Reflections on Arrupe

Reflections on Arrupe

Arrupe is one of those things about the College that everyone knows about, however no one quite knows the origin of the programme or what it involves. My Arrupe experience has certainly been one I will always remember and reflect on. My placement this past year was at a local nursey. It is the most amazing and heart-warming place where you can tell the staff truly care about the children in their care - I saw several similarities with the College. It’s fair to say that on my first week on placement I was very nervous. I doubted my skills and talents and I really didn’t think I would enjoy it- how I was wrong! Renfrew Street Nursery enrols all children however, the majority have limited English, behavioural issues or another unique characteristic. On my first week on placement I was met with some questions from staff such as: ‘Are you here to get out of PE?’ ‘Why does your school run this programme?’ ‘What is Arrupe?’ To be honest, when answering these questions- I really had to think about my answers.

My older sister Lucy was really involved in Arrupe and absolutely loved it, so I’ve known since I was in primary it was something I’ve always wanted to take part in.

St Aloysius’ College really is more than a school. Yes, we receive a top-class education however we are taught about the importance of service and giving back to our community which stands us in good stead for when we leave the College. Arrupe is the perfect example of us being ‘men and women for others’ - I think that’s what makes our school so special.

Arrupe has been a pivotal point in my time at the College, it’s given me so much confidence and joy knowing I helped those children even if it was only for a couple of hours a week. My placement has shown me so many things. It’s opened my eyes to the various different ways children learn, the difficulties children face and the unique and inspiring ways they overcome these challenges, however it has also shown me how God truly is present among us all constantly. I really took seeing the children develop in their skills each week as a sign from God that what I was doing was worthwhile, to keep going, seeing each child slowly start to recognise the Arrupe jumper and realise me and Tom were there to play with them gave me more joy than I can say. When I didn’t know what to do in a situation I felt His presence guiding me.

If I had one piece of advice for our new Arrupe pupils it would be to make time to write your weekly reflection - they are so important and come this time next year, you will be so proud when you look back on your year and see how much you have grown. I would like to thank the staff at Renfrew Street Nursery for having faith in me to help care for their children, their confidence in me helped me to stick in and come to love a Wednesday afternoon. I would also like to thank Mr McBride and Mrs McWilliams for giving me this opportunity, their continued support and motivation has enabled me to grow as a person and achieve things I never thought I could.

 - Emma G.


Joining the Arrupe programme was a notable high point of my sixth year, I had joined immediately after COVID meaning that me and my peers had no prior experience in any face-to-face environment with the programme. As a result, we were initially uncertain of what to expect from the experience, however I found it to be one of the most notable high points of my S6 experience.

I had the pleasure of collaborating with the staff and students in Campsie View and had an overwhelmingly positive experience as the staff made an incredible effort to assist me and make me feel included. 

Within my first few weeks at the placement, I had already started to feel like a member of the classroom and was forming a bond with each of the individual children. The children I worked with had all struggled with their communication skills with each of them being mostly non-verbal. This gave me the unique experience of finding ways to communicate with the children using non-verbal methods, this led to me developing my own skills such as beginning to learn sign language to communicate with one child.

The staff were always an amazing help and made sure to include me in all the classroom activities, while also treating me as an equal member of staff, showing their appreciation for the efforts of the volunteers. I had also developed a much closer friendship with the other volunteers located at my placement who had similarly positive experiences in other classrooms, with us frequently encountering each other while working across the school.

Overall, joining the Arrupe programme gave me a wonderful experience with the opportunity to form bonds with students, staff, and my fellow volunteers. It also helped me to develop my own communication skills and allowed me to find individual methods to work with each of the students. It is amazing how quickly you begin to feel like a member of the community within your placement, I cannot recommend this opportunity enough to anyone considering taking Arrupe.

- Sean K.