Le Chéile Secondary School, in Tyrrelstown in West Dublin first opened its doors on Mill Street in September 2014. The ‘school with no books’ is a Catholic school that is inclusive of students from all cultures and backgrounds.
The school culture is built upon a mutual respect between students and staff, that celebrates diversity and aims to ensure that the school building is a place of safety and collective learning. Now, students who began first year on the same day the school opened, embark on the most important educational journey of their lives as they prepare for the Leaving Certificate examinations that will take them forward into further and third level education.
On 22 May, the school was recognised for its efforts during last years’ College Awareness Week. Principal Dr. Áine Moran speaks about receiving the award:
“This is a special and momentous time in our school. Next month, our first group of 41 students who have been with us from the beginning will graduate. We strive to educate the whole person, spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually, and we are constantly trying to inform our students about the possibilities in life and education, and to receive an award acknowledging our efforts and ethos from College Awareness Week is really exciting”.
Le Chéile are one of 10 recipients of a 2018 CAW Supporter Award with recognition also going to primary schools, other secondary schools, Further Education Training Institutes, one Education Training Board, a library and an Institute of Technology.
Speaking ahead of the award presentation, Head Girl and Leaving Certificate student in Le Chéile Secondary School, Andrea Bayer described her personal experience with College Awareness Week, and how it helped to inform her post-secondary decisions:
“The College Awareness Week initiative in our school was extremely helpful. If you were confused on what colleges to pick on your CAO and if you didn’t get to go to the Open Days , the speakers from different colleges helped to clarify any questions. It was really helpful to talk to teachers during this week also, especially teachers that studied an area of similar interest to me like Law and I could talk to them about the different clubs and societies they participated in during college”.
Last year, 243 second level schools were involved with College Awareness Week, up from 133 in 2017 which represents 34% of all secondary school in Ireland. 57% of all schools that participated in CAW 2018 were DEIS.
Marking the occasion, Clive Byrne, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals submits:
“Education is for everyone, and it is for a lifetime. The benefits of education cannot be overstated. The positive effects of education is not limited to the individual, buts spreads widely among their families communities, society, and most importantly, is passed on through generations.”
“The goal of College Awareness Week is to raise awareness of the value of education among the communities that can benefit from it the most, with specific encouragement of participation among those groups who are underrepresented in education. Our goal is to see the ripple effects of education spread through the country. For Le Chéile Secondary School, this is a significant milestone in achieving that goal”.
College Awareness Week was founded within the Trinity Access Programmes, and is supported by official sponsor, Perrigo, a pharmaceutical company focussed on providing Quality, Affordable Self-Care Products™. Perrigo is the only non-governmental sponsor of CAW and staff are also involved in student mentoring. There are a range of other organisations involved also, such as SOLAS, the Higher Education Authority, the Union of Students in Ireland, the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals and Trinity College Dublin.