College now a class act

By Mary Dennehy

AFTER three years in prefabs, Kingswood Community College has moved into its new building, with 525 students and 48 staff this week starting out on a new road for the secondary school.

Taking in its first cohort of 60 students three years ago while based in prefabs, Kingswood Community College has grown steadily since and now has 525 students, 180 of whom are first years.

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School staff outside the new state-of-the-art premises

Students have moved into a spacious, specially-designed learning hub that boasts 30 mainstream classes and additional purpose-built rooms for subjects such as art, technology, wood work, home economics, technical graphics and music.

There are also six science labs, a special-needs classroom, library and multi-use hall.

The school is designed to facilitate and encourage active learning, both inside and out – with four outdoor classrooms and four raised roof-top gardens.

There are also apple, plum and pears trees growing on the landscaped grounds, and a FAI-approved soccer pitch.

Speaking with The Echo, Principal Deborah Dunne said: “We are delighted to move into our new building and look forward to settling in, and growing our new community college into the Kingswood community.

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Third year with Deborah Dunne (Principal), Mary Murphy (Deputy Principal), Kate Farrelly (Tutor) and Eoin Smith ( Assistant Tutor)

“Our school is set up to be part of the community, we’ve no barriers, no gates, so that the community feels part of the school.

“We’re already working with different community groups and hope in October or November to bring the local community in to visit the school.”

Living in Tallaght, Ms Dunne, who grew up in St Maelruain’s Park, stressed the importance of students getting to know each other.

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Anthony Rochford, Jessica Lynch, Nathon Kirwan, Jay Triev, Emma Grogan and Ciaran Brady

“We are big into getting students to know each other,” Ms Dunne said.

“For example, we have six first-year classes of 30 students.

However, we break these classes down into smaller groups for subjects such as science and the nine option subjects.

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Teacher Robbie Dunne with first year students

“We re-mix the classes so that students get to know other people in their year.”

She added: “We’re really overwhelmed by the new building and the fact that it opens up so many different options for students.

“The space within the building will allow us to get in more active learning, and open up opportunities for different learning styles.

“The students are loving their new school building and there is a lot of excitement.

“We’re really looking forward to working with the students and the community into the future.

“We can now set out a road map of where we want the school to be.”

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