Efforts to support subject choice for all students are commendable
Whole-school Evaluation, Department of Education & Skills, 2014.
Loreto Secondary School cherishes the academic abilities of all and delivers a broad curriculum which offers a wide range of subjects of study. We strive to enable each of our students to achieve her academic potential. We encourage our students to be ambitious in relation to the targets she sets for herself and our students work in an atmosphere that is supportive. Loreto students have a strong sense that their teachers care about their academic progress and want them to do well, regardless of their abilities. We are currently reviewing our curriculum. For the 2017/2018 academic year, we have amended our timetable to ensure all lessons are of 40 minutes’ duration. The review of curriculum will look at the following: Junior Cycle review, the possibility of introducing ‘short courses’ at Junior Cycle, new subjects etc.
In First Year, all students study the full range of subjects on offer for the duration of the year. Therefore, no choices have to be made prior to enrolment. This allows students to make a more informed decision with regard to their options for Junior Certificate. Furthermore, our classes are formed on the basis of mixed ability. We find this brings a benefit to all students in each class and contributes to Loreto’s extraordinary academic achievements. Higher and Ordinary level classes are formed in Irish and Mathematics from Second Year onwards and in English from Fifth Year.
Art, Business Studies, Civic Social Political Education (C.S.P.E.), English, French, Geography, German, History, Home Economics, Irish, Maths, Music, Religious Education & Science.
In addition, students take the following non-examination subjects which are a vital part of our programme. These subjects are taken up to Third Year:
Choir (optional after First Year), Physical Education (P.E.), Social Personal Health Education (S.P.H.E.)
In the Spring of First Year, students choose three optional subjects, with which they will continue in Second Year, from the following:
Art, Business Studies, French, German, Home Economics, Music.
Students must select at least one continental language (exceptions made where students qualify for Learning Support), and may choose both. We have great success in ensuring that the maximum number of students gets to study their preferred subjects. Last year, all of our first years got their preferred options!
We offer a broad range of subjects in the Leaving Certificate. All students take the core examination subjects of Irish, English and Mathematics as well as Religious Education, Guidance, Computers (there is also the option of Computer Programming) and Physical Education for the duration of the programme. All students continue with their R.S.E. (Relationships and Sexuality Education) in 5th and 6th Year.
We currently offer the following option subjects:
Art, Music, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Agricultural Science, Home Economics,
Accounting, Business, Economics, Geography, History, French, German.
On average, 98% of our students receive their top four preferences.
Our Transition Year Programme (T.Y.) is an optional year that bridges the gap between the more dependent learning style of Junior Certificate and the Leaving Certificate. It is hugely popular in Loreto, with the majority of students opting for the programme. T.Y. encourages personal and social development and recognises the need for students to grow in independence.
Transition Year fosters academic achievement as students prepare for the Leaving Certificate programme, further study and adult and working life. It encourages the development of a wide range of transferrable critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. As well as a full programme of academic subjects, students can avail of modules such as: Crafts, Music Technology, Mini-Business, Ceili, Social Education, Debating, Drama, Health & Safety, Computers, Chinese (Language & Culture), Development Education, Active Schools, Sports Leadership, Spanish, Communication Skills, Agricultural Science, and Typing Skills. Further to our timetabled curriculum workshops are currently organised as follows: Graphic Design, First Aid, Creative Thinking, Project Maths Trail, Storytelling and Performance as Gaeilge, Rhythm, Song Dance and Cultural Awareness, HACCP (food safety), Forensics workshop, Poetry Writing, Self-defence, SOAR mental health Interactive Drug and Alcohol Awareness programme.
Leaving Certificate Applied
We offer the Leaving Certificate Applied programme which is a distinct, self-contained two-year programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. The programme puts an emphasis on forms of achievement and excellence, which the established Leaving Certificate has not recognised in the past. The programme is offered subject to sufficient demand. Our class of 2014 achieved remarkable results with one in three students gaining the highest possible grade.
Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme
This course, which is available each year to students, offers an enhanced Leaving Certificate in the form of the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme. The L.C.V.P. student undertakes the study of two Link Modules: “Enterprise Education” and “Preparation for the World of Work”. The programme increases the number of C.A.O. points secured by many of those that take the course.