Each year group in Clongowes is looked after by a prefect or housemaster – an adult, who is responsible for the overall care of the boys in his year. The prefect acts ‘in loco parentis’ to the year group, ensuring that the maxim “cura personalis”, care of the individual, is a reality on a daily basis. The prefects live close to the dormitory while on duty so that there is always a reassuring adult presence. The prefect is usually the first port of call when parents wish to find out how their son is getting on or should any issue arise for the student.
Part of the responsibility of the prefect is to chair regular formal meetings of the Care Team. Members of the Care Team for a year group include the Academic Year Head, the school counsellor, the learning support teacher, the chaplain, and the school nurse. This helps everyone to have a better sense of each student’s needs and ensures that each boy has several adults to support him throughout his time at Clongowes.
The ‘Line’ system
Clongowes is organised horizontally into ‘Lines’, with two year groups in each line. Each year group is given a name, which has origins in classical Greek stages of education:
|Higher Line||Rhetoric||6th year|
|Lower Line||Syntax||4th year|
|Third Line||Rudiments||2nd year|
A team of three prefects looks after each Line. The overall prefecting team is headed by the Higher Line Prefect who has responsibility for the boys in fifth and sixth years (Poetry and Rhetoric). The Lower Line prefect has responsibility for boys in third and fourth years (Grammar and Syntax) and the Third Line prefect is responsible for boys in first and second years (Elements and Rudiments).
The prefecting team is involved in teaching, coaching and organising a variety of co-curricular activities, designed to allow each student to develop and grow to his potential. The Higher Line Prefect is Head of Boarding and is responsible for the co-curricular programme in the school.
The prefecting system ensures continuity of care both for year groups and individual students throughout their time at Clongowes.