Galway Leaving Certs among the highest achievers in the country

Galway Leaving Cert students celebrated yesterday with most of the local secondary schools emerging with “outstanding results”.

Coláiste na Coiribe and Yeats College appeared to have the highest achievers, with one student in Coláiste na Coiribe achieving an outstanding 800 points, the equivalent to eight A1 higher level grades.

Craig Mac Liatháin’s grade was among the 13 highest in the country, maintaining Coláiste na Coiribe’s reputation as one of the top schools in the west. All the rest of the 31 students who sat this year’s Leaving Certificate also succeeded in the examination, with some securing extremely exceptional grades.

Private college Yeats wasn’t too far behind, with its students gaining exceptionally high grades in this year’s Leaving Cert. Laura Whitla from Barna achieved a whopping 700 points, with nine of her classmates reaching the maximum requirement of 600 points. Another 11 students attained 590 points, re-establishing Yeats as a centre of academic excellence. The school has just spent its first year in the newly built facility on College Road and principal Terry Fahy said the phenomenal results have made the first year in the new building a success.

“The vision for the school was to create a wonderful learning environment with inspirational teachers and state-of-the-art facilities. This has been successfully achieved in the blend of old and new - which sees a music room housing a grand piano, and two fitness rooms where students can attend classes or work out four evenings a week in conjunction with their structured academic timetable,” said Principal Fahy.

“This years’ results have been truly magnificent and we are attributing this success to our diligent students who have made us very proud, our outstanding teaching staff, and our unique individual student centred approach.”

Despite widespread reports of a 12 per cent national failure rate in the mathematics exam, the Yeats and Coláiste na Coiribe principals maintain that this trend did not affect their schools.

Park College also achieved excellent grades this year, with the highest scoring student attaining 585 points. Principal Patricia Maloney said this year’s maths results have surpassed the national average, with 100 per cent of honours maths students scoring a C grade and above.

Calasanctius College in Oranmore also celebrated yesterday, with principal Joe Harrison identifying the results as a “hallmark of excellence”. A number of students achieved the maximum 600 points with numerous others attaining 500 points and above.

Local Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey yesterday extended his congratulations to all Galway students, parents, and teachers, following the release of the Leaving Certificate results for 2008. “I want to extend my best wishes and congratulations to the 3,159 Galway students who received their examination results today. They should be proud of what they have achieved.”

“The Leaving Certificate is a very important exam but regardless of the results they achieve in it, students have plenty of options available to them for third level education or training opportunities,” said Deputy Fahey.

“The Minister for Education and Science, Mr Batt O’Keeffe, has also asked students who have performed well in the areas of science and maths to think carefully about choosing courses in the science, engineering and technology sectors. These areas offer qualifications which are in high demand with good career prospects.”

Deputy Fahey added, “Assistance is also available from guidance counsellors at the following helplines - National Parents’ Council (Post Primary ) Helpline 1800 265 165 and The Irish Times College Helpline 1800 946 942.”

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