Mission Statement for Terenure College

A Catholic School in the Carmelite Tradition



Conscious of the mission of Jesus: “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10), we aim to have a school community which is concerned with people as sons and daughters of God. In an atmosphere of welcome and warmth each individual is valued for himself or herself irrespective of ability and achievement. Each and every one learns to grow at different levels – intellectually, spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and physically  – through involvement in a balance of academic, religious, cultural and sporting activities.



It is important for us to know and appreciate our heritage. The Carmelite Order has its origins on Mount Carmel in Israel. The first members were called to a life of prayer, solitude and fraternity. Forced to leave Mount Carmel during the thirteenth century the Carmelites migrated to Europe. As friars they worked in the midst of the people preaching the Word of God, establishing friaries and churches in the towns and cities, studying and teaching in the great universities.

The Carmelites came to Ireland around 1271 and established their first foundations at Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, and Whitefriar Street, Dublin. By 1500 there were twenty-five friaries in this country. Though considerably weakened by the Reformation, at no time did the Order disappear completely from Ireland. The members continued to serve the people through the ministry of Word and Sacrament.  Catholic Emancipation was granted in 1829. The Carmelites responded to the need for Catholic educators by establishing schools wherever they had friaries. By 1854 practically all our friaries had primary schools attached.

In 1860 Tyrenure House, the former home of the Bourne family, opened as a College with twenty-one pupils on its roll. Since then it has grown into both a primary and secondary school with 800 pupils. The Carmelites continue to be involved at all levels of education – primary, secondary and third level.


Terenure College, as a Catholic School, has been recognised over the years as a centre of learning and a community of faith where the traditions of the Carmelite Order are enshrined. Whatever changes may occur in educational structures and methods the Carmelite Order seeks to retain and promote the following values in the College:

•the intellectual formation of our pupils through the provision of a curriculum to the highest academic standards, mindful of the diverse God-given abilities and talents; 

•the spiritual and religious formation of our pupils leading to an awareness of God and of a relationship with him through Jesus Christ within the traditions of the Catholic Church;

 •the social formation of our pupils whereby they are enabled to take their place in society as confident and caring persons committed to the pursuit of Truth and Justice;

 •the physical and sporting formation of our pupils through a wide-ranging sports programme promoting physical fitness, team spirit, sportsmanship and participation;

 •the formation in our pupils of the aesthetic sense through the creative arts, through an appreciation and understanding of our Irish and European culture and traditions, through the call to an ecological awareness.

 •the formation of our pupils for life in the world of work by developing in them integrity, self-reliance, adaptability, loyalty, creativity and a positive attitude to work;


The Principal and Staff have the central role in witnessing to the values of Carmelite Education. They witness ‘not only by word but by every gesture of their behaviour’. They seek to carry out this role by:

their genuine concern and respect for each individual in their care, not only the talented and highly motivated;

 maintaining a high degree of competence in their particular academic disciplines;

 a willingness to assume areas of special responsibility;

 participating as far as possible in the various extra-curricular activities within the school;

 establishing a good rapport and partnership with the parents who are the primary educators;

 an openness to the constant need for updating in personal attitudes and in the pedagogical methods that are used.


The pupils are at the centre of the School Community. They have a key role to play:

•by working to the best of their abilities in the classroom thereby achieving their academic potential;

 •by a willingness to grow in their understanding of the Christian Gospel through participation in such things as Religious Education programmes, school liturgies, prayer groups and services;

 •by taking part in the social, cultural and sporting activities available at the College;

 •by sharing in the responsibility for the orderly running of the school through the various duties and offices afforded them, e.g. student council, prefects, class representatives, team captains etc.;

 •by giving time and effort to helping others both within the College and beyond thereby growing in their awareness of a just and peaceful society;

 •by accepting the challenge of gradually making their own the values of the College enshrined within this Mission Statement, the Code of Behaviour and the traditions of the College.


In sending their children to our schools parents enter into a partnership with Management and Staff through: 

•their commitment to the Christian understanding of life so that the values held by parents are supportive of those espoused by the College;

 •their active concern for all aspects of their children’s educational development;

 •their co-operation with the discipline of the school;

 •their support of the College’s various religious, social cultural and sporting activities;

 •their commitment to the financial support of the College through the payment of the yearly fee and through other fund-raising activities which may arise.


The curriculum is designed to prepare the pupils for the Department of Education and Skills examinations as well as to fulfil their personal needs. It is wide-ranging, balanced and relevant to the context in which the pupils live.


Discipline is an essentially positive concept. It is not achieved by constraint, fear or a reliance on punishment.  Rather it flows from attitudes of respect, trust and responsible action on the part of all the members of the school community. Our Code of Behaviour seeks to create a structured environment in which the young person learns good behaviour, self-discipline, personal responsibility and an awareness of the rights of others.


‘Pastoral Care is the integration of the academic, social and religious dimensions of a school’s energy so that an atmosphere of care prevails within the school community’.

Pastoral care is essential to the daily life of the school. It involves not only the Pastoral Care Team but in various ways all members of Staff. Pastoral Care recognises the individuality of each person in the school community and the special needs that can arise from time to time. Home school links need to be promoted and structured.


Religious Education is a core subject in the school’s curriculum in which all pupils participate. In the formal classes the pupils follow the courses which are guided by the Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Religious Education (for Senior Cycle) and that are laid down by the Department of Education and Skills (for Junior Certificate Cycle). The R.E. programme is comprehensive and relevant and is implemented in a creative and sensitive manner. As well as the provision of formal classes the pupils are required to participate in:

•a retreat experience for each year;

 •school liturgies and prayer services (especially the Eucharist) arranged both for special occasions and as part of the school day in particular at the beginning and end of the academic year and on other significant occasions;

 •social activities and projects that support the under-privileged and ill and dependent in our society.

The College Chaplaincy plays an active role in all these activities and is also available for individual counselling.


Sport plays an important part in the life of the College. It is seen not only as a healthy outlet for youthful enthusiasm but also as a basis for lifelong friendships and loyalty. Spacious grounds, a fully equipped gymnasium and a heated swimming pool mean that a variety of activities is available. All levels of ability are catered for and encouraged. Rugby is the traditional and principal game in the College. The Cup matches each year are a fine expression of school spirit and competitiveness. Badminton, Gaelic games, tennis, athletics and swimming are among the other sports provided.

The creative talents and recreational needs of the pupils are catered for through clubs and societies such as drama, debating, Music Fests, Recitals, photography, computer, chess, Model United Nations (MUN), Toastmasters. Our annual dramatic production has been the starting point for many fine actors.

Rather than the College closing before four o’clock, it opens to a different range of activities.


Friendship and co-operation with the Union are to be valued and maintained.


The College aims at being involved with the local community insofar as circumstances permit. Pupils are made aware of the needs of the old, the lonely, the needy and the disadvantaged. Involvement in the liturgical and social life of their local church is encouraged.

A wider sense of social concern and Church is promoted through an awareness of overseas development, including Carmelite involvement in other countries.


Published by the Order of Carmelites, Terenure College, Dublin 6w.