Our Ethos in action
Student based initiatives
- Developing Advocacy
The Edmund Rice School offers our students an education that is unique and valuable and which will equip them to make a difference in the world in which they are growing up . It will foster in our students, not only a sense of social awareness and a social conscience, but also the desire and drive to do something to make a difference. Peace and Justice groups are now established in many schools. These groups, led by student ambassadors raise awareness and organise campaigns on issues of social and ecological justice. They have been alerted to the work of the European Court of Human Rights in Geneva and get the opportunity to link in with the work of the Christian Brother Community there.
- A Walk in my Shoes
In recognition of the number of students in our schools affected by current social issues such as homelessness and direct provision etc an event is held annually to educate our student body and raise awareness of the social injustices of our time. The “Walk in my Shoes” event brings students together to listen to the stories of their fellow students affected by such realities and to invite them to seek a way to respond and to actively become involved in campaigning about these issues.
- The Edmund Rice Community Project
Through the Edmund Rice Community Project students are encouraged to play an active role in responding to the needs of others in their school or community in the spirit of Blessed Edmund. This project requires students to learn about the life of Edmund, to undertake some outreach work under the direction of their teacher, to reflect on their growth and development in doing this work, to draw up a report and to make a presentation to their Board of Management. A representative of the Trust will visit the schools and award certificates to those students who complete all aspects of the Project.
- Student Council Training
A student council training programme is offered to all schools and is facilitated by ERST staff. This is a full day programme, involving fostering leadership, facilitating meetings and organising a leadership project. There will be a follow up visit to each school that takes part in the training to assess the leadership project that has been developed.
- Student Council Conference
The ERST Student Council Conference is a unique event of its kind in that it is planned and facilitated completely by students under the guidance of ERST personnel. This Conference is held in April each year. Planning begins early in the school year when student leaders in three selected schools come together to work on organising the event. They decide on the themes to be discussed, the venue, the programme for the day etc. The programme draws heavily on the Charter and on the life of Blessed Edmund.
- Immersion Programme
Schools participating in the Immersion programme are advised by ERST. A visit to the schools to meet the teachers and students pre immersion is carried out as are post immersion visits.
- Charter Cards
Following consultation with students in our schools a simplified version of the Charter has been produced. The key values are drawn from each element and in this way it is hoped to bring greater understanding and greater engagement with the charter to our teachers and our students. It is also circulated in poster form in which students can discover each value in their school.
These Charter cards are aimed at bringing the Charter alive and into action in schools. All involved in Edmund Rice education, parents, students, teachers, Principals, Board members and Trust personnel are encouraged to use these cards as reflective tools.
- Charter Renewal Programme
This programme is offered to school staff ( Principals, Deputy Principals, teachers and Special Needs Assistants). It is offered as a full day inservice programme or as a two hour workshop. The programme is aimed at :
- exploring the implications of being an Edmund Rice school.
- affirming the work being done in our schools in the spirit of Edmund.
- re energising and renewing commitment to charter values
- reviewing the charter values and considering their relevance in the world today.
- ERST Leadership Course
A 5 night leadership course is offered to our teachers twice yearly. This course entitled “Leading the Edmund Rice School” is designed to grow our own leaders of the future and encompasses educational theory, the practice of school management and exploration of the charter elements. This course has been run on 8 occasions to date and on each occasion it has been oversubscribed.
- Network Meetings
Meetings of Principals and Deputy Principals are held at regional venues twice yearly. The aim here is to facilitate networking and support for our school leaders.
Conferences for Principals, RE Teachers and Students Leaders are organised annually.
- The Principals’ Conference, held in September each year, brings together a large gathering of leaders from both our Primary and Secondary schools. The theme each year is taken from the Charter and the programme revolves around presentations of good practice in our schools.
- A Deputy Principals’ Conference has recently been organised in recognition of the shared leadership role of these people in our schools.
- A Religious Education Conference is held in January and is aimed at supporting the teachers involved in the important work of teaching Religious Education and faith development in our schools.
- The Student Council Conference as detailed above.
- A Primary Principals’ Seminar is held each year in March to provide support around issues unique to Primary schools.
- A Parents’ Seminar is held each year to explore the uniqueness of Edmund Rice education and the Charter with parents.
- Link Teachers
Each school is asked to nominate a link teacher to coordinate the ethos based activities in the school and to liaise with ERST. These link teachers are brought together each year.
- Board of Management Visits
Each year our new boards are visited by ERST staff with a particular emphasis on the importance of the Charter in school management. Our Board Chairpersons are brought together each year for training and for networking with other chairpersons.