Principal Mary Daly and Guidance Counsellor Cheryl Keeler recently attended the ‘College for Every Student’ Award Ceremony and Conference in Burlington, Vermont, where St Dominic’s College was recognised as a ‘21st Century School of Distinction.

 The ‘21st Century School of Distinction Award’ aims to promote and award:  Innovation in the classroom; Development of a whole-school, ‘college-going’ culture and Engagement with the community to support educational uplift. Mary states that ‘St Dominic’s has always believed that every student deserves the opportunity to succeed and progress to College and this recognition acknowledges the efforts of the staff to encourage our students to develop the Essential Skills required to successfully complete college and embark on 21st Century careers.

As a succesful applicant of the award St. Dominic’s College Ballyfermot have received;

  • A ‘21st Century School of Distinction’ banner;
  • Permission to use a specially developed digital logo to publicise the award;
  • Access to creative ideas and resources submitted by all schools on the Trinity Access 21 website and through a Google Community, so that they can be shared and used more widely.

The scheme has selected five finalists this year from a wide range of applicants across the island and of Ireland who have shown evidence of progress and innovation in three of the following six criteria:

  1. Promoting College Awareness and create high visibility in school and beyond.
  2. ‘Leadership through Service’ activities that improve the local community.
  3. An exemplary ‘Mentoring’ programme.
  4. An innovative approach to supporting the development of a 21st century team-based, technology-mediated approach to teaching and learning.
  5. An innovative approach to engaging students with special educational needs (SEN) in practices relating to ‘Leadership through Service’, ‘College Awareness’, ‘Mentoring’ or ‘21st Century Teaching & Learning’.
  6. One or more ‘Families as Partners’ activities.

In June, Dr Rónán Smith Post-Doctoral Researcher at Trinity Access 21  was delighted to announce  that the school has been selected as a 21st Century School of Distinction this year, based on their  submission under the following headings:

“Pathways to College, Mentoring and Families as Partners”

 He continued to explain that the panel were extremely impressed with St Dominic’s application and highlighted our excellent community links and the comprehensive mentoring programme as particular strengths.

Guidance Counsellor Cheryl Keeler stated ‘this award will continue to encourage more students to progress to College and expressed thanks to our 3rd Level Colleges who provide opportunities for our students to visit their campuses.