Academic

The Curriculum in Willow Park Junior School

Willow Park Junior School delivers an enriched version of the Primary School Curriculum as laid out by the Department of Education in Ireland.

The Willow curriculum celebrates the uniqueness of each boy, as it is expressed in his personality, intelligence and potential for development. It is designed to nurture the child in all dimensions of his life—spiritual, moral, cognitive, emotional, imaginative, aesthetic, social and physical.

In Willow, this vision of education can be expressed in the form of three general aims:

  • to enable each boy to live a full life as a child and to realise his potential as a unique individual
  • to enable each boy to develop as a civilized and social being through living a Christian life and cooperating with others and so contribute to the good of society
  • to prepare each boy for further education, lifelong learning and spiritual growth.

The School Curriculum

Willow Park Junior School delivers an enriched version of the Primary School Curriculum:

  • Language -English & Gaeilge
  • Mathematics
  • Social, Environmental & Science Education (S.E.S.E.) – History, Geography & Science.
  • Arts Education – Visual Arts, Drama & Music.
  • Social, Personal & Health Education (S.P.H.E.) – Stay Safe , R.S.E., Walk Tall (Drugs Awareness) and other related topics.
  • Religious Education.
  • Physical Education

In Willow, introductory French is provided from 4th Form; Music is especially fostered within school choirs, musicals and orchestras and the provision of P.E. is extended via rugby, swimming and a variety of other sports.

Within this organisational framework, it is important to emphasise that all aspects of a boy’s development are interrelated and that this developmental process is interactive and complex.

 The Primary School Curriculum in Willow Park envisages primary education as an experience that is an integral part of a boy’s life in general and as a crucial component in the continuum of lifelong learning.

 Above all, the Willow curriculum incorporates an educational philosophy that cherishes every child and provides an educational framework that is dedicated to serving his particular needs. In valuing the heritage of the past, in embracing the highest ideals and aspirations of the present, and in seeking to equip the child to adjust successfully to and avail fully of future change, it truly serves the boys of Willow in the 21st Century. In Willow, the Curriculum is delivered within the context of a Catholic, civilized and caring environment.

 Our curriculum underlines the importance of an integrated learning experience that will enable Willow pupils to acquire knowledge, concepts, skills and values that are relevant and appropriate to their present and future lives.

Flexibility and empowerment are central to the learning process in Willow. Our delivery of the curriculum stresses the importance of developing generic skills and abilities that help the child to transfer learning to other curriculum areas, to future learning situations and to his experience.

The Willow curriculum provides a comprehensive learning experience for each pupil.

  • It fosters the spiritual life of each boy and guides him via  a Catholic education that is embedded in the daily life of the school.
  • It takes account of the enriching and humanising contribution that arts’ education can make to a boy’s life.
  • It acknowledges that physical, personal and emotional growth are crucial in the development of the whole child. These dimensions of learning are particularly stressed throughout the Willow curriculum, as are the areas of physical education and social, personal and health education.
  • The importance of language in a boy’s cognitive, social and imaginative life and as a crucial factor in the learning process is given an especial emphasis. Willow boys tend to be quite articulate, expressive and socially confident.
  •  Mathematics is presented as an area of learning that is central to the development of life skills and as a field of interest and enquiry that is fulfilling in itself.
  • The principle that the child’s learning should encompass the full range of experience is reflected in the inclusion of social, environmental and scientific education in a developmental process that begins from the earliest years in school.
  • The Curriculum redefines both the importance and the content of a boy’s education in the area of science and seeks to give an understanding of the practical applications of science in the modern world. It also takes account of the extent to which information and communication technologies have made the accessibility, variety and exchange of knowledge a central element in work and leisure. The potential of such technology in enriching each boy’s learning experience is acknowledged in every area of the Willow curriculum.

The overall purpose of the Willow curriculum is to enhance the quality of each boy’s learning and to provide him with a developmental experience that is relevant to his present and future needs.

These goals will only be achieved if the philosophy, aims and objectives of the Curriculum are realised in its implementation. Achieving this presents a significant challenge to everyone involved in Willow Park Junior School, especially the teaching staff. However, parents and pupils also actively share in the learning process and engage with the delivery of the school curriculum both at school and at home.

Open-mindedness, a commitment to curriculum change and the most effective deployment of all the resources in the school are required if the educational potential the Curriculum has to offer is to be reflected in Willow pupils’ lives and learning.

Willow actively reviews the effective existing use of resources and the addition of a variety of additional human and physical supports in the successful delivery of a vibrant curriculum.. Such an infrastructure does consistently help and sustain Willow parents and teachers in maximising our pupils’ learning experience.

The structure of the Willow Curriculum.

