At Rockboro, we offer a broad and stimulating academic programme which exceeds the national educational curriculum for primary schools. In addition to the standard subjects taught in primary schools in Ireland, our pupils benefit from our enhanced curriculum in the areas of
- Computer Science;
- Languages (French);
- Arts (Music and Drama);
- Public Speaking;
- Literacy in the Library;
- Justice, Equality and World Religions Programme;
- and Physical Education.
Our dedicated and highly motivated teachers are our most valuable asset. Children from the age of 5 upwards are taught a wide range of subjects by their classroom teachers and by specialist subject teachers.
The curriculum at Rockboro follows and expands on the subject guidelines set out by the Department of Education & Science for primary schools as follows:
English; Irish; Maths; History; Geography; Science; Music; Visual Arts; Drama; Physical Education and Games; and Social, Personal and Health Education.
Rockboro’s curriculum exceeds the scope and the aims of the national curriculum in the following areas:
Our school’s computer lab is indicative of our commitment to prioritise investment in information technology throughout the school. Rockboro has a state-of-the-art computer lab with the latest technology including multi-touchscreen PCs. From the age of 5, pupils at Rockboro are taught Computer Science and IT skills by a specialist teacher.
We place an emphasis on teaching our pupils how to code and how to create their own programs in the belief that these skills foster logical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills in addition to preparing children for the high-tech world we live in today.
Our goal is to teach pupils from an early age not just how to use a computer (using software programs such as Word, Powerpoint and Publisher and various hardware configurations) but also how computers work and how to create a set of instructions – a program – to accomplish specific goals.
Beginning at the Junior Infants level (age 5), pupils at Rockboro learn the basics of computer coding using different visual programming software. As they progess, our pupils learn to create more complicated programs and further develop their logical reasoning skills. From J4 upwards, pupils also learn about computer animation, podcasting and the concept of cloud computing among other topics. In addition, children from J1 to J6 are taught touch typing. We also teach children the importance of internet safety from an early age.
At Rockboro, pupils at all levels take part in fun activities and hands-on experiments with the aim of developing a deeper understanding of the world through the processes of investigation and observation.
Children from J3 to J6 receive science instruction each week for a period that exceeds the time allocated for the subject in the National Primary School curriculum. Our senior school (J3-J6) science programme incorporates the “Science Essentials” series. Science classes cover such topics as the scientific method; the animal kingdom; human biology; the environment; geology; the solar system; elements, compounds and mixtures; electricity; and simple and compound machines.
In addition to English and Irish, Rockboro teaches French to pupils at all levels of study, beginning with Pre-School. We incorporate the internationally recognised, award-winning, structured French course “La Jolie Ronde” into our French programme for children up to J2 level in our school. Pupils from J3 to J6 continue their French instruction with a specialist subject teacher for one hour per week.
Arts (Music and Drama)
All classes receive weekly music appreciation classes which cover such topics as singing and notation. In addition, the school has a qualified music teacher who provides individual lessons in piano and voice training. Throughout the year, under the tuition of our specialist music and performance teachers, each class (including Pre-School) prepares for a performance of their own musical play at the school’s annual Junior and Senior concerts.
Rockboro strives to give opportunities to all children to participate in public speaking. From an early age, children are urged to address the rest of the school during morning assemblies, either formally or informally. Senior school pupils develop the art of public speaking throughout the school year with J6 pupils receiving one hour of instruction per week in the subject, culminating in a speech at their Graduation Ceremony in June.
Literacy in the Library
At Rockboro, we aim to foster in our children a love of reading from an early age. All children, from Pre-School to J6, have weekly one-hour sessions in our well-stocked school library. Children are allowed to borrow books to take home and encouraged to use the library facilities to research their school projects. We incorporate our “Literacy in the Library” programme into our weekly library sessions, where children at all levels are read aloud to by their teacher or by a parent-volunteer librarian.
Reading aloud to pupils, both younger and older, builds a sense of community, gives the opportunity for group discussions of texts and, above all, provides a pleasurable experience which serves as a basis for a love of literature that children will take with them through their lives.
Justice, Equality and World Religions Programme
All classes in Rockboro School are allocated one class period per week (45 minutes) to take part in our Justice, Equality and World Religions programme. The class aims to develop in children an awareness and understanding of the issues of justice and equality; to develop in children a knowledge and critical understanding of morality and ethics; and to foster in children a general appreciation of different religious belief systems around the world; however, the class features no doctrinal instruction. While National Schools allocate 30 minutes 5 times per week for doctrinal instruction, we allocate 45 minutes once per week for our Justice, Equality and World Religions programme. The Justice, Equality and World Religions programme reflects the our school’s multi-denominational ethos and the religious and cultural diversity of our school. It seeks to develop in our pupils: self-awareness; respect for others; open-mindedness; tolerance; and an appreciation of others in the community. In addition to the Justice, Equality and World Religions programme, Rockboro makes provision for children in J2 and J6 who are preparing to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament whose parents wish them to receive instruction at our school. These children receive instruction during the timeslot allocated to the Justice, Equality and World Religions Programme but in a different classroom. The other children in the class continue with the multi-denominational programme.
Pupils from J1 to J6 receive instruction from a specialist teacher in Physical Education twice a week in the areas of hockey, gymnastics, athletics (high jump, long jump, sprints and relays) and indoor games (handball, unihoc, dodgeball and benchball). In addition, the entire school (from Junior Infants to J6) has a weekly swimming lesson at a local pool.