Trying to decide on a School for ds -St. Marys or Le Cheile

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  • #13798
    MaryE
    Member

    Hi There,
    Trying to decide which primary school to send son to this September & I need your help.

    We had sort of decided that he was going to the new local school but now we have been offered a place in Le Cheile, so this has thrown the cat among the pigeons.

    St. Marys Parish School:
    The new local school (Fatima & Congress) would be so handy for us logistically (so near & no bus fares) speaking but no one seems to know what’s going on with it:
    • They cant tell me how many junior infant classes or places they will have. They wont know till the end of March!! Although my son ticks all the right boxes, age, religion, catchment area so he should get a place.
    • Then i hear a rumour that they may not mix the kids at all, boys will be in one class & girls in another!!
    • I heard another rumour that they don’t have the money to finish the school?

    Does Anyone have kids presently going to Fatima or Congress Avenue, what do you think of the schools? Are your kids happy there? Are you happy with the level of teaching? Have you heard any update on the new school? Do you forsee any issues with the schools amalgamating?

    Le Cheile Etg
    I was at the Le Cheile School meeting the other night, so i know all about the non uniform, the extra religion classes, buses etc

    From Le Cheile parents, ive heard that their kids are happy, that the school is child centred, that it is like a little community, that the children are treated like individuals & there is great respect for one another which I love & think is fantastic.

    • What about it academically? I hear that they get very little homework & although they do teach the same curriculum as every other national school, i don’t get the impression that they are academically focused??
    • I’m also worried about the transition from Le Cheile to a non-educate together Secondary school – is there too much of a gap?
    • The parents seem to be very involved which can be a good thing & a bad thing. I’m a working mother, i would help out when i can but i won’t be able to give a big commitment, hope i wont feel under pressure to do so or that my child would loose out because of it.

    Do your kids go to Le Cheile, what do you think of it academically? What are your plans for Secondary school, do you see a transition problem? What do you think of the parents involvement? My dh is worried that although Le cheile have great ideas that he agrees with, but that they don’t reflect the real world & that our kids maybe too cocooned there & would not be street wise – what do you think of that statement?

    Have to respond to Le Cheile by the 20th of Feb or will loose place.

    I know most people will always say that the school their childs goes to is the best but I would really appreciate your honest opinion. Im really not trying to find out which is better then another but more what suits us better?

    God, the more I think about it, the more confused I am.

    #119923
    Taylor5
    Member

    You could hedge your bets and hold onto both places until you are really ready.
    My son goes to Le Cheile and i cant praise the school enough, there is a very active pta and its all very friendly and the kids are great and have a great respect for others, i stood watching the 5 and 6th class kids one day i was stunned by their manners and how good they were….. i have seen some kids from St Marys and they are so bold and bad mannered, i did hear a story about an 8 year old child bringing a knife into school last year!!
    The kids in le cheile are so happy the teachers are so nice and i love how they call them by their first name rather then miss or sir.
    I dont know how they will adapt to secondary, but the hope is there will be an educate together secondary school in the area by then.
    Im a SAHM and i do very little for the pta, i do set out chairs or help clean up, but not much else. When my ds2 is in school i will give more time, i know loads of parents who do nothing at the school, this is due to work or illness. If your child is doing afterschool they ask for each parent to do an hour, out of eight or ten weeks you might put an hour in…. as imfree i would do a few weeks as some of the other parents work.
    i would pick le cheile hands down, my son is only in senior infants and has a new teacher, she isnt giving much homework, the teacher was giving out loads of work.. im not sure about the older kids. Its the only school in the area that has a waiting list, i think that speaks for itself.

    #119931
    libby1
    Participant

    You have heard a lot of rumours

    First the money is there to finish the school.
    The places for Junior Infants will be known in March

    The school will be co-education – boys and girls in the one school.. in the same class You should have went to the Dhotel last night to see the plans wow…

    Why don’t you call down to St Marys BNS and speak to John Weir the principal..

    I am chairperson of Scoil Mhuire Fatmia – & part of the steering group of the new school..

    My ds went to congress and my dd goes to Fatmia, i have nothing but the height of parish for both schools.. If you are interested in your sons education you need to get involved on parents council…

    The teachers in both schools are great , many extra activities and they run summer camps as well..

    There is a fundraising raffle going on for the new school to put in extras.. i would recommend St MarysParish School from my expereinces with both.. Any questions just ask..

    #119933
    AnnQuinn
    Member

    I don’t have children in any of the schools mentioned but, at the risk of opening a can of worms, would you want your child mixing with children of parents who view Le Cheile as some sort of elite school. The great unspoken in Drogheda is the idea that Le Cheile is in some way superior to the regular National School system – hence the ridiculously long waiting list – and by extension little Petula who goes to Le Cheile is in some way superior to all her National School peers. The smugness and snobbery that goes with this world of Celtic tiger middle class liberalism would be enough to send me running.
    Just a thought…

    #119935
    kairen100
    Member

    The school will be co-education – boys and girls in the one school.. in the same class You should have went to the Dhotel last night to see the plans wow

    #119936
    MaryE
    Member

    Thanks for replies. Loads to think about.

    I didnt know about meeting in D Hotel.

    #119943
    chewieodie
    Member

    Yikes Ann…. you are kind of painting every one with the same brush there! A little harsh I think.
    Just my opinion… 😉 (and said as a parent who doesn’t have a child at Le Cheile)

    #119951
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Mary E,

    It can be difficult making this kind of decision but it is worth taking the time to find out as much as you can about both schools and assessing how each will meet your child’s needs as well as the practicalities such as family commitments, access etc. After all you will be committing to this arrangement for 8 years or longer if you have younger children who will attend the chosen school too. Consider also where the schools feed into for secondary if you have any particular preferences there.

