The school’s focus on academic excellence centres around the provision of high quality teaching and learning, an emphasis on students taking responsibility for their own work, a strong atmosphere of study within the school, a commitment to giving worthwhile homework, the provision of valuable co-curricular activities, and an emphasis on character education leading to students developing a commitment to academic success.
The school believes that all its students should cover a wide range of subjects to Junior Cycle level. Currently, a student may sit up to eight subjects and three short courses for his Junior Cycle Award. As the Junior Cycle syllabus continues to change over the next few years, the school intends to continue to provide a broad curriculum to all its students. (For information on the new Junior Cycle curriculum go to the navigation bar Academic Work / Curriculum / Junior Cycle.
All classes are mixed ability and subjects are taught at the higher level. In Irish, English and Mathematics, an Ordinary Level class may exist. However, it is school policy to teach students at the Higher Level in each subject for as long as possible. In the junior cycle the school also has non-exam programmes in Religion and Men of Character (a Well-being Programme comprising social, personal & health Education, Civic education, digital media management and Physical Education). Students also participate in one compulsory Club activity.
The school provides an optional Transition Year (4th year) programme for students on completion of the Junior Certificate examination.
The school currently provides fourteen subjects at Leaving Certificate level. Students will usually sit seven of these subjects in their Leaving Certificate. Subjects are timetabled from year to year to maximise student choice. The senior cycle also has non-exam programmes in Religious Knowledge and Physical Education. Rockbrook’s commitment to providing a personalised education experience results in favourable class sizes at all levels in the school.
Rockbrook does not select on the basis of academic ability. Also it places more emphasis on helping students to manage their own work and less emphasis on preparing directly for exams. Leaving Certificate results compare favourably with other top class schools.
The school has an oratory where Mass is celebrated at least twice weekly outside of class time. Students may also have the opportunity of attending Mass with their class on an occasional basis.
Rockbrook gives importance to co-curricular trips abroad. Each year, outside of term, students have the opportunity to participate in a trip abroad. All these trips have a language or cultural emphasis. In recent years trips have been to Rome (staying with families of a partner school), Spain (language exchange), West of Ireland, walking the Camino, Albania (service project).