At Home and Abroad

Stories and interviews from the Irish Diaspora

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In Loco Parentis - School Life


ong careers are drawing to a close for John and Amanda, who teach Latin, English, and guitar at a stately home-turned-school, where they are legends with a mantra: "Reading. 'Rithmetic. Rock 'n' roll!" But leaving is the hardest lesson.

Outside the village of Kells, in County Meath, Ireland, lies an unexpected utopia: the 200-year-old Headfort House, which is home to Headfort School, a thoroughly modern teaching institution. Here, a group of 80 children from around the world, between the ages of seven and thirteen, live, learn, make lifetime friends, and thrive under the care of 20 staff. During the day, they attend classes where teachers inspire debate and discussion. In the afternoons, they build forts in the forest that surrounds the school. And they find their passions in a wealth of extracurricular activities, from sports to music to drama. As a boarding school, Headfort operates with the “in loco parentis philosophy”: it’s the teachers’ full time job to not just teach but also care for all of the students’ emotional needs.



Filetype: MP3 - Size: 5.58MB - Duration: 24:23 m (32 kbps 22050 Hz)

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