Ardee Community School

Established 1974

Welcome To The Ardee Community School Website

Welcome To The Ardee Community School Website


General Information


History, Trusteeship and Management

Ardee Community School was established in 1974 as an amalgamation of the three existing Post Primary Schools in the town, St. Anne’s Secondary School for girls, De La Salle Boys’ Secondary School and Ardee Vocational School. The original school premises on the current site was built to cater for the amalgamation.


The school is under the trusteeship of the Archdioceses of Armagh and Louth Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB). The school is managed by a Board of Management, re-established every three years.  Its members are nominees of the trustees (six), parents (two) and teachers (two), and the principal who acts as Secretary to the Board.  The Board of Management is responsible for policymaking, finance, admissions, behaviour management, recruitment of staff and decisions on teaching and learning in the school.


Senior Management, Middle Management and Staff within the School

The Senior management team is made up of Ms. Mary Jackson, Principal, Ms Pauline Duffy, Mr Liam Reilly, and Ms Marcella Greenan Deputy Principals. They are supported by a middle management team including, year heads and coordinators of various other roles within the school. The school currently has teaching staff (over eighty), special needs assistants, clerical staff, caretakers, and housekeeping staff.


Ethos of Ardee Community School

The school is a co-educational, multi denominational one which caters for students of all abilities under the characteristic spirit (included in the admissions policy) determined by our Trustees. There are currently over 1,100 students enrolled in the school.


Teaching and Learning

Our aim in Ardee Community School is to maximise the potential of each student according to their ability. Learning and Teaching is at the core of what we do. The school aims to create an environment where students are happy, settled, well supported and organised as research has proven that if the school environment is right the achievements of students are enhanced.



Student Achievements

We are very proud of the achievements of our students in state examinations. Over the past couple of years a number of our students have been recognised and commended by the Department of Education and Skills and their receiving Universities for their excellence in exams. As a result, our students have received invitations to participate in both the maths and science olympiads and in international maths competitions. A number of the universities including Trinity, UCD Maynooth and DCU have honoured our past students for their excellent achievements in the Leaving Certificate. This year, our Leaving Certificate graduates are pursuing degrees in a wide variety of fields including medical, science, arts, agricultural science, engineering, education, performing arts and business, while many others have gone on to pursue apprenticeship and training schemes. Past students have been honoured with prestigious awards for their achievements in their third level studies and have also received entrepreneur and skills prizes. Each year a small number of our students are awarded with college scholarships for their academic achievements in the Leaving Certificate.


Education Programmes and Curriculum


As well as the Junior Cycle (previously called the Junior Certificate) and Leaving Certificate, we offer a very comprehensive set of programmes which complement, enhance and replace the conventional exam-based programmes. These include The JCSP (Junior Certificate Schools Programme) and the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) Programmes as well as the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP, Enterprise and Preparation for the World of Work) and the non-compulsory Transition Year


Junior Cycle

This is a three-year programme and now incorporates a range of subjects which will be examined under the new Junior Certificate Award (JCA).

First Year Curriculum:


Subject Options








Home Economics

Religious Education,

Graphics (Technical Graphics)

Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE),

Engineering (Metalwork)

Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE),

Wood Technology (Woodwork)

Physical Education.

Visual Art (Art, Craft and Design)


Applied Technology (Technology)



Business Studies


Students choose three options in total, from two different groupings. These two groupings include either French or German and two of the other option subjects listed above.

*Students may be exempt from Irish in specific circumstances.

** Most students study at least one language in first year unless there is a specific reason not to do so.

We will guarantee students at least their first option besides a language.

Prior to 2nd Year, students re-choose their subjects for Junior Cycle, and the optional subjects now include Geography, Business Studies, French/German. Students choose four options for the remaining two years of Junior Cycle. Students may only choose subjects they studied in First Year.


Second and Third Year Curriculum


Subject Options








Home Economics

Religious Education

Graphics (Technical Graphics)

Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE),

Engineering (Metalwork)

Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE),

Wood Technology (Woodwork)

Physical Education.

Visual Art (Art, Craft and Design)


Business Studies


Applied Technology (Technology)




The New Programme iat Junior Cycle:

From September 2019 on, all first year students pursue the revised programme for the Junior Cycle (JCP) in all subjects. In a departure from the traditional Junior Certificate, students participate in a number of Classroom Based Assessments (CBA’s) in all subjects. Achievements in individual subjects will be awarded using a new grading system. Wellbeing will form an integral part of the programme for the three years. Students will be awarded a Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement(JCPA) after 3rd year. Under this new Junior Cycle Programme students who have difficulties attaining the standards for the conventional  Junior Cycle programme may take some subjects at L1LP and L2LP learning programmes.


