Fingal Community College celebrated another hugely successful ‘College Awareness Week’ this year. After being awarded the title of 21st Century School of Distinction last year, all staff and students were keen to retain the title and make the event even bigger. As a ‘College For Every Student’ (CFES) School, all staff members are working together to inform the students of the options available to them, what is required of them in order to get what they want and the challenges and rewards of getting a third level education. In the run-up to ‘College Awareness Week’ and during the week itself there were many events and activities for every year group. The school corridors were transformed with colourful displays from every year. First Year Students created a ‘Reach for The Stars’ display, where each designed a paper hand that illustrated their chosen career. The Dream Tree was completed by the second years, they used college prospectuses to find their dream course and design leaves to hang on the tree. Third years completed a careers interest survey and then researched their top suggested jobs. The transition year students created the ‘Smart Celebrities’ which featured posters of famous people around the world and the details of their study and career paths. Fifth years carried out career investigation posters based on the most popular course choices from Fingal students. As well as these displays, the CFES team collaborated to make displays on multiple intelligences, a career salary scale, an ‘ Alumni Hall of Fame’ of past students and their career paths and a map of all the colleges in Ireland. Speakers from Maynooth, Dublin City University (DCU), National College of Ireland (NCI), Blanchardstown Institute of Technology (ITB), Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) and Smart Futures (STEM) spoke to senior students about the opportunities they have to offer. Senior students are looking forward to upcoming talks from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), University College Dublin (UCD) and Google in the upcoming weeks. Through the generosity of Phelan Conan, students were given an opportunity to visualise their futures by trying on a graduation cap and gown for the Graduation Photo booth.
The high point of ‘College Awareness Week’, for many, was the ‘Speed-Mentoring Event’ held for 5th Year Students in the school hall on Friday the 25th November. Staff Members reached out to our alumni and invited many back to the school to speak to our current 5th Years about their study and career paths. We wanted our students to know what past pupils of Fingal Community College have achieved and what is possible for them. It was a leap into the unknown for Fingal but the response from students and mentors alike was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. The Mentors, twenty in all, came from a variety of career areas, for example; engineering, languages, actuarial mathematics, physics, business, medicine, accountancy, law, primary and secondary education, general and children’s nursing, software engineering and agricultural science. There was a warm reunion in the staffroom of the returned past pupils and their former teachers. The 5th Year Students reported that they really enjoyed meeting lots of interesting people; they felt there was a good variety of careers and different career pathways to learn about, they learned stress and time management skills and they felt that it gave them ‘more ambition to hear the success stories’. After an extremely successful mentoring event in 2015 and now 2016, Fingal Community College is planning to make this another annual event to add to their busy calendar.
Overall we are very proud of all that was achieved during College Awareness Week 2016 and we hope to make it even more memorable in the coming years. We want to extend our thanks to staff and students of Fingal Community College, past pupils and members of the community who gave of their time to make it such a huge success.
Written by Ms. Kennedy