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Differences between American and Irish Schools by Ann Treacy
September 26, 2007, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Dublin

At home the girls go to Nativity Catholic School in St Paul, MN. At Nativity kids attend from kindergarten (age 5) to 8th grade. In Dublin, the girls go to Our Lady of Goof (Ooops) Good Counsel National Girls School in Johnstown, Dublin.

Here are the differences dictated to me by Lily & Kate.

In Ireland:
Go to school with only girls.
Study Irish (language).
About 25 kids per classroom – and 2 classrooms per class/grade.
No cafeteria (eat if your room)
Teacher assistants for students with special needs (Lily has a deaf girl in her class who get personal help)
Wear a kilt for uniform.
Everyone wears a uniform.
Teachers come into the classroom for different classes – you don’t go to their room.
No computer class
No music class – unless your teacher does it.
Gym is called PE or GAA.
No hot lunches.
Tables, not desks.
Homework everyday – except Fridays. Keep track in your homework journal.
Have to buy books individually.
Math is easier – learn a different way to add to 100.
Each classroom has 2 bathrooms (aka toilets)
Can’t bring treats on your birthday.
Don’t get to go out of uniform on your birthday.
Library is much smaller. (As small as the bathroom)
Only one water fountain in the whole school.
Bring your water bottle (or buy milk for the year)
Can’t have treats in your lunch – except Fridays.
No playground equipment.

In Minnesota:
Go to school with girls and boys.
About 22 kids per classroom and 4 classes per grade.
Many schools don’t wear uniforms (although Nativity does).
No speech and drama.
Can get hot lunches if you want.
Books are provided.

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Our Lady of Goof? Are you making this up?

Comment by Anonymous family member

It was a test – and you passed 🙂

Comment by Ann Treacy

So which school do you like best and why?

Comment by Denise

Lily liked Nativity. But Johnstown is better right now because they aren’t having any construction. (Nativity is going through major reconstruction this year.) She likes Johnstown as we get to know people better.

Kate likes Nativity better because there are more classes and more people. There’s a lunchroom – at Johnstown you eat in your classroom.

Comment by Ann Treacy

Hi Anne,

But … can you compare the quality of the schools ? I mean quality of curriculum, teachers, examinations, results … between USA and Ireland ?

Comment by Alejandro

Good question. This blog post was written collaboratively with my second and third grader so they were giving their view here. Your timing is good too – I have teacher-parent meetings later this week so I should be able to report more then but from what I’ve seen I’m generally happy with both. The girls tell me that math is easier in Dublin. (I just got some math textbooks from their school in the US, so we’ll see if there is a difference.)

In Dublin, they learn Irish and while Irish might not be my first choice for a second language, I love the idea of kids learning a language (and speaking it in class) this early. In Dublin, they don’t have a computer in the classroom – but when your mom builds web sites you can probably learn computers at home.

I’ll report more in the next week or so – after parent-teacher meetings.

Thanks for your question! Ann

Comment by Ann Treacy

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