St Louis Secondary School is blessed with a beautiful natural setting and it was certainly shown in its best light last Wednesday afternoon when the school hosted its annual Open Day.
Principal Lorraine Quigley, Deputy Principal Michelle Dolan and the entire staff of the school met with prospective parents and students to showcase the many wonderful opportunities on offer in the school for all.
Visits to practical rooms showcased scientific and geographical experiments, baking, needlecrafts, pottery and watercolours, while the Music Dept had choral orchestral and Traditional music weaving through the corridors all afternoon. The PE Dept highlighted the vast range of sporting and fitness opportunities available to all. More than 100 students spent the afternoon greeting and looking after the visitors in a relaxed and warm manner.
The school’s ethos is one of inclusion and continuous development and parents were taken through the many subjects available as well as the enormous breadth of extra-curricular activities running at lunchtimes in the school.
The New Junior Cycle was explained and the implications for those starting secondary in 2017, when most of the new subjects will be on stream.
The step from primary to secondary is an enormous one but the school highlighted the many ways in which pupils are helped with the transition. Parents heard about the programme of events for first years run by the Guidance Dept and the Cairde Team – a group of fifth year girls chosen for their empathic skills.
Many of the lunchtime activities traverse all year groups so younger students have a chance to meet older girls in an educational but enjoyable setting, helping them to settle and feel a sense of belonging.
The Parents Association was on hand offering tea and a chat to anyone who wanted to hear from that perspective. Averil O'Hagan, mother of Tara in second year and past pupil Bláthnaid, was delighted to be involved.
“Lots of parents were really interested in how I found the school as a parent. I told them it’s not like it was in our day.
“It’s really a much more interactive relationship nowadays here in the Louis and school is a much more enjoyable experience. My children have been very happy here and I was really glad I could be on hand to support the school today.”
All in all it was a most enjoyable afternoon and principal Lorraine Quigley was very pleased with the turnout.
“As parent of a child who has gone through the school, and a past pupil myself as well, it was wonderful to meet so many new families who are looking for that same experience for their daughters. It is lovely to see the tradition continue through to the next generation.”