The care and well-being of every student is at the heart of boarding life at Clongowes and is an aspect that we feel sets us apart.
Central to our community are the prefects – adults whose primary responsibility is for the care of the boys. Each year group is guided by a prefect who lives on site to whom boys can go to with any issue no matter how small or large. The prefecting team act in loco parentis providing guidance, support and friendship to the boys in their care. As part of the daily routine the prefects will wake the boys in the morning, liaise with them during the day, be on hand in the evenings for a chat and lastly will check in on each boy before they go to sleep at night.
Prefects are an important part of the care team that look after each year group but other members include the school counsellor, the Spiritual Father, the Chaplain, a Learning Support teacher and others. The close working relationships that are fostered between parents, students and prefects ensure good communication at all times.
Boys live together in year groups which are further grouped into Lines – Third Line, Lower Line and Higher Line. Furthermore, boys are assigned to Houses that are made up of boys from each year group ensuring that friendship, integration and camaraderie is fostered amongst boys of all ages.
This structure follows the tradition established in Jesuit schools for over four hundred years. The traditional Jesuit names given to the classes reflect a growth in self-expression, eloquence and wisdom.
Fourth Year (Transition Year)
There are eighteen Houses and each House is made up of a cross-section of boys from every age group and is under the direction of a House Leader from Rhetoric, who is elected from among the boys in the Higher Line. A school Captain and Secretary are appointed from among the House Leaders. Boys are encouraged to take on responsibilities together such as duties in the refectory, organisation of liturgies, and participation in inter-House sports. Election of Year Councils and a School Council also encourage pupil involvement in decision making.
Fourteen of the Houses are named after Jesuit saints. Patrons of the other two Houses are Jesuits with close associations with Clongowes – Fr. Peter Kenney S.J., founder of the College and the Venerable Fr. John Sullivan S.J. a former teacher at Clongowes whose beatification was approved by Pope Francis in April 2016.
Living together in this way boys learn tolerance and respect for others, loyalty, consideration towards those less capable, and how to care for each other in times of need.