Anne-Marie Looney, a HRB-funded PhD student working within the Neonatal Brain Research area at the Infant Biobank.  Photograph:  Tomas Tyner, UCC

The Infant Biobank freezer facility contains more than 1.5 million tissue samples from pregnant women and their babies

The genetics question was unusual, as birds were used in the example. Bird chromosomes are the opposite way around to other species. File photograph:  Bob Winters/AFP

Unfamiliar bird genetics and ‘old-fashioned’ diagram labelling cause complaints

Teachers praise pacy geography paper while airplane problem proves tricky in maths

The essays worked out well, ranging across everything from celebrity culture to peer pressure, to body image. Photograph: The Irish Times

Emily Kane moves through the paper and finds some good news – it suits her very well

The ordinary level morning paper featured a comprehension on the theme song from the Disney movie Frozen, and its earworm properti(...)

The Leaving Cert diarists from Adamstown Community School: Evelina Siaulyte, Natalia Staroscinska, Henry Kareem, Muntaz Rostam, Emily Kane, Keith Coffey. Photograph: DAVE MEEHAN

Introducting our 2015 student diarists from a diverse community full of possibilities

Introducing our Leaving Cert diarists, from Adamstown Community College

The GradIreland Graduate Recruitment Awards: almost 600 of Ireland’s graduate recruiters and course providers attended this year

Number being hired by companies on graduate programmes doubled last year

Tara McCarthy of St Angela’s College, Cork; Maedbh Heaney, Scoil Mhuire, Cork; Gillian Keating of Cork Chamber; and Saoirse Terry of Coachford College, Cork, at the launch of the I Wish events in Cork on February 12th, promoting Stem careers to girls and women. Photograph: Darragh Kane

We know the Stem subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) have trouble attracting women, but why, with all of the eff(...)

Survival rates for blood cancer have doubled in Ireland in the past five years. Photograph: Getty Images

Collaboration with a Harvard Cancer Institute is making drug trials available to Irish blood cancer patients

Photograph: Laurence Dutton/Imagebank/Getty

With Science Week starting on Sunday, what’s the best way to make science engaging for children and start a journey of discovery t(...)

In too deep: parents need to monitor how much time their children spend in front of screens.

Fans say the game is not mindless but a playful introduction to real programming

Most (59 per cent) students party once a week, with a quarter claiming they don’t go to parties or clubs at all.

A survey of third-level students suggests that their lifestyle is not as bad as we might have thought

Leaving Certificate students Seán O’Callaghan, Mark Ryan, Manav T Manoj, Clinton Byrne, Lauren Vickers, Orla Yeates and Rory O’Carroll at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Garry O’Neill

Good news or wait-and-see: Our Leaving Cert diarists from Coláiste Chill Mhantáin in Co Wicklow get their results

You might have been blathering all year about how tough the exams are, but do you know how to deflect the nosiest question?

Work, rest or play? There’s a lot to get your head around in the first few months of college, not all of it academic: NCAD students Aoife Irwin Moore and Eimear Walshe at a preview of the 2014 NCAD Graduate Show. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

You’re not in school any more – this is the start of your independent adult life and on the way you’ll find out who you are but al(...)

Lucille Holden (7): spends hours watching looming tutorials online and trying to copy them. Photograph: Eric Luke

This summer, children will be trailing elastic circles everywhere they go – just look down at the ground. What’s going on?

It was an “unnerving” day for the almost 5,000 students sitting Leaving Cert economics

EXAMWATCH: Leaving Cert design and communication graphics and economics

The song of the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz was just one of the musical compositions under scrutiny in this year’s Junior Cert music.

Junior Certificate music and technology

Soccer was a welcome theme on the Junior Cert Spanish paper. Photograph: Andre Camara/Reuters.

Students happy to see soccer questions

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in Breaking Bad.

