9th July 2020
Education is recognised as a factor in determining a child’s life-chances. The term ‘life chances’ has long been recognised as referring to a child’s ability to engage fully in their schooling. Research has shown that the move from Primary to Secondary School causes students to underachieve academically and socially. It has been found that a “high proportion of students suffer educational process deficit, where the transfer from one set of educational parameters to another cause students to dip in their educational attainment”. It is important therefore, that all aspects of this transition are addressed to ensure that the student can make the most of their second level education and can adapt to the change as they transfer from their primary school to their post-primary school. Due to the difficulties presented by the COVID 19 pandemic this transition for our incoming first years has presented additional difficulties.
Aware of these difficulties a group of students at Roscommon Community College are helping to make the transition from sixth class to first year a little easier.
“We know how difficult it is to make the transition from sixth class to first year even with all the support structures in place, so we could not even imagine how strange it must feel for the incoming cohort during this pandemic”. Orla Bishop, one member of the group of RCC students who are helping to ease incoming first year’s concerns prior to September, is busy putting together a schedule for the day to get all tasks completed on time. She explains that due to COVID-19 restrictions the normal on-site open day cannot take place and instead the group are preparing multiple video tutorials that will replace the traditional induction day. Small tutorial type videos are being made to send out to all incoming first years of RCC. There are videos explaining how to best organise your locker, how to understand your new timetable, how to use the suite of online resources, how to prepare for exams, how to best use your journal and how to use email.
This is a busy day as the group are rehearsing their scripts before a videographer captures their efforts to share with all incoming first years. All of this is student led from start to finish. Adam Donnelly, another key member of the team says, “We just wanted to give back to the school community”. This sense of giving back is very evident and the enthusiasm to help is infectious. “I had been sitting at home since the school term finished and wondered how I could help others in some small way” says budding photographer Ben Finnerty. He has been organising the students for photos to be taken all day; ensuring uniforms are immaculate, classrooms organised, and lighting correct. Physical distancing makes his task quite a lot harder, but Ben takes it in his stride, issuing instructions clearly to get the right shot.
The Ina (6th year) and Gerard (3rd year) Van Opstal as they support their younger sister Willemijn’s transition into secondary school
The energy that teenagers have is immense, and this group is no different. From their sense of purpose, to their organisational skills, to their desire to help others: teenagers could, literally, run the world. Ina van Opstal another group member, thinks so (and could). During her time at home, between online lessons, Ina was speaking to her sister, who will commence in RCC in September. Here she realised how many questions 6th class might have. Ina created a map of the school for her sister as this would help her to at least not get lost. She shared this map with the school management and the idea of putting together a transition team grew from there. Ina explains: “My brother (current third year) found it a little difficult at first so I helped with his transition and from talking to my sister I found she had many questions that would normally be answered on the induction day so I began by developing a map but soon found there was much more I needed to help her with. I figured she must not be the only one in this situation, so I decided to share my idea and my experience with her. There was no problem getting a team together as many students were excited to come in and help out”.
The RCC Senior Student Induction Team
The senior team of Ava Coyle, Adam Donnelly, Caoimhe Leonard, Ina van Opstal, Ben Finnerty, Dara Finneran, Orla Bishop, Luke Gregory and Eduarda Ramos (all just completed 5th year) and the junior team of Sean Allen, Tommy Morris, Mia Kilcline, Bridget Hoare, Mairead Lohan, Chloe McNamara, Kilan O’Brien, Jorja Rowe, Grace Dwyer, Aidan Gomally, Luka Finneran, Conor Harris, Daniel Hegarty, Josh Reddington and Hope Sherwin (all just completed 2nd year) will have all the videos and tutorials online in the coming weeks and shared with every incoming first year student and current student of RCC. This is the side of teenagers that the media don’t often like to portray: being creative, giving their time even during their summer months off and always thinking of helping others. The school community is always active at RCC especially with the opening of Phase I of their new (1.5m) extension, the upgrade of our internal WiFi system (costing over €20,000) and our Virtual Learning Platform: Office365 to ensure that they can maintain the same standard, if not better, of the teaching and learning offered throughout the lock-down whether it be fully on-site in our classrooms of through a form of blended-learning (onsite and online).
The RCC Junior Student Induction Team
Roscommon Community College is a very progressive school, and with its current population of 535 students has placed it as the largest co-educational second level school in the county town, offering the most expansive on-site curriculum. This rise is testament to a well-orchestrated school improvement plan embodied by all the stakeholders of the school. When asked to comment on this, the school Principal Ms Georgina Keena stated that “evidence of school improvement does not just perch itself on bricks and mortar, but on the “student voice”. Our students are the ones really making the difference at Roscommon Community College, this could not be more evident than when you witness our senior and junior students leading the way through a comprehensive online transition programme for our incoming and returning students. There is no greater representation of the school than to see students leading students through their journey in education”.
Congratulations! It is a pleasure to announce the award recipient for the Roscommon Community College Student Achievement Awards 2020. These awards are a source of pride and inspiration to us all.
These awards are presented from the management and staff of Roscommon Community College for demonstrating outstanding contribution to an area of school life. To receive an award of this nature, requires discipline and respect, commitment and dedication to your school community, a strong work ethos and an ability to accept and take guidance, work on your own initiative or as part of a team. It is our hope that recipients will continue with their commitment to Roscommon Community College and support and encourage their fellow peers in this regard.
Roscommon Community College will recognise all of the achievements awarded on students return to school in the academic year 2020/21, where they will be presented with their in scripted glass award.
