Please find a copy of Shimna’s admissions criteria on this site. Do not hesitate to contact the principal, Kevin Lambe, if you would like to discuss any aspect of your application. Please find below some of the frequently asked questions about admission to Shimna.
FAQs about Admission to Shimna Integrated College
1. Can I be sure that Shimna challenges the most able?
This was a very valid question in the early days, and we are proud to produce the evidence. Academic excellence is structured into the running of the school. Every student studies a full academic curriculum and the full range of academic subject choices is open to all our students at GCSE and A level: two from a choice of four modern languages; the three sciences; English literature; further mathematics etc. All our students study a full range of GCSE subjects. At A level the full range of subjects is also available, including academic and applied subjects. The first students who came to Shimna are now in their thirties and have built up a record of outstanding success. We have students at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, at Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast, at Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, at university in the USA and New Zealand and all points in between. We have students who have graduated with their PhD, we have medics, vets, engineers, lawyers, linguists, published writers, artists, musicians, computer scientists, architects and many, many more all making their way from academic qualifications to successful careers. We also have entrepreneurs, managers of supply chains, accountants, teachers, plumbers, electricians, skilled craftspeople and very widely travelled travellers. We have Irish champions in sport and members of political parties. We have soldiers, we have missionaries, we have midwives and theatre nurses. We could go on
2. Are students disadvantaged who have not attended an integrated primary school?
While we are delighted with the strong representation of students coming through from our integrated primaries, students coming from all kinds of background add to the rich mix of traditions. An integrated primary school has not been within everyone’s travelling distance, and we understand this. Some children have not been able to find a place at an integrated primary because of over-subscription. We welcome applications from all primary schools.
3. Is it true that students from integrated primary schools sometimes fail to get a place?
Our admissions criteria show that we place the highest value on the commitment of parents who have chosen an integrated primary and who choose an integrated place for the whole family at post-primary level. Our college was founded by local parents, and will always reflect their values.
4. Is it true that brothers and sisters take up most of Shimna’s places?
One of the huge motivating factors for our founding parents was the opportunity to educate the whole family together. We do give preference to siblings, but, so that families new to integration are also catered for, we also give preference to oldest children. Where an older child in your family has not been able to gain a place at Shimna because of over subscription, the next child counts as the oldest.
5. Is it true that it isn’t worth applying as Shimna is always full?
Never be put off by rumours. Every year we meet parents who didn’t put Shimna first because they believed their child would not get a place, when in fact their child would have been successful. Actively choosing an integrated education, and putting Shimna first will be the number one criterion. Our school was founded by parents, and parent/student choice is the most important thing about your application.
6. My child is interested in lots of different subject areas and may not turn out to choose languages as their main focus at a later stage. Does Shimna’s Specialist Status mean that other subjects are less important?
It is central to the Specialist School ethos that specialism applies throughout the curriculum. If your child turns out to choose physics, maths, chemistry and biology, they will benefit from opportunities for work shadowing in Europe, or perhaps from taking Arabic as an enrichment subject. In achieving Specialist Status, Shimna had to prove academic excellence in every subject area, and present plans for every subject area to benefit. The international element of our specialism is for everyone.