Colaiste Mhuire Ballygar - Prospectus 2022

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Coláiste Mhuire

Ballygar Co. Galway

Community Excellence Tradition Innovation

Coláíste Mhuire is a small, voluntary secondary school established by the local community in 1948 to provide a holistic second-level education to students from Ballygar and the surrounding area.

In our school we focus on superior academic results, formation in the tradition of our Catholic faith and the building of character within a safe, caring community where your child is accepted, respected and never lost in the crowd.

Our school is built on respect for both self and others. It underpins everything we do.

A tangible sense of positivity permeates all areas of school life. We celebrate our student’s achievements, academic or otherwise, and we take pride in the fact that we are among the top feeder schools in the country to third-level.

We look forward to welcoming you to our school!

Mission and Ethos

We aim to provide a quality teaching and learning experience which fosters the development of the whole person. As a learning community we strive to respond to the needs of pupils, staff, parents and the local community

“There is an exceptional level of volunteerism evident among staff in taking on substantial duties related to programme and initiative co-ordination, special educational needs (SEN), student care and the facilitation of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities”
WSE: MLL Inspection

Why choose Coláiste Mhuire?

Caring and safe learning environment

Ongoing emphasis on quality Teaching and Learning

Learning Community that is understanding to the local community’s needs while being progressive and responsive to national and international demands Áituil - We are your local and friendly secondary school

Investment in our student’s emotional wellbeing by maintaining Guidance resources despite national cutbacks

Small is beautiful! We personally know each one our students, thus ensuring that no child ever gets left behind

Team of teachers who are committed to raising the bar and maintaining excellence

Excellent academic results, consistently well above and in excess of national averages

Management of discipline that is fair, measured and positive

High expectations for our students in all areas of school life

Unrivalled subject choice at both junior and senior cycle

Impressive range of co-curricular and extracurricular activities on offer

Reward system that recognises and celebrates student achievement

Excellent partnership between school and home

Promotion of Positive Behaviour

All members of the Coláiste Mhuire learning community are expected to treat one another with respect, good manners and courtesy at all times. We expect and promote high standards of good behaviour including:

• Respect for self

• Respect for fellow students

• Respect for staff

• Respect for property

We encourage our students to live out the Gospel values of respect, truth, care and justice while developing a keen sense of responsibility and promoting commitment.

Our Code of Behaviour can be viewed on

Student Wellbeing and Supports

• Tutor and Year Head System

• Qualified Guidance Counsellor on staff

• Excellent and Proven AntiBullying programme

• Learning Support and Resource Teaching for Students with Special Educational Needs

• Provision of Support for Students with English as an Additional Language

• Buddy System for incoming First Years

• Health Promoting School

• Positive Promotion of Emotional Wellbeing and Mental HeathAmber Flag school

Application Process for Incoming 1st Years

Application forms and information regarding our Admissions Policy will be delivered by the Principal from Coláiste Mhuire to 6th class pupils in our local primary schools.

Alternatively, information is available directly from


Teaching and Learning

Our students are offered a broad academic curriculum. A progressive approach to the use of new technology is a hallmark of our school. The highest academic standards are promoted in Coláiste Mhuire and the majority of our students take higher level at both Junior and Senior cycle.

Coláiste Mhuire is fortunate to have teachers who are highly qualified in their subject areas. Our teachers are to the forefront of new approaches to improving student learning. Our staff is innovative and interested in getting the best from every student. We are dedicated to providing a meaningful, relevant learning experience for all students.

All classrooms within the school contain networked computers, sound systems and data projectors which are all conducive to quality teaching and learning experiences

Parent View

“Top quality teaching and learning in a friendly and safe environment.”


Students follow a wellbeing programme which includes CSPE, Guidance, ICT, PE and SPHE.

PEStudents have a double class of PE each week. All students –regardless of their sporting ability – are encouraged to be active.


On completion of their Junior Cycle, students receive a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). As well as the Junior Cycle exams, students complete Classroom Based Assessments (CBAs) which further enhance the Junior Cycle Key Skills. In each subject, students complete a CBA in their second year and a second CBA in their third year. At the end of Third Year, students sit their Junior Cycle state exams in June.

Key Skills of Junior

All students will cover the 24 Statements of Learning and develop key skills that will enable them to participate in 21st-century learning.


