The aim of the Athrú Programme is to equip senior students with the necessary skills to identify and respond to the needs of 1st Year students. The Athru group act as role models/mentors to 1st year students also act as mediators between staff and students. The rationale behind the programme is to foster a caring attitude in senior students towards junior students in the hope that our school will be a friendlier safer place for all students.
This Youth Leadership Programme was introduced into Scoil Mhuire by Siobhan Byrne on a voluntary basis in 2002 and is funded by the Parents’ Council. The programme is modelled on a similar programme which operates within the Kildare and Leighlin Diocese and is co-ordinated by Robert Norton
All interested students are interviewed by an external interviewer and ten students are chosen each year to form a working group. Successful candidates then complete an intensive three day training programme held in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. Students learn how to work as a team, how to conduct meetings and plan events for 1st Year pupils.
One of the biggest challenges for any Athrú group is to help 1st Year students make a smooth transition from primary school to secondary school. The Athrú group works with students on the first day organising a tour of the school, ice-breakers, games and generally making students feel safe and secure within a new school environment. Throughout the academic year the Athrú group meet on a weekly basis to respond to the needs of first year students under the guidance of a staff member. Some of the previous events organised include:
- Induction of New Students;
- Helping to monitor and report incidents of bullying;
- Lunchtime Games Room;
- Lunchtime Video Club;
- Trips to the Cinema/Theatre;
- Theme Parties;
- Talent Shows;
- Meet with Form Class on a weekly basis