Inspiration can be defined as the ‘act or power of exercising and evaluating or stimulating influence upon the intellect or emotions’. The action of being inspired, in any form, results in a reaction from the recipient in a positive manner, ultimately guiding their path to achieving self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement. In life we are exposed to different people who can have an effect on us that inspires the way we think and act in a number of different situations.
When starting St Declan’s School for Boys in 2015, we set out to create a school which is focused on the moral teachings of Christianity, allowing boys who pass through our School to have guidance and direction that will ultimately stay with them for life. It is the focus and hope for all schools to provide good opportunities and good academic instruction to children in the hopes that they will one day become upstanding citizens in society. However, St Declan’s did not start with the vision of becoming just another good school. The purpose of creating a Christian Boys’ School is to provide opportunities for boys that they would not be exposed to in any normal academic institution. It is the mission of our School, to not only expose our boys to as much as possible academically, socially, culturally and physically, but to ensure long term success and love for everything that they do. Boys at St Declan’s are nurtured in a manner that teaches them a sense of responsibility, love for others, accountability and the ability to be an inspiration and a helping hand to others. St Declan’s has set out to ensure that all our boys have a positive self-image and sense of responsibility. We have managed to do this by employing an academic staff who continuously go over and above the normal expectations of any work place and treat each and every single boy as an individual with specific needs and abilities. The ability to inspire children to want to learn and want to perform, is directly linked to the people who they come into contact with. I can honestly say that each and every teacher at St Declan’s is truly inspirational towards each and every boy at our School, and the love and guidance that they give our boys on a daily basis will enable the long term success of boys passing through our school.
Looking back over the achievements of the past two years, I can confidently say that it is not only the staff of St Declan’s who are an inspiration, but more so the families and boys of St Declan’s who continuously ensure the success of our School. As Principal, I am very proud to be able to say that I have families and boys who love and care for their School and its surroundings, families who show support to their children in everything that they do, whether it is on the academic or extra-curricular side of things, families who believe in a system which provides boys with an opportunity to be the best they can each and every day and ensure that this has a life lasting effect on their journey through life. Every time St Declan’s boys attend and take part in any event, we can be sure everyone who comes into contact with our boys are left with a positive image of what it is to be part of St Declan’s School for Boys. Each and every boy who represents our School goes out of their way to display impeccable manners and show their love and commitment to their School. The sense of ownership displayed by our boys and their families is evident in everything that they do and is what will ensure the continued success of our School.
There is more to school than providing academics of a high standard. Schools should set out to make a difference in the lives of the learners who attend the school. When working with children the focus must always be on the children and their needs as individuals in order to ensure their holistic development and to instil in them a sense of self belief that will enable them to take on any challenge that life puts in front of them. It is an important part of school to embed a sense of confidence and self-worth in each and every child that they come into contact with ultimately guiding their path to success. I am honoured to say that every staff member, boy and family member that is part of St Declan’s has been part of creating a culture of success, and everlasting legacy that will continue to be passed on to future families, boys and staff members attending St Declan’s. I am
humbled by the fact that I come into contact with young boys everyday who are able to teach me what it means to live up to others expectations. I am pleased that I can confidently say that the boys, staff and families at St Declan’s are truly an inspiration in everything that they do. Leadership comes in many forms. If I was asked to give a definition of what it means to be a leader my answer would be defined in terms of the boys, families and staff that I see every day. I would not have to recite a paragraph from the dictionary to get a definition, I would simply have to point the person asking in the direction of anyone who is part of the St Declan’s family. Each member of St Declan’s is a walking, living example of what it means to be and inspirational leader who is self-confident, responsible, caring and determined to succeed in everything that they do.
Our school motto taken from Proverbs 3:6, “Acknowledge him in everything that you do and he will direct your path” was set up before meeting any of the St Declan’s families. It was adopted as our school motto in order to give our boys guidance through our Christian beliefs. It has not only become our School motto but a life ambition that comes through in each and every one of our boys. It has become the mission of each boy attending our school to ensure that not only their own paths are guided by the opportunities that they are exposed to, but rather a life motto that they live by and expose to each individual that they come into contact with. The passion, ownership and love for our School comes through in each and every St Declan’s boy. Our boys have not only been part of creating a school, our boys have created a home where everyone is welcome regardless of their strengths or weaknesses, a place of belonging where each individual boy can grow and become a man with direction, passion and commitment to everything that they do. When looking for inspiration to become successful, one does not need to look far, we can simply look at each person who is part of the St Declan’s family and know that your path to success is being guided.
Thank you to all families who have embarked on our journey to success and in guiding the paths of our boys as a committed family. The love, guidance and inspiration shown each and every day by all families has created not only a school but a place that boys can come to everyday knowing that they will be successful in everything that they do in life.