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CEIST Seventh Annual Education Conference 2012

The Seventh Annual CEIST Education Conference was held in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath on Thursday, 27th September, 2012 & Friday, 28th September, 2012. The theme for this year's conference was “Many Desks One Table".

The CEIST Team were greatly encouraged with the number of School Principals, Deputy Principals and Chairpersons of our Boards of Management who attended this year's conference, which proved to be the highest school representation to date from our 110 schools.

There was a great sense of community at the conference and our Principals, Deputy Principals and Chairpersons availed of the opportunity to network and share ideas with each other. We received very positive feedback again for the workshops and indeed for our two keynote speakers. CEIST would like to very much thank our keynote speakers and workshop presenters for their time and energy given to the conference.

We would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to the three excellent school choirs who particpated at the conference.

The three schools who participated were Cnoc Mhuire, Granard, Co Longford, Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew, Co Galway and St. Joseph's Secondary School, Navan, Co. Meath. The choirs were superb and really energised everybody at the conference and were a credit to the schools.

CEIST are also very grateful to the many exhibitors that displayed their products and indeed this year so great was the demand for exhibitor space that we unfortunately could not accomodate all requests.

CEIST Conference 2012 Workshops

We had four workshops at this years conference and we hope to have all presentations available for downloading or via e-mail in due course.

1) “"Faith Competency Interviewing". Mr. Ned Prendergast, outgoing Director of Faith Development, CEIST.

Since the introduction by JMB of Competency Interviewing for Principal and Deputy Principal posts earlier this year, many Principals and Chairpersons have been anxious to learn more about the initiative and how the new approach can be adapted to interviewing for any teaching post in a school. Ned Prendergast, who is one of the Trainers for the JMB initiative, explored the use of this new approach in the area of Faith Competency Interviewing as it may apply to any teaching post in a faith school.

This presentation was designed for panels doing interviewing and if that is your purpose please contact Ned if you wish to receive the presentation via e-mail stating your background and purpose in request.

2) "The implications and challenges of implementing the revised Junior Cycle curriculum". Ms. Majella O'Shea, NCCA.

The workshop provided an overview/update on the junior cycle developments and discussed the implications of the change for planning junior cycle programmes in schools and for learning and teaching in the classroom.

It was presented by Majella O'Shea who is involved with the junior cycle developments in the NCCA. Click here to download the presentation kindly shared by Majella to CEIST. Further information can be obtained at www.juniorcycle.ie 

3) "Social Media: The Challenges for Schools". Dr Maureen Griffin, UCC.

Social media, while offering many advantages, also presents a number of challenges for schools. Dr. Maureen Griffin has visited over 120 schools across Ireland, and her presentation outlined Irish student’s use of social media including social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, online chat facilities and online gaming. The challenges each of these present for schools was discussed with particular focus on cyber-bullying and sexting. Resources for schools were outlined and practical advice and tips for dealing with the misuses of technology offered.

Click here to download the presentation which was very kindly shared to CEIST by Dr Maureen Griffin.

4) "Good Accounting and Financial Practices". James Hughes, Chartered Accountant.

This workshop discussed critical matters such as incorporating control over expenditure, the role of the finance sub-committee within the school, the signing of cheques and particularly electronic payments, and general internal controls applicable to all schools.

Feedback from the Conference

We are in the process of compiling a summary from evaluation sheets returned by attendees. Many thanks to all of you who completed as this feedback will be invaluable in planning future conference programmes.

The general consensus from the evaluation feedback was that the Sheraton Hotel was an ideal venue because of its central location and top class services provided by the hotel. The majority of attendees are in favour of keeping the two day format. The keynote speakers, Professor Bart McGetterick and Bishop Brendan Kelly were very well received as were all the workshop presenters. A minority of people requested a Mass for next year's conference.

Conference Photos

Below are a selection of photos from the conference.