Tá fáilte romhat isteach chuig Coláiste Oiriall. Glac tamall anois chun aithne a chur orainn agus chun eolas a chur ar ár scoil. Coláiste Oiriall is a progressive and vibrant school working to the highest standards in teaching and learning. We boast a broad curriculum with a superb range of on-site facilities offering pupils an opportunity to excel. We have a very strong pastoral ethos and generous staff commitment to sporting and cultural activities. We have a very high success rate in securing places in universities and our examination results are consistently considerably higher than the national averages.


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Towards the end of the school year the third year students are invited to apply to become a prefect in Coláiste Oiriall. An application is made in the form a letter to the Principal. The letter will include answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you think you are suitable to becoming a prefect?
  • What talents do you have?
  • What have you achieved to date?
  • What are the responsibilities you think will accompany this post?
  • Are you prepared to adhere to the school ethos, rules and regulations?
  • Will you abide by the rule in relation to speaking Irish?
  • Will you be an ambassador for Coláiste Oiriall?

The typed application letters must be with the Principal by the agreed deadline.  The post will last for two school years – from September of the 4th year to May at the end of the fifth year.  A Teachers’ Committee which will include the Principal and the Vice-Principal will meet, to consider the applications.  As part of the selection and assessment process the Committee will take into consideration the candidates’ application letters, their participation in school activities to date and their record of behaviour.

The Committee seek to ensure a certain amount of gender equality in the selection.  Each year, at least 8 students are chosen at the end of their 3rd school year and these will continue as prefects until the month of May in their 5th year.  This means that there will be at least 16 prefects in place on a continuous basis.  When appointing new prefects each year, the Teachers’ Committee will also select from among the 5th year prefects  a Head Boy and a Head Girl.


The newly appointed prefects will be informed of their position and the full list of prefects will be announced at School Assembly.   New prefects are presented with their badges at the first School Assembly of the next school year.

Each prefect must be prepared to partake in a full day’s training immediately before the start of the next school year, during which they will sign a declaration that they will do their best in seeking to carry out every aspect of their duties conscientiously.  If a prefect-in-training feels that the responsibilities of the position are too demanding they may withdraw from the system and will not be thought any the less of.  Likewise, the school authorities may at any time debadge a prefect because of unsatisfactory behaviour.

Exemplary Behaviour

We recognise and acknowledge the individual personalities of each prefect and encourage each one to fully utilise their own personalities, talents and traits to nurture a more positive atmosphere within the school and to help create a stronger relationship and connection between the various parties involved.

It is expected that prefects will give a good example around the school as regards school rules, behaviour, punctuality and school uniform.  They are also expected to stay out of mischief, steer clear of trouble and make friends with everyone around them.  Take your school seriously – both in academic terms and in the various extra-curricular activities in which you take part.

Support Needed!

Younger pupils will be seeking help and support from prefects.  They will depend on you.  Don’t let them down.  Be kind, friendly, welcoming and generous with your time.  Don’t wait until some one asks for your help – it is always better for one to offer assistance if it appears to be needed.

Take part in school events.  Prefects are given several responsibilities in organising and running events for parents and for pupils.  These raise your own profile and have a posititive impact on teaching staff.

Communication skills are very important.  When passing on information, be sure that you give your message clearly and confidently.  Prefects will attempt to encourage pupils who may feel marginalised or left on their own to cultivate new friendships and they will try to bring them back into the company of their peers.

Appropriate Behaviour

  • Your behaviour is of utmost importance.  You are a prefect and as such your good example will be very much noticed by other pupils.
  • Do not make a favourite pupil out of anyone.
  • Do not put your hand on another student.
  • Do not speak in English to other students at any time.
  • Don’t talk ill of the school or gossip about any teachers.
  • You can calm other pupils down and help them through speaking to them – there is no need to give anyone a hug.
  • Don’t get carried away with any stories or issues.


  • Be careful about issues surrounding religion or racism.
  • The first year group will vary greatly in terms of their age and their maturity.
  • Don’t speak ill of or belittle other students.
  • Try to bear in mind that first year pupils are still very young.
  • Never use bad language nor joke in an inappropriate or rude way.
  • Don’t criticise other students.
  • Praise them when you are given the opportunity and take seriously any worries they may have.


