School Policies & General Information
White shirt/white polo shirt
Pupils are required to wear the school uniform every day.
Health promoting School
School begins: 9.20 am
Break: 11.00 am – 11.10 am
Lunch: 12.30 pm – 1.00 pm
Dismissal of Infants: 2.00 pm
General Dismissal: 3.00 pm.
This policy was formulated in consultation with the Board of Management, Parent Representatives and staff of Goleen National School. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Goleen National School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.
Aims of the Policy:
A. To create a school ethos that enables children to recognise, disclose and discuss instances of bullying behaviour.
B. To raise awareness of the range of bullying behaviours with school management, teachers and other staff, children, parents/guardians.
C. To develop procedures for noting and reporting instances of bullying.
D. To develop procedures for investigation and dealing with bullying.
The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour.
- A positive school culture and climate which,
- is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
- encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment and
- promotes respectful relationships across the school community.
- Effective leadership;
- A school-wide approach;
- A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
- To provide a safe and secure environment for learning;
- Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures that:
- build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils and
- explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:
‘Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.’
This policy applies to the behaviour of children, teachers, other staff, parents/guardians, Board of Management members and visitors to the school.
Bullying has three common features:-
- It is deliberate, hurtful behaviour,
- It is repeated,
- It is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves.
The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:
- Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
- Cyber-bullying and
- Identity based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller Community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.
Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do no fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.
Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 or the Anti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.
The relevant teachers for investigation and dealing with bullying are as follows: Mrs. Margaret Lannin, Ms. Kathleen Crowley and Ms. Tanya Flynn (see section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
– The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows (see section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools);
– The SPHE curriculum, including the Walk Tall and Stay Safe programmes, is used throughout the school to support the Anti-Bullying Policy;
Positive self-esteem is fostered among the pupils by celebrating individual differences, by acknowledging good behaviour and by providing opportunities for success.
-Pupils are helped to develop empathy by discussing feelings or by trying to put themselves in the place of others.
– Teachers respond sensitively to pupils who disclose incidents of bullying.
– The school’s anti-bullying policy is discussed regularly with pupils.
– Staff are particularly vigilant in monitoring pupils who are considered at risk of bullying/being bullied, with particular regard to pupils with SEN.
– All disclosed incidents of bullying are investigated.
– Members of the BOM are familiar with the school’s policy on bullying and promote it on a repeated basis among staff, parents and pupils through the roles of the Board Members in the school, by reviewing the policy with input from all stakeholders in the School Community, by example and by promoting and improving communication and supporting the Principal in ensuring the Policy is adhered to.
– The school recognises the role of other community agencies in preventing and dealing with bullying.
– Parents contribute to and support the school’s policy on bullying by encouraging positive behaviour both at home and at school, by being vigilant for signs and symptoms that their child is being bullied or is bullying others, by communicating concerns to the school.
– Cyber-Bullying requires access to technology. Pupils are supervised at all times when working with technology in the school. Pupils do not have access to their smart phones during the school day.
– The use of mobile phones is banned in Goleen National School. If a mobile phone is part of the arrangements for baby sitting or pick up, it must remain powered off and in the child’s school bag during the school day.
The school acknowledges the right of each member of the school community to enjoy school in a secure environment: the school promotes positive habits of self respect, self discipline and responsibility among all its members.
The Catholic Ethos of the school encourages positive attitudes to exclusivity and equality. This permeates all aspects of the school day and throughout the teaching of the curriculum.
Maintaining awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour.
Goleen National School will emphasize and reinforce the view that bullying behaviour is unacceptable by;
– Using both the formal and informal curriculum to emphasize that bullying is unacceptable – visual arts activities, posters, drama, role play, SPHE, cooperative games – maintaining awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour.
– Devising a school anti-bullying charter for display in classrooms and other prominent locations.
– Insofar as is reasonably practicable school activities will be supervised and monitored at all times, with particular emphasis on those occasions when situations of bullying are more likely to occur, such as play time and dismissal time.
Procedures for Dealing with Instances of Bullying:
I. All incidents of bullying will be recorded in an incident book which will be retained in the school.
II. Pupils will be informed that when they report incidents of bullying they are acting responsibly.
Parents/Guardians should be encouraged to contact the class teacher regarding incidents of bullying behaviour, which they might suspect or which has come to their attention, through their children, or through other parents.
III. A calm unemotional problem-solving approach will be used to deal with bullying.
IV. Incidents of bullying will initially be dealt with by the class teacher. Incidents that are of a serious nature or those that involve pupils from a number of classes will be referred to the Principal.
V. On being informed of an alleged incident of bullying, the teacher dealing with the report will first interview the victim(s) and discuss the feelings which the victim(s) experienced because of the bullying behaviour. This investigation should take place outside the class situation to ensure the privacy of all concerned.
VI. An interview will then take place with the alleged perpetrator(s). If the bullying involves a group of pupils, members of that group will first be met individually and then as a whole. Having discussed the negative impact which bullying has on both perpetrators(s) and victim(s) responsibility will be placed on all individuals within the group to resolve the difficulty and to take appropriate steps to ensure that it does not happen again.
-When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour seek answers to questions such as, what, where, who, when and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example for dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.
VII. If on conclusion of the preliminary investigation the teacher is convinced that bullying has occurred, the principal will be informed by way of Appendix 3 Report being completed and submitted. Parent(s) /Guardians of all concerned will be contacted.
VIII. Repeated incidents of bullying behaviour will result in the imposition of sanctions. Such sanctions will be proportionate to the seriousness of the bullying behaviour. The sanctions and interventions used in Goleen National School are contained in the Code of Behaviour.
IX. It must be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents and the school.
X. Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved could be arranged separately with a view of possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable. This can have a therapeutic effect.
XI. Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate to the school’s complaints procedures.
XII. In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedure and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
– Teachers who are investigating cases of bullying should keep a written record of the discussions with those involved. It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident.
6.1 In some cases, behaviour may escalate beyond that which can be described as bullying to serious physical or sexual assault or harassment. The school may refer cases to relevant external agencies and authorities where appropriate. In cases where the school has serious concerns in relation to managing the behaviour of a pupil, the advice of the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS) will be sought and advice may also be sought from the HSE Children and Family Social Services with a view to drawing up an appropriate response, such as management plan.
7. All pupils who have been involved in bullying behaviour will be supported in the first instance by the teacher. If required, opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem and self worth will be organised. Further intervention, where appropriate, will be put in place on a case by case basis.
8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils (as in template.)
9. Prevention of Harassment.
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with it’s obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff, or the harassment of the pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified, i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller Community.
