Rockbrook Park School
|Rockbrook Park School|
Inter medium montem pertransibunt aquae
Latin for "The river will always find a way through the mountains"
|Rathfarnham, County Dublin, Ireland|
|School type||fee-paying secondary (or Middle & High school)|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic
|Founder||Dr. Sean McDermott|
|Chairperson||Mr. Barry O'Grady (acting)|
|Principal||Mr. Mark Hamilton|
|Vice principal||Mr. Joseph Flanagan|
|Age||12-13 to 17-18|
The school was founded in 1971, first as a Pre-University Centre at 144-116 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, offering repeat Leaving Certs for students. In 1972, classes were expanded. Later, in 1975, the school moved to Rockbrook House and surrounding forty acres buying them from John Brown, who was retiring as Chief Brewer with Guinness and moving back to England. The price paid was £75,000 Irish pounds. In the summer of 1980,additional classes were built, that is, five class rooms and a number of small mentoring rooms at a cost of £44,000 Irish pounds.
In 2006-2008, Rockbrook took on the biggest step in its history, building a brand new school building, car park, sports pavilion, and two new soccer pitches costing €5 million.
The school was founded by a group of parents who wanted to combine academic excellence, personal attention to each student and sound moral development, along with a close working relationship between teachers and parents.
Rockbrook's education is grounded on a Christian understanding of the world and of the human person. Drawing on Catholic educational principles and social teaching the school emphasises the importance of character development to its students. The school welcomes and respects students of other beliefs and accommodates these insofar as is practical. (Attendance at religious education classes is optional for non-Catholics.) The school fosters a genuine and profound respect for others, regardless of talents, race, colour, creed or social standing. People are to be valued as persons, for who they are, not for what they are. Within the school this respect is fostered in an atmosphere of trust, openness and sincerity, and these qualities should characterise all aspects of school life and interactions between pupils, parents, teachers and management. Students in particular are encouraged to value their freedom and to use it well, taking responsibility for their own actions.
The founding parents were inspired by St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, a personal prelature of the Catholic Church. St Josemaria’s teaching about the value of one’s ordinary work as a stepping stone to God impacts on the school’s approach to encouraging hard work, excellence and a spirit of service within the school community. At the schools request the Prelature of Opus Dei make a priest of the Prelature available for the sacramental and pastoral needs of the school community. He has no role in the management of the school.
Rockbrook is unique among Irish secondary schools (middle school & high school in American terms) in that it places character education at the heart of the educational process, as good character is what gives a young person the best possible chance of success in life. Good character is at the heart of the school's code of behaviour and it permeates the syllabus, the school's house system or 'clanns' and the many school clubs. An adventurous overseas programme and an adaptable Transition Year bring the focus on character education outside the classroom. The monthly character programme and regular personal mentoring helps families implement character aims at home. Rockbrook's focus on character development is transformative, leading to a strong work ethic within the school community. The school's strong emphasis on parental involvement also helps to guarantee that students learn better.
Rockbrook' first sports are soccer and orienteering, and it has many championship successes in both sports in recent years. It hosts Ireland's first padel tennis court. It also competes in cross-country, in gaelic football (senior team only), in cricket and in golf.
- Nolan, Dr. David (2008). "Rockbrook - The Beginnings". Rockbrook Park School Yearbook 2008. Dublin: Rockbrook Park School. pp. 17–19.
- O'Grady, Barry (2009). Development Updates. "Rockbrook Park School Yearbook 2009". Rockbrook Park School Yearbook Team (Dublin: Rockbrook Park School).