Ashfield College

Teachers

Ashfield College teachers are some of the best performing teachers, recruited from top Irish schools. Our teachers are renowned subject specialists and include Leaving Certificate examiners, text book authors and teacher trainers. Below is a selection of our some of our wonderful team. Imagine working with teachers this good every day!

English (H)

Tom Blanche​

Tom is the Head of Assessment and Study Mentor at Ashfield College where he guides, supports, and motivates the students throughout their time here.

French & German

Cindy Ireland

MA French & German, Oxford University, PGCE from UCL

Cindy has lived and worked in France, Germany, and Switzerland. She strongly feels that the value of learning of foreign language cannot be underestimated and that it is not only a means to an end, but a wonderful opportunity to expand one’s horizons in terms of both thinking about and seeing the world from a different perspective. Cindy particularly enjoys helping students to get to grips with grammatical concepts, as this fosters precision and clarity of expression and is ultimately very rewarding.

Cindy encourages students to understand that memorisation skills, intuition and self-confidence are elements of language learning which students can bring with them and apply to all the challenges of the Leaving Certificate. With the excellent resources and sample answers available at Ashfield, Cindy believes that every student can become a polished linguist within the time frame and achieve great results.

Classical Studies

Seamus O'Sullivan​

Seamus has both a B.A. and Masters in Classical studies – including Latin and Ancient Greek. He has taught Classical Studies and Latin for the Leaving Cert. and Junior Cert. in several schools throughout Dublin. Seamus has also taught history, Irish, and CSPE at Junior Level, and some Ancient Greek. Seamus worked closely with the Classical Teachers Association of Ireland, chairing the association for 2019 to 2021. The Subject Association runs several events to help promote Classics and help students, including a lecture series in Trinity College and UCD to help Leaving Cert students. Seamus runs the website for the organisation which has plenty of resources and information for Classical Studies.

Irish

Maria Whelan

B.A. (Honours) NUIM, M.A. (Honours) NUIM, PGDE (Honours) NUIM, PGDELM (Honours) MU, MAELM (Honour – ongoing) MU.

Maria is a second level teacher of Irish for the past 13 years. She has a grá for Gaeilge and endeavours to inspire the same in her students.

Maria spends time every summer working in Gaeltacht courses and has also worked as a Leaving Certificate examiner. She uses this experience in her teaching to help students maximise their marks with a focus on the marking schemes and how best to address exam questions.

Maria places strong emphasis on the Oral Irish component as she believes this helps to improve all areas of competency in the language.

Maria’s lessons incorporate a variety of notes, resources and sample answers to aid students in achieving their full potential in Irish. Every effort is made to make Irish more accessible for all learners in the class.

Maria has been teaching students in Ashfield College for a number of years now.

Design & Communication Graphics HL & OL

Luke Bowden

1st Class Honours BSc in Design and Technology Education from GMIT Letterfrack.

Luke is a graduate of Design and Technology Education from GMIT Letterfrack, a teacher training course for the subject of Materials Technology (Wood), Technical Graphics, Construction Studies and Design and Communication Graphics. 

Since 2016, Luke has worked at Kingswood Community College in Dublin 24, where he also leads digital learning, the school’s engagement with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and coordinated their 1st year iPad induction course for students. In 2019, Luke became an Apple Distinguished Educator which opened the door for him to present at conferences both in Ireland and internationally regarding digital learning and UDL. More information can be found on Luke’s E-Portfolio and by following him on his twitter for education purposes @OideLuke.

Home Economics

Lisa Ward

Lisa qualified from St. Angelas College in Sligo, with a Bachelor of Education in Home Economics. During this time, she published a dissertation on “Education for Sustainable Development” an area that encompasses many of the core elements of the Leaving Certificate Home Economics syllabus. She has extensive experience as a Leaving Certificate examiner at all levels. 

