Many are beginning to understand and appreciate the Biblical principle that parents must assume full responsibility for their children’s education. More and more parents are taking a critical look at the various and often limited opportunities given to their children in the conventional education offered by secular state systems. Some parents feel these schools are too institutionalised, inevitably being geared to the “lowest common denominator” in which no allowance is made for the ‘individuality’ of the child. Other parents believe that there is a real problem with a lack of standards and discipline, because of which many pupils are now facing academic and social difficulties. Many parents are choosing to withdraw their children on the basis that current schools are generally based on Humanistic philosophy, which at best, diminishes God and the need for Biblical teaching, but at worst openly denies the existence and power of God.
People will always ask the question, “Why insist on bringing up your children in a way that is just not the norm?” But if the “norm” is a system that denies the power of God and contradicts His Word, then it is not equipping them for the life of service and dedication to the Lord for which they were created. Choosing this system does not fulfil the Biblical command to parents. When we entered the kingdom of heaven, we ceased to be a part of the “norm”. For the born-again believer who wants God’s best for their children, Christian education is not a choice – it is a must!
“Train up a child in the way he ought to go and when he is old he will not depart from it”, Proverbs 22:6
Grásta Christian School is a unique Christian school, because its approach to education is not conventional. It places the emphasis on learning rather than teaching, and much is done to recognise and motivate the individual. Very close cooperation with parents is essential and is expected, as the school sees the prime responsibility for the training and education of children to be parental. Academic goals are heightened by the very special character objectives interwoven into the educational process. The most significant desire for the children is that they will have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus in their life.
Two crucial purposes we have in our school:
1 To provide for the children of Christian parents a complete school programme that will have as its objectives the spiritual welfare and academic advancement of the student enrolled.
2 To train the children that they may grow to respect the things of God as revealed in scripture and nature.
Detailed objectives of our school:
To strive towards the goal that each child
* Come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
* Achieve a higher level of Christian maturity.
* Become a more effective witness for the Lord.
* Find the path of God for their lives.
* To emphasise the individuality of the person and to assist each child in properly responding to themselves and others. This leads to confidence and the establishment of God-given talents and creative abilities. It also promotes the ability to set goals, to analyse, to communicate well, to achieve academically and to understand the principles of success.
* To promote self-discipline by training students to be relevant, consistent, appreciative and responsible in attitude, character and actions.
* To compensate for inadequate educational backgrounds.
* To eliminate grade level failure and repetition.
* To help children to learn how to live to honour the Lord by meeting the daily responsibilities with which God has entrusted them.
* To give counsel to each child in discerning and obeying God’s will for him or her, through an emphasis on Biblical principles.
Fundamentals of the faith we believe:
- The inspiration of the Bible, equally in all parts and without error in its origin.
- The one God, eternally existent Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who created man by a direct, immediate act.
- The pre-existence, incarnation, virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, ascension to Heaven and the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The fall of man, the need of regeneration by the operation of the Holy Spirit on the basis of grace alone and the resurrection of all, to eternal life or damnation.
- The spiritual relationship of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, living a life of righteous works, separated from the world and its values, witnessing of His saving grace through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Because Scripture is expounded in the school we have explained our position so that parents can ask the leadership about doctrinal matters on which they want further clarification.
The Principal assesses each case on merit but here are our guidelines:
- Entrance is not based upon IQ or achievement. A prospective student must, however, not be a social or moral liability to other children.
- Both parents must attend Parent Orientation.
- An interview between the Principal/Head Teacher and prospective students and their parents is mandatory prior to admission.
- Parents and students must accept the school’s Conduct and Discipline policies as outlined in the relevant section of this Prospectus and as enlarged upon by the Principal during the Admission Interview.
- Primary and Secondary level students must attend a day of academic diagnostic testing when transferring from another school. This is to determine the appropriate level of curriculum for that student.
- Twice yearly parent/teacher meetings are held to discuss student progress and future studies. In this way, parents are encouraged to take an active part in monitoring the child’s progress in conjunction with the school’s experienced and fully trained A.C.E. staff, who will report on the child’s achievements and perceived learning potential.
