Holy Child Killiney first opened it's doors in 1947. We celebrated 70 years in 2017 and to mark this occasion we held an Evening Celebration in the RDS in December 2017.
It was September in 1947 that the one-time County Hotel opened its doors for the first time as Holy Child School, Killiney. With just 34 students, the school was established under the aegis of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ), an order of Catholic nuns founded by Mother Cornelia Connelly, whose radical views on education had raised many 19th century eyebrows. Dismissing the value of learning by rote, Cornelia Connelly believed that "children learn best when taught with reverence and respect, and when they are actively engaged in their education".
She was a remarkable woman of her time. Born in Philadelphia in 1809, she was a convert to Catholicism who was both a wife and a mother before she devoted her life to God's work. Despite personal tragedy and adversity during her life, Cornelia Connelly remained an independent, courageous and creative woman. She believed that for education to be effective, it must respond to the "wants of the age", fully preparing students to embrace and navigate all aspects of the world, in which she expected them to play a full and meaningful part.
Academic excellence, combined with a strong sense of moral and social responsibility, were the basic tenets of her philosophy. She believed they were best achieved through "compassion, imaginative teaching, a knowledge and appreciation of the arts, combined with lots of outdoor activities".
From its relatively small beginnings, 65 years ago, Holy Child Killiney grew rapidly, both in student numbers and in reputation.
In 1950, as the school went from strength to strength, a new wing was added to accommodate further classrooms, the library and the school hall. In 1962, the addition of the school chapel, with its innovative wall of stained glass windows, represented another important milestone in the development of HCK.
Since then, regular additions and improvements have continued to expand and enhance the facilities offered by the school including an all-weather sports pitch and most recently a new Sports Hall. Further development will take place as part of our Master Plan which will ensure that we continue at all times to respond to "the wants of the age" (CC).
While continuing to firmly adhere to the principles of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, the day-to-day management of the school is the responsibility of the Board of Management which was appointed in 1989. The school's first lay principal, Mrs. Vera Collins, was appointed in 1996, followed by Mrs. Gerardine Hackett in 2007 and the current Principal, Mrs. Caroline O'Brien replacing her in 2017. The Trusteeship of the school was formally handed over by the Order to an Independent Trust from 2008 to 2013 and since September 2014 has become a member of the Le Chéile Schools Trust. Representatives of the Society continue to actively serve on the Board of Management and the spirit of Cornelia Connelly lives on strongly in the school and in our students.