School trips and exchanges are organised to enhance the learning of students, as well as providing good opportunities for personal development and building friendships. These trips form a major part of a student’s experience in the school.
Disruption to the normal school timetable is minimised and use is made of the school holiday period to facilitate longer trips. The school generally avoids high cost trips which effectively exclude those who cannot afford them. The plan for school trips is drawn up before the beginning of the school year, finalised by the school management in September and then approved by the board of management.
Parents will provide written permission for students’ participation in school trips. Exclusion of individual students from trips is a school management decision. Such decisions will be made taking into account a student’s school performance, his level of co-operation with teachers, his previous performance on school trips, his capacity to make the trip difficult for other students. It is acknowledged that some trips may not be suitable for some students due to temperament, maturity and, perhaps occasionally due to disability issues.
Trips are usually advertised in November with the school seeking ‘expressions of interest’ at that time. Meetings about each trip are usually held before the deposit stage. Students are encouraged to pay in instalments.
Plan for 2019/20
Italy Exchange Trip
7 days in June 2020 for 1st year students
Probable dates: return by 13 June 2020
Estimate cost is €650 0r €530 if a family hosts an Italian student. This price includes air fares, accommodation, food, transport and gallery entrances.
Spanish Language Trip (Exchange)
15 days in June 2020 for 2nd year students
Likely dates: return by June 20
Rockbrook has facilitated language and cultural trips to Spain for 2nd year students for a number of years now, with a view to helping them actively advance their language proficiency prior to the Junior and Leaving Cert years. The trip is also open to students not taking Spanish as a school subject. Apart from the obvious benefits of improving their language skills and ultimately performing better in their State examinations, young people learn to appreciate a different cultural environment. In 2020 the group will again be going to Valencia.
The estimate cost is €980, including flights. As it is part of an exchange, the cost for students who host Spanish boys when they are here will be €630.
Full details for the 2020 trip will be available in November 2019.
History/Geography Field Trip to West of Ireland
In late September the 3rd years have a three-day trip to the West of Ireland, during which they will study particular historical and geographical features of the Galway, Clare and Limerick areas. All the class are encouraged to participate in this trip. Estimate cost is €160 all-in. Accommodation will be in local hostels and the group travel together by coach for the three days.
Plans for this trip are finalised in mid-September each year.
Seven-day trip to Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Transition Year – Dates – before and during the Easter break 2020
Walking the Camino is one of the great cultural experiences of Europe. The walk follows the old pilgrim trail to the shrine of St James, across the north of Spain, finishing up in the ancient cathedral town of Santiago de Compostela.
Not for the fainthearted, the plan is to cover the “minimum” pilgrim route, a 110 km stretch from Sarria, to the east of Santiago, on the French pilgrim route. It is by times exciting, at times exhilarating, and at times tiring. The group will fulfill the usual pilgrim customs along the way, and enjoy the scenery, the food, the music and great fun. A couple of days are left for sightseeing, tourism and shopping on arrival in the great city of Santiago. Estimate all-in cost is approx €590 and includes flights, meals, hostels, insurances and transport. Before going students must participate in some preparatory walking trips. Bookings will be finalised in January.
Workcamp in Albania
Seniors (5th year)
The school’s trip to Albania is being run as an activity of Rockbrook’s development education. The trip will challenge senior students think more constructively about what they can contribute to society, develop their team-work and communication skills and strengthen their virtues of responsibility and independence, while helping to educate young people in poor districts in southern Albania.
In recent years the school has run service projects in Kenya, Trinidad and India assisted by the Local Lives Foundation, a registered Irish charity set up by some past pupils to facilitate the past pupil community as a whole in helping deprived peoples in the world. In 2018 & 2019 the service project has been held in southern Albania.
To get an insight into the work carried out in Kenya, have a look at this short video from a previous trips.
If you have an interest in any of the school’s workcamps then you should watch these videos produced by M Gardas:
Video 1: Kibera Slum and Kenyan Safari
Video 2: the 2014 video shot in Turkana,Kenya
Video 3: the Mount Kenya Climb which formed part of the Kenya trip