Lisa is very passionate about Home Economics and aims to instil in her students an appreciation for the subject. Whilst maintaining a constant exam focus in her classes, she believes that the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed through studying Home Economics transcend the classroom equipping her students with lifelong skills.

Applied Maths

Lisa Malibet

BSc Science Education

Lisa is a Maths, Applied Maths and Physics teacher with 7 years’ experience. She enjoys breaking down complex topics into simpler terms making maths and physics a fun, enjoyable experience. Her aim is to make her subject clear, accessible, and interesting so that students will want to continue studying.

Spanish

Jose Garrido

MA in Translation Studies, Spanish H Dip, Bachelor of Arts

After qualifying as a Secondary School teacher in Spain, Jose moved to Ireland where he has been teaching Spanish. He has been teaching Spanish for almost 20 years. After completing an MA in Translation Studies (DCU, 2005), he taught in DIT, UCD and Instituto Cervantes (where he is also an official examiner).

Jose has been teaching at secondary level since 2008 and he really enjoys teaching at this level. It gives him the opportunity to help young adults to discover the importance of languages and to find their way into a suitable Third Level programme and a professional career.

Later Modern History & Religious Education

Eimear McCrory

LLB (Hons), MLitt History, PGDE, HDip Theology

Eimear studied Law at the University of Dundee for four years. She then pursued her historic interest and undertook a Master’s in history at the University of Glasgow. During this time, she published a dissertation on America and the Good Friday Agreement. This journey allowed her to interview political figures throughout Ireland.

Eimear completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Education at the University of Strathclyde. She taught for three years in Glasgow.

Eimear has been at Ashfield College since 2019.

Religious Education is also something that Eimear has been drawn to, particularly the philosophical, ethical, and moral debates. She completed a Higher Diploma in Theology at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.

Eimear is a passionate teacher, who thoroughly enjoys bringing subjects to life for her students.

Physics

Dr. Laura Walsh

BSc, PhD

Dr. Laura studied Physics and Physics Technology in Dublin Institute of Technology and graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree.

After taking some time to travel the world, Dr. Laura returned to Dublin and began working as an assistant lecturer in the School of Physics whilst writing her PhD proposal.

Having secured funding Dr. Laura began her doctoral research and was integral in the establishment of the Physics Education Research Group (PERG) in DIT.

PERG were responsible for introducing and implementing innovative learning and teaching strategies such as problem-based learning within the School of Physics.

Upon completion of her PhD, titled A Phenomenographic study of Introductory Physics Students: Approaches to Problem Solving and Conceptualisations of Knowledge, Laura embarked on a research fellowship with the Focus Institute within DIT.

Dr. Laura has taken a number of years leave of formal education and employment in order to raise her family and has returned to post primary teaching having developed a passion for teaching at this level.

 

Publications

Walsh, Laura & Howard, Robert & Bowe, Brian. (2007). Phenomenographic study of students’ problem solving approaches in physics. Physical Review Special Topics : Physics Education Research. 3. 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.3.020108.

Walsh, L. & Howard, Robert & Harvey, J. & Bowe, Brian. (2005). Investigation of the relationship between conceptual understanding and quantitative problem-solving in optics. Proceedings of SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering. 5827. 10.1117/12.605134.

Guidance Counsellor

Dr. Joe Gallagher

M.B.A, B.Comm,H.D.E, Grad Dip Career Guidance

Dr. Joe Gallagher is a Guidance Counsellor with 25 years’ experience guiding students through the post-school choices process, including CAO, UCAS, and Further Education.

During one-to-one guidance sessions, Joe utilises psychometric testing to help establish and explore the interests and aptitudes of our students. The goal is to ensure that students make good, realistic, and informed choices in terms of careers, colleges, and courses.

Joe holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Glasgow, where his research focused on the ways in which young people make their career and education choices.

