Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk is a community of students, parents and staff who work together to support each other in the endeavour of formation and learning. It is through this partnership between staff and students and parents that the young people in our school are challenged, supported and cared for as they realise the God-given potential within them to grow.
It is a privilege to part of this dynamic, committed and vibrant community. There is energy and life in abundance in this school. There is creativity and innovation here. There is care and concern and interest. There is dynamism and openness to change and improvement. In 2012, on the 10 year anniversary of the foundation of the school, we received a report from the Department of Education (WSE) inspection which evaluated the school in very positive terms. The detail is available here: Mounthawk WSE Report
That report provided the basis for the intervening school plans. The most important of the recent developments in the school is the opening of our new extension this year – 2016 – on the anniversary of the rising. It was an occasion that led us to consider the inspiration of the leaders of that rising, none the least of which was Pearse himself. His writing in ‘The Murder Machine’ gave an early statement of the essence of holistic education: ‘Education has not to do with the manufacture of things, but with fostering the growth of things. And the conditions we should strive to bring about in our education system are …. the conditions available to the growth of living organisms – the liberty and the light and the gladness of a ploughed field under the spring sunshine’. A wonderful art project through the artist in residence programme allowed students to participate in the creation of a commemorative ceramic frieze for the new Centenary Hall which captures some of the inspiration of 1916.
I hope you get a sense from this website of the ‘light and the gladness’ that exudes from the students among us here in Mounthawk and of the diversity and range of activity in the school. I hope it supplies prospective parents and pupils with a sense of the great educational opportunities that are available to students in Mounthawk.
For those of you already in the school community, we intend the website to be a regular source of up to date information and to provide a forum for the students’ and parents’ council and a way by which the management can update you in activities and upcoming events. Please check back.
It is important in every institution to have the opportunity of an external view on the procedures and processes of the organisation and this academic year we had that chance through the Whole School Evaluation in December. We have received the report which will be published on the web in the coming months, and I think that it is important to include some of the response from the Board of Management to the report in this summer newsletter.
The Board of Management of Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk was pleased to receive this report on the WSE of the school. We are particularly happy that the inspectors acknowledged that the core values of the school’s Mission Statement are a lived reality and commented on the following:
the very broad range of subjects and a wide range of programmes
the very good quality of teaching and learning
the very extensive extracurricular programme and the selflessness and commitment of all involved
the importance given to personal well-being
the concern for standards
an excellent pastoral care structure
the striking level of parental involvement
very thorough formal communications
excellent structures, systems, processes and procedures
This profile is, as we understand it, an expression of the Catholic ethos which shapes education in the school. As a Catholic school, we have worked to establish a ‘community’ which has been recognised by the inspectors in the committed engagement of staff, retired staff, students, parents and many local organisations in the life of the school. Such a community with shared values such as ‘tuiscint’, ‘treoir’ and ‘trócaire’ is the ground out of which a Catholic school grows. The Board agrees with the recommendation that the development of the potential of students could be a guiding principle in school planning as, central to our school’s ethos is the belief that, in supporting the development of their God given potential, we lead students on the path to wholeness, happiness and fulfillment. In this regard the Board is pleased that the inspectors acknowledged that ‘self-evaluation is inherent to the work of development planning in the school’.
SIPs and School Self-Evaluation in 2016
The school has engaged with the programme of self-evaluation advanced by the Department of Education and has developed School Improvement Plans in Literacy, Numeracy and a third area – Homeowork. details of these plans and current developments are available on this page: School Planning
I believe that we progress as a school by making small changes and developments which build incrementally and in the coming years I intend that we will continue to focus on strengthening the quality of teaching and learning in the school community in ways that will support students in addressing the realities of the new millennium and in developing the skills in learning that they will require to manage information in the often times overwhelming manner it surrounds us today. This is the big challenge for all educators in the coming years.
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