    I have no experience of St. Mary’s, I am a Le Cheile parent and I have been very happy with the school. Having said that I believe the standard of primary education in this country in general is very good and I would not have any concerns about other primaries I know of on that score. We chose Le Cheile for a range of reasons. We have 1 child who needs additional support and whose needs are particularly well served there. That is not to suggest other schools would not have served us well, it just came down to a sense we got about warmth, approachability, ethos, commitment. The school is no less focussed on academics than any other. I have nephews and nieces in other schools and would be alert to differences if there were any. Homework is on a par with them.

    Can I say in the interests of balance that I’m taken aback at some of the comments made about the school. Smugness and snobbery can be found anywhere. I’m certainly not part of any elite group, nor would I regard many parents I meet there in that way either. I have found the school to be very inclusive. How others perceive it is for them to decide but in any school you will find considerable variation and that can only be a good thing surely.

    We haven’t reached secondary transition yet but I know a fair few Le Cheile parents whose children have and I’m not aware of any issues, any I’ve spoken to in the past were happy with how the kids transitioned and with their various chosen secondary schools. I guess at the end of the day it’s important to listen to your instinct about what’s right for your own situation.

    I wish you well with your decision Mary E and whatever choice you make I would expect your child will be well served in either school.

    Kind Regards

    Coriander

    #119952
    Taylor5
    Member

    I don’t have children in any of the schools mentioned but, at the risk of opening a can of worms,would you want your child mixing with children of parents who view Le Cheile as some sort of elite school. The great unspoken in Drogheda is the idea that Le Cheile is in some way superior to the regular National School system – hence the ridiculously long waiting list – and by extension little Petula who goes to Le Cheile is in some way superior to all her National School peers. The smugness and snobbery that goes with this world of Celtic tiger middle class liberalism would be enough to send me running.
    Just a thought…

    Ann my child goes to Le Cheile and i have never heard anyone saying or thinking its an Elite school, also the Etos of the school is that everyone is equal and respect others , so the children would NEVER think like that. It does have a waiting list, does that make it Elite? Just some advice for anyone with new babies, start putting your childs names down now, for the likes of Le Cheile they need to be down asap.
    I have heard that one of the Irish schools (dont know the name) in town is regarded as being an Elite school and there is a huge demand for it and people travel from all over the town with their kids, i think the waiting lists are a simple case of supply and demand…. more kids in the area then spaces in the schools!
    My choice for Le Cheile over St Marys was that i didnt like the feeling in the building (i know they have a new school now) Le Cheile was prefabs but it felt warm and a happy place, i think you also have to make traffic a factor in your choice

    #119955
    scole1
    Member

    Wow what a comment sheesh that’s harsh saying that
    I think no matter where you go people will have a good word or bad word to say about schools different people’s perception of the school and the children that attend or the parents at the gate that is wrong way to look at things but I will put my hands up and admit have judged books by their covers and I am sorry I have gone that road but I think important thing is to research the schools etc
    The education system is great here despite what people think I know our children’s education is so important and most parents want their children to succeed in life and therefore feel education is the backbone to this it is just as important For parents to support the educators and their child in education and not blame the schools or teachers I think this is what makes a good choice in education
    I wish you the best of luck trying to decide its a hard one as this is the start of the education and making of your child’s future

    #121163
    MaryE
    Member

    Thank you for your replies.

    We have decided on le Cheile, reasons mainly being the few times ive been there ive liked it, it is small & as my son is shy, i think it will suit him. Plus every parent ive spoken to who has kids there is happy.

    He may be just as happy in the news school but as its "New", i cant get a feeling for it or visit it yet or anything, so feel id be making a decision on the unknown. Plus ive heard that schools that almagamate can take a few years for things to settle & i dont want those few years to be when my son is starting school.

    Still have a knot in my stomach thinking about it, but we have made our decision now, so going to stick with it & hope for the best.

    #121171
    munchin
    Participant

    MaryE delighted you made a choice – we wouldn’t fall into catchment area for any of the schools mentioned above but i did have my dd down for 4 schools and she got a place in 3 of them – plus i was advised of another one where she could have got a place and boy trying to make a decision was tough. In the end we had to sit down with piece of paper and write down all the pros and cons for each school taking into account travelling etc and that younger dd would be going among other things.
    DD only started in Sept but so far we’re happy and fingers crossed it will continue like that

    #121172
    Taylor5
    Member

    MaryE you will be happy with your choice, even the traffic factor is a huge one, you will drive out and in the opposite direction to the traffic, i can get from door to door in 5mins in the mornings, if i was going to St Marys with the traffic Lord knows how long it would take…
    For 50e per year your ds could get the free school bus in the mornings, its 16e per week on the way home, free from 3pm in 1st class, well free other then the 50e yearly fee.
    I love the school and all the teachers, why wasnt school like that when i was a child

    #121173
    MaryE
    Member

    Taylor someone told me that €50 Bus eireann charge is going up to €100 this year, have you herad that?

    Didnt know that we had to pay €16 a week for him to come home!!! ahh, is that for a private bus? Why dont Bus Eireann pick up the younger kids, is it because of numbers? Do they not do that pick up at all or just not to the Dublin road? I know a few kids starting there in september, i wonder if they all applied for the bus would bus eireann bring them home?

    #121175
    Taylor5
    Member

    yes i did hear that, i think it was in the budget it went up.

    There is a bus eireann bus at 2pm but that only does the bettystown area, im not sure why it the other bus doesnt come at 2pm, i know there is a bus eireann bus to the Dublin Road at 3pm…. i could ask for you, dont quote me but im not 100% sure.
    Would you not car pool, i car pool with a mam and she has a dd starting in september, she might do a week on week off with you if your intrested.

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