The Link with the Edmund Rice Charter

A Community of Teaching & Learning

As a Christian Brothers (Edmund Rice) School we have a key goal to provide purposeful teaching and learning experiences for the students not only within the curriculum but also as part of the hidden curriculum and this is a key aspect of the Social Justice Team as we are trying to promote the holistic development of pupils and the personal development of students by increasing the awareness they have about the world around them but also responding to their needs and their awareness of a rapidly changing society.

 A Caring School Community

Promoting a caring school community is a key aspect of the Social Justice Team and this can be seen clearly in the aims of everything that we do and will do in the future. We will strive for social justice within the school, local and greater society and promote care and responsibility amongst the students for all those in the school community as well as in the wider community which will be visible in all the activities that are carried out including the Zambia Immersion Project, Edmund Rice Camps, fundraising by the Faith and Action Leadership Team and advocating for those who are marginalised in society.  

A Community Gathered in Christian Faith

The Christian ethos and tradition of Edmund Rice was at the forefront in the creation of the four groups within the Abbey Social Justice Team. We aim to develop the whole person not just academically but spiritually as well and encouraging students to live out their Christian faith in their daily lives by working for justice for all. The Faith in Action Leadership Team, Zambia Immersion Project and Advocacy Leadership Team will especially focus their actions with those that are marginalised in our society.

Leadership that Inspires and Transforms

In the 2015-2016 academic year the seed was planted through the first Nelson Mandela Day in the Abbey CBGS under the guidance of Mrs McGrath (SMT) with the assistance of Mr Harvey, Miss McQuillan and Mrs O’Donovan.  This involved a group of Year 13 students holding a number of events in one day including a car wash, bandana/non-uniform day, bake sale and a football tournament for Year 8. Mr Harvey then took a group of these Year 13 students into Year 14 as part of his Faith in Action Leadership Team and the students were provided the opportunity to be leaders within the school as well as the wider community. That same year, 2016-2017, the Advocacy Leadership Team was set up to provide Year 13 students with this opportunity and nine volunteers came forward with the main goal being to make a difference no matter how small to the world around them. They were encouraged to be leaders and with the support of their teachers, Mr Harvey, Mrs McGrath, Miss Gilloway and Miss McQuillan they were provided with challenging opportunities within the role of social justice which has brought the group to now form under one Social Justice Team, each with their own clear goals to achieve the overall vision of promoting social justice in as many areas as possible. The Edmund Rice camps will provide students of both the Abbey CBGS and Sacred Heart Grammar School to become involved in building their leadership skills also within the local community through volunteering their time, patience and care in leading various activities for local primary school children.

A Partnership Approach

We as a social justice team acknowledge that a partnership approach is vital to achieving our overall goals. We will aim to promote networking with external agencies and other school communities throughout the world in order to build a community that values partnerships and inclusiveness. This will also be clearly highlighted with the continuation of the Zambia Immersion Project which is a core aspect of social justice embedded firmly in our school community for many years. We know the importance of having the knowledge and support of other schools that have had a social justice team in place for many years and the guidance they can provide us could prove invaluable in the years to come. We want to build a strong community within the Abbey CBGS which will encourage social justice at all times but also aspire to build our international links following the EREBB led work initiated by Mrs McGrath and Mr McGovern in joining the international Edmund Rice Congress in Johannesburg in October 2015.