Spanish students also happy with exam, despite some challenging vocabulary

The Junior Cert German  exam and syllabus are being modified to reflect the norms of the Common European Framework for Languages. Numbers taking up German t at this level had been slipping as the exam was considered quite challenging.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Great paper from a student’s point of view, with very accessible language

A good knowledge of plumbing and a firm grasp of the English language were the tools of the trade on the Leaving Cert Construction Studies exam. Photograph: Getty Images

A well-constructed paper that was well put together

Stress of studying, use of headphones and other accessible topics on German paper

Even the smartest student would have trouble covering the whole gallery question in the time

Katie Taylor: A question about her faith came up on the Junior Cert religion exam. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Sporting questions in religion, which was at times confusing, but science balanced and fair

From emigration to banking, real-world case studies bring life to the exam

Frances Fitzgerald: Sent back to her old job by the CSPE exam.

Events overtook the CSPE paper while maths students were subject to a fair test

Spain’s Fernando Torres celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2010 World Cup final. The tournament was one topic students were able to work with.  Photograph: Inpho

Dream line up of essays in easiest honours Irish exam in years

Seamus Heaney’s inclusion as an Unseen Poet on Paper 2 this year has been  described by many students as “just cruel”.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Writer shows up Unseen Poetry and not in Prescribed Poetry - as many were expecting

Deloreans (pictured) and nuclear explosions set the tone for a challenging Leaving Cert engineering exam taken by more than 5,000 students across the State today.

Toys mostly for boys on an all-action paper taken by some 5,000 students in the State

The pressure on students to place minute emphasis on marks allocation is a frequently-criticised aspect of the Leaving Cert, as it leaves little room for creativity and imagination. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Overall the higher paper moved away from an emphasis on nutrition and focused instead on consumer issues

From left: Lauren Vickers, Mark Ryan, Seán O’Callaghan, Orla Yeates, Clinton Byrne (back), Manav T Manoj and Rory O’Carroll. Photograph: Garry O’Neill.

This year’s exam squad comes from Coláiste Chill Mhantáin in Wicklow town

Transition Year has survived criticism and cuts, but can it survive the new Junior Cert? Students have their say

Eden College students: Patrick Kashanga, Malawi; Bruno Francio, Brazil; Neo Odirile, Botswana; Innocent Kwerani, Malawi; Eduardo Cardoso, Brazil. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Only a fraction of students whose English course was halted have been enrolled on new courses

Sineád Kelly, Education Programme Co-ordinator at An Cósan,   Jobstown, Tallaght. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

An Cosán in Tallaght has a community education model with higher retention rates and outcomes than many State educational institut(...)

Coder Dojo clubs are after-school or weekend get-togethers where basic programming and web development is taught, but the real success of the clubs is the philosophy of peer learning – students learning from each other in a sociable and creative environment.

Computer coding clubs are springing up, empowering children to ‘create rather than consume’

Its finding in one case pointed up the critical role of the Office in ensuring that children’s voices are not silenced by adult in(...)

Increase in awareness of OCO complaints procedures has led to more being processed

While some progress has been made in the rebalancing of rights in education, many reforms are still needed

Lámha suas: Delegates vote in 2011 at the Teachers Union of Ireland congress in the Brandon Conference Centre, Tralee Co, Kerry. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

As teachers’ unions gather for their yearly conferences, it’s time to ask who they really stand for

The first graduates of an NUI Galway/ UL joint programme, MSc in Finance & Information Systems, who were conferred at UL in January this year, Jamie Hennessy, David Ryan, Dr Murray Scott, Aidan Reilly, and Xudong Li

So you want to study business? There’s a huge range of courses to choose from, from certificates to degrees to postgrads and MBAs,(...)

Teacher Breda Morrissey, working the students in the Mathletes Challenge at Balbriggan Community College, as Irish students are now competing online on this free maths gaming website funded by the Kahn Academy. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times

A free online maths tournament is a gamechanger in maths education – already one in ten Irish children have signed on

Singer songwriter Gavin James, (2nd from right) with students from left; Liam Neeson, Colaiste Oiriall, Monaghan, Lia Grogan, Presentation Thurles and Jason Moore, St. Kevins CC, Clondalkin, Dublin at the launch of Safer Internet Day 2014 in Dublin. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

The basics: ‘Children in primary school should not be using regular social networks sites’

Pauline O’Reilly with her children Finn (6) and Caragh (3) at their home in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Education People: Home schooling without a curriculum

“As we all know, credibility is key when it comes to getting children to 
knuckle dow
n.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

To Be Honest: A Parent Writes....what do students make of the protests?

