Success stories

Kumon Galway City West students are among Ireland’s most talented youth!

Nov 2019

Students at the Kumon Galway City West Study Centre are being accepted onto programmes at the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland (CTYI) and are clearly demonstrating the ways in which studying the Kumon Method of Learning is developing advanced, confident learners.

The Kumon study centre, based at Westside Resource Centre, Seamus Quirke Road, Galway City has been established for seven years and instructs students of all ages and abilities in the Kumon Method, a study programme that was established more than 60 years ago in Japan and now used internationally in more than 50 countries. Kumon study develops children’s abilities allowing them to be able to study for themselves and focuses on their maths and English skills. The Kumon centre in Galway has worked with thousands of students from across the city.

Kumon Instructor, Denise Heneghan first heard about the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland (CTYI) from a proud parent whose child had recently been accepted onto their talented youth programme. CTYI offers enrichment courses at Dublin City University and at the National University of Ireland Galway, for primary and secondary school students across Ireland with high academic ability. These university-style courses are delivered by lecturers, researchers and post-graduate students, who aim to introduce students to subject material that are outside the mainstream school curriculum, to engage student’s curiosity and expand their understanding of the material. Courses range from advanced subjects like Astronomy, Neuroscience, App development and Engineering, to more creative courses that encourage a child’s imagination, such as exploring the world of Harry Potter and studying myths and legends.

Denise was curious about the criteria for entry to be considered for the CTYI programme and found out that students must take an assessment and score between the 85th and 95th percentile in mathematical and verbal reasoning. In terms of defining their high academic ability, they also need to be achieving better results than 70% of students that are two years older than them. Denise found it interesting that there was a correlation between Kumon’s advanced study criteria levels and the entry level for the CTYI study programmes, and it made her consider her other students that were about to reach Kumon’s advanced levels of study.  

Denise has since encouraged a number of her students to “stretch their wings” and pursue the type of education only available for the highest achieving children. Many of them have since gone on to apply to CTYI and have been accepted, attributing their success to their Kumon studies.

Denise believes that Kumon is supporting her students in not just their pursuit of being accepted into CTYI, but also in being able to maintain the study and enjoyment of the courses they offer. Discussing how Kumon prepares students for this type of gifted education, she says;

“Kumon offers students a step-by-step approach to study. Right from the beginning the student is trained to read the question and instructions carefully, review the whole page, and answer the question in a systematic and thorough way. Kumon students develop stamina, concentration and good study skills. They are developed to be able to work ahead of their equivalent school grade level, so they are already reasonably comfortable with the idea of looking at unfamiliar work and giving it a go.”

Students studying with Kumon are encouraged to complete small amounts of study daily and develop the confidence to not be afraid of facing new challenges. 14-year-old Kumon student Stephen has already completed the Kumon English programme and is on his way to completing the maths programme. He developed the academic confidence to apply to CTYI and has now been participating in their talent programme since 2017.

Stephen says, “Kumon has encouraged me to have a positive mindset towards learning. Through studying the Kumon programmes, I have become more confident in many other subjects as well as English and maths. Denise and her team taught me to learn independently, whilst being very helpful and supportive.”

Stephen’s mother Deirdre is impressed with how well Kumon studies have prepared him for CTYI; “If it wasn’t for the work of the Kumon Galway team, he would never have reached the required levels or have had the confidence to go forward to the CTYI assessments.”

At the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland, students like Stephen are being academically challenged and are studying in environments that welcome intellectual curiosity, where like-minded peers can meet, socialise and learn collaboratively.  

Denise said “They get an opportunity to join students from throughout the region or the nation and study new material with them. This broadens their social context. I believe that working with other advanced students encourages the student to progress further, to know that more is possible, and this extends their academic ambition. Kumon can be a wonderful academic and personal adventure, and in combination with other educational initiatives, extends that adventure into even more exciting territories.”