 The Willow curriculum is presented in seven core curriculum areas, some of which are further subdivided into subjects. These are:

  • Language: Gaeilge and English;
  • Mathematics;
  • Social, environmental and scientific education(SESE)history, geography and science;
  • Arts education: visual arts, music and drama;
  • Physical education;
  • Social, personal and health education (SPHE);
  • Religious Education: R.E. is an integral part of the Catholic education in Willow Park and is embedded in the Willow Mission Statement and Willow daily life.In Willow, introductory French is provided from 4th Form;
  • Music is especially fostered through school choirs, specific instrumental lessons, performance and our school orchestra
  • The provision of Physical Education is extended via rugby , swimming, basket-ball, cross-country, fencing and a variety of other sports.
  • The  Arts’ curriculum is further enhanced through  after-school Speech & Drama classes, plus Chess and Archaeology  sessions, especially appointed ‘Weeks’ in the Willow Calendar -  Book Week , Seachtaine na Gaeilge and  Willow Arts’ Week and a variety of class presentations and Assemblies throughout the school year.
  • A fully stocked and stimulating School Library is accessible on a daily basis to all pupils to further enrich the curriculum and learning.
  • A modern Computer Room allows pupils develop basic I.T skills, very class-room has an Interactive White Board and computers, whilst an annual Science Week celebrates innovation and experimentation. Willow also participates in the National Science Fair in the R.D.S on an annual basis.

Within this organisational framework, it is important to emphasise that all aspects of  a boy’s development are interrelated and that this developmental process is interactive and complex.

The Willow curriculum envisages primary education as an experience that is an integral part of a boy’s life in general and as a crucial component in the development of a Christian life and the continuum that is lifelong learning.

Above all, the Willow curriculum incorporates an educational philosophy that cherishes every boy and provides an educational framework that is dedicated to serving his particular needs. In valuing the heritage of the past, in embracing the highest ideals and aspirations of the present, and in seeking to equip the child to adjust successfully to and avail fully of future change, our curriculum can truly serve the boys of Willow in the 21st Century. In Willow, the curriculum is delivered within the context of a Catholic, civilized and caring environment.

The curriculum underlines the importance of an integrated learning experience that will enable children to acquire knowledge, concepts, skills and values that are relevant and appropriate to their present and future lives as Christians.

In providing the flexibility to fulfill such requirements, the Willow curriculum emphasises particular empowering elements of learning. It stresses the importance of developing generic skills and abilities that help the child to transfer learning to other curriculum areas, to future learning situations and to his experience.

The Curriculum in Willow provides a comprehensive learning experience for each pupil:

  • It fosters the spiritual life of each boy and guides him via a Catholic and Spiritan education that is embedded in the life of the school. usio
  • It particularly takes account of the enriching and humanising contribution that Arts’ education can make to a boy’s life.
  • It acknowledges that physical, personal and emotional growth are crucial in the development of the whole child. These dimensions of learning are stressed throughout the curriculum generally, and also in the areas of physical education and social, personal and health education.
  • The importance of language in a boy’s cognitive, social and imaginative life and as a crucial factor in the learning process is given an especial emphasis in the Willow Curriculum
  • Mathematics is presented as an area of learning that is central to the development of life skills and as a field of interest and enquiry that is fulfilling in itself. Through rigour, explanation and exploration, Willow boys get a firm grounding in Mathematics.
  • The principle that the child’s learning should encompass the full range of experience is reflected in the inclusion of social, environmental and scientific education in a developmental process that begins from the earliest years in school.
  • Our Curriculum redefines both the importance and the content of a boy’s education in the area of science and seeks to give an understanding of the practical applications of science in the modern world. It also takes account of the extent to which information and communication technologies have made the accessibility, variety and exchange of knowledge a central element in work and leisure. The potential of such technology in enriching each boy’s learning experience is acknowledged in every area of  study.
  • IT skills are an intrinsic part of the Willow curriculum with Computer classes timetabled from Second Form. Interactive White-Boards are used in all classrooms.

The overall purpose of the Willow curriculum is to enhance the quality of each boy’s learning and to provide him with a developmental experience that is relevant to his present and future needs. At its heart lies a belief in the importance of the spiritual,emotional and intellectual life of a good person and thus the Spiritan ethos is immanent throughout the school.

These goals will only be achieved if the philosophy, aims and objectives of the Curriculum are realised in its implementation. Achieving this presents a significant challenge to the whole Willow Park community – teachers and parents.

Professional development, flexibility, a commitment to curriculum change and the most effective deployment of all the resources in the school are required if the educational potential that this Curriculum has to offer is to be reflected in the lives and learning of Willow pupils.

The success of implementation depends on the use of effective existing resources and the addition of a varied range of additional human and physical supports. Such an infrastructure can help and sustain Willow parents and teachers in maximising the learning experience of all Willow boys.

  A detailed version of the Primary School Curriculum can be sourced @   www.ncca.ie