Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua is multi-denominational school under the patronage of An Fhorais Phátrúnachta na Scoileanna lán Ghaeilge.
What does that mean?
The school provides an environment in which the spiritual background of each child is equally respected whatever their family’s viewpoint. We implement the very same ethical curriculum as Educate Together – the Learn together programme. It has four strands:
- Moral and spiritual development
- Equality and Justice
- Belief Systems
- Ethics and Environment
One specific strand aims to develop in children a critical knowledge, understanding and awareness of the teachings of religious and non-theistic belief systems and how these systems relate to our shared human experience. The Learn Together curriculum aims to inform rather than instruct. It teaches children about religions rather than teaching that one is “the right way to think”.
We understand that whilst this approach of treating religious difference in an Irish school context offers many advantages, we appreciate that there are families for whom this model may not be suitable. For instance, a multi-denominational Gaelscoil depends on parents who are happy to allow their children to explore and be exposed to different religious views and who do not regard it as their religious duty to seek to persuade others of their beliefs. In the case of families who observe strict guidelines around their children’s exposure to artwork, games or sports of other faiths, a denominational school of their conscience, or a recognised programme of home education may well be a more appropriate choice.
We believe that specific religious formation is the responsibility of parents and religious organisations outside school. Within the school we aim to ensure that no child has to be set apart as a result of their religion.
We also understand that many parents want their children to receive formal religious instruction. With this in mind, our Board of Management facilitates the organisation of voluntary faith formation classes outside school hours. These classes are usually organised with the assistance of the relevant church authorities.