|Religious affiliation(s) Catholic|
Principal Mr. Brendan Harrington
Colour(s) Red and white
Phone +353 1 837 7587
Motto Pax et Spes
|Trustees Edmund Rice Schools Trust|
Address Collins Ave, Whitehall, Dublin, D9, Ireland
Similar Larkin Community College, Holy Faith Secondary School, Margaret Aylward School, St Vincent's Secondar, Maryfield College
St Aidan's C.B.S. is an Irish Christian Brothers secondary school under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust located on Collins Avenue, Dublin. It is beside Dublin City University. Most St. Aidan's students have progressed from the local primary schools such as Larkhill Boys National School; Our Lady of Victories, Ballymun; St. Patrick's National School, Drumcondra; and St. Fiachra's School, Beaumont.
The school was opened in 1964 in two classrooms of Larkhill Boys National School under the invitation of Fr. Brady, parish priest of Whitehall. Br. Paul Hayes was the school’s first principal. In 1965 the expansion of the school began. Due to new first year enrolments two more igloos (‘the huts’) were erected near to the wall in the primary school playground. The year after saw more students and more igloos. This led to cramped conditions in the already overcrowded school. The overcrowding existed in the playground as well as the classrooms, break times had to be coordinated so that they didn’t conflict with one another. In order to have a P.E. lesson the students had to walk to Whitehall Park.
Around this time Albert College was moving to the Lyons Estate in Celbridge, leaving a site available for another school, of which St. Aidan's was quick to avail. The government were providing 90% capitation grants to schools to build and expand in addition to Donogh O'Malley providing free education for all, leading to increased numbers. Phase One of the new school was completed in January 1968 and phase 2 was completed by September of that same year.
During the 1970s the school building began to undergo serious deterioration causing massive amounts of money to be spent on maintenance. The Department of Education was informed of the situation. An application was made to the Department in 1982 for a new building. The main building continued to weaken. In 1986 the school was offered a Schedule of Accommodation stating the rooms and facilities allowed in the building. A preliminary planning briefing meeting between the school's planning team and that of the department took place and a site feasibility report was drawn up in 1987. But no more progress was made. Whether to rebuild the school or not was brought up in the Dáil. The Minister for state re – examined the question of rebuilding the school in 1988. In 1989 the school manager, parents and teachers met with the minister for education who promised a reply within 8 weeks.
In May 1990 there was still no reply. Eventually, after much hard work from Br. Cashel, then principal of the school a new building was ready for students in September 1995. Although the new school building was ready for students in September 1995, the official opening ceremony didn’t take place until the 18th of the following October. The opening was attended by Minister for Education and Science Niamh Bhreathnach T.D., Archbishop of Dublin Dr. Desmond Connell and past pupil Bertie Ahern, T.D. In honour of the occasion the Archbishop said mass in the hall. Presently there is more development underway in the form of two extra classrooms which will lead to the provision of a lunch room in the main building.
Work began on Phase Two in September 2007. This expansion comprised a second building consisting of two classrooms, a small office, kitchenette and a WC although the layout is subject to change. The extension is currently facilitates the school library and a classroom which features an Interactive Whiteboard. The building, complemented by new paving, was opened by past pupil An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in September 2008. The project, undertaken by then principal Mr. James Reynolds is expected to be followed by further improvements to the school's infrastructure.
North/South Schools link
On 26 November 1998, the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited St. Aidan's as part of the launch of the North-South schools link, which included schools in Limavady, Omagh and Cork.
St. Aidan's is equipped with three laboratories: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each is equipped with gas outlets to allow the use of Bunsen burners. In addition to the gas outlets, each bench has a sink for health and safety reasons. Each lab has all of the necessary equipment and chemicals needed to carry out the mandatory experiments for Junior Certificate.
The school also has a library fully stocked with books of a variety of types and classifications. These range from classic and modern literature to books which aid students in studying their special topic for Leaving Certificate history. The library is also used for special themed readings in which students are invited to recite or read a favourite work or something of their own composition.
There are two computer rooms in the school. They are used for many things including Transition Year projects such as the English Speaking Exam which requires a speech and a PowerPoint presentation; career guidance projects like curricula vitae and CAO applications as well as history research for special topics
There is a gym, the Edmund Rice Hall, in addition to two full outdoor pitches and two basketball courts. The facilities within the school are complemented by the use of the pool in DCU. There is also the new hall that was opened in 2014. The school is also currently replacing one of their outdoor pitches with an astro pitch which is expected to be ready by the 2016-17 school year. The other pitch was also renovated and flattened out and it is currently unknown when it will be ready to use.