10. This policy will be made available to school personnel and a copy will be sent to the parents/guardians of each pupil. A copy will be available in the school for inspection, on request. A copy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
11. Implementation/Ratification and Review
This policy has been ratified by the Board of Management. It will be reviewed every two years.
Changing social habits and patterns necessitated the updating of the school’s attendance policy. The redrafting was a collaborative school process involving staff and Board of Management, following initial drafting by the school principal. The views of parents were sought during the review of this policy in May 2019.
The main factors contributing to the formulation of a revised policy can be summarised as follows:
• To promote and encourage regular attendance as an essential factor in our pupils’ learning
• Legislative requirements such as the Education Welfare Act 2000 and the Education Act, 1998
• The role of the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)
• Levels of disadvantage
• Changing attitudes to education.
Aims and Objectives
The revised policy is geared towards:
• ensuring that pupils are registered accurately and efficiently
• ensuring that pupil attendance is recorded daily
• encouraging full attendance where possible
• identifying pupils at risk
• promoting a positive learning environment
• enabling learning opportunities to be availed of
• raising awareness of the importance of school attendance
• fostering an appreciation of learning
• identify pupils at risk of leaving school early
• ensuring compliance with the requirements of the relevant legislation
• developing, subject to available resources, links between the school and the families of children who may be at risk of developing attendance problems
• identifying and removing, insofar as is practicable, obstacles to school attendance.
Compliance with School Ethos
This policy complements the school ethos of nurturing potential in a caring environment where the welfare of children is paramount.
Roles and Responsibilities
All staff have an input into the implementation of the policy. Class teachers record individual patterns of attendance on the Aladdin system and the school secretary makes returns to Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA). It is the responsibility of the Principal and staff to implement this policy under the guidance of the school’s Board of Management.
School begins at 9.20 am. All pupils are expected to be on time. The school will contact parents/guardians in the event of pupils being consistently late.
The Principal is obliged under the Education Welfare Act, to report children who are persistently late, to the Educational Welfare Services.
Parents/guardians must also inform the class teacher if a child is departing early during the school day.
The school day finishes for pupils from 1st – 6th class at 3.00pm, and at 2.00pm for children in infant classes. The school cannot be responsible for infant pupils after 2.00pm on a regular basis.
Recording and Reporting Attendance
The school attendance of individual pupils is recorded in the Electronic Leabhar Rolla (Roll Book) of each class on a daily basis. Class attendance data is recorded daily on the Aladdin System, Leabhar Tinrimh (Attendance Book). The annual attendance of each individual pupil is recorded in the POD System, together with information provided in enrolment forms (Pupil’s Name, Date of Birth, Address, Religion, Parents’ Names and Parents’ Occupations).
If a pupil does not attend on a day when the school is open for instruction, his/her non- attendance will be recorded by the class teacher. The roll call is taken before 10.30 am each morning. Any pupil not present, who has not informed the school that they will arrive later that day (e.g. due to appointment) will be marked absent for the day. A note from parents/guardians is required to explain each absence.
Parents/guardians are made aware of the requirements of the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) particularly the by-law relating to absences of more than 20 days per school year. Parents/guardians are notified in writing on the end of year report of the total number of absences during the school year.
The school must inform the Education Welfare Officer where a child has missed 20 or more days in a school year, where attendance is irregular, where a pupil is removed from the school register and where a child is suspended or expelled for 6 days or more. The Education Welfare Services are furnished with the total attendances in the
school year through the Annual Report Form which is completed on-line.
The school promotes good attendance by:
• Tusla Leaflet about School Attendance is circulated to parents
• creating a safe and welcoming environment
• ensuring children are happy
• displaying kindness, compassion and understanding
• sometimes rewarding good attendance with certificates
• being vigilant so that risks to good attendance such as disadvantage, bullying etc. are identified early
Whole School Strategies to Promote Attendance
Goleen National School endeavours to create a safe, welcoming environment for our pupils and their parents/guardians. Parent Representatives/Parent Association to be consulted in drafting and reviewing policies with the aim of promoting a high-level of co-operation among the school community. The teaching staff collaborates in the planning and implementation of the primary school curriculum, so as to provide a stimulating learning environment for all pupils.
Traditionally, school attendance is very strong in our school. However, the staff remains vigilant so that ‘risk’ students are identified early. Risk students can be categorised as those who miss more than 5 days in a 20-day period without an accompanying note of explanation from parents/guardians. Appropriate contact takes place between the school and parents/guardians either via a letter or a note in the homework diary when this occurs. A meeting between parents and the class teacher and/or principal may be set up if deemed necessary. Absences of more than 20 days are automatically referred to the Education Welfare Officer.
New entrants and their parents/guardians are given the Tusla Attendance Leaflet and the school’s policies and procedures in relation to attendance are explained. There is a focus on the value of regular attendance and on the importance of developing good attendance habits from Junior Infants onwards.
Our homework policy clearly outlines the school’s expectations in terms of the quantity of homework assigned and in the quality of homework presented. There is a consistent approach to homework throughout the school.
The calendar for the coming school year is published annually before the return to school in September. It is hoped that this approach will enable parents/guardians to plan family events around school closures, thus minimising the chances of non-attendance related to family holidays during the school term.
Pupils are expected to wear the correct school uniform every day except when advised otherwise by school staff.
Parents/guardians are informed if a child consistently has no lunch.
Strategies in the Event of Non-Attendance
Section 17 of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000), states that ‘the parent of a child shall cause the child concerned to attend a recognised school on each school day’.
Section 21 of the Act obliges schools to inform the Education Welfare Officer if a child is absent on more than 20 days in any school year, or if a child does not attend school on a regular basis.
In such cases the Education Welfare Officer (following all reasonable efforts by the Education Board to consult with the child’s parents and the Principal of the school) may serve a ‘School Attendance Notice’ on any parent who he/she concludes is failing or neglecting to cause the child to attend the school. A successful case taken against the parent may result in a fine and/or imprisonment.
Reasons for absence are recorded and reported to the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) during the school year through an online system. An annual report is submitted – not more than six weeks following the end of the school year – detailing the overall level of attendance at the school during that school year.
Transfer to Another School
Under Section 20 of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000), the Principal of a child’s current school must notify the Principal of the child’s previous school that the child is now registered in their school.
When a Principal receives notification that a child has been registered elsewhere he/she must notify the Principal of the pupil’s new school of any problems in relation to attendance at the pupil’s former school and of such matters relating to the child’s educational progress as he or she considers appropriate. This applies to pupils who transfer between primary schools and to pupils who transfer from primary to second-level education.