- Students are enrolled in Grásta Christian School under the understanding that they will be present to participate in school events such as Sports Day and the Annual Tour. Parents and students are also required to attend the annual “Awards Night”. These events are organised to encourage and motivate students, as well as to reward hard work and achievement. It is in the best interests of the school and the students that everyone does their part to encourage the vision of Christian Education by taking part in these events.
- Children must be 4 years old by September 1st before they can be enrolled in Grásta Christian School.
- All entrance requirements must be fulfilled within the specified time frame before a student can be presented for school. See under “Applications”.
Application forms can be obtained from the school office, or online at the school website. All applications for Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class must be submitted no later than July 1st and must be accompanied by the following:
- Copy of child’s Birth Certificate
- Completed Standing Order Form
- Non-refundable deposit (see under School Fees)
- Signed Policy Agreement Form
Arrangements will be made for the Principal/Head Teacher to interview parents and child together. Once a transferring student is accepted it will necessary for the school to arrange for “Diagnostic Testing” to determine educational learning gaps and at what level the student should begin his or her studies. Pupils accepted from conventional schools are not assigned work on the basis of the level from which they have come or on their chronological age. Instead, they are prescribed curriculum on the basis of the results of the diagnostic testing which is a measurement of their current abilities.
The school day begins at 9:00 am. Supervision commences at 08:30 am each morning. Students who need more time to complete their daily work are encouraged to come early to score and correct homework and/or to make a head start on their PACE work for that day. We ask that parents make sure that their children are safely inside the school before they leave. Your child’s safety is of utmost importance to us in Grásta Christian School.
Junior Infants and Senior Infants students finish at 14:00 pm. If feasible the school will facilitate an after-school programme for the younger years with supervision by parents on a rota basis. Primary students finish at 15:00 pm. Children should be collected promptly.
Food for breaks
We encourage healthy foods for breaks and lunch. Please note that the following list of foods and drinks are not allowed to be eaten in school. Supervisors will not allow the children to eat these foods and the children will be asked to bring the food back home:
Chocolate of any kind including yogurts, milk and spread
Sweets of any description
Biscuits or cake
Children in the younger classes may be given a small treat at the end of the day which will be free of artificial additives but not of sugar. If parents prefer that their child not receive this treat they may inform the child’s class teacher.
Grásta Christian School uses the Bible-based Accelerated Christian Education programme (A.C.E.). This programme is individualised and non-graded. It is designed to allow students to work at their own level of achievement, which may vary from subject to subject.
A.C.E. offers individualised core subjects with a scope from Junior Infants to college preparatory levels in Math, English, Social Studies, Science, and Word Building (Etymology for level 9), and provides for student’s essential educational needs. Additionally, stand-alone educational software for enhancement, academic electives, and learning-to-read programmes are employed.
Each curriculum level course consists of 12 PACEs (Packet of Accelerated Christian Education – or workbook). Students typically work daily on one PACE at a time in each of the six core subjects. The PACEs may be on varying levels, according to the student’s achievement in each subject and according to their academic prescriptions based on their diagnostic test results if they have transferred from another school.
Normally, students complete a minimum of 70 PACEs each in one academic year; however, this varies according to the student’s abilities and efficiency. Students normally keep academic balance in the subjects in which they are working and complete about the same number of PACEs in each subject – that is, after they have completed any gap PACEs that they may require. Students who are more skilled may progress at a faster rate or may accelerate in the areas of their academic strengths. Some students require more time to complete a level for various reasons. While they are always encouraged to do their best, the individualised programme allows students to work at a pace that suits them for optimum mastery.
The mathematics curriculum covers Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Calculus. It provides a logical, orderly method of taking the student from the known to the unknown. The student will be encouraged to recognise God as the God of order and absolutes. From four-function maths to algebra to differential calculus, the student learns how to approach mathematical problems in a well-grounded, step-by-step manner.
Proper use of English as a language is not innate in an individual but rather a skill to be developed. The A.C.E. English curriculum recognises each student’s need to develop their skill on an individual basis. The A.C.E. curriculum develops optimum language skills through its balanced scope and sequence. Each level moves students step by step, continually building on traditional grammar and usage concepts. Ongoing review and testing provide regular evaluation of the student’s progress in thinking, reading and writing skills. Each unit integrates Biblical and character-building principles. The course includes extensive drill in the eight parts of speech with guided, step-by-step practice in research, essay writing, and the research paper.
