Our Story so far

John Scottus Primary and Secondary schools were founded in 1986 by a number of parents who wished their own children to be educated in the light of the philosophical principles which they were meeting in their studies in the School of Philosophy and Economic Science. The schools are named after John Scottus Eriugena who was the foremost philosopher of Ireland’s Golden Age. His setting of the Christian teaching in the framework of Platonic thought was extremely bold and courageous for the times in which he lived.  Both the western Platonic philosophical tradition and eastern tradition of non-dualism have bought been instrumental in developing the ethos and practices of the John Scottus School.

The patron of the schools is the John Scottus Educational Trust. Similar schools exist in major cities around the world including London, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Johannesburg and Trinidad.

In 1999 the Primary School received recognition as a National School from the Department of Education and Science, while in 2000, the Secondary School received recognition as a Voluntary Secondary School. The Primary school is funded in part by the Department of Education and Science and through voluntary contributions. The secondary school is funded in part by the Department of Education and Science and through fees.

The Schools’ curriculum incorporates the standard primary and secondary school curriculum with a strong focus on Philosophy, Mindfulness, Classics and Speech. The schools have received strong endorsement from the Department of Education and Skills at recent whole school evaluations.

John Scottus

When the school was being planned, the founders wanted a suitable name for it. In naming it after John Scottus, they picked a philosopher and an Irish one.

John Scottus Eriugena (John of Ireland, from Ireland), to give him his full name, was born around 810 AD in Ireland. Little is known of his early life. He moved to France around 845 AD, where he took charge of an academy at the court of Charles the Bald, and through his ground-breaking translations of the Greek neo-platonists, and the works he was commissioned to write became the leading light in philosophy of the medieval period.

His philosophy was of primary interest to the founders of JSS: being a neo-Platonist, a follower of Plato, the Greek Philosopher, of the 5th century BC,
of whose teachings it is said, that all subsequent Western philosophical writings, are merely a footnote. One of Plato’s well known sayings is that “an unexamined life is not worth living”, something that John Scottus would
definitely have agreed with.

John Scottus wrote a number of works, but is best known today for having written Periphyseon, On the Nature of things. which has been called the final achievement of ancient philosophy, a work which “synthesizes the philosophical accomplishments of fifteen centuries.”

Share this: