What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
Castle Park School
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
Pre-school to 6th Class (6th Grade)
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Walk, bike, drive
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Excellent. A choice of 40 "hobbies" or extra curricular activities, taken both during and after school.
A private school. Originally a Presbyterian school, but all faiths are made to feel welcome and there is Communion class for Catholics. (Yes this matters in Ireland as every school teaches religion there).
The pre-school program is Montessori based and excellent. Starts at age 3.
We relocated our home to be closer to this school. There are only a few private "international" choices in Dublin. The others would be St. Andrews in Blackrock (Dublin), The German School in Clonskeagh (Dublin) and the International School in Ballsbridge (Dublin). Those are the ones that come to mind initially.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
The school is friendly to parents of the international community. Repatriation - no.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
Excellent. Has an PTA (Parent's Organization) which is unusual for Ireland -- in private or public school. International parent involvement (and local parents) is high and makes it easy to meet other expats and locals who want to meet expats and to become part of a community. Active "welcome network". Coffee mornings, active parent involvement in school activities. No fundraisers like in the U.S., just social activities.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
Politeness and proper conduct are very important. Do not be a typical pushy American. We loved this school. They will seem distant at first (very Irish) but you will find that everyone will warm up to you over time if they find you are polite. The international parents will warm up to you much quicker, and so you can have friends who are both expat and local parents (and children) over time. The other parents accepted our sometimes strange seeming American ways, perhaps because they sensed we were truly friendly and well meaning.
By the way, excellent academics.
Uniforms -- yes -- all schools in Ireland have them.
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