St. Kevin’s Community College is a small secondary school on the outskirts of Dublin City. There are approx. 40 teaching staff and 350 students. The school is in a disadvantaged area of South West Dublin. St. Kevin’s has nearly 26 years of experience fighting against educational disadvantage.
Our students come from an area with many social problems, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, crime and high unemployment are part of life for many of our students. In recent times we have seen an increase in foreign nationals attending our school. These students try hard to integrate but language skills are often a problem when it comes to retention and attainment. We also have a small number of members of the Irish Travelling Community. Although some members of the Traveling Community are currently in senior cycle, a high proportion of the Irish Travellers leave school early (especially the girls). St. Kevin’s has many initiatives in place to try to fight the problem of early school leaving.
For example: School Completion Programme (SCP) – Targets at risk students from Primary school and supervises their transition into secondary and supports the students throughout secondary school.
Home School Liaison (HSL) – Full time member of staff who is the contact person between school and home (visits families and organises activities for parents in school)
Care Team – Chaplain, Guidance Counsellor, HSL – all full time members of staff, available to help students through the tough times.
We cater for students with learning difficulties through alternative courses -
The Junior Certificate Schools Programme (JCSP) is a project/ continuous assessment based Junior Certificate (State Exam)
The Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCA) is a project/ contineous assessment based leaving certificate (StateExam)
There are many other supports in St. Kevin’s both academic and pastoral aimed at getting the best out of each student; but even with all this in place we lose students every year before they have successfully completed their second level education. As a partner in this project I would like to share all the good practice at St. Kevin’s as well as learn from the other partners. I hope to come up with some new initiatives to keep students in school for longer and to ensure that their time in school is spent effectively so that all students get the most out of their education.