Last Thursday evening the 19th of October hundreds of families from Monaghan town, the surrounding villages and rural areas attended the Beech Hill College Open and Enrolment night.
Young people and their parents enjoyed looking at the various displays erected by all of the subject departments and extra-curricular activities on offer in Beech Hill College. Parents were especially interested in the information stand on the new Junior Cycle as it will form part of future education in Beech Hill College. It was a cold and wet evening so many families welcomed the refreshments provided in the newly refurbished school canteen.
At 6.30 pm the fabulous Beech Hill College choir, accompanied by their teacher Ms Sinead Daly, entertained all assembled with three musical pieces. This was followed by an address from the Principal, Mr. Patrick Mc Ardle. Mr. Mc Ardle extended a warm welcome to all, in particular the pupils of 6th class. He spoke of the fantastic variety of subjects offered in Beech Hill College. At present there are 19 subjects on offer in Junior Cycle and 17 subjects on offer in Senior Cycle. All of the teaching staff have received a number of days training around the new Junior Cycle and are committed to ensuring that the new Junior Cycle is delivered to the highest standards possible.
Mr Mc Ardle is currently in the process of implementing some changes. This year, Beech Hill College has introduced a mandatory Transition Year. Students in Beech Hill College will experience a very structured Transition Year, with a huge emphasis being placed on helping the pupils mature, as well as striving for academic excellence. Students will be given the opportunity to sample their Leaving Certificate subjects and will also experience a wide range of activities that make Transition Year such an important year in a student’s development.
Over the last number of years, the facilities at Beech Hill College have been upgraded to a very high standard with funding granted by CMETB. The Home Economics, Engineering, Woodwork and Science suites have been completely refurbished and offer pupils a modern, well equipped learning environment. Mr. Mc Ardle concluded by saying that Beech Hill College is a safe, warm, welcoming school which has a student cohort that reflects the diversity that exists in modern Ireland. Students from every faith and background are welcomed and the staff work tirelessly to ensure all of the students receive the quality education they deserve.
Past pupil Ms Siobhán Sheerin spoke of her delight to return to Beech Hill College in her new role as Deputy Principal. Ms. Sheerin said that she was proud of the education that Beech Hill College had given her and how the school had continued to thrive and excel since she left. In fact eight staff members are past pupils of Beech Hill College and have a huge investment in creating a positive environment for all of the pupils. Beech Hill College operates a 3 day transfer programme for all first year pupils. This alleviates anxiety, helps students to settle in and become familiar with their new surroundings. Happy and secure students learn better. While high academic standards are of paramount importance, the staff of Beech Hill College realise that there are many other aspects of a child’s life which are of pivotal significance. For this reason a huge range of extra-curricular activities are on offer such as: football, basketball, handball and athletics. There is also film making, drama, choir, library club, coding and chess. Participation in these activities help to develop friendships and build confidence.
First year student, Ella Mc Kenna, spoke about her experiences transferring to Beech Hill College, the subjects that she studies and the extra-curricular activities she enjoys. This was followed by TY student Jamie Duffy, who spoke proudly of his achievements both within and outside of the classroom. A short film, which was directed and produced by the Beech Hill College Film Club with the assistance of their teacher Ms Foster, was shown. This film is on the Beech Hill College website, check it out at www.bhc.ie
Beech Hill College students acted as guides to escort families around various classrooms where 6th class pupils had an opportunity to take part in active learning including some Woodwork and Science experiments and had the opportunity to meet enthusiastic students and friendly teachers. Parents who were past pupils enjoyed ‘finding themselves’ in the gallery of old photos on display in the school.
The evening continued until almost 10pm as parents and their children continued to wander the corridors admiring displays and chatting with teachers. Many commented on how impressed they were with the facilities offered and the warm welcome they received! Enrolment at Beech Hill College will take place at the school until 5pm on 26th of January 2018.