Groningen has become a popular destination for Irish graduates

With UK universities hiking prices, Irish graduates are opting to study though English in Holland, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe

Increasing numbers of arts and humanities graduates are taking courses in using digital media to power their creative development

Although the interview process may be less formal, applicants for postgraduate courses still need to be prepared. Here are some ti(...)

Justin Gleeson, manager (left) and Eoghan McCarthy, lead research assistant at AIRO All-Island Research Observatory, mapping facility at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) at NUI, Maynooth. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / THE IRISH TIMES

Fees or no fees, industry wants a financial stake in higher education. What does it mean for the sector as more money comes with c(...)

What needs to be done to get third level back on track? Education figures give their views

Aidan Gillen on set during the video shoot. Photographs: Orla Keeshan

Louise Holden, lead singer with I Draw Slow, on how Aidan Gillen wasted no time on his day off from filming ‘Game of Thrones’ to p(...)

From left Elizabeth Moylan (15) from Manor House, Raheny, Dublin, Lee Sherlock,(16) from Marian College, Ringsend, Dublin and Patrick Murphy (16) from St Benildus College, Kilmacud, Dublin take part in the RCSI Transition Year (TY) MiniMed programme in Beaumont Hospital.

Ambitious teenagers spend a week playing doctors and nurses at the RCSI

Barbara Ennis, principal of Alexandra College,  Milltown,  Dublin. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

In a culture of ‘fake tan’ and ‘trophy wives’, single-sex schools provide a safety net for girls, says Barbara Ennis, principal of(...)

Gemma Tierney, art teacher in St Aidan’s Community College, Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Education People: Teacher Gemma Tierney gives art lessons with a difference using Amnesty International’s art programme for school(...)

Leaving Certificate students use the Linguaswap programme at Colaiste Bhride , Carnew, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Four language teachers came up Linguaswap, the first online language swapping website for second-level students globally,

Frankie Hollands supporting the learning activities at the Rush, Lusk and Skerries dyslexia workshop. Photograph: John Mc Elroy

One in 10 people is affected by the condition, and although general teacher training doesn’t include enough about how to teach chi(...)

In the classroom: Emma Daniel, science teacher at Piper’s Hill College, Naas, Co Kildare

Something has to change in Irish teaching; much of that change will have to come from the teachers themselves

Dubliner Patrick Orr, now studying at University College Utrecht

With no points race, the chance to mix modules, and courses taught through English, many are seeing past the CAO

Photograph: Helder Almeida/Getty

A cultural bias against maths, and a failure to train teachers properly, add up to a tricky problem

Christmas box: Jack Scollard and Amy Logan of  High School, Rathgar, with some of the boxes they and their schoolmates wrapped and filled for Team Hope. Photograph: Krista Burns

By delegating some of the marketing, logistics and fundraising duties to transition-year students who delight in the experience, T(...)

Language class: Perrine Verniers teaches students at the Alliance Française in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Why do we have such a problem with modern languages?

Wicked winners 2012: Michael Morpurgo (front) with members of the  cast and finalists at last year’s Wicked Young Writers’ Awards

Motivation and confidence are key to getting children writing, says Michael Morpurgo

Teachers’ salaries: selected pay scales around Europe. Source: Eurydice survey 2013. Montage: Dearbhla Kelly

As the ASTI action starts to bite in schools, an EU survey shows that some Irish teachers are sitting pretty, but it’s not the who(...)

The IT crowd: Marilia Santos, Fernanda Carneiro Rola Servian, Guilherme Marques Estima Toledo, Camila Faccini de Lima, Daniel Mariano Leao, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn, Mateus Ramalho, Marina Donohoe of Enterprise Ireland and Anderson Augusto Simiscuka

A scholarship scheme is bringing 1,200 students from Brazil to Ireland. It’s the first step in a two-way exchange plan to develop (...)

