We are now well settled in our fantastic new school building here on Ashgrove Road and you are indeed welcome to this contact with the Abbey – whether it be your first or otherwise! It is an exciting time for us as we continue to settle into our new building and it is a challenging time as we continue to develop the Abbey tradition in an ever changing educational landscape. The Christian Brothers have left a wonderful legacy and the school is now under the Trusteeship of the Edmund Rice School Trust.
If this is your first contact with the Abbey let me say a few brief words of introduction. We are a praying, caring Christian community devoted to all that is best in education – in the purest sense of that word! Yes, unapologetically we have at our centre the person of Christ – the model par excellence for all Christian educators. Furthermore for us in our specific identity as a Christian Brothers School we have a particular respect and affection for the ideals of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice and all that is inherent in his charism – prayer, service, Christian vocation, and special regard for the less well off.
As the Abbey continues to grow in size and stature, we must of course be concerned with external forces such as marketing and finance. However, having started in 1852, and now well into the third millennium, we have managed to keep alive the fact that we are a community of people. Implicit in this are values that put people first and the warmth and respect that go with that.
I am proud of and delighted to say to you that we are a school with high standards, of both behaviour and academic attainment. Our academic success has for a long time now been consistently a cause of great celebration – earning the highest accolades in the country.
It would be impossible to cover all aspects of school life in such an introduction but suffice to say that the Abbey has a great ongoing hum of activity – broad choices for students, work and leisure facilities, programmes of care of the student – counselling, study programmes, a forward thinking approach to discipline and perhaps above all a student – staff relationship – the quality of which is the talk and envy of many.
And so at the end of it all – what do we hope to have? The young man who has left the Abbey and looks back and will hopefully remember his days with us – with affection and pride. He will remember the Abbey as a safe, warm, welcoming community where people did all they could to bring out the best in him – and as the adage says, we refrained from the easy option of giving him fish but rather patiently and painstakingly taught him how to fish – and so feeding him for life.
In short the Abbey past pupil is a person who loves life, lives for his potential and is strong in his love of God, fellow men and the environment in which we live.
I wish to thank you for your support for the Abbey and the work that we strive to do. As a community, we in the Abbey recognise that it would not be true to the spirit of real education to work in isolation – and so we are mindful of our role, locally, nationally and internationally. Our connections and our successes mirror this with the involvement in competitions, trips to and partnerships with schools in other countries.
Mindful of the gift of life, and the responsibility that goes with it, let us continue to support each other and indeed remember each other in prayer.
Mr. S Sloan