The school has developed a good relationship with the local Education Welfare Officer and there is ongoing communication in relation to children who are at risk.
Communication with other Schools
• When a child transfers from Goleen N.S. to another school, the school’s records on attendance, academic progress etc. will be forwarded on receipt of written notification of the transfer
• When a child transfers into Goleen N.S. confirmation of transfer will be communicated to the child’s previous school, and appropriate records sought
• Pupils transferring from Goleen N.S. to a post primary school will have their records forwarded on receipt of confirmation of enrolment.
Communication with Parents
The school circulates the Tusla Information Leaflet to all parents. The school also informs all parents of the implications of non-attendance as per the Education Welfare Act 2000. Parents of new children are informed on enrolment. Parents/guardians can promote good school attendance by:
• ensuring regular and punctual school attendance
• notifying the school if their children cannot attend for any reason
• working with the school and education welfare service to resolve any attendance problems
• making sure their children understand that parents support good school attendance
• discussing planned absences with the school
• refraining, if at all possible, from taking holidays during school time
• showing an interest in their children’s school day and their children’s homework
• encouraging them to participate in school activities
• praising and encouraging their children’s achievements
• instilling in their children a positive self-concept and a positive sense of self-worth
• informing the school in writing of the reasons for absence from school
• ensuring, insofar as is possible, that children’s appointments (with dentists etc), are arranged for times outside of school hours
• contacting the school immediately, if they have concerns about absence or other related school matters
• notifying, in writing, the school if their child/children, particularly children in junior classes, are to be collected by someone not known to school personnel
The success of any Attendance Policy is measured through:
• Keeping our Attendance rate in the 90 th percentile and above.
• Happy confident well-adjusted children
• Positive parental feedback
• Teacher vigilance.
Implementation/Ratification and Review
This policy has been ratified by the Board of Management. It will be reviewed every two years.
Don’t let your Child Miss Out – NEWB 2004
Education Welfare Act 2000
Education Act 1998
Section 29 Education Act
Empty Desks – CDU Mary Immaculate
This policy was reviewed by the Board of Management of Goleen National School on 8/5/2019
Signed: Alan O’ Leary
Fr. Alan O’Leary
Critical Incident Policy
The aim of this policy is to enable the school community to respond in a structured and effective manner to a critical incident.
- Creating a coping, supportive and caring ethos in the school.
This can be done in the following way:
- Creating a physically and psychologically safe school through the development of areas such as anti-bullying policy, peer support programme, suicide awareness programmes, fire drills, equipment and buildings checks.
- Inclusive of SPHE programme in the curriculum, covering such areas as communication skills, self esteem, decision-making, bereavement, stress management and coping skills.
- Developing links with outside agencies and procedures for referral.
- Definition of a Critical Incident
An incident or sequence of events, which overwhelms the normal coping mechanisms of the school and disrupts the running of the school. For example:-
- The death of a member of the immediate school community through sudden death, terminal illness or suicide.
- An accident on the school premises.
- A physical attack on one or more of the school community.
- An intrusion into the school.
- Serious damage to the school building through fire, flood, vandalism.
- The disappearance of a member of the school community.
- An accident in the wider community.
- Critical Incident Management Team.
The Teaching Staff. This team will meet as soon as possible and address the following: Gathering accurate information and deciding what will be passed on to whom, deciding on the school routine for the first day and subsequent days.
- Procedures to be followed in the event of a Critical Incident:
5A. Short Term Actions
- Gather the facts – Who? What? When? And Where?
- Contact appropriate agencies
- Convene the Critical Incident Management Team
- Organise for the supervision of students
- Inform staff
- Agree on a statement of the facts
- Identify high risk students
- Appoint someone to deal with phone enquiries
- Organise timetable for the day.
MAINTAIN THE NORMAL SCHOOL ROUTINE WHEN AT ALL POSSIBLE
- Inform parents/guardians
- Inform students
- Make contact with the bereaved family
- Organise support
- Respond to the media.
5B. Medium-Term Actions (24 – 72 Hours)
Review the events of the first 24 hours
- Reconvene key staff/Critical Incident Management Team
- Briefly check out how each person on this team is copying.
- Decide arrangements for support meetings for parents/students/staff.
- Decide on mechanism for feedback for teachers on vulnerable students.
- Have review staff meeting with all staff if necessary. Ensure all staff are kept up to date on any developments.
- Be sensitive as to how all staff are coping on a personal and professional level.
- Establish contact with absent staff and pupils.
- Update media, if necessary.
Arrange support for individual students, groups of students, and parents, if necessary
- Provide a suitable room.
- Hold support/information meeting for parents/students in order to clarify what has happened. Offer advice and reassurance. Inform them about support services and provide relevant handouts (See Resource Documents at Section 4)
- Give any teacher who feels uncomfortable with involvement in support meetings the choice of opting out.
- Arrange, in consultation with outside agencies, individual or group debriefings or support meetings with parental permission. See Appendix 4 for sample letter for parental consent.
Plan for the reintegration of students and staff (e.g. absentees, injured, siblings, close relatives etc.)
- Name key person(s) to visit home/hospital.
Liase with the family regarding funeral arrangements/memorial service
- Designate staff member to liase with family, to extend sympathy and clarify the family’s wishes regarding the school’s involvement in funeral/memorial service.
- Arrange a home visit by two staff representatives within 24 hours, if appropriate.
- Have regard for different religious traditions and faiths.
Attendance and participation at funeral/memorial service
- Decide this in accordance with parents’ wishes and school management decisions and in consultation with close school friends.
- Request a decision on this from school management and school inspector.
5C. Longer Term Actions
Monitor students for signs of continuing distress
A referral to the Health Board may be necessary. (See Resource Document 4.5 for Normal Reactions to a Critical Incident).
For example, if over a prolonged period of time, a student continues to display the following, he/she may need assistance from the Health Board.
- uncharacteristic behaviour
- deterioration in academic performance
- physical symptoms – e.g. weight loss/gain; lack of attention to appearance; tiredness; restlessness; inappropriate emotional reactions.
- Increased absenteeism.
Evaluate response to incident and amend the Critical Incident Management Plan appropriately.
- What went well?
- Where were the gaps?
- What was most/least helpful?
- Have all necessary onward referrals to support services been made?
- Is there any unfinished business?
Formalise the Critical Incident Plan for the future
- Consult with your NEPS psychologist and/or your local Health Board Critical Incidents Team about this
Inform new staff/new school pupils affected by Critical Incidents where appropriate.
- Ensure that new staff are aware of the school policy and procedures in this area.
