Alexandra College
Alexandra College is a private, single-sex school located in Milltown, Dublin
Milltown, Dublin
Milltown , Dublin 6, Ireland, is a suburb on the southside of Dublin. The townland got its name well before the 18th or 19th century. Both Milltown and Clonskeagh were "Liberties" of Dublin, following the English invasion and colonisation in 1290....

, Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. It serves girls from ages 4 to 19 as boarding or day pupils. The school is one of the most prestigious in Ireland and ranks highly in Leaving Certificate
Leaving Certificate
The Leaving Certificate Examinations , commonly referred to as the Leaving Cert is the final examination in the Irish secondary school system. It takes a minimum of two years preparation, but an optional Transition Year means that for those students it takes place three years after the Junior...

 results tables. It is also one of the most exclusive fee paying schools in all of Ireland.


The school takes its name from Princess Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

, the school's patron. The school colours, red and white, were adopted from the Danish flag in her honour. Alexandra College was founded by Anne Jellicoe, a Quaker educationist, in 1866 in the name of furthering women's education. Under Anne Jellicoe, the school grew from a small establishment focused on providing a governess-style education to Irish Protestant ladies into a pioneering force for women's rights and education, providing an education to women equivalent to that available in boys' schools, with a grounding in mathematics, history, classics and philosophy. As Alexandra settled into its role, Ann Jellico was convinced that a major obstacle to the liberal education of women was their exclusion from the university campus. She passionately believed that until women were admitted to Trinity College Dublin (founded in 1592), the voice of women would not commonly be heard in politics, literature or in academic debate.

The Royal University of Ireland Act (1879)
Royal University of Ireland
The Royal University of Ireland was founded in accordance with the University Education Act 1879 as an examining and degree-awarding university based on the model of the University of London. A Royal Charter was issued on April 27, 1880 and examinations were opened to candidates irrespective of...

 allowed females to take university degrees on the same basis as males. In fact, many religious schools, including convent schools (Dominican College, Eccles St, Dublin; Alexandra College, Dublin; Loreto College, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin; Methodist College, Belfast; High School for Girls, Derry; Rutland School, Mountjoy Square, Dublin; Dominican College, Sion Hill, Dublin; St Angela’s College, Cork; St Louis’s, Monaghan; Presentation College, Cork; Christian Brothers College, Cork; Rochelle College, Cork). These schools prepared students for the examinations (including degree examinations) of the Royal University.

Susan Parkes, co-author of Gladly Learn and Gladly Teach, a history of Alexandra College (1866-1966), is quoted as saying: "In the late 1800s, lecturers from Trinity College Dublin provided tuition for ladies on the Alexandra campus. And the first women to receive degrees in Ireland or Britain were Alex pupils — six of them successfully studied at Dublin's Royal University
University College Dublin
University College Dublin ) - formally known as University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin is the Republic of Ireland's largest, and Ireland's second largest, university, with over 1,300 faculty and 17,000 students...

 from 1891 and at Trinity College Dublin, once it opened its doors to women in 1903."

The school was originally situated in the historic Earlsfort Terrace, across from the National Concert Hall
National Concert Hall
The National Concert Hall is a concert hall located on Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin, Ireland, close to St. Stephen's Green, and is the principal national venue for classical music concerts in Ireland....

, but moved out to its sports grounds in the 1960s in order to accommodate more students. The original buildings were subsequently demolished and the site remained vacant for over two decades. The Conrad Hotel and office buildings were later erected on the site.

The patriot and leading figure in the Easter 1916 uprising Padraig Pearse was once employed as an Irish language teacher. The first ever international hockey
Field hockey
Field Hockey, or Hockey, is a team sport in which a team of players attempts to score goals by hitting, pushing or flicking a ball into an opposing team's goal using sticks...

 match was held on the Alexandra College hockey pitch. It was England vs Ireland, and Ireland won 1-0.


Alexandra College is under Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 management, and the Archbishop of Dublin
Archbishop of Dublin (Church of Ireland)
The Archbishop of Dublin is the title of the senior cleric who presides over the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough in the Church of Ireland...

 (who presides over the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough
Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough
The United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough is a diocese of the Church of Ireland in the east of Ireland. It is headed by the Archbishop of Dublin who is also styled the Primate of Ireland...

) currently acts as chairman of the school council. The students are addressed weekly by a female minister, and a school assembly is held daily at which Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 hymns are sung and which finish with the extended version of The Lord's Prayer.

Junior School

The attendance fees for the primary school are in fact higher than the secondary school due to the high number of teachers of specialised subjects for students with learning disabilities which are not subsidized by the government on the payroll. The kindergarten classes are obliged to wear a red tracksuit, which the older classes wear only for sports, wearing the brown uniform of the secondary school for normal classes.

Alexandra College today

A wide range of subjects is available to study. The school crest reflects this, featuring a cross with a book, a ball, a lyre and a palette in its corners. The school was greatly benefited in 2004 with the opening of the Milltown Luas
Luas , also promoted in the development stage as the Dublin Light Rail System, is a tram or light rail system serving Dublin, the first such system in the decades since the closure of the last of the Dublin tramways. In 2007, the system carried 28.4 million passengers, a growth of 10% since...

 stop at the back gate of the college.

One interesting thing to note about Alexandra College is that while 1st-3rd years wear the traditional brown uniform, 4th years wear a tracksuit which helps them do more activities as they are normally 'outdoor' based. 5th and 6th year students do not wear the school uniform; they must however wear clothes suitable for school; this apparently helps promote the girls' individuality. For one day in 6th year the girls put back on their brown uniforms, this is for the summer funday which has become a tradition in the school as fundays are 'non-uniform' days. This day is generally just before graduation.

Charity work of the girls

Undertaking charitable initiatives has always been a feature of school activities in Alexandra College. In the spring of 2005 a group of teachers decided to support the work of the Irish Nepalese Educational Trust, in trying to build a new primary school in Phuleli, a remote village in Nepal just 50 km south of Mount Everest
Mount Everest
Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point...

. At Easter 2006 a group of teachers from Alex travelled to Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 and visited Phuleli and were present at the foundation stone laying ceremony at the site of the new school. As one villager said: “We must educate our children: education is wealth.”

The prestigious Children of Ireland award was last year awarded by the president Mary McAleese
Mary McAleese
Mary Patricia McAleese served as the eighth President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011. She was the second female president and was first elected in 1997 succeeding Mary Robinson, making McAleese the world's first woman to succeed another as president. She was re-elected unopposed for a second term in...

 to five Alex students who went to work in Calcutta to work with the Hope foundation charity,

The school devotes up to five full days per school year to raising money for a range of charities decided by the student body. These 'Charity Fun Days' are entirely student-run and very successful, raising up to €4000 per day. These days are run by the Sixth Years and have themes to make them more fun for the students.

The Guild

From its earliest days Alexandra College has had a reputation for looking outward to the community and world at large. The Guild was founded in 1897, not only to form a bond of union between past and present students and staff, and to keep them in touch with the College, but also to promote a spirit of service to the community and to undertake social and philanthropic work. The Guild has several branches worldwide and is known as a force of Alexandra alumni. Facets of the Guild include the Alexandra College Golfing Society, the Old Alexandra Hockey Club, Alexandra Guild House and the Alexandra College Bursaries, which supports 25 ladies throughout the country and assists families in need around Dublin and elsewhere.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.