The core Common Entrance subjects – English, Maths and Science – are heavily timetabled. The Science diet includes practical work in the laboratory once a week, as well as theoretical work and half an hour’s prep (homework) a week.
We offer French, Latin and Irish. French occupies three periods a week in the senior school and less at the lower end. Parents are offered a choice between Latin and Irish. Those going on to schools in the Republic of Ireland will usually opt for Irish; Latin is the more natural choice for those going on to schools in the UK.
History and Geography classes meet three times a week for most forms, Scripture and Computer Studies once. We have been teaching Computer Studies for thirty years and now feel that it needs a minimal allocation of time. Initially we taught high-level languages (Basic and Logo). Now that the computer has made its way into almost every home, there is less need for classroom time. Children must simply learn to use packages such as word processing, graphics, and writing for the internet. We are parsimonious about time on the internet, which has its dangers (unsupervised internet access is not allowed).
Most forms have a Singing class once a week and everyone has one or two periods of Art. We have dedicated rooms for Art, Music, Computer Studies and Science.
The working day is structured so that children should be reasonably fresh as each section of the teaching day appears. For most of the morning, children are in classes. The afternoon is devoted to games and outdoor pursuits. Classes resume after games; the rest of the day is taken up with studies and Playtime, as well as an evening meal.
The timetable above shows the current Upper VI allocation. As far as possible, we try to permutate the individual subjects during the day so that the diet is varied and balanced. Each subject will have half an hour’s prep once a week, apart from Maths and French, which receive an hour each. Children in the lowest form do no prep; instead, they have structured playtime.
Every term, parents have a chance to meet those who teach their children in a formal gathering at the start of the Exeat weekends. There is also an annual social gathering, at which parents can meet the Staff less formally.