_ WHO WE DO
At Rockboro, we offer a broad and stimulating academic program that exceeds the national educational curriculum for primary schools. In addition to the standard subjects taught in primary schools in Ireland, our pupils benefit from our enhanced curriculum presented above.
Our dedicated and highly motivated teachers are our most valuable asset. Children from the age of 5 upwards are taught a wide range of subjects by their classroom teachers and by specialist subject teachers.
The curriculum at Rockboro follows and expands on the subject guidelines set out by the Department of Education & Science for primary schools as follows: English; Irish; Maths; History; Geography; Science; Music; Visual Arts; Drama; Physical Education and Games; and Social, Personal, and Health Education.
Rockboro’s curriculum exceeds the scope and the aims of the national curriculum in all areas.
Music and Drama
The school has a qualified music teacher who provides individual lessons in piano and voice training. Throughout the year, under the tuition of our specialist music and performance teachers, each class (including Pre-School) prepares for a performance of their own musical play at the school’s annual Junior and Senior concerts.
Rockboro has a state-of-the-art computer lab with the latest technology including multi-touchscreen PCs. From the age of 5, pupils at Rockboro are taught Computer Science and IT skills by a specialist teacher. We emphasize teaching our pupils how to code and how to create their programs in the belief that these skills foster logical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills in addition to preparing children for the high-tech world we live in today. Our goal is to teach pupils from an early age not just how to use a computer (using software programs such as Word, Powerpoint, and Publisher and various hardware configurations) but also how computers work and how to create a set of instructions – a program – to accomplish specific goals. Beginning at the Junior Infants level (age 5), pupils at Rockboro learn the basics of computer coding using different visual programming software. As they progress, our pupils learn to create more complicated programs and further develop their logical reasoning skills. From J4 upwards, pupils also learn about computer animation, podcasting, and the concept of cloud computing among other topics. In addition, children from J1 to J6 are taught touch typing. We also teach children the importance of internet safety from an early age.
Rockboro’s learning support teacher works in close association with the class teachers. Children are assisted on an individual or small group basis, depending on their specific needs. Parents are encouraged to be involved as much as possible and the learning support teacher welcomes communication with parents. The main areas supported are English reading, English spelling and Mathematics
In addition to English and Irish, Rockboro teaches French to pupils at all levels of study, beginning with Pre-School. We incorporate the internationally recognised, award-winning, structured French course “La Jolie Ronde” into our French programme for children up to J2 level in our school. Pupils from J3 to J6 continue their French instruction with a specialist subject teacher for one hour per week.
Justice, Equality and World Religions Programm
The class aims to develop in children an awareness and understanding of the issues of justice and equality; to develop in children a knowledge and critical understanding of morality and ethics; and to foster in children a general appreciation of different religious belief systems around the world; however, the class features no doctrinal instruction. While National Schools allocate 30 minutes 5 times per week for doctrinal instruction, we allocate 45 minutes once per week for our Justice, Equality, and World Religions program. The Justice, Equality, and World Religions program reflects our school’s multi-denominational ethos and religious and cultural diversity. It seeks to develop in our pupils: self-awareness; respect for others; open-mindedness; tolerance; and an appreciation of others in the community.
Literacy in the Library
All children, from Pre-School to J6, have weekly one-hour sessions in our well-stocked school library. Children are allowed to borrow books to take home and encouraged to use the library facilities to research their school projects. We incorporate our “Literacy in the Library” program into our weekly library sessions, where children at all levels are read aloud to by their teacher or by a parent-volunteer librarian. Reading aloud to pupils, both younger and older, build a sense of community, allow group discussions of texts, and, above all, provides a pleasurable experience that serves as a basis for a love of literature that children will take with them through their lives.
Rockboro recognizes the importance of enjoying physical activity, as well as the development and understanding of physical skills and activities. P.E. also provides opportunities for the pupils to develop personal and social attributes, such as a sense of fair play and cooperation in team situations.
Every Friday each class has a 40 minutes swimming lesson taught by a qualified coach.
From an early age, children are urged to address the rest of the school during morning assemblies, either formally or informally. Senior school pupils develop the art of public speaking throughout the school year with J6 pupils receiving one hour of instruction per week in the subject, culminating in a speech at their Graduation Ceremony in June.
We offer a variety of after-school activities in the Arts which allow children to develop their creativity in a fun and relaxed environment under the guidance of specialist teachers. The following classes are offered after school: Arts and Crafts (Junior level) Arts and Crafts (Senior level) Ballet and Dance Glee Club (singing and dancing) (Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels)
Children from J3 to J6 receive science instruction each week for a period that exceeds the time allocated for the subject in the National Primary School curriculum. Our senior school (J3-J6) science program incorporates the “Science Essentials” series. Science classes cover such topics as the scientific method; the animal kingdom; human biology; the environment; geology; the solar system; elements, compounds, and mixtures; electricity; and simple and compound machines.