New study reveals ‘killjoy’ impact of progressing through secondary school

Resilience building is essential, and a tutor is key in talking through coping mechanisms with students for difficult scenarios

 Members of the wellbeing committee at  St Wolstan’s Community School in Celbridge, Co Kildare. They are   teachers Laura Gerraghty and Margaret Bennett, and pupils   Rosaleen Byrne (15), Codi Long (15), Swati Joshi (14) and Beth Corry (17). Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Members of the wellbeing committee at St Wolstan’s Community School in Celbridge, Co Kildare. They are teachers Laura Gerraghty and Margaret Bennett, and pupils Rosaleen Byrne (15), Codi Long (15), Swati Joshi (14) and Beth Corry (17). Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The wellbeing of Irish secondary school students decreases steadily from first year through to sixth, with girls suffering more of a decline than boys, according to a newly published study.

The findings conjure up an image of first-year students entering the secondary school system full of joie de vivre and optimism, only to emerge six years later burdened down by the worries of the world. And that is probably exactly how many of the 55,000-plus students currently in the throes of the Leaving Certificate feel.

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