to the provision of an excellent all-round education for our diverse student body."
Over the past 10 years the school has worked at improving pathways for its students. Ms Hoey and deputy principal Ciara Cummins have tried to create an expectation among their students that college will be an option they take up post-Leaving Cert.
"They are the centre of the school universe. We expect them to work hard and we want them to have dreams. We don't want it to be an exception that a student goes on to third level, we want that to be an expectation. We try and plant the seed that it is possible for them to achieve whatever it is that they want."
Rather than standing still Ms Hoey is keen to see the school develop further.
There is a strong emphasis on STEM subjects and she hopes the development of new science labs in the school over the coming summer will help students who are already showing a keen interest in chemistry, biology and physics.
"Biology here is very strong and the up-take in chemistry is increasing so it can only serve to inspire children if they are going in to a new lab. There is great excitement about that."