A Caring College in Pursuit of Excellence

Clare Champion, Friday, 14th May 1999

Scariff Community College has come on in leaps and bounds ever since the historic educational development for East Clare in 1968 that saw the amalgamation of the Sacred Heart Secondary School and the Vocational School. The new building was completed in 1981 and today caters as a co-ed second level institution for about 450 boys and girls. It is situated on twenty acres of beautifully wooded grounds in a rural setting close to Lough Derg and offering the most modern facilities to its students.

It is the policy of the college management to view the development of the student in the widest possible sense, seeking to provide learning experience both of a formal and informal nature which leads to the development of the total personality of the student.

Through a broad curriculum, the college seeks to facilitate the development of the intellectual, emotional, physical and social abilities of its students so that each may leave the institution equipped with positive self-image, good social attitudes and values and good life skills. "We are conscious", says the college's mission statement, "that the traditional interpretation of what constitutes an intelligent human being has often been too narrow and has sometimes been interpretated in strictly cognitive terms, ignoring other critical elements of intelligent human behaviour, whether of a social, emotional, psychomotor, moral or physical nature. In providing a balanced curriculum, we aim to redress that traditional shortcoming. The development, therefore, of a knowledgeable, analytical, confident, articulate student who has a good moral sense, a well-developed internal discipline, a positive and proactive social awareness, tolerant of difference, courteous and empathetic, inspired by the Christian principle of life, is the essential core of what we pursue".

There is a definite consciousness in the college that such development cannot take place in isolation from either parents or the wider community. Consequently, it is part of the philosophy of the college to work in intimate harmony with both agencies, nurturing and being nurtured in the process. The motto is 'Beart do reir ar mbriathar' - Action according to our word'. Says the Principal of the college, Mr. John S. Kelly, "The very motto is in line with our objective to be a caring college in the pursuit of excellence".

Scariff Community College provides a quite astonishing range of ancillary services and is on the brink of providing one more significant addition in this area - a School of Music which should be up and running by September, judging by the many inquiries received in the college since the announcement of this development.

The services include personal accident insurance cover for each student through school, remedial education through a trained teacher who assesses and helps students with learning difficulties, form teacher for each class, year head for each year, supervised study on Saturdays and each evening on demand, book rental scheme and industrial links promotion. The list does not end there. Services besides encompass the now pretty famous college choir, a variety of clubs, for example, camogie, hurling, basketball, athletics; relationship programmes, 'Rainbow' group, an awards system and a summer course in Irish.

Another major development in recent months has been the establishment of an Adult Education Centre in the old vocational school which has been considerably refurbished. Twenty-one persons are availing of its courses under the discretion of Mr. Mike Hook of County Clare Vocational Education Committee's Adult Education Department.

The original building which houses the centre was constructed as a result of clamour for a rural school in the East Clare area. In 1938, Clare Vocational Education Committee bought a two-acre site for 200 in response to the demand for such an institution. Work began on the school in 1940, the contractor being the late Mr. Tom McInerney. A large crowd gathered to watch Mr. Sean Brady of Tuamgraney, Chairman of Clare County Council, perform the official opening of the three-room building on 23rd October 1941, just over 57 years ago.

David Boyce and Mark O'Grady working on their
research for next year's Young Scientists' Exhibition -
Project entitled : A Driven Anharmonic Oscillator
that exhibits Period Doubling Bifurcations before
reaching chaos.
Students put in some finishing touches to their
exam projects : Des Quinlivan, Coffee Table;
Barry McNamara, Computer Desk; Eddie
Moloney; Aidan Hoey, Electric Guitar.

Photographs from The Clare Champion.

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