Irish HL & OL

Antonia Ní Bhrádaigh

BA in Modern Irish and Drama Studies from Trinity College Dublin

Antonia is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and joined Ashfield in 2020. She is passionate about the importance of Irish in education and enjoys fostering a positive learning environment for all students in the classroom.

Biology

Anne Scully

BSc (Hons) Science/ MSc Ecology/ PGCE

Anne Scully has been teaching Biology for the Leaving Certificate for over 20 years. With a BSc in Science, MSc in Ecology and a PGCE, Anne is one of the most experienced biology teachers in the country. 

Having previously worked in Guys Hospital preparing DNA profiles and also teaching genetics to pre-medicine students, Anne has brought her passion and knowledge in the area of biology to all of the students here at Ashfield College. 

Anne is an extremely motivating teacher; she likes her students to gain a love for the subject. Anne ensures that students leave each class understanding the key concepts of the topic taught and provides revision classes for any students who might need some additional help. 

Anne believes that exam technique is an essential component of biology. Practising exam questions is an extremely important and efficient way to learn biology. Practising questions also encourages debate and student input which is crucial for student’s interaction with the subject. 

At Ashfield College, students are provided with Anne’s top-class manual notes and sample answers on all parts of the syllabus. The platform Moodle is also an invaluable resource for students where they can watch recordings of the class to help them gain further understanding of some of the more difficult topics. Anne’s key motto as a biology teacher is: Enjoy, be proactive and work as a team!

Maths HL & OL

Amy Corrigan

Degree in Financial and Actuarial Mathematics, Diploma in Actuarial Applications, Actuarial Associate

Amy began her career working as an actuary working in the life insurance industry before moving into private equity. She discovered her passion for teaching while giving private one to one tuition so decided to pursue a career in education where she hasn’t looked back since!

Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry

Peter Jackson

BSc, HDipED

Peter obtained a BSc. in Agricultural Zoology from the University of Glasgow followed by a HDE from TCD. He then began teaching in St. Columba’s College, Dublin where he stayed for 42 years until he retired. He became Head of Science and an Assistant Principal teaching Chemistry and Biology to higher level. 

After spending over 30 years marking the Leaving Certificate Biology papers, he is now one of the most experienced markers and appeals markers. Peter has published several textbooks including Exploring Biology (C J Fallon), Past paper answers (C J Fallon), Essentials Unfolded Chemistry (C J Fallon), Exam Solutions for Leaving Certificate Biology (C J Fallon) plus several online Exam Questions and Answers on iBook’s. He has worked extensively with the Department of Education (PDST) and The Royal Society of Chemistry giving numerous courses to teachers on methods of teaching chemistry. 

For the last ten years Peter gives an annual one-day course on Chemistry to students for Intel in their Intel Academy. In the classroom Peter’s aim is to infect his students with an interest in and love of science. Science is relatively easy if it is explained in a straightforward way and properly illustrated. 

Peter uses PowerPoint in his lessons as the animations Peter makes allow visual learners to understand complex theories more easily. He makes all of his class materials available to all his students. He also instils in them the idea that success only comes with hard work and that it is vital to ask for clarification of any points they are unsure of. As a result, like all Ashfield teachers, Peter makes himself available to his students by e-mail if they have any problems.

Publications

Understanding Biology (C J Fallon)
Essentials Unfolded Chemistry (C J Fallon)
Exam Solutions for Leaving Certificate Biology (C J Fallon)
Science and Technology in Action contributor for the last 15 years Exam Solutions Plus Biology (iBook)

The classes are excellent, Mr Jackson is a fantastic and supportive teacher. Couldn’t ask for better.
David Leon, Leaving Cert

Peter Jackson’s classes are very detailed, explained clearly, and exam focused.
David Barrett, Leaving Cert

English HL Geography HL & OL

Jennifer Skelly

Bachelor of Arts (BA) – Joint Major in English and Geography (Level 8), Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) – Pedagogy Subjects English and Geography (Level 9) & Master of Arts (MA) in Geography – Specialising in Emergency Planning and Emergency Management for major Geographical events

Jennifer began teaching at Ashfield College in 2012. She is extremely passionate about both English and Geography alike. She recognises the importance of the English language and the multitude of skills associated with it – not only as part of the Leaving Certificate syllabus for the subject itself but also across all other subjects, especially now that such emphasis is placed on literacy in education.