This curriculum covers History, Geography, Economics and Government. Social Studies looks at world history and cultures from the perspective of God as the Designer, Creator, and Controller of the universe. Beginning in the Garden of Eden, man’s failure to abide by the principles is traced throughout history. The curriculum gives many illustrations of individuals who have practiced the precepts of God through the ages. This material stresses a citizen’s Biblical responsibility. A variety of comprehension activities including map activities and deductive reasoning are included. This is a Godly perspective and guidance to career choice and success.
Included in this curriculum are Animal Science, Biology, Physical Science, Chemistry and Physics. The science curriculum takes the student’s natural curiosity about their physical environment and helps them build a solid foundation upon Biblical principles. All the science texts are creationist in approach and content. Throughout the curriculum Science is presented from a Biblical perspective.
Word Building is a vocabulary-controlled study of computer-selected words, root words, prefixes, suffixes, etc. Word Building increases students’ vocabulary bases and reinforces their confidence and capability in spelling. Basic spelling rules are introduced and illustrated for the younger child. Older students learn the meanings of prefixes, suffixes and root words so that they can build new words and expand their vocabulary.
Literature and Creative Writing
In the Literature and Creative Writing course, the younger students are encouraged to experience reading as a pleasure. Animated cartoon characters lead the student through foundational concepts of writing. Much opportunity is given for creative writing and practice in all the writing skills. In completing the literature course, older students get a sampling of the classics as well as more modern literature. With each book, they complete a study guide of questions, and in many cases, write an appropriate essay. English level IV provides students at the top end of the curriculum with examples and analyses of the best literature from various writers and literary periods of British literature.
Elective courses include
New Testament Survey
Old Testament Survey
Life of Christ
New Testament Church History
College Physical Science
Bible and Science
Introduction to Missions
Grásta Christian School endeavours to provide the students with a wide variety of afternoon classes throughout the academic year. Such classes include:
Arts and Crafts
Library & Story Time
ADVANTAGES OF THE A.C.E. CURRICULUM
Grásta Christian School is committed to the belief that learning rather than teaching is the vital issue in education and that learning must be based on scriptural rather than secular principles.
Because Biblical truths permeate the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum used at Grásta Christian School, pupils benefit both in terms of academic training and character development.
Another advantage to pupils using the A.C.E. curriculum is that the material is not bound in large textbooks. Instead, each subject is presented in small booklets called PACEs enabling each pupil to master the material for themselves at their own personal working pace.
The knowledge in a PACE follows upon what the child has learned in the previous PACEs. In this way he or she is constantly adding to a store of knowledge. PACEs allow children to progress steadily through the curriculum, building a firm base of understanding. Advancement to new material is not permitted until testing demonstrates that the pupils have thoroughly comprehended all material contained in a previous PACE. Capable children may advance without being held back by those who need more time to learn.
The teacher is released by our method to devote more time to the individual child. In a conventional classroom, teachers instruct the entire class at one time, which necessarily limits the attention they can give individually to each child. In our Learning Centre, pupils are busy working at their own speed on PACEs at the right level for their ability. If a child is unable to solve a problem he/she can call on the teacher for help. The teacher then works carefully with the child, helping them to find the answer to their problem. Since such instruction is private, the pupil is encouraged to ask questions that they might find embarrassing to ask in front of a class. There is therefore a free exchange of ideas between teacher and pupil. The student then really learns!
Parents are keen to see their children learn in a controlled environment, where study is completed by using selected curriculum, leading to a high academic standard. This is done in a disciplined environment and obtains above average results. In addition to this, many parents are thus able to develop in their children high moral and Biblical character, which is sadly lacking in the generation being turned out of conventional schools today.
Grásta Christian School will help produce adults who are aware of their own potential and who have been taught how to develop that potential and use it for good. We emphasise the individuality of the child, and thus the children are able to grow up maintaining their own identity and personality. The pressure of the peer group is withdrawn. Christian education provides the vehicle by which parents may fulfil one of their priorities: to produce and develop a fully educated and fulfilled human being who knows God in a personal way and who has understood that God has set a plan for his or her life. The child is thus able to follow this plan through in maturity.
