St. Brendan's National School

Go to content

School ethos


Church of Ireland United Diocese of Cork, Cloyne & Ross

St. Brendan’s National School, Bantry, Co. Cork

Ethos Statement

St. Brendan’s National School is a Church of Ireland National School under the patronage of the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. Our co-educational school serves Bantry (Kilmocomogue) Parish. It was founded as a school in 1853 by Richard, Earl of Bantry and officially became a National School on May 1st 1871. Our school was known as Bantry number three National School until October 1999. Our Church was rededicated to St. Brendan the Navigator and we became St. Brendan’s National School.

We acknowledge with immense gratitude the historic link with Bantry House, the White family and their provision of the land upon which the school, parish hall, caretaker’s residence and Church are all built. As a result of this benefaction the patronage of the school resided with the White family. Our school remained under the patronage of the White family of Bantry House until September 2003 when Egerton Shelswell White graciously offered the patronage to our Bishop.

St. Brendan’s National School is a very important part of the local church community and has strong links with the Parish. The school also has strong links with the wider community and the historic pupil base reflects this great diversity. In the recent past we welcomed many children and their families into the school community who are from our sister Churches in the Porvoo Communion.

St. Brendan’s National School has always been a small school. We have two classrooms and only became a two teacher school in the 1970s. The local Church of Ireland Community is also small in number but has received strong support from the whole community. As a result of this support we are very ecumenical. We have always tried to maintain a balance between the traditions and teachings of the Church of Ireland and tolerance and respect for those of other denominations, faith traditions and those of no religion. We are a school where all are welcome.

We aim to create an atmosphere in our school where all pupils feel equally valued and respected irrespective of gender, social background, race, creed, family circumstances, educational achievement, physical characteristics or intellectual functioning.

We aspire to be a school that encourages the children in a real, dynamic and living faith and to be a place of education where that faith percolates through every aspect of our activities. We believe that Faith is both ‘caught and taught’! We are a school where moral values such as, honesty, truthfulness, justice, fairness, sensitivity to others and civic responsibility are gently and lovingly encouraged and nurtured. We believe that the playground is an extension of the classroom and that the various activities and outings in which the children take part are co-curricular.

The nurturing of faith in the pupils is carried out through the teaching of the Church of Ireland Religious Education Curriculum ‘Follow Me’ and the daily prayer life of the school. These curricular activities are further enhanced by regular visits from the parish Clergy and by participation in Church Services. The teaching and visits by the Clergy are considered part of the journey of preparation for receiving Holy Communion for the first time and Confirmation. We trust that as a result of these opportunities pupils will experience a sense of love, caring and belonging.

We believe that our Admissions policy is fair and inclusive. We have worked hard to strike a balance between welcoming all those who seek to become part of our school community and maintaining our unique identity and story. The admission policy of the school allows those of other faiths or none to become pupils. We believe that the parents of the school fulfill a vital role in our community and their participation in school life is deeply valued and encouraged. We believe that the teachers have a very demanding job and we are deeply grateful to them for their commitment to our school. ‘Wellness at work’ is a priority and we encourage teachers to take every opportunity for self-development.

We try to create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for others in the school. The spiritual, moral, and religious development of pupils is considered equal to their intellectual, social and academic development. We have a positive approach to the question of behaviour and achievement, and place a greater emphasis on rewards rather than on sanction. Each pupil will be encouraged to reach their potential.

Our School crest shows a simple drawing of St. Brendan’s boat. We aspire to journey with him. We believe that our crest shows our link with the sea and that sense of setting out, journeying and discovery, sometimes into the unknown. That sense of courage and determination to keep going on that journey is also reflected. Above all we trust that our crest encompasses that God’s guiding hand is at work. Our hope and prayer for each pupil is the same; that they will experience that same journey of discovery.

St. Brendan’s is located in Bantry on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The families who are associated with the school reflect the whole community in being engaged in agriculture, mariculture, farming and tourism. We are proud of our past pupils who have moved on to take up occupations in these sectors and many others who have left the area and have moved on to other places in Ireland and the world. We are more proud, however, that they have left our school as well rounded individuals who have grown and developed in their time with us into tolerant, loving, faithful and gracious people. We trust that they have happy memories of their time with us because we have very happy memories of them.

We believe that our ‘Ethos Statement’ is an opportunity to set out our story. We welcome those who desire to be a part of our school and who wish their children to share our values, goals and dreams.

Ratified by the Board of Management
June 21st 2011
Paul M. Willoughby (Chairperson)

Back to content | Back to main menu