OUR MISSION STATEMENT
TO ENABLE EACH STUDENT TO ACHIEVE HIS/HER EDUCATIONAL POTENTIAL, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS, BASED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF CARING, DIGNITY, MUTUAL RESPECT AND QUALITY.
Errigal College under the auspices of Co Donegal VEC and was previously situated at Ard O’Donnell in Letterkenny. This building now houses the Head Offices of Co Donegal VEC. The College transferred to a brand new building at Windy Hall in 1987 where further developments have taken place at the site, including the addition of a quality playing field, developed in conjunction with the Windy Hall Community Group, and the building of a new state of the art canteen in 2003.
Outdoor amenities include basketball/tennis courts, seating areas for students and staff and a recently developed car park. At the school gate is a sculpture called ‘Education’ which was unveiled in October 2007. The sculpture was created by students under the direction of local sculpture and past pupil, Redmond Herrity. Léargas funding and generous donations by the VEC and local councillors made the project possible.
Errigal College is constantly embracing new and innovative programmes and projects especially those relating to environmental issues. The College had a very proud day in May 2009 when it was awarded its first ever Green Flag, which was raised by An Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan, TD. Plans are in full swing for a College Garden which will be located in a secluded courtyard at the school.
Staff and students are working on the design which includes a stage area, water features, areas for vegetables, herbs and flowers and seating to enhance the space as a quiet, reflective area. The College has committed to a programme of energy saving in conjunction with SEI and has already made a start on water conservation measures in line with current DES guidelines and initiatives.
The wide range of our extra and co-curricular activities is down in no small part to the dedication and unstinting generosity of the staff of the college who work tirelessly for and on behalf of the students. The range of educational and life experiences our staff offer to students outside of core course work is invaluable and sets students on a path which enhances their skills and knowledge in a variety of areas including general life skills, social skills, teamwork skills and communication skills.
Staff know the benefits of this type of ‘learning’, which is included in many of the publications of the NCCA in relation to Senior Cycle Education, which is being roundly discussed and debated in education circlescurrently. Indoor facilities include a sports hall, an exceptionally well equipped gym with state of the art equipment, art rooms, engineering and technology workshops, woodwork and construction rooms, HE kitchen, computer suites, career guidance suite, music room, T4 (Technical Graphics and DCG: Design Communication Graphics) IT equipped room, science labs and general classrooms. The building has recently availed of a DES grant to insulate cavity walls and the attic. A new boiler was installed earlier this year and previous recent works have included internal painting and an upgrade of fire doors.
Errigal College has, in recent years, implemented a range of initiatives and projects to enhance the teaching and learning environment at the College.
The Pastoral Care System which is the cornerstone of our relationships at the College has been updated and built upon. A suite of workshops has been delivered to staff with added input from LDS (Leadership Development for Schools) aimed at creating and maintaining systems for improved Pastoral Management in the classroom and beyond. The principles of Restorative Justice permeate our Code of Behaviour and our relationships at Errigal College. The principles are important when issues of conflict arise and many members of staff have received training in conducting restorative conversations and conferences. In fact, all Form Teachers and Year Heads are now fully trained in this approach which is enriching for both staff and students.
Two members of staff, both Assistant Principals, have completed the National Pilot Project on Teacher Induction which is facilitated by the School of Educationat UCD. Michelle O Reilly and Michael McMenamin now work with newly qualified teachers on staff and provide support and a mentoring service to them.
Errigal College is a fully inclusive school and during the 2008/2009 academic year was involved with a project which was co-ordinated by the Special Education Support Service (SESS) which aimed to update the Special Education Needs Policy. The project centred upon the checking of all areas of our inclusivity to ensure full compliance with all relevant guidelines in the area. Planning coordinator Caitriona Sweeney and SEN coordinator Karen Gorman attended the training which resulted in an enhanced, more streamlined SEN service, building upon the existing pioneering standards already in place.
Teaching and Learning is at the heart of what we do at Errigal College and a considerable range of teaching methodologies and resources are now available to staff members thanks to a sustained programme of upskilling and inservice training which takes place both off site in teachers’ own time and during staff training and development days.
Errigal College has embraced the principles of AfL (Assessment for Learning) and Cooperative Learning. AfL enhances the learning of the student by giving reflective comments on work, sharing the learning outcomes of each lesson with students and meaningful feedback among other things. Cooperative Learning draws the best from the principles of teamand group work and aims to engage all students in a task of lesson activity. It is widely practiced in classrooms and subject areas at Errigal College. Team teaching is used to great effect in many classrooms also and the practice is due to be introduced in a more comprehensive manner in future years.
All classrooms have now been fitted with data projectors and all subject departments have access to their own laptop. In this way lessons can be made more stimulating and a greater element of discovery and interactive learning can take place. ‘Show Me’ boards are in use in the Maths department where problems are solved on handheld white boards and held up so the teacher can, in an instant, see how the students have handled the question.
Board of Management
Errigal College operates under the patronage of Co Donegal VEC and is locally managed by a Board of Management. Ms Anne Mc Hugh, Principal acts as Secretary to the BOM.
The Board has eight members; two teaching staff representatives, Mr Danny McFadden and Ms Niamh Cullen; two parent representatives, Ms Breda Mc Closkey and Mr Kieran O Donnell, VEC representatives are Cllr Jim Lynch, Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, Ms Mairead Nic Suibhne & Ms Mary Conlon.
From left: Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, Ciaran O Donnell, Niamh Cullen, Anne, Mary Conlon, Danny McFadden Missing: Breda Mc Closkey, Mairead Nic Suibhne, Cllr Jim Lynch.
First ever Student Council Meeting with Board of Management 2004