- Ensure they are aware of which pupils were affected in any recent incident and in what way.
- When individual pupils or a class of pupils affected by an incident are transferring to a new school, it would be useful to brief the Principal of the new school.
Decide on appropriate ways to deal with anniversaries (be sensitive to special days and events)
- Anniversaries may trigger emotional responses in students/staff and they may need additional support at this time.
- Acknowledge the anniversary with the family and liase on any proposed commemoration.
- Be sensitive to significant days like Birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day.
- Students should be given opportunities to discuss the incident and express their thoughts or feelings in a secure environment.
- Resume sports and other extra-curricular activities.
- When students feel like talking, try to find the time to listen.
- Resource documents for use by schools in the event of a Critical Incident
Emergency Contact List
Goleen Garda 35111
Fire Brigade 999
Bantry (027) 50133
CUH (021) 4546400
Local GP’s 35148
Schull Medical Centre 28398
Health Board/Child and Family Centre 23141
Chairperson of the Board of Management 35188
School Inspector (01) 8896553
DES – Communications Unit (01) 8892388
NEPS – Communications Unit (01) 8892700
NEPS Psychologist (021) 4536355
INTO (01) 8722533
Local Counselling Service 23141
Useful Contact Numbers
Barnardos 01 – 4530355
The Samaritans 1850 609090
Childline 1800 666666
Parentline 1890 927277
Aware 01-6766166 / 1890 303302
National Suicide Bereavement
Support Network 024- 95561
The Bereavement Counselling
Service – Dublin 01 – 8391766
Bereavement Counselling Service 01 – 6767727
Irish website for people bereaved by suicide,
List support groups
Letter to Parents
(sample letter in the event of a tragedy)
The school has experienced (the sudden death, accident injury) of one of our students. We are deeply saddened by the death/events.
(Brief details of the incident, and in the event of a death, perhaps some positive remembrances of the person lost)
We have support structures in place to help our child cope with this tragedy. (Elaborate)
It is possible that your child may have some feelings that he/she may like to discuss with you. You can help your child by taking time to listen and encouraging them to express their feelings. It is important to give them truthful information that is appropriate to their age.
If you would like advice or assistance you may contact the following people at the school. (Details)
Letter of Parents (2)
(Sample letter requesting consent for involvement of outside professional/s)
Following the recent (tragedy/death of X) we have arranged professional support for students in school who need particular help(X……) is available to help us with this work. This support will usually consist of talking to children, either in small groups or on a one-to-one basis and offering reassurance and advice as appropriate.
Your son/daughter has been identified as one of the students who would benefit from meeting with the psychologist. If you would like your child to receive this support, please sign the attached permission slip and return it to the school by ……………….
If you would like further information on the above or to talk to the psychologist, please indicate this on the slip or telephone the school.
I/We consent to having our daughter/son met by a psychologist employed by the Minister for Education and Science.
I/We understand that my daughter/son may meet the psychologist(s) in an individual or group session depending on the arrangements which are thought to be most appropriate.
NAME OF STUDENT: ________________________________
DATE OF BIRTH: ________________________________
I would like my daughter/son ……….……………… to avail of the support being offered by the psychologist.
Signed ……………………………….. (Parent/Guardian)
Implementation/Ratification and Review
This policy has been ratified by the Board of Management. It will be reviewed every two years.
Code of Behaviour and Discipline Policy
- The aim of a code of behaviour is to create an ordered and orderly environment in which pupils can, through developing self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development.
- Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school
- The smooth and safe operation of any institution depends on essential rules being understood and adhered to by everybody.
- The vast majority of pupils conform to a code of discipline and benefit from it.
- Goleen National School believes that each child has the right to education in a relatively disruption free environment. This is a fundamental right of all pupils to ensure maximum advantage from their school time.
- The school recognises the variety of differences that exit between children and the need to tolerate these differences, bearing in mind the common good.
- It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and between staff, parents and pupils.
- Every effort will be made to ensure that the code of discipline is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.
- The rules of the school are positively stated to the pupils and constantly enforced by all teachers.
- Each teacher has responsibility for discipline on their respective classrooms and share a common responsibility for good order within the school.
- The Principal has the overall responsibility for discipline. A pupil will be referred to the Principal for serious breaches of discipline or repeated incidents of minor misbehaviour. Repeated incidents of misbehaviour in the classroom are disruptive and are unfair on the majority of pupils who lose class time through no fault of their own.
STRATEGY IN DEALING WITH UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR
Reason with pupil.
Advise on how to improve
Temporary separation from peers.
Loss of privileges.
Detention during a break.
Prescribing extra work.
Referral to Principal.
Communications with Parents.
A written record will be kept of all instances of serious misbehaviour. Parents will be communicated with at an early stage rather than a later one. The parents concerned will be invited to the school to discuss their child’s behaviour issues with the class teacher and principal.
Aggressive threatening or violent behaviour towards a Teacher or pupil will be regarded as serious misbehaviour.
Bullying will be regarded as serious misbehaviour.
Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the Principal. If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may have to be suspended for a temporary period. Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of rules 130(5) of Rules for National Schools.
Every effort will be made to have an emotionally disturbed child referred for psychological assessment without delay.
In the belief that the most effective schools tend to be those with the best relationships with parents, every effort will be made by the principal and staff to ensure that parents are kept well informed, that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents and that parents are not only told when their children are in trouble but, when they have behaved particularly well.
Implementation/Ratification and Review
This policy has been ratified by the Board of Management. It will be reviewed every two years
Special Educational Needs
It must be appreciated that children with Special Needs may need more time to internalize school rules.
Cognizance must be given when dealing with breaches of the Code of Behaviour and Discipline by children with Special Education Needs.
Whole School Evaluation Report
An Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta
Department of Education and Science
Whole School Evaluation
Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín
An Ghoilín, An Sciobairín, Contae Chorcaí
Uimhir rolla: 05656G
Date of inspection: 14 May 2008
A whole-school evaluation of Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín was undertaken in May 2008. This report presents the findings of the evaluation and makes recommendations for improvement. The evaluation focused on the quality of teaching and learning in English, Irish, Mathematics and History. The board of management of the school was given an opportunity to comment on the findings and recommendations of the report. The board of management was given an opportunity to comment in writing on the findings and recommendations of the report; a response was not received from the board.
Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín is one of two schools in the rural parish of Goleen in West Cork. It is a two-teacher school with multi-grade classes. Additional supports are provided by two shared Learning Support/Resource teachers who are based in other local schools and available for seventeen and a half hours and five hours teaching time, respectively.