Enhanced Programmes for Junior Cycle


Resource & Learning Support

Students can be withdrawn from Irish (if they have an exemption) for additional numeracy and literacy support and if necessary, from one subject option-line. This is based on the needs of the individual student as determined by a psychological report (if any), reports from the primary school and discussion with Parents/Guardians.


The Junior Certificate Schools Programmes (J.C.S.P)

Cohorts of approximately 24 to 30 students are chosen each year to follow a special programme in addition to the conventional Junior Cycle subjects.  It involves withdrawal from one option line or support during Irish for those exempt from Irish.  Students work on several projects/initiatives throughout 2nd and 3rd Year.  Students are set targets and get involved in several tasks both within school and outside. They are awarded a folder of certificates documenting their achievements during their Junior Cycle.  The aim of this programme is to improve numeracy and literacy skills for the students involved.


Transition Year:

The Transition Year programme has run in Ardee Community School since 2011.  It is an optional one-year programme. For the 2021/2022 school year, we have a very strong uptake with over one hundred and thirty students opting for the programme. We anticipate this demand to continue to grow into the future with an increasing number of students choosing Transition Year. We provide a planned comprehensive programme of subjects and modules for the Transition Year.


Senior Cycle:

At Senior Cycle we offer two parallel programmes, the conventional Leaving Certificate and the Leaving Certificate Applied.



(a)        Leaving Cert Applied – LCA

This is a recognised practical based programme aimed at those students who have difficulty accessing the depth of study needed for the conventional Leaving Certificate.Students participate in a series of structured tasks, projects, interviews, orals and final exams. Over 90% attendance is required by students on the programme. Students can use this qualification to access third level education through the Post Leaving Certificate Course (PLC) route. Students are required to undertake one day’s work experience per week over the two years is part of the programme.


(b)        Conventional Leaving Certificate

      We offer a very comprehensive range of subjects.  To date, most students get to study most if not all their chosen subjects.  Students choose four option subjects.               

       Compulsory Subjects

          Optional  Exam Subjects







     Religious Education

Agricultural Science

     Career Guidance

















Home Economics


Design and Communication Graphics (DCG), (Junior Cycle Graphics)


Engineering (Junior Cycle Engineering)


Construction (Junior Cycle Wood Technology )


Politics and Society


Physical Education (Exam Subject)


Computer Science (Exam Subject)


Enterprise Education (LCVP)**


Technology from September2022 (Junior Cycle Technology)


Applied Maths#



#Applied maths is currently offered after school hours two evenings a week.

Politics and Society, Leaving Certificate PE and Computer Science have been introduced as Leaving Certificate exam subjects in Ardee Community School, over the last few years.

Technology will be introduced at senior cycle in 2022 and will be examined in 2024.

Please note that the curriculum will be reviewed from time to time and changes may occur as a result of this review.


The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)**

This is an additional programme which runs in conjunction with the conventional Leaving Certificate. It focuses on Enterprise and Preparation for the World of Work. It provides an additional qualification/subject for those who meet the entry requirements.  Most of our students take this option and many count it, as one of their six subjects for entry into college. All colleges in Ireland now accept LCVP as a subject. The programme involves coursework (60%) including work experience, an extensive portfolio, a mini company, a recorded interview and a final exam (40%).


 Support Structure within the School


Year Heads

 All year groups have a Year Head. The Year Head is responsible for year group administration, assembly, attendance, pastoral care, liaison with home, communication with other teachers, supporting teaching and learning, promoting positive behaviour, good study habits and organisation and responding to unacceptable behaviour. 


Class Tutor:

Each class has a teacher tutor who takes a special interest in each student in their assigned class.  They are there to act a friend, guide, advisor, confidant and motivator to each student in that class group. The tutor meets their class group each morning, and the main focus is on wellbeing during tutor time.


Guidance & Counselling:

Students have the support of our Guidance Counsellors, and Ms Sinead Crossan, Ms. Ciara O’Meara, and Ms Paula Broe who work with the students throughout their school years.  They provide career guidance and individual support to students who may have personal or school issues.  This support is confidential unless it is of a child protection nature. Students are withdrawn from classes for one to one or small group meetings for career guidance and students get whole class support from first year.


 School Chaplain:

The chaplain, Mr Sean Moran plans for religious worship in the school (for those opt in for this) and provides opportunities for faith development and participation in social justice activities. The chaplain is available in a counselling role to any student in the school who may need a ‘listening ear’ or a ‘helping hand’ from time to time.


School Completion Programme:

This is a national programme which aims to prevent early school leaving by encouraging and supporting students to stay in school.  We in Ardee Community School are fortunate enough to have a co-ordinator, Ms Andrea Duffy and Ms Sinead McCourt project worker based in the school.  They provide invaluable support and encouragement to our students, especially to those who have difficulty accessing school.


