At the core of education are moral purpose, empowerment and liberation of potential. At the heart of Jesuit education is the cura personalis – the care for the individual – because education is ‘not the filling of a pail’ but the blossoming of a person.
Martin Wallace, Assistant Headmaster
One of the strengths of a boarding school environment is that it allows education to spill over into every aspect of our students’ lives, through the co-curricular activities, through the bringing together of children from diverse cultures and communities, through the everyday challenges that enrich their world. We strive to knit together the academic and experiential learning into a more coherent fabric. This is what allows us to have a clear and identifiable ethos, a palpable school culture that is nourishing and nurturing of body, mind and soul.
An important evolution taking place in Clongowes is the development and nurturing of cooperative learning. Our relatively new James Joyce Library has changed the way our senior students learn. The Cooperative Learning Centre for the junior students establishes and strengthens our commitment to innovative learning. This cooperative model of learning supports our desire to be a learning community rather than viewing learning as a solitary, silent activity.
A remarkable innovation in recent years is the Maths Modelling programme, run by Mr Stephen O’Hara, Physics teacher, in conjunction with Professor James Gleeson in the University of Limerick. This cooperative learning process is at the cutting edge of education for the 21st century. The challenge for us is to apply this dynamic model to other learning disciplines, a process that we have begun through our cooperative learning programmes for Elements and Rudiments.
We have a highly committed teaching staff, working closely with a dedicated team of prefects, both groups endeavouring to combine the living and learning environments into a holistic educational experience. Over the past ten years, the school has invested substantially in the upgrade of older facilities and the provision of new, state of the art learning spaces, such as the Science, Art and Technology Building, the James Joyce Library and the new Sports Hall. The school has also invested in a Learning Support team that has had outstanding success in releasing the potential of students, whose abilities might otherwise have remained unseen.
This is an exciting time in education. We have a clear vision of what is at the core of the process. The child is all that matters.