Budget 2014: rearranging the money. Montage: Dearbhla Kelly. Original photographs: Peter Booth/E+/Getty and Duane Rieder/Stone/Getty

A menu of possible savings has been doing the rounds. How might any choices from that menu affect students after Budget 2014 next (...)

Laura O’Connell

Expats in Singapore have created the Farmleigh Fellowship: a scholarship programme that helps Irish graduates establish themselves(...)

The Union of Students of Ireland has described as “disappointing” the level of dissatisfaction with Susi

More than 50 complaints from students who have had difficulty having grant processed

Children in junior infants at Scoil Naomh Feichín, Termonfeckin, Co. Louth. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

What’s it like trying to teach a very large class of small children?

Schools in Ireland are only free in name; semi-subsidised would be a more accurate term

Freshers’ week in TCD. Trinity rose in the rankings.

Six other institutions lose ground as Irish third-level sector ‘in free-fall’

According to Ferdia Kelly of the JMB, the cost to the State for every pupil that moved into a free-scheme school would be €5,200

Sector says continuing cuts mean some children are being treated ‘unequally’

TUI president Gerry Craughwell has urged members to vote yes on industrial action in the event that members reject the Haddington Road agreement. Photograph: Frank Miller

Ballot papers issued to more than 30,000 members of the teachers’ unions

Any school with available places will, under this proposal, have to take all-comers.

Plenty in draft that could cause headaches for boards of management

The Department of Education published details of the new scheme yesterday

Admission Bill will transfer appeals process back to schools

Plans to eradicate school waiting lists and booking deposits for school places have been broadly welcomed by education and parents’ groups

Some schools express concern about how the changes may impact on administration

The Irish Educational Publishers’ Association will print age-appropriate adverts in mainstream school books, giving students advice on what to do if they are bullied and providing contacts for support agencies.

Ads should reach 830,000 students

On a high: Alison Peate, Rachel Finn and Emma Cahalane celebrate their Leaving Cert results at Christ King school, Cork last week. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Reaction: ‘Some of my friends are going too. It’s very exciting’

Extending the city fabric: (from left) Niamh Cuddy, Joanna Sikora, Kirstan Bontas, Shannon Delahunty and Andrea Kennedy at the launch of the development of the new urban quarter in Grangegorman that will be soon be home to the amalgamated DIT campus. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Huge changes are afoot at DIT as its scattered campus begins the migration to a new home

Nicole Collopy (left) and Kristel Aguila  of Ringsend College in Dublin with their Leaving Cert results. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Requirements for many courses have risen while others remain in the doldrums

Some freshers find the freedom goes to their heads so here’s a little ‘not-to-do’ list for the first time student

The freedom of being a fresher, compared to the servitude of the Leaving Cert, can go to your head . . . watch out for these 10 pi(...)

 Know your art from your elbow: graffiti by Sums at this year’s Bridge Jam street-art festival in Drogheda, Co Louth

Being in college means being in the know about all things music, art, film, food and politics, so here’s a cheatsheet to start you(...)

An extensive survey gets down to the details of life with 4,000 students

Plassey House and quadrangle at the University of Limerick

from nightlife to sporting and cultural activities, every college's identity is shaped, in part, by its host city. Here's what som(...)

The life of Julius Caesar kept classics students busy.

Greek, Latin, classics and Italian the last exams

I’d say people not familiar with farming would have had problems”: James Conway, TUI subject representative,  on the Agricultural Science paper

Leaving Cert Music test described as a ‘listening paper’

Students reported difficulties with a listening comprehension section on the subject of Spain as a tourist destination. Yesterday’s comprehension accounted for 80 marks out of a total 400 for the subject. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘Difficult’ and ‘confusing’ aural in an otherwise fair exam

Students were given two samples within temperature ranges and asked to determine which was purer. There were also some topical questions such as an exercise exploring the release of the element caesium into the atmosphere after the tsunami in Japan.

Chemical reactions and topical issues covered

A reading comprehension on the subject of the zoo in Madrid contained some quite difficult vocabulary and featured unusual animals, but the questions were straightforward, teachers said.

Plenty to read for students of Spanish

Question nine on yesterday’s physics paper was, unusually, a full question on radioactivity. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Surprises and challenges in accountancy

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