In Christian education, the child soon learns that there are certain high priorities, such as the value of the individual. The child also learns the value of the family, of showing and receiving love, the value of understanding and appreciating others. In this environment, the need for aggressive behaviour is eliminated and the kind of antisocial behaviour that many children have to adopt at school in order to be ‘accepted’ never develops. Children also do not need to develop an ‘anti-parent’ attitude because of peer group pressure or because teaching in the classroom contradicts values taught at home. Perhaps the most important aspect of Christian education is the elimination of false readjustment of loyalties from the parent to a teacher who does not share the parents’ Christian view of life.
ADVANTAGES OF USING A.C.E.’S PROGRAMME OF LEARNING
It is academically sound!
Each child has unique experiences, capabilities, interests and current needs. The A.C.E. programme employed at Grásta Christian School is designed to facilitate learning through self-instructional materials enabling a pupil with varied abilities to advance academically in all subjects, they will then realise their highest potential.
People thrive on achievement. It is a vital, motivating factor. You can teach facts and give information but learning involves a desire for knowledge. The programme rewards success in academic achievement. No able pupil is held back and no pupil needing more time is compelled to keep up with children of his/her own age. Both can succeed!
Research in the USA measured the records of five thousand children who entered schools using A.C.E. curriculum directly from state schools. After one year, results indicated that they had achieved more than a year’s expected development. In the UK, recent studies using standardised tests have confirmed the USA research. Use of similar tests in Grásta Christian School also backup these findings.
Professional guidance provides control and inspiration. Use of computer drills develops self-confidence, visual acuity, perceptual motor coordination and speed.
Goal Charts combine to build both self-discipline and success-consciousness.
Class rules and earned privileges combine to minimise problems and promote respect for authority. The teacher as a counsellor, supervisor and friend is present to stimulate cooperation, to inspire and motivate maximum learning and to encourage respect for leadership.
It is Christian!
Education is “Life” and the Bible is the Book of Life providing the framework to all human relationships and principles of teaching. It is the basis of our curriculum. The curriculum used at Grásta Christian School presents a learning and social profile that is totally Christian. Humanism and the “new morality” along with such “situation ethics” are refuted and replaced with the absolute standards of right and wrong based upon scriptural principles.
Christian educators and classroom teachers with advanced degrees in education and wide classroom experience have produced the A.C.E. curriculum that Grásta Christian School uses. The principle of A.C.E. is that if a school is Christian based, the curriculum is Christian based. The materials are in harmony with the Bible. Christian teachers using the curriculum with scriptural methods in a Christian school will product Christian results.
It is success oriented!
Learning, not failure
Children do not come to school as failures. They may go home as “failures”. If a child is placed in an academic situation beyond his or her capability, there is a real danger of becoming failure oriented, leading to frustrations that prompt him or her to act irresponsibly. Discipline problems in the classroom and a high rate of absenteeism result from frustrations that lead to failure. Our system minimises academic failures and boredom by eliminating unhelpful competition and the limitations to progress that accompany grouping by age. Achievable objectives provide a breakthrough for the less capable and a challenge for the more able.
Real success is fulfilling God’s will and purpose for one’s life. Academic learning and a high sense of Christian values can be attained through Christian education. Grásta Christian School provides an academic training in a Christian atmosphere that enriches lives, builds character and self-discipline, and encourages full-time Christian living and service.
The A.C.E. curriculum that Grásta Christian School uses operates a system of Daily Goal Setting, whereby the Learning Centre students set their goal pages to be completed in each subject for that day. Therefore, only when students do not get all of their goals completed do they take homework with them after school hours. This homework is the remainder of the goals the student has not completed. Junior Infants and Senior Infants will never have homework. Our students have worked so hard and diligently during the school day that we believe that their evening should be free for them to enjoy being children and enjoy their families. So, the promise of “no homework” is a great motivational tool for the students to achieve their goals. Parents are asked to sign their child’s homework journal each day to show that they are aware of their child’s homework assignments. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the homework.
