Presentation College Secondary School Headford
Presentation College, Headford is a voluntary Catholic secondary school which provides a comprehensive education for more than seven hundred boys and girls from Headford and the surrounding areas.
Its story begins on Friday, August 26th, 1942, in a disused army hut located behind the presbytery. The founders of the new school were the Presentation Sisters who had been involved in Primary education in Headford since 1906. In the beginning the new secondary school catered for girls only. In its opening year there were seventeen students in first year and twenty in second year. By 1946, the demand for more space necessitated the use of the Parochial Hall and the Convent dining room as classrooms.
The building of the new Post-Primary school at a cost of £12,000 in 1953 was a landmark. Forming part of the present structure, it consisted of six classrooms, a home economics room and a staff room.
The vision and courage of the decision in 1955 to become co-educational marked a new departure. The arrival of eighteen intrepid boys in that year was the very stuff of a truly 'mixed' school! Sr. Vianney guided this transition to co-education and the rapid increase in student numbers of the 'free education' era of the sixties and seventies. This expansion made it necessary to plan an extension to provide facilities for a wider curriculum and this was realised in 1978.
These facilities enabled the school to offer woodwork, metalwork, technical drawing, art, computers, music, typing and home economics, as well as the traditional academic subjects. Thus the school broke from the narrow academic tradition and became truly comprehensive, striving to cater for the needs of all.
In 1982, inspired by the Principal, Sr. Nuala Courtney, backed by the local community and with a loan from the Presentation Sisters, a modern Sports Centre was built consisting of gymnasium/stage, ball alleys, dressing rooms and shower facilities. This new facility enabled Headford pupils and local people to pursue a wide and exciting range of sports and to enter competitions at all levels.
The next phase in the school’s expansion was realised under the guidance of Sr. Bríd Brennan and Mr. John Boner. The late eighties / early nineties saw the construction of a new extension, including a Music Room, a Canteen, two extra Science laboratories, a language laboratory, Technical Drawing / Technology rooms, an extra Woodwork workshop, new classrooms, extended computer facilities and a careers library.
The 1990s saw the addition of a specialist area to the Gym building, consisting of rooms for engineering, technology, mechanics, electronics, carpentry and pottery. In 2004, a Resource Centre designed to meet students’ special educational needs was erected. It includes a kitchen, classroom, computer laboratory, office and meeting rooms. In the same year, a lift for disabled access was installed and improvements to school buildings and facilities are on-going.
The present school population is 713 students, 52 full-time teachers, a chaplain, 3 administrative staff, and 8 caretaking/maintenance and catering staff. The school is governed by a Board of Management consisting of parents, teachers and Trustee representative. There is also a Parents’ Council and a Students’ Council.
With its comprehensive range of subjects and programmes, excellent facilities and array of extra-curricular activities, Presentation College, Headford continues to grow and develop as a vibrant community, both contributing and responding to the changes in the demographic, social, cultural and economic life of the wider locality.