What our First years think
“What I like best about Garbally College is the opportunity to play sport after school every evening” Ross Finn
“I love the new Dining Hall and the hot dinners each day” Donnchadh Reilly
“I love all the new teachers I have. I also love going to the lunchtime clubs in the gym” Stephen Ryan
“The best thing about Garbally College for me is not having the same teacher and moving from class to class getting fresh air and the new choice subjects like German and Art” Jack Kelly
“The things I like most about Garbally are the new classrooms and the regular patterns of lessons/transition between different classes and teachers” Shane Bleahene
“The best things I like about Garbally is the Sports Hall, the Dining Hall and the new friends I have made. The facilities are very good and I love Woodwork, Art and Metalwork” Frankie Ward
“The best thing I like about Garbally College is the Library because it has many good teenage books and we can use the laptops” Jack McKenna
“I like Garbally because of the hot food and the sport” Traolach O’Coileir
Garbally College has been serving the educational needs of Ballinasloe and its hinterland since its foundation in 1892.
It has a long and proud tradition as a seminary and a boarding school. As we begin our new journey as a dayboys’ school we have made several important changes to ensure that in partnership with families and the wider community we continue to create a learning community that actively encourages excellence in teaching and learning.
GARBALLY COLLEGE IS RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF OUR PUPILS IN THE NEW KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY BY ENSURING THAT:
- Garbally College is a registered Test Centre for the E.C.D.L. All first years now do the prestigious E.C.D.L. Course.
- Broadband is available throughout the school and that the entire school is networked.
- Data projectors are available in each classroom to further enhance academic standards.
- All computer laboratories are totally modernised, networked and upgraded.
- A suite of laptops in the newly refurbished library with wireless Internet access.
- C.A.D. and C.A.M. are available in the Engineering, Design and Communications and Construction rooms.
- Interactive whiteboards are available in classrooms.
- All attendance, assessment and behaviour records are electronically recorded.
These innovations have placed Garbally College at the forefront of I.T. Education in Ireland.
This is critical, as our pupils seek opportunities in an increasingly competitive job environment.
In addition to these I.T. innovations the College has also made a number of other significant changes:
- Continuous Assessment for all examination classes.
- Study Skills seminars for all examination classes.
- A new Dining Hall has been constructed. Students can now avail of hot meals each day at a reasonable cost. Allied to our commitment to extra curricular activities, this new departure exemplifies our care for our students’ health and well-being.
- School Clubs (before, during and after school) help build community and ensure students enjoy their time in the College.
- Good order is a core value; our totally upgraded, digitalised C.C.T.V. system and the professional commitment of all the staff ensure good order and a safe campus.
- Music has been re-introduced to the curriculum and the College Choir has made huge progress.
- Following a refit, the College Library is now the most exciting and visited facility in the College; the Library houses the very best in teenage fiction and these are available to all students. Audio, I.T. facilities and a very pleasant ambience have helped turn the Library into a pleasant centre of learning and relaxation.
- Food Appreciation, in a newly fitted kitchen, has been introduced as part of the Transition Year Programme.
- Students have enjoyed this new departure for Garbally College. Furthermore, all our first year students have completed a Food Appreciation course and our Leaving Certificate Applied classes are currently completing a Hotel Catering and Tourism module.
- A fully equipped gym has also been opened and our students avail of the opportunity to train under our fully qualified instructor.
- The entire College has been refurbished and renovated over the past few years to ensure students have the very best facilities during their time here.
We have invested €1million modernising the College over the past few years. Our intake has increased dramatically and our facilities are among the best in the country.
Garbally is now the college of choice for young men in East Galway/South Roscommon. 98% of our Leaving Certificate students now go on to study at third level, which now places us in the top 20% of schools in Ireland. All our students are constantly encouraged to leave their comfort zone and achieve their potential.
FIRST YEAR STUDENTS
The transition from primary to post primary education can be a difficult time for students. It represents one of the major status passages on life’s journey. It coincides with the change from childhood to adolescence.
Students move from the small school to the big school and meet a new social group. This can be a very challenging time for new first year students and schools have to ensure that the transition is successful. Garbally has a very effective transition programme. Trained mentors are assigned to small groups of first year pupils. The mentors ensure that friendships are fostered that students get involved in all extra-curricular activities and that all feel welcomed and included in their new school.
First years are specifically targeted for inclusion in our lunchtime clubs and indoor soccer and handball leagues. We host regular assemblies for first years to which parents are invited.
Our taster programme takes place during September and October, when students avail of the opportunity to experience a wide range of subjects from which they choose three for their Junior Certificate Programme.
There are a number of structures and programmes to meet specific students needs. These include:
- A School Chaplain
- Anti Bullying Policy – students are made aware of this policy from the day of their arrival.
- A Year Head and Assistant Year Head look after the first year students. They look after the academic, pastoral and behavioural needs of students.
- Mentors – This structure was developed to help first year students make a successful transition from primary to secondary level. Selected sixth year assume responsibility for small groups of first years, get to know them and are available to sort our adjustment difficulties as they arise. Individual counselling is available to all students.
- All sixth years participate weekly in a School Leavers Programme, which concentrates on preparing them for the world of higher education and the world of work.
- An elected Students’ Council represents student needs at regular meetings with the school principal.
- Programmes of Health Education, Relationships Course and Developmental Group Work supplement these structures.
- Study skills programme are organised for students.
- The Pastoral care team meets regularly to ensure all are cared for in our school community.
- Full time counsellor now employed by the College.