Our school offers Wood Technology and Construction Studies as optional subjects in junior and senior cycle. We have two qualified teachers in these subjects with extensive  experience of the building industry in several countries.  In addition we have a wealth of experience in correcting the state examination which we use for our students’ benefit.

Wood Technology provides opportunities for activity based learning.  Students are given design briefs and engage in research in coming up with solutions before making artefacts.

We retain a strong emphasis on craft skills which works to the benefit of our students in completing project work to a high standard and in preparing them for practical examinations.  Indeed we keep the exams centre-stage in the woodwork room and our students garner exceptional results in the Junior Cert.  Since 2009 ninety one students have sat Wood Technology in the Junior Cert.  These students have earned seventeen A grades and fifty B grades at higher level in these five years. 

Our woodwork room is exceptionally well equipped and maintained. The students exploit their iPads effectively for research purposes during the design process.   

Construction Studies has been taught in the school since 1985.

This subject has three basic elements:

  • a corpus of theory and drawings on building technology to be studied in preparation for the Leaving Certificate examination
  • the development if craft skills in preparation for a terminal practical exam
  • the completion of written/drawing/practical project

From the beginning our school worked in co-operation with the Department of Education Curriculum Development Unit in pushing out the boundaries of Construction Studies into the craft heritage/ material culture areas through innovative student projects at Leaving Cert level.  Our students have completed integrative projects that focus on the heritage and habitat of the midlands and link their practical work with the built environment and with other school subjects including technical graphics, history, art, geometry, languages/literature, science etc.

  • Students of Construction Studies have researched the extraordinary building heritage of Offaly including the monastic buildings, shop-front sign writing and streetscapes, vernacular dwellings, canal buildings and bridges, castles, mills etc.
  • Students have studied and made musical instruments including flutes, bodhráns, uilleann pipes and electric guitars.
  • Students have restored and reproduced antique, country, church and architect designed furniture.
  • Our students rebuilt a pony’s trap, including wheels.  We also built traditional boats like the leather covered coracle associated with the O’Sullivan Beara retreat and the cliath tholcha, a most unusual traditional reed vessel used for river transport in the midlands.  

The quality of our students’ project work has been commended by the inspectorate and cited as exemplary during in-service for practical teachers.

Our enthusiasm for practical subjects has earned our students extraordinary results at Leaving Certificate level. Since 2009 of the eighty students that studied Construction Studies, seventy seven students took higher level, and thirty eight students earned a grade B or higher at honours level.  Students of our school have been awarded first place in Ireland in both Junior Certificate Wood Technology and Leaving Certificate Construction Studies. It may also be worth noting that past pupils of Construction Studies in our school now ply their trade as practical teachers in Banagher, Clonaslee, Rochfordbridge, Ferbane, Edenderry and in two secondary schools in Tullamore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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