What is a Community National School? Community National Schools serve all the children in local communities. These schools are child-centred, inclusive, multi- belief, State supported schools that strive to provide a high quality primary education for every child in line with the Primary School curriculum and guidelines laid down by the Department of Education and Skills.
Change in Irish Society 96% of Irish primary schools currently under denominational patronage – greater diversity needed “It is quite clear that the assumed homogeneity of parental views on religion in the primary schools no longer holds” (Report of the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, 2012) Two thirds of parents want religious instruction and preparation for the sacraments carried out during the school day. a sizeable number of parents would prefer to send children to a primary school run by the VEC on behalf of the State, which provides for the instruction of religions within the school day (IPPN RedC).
Ethos statement A Community National School is one where: The school becomes a centre of the local community Children are encouraged and supported in living their lives to the full High standards are the goal in teaching and learning Everybody is valued and treated with respect Diversity is recognised and celebrated Respect for plurality of faiths is seen as integral to the daily routine of the school
Creating Curriculum…? “We should think of curriculum as a set of stories we want to tell our children about the world and our life together in it, rather than a set of objectives to be achieved.” Kieran Egan John Frazer Uni. (Curriculum) provides information, offers ideas and suggestions that can support the planning and provision of opportunities through which children’s learning may be nurtured. NCCA
As curriculum GMGY takes its lead from the NCCA's primary curriculum... Early childhood curriculum/Goodness Me! Goodness You! Explores: 1. Children and their lives in early childhood: the child’s uniqueness equality and diversity children as citizens And where appropriate, children as members of a faith community 2. Children’s connections with others: relationships parents, family, school, community, the natural world and where appropriate, the Transcendent 3. how children learn and develop: holistic learning and development active learning play and hands-on experiences relevant and meaningful experiences Communication (including stories), language and silence the learning environment. The State school begins with the life of the child not the content of the religion or “belief system”
What is such a searching in aid of; what is its aim? The aim of a primary school education is to enable the child to live a full life as an individual child as a social being as a life-long learner (Intro to the Primary School Curriculum 1999) The aim of the Goodness Me! Goodness You! Programme is To nurture the child in living childhood to the full To nurture child-participation in society, and where appropriate, in church-in-society To nurture life-long enquiry-into-meaning
Goodness Me Goodness You! The lessons include stories and songs drawn from the various faith traditions, belief systems and children’s literature. There will be two types of lessons in the programme: (1) lessons which will be taught to all pupils of the same class, irrespective of their faith/belief or value system; (2) lessons taught to pupils of a particular faith whose parents have chosen that option. The children of all beliefs and none are taught together as often as possible – about 80% of RE time.
Goodness Me Goodness You! A basic premise of religious and secular education is that the experience of the child must be central to each lesson. Goodness Me Goodness You begins therefore, with the child’s experience of starting school. In itself, this is a critical developmental step in the life of the four year old; he or she is making a significant transition from home to ‘not-home’, i.e. school. Although for many children the experience of playschool has mediated something of this transition-process, starting ‘big school’ nevertheless remains a key foundational experience out of which many future transitions will be made. For example, the transition from primary school to secondary school, from second level to third level or work, from being single to being married or living in partnership or community; all these transitions have a root in the experience of starting school. They are manifestations in human experience of separation and joining. The first lesson of GMGY offers the child an opportunity to explore the transition he or she is making, so that they may be helped to make it successfully, to come to feel at ease in school and to celebrate starting and staying in school. Where appropriate, children are nurtured in associating school and its care for them, with the love and care of their family and the Divine of their faith tradition.
Goodness Me Goodness You! Methodologies used in lessons for particular faith groupings will be consistent with the methodologies used in the Goodness Me! Goodness You! programme. Parents Local faith communities will be encouraged to play an active role in the faith development of the children attending the Community National Schools. Visits to Religious Education classes by local religious leaders and their participation in class/school religious ceremonies in the school will be facilitated and encouraged by the school.
For most people in Ireland, the totality of the human condition cannot be understood or explained merely in terms of physical and social experience. This conviction comes from a shared perception that intimates a more profound explanation of being... (Cur.na Bun. 1999) p.27) The common educational ground shared by all faith traditions and non-faith traditions, the ground on which Goodness Me! Goodness You! bases itself, is a searching-together towards ‘the profound’ in human being. This search is supported and influenced by all areas of the primary school curriculum. But also, where, when, and as pedagogically appropriate, this searching embraces the well-worn pathways and spiritualities of, the major world faith-traditions.
Parental Involvement A further principle fundamental to the teaching of religion in the CNSs is the recognition of the parents as the primary educators of children and the recognition that the role of schools in this area is one of support for the rights of parents surrounding the religious and moral formation of their children. Boards of Management established, 2012
Parental Involvement through the VEC CNS nurturing community through involvement in local clubs and organisations CNS providing classes for parents according to demand CNS recognising the role of parents in deepening belief understanding VECs are democratic organisations that include the parental voice
VEC support to CNS Expertise in HR, Finance and ICT etc. Management/Support in building and extension projects Management support for Principals and Boards of Management Publically accountable and democratic Historical commitment to local communities Partnership approach
Established Community National Schools Scoil Choilm, Carpenterstown, Dublin 15 Scoil Ghráinne, Phibblestown, Dublin 15. Scoil Chormaic, Balbriggan. Scoil Niamh, Citywest, Dublin 24. Scoil Árd Rí, Navan. Piper’s Hill Community National School, Naas. Started in 2008, 3 new schools to open in 2014 (Fastest growing primary school model)