The annual conference of Heads’ and Deputies’ of Sacred Heart schools was held at Saint Catherine’s College, Armagh on March 13th and 14th 2014. The pupils of Saint Catherine’s and Mount Saint Catherine’s welcomed the delegates and Sister Nora Smyth, rscj opened the conference with a prayer and reflection.
The Heads and Deputies from the ten schools in the Network, with a support team from the Sacred Heart Schools Network office, spent the two days reviewing and sharing the programme of work in their schools on Sacred Heart ethos and specifically reviewing the impact of the Goal of the 2013/14 which was the Goal of Social Awareness.
The delegates also had the opportunity to plan for the academic year 2014/5 which focuses on the Goal of Character. The Goal of Character aims to affirm the uniqueness and worth of each individual member of the school community. It provides opportunity for self development, personal formation and self knowledge and encourages the sharing of gifts and talents.
Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart said.’ Your example, even more than your words will be an eloquent lesson to the world’.
Dr. Deirdre Raftery, Trustee of Mount Anville Sacred Heart Education Trust and Director of Research and PhD Studies, School of Education, University College Dublin presented the keynote address on the challenges facing our schools in the 21st century with specific emphasis on the role of social media.
Dr. Raftery, in her address ‘Passing the torch that was lit by Sophie’ emphasised the power of communications and the need to keep the founding spirit of Madeline Sophie alive despite the changes required by the times we are in.
The delegates had the opportunity to respond to the challenges and questions posed by Dr. Raftery, to examine some to the solutions and comment on the role modern technology and applications may play.