Goodness Me Goodness You! - Kerry Education and Training Board

Community National Schools
What is a Community National School?
Community National Schools serve all the children in local
communities. These schools are child-centred, inclusive, multibelief, State supported schools that strive to provide a high quality
primary education for every child in line with the Primary School
curriculum and guidelines laid down by the Department of Education
and Skills.
Change in Irish Society
• 96% of Irish primary schools currently under denominational
patronage – greater diversity needed
“It is quite clear that the assumed homogeneity of parental views
on religion in the primary schools no longer holds” (Report of the
Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, 2012)
• Two thirds of parents want religious instruction and preparation
for the sacraments carried out during the school day.
• a sizeable number of parents would prefer to send children to
a primary school run by the VEC on behalf of the State, which
provides for the instruction of religions within the school day
(IPPN RedC).
Ethos statement
A Community National School is one where:
• The school becomes a centre of the local community
• Children are encouraged and supported in living their
lives to the full
High standards are the goal in teaching and learning
Everybody is valued and treated with respect
Diversity is recognised and celebrated
Respect for plurality of faiths is seen as integral to the
daily routine of the school
Creating Curriculum…?
• “We should think of curriculum as a set of stories we want to tell our
children about the world and our life together in it, rather than a set of
objectives to be achieved.”
Kieran Egan John Frazer Uni.
• (Curriculum) provides information, offers ideas and suggestions that
can support the planning and provision of opportunities through which
children’s learning may be nurtured. NCCA
CNS Multi-belief Programme
As curriculum GMGY takes its lead from the NCCA's primary curriculum...
Early childhood curriculum/Goodness Me! Goodness You! Explores:
• 1. Children and their lives in early childhood:
the child’s uniqueness
equality and diversity
children as citizens
And where appropriate, children as members of a faith community
• 2. Children’s connections with others:
parents, family, school, community, the natural world
and where appropriate, the Transcendent
• 3. how children learn and develop:
holistic learning and development
active learning
play and hands-on experiences
relevant and meaningful experiences
Communication (including stories), language and silence
the learning environment.
The State school begins with the life of the child
not the content of the religion or “belief system”
What is such a searching in aid of; what is its aim?
The aim of a primary school education is
• to enable the child to live a full life
• as an individual child
• as a social being
• as a life-long learner
• (Intro to the Primary School Curriculum 1999)
The aim of the Goodness Me! Goodness You! Programme is
• To nurture the child in living childhood to the full
• To nurture child-participation in society, and where appropriate, in church-in-society
• To nurture life-long enquiry-into-meaning
Goodness Me Goodness You!
• The lessons include stories and songs drawn from the
various faith traditions, belief systems and children’s
• There will be two types of lessons in the programme: (1)
lessons which will be taught to all pupils of the same
class, irrespective of their faith/belief or value system; (2)
lessons taught to pupils of a particular faith whose parents
have chosen that option.
• The children of all beliefs and none are taught together as
often as possible – about 80% of RE time.
Goodness Me Goodness You!
• A basic premise of religious and secular education is that the experience of the child must be
central to each lesson. Goodness Me Goodness You begins therefore, with the child’s
experience of starting school.
• In itself, this is a critical developmental step in the life of the four year old; he or she is
making a significant transition from home to ‘not-home’, i.e. school. Although for many
children the experience of playschool has mediated something of this transition-process,
starting ‘big school’ nevertheless remains a key foundational experience out of which many
future transitions will be made. For example, the transition from primary school to secondary
school, from second level to third level or work, from being single to being married or living in
partnership or community; all these transitions have a root in the experience of starting
school. They are manifestations in human experience of separation and joining.
• The first lesson of GMGY offers the child an opportunity to explore the transition he or she is
making, so that they may be helped to make it successfully, to come to feel at ease in school
and to celebrate starting and staying in school. Where appropriate, children are nurtured in
associating school and its care for them, with the love and care of their family and the
Divine of their faith tradition.
Goodness Me Goodness You!
• Methodologies used in lessons for particular faith groupings will be consistent
with the methodologies used in the Goodness Me! Goodness You!
• Parents
• Local faith communities will be encouraged to play an active role in the faith
development of the children attending the Community National Schools.
• Visits to Religious Education classes by local religious leaders and their
participation in class/school religious ceremonies in the school will be
facilitated and encouraged by the school.
• For most people in Ireland, the totality of the human condition cannot be
understood or explained merely in terms of physical and social experience. This
conviction comes from a shared perception that intimates a more profound
explanation of being... ( Bun. 1999) p.27)
• The common educational ground shared by all faith traditions and non-faith
traditions, the ground on which Goodness Me! Goodness You! bases itself, is a
searching-together towards ‘the profound’ in human being.
• This search is supported and influenced by all areas of the primary school
curriculum. But also, where, when, and as pedagogically appropriate, this
searching embraces the well-worn pathways and spiritualities of, the major world
Parental Involvement
• A further principle fundamental to the teaching of religion in the CNSs
is the recognition of the parents as the primary educators of children
and the recognition that the role of schools in this area is one of
support for the rights of parents surrounding the religious and moral
formation of their children.
• Boards of Management established, 2012
Parental Involvement through the VEC
• CNS nurturing community through involvement in local clubs and
• CNS providing classes for parents according to demand
• CNS recognising the role of parents in deepening belief
• VECs are democratic organisations that include the parental voice
VEC support to CNS
• Expertise in HR, Finance and ICT etc.
• Management/Support in building and extension projects
• Management support for Principals and Boards of Management
• Publically accountable and democratic
• Historical commitment to local communities
• Partnership approach
Established Community National Schools
• Scoil Choilm, Carpenterstown, Dublin 15
• Scoil Ghráinne, Phibblestown, Dublin 15.
• Scoil Chormaic, Balbriggan.
• Scoil Niamh, Citywest, Dublin 24.
• Scoil Árd Rí, Navan.
• Piper’s Hill Community National School, Naas.
Started in 2008, 3 new schools to open in 2014
(Fastest growing primary school model)

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