We congratulate Ailish O’Brien, Alina Joseph and Iva Sekulic who all achieved over 600 points in their Leaving Certificate this year. This is an outstanding achievement for the girls, whose results are among the top 5% in the country. Here they share with you their insights on their Leaving Certificate journey at St. Dominic’s College.
Iva Sekulic achieved 625 points in her Leaving Certificate. In this video she gives an insight into her experience at St. Dominic’s College and how she prepared for her exams. Thank you Iva and congratulations!
Alina Joseph achieved 625 points in her Leaving Certificate. In this video she reflects on her experiences at St. Dominic’s College. Thank you Alina, we will miss you too!
Principal Ms Ann Cameron interviews Ailish O Brien, who achieved 613 points in her Leaving Certificate.
Ms Cameron: Congratulations Ailish on your wonderful achievement of 613 points in your Leaving Certificate exam. It is a wonderful achievement for you and a testament to your hard work, commitment to your studies and dedication to achieving the best you could for yourself. We as a school are very proud of you and of all the students. Congratulations to your family in the way that they supported and encouraged you too.
Ms Cameron: How would you describe your approach to your studies over the last two years of the Leaving Certificate?
Ailish: I felt my approach to the Leaving Cert was very much calculated and strategically planned. I ensured I had all the necessary materials that would lead to success. This involved studying past paper trends and prioritising topics that I felt had a high chance of appearing on the paper. However, at the end of the day it all came down to how much time and effort I was willing to put in to each subject day after day.
Ms Cameron: How important is revising topics covered in class each week?
Ailish: Revising topics each week is extremely critical, especially in fifth year as you have to try and retain as much information as possible before reaching sixth year, as sixth year can become extremely overwhelming. The strategy that worked for me the most was looking over the material I covered in class for 10 minutes every day in after school study and making notes. As a result of this, when I came into sixth year I was exceptionally calm and composed.
Ms Cameron: The school places a lot of emphasis on Feedback and it is one of our School Self Evaluation Targets. How important was your teachers’ feedback to you after assignments, assessments and other work?
Ailish: I valued my teachers’ feedback immensely as it is the only way you can improve and excel. The teachers in St. Dominic’s have years of experience and are aware of what the examiners are looking for. Once taking on their feedback, I saw massive improvements in my grades especially in subjects such as French and English as they tend to be technically difficult.
Ms Cameron: How did the 2 lockdowns impact your study routine?
Ailish: Being honest, my study routine completely diminished throughout the two lockdowns. I struggled to keep focus as sitting at the same desk and the same screen for 8 hours a day with no social interaction, I found to be very challenging. It was hard to find the motivation to study as there was a lot of uncertainty in the air regarding the format of the Leaving Certificate and the return to school. My determination and ambition reignited on the return to school as I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
Ms Cameron: Did you have a good group of girls in school who supported each other? Is this an important factor to you?
Ailish: Of course! I surrounded myself with girls who were equally as ambitious and as hardworking as I was and it was really motivating. Hearing how much work they were putting in to achieve their results only pushed me harder to achieve the results I wanted to achieve. It’s always good to have some friendly competition
Ms Cameron: What did you enjoy most about school life?
Ailish: I really enjoyed coming to school every day and seeing so many friendly faces. The relationship between the staff and the students was of an affable nature that I felt it was so easy to come into school each day. Lunch time was definitely a highlight as everyone was able to relax and have fun as we felt relieved of the pressure of the Leaving Cert for a short period of time.
Ms Cameron: Can you describe life in St Dominic’s College as a student to help parents and students who may be thinking of applying for a place in our school?
Ailish: St Dominic’s College is an incredible school with amazing staff and support teams. All the staff across the board are so supportive and willing to help. I would advise parents to apply to the school with an open mind and allow their children to embrace the opportunities the school has to offer. This school will allow your child to flourish as a person whilst they embark on their journey in the school.
We thank you Ailish and wish you all the best for your future endeavours.