We aspire to academic excellence whilst providing a place where strong and enduring relationships are able to flourish from an early age.
JUNIOR INFANTS – 2ND FORM
The first four years of Headfort’s program still use many of the methods set forth by Maria Montessori for their unique curriculum. Core subjects including Maths, English and Irish form the backbone of the program, which also incorporates weekly sessions of PE, Ukulele, French and Speech & Drama.
By introducing these ideas early with the entire group we encourage the children to support one another, bolstering their sense of community and this, in turn, leads to growth in confidence. We foster broad cultural and moral discussions in the classroom and utilize the extensive grounds for regular nature walks. Pupils also can avail of a number of extra-curricular lessons including piano and guitar.
The lower years occupy several imaginatively designed purpose-built classrooms in the stone courtyard building that historically housed important estate workers on the demesne, but also spend a good deal of time in the main school building. Children attend a school assembly once a week in the historic Eating Parlour, make use of the art room and enjoy the reading buddies program in the library with older pupils.
3RD FORM – 6TH FORM
With a principal aim to cultivate a love of learning, from 3rd to 6th Form, a ‘Primary plus’ core academic curriculum is taught by subject specialists who conduct termly reviews with parents.
This includes English, Maths, French or Spanish, History, Geography, Science (in a fully equipped laboratory), Religious Studies, Art & Design, Computing and a choice between Irish and Latin & Classics. Because we understand that no two children are the same and therefore all pupils will navigate education in their own way, our size allows us to support children as they move ahead through the school at their own rate and there is a teacher devoted to one-on-one sessions for pupils who require support.
The school has specialist Art & Design rooms with a traditional studio and a state-of-the-art Computer Design Lab where coding is an integral part of what is now taught. Children are regularly prepared for entry and scholarships to leading secondary schools in the locality and around Ireland and the UK including, recently, Eureka, St. Patrick’s Classical School, Alexandra College, Clongowes Wood College, St. Columba’s College, Cheltenham Ladies’s College, Eton College, Marlborough College and The King’s Hospital.
Formerly coined upper sixth, the co-educational and non-denominational school offers a unique extended primary level experience with its ‘seventh class’ option, Senior One.
Teaching a syllabus that builds on the foundations of the primary school curriculum whilst focusing on subject specialism, enrolling in Senior One allows children to refine their core subject learning whilst developing critical thinking. Alongside this, additional skills such as computer literacy, social emotional competence to name but a few are encouraged and expanded on.
The three key features of S1 are:
1. A dedicated Form Tutor who plans and works with each pupil to create individual learning paths for example placing more emphasis on consolidating academic competencies or preparing for advanced exams or scholarships.
2. S1 pupils will have be taught to act responsibly both in terms of performing school duties, such as helping with lunch service or supervising break, but also in learning to appreciate privileges such as a dedicated S1 common room and more freedom to manage their own time.
3. Practical lessons in essential life-skills, such as budgeting, time-management, cooking, basis DIY, to give them greater confidence and understanding of the adult world as they move onto secondary school.
We will also be hiring a bespoke TEFL teacher who will prepare the students for the Cambridge first exam, which they will take the following Summer.
We will use the weekends to develop all-round skills and knowledge whilst providing healthy social engagement. We will offer a fuller weekend to both Full Boarders and local Day pupils by scheduling routine activities along the following lines:
A.M. English lessons (2 hrs)
Prep/Rest (for English- speakers)
P.M. Team Sports inc. Day pupils Evening Feast
Mass / Assembly / Reflection Time
Additionally, choosing to remain at Headfort for an extra year allows children the opportunity to experience boarding prior to secondary school, thus learning to adjust to life away from home a year in advance. Children close to their tenth birthday may board and this encourages an internationally diverse student body. Flexi (maximum 2 nights a week) and ‘sleep-overs’ for day pupils are welcomed. There are a team of dedicated matrons who create a home-from-home atmosphere for residential students, organising nightly activities such as table quizzes and games nights, and are attentive to any potential problems or homesickness that might arise. There are also several topical evenings each term for our boarders such as Halloween or Christmas parties. Befitting our close and small community there is a longstanding tradition of boarders being frequently welcomed home by their friends at weekends.
Furthermore, students looking to undertake the 13+ curriculum may do so by completing this year. A chance to compete for scholarships within the United Kingdom’s school system and enter into corresponding Irish schools, is awarded to Senior One students, something that has successfully been accomplished by many of our alumni.