The Ethos of Castleknock College
The Board of Management of Castleknock College is committed to an Admission Policy which reflects the spirit and meaning of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the Equal Status Act 2000.
Castleknock College was founded in 1835 by the Vincentian Community. The Vincentians remain the College Trustees. The Mission Statement of the College is reflected in the ethos of the College.
The aim of Castleknock College is to enable each of its pupils to reach full development in a harmonious growth of the whole person. It promotes this aim of integral formation by many varied activities, religious, academic, social, cultural and sporting, which are conducted by means of personal contacts and shared commitments, and experienced by the pupils in the context of life within the College.
In this task it recognises that the primary responsibility for the education of children rests with their parents or guardians and seeks to co-operate closely with and to be as helpful as possible to them in the fulfillment of that responsibility.
Castleknock has learned from St. Vincent de Paul the importance of a mild and gentle approach and of easy and friendly relationships. In the rule of life which he wrote for "the little company" the name by which he always referred to his Vincentian followers, he asked them, in a touching phrase, "to live together after the manner of dear friends". They were to be simple and unpretentious, friendly, and informal. He envisaged the relationship of his priests with one another as that of the members of a natural family. Castleknock seeks to inculcate that family spirit in the college; hence the friendly and informal atmosphere.
Castleknock has always kept in mind that school days are not merely a preparation for life, but are part of life, and is concerned that pupils should be happy within its walls. It profoundly believes that an atmosphere of physical well-being and moral and mental content, is necessary for harmonious growth.
The College seeks to promote the spiritual and religious growth of its pupils by creating, as far as possible, a truly Christian atmosphere. It leads them to maturity within the context of the Christian faith, which should inform and colour their lives during their school days and continue to guide their conduct to the end of their lives. Hence it sees education not only as a preparation for life, but for life eternal.
The development of the personality and character of its pupils has always been, and remains, a matter of paramount importance to the College. Personality and character are recognised as providing the basis for life's achievements and support in its vicissitudes.
Castleknock aims to achieve a high academic standard in its pupils. The gifts and talents of the pupils are sensitively assessed in order to enable them to realise their potential, and the College expects them to commit themselves to academic achievement commensurate with their abilities. The widest possible range of subjects is provided from which they may choose, with appropriate guidance, those which best satisfy their interests, needs and aspirations. Pupil guidance extends to preparation for a wide range of occupations. This is based on the identification and fostering of the talents of each individual pupil.
The talents of some pupils lie in sport, drama, art or music. Such pupils are likely to find particular satisfaction and self-esteem in the extensive cultural, aesthetic and sporting facilities of the College.
In their relationships with one another the pupils are encouraged to live in a spirit of trust, tolerance and respect. St. Vincent always saw Christ in his neighbour and his approach to the less privileged was one of caring and service. Hence, the College seeks to educate its pupils in their responsibility to the wider community. It is concerned with the removal of injustices in society and the promotion of a more human and humane world.
To have a College which is concerned with the development of the Whole person in a Christian atmosphere Which encourages involvement in a balance of Religious, Intellectual, Cultural and Sporting Activities And which promotes the growth of Self-worth and Respect for Others In the spirit of St Vincent de Paul. (Click here for the full Mission Policy Statement)
The Castleknock Ethos is that which could be best interpreted as one in which our College embraces a really caring attitude, of a resourceful, flexible and approachable nature, encapsulating true and patient commitment and exemplary of a Christian and Collegiate atmosphere where social consciousness and reciprocal attitudes are developed and respected.
Our ethos, the spirit and belief of Castleknock College, is the responsibility of everyone at the College.. Both staff and boys contribute to its creation and implementation. in the day to day living of our mission statement. Since it rarely emerges by accident or by chance, its development has to be promoted and encouraged by practical means and lines of action.
While our goal is for high academic achievement coupled with a strong work ethic, we must all be concerned for the development of each individual's potential, value and self worth. This will primarily be achieved through the expertise, commitment, and positive influence of the teachers.
Spiritual and moral development is not to be seen as the exclusive responsibility of religious education. Each subject offers its own unique opportunities for promoting and consolidating gospel values. Indeed it is very often outside the class hall situations that spiritual and moral values are often communicated.
To best promote and foster the religious growth and development of the boys, opportunity for prayer, celebration of the sacraments, retreats and meaningful liturgies must be provided through the school year.
Everyone within the College community must know that they "belong" to the Castleknock Family, and we must ensure that our visitors and new members experience a warm welcome and are cared for properly.
Our relationships with one another are based upon the recognition of the dignity and of the uniqueness of each individual and are conducted in a spirit of loyalty, understanding, and support.
All members of staff must recognise their pastoral responsibly towards one another and towards the boys. The pastoral-care programme and work of the chaplaincy must be an integral part of our school-life, helping us to identify and promote the gifts and needs of each person in the school community.
So as to ensure that our students recognise their Christian and social responsibility, opportunities must be given to them to voice their opinion on social issues, to study the social teaching of the Church, and to work with the under-privileged in our society. This will enable them to be grateful for all they have received, form their conscience in line with the gospel values and hopefully in later life to champion the cause of the poor in a truly Christian way.
We in the College recognize parents as the primary educators. Parents who decide to apply for a place for their boy in the College should be aware of the character, aims, mission statement and ethos of the College. While this does not preclude a person from another faith from attending the College it is important that a parent should be aware that in sending their son to the College they have decided to send him to a Catholic school. The College respects diversity of tradition, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in a more pluralist society. This is balanced with the aims and objectives of a Catholic education. Where a non-catholic parent accepts a place for his boy in the College that parent is also undertaking to provide religious instruction for his own child,- that service does not exist in the College.