Dominican College Sion Hill was founded by the Dominican Sisters in 1836. It was located in Blackrock, Co Dublin in the suburban villa “Sion Hill” so named because of rare shrubs brought by its owners from the Holy Land.
In the beginning, the school catered for 40 day pupils, 8 boarders and 10 nuns and the curriculum was comprehensive. Records from Prize-Giving in 1876 show that the following subjects were taught: Music (instrumental & choral), History, Christian Doctrine, English, French, Geography, Italian, German, Orthography, Art, Sewing, Arithmetic, Politeness and Flower Modelling!
The Dominican Sisters were determined that women would have access to the highest possible educational attainment. As early as 1876 Sion Hill catered for University classes and in the immediate aftermath of the Intermediate Act 1878 and the Royal University Charter 1880, Sion Hill students were able to take advantage of the new rights of girls and women to sit public examinations and take University degrees .
The school currently caters for 410 day students. The curriculum and facilities have expanded further in recent years to meet the academic and learning ambitions of today’s student. However the Dominican ethos of educating the whole person is still manifest in the school’s approach to preparing well rounded students. Today Sion Hill is a vibrant community, continuing a great tradition of education started over 180 years ago.