THE headmaster of St Peter’s Community School in Passage West said there was a real ‘community vibe’ at the school’s recent open house party.

Students and parents from 12 local elementary schools had an in-person tour of Passage West Secondary School, with staff and students present in every room to answer questions and discuss the school.

School principal Tony McSweeney said the open house went very well.

School in Passage West, Co. Cork. Photo David Creedon” title=”Cian and Daniel Young from Cobh in the Engineering Room at the Open House held at St. Peter’s Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. Photo David Creedon” class=”card-img”/>
Cian and Daniel Young from Cobh in the Engineering Room at the Open House held at St. Peter’s Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. Photo David Creedon

“There was a fantastic turnout. It was a very successful evening. This was our first in-person open house in three years and although there was an indication of strong interest with the calls and questions we received, the number of attendees far exceeded what we had. expected, which is a very positive reflection of the school,” he said.

The secondary school principal said that in-person visits from students and their parents always help them make an informed decision when deciding which secondary school to choose. “It was fantastic to welcome our future students, as well as their parents and guardians, to our school. I really feel that every child needs to make an informed decision when it comes to the transition from elementary to high school. I believe this can only be fully realized when the school visit is over,” he said.

Gary, Ciara and Harry Tett look at the woodwork produced by pupils at the open house evening held at St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork.  - Photo David Creedon
Gary, Ciara and Harry Tett look at the woodwork produced by pupils at the open house evening held at St. Peter’s Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. – Photo David Creedon

“There was a real sense of community in the evening, which was fantastic.

“We are fortunate that there is high quality teaching and learning at school, which underpins everything we do. This is certainly the feedback we received from parents and guardians during the open house,” he added.

Ahead of the open house, Mr. McSweeney visited 15 local elementary schools with the aim of attracting pupils to the progressive secondary school. He was delighted with the participation.

    Year four pupils Katie Hanlon and Abbie O' Halloran with samples of their home economics baking at the open house evening held at St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork.  - Photo David Creedon
Year four pupils Katie Hanlon and Abbie O’ Halloran with samples of their home economics baking at the open house evening held at St. Peter’s Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. – Photo David Creedon

“We had representatives from 12 schools at the open house, which was great,” he said.

“It included students from Star of the Sea, which is next door, Douglas, Frankfield, Rochestown, Cobh, and as far away as Turner’s Cross, which is fantastic.

“There was a fantastic job by all the staff in preparation for the event.

“The lights that shone in the night were our students, who answered questions, gave tours and participated in the practical demonstrations of the subjects. They are among the exceptionally capable young men and women who make up our student cohort.

Leaon Tag with her daughter in the science lab during the open house evening held at St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork.  - Photo David Creedon
Leaon Tag with her daughter in the science lab during the open house evening held at St. Peter’s Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. – Photo David Creedon

Mr McSweeney said the school was in a “fantastic” position to welcome new students.

“We are well located. We have very good facilities. The school is in a fantastic position in both facilities and curriculum. The wide range of subjects we offer in the school is also a big selling point and appeals to everyone,” he said.

“We look forward to welcoming new students.”

Pupils Edward Lin, Jasmine Onifade and Simone O'Sullivan got involved in decorating cakes at the open house party held at St. Peter's Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork.  - Photo David Creedon
Pupils Edward Lin, Jasmine Onifade and Simone O’Sullivan got involved in decorating cakes at the open house party held at St. Peter’s Community School in Passage West, Co. Cork. – Photo David Creedon

St Peter’s Community School received funding approval from the Department of Education over the summer for an extension programme. Mr McSweeney said when this is completed it will double the current capacity for students.

“We received funding approval from the ministry over the summer,” he said. “It’s ongoing right now. We currently have 380 students. When our extension is complete, it will be able to accommodate up to 750 students.