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secondary school in Cork City/County

  • 27-07-2011 10:26am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 12


    I'm doing some research into secondary schools in Cork City and County. Ideally I would like to send my son to a mixed, non-religious school but I'm in doubt whether such a thing exists. He is academically very gifted and loves sport. My husband and I work from home, so we can relocate quite easily if necessary. I have been thinking about Pres, CBS, Spioraid Naomh, Ballincollig, Ashton, Bandon Grammar. Local schools for us would currently be Bantry and Schull but I think a move closer to Cork may be wiser for all of us. I'd be interested in any advice, recommendations, warnings you may have for me. Many thanks.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭tommy21


    From the experience relayed by my friends, particularly relating to the type of classmate your son might have (so purely subjective and doubt everyone will agree with what some would call an elitist view), avoid Ashton and Ballincollig.

    Pres and CBS - not sure really, they are fee paying too (although you could argue that about most schools, they are just considerably more) so keep that in mind.

    Can't say re other ones.

    I went to an all-Irish mixed school in Cork, non-religious - Colaiste an Phiarsigh in Glanmire - I disliked the rigor of school generally (!)but the school itself could be what you are looking for in terms of a high standard of teaching for the most part, various sports (hurling and basketball in particular) and a string of past students who have gone on to bright futures.

    Advice - think about where you want to send him to college and plan for that when deciding where to live.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12 ClareML


    Thanks Tommy21.

    High standard of teaching and sport. Yes please. And elitist is unfortunately what we are looking for, as I can already sense a braking factor caused by the less academic pupils (families) in his class.

    However I'm afraid I don't really support the all-Irish ethos. In addition my huband is Scottish and likes to be involved in the education side of things, so it will have to be an English speaking school.

    Pres and CBC keep coming up, so maybe that's the way to go. Having lived in Germany for over 20 years, it just seems so old-fashioned to go to an all-boys Catholic school.

    I agree that university is a costly affair if students can't live at home like I did. We are certainly bearing that in mind although, of course, he may choose not to study in Cork.

    Thanks again for your help.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,562 ✭✭✭eyescreamcone


    Any views on Bandon Grammar School??

    How would it rate academically with PBC or CBC???


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 59 ✭✭dodger50


    ClareML wrote: »
    I can already sense a braking factor caused by the less academic pupils (families) in his class.

    Oh dear, I feel you are facing disappointment whatever you choose. I believe that CBC and Pres both have mixed ability classes to start with so if you don't want your child educated with plain ordinary average people you should look elsewhere!
    That being said, if your child has a Mathematical bent I would choose CBC as they bring in very good results in the Maths/Physics area. I would choose Pres otherwise.
    All our children are gifted in different ways.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,708 ✭✭✭Balmed Out


    Friends of mine have gone to Ashton, Pres, CBC and Sproid Naoimh.

    Ashton is very good at giving people a rounded education but poor academically. People I know who went there have made life long friends and mix well with other groups. They do well at business subjects where one of the teachers is apparently very good.

    Press and CBS would be very good academically but poor in giving people a rounded edecation. People who arent from a rugby background can be ignored. Some of those I know who went hated it to an extreme and were bullied, others remained friends with who they knew beforehand but didnt really expand on that base. They often remain very clickish groups in my experience.

    Sproid Naoimh is a typically all boys catholic school but those who apply themselves seem to get excellent results and end up fairly well rounded individuals.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 364 ✭✭SlimCi


    How academically gifted is he? Has he been tested? Just wondering because if he is in the gifted range he is unlikely to fit into any school perfectly.
    My son is 7 and has been assessed as gifted and attends the Centre for Talented Youth in DCU every Saturday. There is an equivalent one in Cork also in UCC. Check out the CTYI website.
    I am from Cork originally and had I been living there had his name down for PBS. However, we've since moved but I have also changed my mind on PBS. I would certainly consider sending your son to Colaiste and Spraoid Naomh in Bishopstown. All the boys I knew who went there growing up did very well for themselves and my friends children who have also been there did very well too.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,298 ✭✭✭Namlub


    tommy21 wrote: »
    From the experience relayed by my friends, particularly relating to the type of classmate your son might have (so purely subjective and doubt everyone will agree with what some would call an elitist view), avoid Ashton and Ballincollig.
    What's 'Ballincollig', Colaiste Choilm or BCS?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 181 ✭✭Teddy455


    Hamilton High School, Bandon. Best academic results in Cork and second best in the country. Great at sport, small class's average 20 students per class. Projectors in every classroom. Students can live during lunchtime. Catholic school but not a lot of focus on it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12 ClareML


    I had thought about Hamilton but don't really want to live in Bandon. Where do you get the statístic about best academic results in the country?

    I spoke with someone only this morning whose kids are at CBS and she says they do only maths and science. Now that's not a good education either, is it?

    I have also heard very good reports about Spioraid Naomh in the meantime.

    Thanks for all your input to date. Research continues...


  • Registered Users Posts: 333 ✭✭Vivara


    Teddy455 wrote: »
    Hamilton High School, Bandon. Best academic results in Cork and second best in the country. Great at sport, small class's average 20 students per class. Projectors in every classroom. Students can live during lunchtime. Catholic school but not a lot of focus on it.

    Would love to know where you got these statistics from...

