Former LCA  student in Coláiste an Átha Victoria Burke kindly agreed to share her experiences in the Leaving Cert Applied Programme.

My LCA Graduate Profile by Victoria Burke


1) Why did you choose LCA?

I decided to do LCA because I liked the idea of continuous assessment which took alot of the pressure of the exams off, I also like the fact that you could experience a wide variety of subjects within the two years.

(2) What aspects of the programme appealed to you?

Being able to do three lots of different work experiences really appealed to me as I would be able to explore different career paths,

The amount of P.E  classes and other practical classes also got me looking into it more as I really liked the idea od it.

(3) What were some of the trips/tours you took?

Throughout the two years we wet on numerous of different trips for a different subjects.
We visited Mr Doran’s farm and the Mart in Enniscorthy for our Agricultural Science.
We went indoor go-karting for our Active Leisure Studies class.
We went on a trip to the Powerscourt Gardens and to Bord Gáis theatre for Drama.
We went on many different other trips for different subjects throughout the two years.  All were brilliant experiences and were very educational but also fun to experience.

(4) What are some of your memorable moments?

I have so many good memories but from LCA some of my favourites would be,
doing ‘The Muck Factor’ in the school’s talent show. This was a drama that we as a class wrote, put together and performed for our drama class. This was brilliant and was so enjoyable.
The Mexican party we had in fifth year for our Hotel Catering and Tourism module was brilliant. We had to make different Mexican dishes and we just done different Mexican things. I thought this was great because we got to experience a different culture.

(5) What are the common mistakes people make about LCA?

People commonly think of LCA is for people who are looking for an easy way out of the traditional Leaving certificate, but doing LCA isn’t an easy way out. In fact you are being continuously assessed. You have to do projects, interviews and complete language orals for different subject throughout the two years. Attendance is a big factor in your over all marks and you also have exams at the end of each year. People sometimes don’t take into consideration the constant assessment and deadlines with projects. Another thing that people commonly think about LCA is that you can’t get a career out of it and that you can’t go to college but that’s wrong.  You can go to college and become anything you want to be. it just involves you doing a PLC and different things to get you there but it is possible.

(6) What advice would you give to students considering LCA?

I would tell someone that is considering LCA to really think about it and not to think of it as an easy two years as there is a lot of work involved and a lot of deadlines with projects. But I will say that when doing LCA it does take a lot of pressure off you at the end of the year. Continuous assessment and all the projects you complete are being graded. This does take some of the exam pressure off you.

(7) What advice would you give new LCA students?

My advice to a student doing LCA, don’t treat it as two years of taken it easy. If you want to get the best result you must put in the effort. Do all the projects to the best of your ability, do all the research involved and meet all the deadlines. Don’t leave your projects until the last minute, the pressure is not worth it because at the end of the day it is preparing you for college as well as doing your Leaving Cert. Attendance is a big thing so make sure and be in for it. Use all the subject experiences and listen to the advice you get as it will help you in the long run even if you don’t think it will.

(8) What about work experience? What did you learn?

In LCA I did three different sets of work experience. I did this to experience different jobs I was interested in.
For my first lot I worked in the PE Department in Coláiste an Átha. I learned a lot about this career I learned that this job involves a lot of confidence, a lot of preparation for each class when doing this I learned a lot.
My second lot of work experience I did in a local supermarket. Although I did enjoy it I realised it wasn’t for me. I learned alot about the different skills you need in order to work in this field of work.
My last lot of work experience was two weeks in a gym in Enniscorthy. Doing this work experience I learned about myself personally,  about different aspects involved in this work and it showed me that it would be a career I could be interested in.
Being able to do the three of these work experiences thought me a lot about myself and what kind of career I wanted to go into. This helped me out more than if I done the normal leaving cert where I would of only got the chance to do one lot of work experience.

(9) What courses were you able to apply for?

After doing LCA I wasn’t able to go straight to college after school but I was able to do a PLC. I was accepted into two sports and recreation courses, one in Waterford College of Further Education and another sports and recreation course in Enniscorthy Vocational College of Further Education. I accepted the course in Enniscorthy and completed this course.  With the help of LCA I had experience of doing projects, meeting deadlines and also doing Leisure & Recreation and Active Leisure Studies in LCA helped me out with all that I learned in the subjects.  I completed this course and was able to apply for a college course.

(10)What results did you achieve in LCA?

I completed this course and I received one of the best results in the course with getting Eight distinctions one merit and one pass. I also got offered my course in Waterford I.T  and also got a scholarships done there with these results. Unfortunately I was unable to accept it this year and I deferred it for a year and am hoping to go back next September to do my degree in sports and recreation and hopefully go into some form of teaching of sports or secondary school teaching of PE and business.

Finish the following sentences:

 LCA was the right choice for me because.. I was able to experience so many things such as different subjects that I wouldn’t have been able to do with the traditional Leaving Cert such as drama,  social education and vocational preparation guidance. These and others have all taughtht me and have prepared me for the future.

LCA taught me… about what to expect in the future, it has taught me all about how important deadlines are for college and even some jobs. It also has taught me a lot about myself personally.

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