There is one full-time and one part-time special needs assistant in the school. A cleaner is available for one hour per day and the services of a school caretaker are provided by the board. The main school building dates back to 1849 and was refurbished in 1934 and again in 1993 with Department of Education and Science (DES) support. Both permanent classrooms are housed within the main building and connect through a circulation area with teacher and pupil toilet facilities. All other accommodation (office, staff room, resource room, learning support room, library and store room) is provided for in three additional units, two of which are prefabricated structures, within the school grounds. The school has the free use of the local parish hall which is conveniently located within the school grounds.
All working areas circulation spaces and surfaces are maintained to a high standard and a high level of compliance with Health & Safety regulations is evident. The school is a safe secure and attractive environment for learning and teaching.
The following table provides an overview of the enrolment and staffing in the school at the time of the evaluation:
|Pupils enrolled in the school||38|
|Mainstream classes in the school||2|
|Teachers on the school staff||2|
|Mainstream class teachers||2|
|Teachers working in support roles||2|
|Special needs assistants||2|
1.1 Characteristic spirit, mission or vision
Adjacent to the village of Goleen, Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross. While the school professes a strong commitment to its Catholic ethos, pupils of other denominations and none are welcomed.
1.2 Board of management
The board of management of SN An Ghoilín is properly constituted. Regular meetings are held and school finances are efficiently managed in compliance with all DES guidelines and regulations. Minutes of meetings are recorded and a financial report is presented at each meeting. School accounts are audited annually. The board manages its affairs effectively and provides suitable guidance and direction to the parents and the staff of the school. Their active involvement in the development ratification and review of all school organisational and curricular documents was noted during the external evaluation process.
The sustained effort of the school board to provide a suitable education for all pupils is exemplified in the efficient manner in which the school buildings, premises, equipment and resources are maintained and regularly improved. The chairperson of the board has a suitable range of educational and managerial expertise and experiences which guide the work of and clarifies the vision of the board. The school could be characterised as a learning community and the efforts to embrace the principles and challenges of the revised curriculum for primary schools are praiseworthy.
1.3 In-school management
The teaching staff of SN An Ghoilín work effectively as a team and embrace all long term and short term challenges in a spirit of partnership and mutual support. They are supported where appropriate by other partners and stakeholders and a sense of communal ownership and responsibility was evident in the course of the school evaluation. The principal has cultivated a positive school climate and she plays an important leadership role in the school whilst promoting and modelling positive behaviour as an important cornerstone of good teaching and learning. Posts of responsibility have been assigned to individual staff members but the ethos of this particular school fosters a team approach and cultivates a shared responsibility for organisational, curricular and pastoral priorities. Daily communication is the norm in Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín but additional formal staff meetings are held in compliance with DES guidelines and recommended practices.
1.4 Management of relationships and communication with the school community
The school is an important focal point in this rural area and enjoys high levels of community involvement and support. The quality of relationships at all levels within the school is impressive. Home school links are actively promoted through parent-teacher meetings, school cultural, dramatic and sporting events, religious ceremonies and more informal lines of communication. Evolving school policy will provide for written reports on pupil’s progress at the end of each school year as per DES guidelines. The school board is currently engaged in the process of setting up a formal parents’ association in order to maximise communication levels and further develop meaningful parental involvement in the affairs of the school.
1.5 Management of pupils
Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín is a caring nurturing environment which fosters and promotes good behaviour and mutual respect. Pupils are encouraged to achieve their full potential and high levels of pupil engagement were observed in all classes. They demonstrate pride in their community and show care and respect for one another and for their school at all times. Positive behaviour modification techniques are practiced in the school and a clear commitment to pastoral care and the overall welfare of each pupil positively underpins the learning process.
2.1 Whole-school and classroom planning
A comprehensive range of relevant curricular and organisational policy documents guides the work of Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín. These have been developed through meaningful dialogue and partnerships with all school stakeholders and are currently at an advanced stage of development. These school planning documents are grounded in the strands and strand units, reflect curricular principles and methodologies and bring a positive influence to bear on the work of individual teachers. Classroom planning provides for long-term and short-term planning and monthly progress records. Short-term planning reflects an appropriate range of teaching methodologies and breadth and balance between the strands of the curriculum was evident. Some appropriate examples of meaningful integration and judicious use of school resources were also observed. Planning practices build naturally on the collegiality between staff members and facilitate assessment which support the needs of individual learners. Monthly progress records and collated test results indicate satisfactory pupil progress at all levels throughout the school.
School plans are regularly reviewed as new priorities are identified. Timetabling arrangements are satisfactory in the school.
2.2 Child protection policy and procedures
Confirmation was provided that, in compliance with Department of Education and Science Primary Circular 0061/2006, the board of management has formally adopted the Child Protection Guidelines for Primary Schools (Department of Education and Science, September 2001). Confirmation was also provided that these child protection procedures have been brought to the attention of management, school staff and parents; that a copy of the procedures has been provided to all staff (including all new staff); and that management has ensured that all staff are familiar with the procedures to be followed. A designated liaison person (DLP) and a deputy DLP have been appointed in line with the requirements of the guidelines.
Déantar sár-iarracht suim sa Ghaeilge a chothú i Scoil Náisiúnta an Ghoilín. Múintear an Ghaeilge go hábalta agus bhí ceachtanna bríomhaire, spreagúla le sonrú le linn na hoibre seo. Bíonn na ceachtanna bunaithe ar thaithí na ndaltaí agus ar thimpeallacht na scoile agus bíonn tuiscint agus líofacht oiriúnach sa Ghaeilge bhunúsach le sonrú i measc formhór na ndaltaí. Dá réir sin ba léir go raibh caighdeán maith bainte amach ag na daltaí agus bhí atmaisféar na scoile fabhrach don teanga agus don chultúr. Moltar, ach go háirithe, múineadh an rince ghaelaigh sna hardranganna. Bhí cumas na ndaltaí sa chomhrá, sa léitheoireacht agus sa scríbhneoireacht go maith agus bhí sé soiléir go raibh said ag baint taitnimh agus tairbhe as na himeachtaí.
Meastar anois gurb é an dúshlán is mó chun an caighdeán a ardú a thuilleadh ná úsáid teanga ar bhonn cumarsáideach a chur chun cinn.
Every effort is made in Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín to promote interest in Irish. The language is taught effectively and stimulating lessons were observed during the evaluation. Lessons were grounded in the experience of the pupils and related to the school environment and the majority demonstrated an appropriate understanding of and fluency in the language. It was clear that a good standard had been reached and that the atmosphere in the school was supportive of the language and general culture.The teaching of Irish dance as observed in senior classes was praiseworthy. Throughout the school the standard of speaking, reading and writing was praiseworthy. Adequate levels ability in spoken Irish were apparent and the pupils were enjoying and benefiting from the activities.
