By Megan Leadbetter (LCA1)

‘All creative people want to do the unexpected’ (Hedy Lamarr)DSCF3611

This time last year I was entering the unexpected completing my Junior Certificate and choosing which senior cycle path to take. Anyone who knows me knows I love writing and art. Creativity is often about taking risks and stepping into the unknown. Choosing to do Leaving Certificate Applied has turned out to be the best choice yet. So what’s it all about I hear you Leaving Certificate Applied differs from the traditional Leaving Certificate in that there is much more emphasis on continuous assessment. In other words, our overall grade does not depend on one final exam; we get the chance to improve our grade throughout the year. The group spends four days per week in school and one day on work experience. There are many aspects to the LCA Programme which include Engineering, Hotel, Catering & Tourism, Social Education, Irish, Visual Arts, Religious Studies, Graphics & Construction, Physical Education and Career Guidance. During the week we learn about the world of work, life skills, communication skills, computer skills as well as improving our literacy and numeracy skills. A typical day starts at 9.00 pm sharp down in the LCA room. We each have our own personal computer to use as well as a printer. Teachers often use the over-head projector for presentations and video clips to make our learning more interactive and interesting. Most of our classes are in this room; however, we do PE in the Gym, cooking practicals in the Home Economics Room, and Engineering in the Engineering Room. Because we have a small class we get to know each other and our teachers very well. The LCA Programme enables us to do more group work and presentations than the traditional 5th improved our confidence, computer skills, and general communications skills. All this prepares us for the world of work and college. We take our breaks with the rest of the school at 11.25 am and 1.05 pm. The biggest catch of LCA is that we must be in 90% of the time. This is not difficult in St Louis C.S. as each day is busy preparing for projects, fund raising, helping out with the Green Schools and generally enjoying school life. Some days are full of activity like when we get involved in the ‘Can Campaign’ as part of our Green Schools initiative. To date our school has recycled 35,000 cans. Other days we are busy preparing for an event. This year our group organised a fun day for first years called ‘foosball’. The main aim of the day was to improve first years’ cardiovascular endurance. Each of the LCA team had a role. Katie O Toole was in charge of organising the event and health & safety. I was in charge of PR and score keeping while Jessica Nolan was in charge of organising the equipment and resources needed for the day. We had great fun on the day helping the first years. Apart from learning about advertising, planning, organising and time management, we learned that we work well as part of a team. An important part of LCA is getting involved in fundraising for charities of our choice. This year we raised €510 for Temple Street Children’s Hospital by organising a ‘Trick or Treat’ for Temple street Party for the staff in our school. We also raised €160 for Western Care through a cake sale. So as you can see a day in the life of an LCA student is busy, interesting and fun. Definitely, not what I expected.