Introduction to Ard Scoil na nDéise
Ard Scoil na nDéise is a voluntary secondary school under the trusteeship of CEIST (Catholic Education An Irish Schools Trust). Situated in the heart of Dungarvan, we welcome students from all parts of the town, its suburbs and indeed its hinterland. This healthy mix of town and country contributes greatly to the school’s very special atmosphere, which is always remarked upon by students, parents and visitors alike.
At Ard Scoil na nDéise we provide for the holistic development of all our students. Every individual student brings something unique to our school and we value and nurture this. We aim to bring out the best in every student and subsequently help them to reach their full potential.
We encourage our students to have an enquiring mind and a lively imagination. We help them to understand their faith intelligently and to live it wholeheartedly, as pupils of a Catholic school which respects at all times the beliefs of other traditions. Our core values of respect, care and friendship underpin all aspects of school life here in Ard Scoil na nDéise.
Our students also learn the joy, excitement and challenge of competition in a variety of areas at all levels. The success of our students in sports, young enterprise, debating, public speaking, music, choir, science, drama and many more are a source of great pride to everyone associated with our school.
We expect high standards in all aspects of school life. We encourage our students to aim high in their studies, to work hard and to be sensitive to the rights and needs of others. We are very proud of our many students who obtain outstanding Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate results. We are also very proud of students who find school and study more difficult but work extremely hard with their teachers and consequently achieve good results.
Our highly skilled motivated staff bring with them a wide range of experience, talents and skills ensuring high quality provision of education to all our students. They all share a dedication to the mission of the school striving to ensure the holistic education of all.
Here in Ard Scoil na nDéise we believe in adopting a partnership approach to our students’ education. We work closely with parents to ensure that we have a clear understanding of each student’s personal circumstances and any factors that may impact on their ability to fully engage with school life. There is constant communication between parents and subject teachers, class tutors, year heads, and management. By keeping the channels of communication open there is meaningful two way communication which allows us to identify concerns early and take steps to address them. We have an active Parents’ Council that meets on a regular basis and liaises with school management regarding many aspects of school life.
We have a trained group of Fifth Year mentors that work specifically with our new First Year students to help them transition smoothly into our school community. The Cáirde Girls are the first people to greet our new First Years when they start school in September. They play a huge part in the induction of our new students and are involved in everything from tours of the school, to ice-breaker games, to table quizzes to help the girls get to know each other. They even give up their lunch breaks to help organise lunchtime clubs and activities for the First Years.
High Standards and Innovation in Teaching and Learning:
With a proven track record of over twenty five years of excellence in education, Ard Scoil na nDéise students consistently achieve high grades in both Junior and Leaving Certificate exams. We believe that every student should be afforded every opportunity to reach their full academic potential and as such, we focus our attention on ensuring that every student gets the help and support that she needs to reach that potential. This support can take the form of extra academic support for students who are academically gifted or learning support for students who have difficulties in certain subject areas. Our innovative academic support programme allows for students to move in and out of academic support classes throughout the year thereby ensuring that our resources are best utilised to meet the needs of the school community.
Students at Junior Cycle have a specific class called ‘Learning to Learn’ every week. This class supports them in identifying their own particular strengths and weaknesses in terms of study. It also explores different study techniques and gives them training in how to use different study skills to best support their learning. Staff members have undertaken specific training in this area in order to be able to deliver this course effectively. Furthermore, our vibrant and enthusiastic staff are highly committed to engaging in continuing professional development to ensure that they are familiar with the most up to date teaching methodologies.
We offer a broad range of subjects.
At Junior Cycle, students study Irish, English, Maths, French or German, Science, Religion, History, Geography, Computers, Learning to Learn, PE, CSPE, and SPHE, as core subjects. They do taster modules in Art, Music, Home Economics, and Business for ten weeks in First Year and then choose two of these four subjects to study for their Junior Certificate.
At Senior Cycle, students study Irish, English, Maths, French or German, Religion, Computers, Careers, Health Education, and PE as core subjects. They also choose three option subjects from the following: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Home Economics, Art, Music, Business, Economics, Accounting, History, and Geography.
We structure our option blocks at Junior and Senior Cycle based on student preferences to ensure that our students have the best possible choice of subjects to suit their particular needs.
Co-curricular Activities in Ard Scoil na nDéise
Ard Scoil na nDéise offers a wide range of activities to suit the needs of our diverse student population. We believe that providing this wide range of activities allows our students to break out of their comfort zones and to try new things. We are very aware that a ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work when it comes to catering for the holistic development of young adults so we endeavour to take account of the ever changing needs of our student cohort.
At a whole school level we offer a wide range of sporting activities including football, camogie, soccer, badminton, athletics, cross country running, and equestrian. All of these activities are made possible by the commitment and dedication of our staff and students who give their time so generously to training outside of school hours. We compete in a wide range of sporting events throughout the year and have reached Munster finals in camogie and football and All Ireland finals in cross country in recent years. We are very proud of the determination our staff and students show to achieve these successes.
We are mindful of the fact that not every student has a strong interest in sport. We also encourage our students to engage with science competitions, debating and public speaking competitions, enterprise initiatives, home economics competitions, and any other activities that may appeal to their interests.
As part of the holistic development of our students, we place high importance on embedding a culture of wellbeing throughout our school. This is achieved through regular focus on the area of wellbeing throughout all subject areas. Our focus on wellbeing is further reinforced through our pastoral care system and is looked at as part of time spent with class tutors. Last year we put a particular spotlight on wellbeing through our ‘Minding Me’ week in January where we held a week of activities and guest speaker slots to highlight the importance of self care and positive mental health. The whole school community benefitted enormously from this week and the school is about to be awarded an Amber Flag due to the success of the week.
Our annual Open Night is due to take place on Thursday, 25th October at 7 p.m. sharp. The Open Night will begin with the Principal’s address in the Junior Hall and will be followed by tours of the school and light refreshments. There will be plenty of activities for prospective students to enjoy and we look forward to welcoming you all on the night. In the meantime, more information on our school is available on our website www.ardscoildungarvan.com or on Twitter @ard_scoil