Getting the ball rolling           09/26/2013 12:38 PM - General (share to everyone) ------------------- As a past pupil and parent of a soon to be pupil, I was hoping to see some discussion of the school on a generally useful site. I think we are still way too reliant on word of mouth information when making important decisions such as where to send our kids to school, and a site like this can help those who are less plugged in to the local grapevine.
So anyway, I attended the Open Night at the school last night and was delighted to see so many student volunteers clearly enjoying the evening and their role in making the school an inviting and friendly place for parents and youngsters alike. The teachers I spoke with were enthusiastic and helpful, and I´d be delighted to have them teach my kids.
10/01/2013 05:08 PM - ------------------- Thanks for posting your experience with the Open Night. I´m hoping my ten year old could attend this school in two years time. Currently living abroad but from North County Dublin and planning to buy a place to live there next year or rent - we´ll see. Just wondering how competitive the enrollment is - especially for kids who haven´t attended primary schools locally....any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated especially as I don´t have much local contact yet.
10/02/2013 11:49 AM - ------------------- Hi Tulip, we moved back from overseas last year and our eldest went into 5th class at a Malahide national school. Before moving back, I contacted the schools in the area. We have 3 kids and only one school was able to guarantee places for all 3. With everything else involved in the move (from Asia) it was a huge relief to have that out of the way. So I´d suggest that as your fist move.
Having your kid(s) in the feeder schools for MCS is a big advantage, but AFAIK not a guarantee of a place. I do know that the school has to turn away a significant number of applicants, but what proportion of them are from within the catchment area, I don´t know.
By the way, it was only at the MCS Open Night that I learned we had already missed the ones at all the other NCD secondaries. My mistake though - for some reason, I had it in my head that they were all in October. The Howth Deanery application system (not for applying to MCS but to a good number of other schools in NCD) is another thing that I had never even heard of until I got a text from my daughter´s school about it a week or so ago. The Malahide national schools have been added to that system this year.
Finding reliable and current information on any of this stuff is difficult in Ireland - we really lag behind the UK and the US in that regard - so do reach out to anyone and everyone who can give you any insight and reliable (I repeat, reliable) info. The school secretaries have, without exception, been wonderful in that regard.
10/03/2013 01:05 PM - -------------------
Hello and many thanks for your very helpful reply. You sound in a very similar situation to us. I was hoping to enroll my daughter in a local National School in Malahide next year and spoke to the principal who was helpful but couldn´t guarantee a place. In any case we then decided not to move until the following year. I contacted an MCS staff member and the reply was short and sweet - basically to have a hope of enrolling we needed to be already living in the catchment area at the time of enrollment. I´m hoping to buy a place to live in Malahide next year but it´s unlikely we´ll be living in it until the following year so that doesn´t help our chances either.
It´s feeling like a fading dream at the moment. Like you I´ve just noticed that open night season for schools is around Sept./Oct. so I´ll be prepared for that next year and thank you very much for mentioning the Howth Deanery application system. I´ve never heard of it either but will ask friends and relatives next time I´m back. Sounds like it´s essential to know.
Are you happy you made the move back though?? Overall...just curious. I know there are pros and cons everywhere. I´ve been dreaming about it for years but wondering what the reality is. We spend time in Malahide every summer and like the town for all the reasons lots of people do I´m sure.
11/05/2013 01:33 PM - ------------------- Hi Tulip,
Sorry for the slow reply, I´ve been away on business.
Yes, all things considered we´ve been happy with the move. There´s always an element of the grass being greener elsewhere and we can´t help but compare things to our life in Japan, some are better, some aren´t. Being in Malahide is great for all the reasons you´re aware of, but the main reason we moved here is that it´s where I grew up and so planning the move from overseas was easier. If I were "neutral" I might have defected and gone for the south side of Dublin as there are so many more school options and the cost of living (mainly housing) is on a par with Malahide.
Which of course means it´s on the expensive side, so good luck with buying a house here. While prices nationwide are still falling and have yet to reach what I´d consider their real value, prices are rising again in areas of high demand. They are centred around SCD but also include Malahide.
If you do buy a house here next year, then I´m sure you could use that address for enrollment, even if technically you aren´t living there yet.
One other topic that is worth being aware of is the changing nature of education in Ireland. Religious affiliation is high on the list of enrollment priorities at the vast majority of schools. No school will turn a child away because of it but if there is a lot of competition for places, it will affect their chances of getting a place. And if they do get in, there is the question of the time spent on religious study that, in my opinion, doesn´t belong in school and would be better spent on other areas. Learning ABOUT all religions is fine by me, but not indoctrination. So depending on your views, it´s something to consider. Non-denominational/secular schools are popping up all over the place, mainly run by Educate Together. So far the vast majority are national/primary schools, but it´s only a matter of time before the demand is such that secondary schools are added. So far there´s maybe a handful. A recent survey showed that there is significant interest in such a school in Malahide, but "politics" has been such that it won´t be approved for at least the next couple of years. There are plenty of articles like this one online: http://secular.ie/2013/07/26/catholic-church-to-lose-control-of-some-schools-in-ireland-could-this-be-the-start-of-a-seismic-shift/