A truly Christian boarding school in Limerick, Ireland, managed by the Benedictine monastery.
Glenstal Abbey is the boys only boarding school. The school purpose is to help all pupils achieve their fullest potential in academic and extra-curricular fields at each stage of their development. Our teaching is aimed to help, stimulate, and challenge each of our pupils, and this aim is accompanied by careful supervision and regular reporting.
The programme which is offered is balanced, broad and diverse. Scholarship and academic depth are essential for us to provide for our students.
We really put a lot of effort in a correct and balanced high into communication with parents. We came up with a special programme the aim of which is to offer regular reports and meetings with parents. Moreover, there is also a parent-teacher meeting for every year group each year.
The Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate curricula of the Irish Department of Education and Skills, as well as its restrictions, are met at our school. All students sit the Junior Certificate at the end of 3rd Year. Transition Year is compulsory in 4th Year. All students sit the Leaving Certificate at the end of 6th Year.
Each year group is normally divided into two for because of the academic purposes, so we have classes of approximately 16 per set. The academic progress of each class group is supervised by a Tutor. Many classes in the Senior Cycle are significantly smaller than those of usual size.
Our examination results are highly above the expectations. The vast majority of our students is accepted to study at the best national and international universities.
All subjects are taught at Higher level, with the exception of Gaelic and Mathematics, where there is streaming into Higher and Ordinary level classes.
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The origins of the current school comes from the small School for Arts and Crafts which was founded by the monks of Glenstal in 1928. A secondary school for boys was opened in September 1932. Fr Columba Skerret OSB was the Headmaster, and there were only seven boys who attended the school.
However, the actual founding father of the school was Fr Matthew Dillon OSB, who was the Headmaster twice – from 1937-1948 and from 1953 to 1961. During his first time as the Headmaster he increased the number of students from the initial less than twenty to over one hundred.
From these shy beginnings the school has grown and developed significantly. As the school has grown, it has spread beyond the borders of the original Barrington castle. Modern dormitories and refectories, a large Sports Hall and state-of-the art computing facilities all together ensure that our school is still a vibrant and far-reaching boarding school.
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Social life & attractions
||A particular advantage of boarding school is the 24-hour nature of the school day and the possibili-ties which are provided by such system, namely extra-curricular activities of various types. All details of all events, including sporting fixtures, can be found on the school calendar.
Music plays a vital role in the culture of our school. Individual voice lessons and instrumental classes in a wide choice of instruments are available after school from and are provided by expert teachers.
Boys are active within a range of musical styles, and perform solo and in bigger groups at regular recitals and school concerts. Many students take an opportunity to prepare for grade and diploma exams in piano and other instruments and they are really successful in participating in local com-petitions and festivals. A Battle of the Bands competition is organised number of times each year.
The School Choir, comprising of boys from all years, sings at the Community Mass each Sunday, and at some other school events which are carried out during the school year. The choir occasionally sings outside Glenstal, and recently formed part of the backing choir for The Celtic Tenors‘ Christmas concert in Limerick’s University Concert Hall.
Drama, in its all types and forms, is another substantial part of the life at Glenstal, and participation in the annual school production is not assigned to any one year group. We perform such programs as: musicals and ‘straight’ plays so as to give each boy an opportunity to participate, both on stage and in other activities.
In recent years, a smaller-scale production, often devised by the boys themselves, has become an obligatory event in the 2nd Year calendar. An Arts and Drama week is part of the Transition Year programme.
Apart from the various in-class debating and discussion activities organised by their language teachers, all students have the opportunity to master and use basic public speaking and debating skills. A special programme, which is carried out after regular school classes, is available for all Juniors, to presents them with the basic skills of public speaking. This fundamental work is later on developed in Transition Year.
The Senior Debating Society is open to all 5th and 6th Year students. In past few years, boys have competed successfully in several major national discussion competitions, including the Denny Schools Debates, the Concern Debates and the Mental Health Public Speaking Project.