Special Education Needs:

We have a team of dedicated teachers and a SEN coordinator who work in learning support and resource to help students who may have difficulty accessing the curriculum due to learning needs.  Students are withdrawn from Irish if they have an exemption for same (see below) or from one of the subject option lines.  Every effort is made to allow students with specific learning difficulties to fully access the curriculum.  If you feel that your son/daughter will need some support from the Special Needs team, please feel free to make an appointment to discuss same.


Rang Connolly and Ferdia:

These classes were established in 2006 to cater for students with Autism.  We currently have students in the two classes who also access classes within the school according to their needs and abilities. They form a very welcome part of our school community.


Student Mentors:

A group of students from transition year and fifth year are chosen and trained every year to act as mentors to first year students.  They work with small groups of first year students to help them settle in school. They alert the Year Head if they believe there are any issues or problems that need rectifying.  Both mentors and first years find that this is a very meaningful and useful initiative which can be mutually beneficial.




Over twenty of the 6th Year students in the school are chosen to act as prefects.  They play a role in administration and at official school functions.  From this group a Head Boy and Head Girl are selected each year.


Student Council:

The election of students from each year group to represent their year on the student council takes place in December each year. The group meet once a month.  They highlight issues which affect students, suggest improvements which will enhance their lives in the school, promote learning and teaching, get involved in school policy making and organise some fundraising within the school.


Home School Liaison Officer:

We are in the fortunate position to have a full-time home school liaison officer, Ms Patricia Murray. Patricia acts as a support to you as Parents/Guardians. She supports families whose students may be having difficulty attending school or with any other aspect of school life.  She runs some short courses for parents/guardians as well as organising talks and information nights.


Parents’ Association

We have a Parents’ Association who support the work carried out by the school.  They hold regular meetings, fundraise for projects within the school, support policy making and help when required by the school.  The Annual General Meeting is held in September/October each year. Over the past number of years, they bought two temporary classrooms for school use and have paid for the cost of new furnishings and floorcoverings for classrooms.


Additional information


We request that the information below is not discussed with us or that reports are not handed over until after a formal offer of a place is made after 12th November 2021.


Psychological Reports:

If your child has been psychologically assessed in Primary School or privately, it is important that you share this information with us. Also, if your son/daughter has learning support in primary school, please make an appointment through the school office talk to the Principal and bring along a copy of any report(s) with you.  It is in your son’s/daughter’s best interests to ensure that the school has a copy of any report (including speech and language, occupational therapy or any other report) relevant to your child’s education and that support is put in place for them should they require it. Under recent legislation, it is no longer required to have a student assessed by a psychologist to access resources, specified testing can be carried out by Ardee Community School to determine the needs of the student. This testing is used for accessing Irish exemptions, Reasonable Accommodations in State Exams and Access to College.


 Exemption from Irish:

If your son/daughter has an exemption from Irish for any reason, it will carry through from Primary to Post Primary school.  This was only granted in the past based on a written recommendation from a psychologist in a psychological report. A new system has been introduced which does not require a recommendation of a psychologist but involves testing in Post Primary School.Students who enter the Irish Education System after the age of twelve (in the past it was eleven) are also exempt from Irish. It is important that you let us know if your child has an Irish exemption.


Entrance Tests:

In the past, our incoming 1st Years sat entrance tests on a Saturday in the spring term while still in 6th class.

 These are standardised tests which assess literacy and numeracy levels as well as other areas of competency. They give us more information about the strengths and needs of incoming students and are not used to stream students into classes or label them in any way.  The results are used to put in place any help individual students may need and to track their progress through Ardee Community School. Repeat testing is undertaken throughout Junior Cycle. Due to the pandemic, we have not been able to run these tests as we would in normal circumstances. This year, we will run these tests for students around Halloween. We will review for our incoming 6th class.


Assignment to Classes:

First year classes are strictly mixed ability and are not streamed or set according to ability.  Each base class is assigned a name and students remain in this base class for most of their time in Ardee Community School. We try to place students with at least one friend from Primary School.


Communication with Parents/Guardians

Every effort is made to communicate regularly with Parents/Guardians.  School reports are sent out twice yearly.  Any necessary written communication is sent out with the reports and at any other time deemed necessary during the school year.  Parents/Guardians are free to make an appointment to discuss issues at any time.  Parent-teacher meetings are held yearly for each year group (these have not happened over the last two years due to the pandemic).  Our school website is updated on a regular basis and can be viewed at The school has an APP and texting service to alert Parents/Guardians to important events and allow for communication between home and school.


