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About Scoil Sinead

Scoil Sinéad Ltd is a new patron body that is made up of volunteers from a variety of different backgrounds including education, finance, medical and business. We provide an inclusive multi-denominational, co-educational, English medium schools. If required, we will offer through the medium of Irish alongside English.

Our schools are defined by our values. We believe that educating students to be independent and forward thinkers along the way developing clear vision, courage, and integrity.

Scoil Sinéad sets a structure and a model to support children and students to navigate the world of education, together, no matter what. 

The HOPE chain of Montessori schools was born, followed by Scoil Sinéad Primary Schools and co-establishing a secondary school.  Scoil Sinéad has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

We nurture and educate children from the cradle to graduation.

Our structures are rooted in the UN charter on the rights of the child and we have five basic pillars on which everything stands.

  • Co-educational & curriculum tailored for the child
  • Multi-belief
  • Inclusive
  • Experiential Learning
  • Community Grounded

We are in a rapidly changing world.  The jobs our students will do have not yet been invented.  To educate and prepare a child for that rapidly changing world is what we are about.  It’s not just subject knowledge that they will need, but they will need to develop skills and abilities of well-being, resilience, flexibility, thinking in other ways, researching, entrepreneurship and much, much, more.

 

When we talk about our pillars of education foundation, they are separate and distinct, but they are not mutually exclusive.  Everything is cohesive and integrated.

Inclusion

 

Every school is inclusive.  There is not a teacher in the world who would willingly exclude a student. In Scoil Sinead however, it takes on a new approach.

It includes children of;

  • Belief and no belief
  • Any gender
  • Any Socio-Economic Background
  • Any and all ethnicity
  • Children with SEN.

Our pre and primary schools have dual stream classes and there’s a simple rule, we all do it or no one does it, so children play together, do field trips together, teachers plan together etc.

Inclusion is not just about Special Educational Needs. It is also about nurturing children who are gifted.  Those who might need a boost in subject specific areas. 

The Patron Body has psychologists, Behaviour Analysts, Speech and Language therapists and other clinical professionals to support teacher and students in their classes. Staff are constantly trained and re-trained to work with the co-hort of students in their classrooms and the training is tailored to each specific classroom. The schools participate in and are awarded the ‘Yellow Flag’ to recognise excellence in good inclusive practice.

Multi-belief

 

Children of all beliefs and none are supported in their learning and discovery of self. We say ‘no belief’ because let’s face it, having no belief in a divine creative force is actually a belief and must be respected and nurtured.

Now Multi-belief in Scoil Sinead does not mean that we

  1. Form faith (that’s the role of the family and faith community – we nurture and respect)
  2. That we are secular

Our children celebrate everything, encompassing the different religious holidays and traditions as well are Earth Day and International Humanist Day. In doing so, they become aware, accepting of and supportive of other cultures and traditions.

We support students to awareness of self and of being grateful for the life they live.  If it is appropriate to their faith background they will pray and if not, they certainly will learn to meditate.  That skill of stilling oneself is critical to well-being and resilience and helps develop confidence. 

The programme we use is one called HOPE – appropriately enough. It’s an Erasmus programmed developed by 5 universities across Europe with EU funding and is called Hope, Optimism and Positivity in Education.

Curriculum

Our schools are IT focussed with students using tablet computers and accessing notes etc through a school-based Moodle system. However, students will also have the opportunity to chose to use books instead of devices. We will also allow parents to have an input into what resources we use. This will be based on locations as some locations may not have a good internet connection for us to be able to be IT focus.

We will aim to ensure that if using IT all students work is online and teacher led.  Teachers are required to develop notes and upload to student accessible Moodle.  This helps to tailor lessons to the needs of the students.

It is important for students to still hold, and to read books and these are available in the classroom and library and, we hope at home but our decision to lead teaching and learning in this way came about because we find that textbooks, once printed are out of date fairly quickly and they are not cheap.

 

Our teachers dovetail the curriculum with student’s ability and interests.  It is compulsory for all students to do Science, History and Geography along with languages and maths to Junior Cycle. The languages on offer along with subjects in Materials Technology and Home Economics will be dependent on student numbers seeking to follow the subject.

Experiential Learning

 

Scoil Sinéad believes that students must have the opportunity to explore their communities and the wider environment, including Europe and beyond.

And so, we are back to our International Development Strand in addition to local initiatives such as visiting business, factories, farms, charities etc and getting involved in community. Field trips are integral to this learning. It fits into their learning of History, Geography, Science, CPSE, SPHE and understanding of their world.

Community

Scoil Sinéad Ltd is community focused as we believe that the school is a reflection of the community. Our themes are linked to the different activities in the local and wider community. This ensures that students can respect, care and participate in the community and also to highlight the good work that others do in their community.

Parental involvement is vital and there are regularly opportunities for teachers, children and parents to engage with the school community and the wider community which creates a sense of togetherness.

Scoil Sinéad has form – from Cradle to Graduation.  Achieving this is only possible by our involvement with our community.  At pre-school and primary school, the children go out into the local community and important people in their lives come in.  There is instilled a sense of pride in family, school and community.

In our Secondary schools that takes on a different hue.  Not only do they go out and get involved in their community in a supported and planned fashion, but Community and Opinion leaders come in. They give talks and seminars and workshops.  Through Community programmes run in conjunction with the local authority and Entrepreneur programmes in conjunction with local industry, that pride of place and understand is enhanced and supports their curricular work.

At Secondary School simply ‘ramping up’ the same activities they undertook in primary school is not enough.  We have introduced a new subject strand called ‘International Development Strand’. Students will now begin to understand that they are also citizens of, not just the town but the country, the continent and the world.  To bring this about, we travel.  First year sees them going to an activity centre and staying overnight.  It helps bonding and brings about skills of planning, organising, budgeting etc.  By second year, it is overseas to the UK. This enhances skills of behaviour, self-regulation, planning and now the requirement to save and fundraise kicks in. In co-operation with the Irish League of Credit Unions we facilitate this and develop lifelong skills. By transition year, they are ready to visit Europe and the European structures of Government and Industry.  They will visit the European Parliament and the Commission in Brussels.  They meet industry and education specialists and all of this feed into their subject curriculum and develops the skills we said were necessary to succeed in an ever-changing world. Our partnership with the European Commission education team and the Irish Institute for European Affairs in Louvain make this happen.

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