50 first year students start in new secondary school

By Mary Dennehy

TALLAGHT’s newest secondary school opened its doors in Kingswood last Friday, with 50 first year students starting in temporary accommodation while construction work begins on their permanent, state-of-the-art, 1,000 pupil school.

The school’s first students and seven teachers will be based in temporary accommodation for two years, while construction work, due to start this November, is carried out on their new school.

Kingswood Community College 07

When complete, the new school will have the capacity for 1,000 students with some design features including three rooftop gardens, outdoor learning spaces and the biggest indoor classrooms in the country – which will facilitate group and project work.

This week, new Principal Deborah Dunne, who grew up in St Maelruan’s Park and now lives in Ellensborough, told The Echo how the students chose their own uniforms after months of research and fashion shows – a nod to the open and informal learning environment that the school embraces.

Ms Dunne said: “The whole design of the school fits in with the school’s ethos on learning, which will encourage young people to take control of their own learning…and adopt different ways of learning for different subjects.

“We are also an iPad school and have put a lot of emphasis on science, performing arts and coding, which all students try for some time.

“It is also compulsory for students to do two extra curriculum activities, such as GAA, film appreciation, Eco Club and young entrepreneurs, which ties in with the new Junior Cert programme.”

The school’s crest is designed around an oak tree which in its branches contains the school’s principles of respect, support, pride and confidence – aspirations which connect to the roots of the tree, where family, friends, community and school are grounded.

“While some were nervous, anxious and apprehensive on Friday, teachers and students were all excited to be starting on this new school’s journey and looking forward to a bright future.”

Kingswood Community College is catering to a large catchment area and will be the main feeder school for St Kilian’s in Kingswood, St Kevin’s Girls and Boys NS in Kilnamanagh and Solas Chriost in Belgard.

Pick up a copy of this week's Echo for lots more pictures from the opening day at Kingswood Community College, featured on page 67.

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