In addition, having completed a Master of Arts (MA) in Geography, she aims to promote the subject among students in order for them to recognise its importance in a world plagued by environmental problems and issues of sustainability. She believes that building a strong rapport with her students is of the utmost importance – this helps her to encourage her students to realise their full potential academically while also enabling her to build up their self-belief.

Publications

Sunday Business Post (2013) – Leaving Certificate Exam Guide for English & Sunday Business Post (2013) – Leaving Certificate Exam Guide for Geography

Kathleen is the most genuine teacher I have had. She makes learning fun. She is an excellent teacher for both beginners and advanced students.

Adam Cahill, Leaving Cert

I went from doing ordinary level English in my last school to higher level English in Ashfield, all with the help of Jenny.
Maeve O’Carroll, Leaving Cert

Business, Accounting, & Economics

Philip Curry

Philip has taught Business subjects for the Leaving Cert. for over 28 years and he is an experienced exam corrector with the SEC for the last 16 years.

Philip has written two exam revision books along with educational supplements for various publications and owns the website www.leavingcertbusiness.com.

He has lectured to trainee teachers at Hibernia College and has spoken at numerous educational seminars to students and teachers alike.

Publications

A Question of Business 2004
Business the Higher Option 2020
A guide to the ABQ 2021

Philip has an amazing talent for focusing on exactly what we need for the exam.
Tom Burke, Leaving Cert

Philip Curry makes his Business classes very interesting. Not only does he focus on exam technique but he engages and interacts with everyone.
Isabel Williams, Leaving Cert

Art

Sarah Clarke

B.A (Hons) Art and Design Education, NCAD. Cert. Adult and Community Education, NUIM. H.Dip Arts in Drama Education, Griffith College. M.Ed Drama in Education, TCD. Professional Certificate for Entrepreneurial Educators, UCD

Sarah creates a classroom environment which promotes opportunities for creative thinking, discussion, and practical experimentation. Her classes balance such skill development with constant exam focus. An experienced teacher, Sarah has provided guidance across a wide range of educational settings in primary, post-primary, post-Leaving Certificate, and third level settings. 

As well as teaching in Ashfield College, Sarah has worked as a teacher/researcher with the Asperger’s Syndrome Association of Ireland (ASPIRE) in conjunction with Trinity College, Dublin (TCD). She is also involved in a range of studies conducted by the School of Education in TCD. She has presented her research materials at national and international conferences and has a particular interest in the areas of ‘readiness to learn’, ‘student self-direction skill set development’ and ‘arts education’.

Music HL & OL

Kathleen Murphy

Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts (Irish History), Postgraduate Diploma in Humanities (Journalism), Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Postgraduate Diploma in Theological Studies

Kathleen has over 10 years of teaching music at Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate level, both at Higher and Ordinary level. She has been preparing and conducting Music Practical exams for over 10 years and she is experienced in teaching the music technology element of the practical exam. 

Kathleen also has extensive experience working for the State Exam Commission correcting both the written and practical exams. Kathleen is an accomplished oboist and has experience in orchestral performance, conducting orchestras and choirs. She also plays piano, ukulele, and guitar.

Kathleen is the most genuine teacher I have had. She makes learning fun. She is an excellent teacher for both beginners and advanced students.

Adam Cahill, Leaving Cert

I look forward to music classes with Kathleen at the end of the day.

Maeve O’Carroll, Leaving Cert

Agricultural Science

Niamh Condon

BSc Ed

Niamh obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science, Biology, and Chemistry with concurrent teacher education from the University of Limerick. She has written several revision articles for the Farmers’ Journal newspaper as part of their weekly Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science education supplement. 

