Dillon Lahart and Shane Byrne (right) at Piper's Hill College, Naas today.
The 2017 Leaving Certificate results were welcomed by principal Ben Travers at Naas CBS where 170 students sat the exams in June.
“We had six students with more than 600 points and a lot of them got over 500. But moreover the lads who found the academic side a challenge also did well and got what they wanted and this was rewarding to see. This was team approach, embracing parents as well as teachers. It was a fabulous year”, said Mr. Travers.
The “Magnificent Six” are Sean Behan, Aaron Fitzpatrick, Conor Casey, Conor Bergin, Ben Blackburne and Rian Keogh.
Many of the students taking the exams at St. Mary’s College got more than 500 points and a number exceeded the 600 points barrier, said principal Rita McCabe.
“Despite the change in the marking system our grades have held up and this means that they are above the national average and in some cases, well above that average,” said Ms McCabe. Almost a third of the St. Mary’s College students got over 500 points.
Ms McCabe said some students who did the exam are awaiting confirmation that they will secure college places to study courses like medicine or dentistry.
A total of 147 students sat the exam at the school, including one girl who achieved a H1 - the highest possible - in Russian, having studied the subject on her own because it’s not on the school curriculum.
Piper's Hill College principal Colm O'Connor said his school welcomed the new grading system and said the detailed marking system offered more information about how the students fared. Some 150 students sat the exam at PHC.
"We never before had as many students achieving 500 points prior to this year and I'm quite positive about the outcome. Our Maths results were very good and our failure rate was very low. Our students also did very well in the Science subjects and these are equally strong," said Mr. O'Connor.
Senan O’Connor of Piper's Hill College got many more points than he needed to embark on a career as a chef via the Culinary Arts course at DIT.
“I’m incredibly happy. My course was low points but I still did a lot better than I expected. I never thought I wouldn’t get the course but I did better than I expected,” said Senan, who took honours papers in Maths, Engineering and DCG.
The results got a slightly mixed welcome from St. Mary’s College student Siobhan Johnson who will likely win a place on a law course - but not at her preferred college. “Overall though I’m happy to get the course I wanted,” said Siobhan.
“I found the higher Geography paper to be very difficult, but on balance I’m happy with the results and I passed everything,” said Siobhan.
Michelle Da Costa, also a St. Mary’s student, struggled with Economics (higher) but is still hopeful of getting a place at NUI Maynooth to pursue an Arts degree. “I got the points I needed but this still might not be enough if there is a big demand for places,” said Michelle.
Mindaugas Bartkevicius (Naas CBS) said he was “really happy” with the outcome. “I’ve enough points to do a course with the aim of becoming a merchant marine at the National Maritime College of Ireland.” the NMCI is based at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork. Mindaugas came here from Lithuania at the age of four.
He picked up his results at the school with friend Victor Plop. “I thought the exam was tough at the time and I was worried about some subjects like honours English but I think now I will get a place in the Business and Marketing course at DIT. Victor comes from Moldova and has been living here for 14 years.