Catholic Primary Schools in a Changing Ireland: Sharing Good Practice on the Inclusion of all Pupils is a resource for Catholic schools in developing policies and in sharing best practice. Part 1 deals with foundational issues while Part 2 gives concrete examples of good practices.
It is published in response to the report Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector: Progress to date and Future Directions which was issued by the Department of Education and Skills in 2014.
Click here to download a PDF of Catholic Primary Schools in a changing Ireland – Sharing Good Practice on Inclusion of All Pupils
Welcoming the publication Father Michael Drumm, Chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP) said: “Catholic schools have adapted to demographic change with significant net migration into Ireland and many of them have led the way in integrating migrants into local communities. They have been leaders in areas such as social inclusion, special needs and traveller education.” Father Drumm added that the Chief Inspector’s Report 2010-12 made clear that almost all parents and pupils described their schools as cultivating an inclusive, child-centred ethos.
Father Drumm continued, “The CSP has consulted widely in the preparation for today’s document. Given the notable record of Catholic schools in the area of social inclusion, Catholic Primary Schools in a Changing Ireland: Sharing Good Practice on the Inclusion of all Pupils aims to help schools in developing good practice with regard to religious issues. As the Department of Education and Skills has noted, there is no ‘one-size-that-fits-all’ in this regard. Rather schools need to develop policies and practices which address the context of each particular school.
Father Drumm noted that the document draws on the new curriculum in Religious Education which will be introduced from September 2015. “There is a notable emphasis on other religions and worldviews in this new Religious Education programme”, he said.
The document gives many suggestions on how to celebrate the diversity of faiths within the school community. It describes a holistic approach to Religious Education which is open to all children. It also offers ideas on inter-cultural dialogue in a Catholic school.
Copies of the document have been sent to all Catholic schools.
The launch of the publication took place in Scoil Áine Naofa, Esker, Lucan, Co Dublin. Scoil Áine Naofa Senior NS shares a campus with Saint Thomas’ NS. There is an overall school population of almost 1,100 pupils. Students from 49 different nationalities/ethnic backgrounds attend Scoil Áine and there are 36 languages spoken in the homes of the children.
In attendance at the launch were Father Michael Drumm Chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership; Mr Sean Hourihane, Principal, Scoil Áine Naofa; and, Ms Colette Kavanagh, Pastoral Worker in the Lucan Parishes.