Discipline plays an important part in the school life of any child, and it is the condition of admission that parents guarantee to support the staff in enforcing school rules and procedures. Absence, except for illness, is not permitted without previous permission from the principal in response to a written application.
A child’s attitude, conversation and behaviour are to be in harmony with the high standards of Christian conduct that are expected of children at Grásta Christian School. Rules and policies of the school will reflect Christian standards in courtesy, respect, kindness, morality, honesty, dress and general demeanour. Consistency in Christ-honouring behaviour and attitude is seen as basic in the child’s walk before the Lord in all realms of activity – home, church and community.
MERIT AND DEMERIT SYSTEM
When a person assumes greater responsibility in life he or she earns greater privileges. This principle is taught through the A.C.E. graduated incentive system employed at Grásta Christian School. Rewarding achievement is a sound principle and encourages children to press on for greater achievement. Privileges are awarded according to a scale of industry and good behaviour.
From time to time children need discipline. By nature every child rebels against parental and school controls that suppress their passions and self-will. Unchecked by discipline, these desires lead to a life of “pleasurable” behaviour, but not productive achievement. The system of demerits, leading to detention, helps the staff to control and train each child.
No form of bullying, be it verbal or physical, will be tolerated in Grásta Christian School. Pupils and parents are encouraged to discuss any concerns they may have about bullying with us. Our supervisors and staff carefully monitor what happens both inside and outside of the classroom and endeavour to deal with all situations as quickly and effectively as possible.
Grásta Christian School takes as given parental permission to publish photographs of the students in the press, internet or promotional literature. The school employs an ‘opt out’ policy for parents who prefer not to have their child/ren’s photos put on the school website, Facebook page or used in promotional material. A note from a parent to this effect is required. Parents signing the ‘Policy Agreement Form’ upon application are agreeing to this and all other policies of the school, which are available on our website or upon request.
We appreciate parents’ support in keeping student absences to a minimum. The law requires that all pupils should attend on each school day unless they are ill. Absences of 20 days or more in any given school year are reported to Tusle on the annual return. Parents should forward a note to the school following any absences through illness etc. and again a note is required if children have to leave school early for appointments.
We in Grásta Christian School value greatly the support of our parents and aim to continue the strong tradition of home and school partnership for the benefit of our pupils. All parents are automatically members of the Parents’ Council who are represented by an executive committee that meets once per month with the principal. Work undertaken by the parents’ council executive committee includes fundraising, communication, promotion of the school and support of the school staff and policies.
The Parent Orientation meeting is held prior to the start of each school year. It is a requirement that all new parents attend. No children should be present – parents only. The purpose of the group orientation is to communicate general operating procedures and policies to parents.
There are several Parent-Staff Fellowship/meetings each year designed to inform parents and build relationships between the home and school. The parent/teacher meetings are held at the end of the first and third terms to discuss the students’ progress, and are for parents only and children are not permitted.
We ask all parents to attend the fellowship eveningings such as the school play, as it is an encouragement to the students who have worked so hard to play their particular part.
All students are required to attend our end-of-year School Awards Night and parents must accompany them. The students work all year long towards the awards that are presented on this evening, and to not attend removes one of the biggest motivations in the school. Our Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class students each receive a graduation certificate. Our Learning Centre (Primary and Secondary) Pupils then receive awards for achievements during the academic year. Any students graduating from Grásta Christian School will then partake in a Graduation Ceremony. It is a very enjoyable night for students, parents and staff alike, and a great encouragement to all who are involved in the vision of Christian Education.
Recognising the conflicts that exist between current Junior and Leaving Certificate syllabi and the stated Christian aims of GCS, senior students are prepared for university and college entry through the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE). Each pupil is offered a choice from the following levels of achievement:
This course is only for pupils with special educational needs. It covers the basic curriculum including English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Information Technology and Bible Study. It is a record of all the work achieved by the pupil.
The Foundation Certificate is designed to meet the needs of lower attaining pupils. It is also suitable for pupils joining the A.C.E. programme late in their educational career, who do not have the time to complete the full ICCE General certificate.
