Our Education Ministry is varied and multifaceted.
We serve adults, refugees and asylum seekers, special needs students, and pre-school, primary and secondary school goers.
In the early years of the congregation the Sisters were Managers and teachers in the schools they founded. Today we are involved at various levels as trustees, principals, board members, teachers, Chaplains, and Learning Support providers.
Our schools are centres of learning which are open to all and which aim at excellence in the areas of religious, moral, social, affective, cultural, physical and intellectual development.
A number of our schools are catering for pupils whose parents or relatives are seeking refugee status. Helping these pupils to integrate into the Irish education system places extra burdens on the school community but efforts have been very successful.
EDUCATION UPDATE - October 2014
STANHOPE STREET PRIMARY SCHOOL, MANOR STREET, DUBLIN 7
In 2002, Stanhope Street Primary School moved out of the original building which had been condemned as a fire hazard. The Department of Education & Skills provided a two story prefab building to accommodate the school. The old school building was demolished in March 2010.
On 1st May 2013, work began on the new school building. On 27th June 2014, the new building was handed over to the Trustees and on 1st September 2014, the new school was ready to open its doors to staff and pupils. Great credit is due to C. J. Falconer & Associates, Architects and the Design Team for delivering the project on time and for the end result - our beautiful new building. We all agreed that the new building was worth waiting for, as the school had been in temporary accommodation since 2002. It is three stories, with the maximum use made of natural light on the corridors. Classrooms are beautifully equipped with all modern facilities in order to provide the best education for the children. There is a well laid out home/school/liaison room, which will enable the home/school/liaison teacher to bring parents into the school and offer a range of classes or activities, or simply to meet.
Over the years, the school has seen many changes. Pupils continue to come from the Dublin 7 area. In recent years, the school has welcomed pupils from over 30 different nationalities.
The original Primary School began on 2nd October 1867, so it is significant that the new Primary School building is on the original Primary School site, thus continuing the work of education in the tradition and ethos of the Religious Sisters of Charity.
NEW CROSS COLLEGE, FINGLAS, DUBLIN 11
On the 1st September 2014, the amalgamation of Mater Christi Secondary School and Patrician College, Finglas took place to become NEW CROSS COLLEGE. Mater Christi building will continue to be used for the amalgamated school. New Cross College is under the Trusteeship of the Religious Sisters of Charity and Le Cheile Schools Trust (Patrician College is part of the Trust).
Mater Christi Secondary School opened its doors in 1967. Due to the dedication and hard work of the teachers down through the years, the pupils received an excellent education. The pastoral care and wellbeing of the students was always very strong and there has been continued commitment to providing specialised support for students with special needs. Sports, music and drama have all been central to the educational life of Mater Christi.
Over the past few years, however, the number of pupils in the school has been declining. The decision to amalgamate with Patrician College close by ensures that the pupils of both schools will continue to receive a very good education and the opportunity for a wider subject choice.
To mark the closing of Mater Christi Secondary School as we have known it, a Thanksgiving Mass was held in the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas on 26th May 2014. Pupils, staff, parents, members of the Board of Management, sisters, teachers, members of the local community and all associated with Mater Christi attended. This was followed by refreshments in the school where there was an opportunity for people to meet and chat.
We wish New Cross College every success and have no doubt that it will become a vibrant Christian community into the future.
ARD SCOIL NA MARA, TRAMORE, CO WATERFORD
As Religious Sisters of Charity we have been providing education for girls in Tramore, Co Waterford since 1866. In 1831 primary education in Ireland became a state charge when the Education Act of Lord Stanley set up the Board of National Education. In 1882, Star of the Sea Primary School came under the National Board. In 1953, in consultation with parents and teachers, a “Secondary Top” was initiated by Sr. Pascal Baylon as part of the Primary School. In September 1963 Stella Maris Secondary School became a reality at “Bayview”, Ballycarne in a large house opposite the cemetery. The growing school moved to “Eastlands House” on Pond Road in 1966 and finally moved to the building in Pond Road in 1976.
The first Christian Brothers opened a small cottage primary school on the Old Waterford Road in 1842. In due course they opened a Primary School in Tramore and also provided a Secondary School for the boys in Tramore.
By 2004 the two Secondary School buildings needed upgrading and expansion. In consultation with the two Boards of Management, Staffs and Parents, the Trustees agreed to the amalgamation of the two Secondary Schools and the Department of Education & Skills agreed to the building of a new Secondary School under the Public Private Partnership Scheme.
The new state of the art facility was completed in March 2014 and handed over to the interim Board of Management of the new school, Ard Scoil na Mara. The newly appointed Principal, Mr Padraig Cawley was charged with its preparation for the admission of 1,050 students to the amalgamated school for the 2014/15 school year. Ard Scoil na Mara is under the joint Trusteeship of the Religious of Charity and the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST). The long history of educational provision by the Congregation of the Christian Brothers and the Religious Sisters of Charity in Tramore, has entered a collaborative educational provision with a vision suited to the 21st century.