The challenge for the school is to build on the good work done and develop a specific and appropriately challenging framework in which to further develop communicative language.
The pupils’ language ability and confidence levels are impressive in this school. Phonological awareness, phonemic and phonic skills are developed in a structured progressive manner. Language learning is incremental structured and differentiated in line with grade levels and individual pupils’ needs.
Pupils are confident and readily engage in discussion, debates, brainstorming and other reasoning techniques. The oral language of pupils was commensurate to pupils’ age and reading experience.
Print rich environments with an emphasis on oral language development and regular exposure to a wide variety of materials have fostered a love of reading throughout the school. A wide variety of reading material is available at all levels throughout the school. A wide variety of writing genres are engaged with and the writing process is emphasised and scaffolded appropriately when necessary. Appropriate emphasis is placed upon the conventions of grammar, punctuation and spelling in the context of teaching practices in this school. Standardised tests indicate satisfactory levels of achievement in literacy and these results are used to inform teaching and learning. Some examples of children’s written work were displayed and celebrated throughout the school.
An interest in the language of mathematics, the development of concepts and skills, mental mathematics and problem solving is apparent in the school. Pupils’ reasoning skills are developed in line with increasing awareness of mathematical concepts and processes. Pupils’ knowledge of number facts and memorisation strategies are commensurate to age and their enjoyment of the subject resulted in high levels of participation and anticipation. Work was carefully structured and consolidation and revision of topics taught was apparent at all class levels. Pupils’ written work demonstrated appropriate levels of achievement and general competence was impressive. Assessment was used to inform planning at class level and to differentiate learning when appropriate.
3.3 Social, Environmental and Scientific Education
There is an appropriate emphasis on local history, chronology, cause and effect and people’s lives evident in the approach to history teaching in the school. ICT is used effectively to develop pupils’ skills as historians and investigative methodologies are usefully employed. A range of historical artefacts, photographs and illustrative material is used to deepen pupils’s understanding of continuity and change over time. Pupil interest in History is encouraged by appropriate teaching methodologies and meaningful integration with other areas of the curriculum occurs, where appropriate.
A range of assessment practice takes place in Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín. The focus of the assessment is both diagnostic and preventative. Results when analysed are used to inform teaching and learning. Following initial teacher-based screening, diagnostic tests are used to identify pupils in need of supplementary teaching and suitable programmes of intervention are planned implemented and reviewed. Efforts to provide individual learning profiles for all pupils in need of learning support or resource are commendable and further refinement of these developing practices is a whole-school priority in the short to medium term. Support for pupils with special educational needs is provided in the areas of literacy and numeracy. This occurs in a variety of ways which includes both individual and small group withdrawal, whole class and team teaching.
The results of standardised tests are carefully collated and discussed at whole-school level. Assessment practices impact positively on teaching and learning and parents are informed of their children’s progress in the key areas of literacy and numeracy.
4.1 Pupils with special educational needs
Pupils with special educational needs are supported purposefully in Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín. The board, principal and staff acknowledge and accept their duty of care and within the parameters and constraints of SEN provision and cluster arrangements, the best interests of the pupil are clearly paramount.
The school fully supports the principle of inclusion and endeavours to allow every pupil reach his or her maximum potential through a wide variety of intervention practices and procedures.
4.2 Other supports for pupils: disadvantaged, minority and other groups
The population of Scoil Náisiúnta An Ghoilín include no minority or disadvantaged groups though a small number of pupils were born elsewhere and came to live locally. All pupils are cherished equally and subtle interventions are the preferred mechanism by which issues, however small, may be addressed.
The school has strengths in the following areas:
- The school has an effective management structure, supportive parents, an effective principal and committed and professional staff members.
- The school is an attractive, well maintained, safe, secure and engaging learning environment.
- The quality of relationships at all levels within this school community are exemplary and excellent pupil behaviour facilitates learning in all classes.
- The focus on teamwork and collaboration allow for shared responsibility and facilitates leadership at all levels within this vibrant school community.
- The school principal is an effective instructional leader.
- The quality of planning at whole school level guides teaching and learning and effectively co-ordinates the work of individuals within the school.
- The core principles of the revised curriculum are embedded in the practices and teaching strategies of the school and pupil achievement is commensurate to age.
- The school is an inclusive and nurturing environment in which pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and where value-based behaviours are consistently modelled by the principal and staff.
The following key recommendations are made in order to further improve the quality of education provided by the school:
- The stated objective of the school to facilitate a formal parents’ association as a means of further strengthening partnership and facilitating the more effective dissemination of information throughout the school community was noted and approved of.
- Further refinement of the practice of developing individual education plans in the context of a whole school and community involvement would be a worthwhile objective in the short to medium term.
- The development of a school website as means of positively celebrating school achievements and learning milestones would be a worthwhile exercise and a stimulus to more widespread use of ICT as a learning tool in the school.
- The development of communicative language skills in Irish would be enhanced by new approaches and strategies that might include, an instruction through Irish day once per month or by additional tuition through the medium of Irish.
Post-evaluation meetings were held with the staff and the board of management where the draft findings and recommendations of the evaluation were presented and discussed.
Published, December 2008
GOLEEN NATIONAL SCHOOL
1. Purpose of Homework
– To re-enforce what the child learns during the day.
– To develop the child’s concentration skills and develop a work ethic
– Homework is meant to be achievable by a child, i.e. it provides an opportunity to practise work already done. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. However, sometimes with senior classes, some homework is designed to challenge the children’s ability to provide opportunity for creativity.
– Children are expected to do their homework to the best of their individual ability – no more, no less.
2. Frequency of Homework
– Each School Day
– Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given ‘homework off’ as a treat or as acknowledgement of some special occasion.
– Please note, extra homework may sometimes be given during the week or at the weekend if a child has not done homework, made a suitable effort or presented untidy work.
– ‘Catch up work’ need to be completed by pupils, determined by teacher.
3. Content of Homework.
– Ideally, homework will contain a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks or language development.
– This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work.
– Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be ‘learned by heart’, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class.
– Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned ensuring this work is done properly.
4. Time at Homework
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spend will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines only.
Class Maximum Time
Junior Infants 10 minutes
Senior Infants 20 minutes
Rang 1 20 minutes
Rang 2 30 minutes
Rang 3 1 hour
Rang 4 1 hour
Rang 5 1 hour, 15 minutes
Rang 6 1 hour, 15 minutes
5. Help from Parents
– Parents should try to help their children with their homework by:
• Providing them with a suitable place and time to do their homework;
• Preventing interruption or distractions, like T.V. or other children.