Senior Cycle Optional Transition Year - 1 Year

Transition Year is an optional one-year programme which acts as a bridge between Junior and Senior Cycle. It enables students to develop skills and initiatives in a way that may not be possible in more exam-orientated contexts. Students complete modules in a wide range of interesting areas. Work Experience is an integral part of TY in Coláiste Mhuire.

Some of our activities in TY include the following:

Community Projects • School Tours • Genealogy • Highlights of the year include our Outdoor Bonding Day, Trip to Castlerea Prison, Driving Skills, Belfast Trip, European Tour Core Subjects Career Guidance Maths English Physical Education French, German, and Russian Relationships Sexuality Education (RSE) Information Technology Religious Education Irish Modules on Offer Business History Design, Communications & Graphics Home Economics Enterprise Music GAA Future Leaders Visual Art Geography Wood Technology
Enterprise/Mini Company •
Experience •
7 Leaving Certificate There are three Leaving Certificate Programmes offered: 1. Leaving Certificate (Established) 2. Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) 3. Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) Leaving Certificate (Established) Students choose their optional subjects, having had a basis in Junior Cycle or during Transition Year. We boast an impressive range of subjects for Leaving Certificate – choices are demand-led by students, and generally speaking, class sizes are very small. Core Subjects: Computer Studies Maths English Physical Education French or German Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Guidance Religious Education Irish Optional Subjects (Pick 3) Accounting Design and Communication Graphics Agricultural Science Geography Art History Biology Home Economics Business Music Chemistry Physics/Chemistry Construction Studies

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

Students taking LCVP follow the usual Leaving Cert Established Programme with an added vocational dimension and focus on enterprise, work and the community. Students opting to participate in the LCVP complete a portfolio which accounts for 60% of their overall mark. Students sit their LCVP written exam, worth 40%, in May of their Leaving Cert year. •

Leaving Certificate Applied Programme

The Leaving Certificate Applied programme is a two-year Leaving Certificate programme that prepares students for adult and working life.

The programme sets out to recognise all students’ talents, provide opportunities for developing personal responsibility, selfesteem and self-knowledge and helps students apply what they learn to the real world.

The two-year programme consists of four half-year blocks called sessions. Achievement is credited in each session. Courses are offered in three main areas: Vocational Preparation, General Education, and Vocational Education.


Assessment takes place on the completion of modules, and there is also a final examination in each of the following areas:
English and Communication •
vocational specialisms • Mathematical Applications • Language • Social Education

Student Wellbeing

Many events are organised throughout the year to help students become aware of their wellbeing and learn strategies to help look after their mental and physical health.

Year Heads

Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle students have a separate Year Head. Our Year Heads work alongside the students, teachers, Guidance Counsellor and Student Support Team to ensure that students are supported.

Special Education Teaching Team (SETT)

Our Special Education Teaching Team delivers and monitors additional learning support programmes and helps identify the most effective teaching approaches for students with additional learning needs.

Learning Support & Differentiation

• The SETT collaborates closely with teachers of all subject areas, parents and outside agencies to facilitate the inclusion of all students with Additional Educational Needs (AEN), giving all students access to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum.

• Supports are tailored to students’ specific needs so that each student can achieve their full potential.

• We employ Team Teaching/Co-Teaching and Differentiated Learning Methodologies.

• We have an ASD Class to cater for the needs of students with autism.

“It is a really good school. I am glad I chose here and I am learning a lot.”
Student View

Student Support Team

Our key supports include: • Counselling • Careers/Colleges information • Assessment • Advice on subject choices & levels • Study Skills • Career Fairs • Information Nights for Parents.
Guidance Counselling At Coláiste Mhuire,
offer all students a comprehensive Career Guidance and Counselling service. While we thoroughly prepare our students for the transition from primary to post-primary school, we also equip them with the information and guidance they may need to prepare them for further education and adult life.
The Student Support Team include school management, teachers, our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Year Heads and Our Guidance Counsellor. It brings all the school support services together to support students’ learning, social, emotional, and behavioural needs.
Council Our Student Council allows students to voice their concerns and opinions and play an active role in policy-making in the school. Teachers work with the Student Council, and links are formed between the students and management through the Council.

Evening Study

Coláiste Mhuire provides supervised study after school hours. Evening study is open to all students.

Lunch Games

First Year students participate in lunchtime games assisted by the school buddy system. The lunchtime games provide an opportunity for First Years to get to know their peers in a fun and engaging manner.

