Situated in the town of Sligo in the north-west of Ireland, Sligo Grammar School overlooks the banks of the Garavogue river. A town with a fine tradition of the arts, and the home of the poet W.B. Yeats, Sligo provides an appropriate setting for a school which prides itself on a strong academic and cultural life.
Of approximately 449 students currently attending the school, around 103 are boarding students. Girls are housed in the Hermitage, and boys live in the old Grammar School.
The school is one of a small number of schools in the Republic of Ireland under Church of Ireland management, and is liberal and egalitarian in its outlook. Co-educational since 1948, the school also brings together pupils from various religious traditions, and students of several nationalities. It is a popular destination for exchange students seeking a temporary home in a pleasant part of the English-speaking world; in the last academic year we were delighted to welcome students from Germany, Mexico, Ukraine, Russia and Spain.
A voluntary secondary school, Sligo Grammar School operates a six-year cycle (like most second-level schools in the Rep. of Ireland) catering for students aged about 12 – 18. Students work for their first three years towards the Junior Certificate state examinations, in which most students will take ten subjects. Fourth Year is Transition Year, a break from exam-orientated study, in which students have the opportunity to experience a broad range of new subjects and activities. Finally, on entering fifth year, students begin two years of study towards the Leaving Certificate. For most students, this is a third-level entrance examination. Seven subjects are usually taken, of which English, Irish and Maths are compulsory.
School life is not, however, all about study. A broad range of extra-curricular activities is on offer. The school is renowned for its rugby and hockey, and also for its award-winning choir.
Maybe you are already getting a sense of what life here is like, of the atmosphere in the school. The school’s educational aims are broad-based; it aims to address the academic, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and cultural aspects of students’ growth. The school’s ethos has, among others, the following aims: to foster an understanding of moral, spiritual, religious, social and cultural values; to nurture a sense of personal identity and self-esteem and a respect for the rights and beliefs of others; to promote quality and equality for all; to foster a spirit of self-reliance, innovation, initiative and imagination; to create tolerant, caring and politically aware members of society.
Especially in being a boarding school, the pastoral care of students is of great importance. The boarding houses are overseen by a Housemaster in the Boys’ Residence, and a Housemaster and Housemistress in the Girls’ Residence, all of whom live at the school. Matrons deal with minor sicknesses and injuries, and often also with various difficulties or problems students may encounter. Within the school, each class has its own Form Teacher, responsible for the educational and personal well-being of its pupils. A Guidance Counselor works especially, though not exclusively, to help students with difficult decisions regarding careers, courses etc., and with their personal academic achievement. A Special Needs teacher helps and encourages pupils with various difficulties in learning. Students are also involved in the school in a pastoral role; a number of Prefects are elected by staff each year to help keep the school functioning effectively. The school has a Chaplain, Rev. Patrick Bamber, who teaches R.E. and is rector of Calry, the Church of Ireland church adjoining and closely linked to the school.
Sligo Grammar School has much to look forward to. Our new extension has opened catering for the high demand for places in the school. The web site you’ve entered will take you around the school – you’ll be able to meet some of its people, see where we live, study and play, and experience a little of life here. Maybe you’re a past or prospective pupil, or a parent, or maybe you’ve arrived at our web site unexpectedly…
Whoever you are, welcome. This site is a special place; a place of memories of the past and visions of the future; a journal of school life; a student scrapbook, photo album and diary rolled into one…
“Don’t stop! Further up and further in!” – Farsight to the children in The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis