Holy Family Junior School caters for both boys and girls from Junior Infants to first Class. We share the campus with Holy Family Senior School which is where our pupils move on to second class. We are also most fortunate to have a Preschool and a Montessori School on the campus and a busy Afterschool Facility ensuring that parents have the comfort of knowing that their children will be collected from class and taken care of until they are finished work, if they wish to avail of the service.
While the majority of our young charges are from Ennis, there is also a wonderful mix of other cultures, reflecting the Ennis of today. Our philosophy aspires to achieve the full potential of each pupil, while upholding the values of truth, justice, tolerance, respect and self-worth. Based on our aims and objectives, the staff and parents try to ensure that the children’s experience here is as positive and rewarding as possible.
As well as the bright and airy classrooms, we are fortunate to have a computer room where all pupils are timetabled each week for the development of their computer skills. There are also computers in the classrooms and the Interactive Whiteboards in all the classrooms enrichen the educational experience for pupils and teachers. We also have a dedicated playroom, where children are afforded the opportunity to develop social and language development skills in a fun environment. A qualified play therapist works with us one day a week.
There is also a Class for the Deaf and a Speech and Language Unit in the school. While following a prescribed curriculum for the needs of the pupils in these classes, they are fully integrated into the school and bring a great richness and diversity to our school life.
Games play an important part in school life for our children and each Tuesday sees the First Class pupils lining up in the morning with their hurleys and helmets. They are also timetabled for PE in the large hall which is shared with the Senior School.
Music and art are integral to the daily lives of our pupils and to augment the work being carried out by the teachers, we also have a visiting music teacher and regular visits from artists and crafts people. Recent initiatives include the introduction of Literacy Lift Off, a whole class reading intervention, where children read a new book every day, at their own individual level.. There are also trained Reading Recovery teachers who work with individual pupils to help them to improve their reading and writing skills and Maths Recovery teachers who work with individuals and small groups to help to develop mathematical concepts and skills.
The Incredible Years Programme is a behaviour management programme aimed at promoting pupils’ social, emotional and academic confidence. Pupils readily engage with the puppets used by the teachers to deliver the Incredible Years curriculum in the classroom. Praise and encouragement are central to the promotion of positive behaviour and each Friday, the pupils of the week are rewarded with a visit to the Farmers’ Market.
The school year is very busy with many activities to keep all of the school community busy and engaged in school life. School concerts and carol services ensure that Christmas time is memorable. While being encouraged to read all year round, Book Week gives the pupils the opportunity to celebrate reading in a fun way. Parents are actively encouraged to practice Frasaí na Seactaine with their children each week and Seachtain na Gaeilge is a week of fun, with Irish storytelling and games. We also celebrate Maths Week, welcoming parents to become involved in Maths Trails with the children around the school.
Conscious that we are situated in the heart of Ennis town, each year there is a visit from either the Mobile Farm Unit or an Animal Show to ensure that pupils get hands-on experience of living animals.
Our Green Schools’ Committee is central to the school community, involving pupils, staff and parents. While the standards of cleanliness and hygiene have always been of a very high standard in the school, this committee ensures that we are more conscious of our waste and recycling. They have also initiated many in-school projects promoting environmental awareness and Green Week during the last term is a week of celebration and learning for all. The award of Tidy Class of the week also helps to ensure that the children are actively involved in ensuring that we all work in a clean and attractive environment.
Holy Family Junior School is a very happy place for both children and staff. Parents are active partners in their children’s education and a monthly newsletter keeps them abreast of all school news. There are many classes run for parents and there is a Parents’ Room shared with the Senior School where they can meet and enjoy coffee mornings together.
Our regular Prayer Services help us all to reflect and appreciate the life of our school community.