Huge crowds attend Beech Hill College Open Night
Last Thursday evening the 8th of November hundreds of families from Monaghan town, the surrounding villages and rural areas attended the Beech Hill College Open and Enrolment night.
The evening commenced in the newly refurbished school canteen with the fabulous Beech Hill College choir, accompanied by their teachers Ms Sinead Daly and Ms Emily Mc Meel, entertaining all assembled with a song from ‘The Greatest Showman’. This was followed by a welcome address by Courtney Willis and Tara Fanning, two sixth year student leaders in Beech Hill College. The girls introduced 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.
Mr Mc Ardle is currently in the process of implementing some changes to ensure high standards and academic success in Beech Hill College. Beech Hill College now has a mandatory Transition Year. TY students 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 are given the opportunity to sample their Leaving Certificate subjects and experience a wide range of modules and activities such as Driver Theory, First Aid, Dance, Drama and many more 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. The Sports Facilities have been significantly improved with the addition of a fitness suite and other new equipment. 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, He said that the school recognises the talents of all pupils encouraging them daily with the school motto ‘Be The Best You can Be’. 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.
Mr Mc Ardle introduced three first year students Halle-Kate Cunnigham, Dara Treanor and Ellie Connolly who spoke of their first few weeks in Beech Hill College. The pupils spoke about their experiences transferring to Beech Hill College, the subjects that they study and the extra-curricular activities they enjoy. All three pupils have settled in very well in Beech Hill College and spoke of a ‘warm, friendly, welcoming school’
Deputy Principal, past pupil and parent Ms Siobhán Sheerin spoke of her delight of returning to her school 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 there is a huge range of extra-curricular activities 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. Ms Sheerin encouraged 6th class pupils to ‘sign up’ for the Taster Day which will take place on Saturday the 24th of November 10-1. On this day teachers will be in Beech Hill College to teach in a variety of classrooms so students can get a real feel of what it’s like in secondary school.
The speeches were concluded by Tara Fanning who spoke of her achievements both within and outside of the classroom. 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, Lego Mindstorm, Home Economics 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 10.pm 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 25th January 2018.