Niamh feels that science-based subjects enrich a student’s educational experience, as they are diverse and rewarding subject areas with real-life applications. Thus, Niamh sees her job as a dual responsibility: both to the development of each student’s scientific literacy, and the nurturing of the students as future scientists.

Irish for Primary Teaching

Darran Breathnach

BA (Honours) NUIM , Ard-dioplóma san oideachas NUIG

Darran has been a secondary school teacher of Irish and Geography for the past 10 years.

He has a great passion for his two subjects and spends much of the summer in the Gaeltacht. Darran puts a massive emphasis on the spoken language and firmly believes that this improves all aspects of the language. 

Darran has done much work with the PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers) to encourage the use of technology in language learning. He takes great pride in giving students a ‘grá’ for the language and engaging them. He is very much aware of the challenges students face when learning the language, and is confident in his ability to equip students with the tools and confidence they need to excel in the language.

Darran is a great teacher, his love for the Irish language is contagious. I really enjoyed this year, he made the syllabus enjoyable to learn.

Rachel Warren, Irish for Primary Teaching

Darran Is A Really Good Teacher. He Explained Everything So Well And The Classes Were So Much Fun. If I Had Had A Teacher Like Darran In School, I Would Have Enjoyed Learning The Irish Language.

Shelia Coyle, Irish for Primary Teaching

HPAT Preparation

Eoghan Casey

BSc, Barrister

Eoghan Casey is a Barrister-at-Law. He also holds a First Class Honours Degree in Mathematical Science and has taught at secondary and university level.

He scored the highest mark in the country in Leaving Cert Honours Maths in his year of examination. Eoghan worked in finance for over 4 years, where recruitment is heavily reliant on performance in aptitude tests, puzzle-type exams, and interviews.

Arabic

Dr. Ali Selim

Bachelor’s degree, M.Phil. PhD

Dr. Ali was awarded his Bachelor’s degree by Al-Azhar University, the first and foremost university in Islamic and Arabic studies based in Cairo, Egypt. He started his career in a research academy. Part of his duties was to read books written in Arabic and English and henceforth approve or disapprove granting permission for publication. However, Dr.Ali could not resist his gushing desire for teaching and so he moved to a career where he could teach Arabic and English. He taught English to non-native speakers and Arabic to both native and non-native speakers.

Since moving to Ireland in 1999, Dr. Ali has lectured in the Mater Dei Institute, Smurfit College, the European Institute and Trinity College.

This very busy schedule of lecturing in universities has never been an obstacle in his way of teaching the Arabic Leaving Certificate where he takes pride in the high grades achieved by his students. In addition, he has been invited by the NCCA to discuss the Arabic curriculum and write a report about it. He has taught the International Arabic baccalaureate for eight years. Every year, one of his students was honoured for her/his Arabic achievement in the annual ceremony held in UCD.

 

Publications

Books:

The Concept of Coexistence in Islamic Primary Sources: An Analytical Examination, Cambridge Scholars, 2015
Islam and Education in Ireland, an Introduction to the Faith and the Challenges It Faces, Veritas, 2014 3. The Muslim As A European Citizen, Beirut, 2012
Education Exclusion: A Fundamental Layer of Social Exclusion. In Shanahan, M. ed. (Forthcoming) Does Religious Education Matter? Farnham: Ashgate/Taylor &Francis
(Forthcoming) Fiqh of Worship, Al-Maktoum Foundation, Dublin

 Articles:

“Tolerance in Islam”, Church of Ireland, V29, 2006
“Jewish-Christian Muslim Relations, Dogmatic Appreciation or Confrontation”, Church of Ireland, 2016

With Ali Selim we finished a one year course in just over six months and it was exam questions from there. Ali simplifies things in such a way that you get the most done in the least amount of time.

Abdul Roshdi, Leaving Cert

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