– Children should do written homework themselves and parents should only help when the child has difficulty.
– If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanation or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child.
6. Teachers Monitoring Homework.
– Ideally teachers like to check homework on a daily basis.
– As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often, e.g. every second day or once per week.
– Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked by children themselves under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children.
7. Parents Communication with Teachers.
– When your child cannot do homework due to family circumstances.
– When your child cannot do homework because she/he cannot understand some aspect.
– If the time spent at homework is regularly longer than the recommended amount of time.
If homework is a very stressful experience between parents and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.
Remember to sign homework journals after homework has been completed and checked.
Child Safeguarding Statement
Goleen National School is a co-educational primary school providing primary education to pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class. It operates under the auspices of the Department of Education and Skills and the Catholic Diocese of Cork and Ross.
In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017, and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of Goleen National School has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.
1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for primary and post-primary schools 2017 as part of this Child Safeguarding Statement.
2. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Mary Anne Collins (Principal).
3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP) is Kathleen Crowley (Vice Principal).
4. The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. The school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare.
The school will:
a) recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations.
b) comply fully with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children.
c) co-operate fully with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters.
d) adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect.
e) develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children.
f) respect fully the confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.
The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any pupil with a special vulnerability.
5. The following procedures / measures are in place:
a) in relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website
b) in relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons Acts 2012 to 2016) and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website
c) in relation to the reemployment of persons previously Garda vetted, but whose absence from the school is longer than a month, the school asks such persons to complete a Statutory Declaration form
d) in relation to the provision of information and, where necessary instruction and training to staff in respect of the identification of the of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school:
i. has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
ii. ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
iii. encourages staff of avail of relevant training
iv. encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
v. the Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training.
e) In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015
f) In Goleen National School, the Board of Management has appointed the above named DLP as the ‘relevant person’ (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the school’s child safeguarding statement.
6. All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015.
7. In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board of Management has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures.
8. The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available by the school, on request.
Note: The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. The Board of Management maintains the right to include, in this section, other procedures / measures that are of relevance to the school.
9. This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association and the Patron. It is readily accessible to parents and guardians and is included in the School’s Enrolment Pack. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department, if requested.
10. This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers.
This Child Safeguarding Statement was reviewed by the Board of Management on 27/03/2019
Signed: Alan O’Leary Signed: Mary Anne Collins
Fr. Alan O’Leary Mary Anne Collins
Chairperson, Board of Management Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management
Goleen National School aims to foster strong links between home and school. An atmosphere of partnership and mutual support is actively cultivated by the entire school community. Parents are recognised as the primary educators of their children. Teachers are recognised as professionals in education and work in partnership with parents.
The primary curriculum is designed to nurture the child in all dimensions of his or her life—spiritual, moral, cognitive, emotional, imaginative, aesthetic, social and physical. Both parents and the school support the holistic development of the child in all of these dimensions. The school and the family strive to be mutually supportive and respectful of each other so that the child’s education can be effective. All the stakeholders aim to work for the benefit of the child and their learning.
Purpose of this policy
– To develop a school community which is supportive of all its’ members
– To develop close links between home and school and to foster a culture of partnership
– To establish procedures for sharing of information in relation to pupils to enrich their educational experiences and to develop their full potential
Parents are encouraged to:
• Develop close links with the school
• Participate in meetings in a positive and respectful manner, affirming the professional role of the staff
• Collaborate with the school in developing the full potential of their children
• Share the responsibility of seeing that the school remains true to its ethos, values and distinctive character
• Become actively involved in the school/parent association
• Participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting them.
Structures in place to facilitate open communication & consultation with parents
• Meeting for parents of new Junior Infants in June
• Parent/teacher meetings one-to-one each year
• Parents receive school report of each pupil at the end of each school year
• Meetings with parents whose children have special educational needs
• Parents are invited to contribute to the drafting and review of relevant school policies. Decisions taken to change current policies and procedures or to introduce new ones will be made known to parents via the school newsletter or through the school website
• Newsletters throughout the year keep parents up-to-date with school events, news and holidays
• Text messages with important updates/information/reminders are sent to parents via the ‘Aladdin’ system in use in the school
• Homework diary 1st – 6th class, used to relay messages which are signed between parents and teachers. Parents requested to sign diary each night to confirm that homework has been completed.
• Involvement of parents in the ‘At home’ section in the Religious Education programme – Grow in Love
• Parents are invited to relevant school events such as Graduation ceremonies, Masses, concerts/plays, special celebrations.
It is vital that the school is immediately informed if family events/situations occur that cause anxiety to your child and therefore may adversely affect his/her education. In all matters pertaining to the wellbeing and education of pupils, only the parents/legal guardians named on the enrolment form will be consulted by staff.
Formal Parent/Teacher meetings
Formal Parent/Teacher meetings will be held once a year for all classes (Circular 14/04). They will be initiated by the school staff and details regarding time, etc. will be worked out by the class teacher, in consultation with parents. Every effort will be made to facilitate parents at a time suitable to them. The school will attempt to co-ordinate times where siblings are concerned. Meetings may take place in classrooms, support rooms or in the hall. The teachers use prepared guidelines for the meetings and collaborate in advance about the progress of individual children. A short written record of the meeting is maintained by each teacher.
The purpose of the Parent/Teacher meeting is:
• To establish and maintain good communication between the school and parents
• To let parents know how their child is progressing in school
• To help teachers/parents get to know the child better as an individual
• To help children realise that home and school are working together.
• To meet demands for accountability
• To share with the parent the difficulties the child may have in school
• To review with the parent the child’s experience of schooling
• To learn more about the child from the parent’s perspective
• To learn more about parental opinions on what the school is doing
• To identify ways in which parents can help their children
• To negotiate jointly decisions about the child’s education
• To inform the parents of standardised test results according to school policy.
The school encourages communication between parents and teachers. Formal timetabled parent/teacher meetings take place once a year. However, if a parent wishes to arrange a meeting at any stage during the year to discuss their child, teachers are happy to facilitate this by prior appointment. A teacher’s primary responsibility is toward the children in his/her care. In order to allow teachers to give their fullest attention to a conversation with a parent/guardian and to enable them to arrange suitable cover for their teaching and/or supervision duties, a parent/guardian should make known that they wish to meet with their child’s teacher either by sending in a brief note, phoning the school secretary during office hours or by leaving a voice message on the school phone. The school will then make contact with the parent/guardian to arrange a suitable time.