The Coláiste Mhuire ASD Class

The Coláiste Mhuire ASD class attempts to enable all students with ASD to belong to an educational community where individual differences are celebrated. The purpose of the ASD class is to assist students with ASD to leave school with the skills necessary to participate, to the best of their ability, in an inclusive way in society and to live independent and fulfilled lives.

Student View

“I love the fact that everybody knows everyone here. The teachers always try to help you anyway they can.”
“A personalised approach is initiated before students enter the school through individual meetings with the principal, the incoming students and their parents.”
WSE: MLL Inspection

SPORT: Hurling, Gaelic Football, rugby, athletics, badminton and futsal.

ART: Students participate in various art competitions.

MUSIC: Students are involved in school choir and musicals.

SPEECH & DRAMA: School Musical, debating/public speaking and workshops.


Extra & Co-Curricular
COMMUNITY: Students are involved with local community initiatives such as Tidy Towns, Active Citizenship, and local fundraisers. Gaisce, Active Citizenship, Tours (Local and Foreign), Homework Club, BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, Erasmus, Green Schools, Healthy Eating, Life Saving & Survival, Pottery and Young Entrepreneur.

Technology in Coláiste Mhuire

21st Century teaching and learning skills are nurtured and developed in Coláiste Mhuire. Our students have access to two fully equipped computer rooms and two portable class sets of laptops. In addition, Coláiste Mhuire uses Microsoft Office Teams as the Digital Learning Platform. This allows teachers and students to collaborate and communicate with one another.


Coláiste Mhuire has a long and proud tradition of providing education to students in Ballygar and the surrounding area and boasts many achievements:

• Excellent academic reputation

• A top feeder school from Galway to Third Level providers (Irish Times and Sunday Times)

• University entrance scholarships to third level institutions including, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, Maynooth University and National University of Ireland, Galway

• Multiple time student award recipients for top marks in various subjects in Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate state examinations

• Proud record of fundraising for charities

• Winner of Galway Enterprise Board student awards

• One of a handful of Co. Galway and city schools chosen to showcase their project at BT Young Scientist competition in recent years

• Keen sense of environmental responsibility - a record 9 Green flags and counting!

• Working towards our Amber Flag in recognition of our school community’s commitment to promotion of positive mental health and also the Purple flag for Health Promotion

• Various county, provincial and national titles won in a range of sporting disciplines including Gaelic Football, Hurling, Athletics, and Badminton

Awards • Student of the Year Awards • Subject Achievement Awards • Extra and Co-curricular Awards • Cara Award • Principal’s Award • Moira Gilleran Humanitarian Award • Brian Devine Community Service Award and Bursary Special ceremonies are held each May for students to recognise their nomination for achievement, dedication and most improved in terms of their application to school life.

Parental Involvement

We boast a vibrant and active Parents’ Association and very much view parents as partners in promoting excellence in teaching and learning. Parents who wish to become actively involved in the school are welcome and encouraged to join the Parents’ Association. Five parents act as a representative body that:

• Represents the views of parents

• Informs parents of developments in education and in the school

• Fosters co-operation between parents, teachers and school management

• Provides opportunities for parents and the school principal or representative of staff to meet and exchange ideas for school development

• Helps with the provision of extra equipment and fundraising

Parents are also invited to numerous information sessions held throughout the school year (Subject Choice, TY and CAO sessions), Graduation and awards nights, community events organised by the school, parent-teacher meetings and personal appointments.

Student Leadership

• Prefects

• Student Council

• Head Girl and Head Boy

• Gaisce

• Buddy System

• School Choir

• Green Schools Committee

• Amber Flag Committee

• Wellbeing Committee

Community Links

We are firmly committed to forging links with our local community. We achieve this through local parishes, sporting and cultural connections, local employers and other schools and charitable organisations

15 Learning Knowledge Achievement Family Teaching Thoughtful Inclusive Safe Environment Supportive Respect Welcoming Active Encouraging Hard-Working Pride Belonging

We aim to provide a quality teaching and learning experience which fosters the development of the whole person. As a learning community we strive to respond to the needs of pupils, staff, parents and the local community.

Coláiste Mhuire

Coláiste Mhuire +353 (0)90 662 4740 +353 (0)90 662 4982

Ballygar Co. Galway Principal: Ms. Emma O’Malley Deputy Principal: Ms. Anne Gilleran Twitter @ColaisteM Facebook colaistemhuireballygar Instagram @cmballygar

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