LEAVING Certs students from one Bandon school hosted their own graduation ceremony on the video app Zoom recently on what would have traditionally been the school’s graduation day.
Over 110 people, including staff and students from Coláiste na Toirbhirte logged onto Zoom for their ‘virtual farewell’ on May 20th, where many a tear was shed and memory shared.
Deputy principal Carolyn O’Flaherty said it has been very hard for the students this year with the closure of schools and the recent uncertainty about the exams.
‘It’s like a cultural rite of passage to have a graduation event to mark the end of the cycle and the students were happy to organise and mark this occasion,’ she said.
‘We had a really lovely experience and there was a great sense of community about it all and it was lovely to see their faces and to hear their voices.’
Organised by the students themselves they invited all staff to the event and they ran it just like a normal graduation event. ‘There was little reflections and our principal Mary O’Donovan also addressed the students. They created a memories collage which is on our Facebook page and you get a great sense of what they were like – a creative and talented bunch. They also have a fantastic sense of community and are great for looking out for each other.’
Carolyn said many of the students have come to terms with the new Leaving Cert arrangements following the cancellation of the exams but she said they still wanted that ‘rite of passage.’
‘They are indeed an historic year and it was really nice that they came together and gathered their memories together and that they marked their time here. It gave them a bit of closure and allowed them to move forward into the next stage of their lives.
‘We look forward to seeing them all at a time when we all can meet up and we wish the Class of 2020 all the best in the future.’
The Leaving Cert music students also recorded a video of themselves signing ‘River’ by Emeli Sande with the assistance of their music teacher Ms Magner, which was also posted on the school’s Facebook page.