Each year the students get a booklet to help them attend school and cope with the transition from junior level to Fifth year. This is something our teachers have fine-tuned over generations of student to prepare Fifth Years for their entry into the Senior Cycle.
The booklet features advice from students who have gone through Fifth Year themselves, with many past past pupils talking about how life in the Senior Cycle differs to the Junior Cycle. One comment from a past student was that Fifth Year was that the year is “scary at first, bearable throughout and at the end hopefully you are laughing.”
The booklet is usually given to students at a presentation, which also gives students information on Mindfulness, Time Management, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT aims to help people to challenge their thoughts and to assess whether their thoughts are true and accurate. These are skills which will surely be of great benefit to our students going on into the Senior Cycle.
The Attendance Committee, who are responsible for putting this booklet together, also draw on the expertise of Dr Harry Barry. At the presentation to Fifth Years, they like to show his video on how to cope with panic attacks.
The booklet for Fifth Years includes a section with sources from various leading psychologists in Ireland. It gives helpful advice for coping with stress and anxiety, such as setting aside designated “worry time”, recalling past successes, and dividing a problem into eight bite-size pieces and tackling one bite at a time.
There is also a section for parents at the end of the booklet. Parents are encouraged to try not to get anxious themselves if they see their child anxious (though this might be difficult).
We remind both Fifth and Sixth Years to revisit this booklet if they’re finding it hard to cope in the current times.
If any parent would like a copy of this booklet, please contact the office.