In the academic year 2011/12 a Whole School Evaluation was conducted in Rockbrook by Department of Education and Skills inspectors. The outcomes and the response of the board of management were published on the DES website (1 March 2012).
The acknowledgement by the inspectors of a vibrant learning community, effective leadership, very good teaching and learning, and a strong sense of community and commitment among staff and students bears out the view that Rockbrook is a truly effective learning community.
The inspectors also praised the school’s focus on academic excellence and acknowledged a range of praiseworthy, innovative pastoral initiatives to maximise students potential and to consolidate the work of parents. The board of management has subsequently drawn up a list of action points based on the recommendations in the report, some of which, since then, have become school practice.
Their comments on a Rockbrook education included:
- vibrant learning community has been established in the school. The overall quality of learning and teaching observed was very good.
- The senior management team have leadership qualities which have contributed to the strong sense of community and commitment among the staff and students in the school.
- Positive working atmosphere was established in all classrooms and classroom management together with student behaviour were good. Teachers know their students well and hold high expectations for both student achievement and behaviour. Students responded well and strove to meet these expectations. Teachers were caring and supportive of their students who in turn were well behaved and respectful of their teachers. Good relations between students were also evident in interactions such as group activities and discussions.
- The quality of teaching and learning in the subjects previously evaluated was very high.
- The integration of the school community through various projects and activities further promotes the ethos. The school “Clann” system promotes leadership skills and student relationships. The development of the nature trail is a positive development which forges enhanced links with primary schools while developing leadership skills in TY students who have been trained in this regard. Students are provided with a range of opportunities which complement the academic curriculum.
A downloadable pdf of the official report is attached here.