School Ethos

Although Rathgar Junior School is a non-denominational school, it was founded, and is still informed, by emblemthe ethos of the Religious Society of Friends, known as Quakers.

The following useful information gives an outline of the beliefs of Quakers:

  • religion starts from personal experience
  • all individuals have ‘that of God’ within them
  • everyone has a potential for good and is worthy of dignity and respect

We try to provide an environment in which there is:

  • an expectation of high standards
  • a quest for truth
  • toleration
  • openness for inspiration
  • insistence on equal rights
  • where pupils are led to accept these principles and values for themselves.

Quakers believe that there is “that of God” in every person. This means that:

  • those of us involved in education approach every learner hopefully, believing that each individual’s educational needs should be recognised and equal value given to them.
  • we believe in “immense potentialities” and that the purpose of education is to help individuals to believe in these in themselves.
  • we believe that learning is a lifelong experience and is a part of living rather than a preparation for it.
  • we respect each individual and value the contribution that each has to make to the learning process.
  • we treat individuals as equals, whatever their gender, race, culture, class, ability, sexual orientation or circumstances. It means that we actively reject, and work to eliminate, discrimination of any sort.
  • we believe that learning happens most creatively when relationships are based on mutual respect.
    we wish to adopt methods of discipline based on trust and mutual support, seeking to promote the positive.
  • we encourage individual responsibility to the group and the group’s responsibility for each individual.
  • we seek to avoid hierarchies of power and to encourage a participating community.
  • we want to empower learners to challenge injustice and to develop the imagination to find alternatives, to build compassionately a community which is inclusive of those who may be disadvantaged or rejected.
  • we encourage questioning and exploration, honesty and openness.
  • we seek to nurture and value spiritual growth and to open windows into new worlds of creativity and imagination.
  • we seek creative ways to go forward, particularly in situations that involve or might lead to conflict.
  • we stress achievements and successes, bearing in mind that excessive use of competition can be destructive.
  • “teachers” recognise that they are learners too and need to strive to be good listeners.
  • we try to live out our vocation “adventurously”.
  • we value simplicity, pursuing the things which bring true fulfilment and seeking to find and communicate a right relationship with the material world.
  • we try to keep before ourselves and others the ideal of unqualified and unlimited love.