Our  Lady’s are looking forward to €3.6m extension
Principal Pádhraic Gibbons, Sr Concepta of the Diocesan Office, teachers Michael Jenkins and Ruairí Lynch of the RE Department, Stephen Sharpe from the Board of Management and teacher Alexandra Murray pictured at the recent Ceiliúradh CEIST

Our Lady’s are looking forward to €3.6m extension

A MULTI-million euro extension is just one of the exciting developments taking place at Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School in Drimnagh.

The school recently completed an emergency works project refurbishing parts of the building, but are looking forward to a €3.6m extension project which they hope will be finished by 2024.

OLM Drimnagh Principal Pádhraic Gibbons, who has overseen a significant increase of OLM students progressing to third level education, training and work in recent years, puts this down to a multi-faceted approach to education.

“Several factors, a whole-school approach to teaching, learning and positive behaviour. An excellent LCA programme, the introduction of Transition Year in 2015 and a dedicated staff who push students to achieve,” he said.

OLM, which is a DEIS school, is now a recognised Trinity Access School of Distinction.

Average progression to third level increased from 30 per cent (2013-2017) to 49.3 per cent (2018-2021).

Meanwhile, progression rates to third level, colleges of Further Education, apprenticeships, or the world of work, have increased from 65 per cent to 96.3 per cent in the same period.

Last year, third level progression increased to 60 per cent.

Gibbons says OLM “recognise and are proud of all of our students’ progression” no matter which path they have chosen.

“The overall progression rate since 2018 is 96.3 per cent, a massive increase on the 65 per cent in the previous four years. As a DEIS school which welcomes diversity of choice, we celebrate and are proud of all progression, not simply to third level.”

Other factors which have improved school outcomes are parents’ and students’ ambitions which are “vital”, according to Gibbons.

“Doubt may have existed among certain communities that some jobs or college courses weren’t meant for them. We show students they can achieve anything, so long as they are willing to work for it,” he said.

A community institution for Drimnagh and wider communities, the school was initially established in 1954 as a girls’ secondary school, before it became co-educational in 1973.

Further celebrations were held last week at the school, when it celebrated 15 years under the care of trustees CEIST – one of 107 school communities in the country under the CEIST banner.

Mr Gibbons said: “Students are actively involved in every aspect of improving the school. This was celebrated on February 1, when OLM was showcased by the trustees for its inaugural ‘Ceiliúradh CEIST’. The values of showing respect for every person, being just and responsible, creating community, promoting spiritual and human development, and achieving quality in teaching and learning were the focus of the day.”

Enrolment for September 2022 is open.

Applications are available by emailing admin@olmdrimnagh.com

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