Students in Kinsale got a fab sendoff from primary school this week as teachers made personal graduation home visits — including one múinteoir travelling by horse.
Teachers at St Multose National School decided to surprise each sixth class student, driving by their homes in a convoy of cars decked out in balloons to personally congratulate them at their gates and hand-deliver graduation certs.
One teacher, Margie Hadden, even brought her horse and cart along as she visited the departing students.
The school usually celebrates its graduating class each year in the nearby church of St Multose, with each child given the chance to speak about their best memories from their time at national school.
With covid-19 restrictions putting a stop to this tradition this year, the teachers were determined that their students would still celebrate this key moment in their education.
"We're very lucky in that we've had huge support from the school since the closures back in March," said Olga Lavelle of the school's parents' association.
"The teachers were all hugely responsive online and through phone calls, and people used Skype to keep in touch with their friends."
"While we have been lucky in that sense, it's still been rubbish for the kids, not being able to see their friends or teachers in person. They have been slightly robbed of all the lovely festivities that come with the end of year in school, like school tours and parties."
St Multose principal, Jill Horan, said teachers were determined to mark the students' milestones: "It has been tough since the school closed but despite the challenges, the staff, parents and students really rose to the occasion. They exceeded all expectations and went above and beyond."
The staff surprised the students who had no idea they were going to be visited after their online graduation ceremony. Each student recorded their own message to their peers, and a few famous folk — Rob Heffernan, Anna Geary, Thomas Clancy, Foster Horan and Lisa Jordan —also wished the graduating class well.
Thousands of students finished up at primary schools around the country this week, amidst covid restrictions and extended school closures, and many have been marking the occasion in their own way.