Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Secondary schools

  • 24-06-2021 2:30pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    I know this comes up every couple of years but I was wondering what people's thoughts are on the various secondary schools, particularly on the west side of the city. I have a child going into 6th class :eek: I went to secondary school in the city myself but I think there's probably been a lot of change in the schools since then so my ideas about where's good and where isn't are out of date.

    We would strongly prefer a mixed-sex school both for practical reasons and because we think it's better for the kids' socio-emotional development. Our kids are well rounded, they have decent social skills, get on fine academically and enjoy sports and art/music. But I think they've probably had quite a sheltered life in the sense that they have very little exposure to bullying, aggression, etc. (outside of laying into each other every second minute!) So we're considering:

    The Jes
    PROS: Historically considered a very good school, more artsy than others in the city, less rough/more middle-class, no uniforms, good exam results.

    CONS: Gone downhill in recent years? Perhaps less subject choice (hard to tell from website). Facilities not great?

    Endas
    PROS: Seems to be the place everyone wants their kids to go so good reputation. More subject choices. Perhaps less sports focused?

    CONS: It used to be pretty rough, have heard the facilities aren't great. In my day it would have been considered second choice to the Jes for parents wanting a mixed school on that side of the city.

    Marys
    PROS: Huge campus, lovely grounds, large building. Not sure how good the facilities are inside? Easier to get into?

    CONS: Had a bad name when I was at school, considered it very rough then but maybe not anymore? Possible challenges related to merging with the girls' school. Doing a European language isn't compulsory and seems like only French is available.

    I'd love to hear from anyone with more current experience of the schools. What are they like these days? How have your kids found them, etc. Thanks.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,873 ✭✭✭ beardybrewer


    I went through this hell a couple of years ago. I now have one in St Marys and another starting at Taylors Hill.

    You'll have to excuse my venting but there might be some good info in this thread:

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=108507362

    I found the whole process extremely crap and took it as far as speaking with local politicians about the experience. It still bothers me that a student applying from Ballinasloe has an equal chance as a kid who lives a block away from the school. But such is the history of favours and backhanders that they're petrified to give preference to anyone other than siblings of current students.

    In our experience, The Jez is impossible to get into unless you yourself went there as a child. Endas is very popular these days and both my kids applied but were well past 100 on the waiting list so that was a non-starter. For my son, the choice came down to The Bish or Marys and he chose the latter. I think pretty much anyone who applied to Marys got in. While he is happy there academically, especially combined with the pandemic, it seems average.

    Applying to the girl's schools seemed less stressful and my daughter was very happy when she got into Taylors.

    The last point I'll leave you with is St Mary's is merging with Our Ladys so starting next year the administration is going to have a shakeup, hopefully for the better! I believe there is a run on Enda's specifically because most modern parents prefer a co-ed school so maybe this will turn Mary's into the next hot place to apply.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,274 ✭✭✭ Cheshire Cat


    My two went to Endas’s and we were happy with the school. They seemed to have the widest choice of subjects in Galway City at the time.

    On the topic of Mary’s/Our Lady’s: the current vice principal of Endas’s will be the principal of the new school and I think she is an excellent choice. Very much no-nonsense, while also being compassionate and approachable. Coming from a co-ed school she’ll be able to deal with the challenges of a newly amalgamated mixed school.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    @beardybrewer I saw your previous thread and I'm not looking forward to the process. Have spoken to a few parents who've been through it already and I know of several boys who ended up having to choose between Marys and the Bish. Good to know your son is happy with his choice. That's really the main thing for me. Academics is important of course but definitely second to having a confident, happy, well-settled child.

    We also live within walking distance of all three schools (Jes, Endas, Marys) and it does seem mad that our kids could lose out to kids living miles away. I understand those parents want the better city schools but it doesn't make sense if locals end up having to drive children to the other side of the city.

    The Jes is so hard to get into that I don't actually know of anybody with kids going there. There are new rules limiting the number of kids getting in through a parent so it might be easier to get in now? I just wonder if it's all it's cracked up to be.

    @Cheshire Cat Good to know your two were happy at Endas. Will definitely apply there, I think. My kids tell me ALLLL their friends are planning to go there and if they can't go there too it's not fair :rolleyes: And I didn't know that about the new principal at Mary's/Our Lady's. The city could really do with another good co-ed school so it's great to know they have somebody experienced in place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,786 ✭✭✭✭ zell12


    :confused:
    I thought Colaiste na Coiribe was best, then Salerno, then Jes..
    https://extras.thetimes.co.uk/web/public/pdfs/4ae37f2231c180216b94a71160d8aaac.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,519 ✭✭✭ GalwayGrrrrrl


    I have one in Coilaiste na Coiribe and one in the Jes (our relations went there and we came via the primary school). Both are good schools, I’ve no complaints. C na C gives the children a wider scope for choice of subjects - you can do two languages (Spanish and/or French) and you can skip history/geography/religion if you prefer to do a practical subject. The Jes is more rigid, you chose one language (French or German), religion, history and geography compulsory to junior cert level and one choice from art/music/tech graphics or home ec. Jes students are treated more like adults which produces mature well rounded students ready for university. C na c is more strict which is good for some children. We couldn’t get into Endas, huge waiting list. Bish was our choice over St Mary’s which seemed less academic (this might change with the merger).