Impromptu meetings with the class teacher at the class door to discuss a child’s concern/progress are discouraged on a number of grounds:
1. A teacher cannot adequately supervise his/her class while at the same time speaking to a parent
2. It is difficult to be discreet when so many children are standing close by
3. It can be embarrassing for a child when his/her parent is talking to the teacher at a classroom door.
Meetings regarding Special Educational Needs
The school aims to keep close contact with parents of children with additional/special educational needs. The school may arrange formal meetings with parents to discuss educational and support plans and targets and/or to liaise with other professionals such as psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists etc. If a parent wishes to arrange a meeting at any stage during the year to discuss their child’s education, they may do so by prior appointment.
Informal Parent/Staff Meetings
Occasions may occur where a parent needs to deliver a message to a teacher urgently and/or without prior notice. Parents are welcome to deliver a very brief message to teachers through the teacher on duty in the yard in the morning before school begins. Parents are asked to keep these messages as brief as possible as the primary responsibility of the teacher on supervision duty is to supervise the children in the yard.
Points to note
• All communication sent from the school will be sent to the child’s home address as given on the enrolment form, unless otherwise requested by parents
• In the case of separated parents, requests can be made by both parents to meet their child’s teacher(s) individually for parent/teacher meetings.
• If parents wish to drop in lunch boxes, sports gear etc, this can be done through the secretary’s office or at break/lunch time as it is important to keep class interruptions to a minimum.
• Parents are strongly discouraged from taking pupils out of school during term time in order to facilitate family holidays.
Circular 56/2011 Initial Steps in the implementation of the national literacy and numeracy Strategy has been adopted by the Board of Management. References to parent/school communication are:
Reporting to parents
Parents have the primary responsibility for their children’s learning and development. Schools can strengthen the capacity of parents to support their children in this way by sharing meaningful information with parents about the progress that children are achieving in the education system. This information needs to draw on the different sources of evidence that staffs use, such as conversations with the learner, data-collection and documented progress on objectives and milestones reached in their short and long-term planning, examination of students’ own self-assessment data, documented observations of the learner’s engagement with tasks, outcomes of other assessment tasks and tests, and examples of students’ work. In turn, parents will often be able to enrich staffs knowledge of their students’ progress through providing further information about the students’ learning at home.
Report card templates
Schools should help parents to understand fully the evidence of learning that the school reports to them, especially information from any standardised tests. The NCCA has provided a range of standard report templates to assist schools in reporting information about the progress of primary pupils to parents, including information from standardised tests. The NCCA report card templates were developed through a process of consultation with schools and parents can take account of research commissioned by the NCCA.
The report cards provide for reporting in four key areas:
• The child’s learning and achievement across the curriculum
• The child’s learning dispositions
• The child’s social and personal development
• Ways in which parents can support their child’s learning
Goleen National School uses report card templates as provided by the NCCA.
Complaints are infrequent but the school would wish that these would be dealt with informally, fairly and quickly. The following is the nationally agreed complaints procedure developed by CPSMA and INTO to be followed in primary schools.
1. A parent/guardian who wishes to make a complaint should, firstly approach the class teacher with a view to resolving the complaint
2. Where the parent/guardian is unable to resolve the complaint with the class teacher he/she should approach the Principal Teacher with a view to resolving it
3. If the complaint is still unresolved, the parent/guardian should raise the matter with the Chairperson of the Board of Management with a view to resolving it.
1. If the complaint is still unresolved and the parent/guardian wishes to pursue the matter further, he/she should lodge the complaint in writing with the Chairperson of the Board of Management
2. The Chairperson will bring the precise nature of the written complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the matter between the parties within 5 days of receipt of the written complaint.
1. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the Chairperson should, subject to the authorisation of the Board:
a. Supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint and
b. Arrange a meeting with the teacher, and where applicable, the Principal Teacher with a view to resolving the complaint. Such a meeting should take place within 10 days of receipt of the written complaint.
1. If the complaint is still not resolved, the Chairperson should make a formal report to the board within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3.1 (b)
2. If the Board considers that the complaint is not substantiated, the teacher and the complainant should be so informed within 3 days of the Board meeting
3. If the Board considers that the complaint is substantiated or that it warrants further investigation, the following steps should be followed:
a. The teacher should be informed that the investigation is proceeding to the next stage;
b. The teacher should be supplied with a copy of any written evidence in support of the complaint
c. The teacher should be requested to supply a written statement to the Board in response to the complaint
d. The teacher should be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation of the case to the Board and to be accompanied and assisted by another person at any such meeting
e. The meeting of the Board referred to in (d) will take place within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3.1 (b)
1. When the Board has completed its investigation, the Chairperson shall convey the decision of the Board in writing to the teacher and the complainant within 5 days of the meeting of the Board.
2. The decision of the Board shall be final.
In this procedure ‘days’ means school days.
Behaviour of all Stakeholders in the School
Positive and respectful communication is of high importance to our school. This not only extends to the children but to all of the stakeholders e.g. the staff, parents and the wider community. Anyone entering our building should feel safe to do so. While the behaviour of children in our school is of vital importance, adults in the school community also have a responsibility to ensure their own behaviour models the types of behaviour expected of children.
It is important that all stakeholders are responsible for their own behaviours in the school. Examples include:
• All stakeholders are expected to speak to each other with respect. Shouting or other aggressive tones are not acceptable. If a stakeholder displays anger or aggression to another member of the school community, they may be asked to remove themselves from the building/grounds.
• All stakeholders will treat our children with the utmost respect while on the premises.
• Staff should not be asked to speak about another parent’s child. The staff of the school will respect your child’s right to privacy so it is asked that parents respect other children’s rights to privacy.
• When stakeholders meet, it is important to respect that the time of meetings should be kept to a reasonable amount of time. Times of meetings should be agreed beforehand and these should be respected.
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act became operative on 1 November 1989. It is an important piece of legislation for BOMs and for those who work in schools, as schools and colleges were brought under the scope of safety legislation for the first time.
It is recognised that school staff may be at risk from violence in the form of verbal abuse, threats, assaults or other forms of intimidation. This behaviour may come from pupils, parents, guardians, or intruders.
In this respect, all staff should be aware of DES Circular 40/97 which deals with the procedures to follow if they feel they have been subjected to any of the above behaviours. A copy of this circular can be found in the school’s Health and Safety folder.
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management of Goleen National School on 8/5/2019
Signed: Alan O’Leary
Fr. Alan O’Leary