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In Pictures: Laois secondary school welcome 168 new First Years to begin new journey

On Friday last, Portlaoise College welcomed 168 first year students to the school as they begin their secondary school educational journey.

Students met their Year Head, Linda Bergin, along with their class tutors and Meitheal Leaders.

Meitheal Leaders at Portlaoise College play an important role in supporting first year students’ transition from primary school.

Each Meitheal Leader at Portlaoise College is given responsibility for a number of incoming first years.

They are tasked along with the support of the Year Head and tutors, to ensure the smooth transition of these young people into the school and to be available to assist them in any way necessary during their first few days in school.

After this the Meitheal Leaders work with their First Year students, developing a relationship of trust and mutual respect.

Other ways in which Portlaoise College is facilitating a smooth transition for our 1st Years is through a ‘Togetherness Day’ where our first years will participate in a number of team bonding activities next week.

In addition, a ‘Working Together’ online workshop for all 1st Year parents and students where parents will have an opportunity to ask questions and an outline of the upcoming year will be presented.

Principal Noel Daly said: “It was wonderful to be able to greet and welcome our incoming first years on Friday last.

“He went on to say that “with all the uncertainty and disruption experienced due to Covid it was a great day to witness what is the start of a new chapter in people’s lives.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.