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Scoil Phádraig Naofa

Athy, Co. Kildare. Tel: 059-8634811 / Fax: 059-8633457

A Short History of Scoil Phádraig Naofa


On 30th July 1860 the Most Rev. Dr. Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin, invited the Irish Christian Brothers to Athy. His grace purchased a house and lands at St. John’s, Athy, and a two-roomed school was erected on the site. The house and school were furnished. The total cost of the project was £1,000.

On 8th August 1861 Brother S. Flanagan (Director), Brother L. Holland and Brother P. Sheehy took up residence and were the first members of the community of Christian Brothers in Athy.

On 19th August 1861 one hundred and twenty (120) boys presented themselves for admission to the school. The attendance continued to increase daily.

In 1890 Rev. Dr. Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin, administered Confirmation in Athy. During his sermon he praised the Brothers for the sacrifices they had made in refusing State aid and that because of this the teaching of Religion in the school could continue.

1961 - The Centenary of the School was held.
1961 - The present Primary School was started. Rev. Fr. V. Steen, P.P. cut the first sod.
1980 - The new Extension was opened. The cost of the new school was £54,000.

On the weekend of the 23rd of September 1984 the people of Athy came together to pay tribute to the Christian Brothers who would soon be leaving the town after 133 years of service as educators to successive generations of boys from the area.

Frank McNulty became the first lay Principal of the ‘Christian Brothers’ primary school. The school was re-named St. Patrick’s School and has since become known as Scoil Phádraig Naofa.

On the 1st December 2008 all 4th, 5th and 6th class pupils (167 boys) were relocated to a new 8 classroom school building in Tomard on the Monasterevin road outside Athy. All 2nd and 3rd class pupils will remain in St. John’s Lane until a new school building is provided by the D.E.S. to accommodate all pupils. The expected completion date of this new 24 classroom building is June 2011.

Ethos of Scoil Phádraig Naofa

Scoil Phádraig Naofa is under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin. It is a Roman Catholic school.

“Being a Catholic means….. being united to others, it means helping one another, learning from the qualities of others and generously giving our own qualities; it means seeking to know one another, to understand one another and to esteem one another”
(Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.)

Being a Catholic means that we live the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like them to treat you. The school welcomes other Christians, people of other religions, and all people of good will. Gender Equality and Inclusiveness are both part of our school life.

In Scoil Phádraig Naofa we teach Alive O! , the Religious Education programme approved for Roman Catholic primary schools in Ireland, and working together with priest and parents we help to prepare children for the sacraments of Penance, First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

In the summer of 2005 Pope Benedict XVI said “that it is important that young people discover the beauty of faith, that it is beautiful to have a direction, that it is beautiful to have God as a friend who can truly tell us the essential things of life”

Our school promotes a climate of respect, trust, caring, consideration and support for others . This is the characteristic spirit of our Roman Catholic school based on the Gospel values of “Treat others as you would like them to treat you”.

Scoil Phádraig Naofa recognises the importance of developing the full potential of the child. We seek to develop children both spiritually and morally and to foster in each child an ethical sense that will enable him or her to acquire values on which to base choices and form attitudes, that will serve them not only in their lives as children but later as adults.

A Mission Statement of Scoil Phádraig Naofa

Scoil Phádraig Naofa celebrates the uniqueness of each child in our school, as it is expressed in each pupil’s personality, intelligence and potential for development. Our school strives to nurture each child in all dimensions of his or her life – spiritual, moral, cognitive, emotional, imaginative, aesthetic, social and physical. By celebrating children being children, and enriching the child’s life we see foundations being laid for happiness and fulfilment in later education and in adult life.

We acknowledge that children are deeply affected by their relationships in the home, with each other, and with other people in society. We seek to balance individual and social development, and help the child to work co-operatively with others. We try to enable our children to meet, with self-confidence and assurance, the demands of life both now and in the future.

We are concerned with developing the full potential of each of our pupils: spiritual, moral, emotional, physical. Interpersonal skills and skills in communicating are essential for personal, social and educational fulfilment. Our school aims to instil a love of learning that will remain with the child through life and that will express itself in an enquiring mind and a heightened curiosity.

Our school motto is Respect

The quality of the relationship between the teacher and the child is of paramount importance in the learning process in Scoil Phádraig Naofa. A relationship of trust and respect creates an environment in which the child is happier in school and more motivated to learn.

The school strives to create and maintain a school environment, which is supportive of learning, by fostering a climate of welcome, discipline, care and learning. This learning environment is based on the principles of fairness and co-operation.