School Calendar:

This is issued in June every year.  Every effort is made to adhere to the dates on the calendar throughout the year and changes are notified to Parents/Guardians at the earliest possible convenience.


Student Book Scheme:

We currently have a book rental scheme where all students rent their books from the school.  This was introduced to keep school costs to a minimum.  All books are covered labelled, assigned to individual students and students are expected to keep them in good condition.  Poetry books, novels, plays and workbooks etc. are not rented to students as the curriculum changes each year. They are purchased by the school and charged through school costs.  The rental charges for first years this year, was €80.



Other School Costs:

These costs are kept to a minimum and include purchase of the school journal (€10, 2021) Photocopying material fee (€30 per individual and €40 per family, 2021). Personal Insurance (€9 for 24-hour cover/school cover, 2021). Charge for materials in practical subjects (€10 per subject). We also purchase novels, plays, exam papers etc in bulk and pass on savings to the students.


 School Uniform:

We have a strict uniform policy and expect our students to wear it properly and with pride. A number of years ago we conducted a uniform survey among parents/guardians and the overwhelming consensus was to retain our uniform in its current format. Uniforms are available to purchase from businesses in Ardee.  The school jacket is compulsory and is available from retailers in the town. The school has a PE uniform which must be worn on PE day. Last year an optional uniform hoodie was added to the to provide warmth due to increased ventilation. A full list of uniform requirements will be sent out to families in June.


Student Journals:

Our student journal is an important means of communication between school and home.  It also serves as a record of homework and classwork and is also used to record absences, appointments etc. All students must have their journal with them every day.


School Opening Times:

Due to the need to restrict and minimise movement within the school because of COVID 19, our timetable was revised and reviewed prior to the return to school in Autumn 2020.

The current timetable is as follows:

On Monday to Thursday inclusive, there will be six 58-minute class periods each day with a 12-minute tutorial between the first period and the second period.  School will start at 8.55 and end at 15.40. 

On Friday, there will be four 58-minute classes.  School will start 10 minutes earlier at 8.45 and will conclude at 1pm. Buses will be ready to depart the school at the conclusion of all five days. 


We will be reviewing this timetable at the end of the current school year.





Lunchtime Arrangements:

Currently, all students are expected to remain on the school premises throughout the school day.  Currently, the school is operating staggered break times and lunchtimes in line with COVID-19 guidelines.



Our canteen facility is leased out and provides food for purchase by students in the morning, at breaktime and at lunchtime.  Students are also encouraged to bring their own packed lunch. First Year students are permitted to finish class 2 – 3 minutes early before breaktime and lunchtime to allow them to access the canteen before the other year groups. They are also allowed out before school finishes (2 – 3 minutes).


In normal times we provide an After-School Study and Homework club, we are currently reviewing this and hope to resume with both shortly.


Extra-Curricular and Co-Curricular

In non COVID times we offer a comprehensive range of extra-curricular activities including sporting, music, computers, social justice and environmental issues. We also offered a range of cocurricular activities to support student learning such as trips to the theatre, field trips and educational tours. The resumption of these activities will be reviewed into the future and will depend on COVID guidelines.


The School Building and Environment:

Every effort is made to improve and develop the physical environment and facilities of the school.  The schools Board of Management is committed to the ongoing improvement and enhancement of the school facilities. We are fortunate to have a sports pitch and large extension completed over the last number of years. We are current at design stage for the development of an additional 26 classroom extension to the school.


School Policy Making:

We have in place policies which enhance teaching and learning within the school and endeavour to make the school a safe and friendly environment for all who attend. Policies are drawn up following a consultative process with staff, parents/guardians, and students.  Policies including Admissions, Code of Positive Behaviour, Antibullying, Subject Policies etc.. When a parent/guardian enrols their son /daughter in Ardee Community School they are signing up to all our policies including the Code of Positive Behaviour in full.


School Transport:

If students live more than 4.5km from the school, they are entitled to avail of special transport to and from school.  The regulations have changed and transport is now only provided to the school nearest the family home.  It is important to contact Bus Eireann at 042 9355061 if you have any queries about school transport. Transport applications are made directly to Bus Eireann online (the closing date is late April of each year) and communication such as payment arrangements also happens via e mail. Invoices (by email only) are issued for payment in late July. Bus Eireann are responsible for safety on buses.  Any issues on the buses are the responsibility of the assigned bus inspector.  It is very important that if you are availing of school transport, that you apply on time. The current cost of school transport (this year) is €325 per student or €650 per family. Students or families with medical cards are exempt from these costs.


We hope that you find the above information useful. It is by no means exhaustive, but parents/guardians should contact us through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. should you have any queries or wish to discuss any issues you may have.