St. Aidan’s offers Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate courses and the Transition Year Programme. In addition to the mandatory English, Irish and Maths, for Junior Certificate, St. Aidan’s offers Business Studies, History, Geography, Science, C.S.P.E., S.P.H.E., French, and Religious Education. There is also the choice of practical subjects: Woodwork, Technology, Technical Graphics, Music and Art.
Transition Year Programme
The Transition Year Programme that St. Aidan’s offer contains a wide variety of subjects and activities. It contains all of the subjects that appear on the Junior Certificate Syllabus including all practical subjects. However the manner in which they are taught differs to the Junior Certificate with much emphasis placed on research and presentation. The activities undertaken by Transition Year students include learning to dance in preparation for a competition and numerous trips throughout the year including Connemara, Newgrange, the National Museum of Ireland and Barcelona. Students also take part in a student – run mini company which is then brought to a trade fair. Another option is the YSI (Young Social Innovators) or Formula 1 in which students construct a gas powered car and enter it in races.
For the Leaving Certificate, students must continue to study English, Irish, Maths and Religion with most opting to study French. Students may also choose to study Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Business, Accounting, Economics, History, Geography, Construction Studies, Technology, Art, Music as well as the LCVP Programme. In 2009 93% of Leaving Certificate students went on to study at third level. This is the best performance of any non fee-paying boys secondary school in North Dublin.
There are two PE classes per week along with extra curricular sports. The school has known particular success with athletics and water polo, both coached by Alan O'Neill. In athletics St. Aidan’s has won best school in all competitions so far this year. In water polo St. Aidan’s won the All Ireland Cup in 2007 and retained it in 2008. Hurling has also known successes including the senior team, coached by James Carmody narrowly missing out on winning the All Ireland ‘B’ competition. In 2009 the U-16 basketball team, coached by Ms. Peoples, won the All-Ireland Title for the first time led by top scorers Paul Caffrey and Mark Blanchfield.
In 2007, St.Aidan`s re-entered a soccer team at Under 19 level for the first time in many years. In 2008, they reached the final of the competition, only to be beaten by St.David`s CBS Artane on a scoreline of 2-3. The game was played in Home Farm FC in front of a large crowd. The team was run by league of Ireland footballer/teacher Michael Kelly and Actor/Teacher Darragh Humphries.
Debating and public speaking
Public speaking mainly takes place in each of the junior years, there is a competition within each; every class selects its best speaker by way of a semi final. The final then has a representative from each class. Students, in general, choose their own topic on which to speak.
St. Aidan's has known significant success in debating competitions in recent years. Students David Doyle, Karl Elliott, Ben Griffin, and Anthony Madden have all reached the quarter finals of the All-Ireland Schools' Debating Competition; a feat unmatched by nearby schools. Success has also been marked in the AIB Phil Speaks Competition, where in recent years Andrew Linn won the junior competition and David Doyle came second in the senior competition in a grand final where half of the debaters were St. Aidan’s students. In 2008 the competition saw its greatest numbers with over 1,000 students taking part and St Aidan's was well represented by Linn, and Elliott taking second and fourth place, respectively. In 2007 Transition Year students Elliot, Andrew Salter and Craig O'Hare reached the Leinster finals of the European Parliament Schools Debating Competition and received a special commendation from adjudicator Eileen Dunne. The students are aided in their endeavours by former staff member and coach Tim O'Connor.
In 2006 and 2007 St. Aidan's Students Andrew Jordan, Kevin Reilly, Eoin McCormac and Aaron Kennedy won the Irish Robocup competition. In 2006 this allowed them to proceed to the international competition in Germany and in 2007 Atlanta in the United States. The RoboCup was held in Bremen in Germany in 2006 and Atlanta in 2007.
In 2009 a group of ten students from fifth year and transition year spent almost two weeks in Tanzania as part of the Third World Immersion programme. Raising over €30'000, Mark Blanchfield, Niall Farrell, Niall O'Donnell, Kevin Hogan, Paul McCarthy,Oisin Mulhall, Kevin Reilly, Kevin Ashton, Ronan Noonan and Robert Keenan, accompanied by Ms. Ruane and Ms. Walsh, spent their time in various activities including experiencing the Tanzanian schooling system in the Edmund Rice Sinon School. They visited and took part in activities in an orphanage, youth detention centre and eco-village.
They students came back all the richer for the experience and deemed it a success. Plans are underway to organise a similar trip for a new group of students in 2011. Another trip was held in 2011 to Tanzania; the pupils involved raised 16'000 euro.
Past pupils include: