Our Place in the World
Day to day school life at Alexandra College is grounded in our values: Respect, Responsibility, Diversity and Independent Thinking and in Froebelian principles including empathy and a deep belief in the inherent value of each person. These principles are lived and given expression through students taking collaborative responsibility for their own learning and for their school community. Student-led initiatives are at the heart of how we organise school life, build relationships of respect between teachers and students, and enhance each girl’s feeling that she belongs in the school and that her contribution is valued.
There are many ways for the girls in the Junior School to get involved in student leadership and action. We encourage the girls to exercise their agency and autonomy by trying out leadership roles in our various captain positions.
Green-Schools in the Junior School
Green-Schools is Ireland’s leading environmental management and education programme for schools. It promotes long-term, whole-school action for the environment. Green-Schools is a student-led programme with involvement from the wider community. Our Green-Schools Committee, GSC leads the whole school in assemblies and in their own class groups. The leadership of the committee engages every student in building awareness, developing our scientific knowledge and in taking concrete action to protect our planet.
The Green-Schools programme runs over a two-year period, with a different focus for each Green Flag. The Junior School has already successfully completed the Litter and Waste, Energy and Water flags.
On-going Green-Schools work in Junior School:
- GSC meets regularly and leads assembly on Green matters
- GSC members keep their class groups informed and look for new ideas
- Green-Schools notice board in JS concourse
- Recycling and compost bins in every classroom
- Recycling and compost bins in staffroom
- Edible Mobile Garden
- Lights turned off in classrooms and staffroom when not in use
- When the heat is on, doors are closed
- Dining Hall – no disposable plastic is used at all – all items (cutlery, plates, cups, serviettes etc) are reusable or compostable
- Poster competitions
- Special events/speakers on Green issues
- Whole school survey e.g. water usage in our homes
- JACA fundraiser - Bags2School-used clothing is collected and weighed by an outside company and money raised goes to the Junior School and the Laura Lynn Foundation.
Special Event: JS Students March for Climate Change
The JS girls followed the inspirational climate activist Greta Thunberg’s call for a global school protest last September. Led by the Green Schools Committee, everyone gathered in the JS Hall at 11am and some of our students talked about many of the challenges that are facing us. Every class created a poster/banner and, at the end of the special assembly, we marched out to the playground to highlight the need for leaders to take more action on climate change. We chanted: Stop Climate Change, Save our Planet!
Charity Involvement and Fundraising
Throughout the year, we support local, national and international charities such as the Simon Community, Team Hope, DEBRA Ireland, Barnardos, The Irish Cancer Society, Laura Lynn, The Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries Charity and My Lovely Horse Rescue. We have fundraising days in aid of charity where the girls might have a non-uniform day and make a donation to show their support.
We have guest speakers from various charities who visit our assembly to explain the work they do to assist people and animals in need.
It is a longstanding tradition for the Junior School girls to donate food hampers to Miss Carr’s Home on Northbrook Road, Ranelagh. Each December, we fill our school bus with Christmas hampers which the girls have assembled with their families and the hampers are brought to Miss Carr’s Home by the J6 girls. Our donations support the child and family services which Miss Carr’s Home provides to the community.
At Christmas time, the choir goes to a local nursing home to sing carols for its residents.
The aim of the Student Council is to provide students with greater involvement in the decision making procedures of the school and to help them learn about and experience how democracy and responsible citizenship works.
Students have a voice and a contribution to make to their school. The students are given an opportunity to develop leadership by organising and carrying out school activities and service projects. In addition to planning events that contribute to school spirit and community welfare, the Student Council is the voice of the student body. Students are elected by their class groups and meet twice a month with the close support of a teacher. Activities they develop, organise and run include the annual Junior School Talent Show, assemblies, fundraising events and helping out on Open Day.
The job of the class representatives is to:
- Take the suggestions from their class to Student Council meetings,
- Bring ideas from other classes back to their class,
- Discuss with other council members which proposals are the best,
- Find ways to turn ideas into plans, actions and successes.