    Edited to add - the Jes school is very focused on religion - retreats for the children, masses, Jesuit ethos meetings for the parents (not compulsory).


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,519 ✭✭✭ GalwayGrrrrrl


    zell12 wrote: »
    :confused:
    I thought Colaiste na Coiribe was best, then Salerno, then Jes..
    https://extras.thetimes.co.uk/web/public/pdfs/4ae37f2231c180216b94a71160d8aaac.pdf

    If you go by the number of students who go on to third level, then yes. However this doesn’t necessarily mean the ethos of the school is right for your child, especially if they have additional needs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,786 ✭✭✭✭ zell12


    ...
    Edited to add - the Jes school is very focused on religion - retreats for the children, masses, Jesuit ethos meetings for the parents (not compulsory).
    I remember! Watched The Mission movie twice as part of some class and retreat every year. Did no harm.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    Thanks for sharing that link Zell12. Those might be the best for exam results/college progression but academics are not the biggest factor for me. Colaiste na Coiribe is not within walking distance of my house and my kids have mediocre Irish. And Salerno is only girls, which won't work for my son!

    @GalwayGrrrrrl That's good to know about the religious aspect. Hadn't even thought about that as a pro/con. We're not religious at all and neither are our extended families. I would really prefer non-religious. I don't really want to trek over to the Educate Together and it's so new that I've been told by teacher friends that it's best to avoid until it's more established. Is Colaiste na Coiribe less religious? Do you know if Jes is more religious than Endas, for example? I did notice the website mentions religion a lot but then so do all the others.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,519 ✭✭✭ GalwayGrrrrrl


    Thanks for sharing that link Zell12. Those might be the best for exam results/college progression but academics are not the biggest factor for me. Colaiste na Coiribe is not within walking distance of my house and my kids have mediocre Irish. And Salerno is only girls, which won't work for my son!

    Is Colaiste na Coiribe less religious? Do you know if Jes is more religious than Endas, for example? I did notice the website mentions religion a lot but then so do all the others.

    Coláiste na coiribe isn’t linked to any particular religion so there isn’t any religious element. It’s run by the GRETB. You can choose religion as a subject ( I think, my child didn’t choose it) but it’s not compulsory.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    Does anybody know how much focus there is on religion in Endas or Mary’s?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 9,993 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    Does anybody know how much focus there is on religion in Endas or Mary’s?

    They are both Catholic ethos schools, named after Saints, have chapels onsite, so take from that what you will


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse


    DaCor wrote: »
    They are both Catholic ethos schools, named after Saints, have chapels onsite, so take from that what you will

    I know that but somebody mentioned the Jes is quite religious and I was wondering if Endas/Mary’s are the same or less so. My kids have had very little exposure to religion and there are very few options for non religious schools and none in town as far as I know.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,873 ✭✭✭ beardybrewer


    From Mary's perspective I've heard no complaints. Other than a mass or two you needn't worry that they're shoving anything down their throats. With communions and confirmations behind us the religious stuff has gone quiet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,274 ✭✭✭ Cheshire Cat


    During our time Enda's was pretty relaxed. A mass every now and again, which mine didn't have to attend as we aren't Catholic. There was a school chaplain (nun), but she was more of an agony aunt for any student who had problems.
    Even the graduation mass with the priest present didn't feel overly religious.


  • Registered Users Posts: 83 ✭✭ BlueEars


    Hi, my son started Endas this year, loves it and it seems quite relaxed in comparison to some of the other schools. We are non religious and he had the option not to do religion but chose to do it. So far he has learned about all religions equally, definitely didn't seem to be Catholic leaning. That may change as he moves through the years but so far so good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 43,755 ✭✭✭✭ 6


    Straight up lottery for a place seems fair enough to me to be honest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 83 ✭✭ BlueEars


    6 wrote: »
    Straight up lottery for a place seems fair enough to me to be honest.
    I also think its the only way to do it as the catchment area would include Knocknacarra, Salthill and Westside so far too big to accommodate every child looking for a place.Our friends live on Threadneedle Road and their kid didnt get a place!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,168 ✭✭✭ xckjoo


    I know that but somebody mentioned the Jes is quite religious and I was wondering if Endas/Mary’s are the same or less so. My kids have had very little exposure to religion and there are very few options for non religious schools and none in town as far as I know.

    Have a kid in the Jes and went there myself and wouldn't worry about the religious part of it. It's there but not hammered down their throats. He didn't do Communion or Confirmation. The actual religion course work covers all major religions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic


    Edited to add - the Jes school is very focused on religion - retreats for the children, masses, Jesuit ethos meetings for the parents (not compulsory).
    I think it's worth saying that this is not at all dogmatic. Even in the 80s the Jes was the school where the non-Catholics in Galway (a very small minority at the time) tended to gravitate because the Catholicism wasn't pushed down your throat. There are masses to celebrate graduations and the like but the retreats are more about personal growth/mental wellbeing rather than overtly religious. The ethos meetings for parents are very much a minority pursuit. The only one I went to had less than a dozen attendees.


Advertisement