Clare Champion, Friday, 28th January 2000
The pursuit of excellence in a caring environment is the stated aim of Ennis Community College, one of seven schools in Clare administered by the County Vocational Education Committee.
Recently, in a report to the committee, College principal Matt Power outlined a number of developments linked to these aims.
Ennis Community College is one of 140 post-primary schools selected by the Department of Education and Science for the School Development Pilot Project which adopts a systematic and collaborative approach to planning in order to help schools manage change in the best interests of their pupils.
The school is one of a small number of selected to pilot the Stay in School Initiative which funds projects aimed at increasing the retention rate of pupils in school until the successful completion of the Leaving Certificate.
With the first year intake for the current year up by ten per cent, the school has just over 600 students and a teaching staff of forty. It operates in a modern complex which several times exceeds in extent the original Ennis Vocational School established in 1938 with 141 students.
Excellent results in the public examinations, a record number of students going on to third level courses and directly into well paid employment, plus noteworthy achievements in the extra-curricular areas, enhanced the college's profile.
The introduction of new subjects, syllabi and courses complement exciting developments in the extra-curricular domain.
As part of the college's internationalisation programme, students participate in a cultural exchange programme with a Dutch school each year.
The college provides a total of ten courses overall, ranging from the Junior Certificate through Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied to the exceedingly popular Post-Leaving Certificate programme in Executive Secretarial with Tourism, Bi-lingual Secretarial, International Teleservices, Telemarketing and Childcare.
It is college policy to actively encourage and promote student participation in a wide range of competitions and events. Apart from its intrinsic value in developing young people's skills in areas of research and teamwork, involvement also helps create a more positive image of the college in the wider community. Recent successes in this area include an U-16 Munster Hurling Championship, joint first in the best kept schools competition and a first prize in the Young Scientist competition.
Activity afternoons provide junior students with a choice of horse-riding, swimming, badminton, tennis, indoor football, basketball or a session at the golf driving range.
Projects that afford young people an opportunity to help the less well-off in society are facilitated and encouraged.
The college includes a special unit for deaf students since 1998 which means that Clare students need not travel outside the county for their post-primary education.
Another particularly interesting initiative in the college has been an intervention programme involving Ennis West Partners, a community development group based in Cloughleigh, and Cloughleigh Primary School. It is directly funded by the Department of Education and Science and targets 8 - 15 year olds, who, for a variety of reasons, may be in danger of dropping out of college before completing their Junior Certificate programme. This is one of only nineteen such programmes in the country.
|Teacher Anna Glynn with students
Caroline Browne and Emer McMahon
in the International tele-services Year 2
class at Ennis Community College
|Sylvia Keane in Science class at
Ennis Community College
Photographs by Eamon Ward, Clare Champion.
Back to Ennis Community College