Portmarnock Community School is a co-ed school in north Dublin which opened in 1979. Under principal Eithne Deeney and Adult Education Director Michael McNeive, Adult Education has flourished there, particularly in the last few years.
“Adult education is hugely important for the school to promote lifelong learning in our community,” said Eithne. “And it’s important for the students to see that education doesn’t finish with the Leaving Cert or with college.
“The night classes also show that education is not just academic, that it’s about creativity, sociability, nurturing, and encouraging people to live healthily.”
Whilst Michael has overall responsibility for the promotion of the night classes - both online and in print - the day school emails parents when the print brochure is issued.
“It’s a great way of showcasing the school, both when people see the facilities we have and when they meet teachers who are either tutoring in an area of interest or attending a class.”
Range of classes
For Michael McNeive, the last number of years have seen the number of night classes grow to 31. Most classes take place on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings, with some other sports and exercise classes taking place on other nights. Covering hobbies, leisure, exercise, self-development and languages, the programme has something for all interests. Some of the more popular courses of late have been Pottery, Improvers Bridge and Baking.
“Pottery and Baking have really taken off and it’s great to see students return for a few terms when they get hooked on a new passion. It also has the advantage of allowing the students to take home their finished products. Bridge on a Wednesday afternoon proved really popular as well and helped get some not-so-experienced players into the local bridge scene in a more concrete way”.
With an eye on the local economy, Michael is keen to explore the QQI options in childcare and healthcare support. Indeed, the new Autumn term will see QQI courses in Child Psychology and SNA being offered in conjunction with the College of Progressive Education. “We have a big population here with numerous childcare facilities and with nursing homes set to increase, those are worth exploring.” For now, it’s about expanding his marketing skills, particularly in social media!
Portmarnock Community School's Director of Adult Education, Michael McNieve (left) and Principal, Ethne Deeney (right)