I would like to acknowledge the commitment of our staff for their dedication to this process. A special word of thanks to Ms Martin, without her ability to gather and collate all the necessary information in a transparent manner, print and post certificates, source and order the trophies, our forthcoming awards ceremony would not be possible. So, a big thank you to Ms Martin for all your hard work, it is very much appreciated.
I would like to thank you and your family for your ongoing contribution and support for the betterment of Roscommon Community College.
Again, congratulations on this recognition of hard work. I look forward to seeing all our students on their return. In the meantime, stay safe and well.
Yours in education
Ms Georgina Keena
Click here to see the Student Awards Winners List 2020
Parents and students may still have questions about their learning at this time. I hope that this will answer some of your questions.
Teachers are working remotely at this time and providing work for students. This means that students work will be delivered to student online.
All students have been given email addresses and passwords. This is the main point of contact with their teachers. They will receive work from their teachers via email. All students should download MS Outlook on to their phones.
Some teachers have let students know that they may deliver their work using class notebook. Students will be familiar with this tool but further information can be found at the link below.
Class Notebook information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkhgr86zx7k
Some teachers have let students know that they may deliver their work using MS Teams. Students further information can be found at the link below.
MS Teams information: https://youtu.be/CH2seLS5Wb0?t=158
Many students and parents have questions about the state examinations. Further information can be found on the link below. I will update through text or on the website once further information becomes available.
Department of Education and Skills Press Releases:
Health information about COVID – 19 can be found at the links below:
HSE COVID-19 Updates
Department of Health COVID – 19 Updates
During this delay phase, please follow all health advice given and keep yourself and your loved ones and friends safe and well.
With kind regards,
Health Service Executive (HSE)
· - Overview
· - Treatment
Minding your Mental Health during the coronavirus outbreak
Covid-19 Samaritans - Free phone 116 123
Department of Social Protection
Codiv-19 Information for Employers and Employees
West Doc 1850 365 000
University College Hospital Galway 091 524 222 / ED 091 544556
Roscommon University Hospital 090 662 6200
Emergency Services 999 or 112
Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111
Mill Street Garda Station 091 538000
Child Line 1800 666 666 (24 hours) / Text 50101 (10am-4pm daily)
COPE Domestic violence support Galway: 565985
AMEN (male domestic abuse victims) 04623718 Website
Move Ireland (men overcoming violence) 018724357
Women’s Aid Helpline 1800 341 900
Waterside House Refuge 091 565985
CARI (support for anyone affected by sexual abuse) 1890924567
Galway Rape crisis centre 1800355355
Rape Crisis Centre (support for victims of rape) 1800212122
On-line Support Services
Support Services: West of Ireland
Pregnancy / Parenting
CURA 091 562558 1890 622 626
Gingerbread (Lone parents support) 01 8146618
IFPA's national pregnancy helpline - 1850 49 50 51
+Options free text “LIS” to 50444 Web www.posaitiveoptions.ie
Parent Line 1890 927 277
Help Lines / Services
Covid-19 Samaritans 116 123
Aids West 091 562213
AWARE 1890 303 302
Barnardos 01 4530355
Drugs Help Line 1800 459 459
Galway Youth Information Centre 091 562434
Refugee Information Service www.ris.ie 091 532850
Counselling & Support
1Life National Suicide Prevention Helpline 1800 247 100
Childline (ISPCC) 1800 666 666
Counselling Service for Travellers (Adults) 091 880916
CURA 091 562558
Galway Diocesan Family Centre 091 565074 Rape Crisis Centre 1800 355 355
GROW (Group support for mental health problems) 086 8032731
It’s Good 2 Talk 087 2870734 083 4079182
Jigsaw (Support service for young people aged 15-25) 091 549252 Text 087 7725232
LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Helpline) 1890 929 539
Parent line 1890 927277
Pieta house 016010000/016302222
Samaritans 091 561222 / 1850 609 090
SHOUT! (LGBT 14-23 years) 087 3204575
Teen line 1800833634
Suicide Bereavement Support Network 024 95561
Console [For anyone affected by suicide] 1800 201 890. 091 537333
AWARE (depression support) 016766166
GROW Tel: 021 427 7520
Hearing Voices 00448451228642
Schizophrenia 01 8601620 Helpline: 1890 621 631
Accommodation / Homelessness
Emergency Accommodation Support 1800 788 887
Fairgreen House 091 568818 (Short stay residence for homeless men)
Galway Simon Community (Long & short term support for homeless people) 091 589415
Alcoholics Anonymous 091 767777
Al-Anon / Al-Teen 01 8732699 (Supporting those affected by someone’s addiction)
Alcoholism Counselling & Advisory Service 091 753595
ACOA (Adult Children Of Alcoholics). Po Box 4683, Dublin 1
ANEW for women who have difficulty with alcohol 0861024743
HSE Drugs Helpline 1800 459 459
Treatment Centre for Addictions (HSE) 090 9644103 / 090 9648497
Narcotics Anonymous 086 8149004
Over Eaters Anonymous 01 2788106
BodyWhys 1890 200 444
Gamblers Anonymous 091 565207
13th March 2020
For the second year in a row Roscommon Community College are through to the National Enterprise Awards. Congratulations to our students on their successes. Sol Trundle and Leah Hoey (TY) placed first in the senior category with their company‘Mil Ón mBaile’ and Eimear O’Connor and Chloe McNamara (2nd year) placed first in the intermediate category with their product ‘Pamper Hamper’. Well done to the students involved and their teachers Ms Carolan and Ms Staunton.
Pictured are intermediate category winners Eimear O'Connor and Chloe McNamara at the Roscommon Enterprise Awards
Pictured are senior category winners Leah Hoey and Sol Trundle along with their teacher Ms Carolan at the Roscommon Enterprise Awards