Delight as Gorey students receive Leaving Certificate results
After a long summer left waiting, over 1,800 students in Wexford received their Leaving Certificate results on a bright Tuesday morning and of those who had applied to the CAO, first round offers were then delivered last Tuesday afternoon.
There was a mixture of nerves and excitement as the Gorey students made their way to the school gates for one of the last times with their friends and families to collect the results.
Whether they sat the Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) or Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, there was a sense of togetherness as students met their academic reward after their five or six years of secondary school.
One Gorey Community School student, Emer O'Doherty, who had her heart set on studying medicine, was ecstatic to receive high scores across the board, being one to receive one of the highest number of points in the school and guaranteeing her desired course.
'I kept my head down for two years and balanced going out and having fun with studying. The Leaving Cert isn't the be all and end all, it's important to have a good time as well,' said Emer.
Therefore, she was able to separate time working from time off, do efficient study and make use of the time she set aside for it.
'You have to be able to pace yourself, you don't want to burn yourself out because you'll be learning new stuff in sixth year as well as revising. Organisation is half the battle as well as knowing what you're doing; that helps you to consistently keep going.
'My advice to someone going into this next year is to keep up sports and do what you enjoy doing, treat yourself when you do the hard work. I had so much support from the teachers at this school, they were accommodating of any extra help I needed to do well. My parents and principal Finn, they'd help with anything I needed and wanted,' said Emer.
Over in Creagh College, there was an atmosphere of calm as first in the door to collect his results was Cian Fitzgerald Byrne.
'I feel absolutely great, I can't believe it's all over with, done and dusted. I want to study health care support as a PLC in Enniscorthy. I'd like to thank my guidance counsellor, she has been so supportive along the way,' said Cian.
Ross Bannon was also delighted that he had passed.
'I'm very happy with what I got, I passed everything and I was worried before. I can go to college now and I want to go to Carlow IT to study electronic engineering. I'd like to thank my mam for supporting me and Mr Kelly for being my mentor throughout the whole thing.
'I'd say to other students about to do this to put the work in from fifth to sixth year, don't slack off early,' said Ross.
Dylan Broughal was beaming with joy at his results.
'I want to be a paramedic, so I'll go to Blackrock College and see how it goes. During the exams I didn't panic and I went on and got through it. Now I'd like to thank my friends, my family and the teachers,' said Dylan.
On the other side of town, there was a bit of a party atmosphere at Gorey Community School as students celebrated.
Leah Byrne and Jack Ryan both want to do business in Waterford IT together, and they were joined by their proud mothers as they left the school waving goodbye to their friends.
'I'm really happy, I got more than what I thought I would so I'll get my first choice for my course. To those coming in to sixth year, I'd say start studying straight away in September,' said Leah.
Jack agreed and said that he felt a huge sense of relief.
'I'm buzzing with excitement now as I was worried about higher level maths but I managed to pass it and get my bonus points from it. My mum and dad have always been so relaxed about results. Parents not putting pressure on you, that really helps. But cramming is not the way to do it,' said Jack.
Ava McDonald wants to do business in Waterford, but wishes to take German with it.
'I'm very happy and I think it was worthwhile to get the results that I wanted. I'd say to those coming in next year, don't stress out and put in the work as you go along and not just at the end. I want to say a special thanks to all the year head team, and my maths teacher,' said Ava.
Brendan Sheehan, who wants to be a farmer, and Eoin Murphy, who has an apprenticeship lined up, were happy for it all to be over and to finish out their school days.
Caoimhe Byrne said that the Leaving Certificate isn't all it's cracked up to be.
'I'm delighted, I didn't think it was going to go that well so I'll be off to student sports management and coaching in Blanchardstown IT. It's definitely not all it's worked up to be, there's more of a build up to it than anything. Collecting your results, you just have to go in and be positive about them because there's no more work that can be done to change them. Hopefully the people who are disappointed today will still come to the debs,' she said.
Elsewhere in North Wexford, students gathered at Coláiste Bhríde in Carnew and Coláiste an Átha in Kilmuckridge.
'We had 41 Leaving Certificate students and a 100% success rate overall. Students seemed generally happy with their results. The Leaving Certificate Applied students did extremely well and were thrilled. We were very fortunate to have such a lovely group of students and we are very proud of what they have achieved,' said principal of Coláiste an Átha Elizabeth Martin.
'Overall the results were very positive and rewarding, as 140 students sat their Leaving Certificate. We wish our students the very best as they await college offers, are starting or awaiting apprenticeships or those who have other plans for their future,' said principal of Coláiste Bhríde Carnew Lina Dunne.
Last week's results day had been brought forward while the appeals timeline is now shorter, reduced from eight weeks to five weeks, with post-appeal results confirmed by September 20.
Education Minister Joe McHugh said that the changes this year sought to move away from the concept of failure associated with state exams.
'I introduced a number of measures to try and alleviate the stress and burden experienced by some students,' he said.
Across the country, a total of five students received maximum grades when they collected eight H1s and some 58,787 students and adult learners sat the exams.
On a pilot basis this year, Leaving Cert students who suffered a close family bereavement during the exams were allowed to sit alternative papers in those subjects in July.