Walkinstown school tops league tables
By Maurice Garvey
A WALKINSTOWN school topped the Sunday Independent School League tables – a list that examines the percentage of students that go on to third level education, reports Maurice Garvey.
Assumption Secondary School in Walkinstown is the most improved school in the country.
Assumption Secondary School in Walksintown
The all-girls school sent 100 per cent of their students to third level last year, up from 42 per cent a decade ago.
This dynamic shift is attributed to a changing mindset within the campus, according to Assumption Principal Siobhan Hoey.
“We made a commitment amongst staff – which is important to me as an educator – to foster relationships with children and raise expectations,” said Ms Hoey.
“We are a relatively small school, most of the staff know children whether they teach them or not.
“We are always there to greet them on the way into school and on the way out. It is important to ask questions such as what are you going to do after school, what plans do you have?
“If you expect the best, children will aspire to it.
“Children now have that vision and expectation.
“A few years ago, one of our students said she was the first in her family to be going to third level education. This was just a statement of fact but she had a smile on her face.”
Assumption Secondary School fluctuates between 260 – 300 students and has a tight knit staff of 20 – 25 people.
While Assumption Junior School is a primary feeder, students also arrive at the secondary school from up to 12 local primary schools.
Ms Hoey said staff have already met new students due to arrive in 2019/20, and they will be in for a tour in the Summer to meet teachers.
“It makes the transition from primary to secondary a little bit smoother. It can be difficult, but we’re getting a feel from the children and parents so we can hit the ground running.”
The school made the top 50 of non-fee paying schools in an Irish Times survey before Christmas, but Ms Hoey says the latest good news has “energised” the campus.
“It is very positive and we are delighted for the children, past-pupils, staff and parents.”