Holy Child School at Rosemont: Teaching the Whole Child
“No one is trying to change the uniqueness of a child. We allow them to develop to their best.”
Holy Child School at Rosemont was established in 1949 upon the understanding that happy children learn better. Far ahead of her time, progressive educator and founder Cornelia Connelly drew upon her experiences as a mother, then as a nun and teacher, recognizing that “effective teaching can best occur in a home-like atmosphere of love, beauty, and respect for the needs of the whole child.”
Today, Cornelia Connelly’s vision holds fast at Holy Child, where academic excellence combines with reverence and respect for every child, and for childhood itself. Holy Child’s student body is intentionally comprised of preschool through middle school grades only, allowing children to “stay younger longer.” Without the direct influence of high school in their academic community, Holy Child students are freed from the pressure to accelerate growth and maturity before their natural development.
With the goal of nurturing each child individually, and school community as a whole, interactive activities including all grades are found throughout the curriculum. Even during recess, all students participate at once and play together, fostering a sibling sensibility between older and younger students and resulting in an uncommonly close community and family environment. Older students develop leadership skills as role models for their younger peers, while younger students gain confidence through interacting with upper grades.
Cornelia Connelly’s belief in the practice of self-expression is built into the class structure at Holy Child. Differences are embraced, celebrated, and encouraged, allowing students to be confidently themselves. Small class size allows students to be well-known by peers and teachers.
“You are allowed to develop into who you are here,” states Judy Cassidy, Holy Child teacher for more than 40 years and Class of ’59 alumna. “No one is trying to change the uniqueness of a child. We allow them to develop to their best.”
Holy Child’s rigorous academic program includes the study of world languages, music, the arts, educational field trips, and mastery of up-to-date technology, with a new STEAM lab in the Lower School and MAD (Media, Arts, Design) Lab in the Middle School. When it comes to technology, students are taught appropriate usage, though the focus is on strong communication skills and being “responsible digital citizens.”
Community service comprises another key element in Holy Child’s programming. From age three, every class participates in community service projects, and each middle school grade has its own class-elected charity. With over 40 service events throughout the year, serving others within a larger worldview is woven into the fabric of day-to-day life.
Athletics and the arts are not left out of Holy Child’s well-rounded curriculum, and no student with a wish to participate is left out of athletics or the arts. With a “no-cut” policy, any child who auditions for a role or tries out for a team will be placed. Students are encouraged to go out of their comfort zones and try something new, and even to fail. Holy Child students have voiced to teachers and coaches that they feel supported in failure, observing that it is a necessary, valuable step for growth.
Holy Child graduates bring the founder’s mission with them as they confidently take their places as caring, thriving members of the world community.
“Holy Child provides a loving, nurturing environment,” said Maria Schreder, mother of three graduated sons and a daughter in fifth grade. “Holy Child develops students who are empathetic, confident individuals prepared to succeed in high school, college and beyond.”
MARCH 24, 2020 UPDATE:
Although the Holy Child School at Rosemont Admissions Team is not on campus, they are hard at work and excited to show you a virtual tour. Contact them today!
This story by Karen Barbuscia supports the Main Line Parent Community. Photography courtesy of Holy Child School at Rosemont.