  • Don’t let this new power and authority go to your head or change your personality.
  • You’ll enjoy the respect other students will show you.
  • Don’t become involved in any type of inapporpriate relationship with any student in the first year.
  • Don’t go away anywhere with a student on your own. If they say that they want to speak to you, find a place that is quiet but where others can still see you.
  • Be prepared to mix with students and get to know them.


  • Watch out for pupils who may have issues and help them overcome these.
  • You may correct other students but never be rough, rude or forceful with them.
  • Never say anything obscene, offensive or insulting to another student.
  • If there is any student who is disrupting any school program or activity on a continuous basis, never be afraid to recount this to the Principal.
  • Be positive about speaking Irish.
  • Never be bitter or acrimonious with anyone.
  • You should show a good example at all times.

Prefects’ Duties

  • Opening the Lost Property Room at the appointed times
  • Opening students’ lockers each morning with the master-key and writing down the names of those students whose lockers you have had to open
  • Helping to organise the Halloween Party and the Christmas Fun Day
  • Helping to organise the St. Patrick’s Concert.
  • Refereeing the 1st Year football and basketball leagues
  • Distributing pool queues and balls and collecting them again
  • Organising cash collections for local chatiable organisations
  • Helping to run the Open Day and the Open Night
  • Helping with the Books for Rent Scheme


  • Helping out at the Prize-Giving Ceremony
  • Helping out at the 6th Year Moving On Ceremony
  • Opeing the School Library at lunch time
  • Welcoming visitors to the school and showing them around
  • Keeping a record of parents’ attendance at parent meetings
  • Helping to keep the school environment free of rubbish
  • Promoting the recycling and re-use of materials throughout the school
  • Giving short talks from time to time (head prefects)
  • Attending funerals as a member of the school guard of honour
  • Helping with the induction of first year pupils


  • Helping first year students with their homework
  • Helping new students to settle in through the Class Buddies Scheme
  • Helping to impelement the spoken Irish Rule
  • Providing help to organise and run sports events such as distributing team lists, ensuring school kit is cleaned and ready and water bottles are prepared for matches etc.
  • Representing the student body at various official events
  • Informing the school of any type of vandalism that you may notice
  • Informing the school of any incidents of bullying of any kind which you may notice or of which you may be made aware
  • Remaining alert on school buses coming into school and returning home

The Characteristics of a Prefect

As a prefect you must provide guidance, make decisions, bring students together, disseminate information and distribute or delegate work.  A prefect strongly influences other students, encouraging them to work in cooperation with each other and bringing them together as part of the school community.  The effective prefect will encourage other prefects to do work of a better standard and deliver better results. Prefects who are motivated are more loyal and committed to the school’s aims and they will work to a higher level. The following descriptions are characteristic of what it takes to be an effective prefect: positive, fair, helpful, conscientious, cheerful, diligent, attentive, gaelach and energetic.

Bear in Mind

  • Mix often with other students
  • Promote the speaking of Irish as much as possible
  • Be wary of the health and safety of all the students
  • Uphold the rights of all students
  • Be hard but fair in relation to speaking English
  • Be in the right place at the right time

Listening Skills

Good listening skills will help to overcome a myriad of problems. Listening skills are key to helping us understand more fully the issues that may arise, how and when a particular incident may have occurred and so they help us to do better work and ensure the delivery of a more effective school service. Good listening skills also help to strengthen relationships between people.  A person is much more confident if they understand fully the various aspects of a given issue and this enables them to make a wiser and more informed decision. Furthermore, if someone has good listening skills they are no longer burdened by, nor is their judgement effected by, their own preconceptions or prejudices about others.

It is helpful to repeat often to yourself what has been said when you are trying to develop and improve on your listening skills, this facilitates our recalling everything that was said and makes it easier to retell all we have heard.  This technique involves more concentration and puts more pressure on you to listen carefully as you may have to recount to another what you have been told, possibly in confidence.

