St. Oliver's Primary School

Empathy is a key pillar

Empathy is a key pillar in St Oliver's N.S. 

St Oliver's School in Killarney with 642 students and 87 staff is one of the largest schools in the DCU CSN. The school fosters student agency and leadership with councils and committees but also has a Children’s Research Advisory Group or CRAG. Their CRAG supports the work of the school, in particular when they were designing their new build.


Being a Changemaker is integral to the 640 students in St Oliver's N.S. 

The school has a strong focus on social justice supporting the Kenyan Education Project, hosting Intercultural week in conjunction with their Intercultural Committee. The diversity code of the school is 'All Different All Equal' and they teach the children to ‘Say No to Racism.’ The school even has a B3 canteen which is operated by KASI- Killarney Asylum Seekers Initiative. Employment is provided as well as nutrition to the students. The initiative was awarded the European Excellence in Inclusion Award in 2017.

The pillar of empathy is strong in the school with their initiatives such as Yellow Flag, Roots of Empathy, Friends for Life, Rainbows, Restorative Practice and Nurture Groups. The school even has a Therapy Dog, Juno trained by ‘My Canine Companion.’

Creativity is abundant throughout the school, not just in the arts. Evident in their ‘Scribbler’ magazine, their Blast (Brining Living Art to Students and Teachers) initiative and their Sciobh Leabhar project. The school also has a Forest School and even engaged in the Fighting Words workshop.

The leadership of students is of paramount importance, as the school not only has a Student Council and CRAG but also teacher’s entrepreneurship with the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. 

Collaborate leadership is abundant at St Oliver's with each mainstream teacher assigned a partner teacher and the school has 5 learning communities at different levels. Each of these communities work together, plan and address areas of pedagogy and practices pertinent to their particular level.

St. Oliver's in Killarney has been a DCU Changemaker School since 2014 and has paved the way in the identity development of their students and staff, but also has supported strong links between the DCU Changemaker Schools Network and their diverse community.