First Year classes are not streamed on the basis of the Assessment Test. Pupils are put into two or three classes according to alphabetical order. Streaming may take place after first year in some subjects but it is a feature of the school that no matter what banding takes place we arrange the timetable in such a way that all pupils have the opportunity of taking Honours subjects for both Junior and Leaving Certificates should their ability allow it.
Currently First Year students take either German or French and Technical Graphics or Art. The decision on these choices is taken just prior to the Hallowe'en break after the students have had 3/4 weeks of class in each of these suubjects. This decision is taken in a meeting between the Principal and the subject teachers. The criteria governing the choice are each student's ability in and suitability for the subject.
Supervised study for day-boys starts at 4.15pm and can be taken until 7pm from Monday to Thursday. Study for boarders starts at 6.00pm and, with a break for tea from 7.00pm to 8.00pm, goes until 10.15pm.
Each First Year class is assigned a class teacher whose function is to see that the pupils settle into school and to be available to the students should any problem arise. The Year Head complements the class teachers, especially taking care of any discipline problems that might arise. The Chaplain, Fr. Murphy, the C.S.P.E, S.P.H.E, and Religion teachers are also be significantly involved in the pastoral care area. The Pastoral Care Committee comprising The Chaplain, Fr. Murphy, The Principal, Mr. Hughes, The Deputy Principal, Mr. Cashman and The Guidance Counsellor Mrs. Foley meets once a week to discuss the wellbeing of students and address any issues or concerns about students which might have been conveyed either by a Year Head, Class Teacher or Subject Teacher.
Each year 10 Leaving 1 students, who are selected by interview from the list of candidates, undergo a week's training in Castletown in how to be a successful Meitheal leader. Their purpose is to mentor the First years throughout their first year in Knockbeg. This starts on their first day in the College during which they are brought on a tour of the school and participate in games and activities during the afternoon. These help to break the ice for the First Years and allow them to start making friends and integrating into Knockbeg. Each Meitheal leader is responsible for mentoring up to 8 students in his group. Throughout the year the leaders organise activities for the First Years, sometimes in conjunction with the other local schools which also have a Meitheal group. They also meet the First Years on a regular basis throughout the year and discuss matters pertaining to their responsiibilities with the Principal on a formal and informal basis.