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Building on the College House System

Catholic schools in the Edmund Rice tradition have an established excellence in pastoral care and at Ambrose Treacy College we consider pastoral care to be central to our culture. We provide a vertical pastoral care system for our students in Years 9, 10 and 11. The Vertical House System allows for students to develop connectedness to a range of students across many year levels and further enhances community spirit within their House and the College.

The College House System consists of the four Houses of Connacht (Head of House: Mr David Robertson), Leinster (Head of House: Mr Sam Brown), Munster (Head of House: Mr Paul Towner) and Ulster (Head of House: Ms Sally Flynn). The House Champions are determined on the respective cumulation of points relating to the following holistic aspects of College life:
• Learning: Approach to Learning and Academic Improvement;
• Service: Service Hours; and
• Inter-House Competitions: Term 1 – Swimming, Cross Country and AFL, Term 2 – Athletics, Great Race and Football, Term 3 – Chess and Term 4 – Rugby.

Our House Crests

At Ambrose Treacy College we believe some of the benefits of a vertical pastoral care system in the Senior School include:
• Helping to build a greater sense of community with increased interaction between year levels and there will be more reciprocal opportunities for learning, leadership and service.
• Providing peer mentoring and support where older students take responsibility for induction of younger students and positive relationships between younger and older students flourish.
• Giving a Middle School/Senior School identity where students have a strong sense of belonging.
• Relief from the peer pressure that naturally occurs amongst same age groups.
• Positive impact on a student’s learning experience. Students gain much from the academic experience of others who have already been progressed and older students gain confidence guiding others on aspects of their own experience.
• Older students develop a more caring outlook and watch out for younger students in their Home Room. Sensible advice from older students is often more readily received by younger students.
• Develop a sense of belonging and ownership of their House and associate with teachers in a different environment.
• Increased College and House spirit and participation.

In 2018 the vertical pastoral care system will group students across Years 9-11 together in a long-term relationship with their Home Room Teacher. Each House has five Home Room Groups with each Home Room consisting of between 16-18 students with 5-8 students being drawn from each of the three year levels. This small number of students in each Home Room provides both staff and students the opportunity to get to know each other better and to enhance the personalised learning journey of each student. The Vertical Home Rooms are located in the Kilkenny (Leinster), Tipperary (Connacht and Munster) and Waterford (Ulster) buildings.

Under the guidance of both a Home Room Teacher and a Head of House, students will gather each morning to meet with their peers, be involved in prayer, receive daily notices as well as meeting with their Home Room Teacher who will mentor each student by tracking their pastoral and academic journey. In a Vertical Home Room the Home Room Teacher will have daily contact with each student over a four year period and be able to provide a deeper continuity of care, developing strong, long-term supportive relationships. This will develop closer and more consistent links with families to improve the staff’s understanding of their personal circumstances.

We look forward to strengthening our connections with you in 2018. Please contact me if you have any queries.

Conor Finn, Dean of Formation