Sensitive Information – What do you do?

It is very important that both you and other students adhere to a few rules to ensure that there is no misunderstanding and that no one can accuse you of something which you haven’t done.  Never promise to keep as a secret something a student tells you in confidence.  It is possible someone may say something upon which you will have to act and which you will have to divulge to a teaching member of staff. The person would have little confidence in you, in the future, if you promised to keep something secret and then went around telling everyone about it.

Use you discretion.  Perhaps another student will confide in you.  Telling you is a big step for them and it is obvious that whatever it is, it is bothering them.  You may think it silly of them to be worried about something which you yourself might consider to be insignificant or unimportant.    You should not go around telling everyone in your Year group how silly that person was who confided in you.

Perhaps someone outside school might query about a particular student or may quiz you about something which happened.  Tell them that you cannot help them but that the school office would be happy to help set up a meeting for them with a teacher to discuss any questions they may have in detail.

A Bullying Incident – What do you do?

If someone approaches you ant they are reporting an incident of bullying, you should give them an opportunity to speak but do not give any opinions and do not commit yourself one way or the other.  At this stage you don’t know if you have all the facts or not. Don’t make any promises to a student that you will keep anything they say a secret.  Tell the student that they did the right thing in coming to you.

Don’t go around discussing with your friends the things you have heard from other students.  You should however pass on the information to a teacher, the Vice-Principal or the Principal.  It is irrelevant how insignificant the incident may seem to you, it may be happening regularly but you may not be aware of this.  Possibly the teacher may ask you to note down carefully the things you have been told, later on. this is when you will have to try to recall and write down the things you heard using the student’s own words and language.

What are the Prefects’ Duties in relation to the First Years?

You will organise a trip around the school for them dóibh – withyou, the prefects, as guides.  You will be in charge of and organise the “ice breaker” sessions.  You will be present in school on the second day to help organise the sports activities for them.  You will put together a rota for assisting with homework sessions during the last period in the afternoon for the first few weeks.

You will go into the Tutor’s class throughout the first term to speak with the “buddies.”  You will leave your own class five minutes early before lundh time to help First Year students organise their school lockers and put their school books in order.  Perhaps there will be some events or class activities organised during lunch time to give buddies a chance to talk to each other.

If a First Year student had a difficulty of some sort or was worried about something, we would like to think that they would be happy to discuss this issue with their buddy, who should remain helpful, understanding and respectful at all times and who should provide them with good advice and/or, if necessary, report something on to a relevant staff member.

There may perhaps be other suggestions which come out of the training day or from feedback the buddies may put forward.

Helping First Year students with their homework

There will be a rota set up and students will leave their last lesson in order to help and advise the First Year students on their homework.  The teacher will remain in the classroom at the same time.  What does one have to do during this period?  Mostly you will be expected to support the teacher as they assist students with homework issues.  You are certainly not there to disturb the teacher or to have a chat with your peers from Fourth Year.  Rather help the younger students with things they, or their teachers, may ask you concerning their homework.

Speak in Irish with the First Years and explain things to them simply.  This may be difficult for many of them at first,  but they have to become used to hearing Irish and speaking it themselves and you will be their role models. Be careful not to do the homework for the student as this doesn’t achieve anything nor does it help them in the long run.

What you can do is explain the terminology, help them with spelling, describe a question in more simple Irish, help them to take out the proper books and make a start, help them to follow their school diary and to organise their school bag for the following day i.e. removing the books they won’t need and putting them back into their locker so that they’ll not be carrying them around all of the following day.

What is to be done ona a daily basis in the Buddy Scheme?

Check with the junior students if they are alright

Make sure they fully understand their timetable for the day – where they are going after each break and in the afternoon

Answer any questions they may have about the school uniform, the canteen, the school subjects etc.

Help them organise their locker, if necessary

Do they know where all the class rooms are, the canteen, the woodwork room, do they understand the sampling program etc?

Do they know where the school office is, where to go at lunchtime, who their class tutor is etc.?

Are they settling in well? Keep an eye out for possible students who are left on their own or who are coming to school and have no friends as such.