The general certificate was originally designed for those who expect to leave school at 16. It should be noted that the ICCE programme is based on the completion of the course, not the age of the pupil. UK NARIC conducted 2 examinations of the syllabus comparing it to the Cambridge board external examinations ordinary level and concluded that it was equivalent. It equates to the Irish junior certificate and can be used as a progression to the advanced certificate, FETAC or similar courses.
The Advanced Certificate is intended for those who wish to go into higher education or study professional courses at Christian or secular colleges and universities. UK NARIC’s examination of the ICCE advanced certificate concluded that it was equivalent to the Cambridge board external examinations Advanced level. It is equates to the Irish Leaving Certificate, and is listed in the CAO handbook for university and college entry in Ireland.
Advanced Plus Certificate
The Advanced Plus Certificate is for early finishers and very able students. It requires Grade A at ICCE Advanced Level and consists of five further credits and two papers. Students intending to take medicine or other highly competitive disciplines are advised to aim for this certificate.
Certificates are awarded on successful completion of the course of work, which is modular and based both on continuous assessment and examination.
A complete, clean and tidy uniform must be worn every day unless a “free dress” day is given. A written note of explanation must be given by a parent for missing items of uniform. All items of uniform must be labelled. Students are responsible for their uniform and retrieval of lost items of uniform will be the responsibility of the student.
Boy’s hair must be kept short and tidy throughout the school year. Girl’s hair must be tied back or clipped back throughout the school year.
Make-up, nail varnish, and fashion jewellery are not permitted. Boys are not permitted to wear piercings. Girls are permitted to wear one pair of non-coloured stud/small sleeper style earrings (silver or gold). Anyone found to be wearing makeup or nail varnish will be instructed to remove it before being permitted to enter class. Jewellery/piercings that are unacceptable will be removed until dismissal that school day.
Boys at primary level:
- Navy trousers
- Navy school jumper
- White shirt (short sleeves)
- School tie
- Navy socks
- Black shoes (not runners)
Boys at secondary level:
- Navy trousers
- Navy school jumper
- White shirt
- School tie
- Navy socks
- Black shoes (not runners)
- Optional school blazer
Girls at primary level:
- Navy skirt (below knee length) or navy trousers
- Navy school crested jumper
- White shirt (short sleeves)
- School tie
- Navy socks
- Black shoes (not runners)
Girls at secondary level:
- Check skirt (calf length) or navy trousers
- Navy school crested jumper
- White shirt
- School tie
- Navy socks
- Black shoes (not runners)
All boys and girls P.E. Uniform from First Class through Senior High:
- Red polo shirt
- Plain navy tracksuit bottoms (no logos, designs or stripes)
- School navy crested P.E. Jumper
- Sports runners (no fashion runners such as Vans, wheelies etc.)
- Summer dresses may be worn for the month of September and for the last school term only
- Summer dress may NOT be worn on the first day back to school
- They must be worn with white (not navy) ankle socks
- They must be worn with black shoes
A range of navy waterproof, fleece-lined outer coats with school crest is also available. For a limited time ties are available from the school. All other items are available from:
R K Tohani
13 Yorke Street
A detailed breakdown of school fees is published each year. Fees may be paid by the following methods:
- One lump sum to be paid at the commencement of school year.
- Termly in advance:
- Christmas Term to be paid 1st August
- Easter Term to be paid 3rd January
- Summer Term to be paid 1st may
- Monthly by standing order paid over 12 months with the first month being debited from account on 1st August.
Payments made by any other method will be subject to a handling fee.
For those paying by standing order, fees are paid from August to July. For the enrolment of new students, a non-refundable deposit of €200 is paid at admission and is deducted from the last payment of school fees when the child is withdrawn or graduates from the school.
One month’s notice in writing is required of intention to withdraw a child from the school. Failure to give adequate notice will result in loss of deposit. This is in order to safeguard the financial well-being of the school, since payment must be sent with curriculum orders, and withdrawing children without notice leaves the school out of pocket.
You will realise from the fee structure that we, like you, have to trust in the Lord’s provision. We are grateful to those who have given gifts, and invested time and resources to give a future to the school.
The Principal and staff of Grásta Christian School extend a very warm welcome to every prospective parent. Thank you for taking the time to read this prospectus. Please contact us if you require any further information.
Grásta Christian School
Revised Edition January 2019