    In the most recently published league tables (Irish Times School League Tables 2011, 22nd November), Hamilton High School doesn't appear in the top 25 in the country. In fact, it doesn't even come into the top 25 in Cork. (Rest assured, however, it does actually appear somewhere on the list.)

    V.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12 ClareML


    These league tables mean nothing. They tell you nothing about the teachers, the ethos, the sports, the cultural side of the school, the bullying. If a school has 1000 pupils, they will have about 5 streams for LC, so 100% of the top stream will almost certainly go to third-level education. If you're in a nice, small, mixed-ability, mixed-"class" school, the brightest kids will still go on to third-level education but maybe they'll be better or happier people for having gone to what I call a "good school" which encourages sound ethical (not religious) and personal values. Let's face it, you don't learn much in school anyway. Third-level is where your brain really has to get into gear.

    That's why I'm looking for personal recommendations. I would wholeheartedly recommend our primary school to anyone. I suppose I'm looking for a feel-good factor like this for secondary level too.

    From what I hear, Hamilton is now doing a great job.


  • Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭Carrigsound


    Did you decide on anywhere? My experience of secondary schools here is abysmal (I'm originally from the UK) and have resorted to home schooling (HEN Ireland are pretty good and we tap in to many ex teachers who are sick of the schooling system here but who are passionate about teaching)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12 ClareML


    Hi Carrigsound.

    We haven't made any decision yet.

    I was educated in Ireland myself and, although a small number of my teachers were inadequate and although the exam system left a lot to be desired, I feel I received a very good education. They say the cream always drifts to the top and experience has shown me that this is the case all over the world.

    I like the new Minister for Education and I am confident that he will shake up the school system and the exam system in Ireland. Although the system does little to capture the imagination of gifted pupils, I feel my child is in a more creative learning environment now than he would have been if we had stayed in Germany. If we had chosen to live in the UK, I would have felt compelled to send him to a private school.

    I am not interested in home schooling. Although my husband and I have both worked in education, I want my child to be part of society and to enjoy daily stimulation from other children and adults.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,355 ✭✭✭✭TheDriver


    Ah lads, this thread has made me laugh immensely! Most people on here will give you a very biased opinion and clearly its very difficult to find the perfect school.
    Nearly every school can accomodate "gifted" children, every school has some bullying of one for or another and its partly school but also parental advice that allows for a well rounded student. Yes some schools get more 600 pointers than others but that doesn;t mean they won't get 600 points elsewhere.
    OP, whats wrong with Colaiste Phobail Beanntrai? More or less non religious (i.e. VEC own it, bishop has a rep on the BOM but lot less religious than pres or CBS) or schull where they always get a few awards at annual VEC ceremony.
    Ballincollig seems to get passed over, fine schools such as Colaiste Choilm, BCS or Coachford College, all of which have a great track record of 600 pointers but also good rounded education. Or Midleton with Carrigtwohill as a previously great school. Kinsale seems to do very well in young scientist exhibition each year and don't forget Kanturk who got a 600 pointer in Colaiste Treasa last year.
    There appears to be a strange perception that schools in the city that are single sex must be better, sometimes its reputation, sometimes it could be plain snobbery. I personally don't understand why people pay out 1000s each year on a school where the same education can be acquired free down the road.
    I am very curious about gifted though. I get parents rolling into my office saying their kids are gifted but to be honest, anytime a parent says that, the child is far from gifted. Its the quiet parents that seem to always have the gifted kids.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,562 ✭✭✭eyescreamcone


    TheDriver wrote: »
    Ah lads, this thread has made me laugh immensely! Most people on here will give you a very biased opinion and clearly its very difficult to find the perfect school.
    Nearly every school can accomodate "gifted" children, every school has some bullying of one for or another and its partly school but also parental advice that allows for a well rounded student. Yes some schools get more 600 pointers than others but that doesn;t mean they won't get 600 points elsewhere.
    OP, whats wrong with Colaiste Phobail Beanntrai? More or less non religious (i.e. VEC own it, bishop has a rep on the BOM but lot less religious than pres or CBS) or schull where they always get a few awards at annual VEC ceremony.
    Ballincollig seems to get passed over, fine schools such as Colaiste Choilm, BCS or Coachford College, all of which have a great track record of 600 pointers but also good rounded education. Or Midleton with Carrigtwohill as a previously great school. Kinsale seems to do very well in young scientist exhibition each year and don't forget Kanturk who got a 600 pointer in Colaiste Treasa last year.
    There appears to be a strange perception that schools in the city that are single sex must be better, sometimes its reputation, sometimes it could be plain snobbery. I personally don't understand why people pay out 1000s each year on a school where the same education can be acquired free down the road.
    I am very curious about gifted though. I get parents rolling into my office saying their kids are gifted but to be honest, anytime a parent says that, the child is far from gifted. Its the quiet parents that seem to always have the gifted kids.

    Just a quick comment.
    In my opinion the fee paying schools do provide better facilities for learning.
    Just by glancing at the websites this is clear.
    Better classrooms, science labs and sports areas.
    They also keep out the "rougher element" by charging fees.
    Teachers may not be any better qualified or able, but the environment to do better is present in fee paying schools.
    The recent league tables would also suggest this.

    I didn't go to a private school and I did ok but If I could afford it I would spend the money on the kids education


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