School Policies

 SCHOOL  SELF-EVALUATION

 Numeracy

An evaluation of teaching and learning in the area of Numeracy was undertaken during the period of January 2013 and April 2013.

 

Summary of the findings:

Our school has strengths in the following areas:

  • Childrens results in Standardised tests for Maths show an improvement year on year over the last three years.
  • Children are doing well in the areas of Number, Understanding Concepts and Facts, and Performing Computations and Procedures.
  • In general, parents are happy with the progress their children are making in Maths.
  • 87% of the children like Maths and consider themselves good at Maths.
  • Teachers state that the programmes and methodologies we use in the school are effective in teaching Numeracy and Maths in most areas of Maths.

 

The following areas are prioritised for improvement:

  • Problem solving
  • The language of Maths in relation to problem solving.

 

Summary of the School Improvement Plan:

The School Improvement Plan is a three year plan.

Improvement Targets:

  • Increase the time spent by all classes on problem solving with the aid of concrete materials.
  • Familiarise the children with the wide variety of maths use in everyday life.
  • Improve the childrens speed and fluency in solving mental maths problems.

 

  •  Integrate problem solving into all Maths topics and other curricular areas.
  • Develop the mathematical vocabulary of children and improve the accuracy and clarity of the language used by the children during maths activities.
  • Improve the childrens understanding of the vocabulary and terms commonly used in maths problems.

 

Literacy

An evaluation of teaching and learning in the area of Literacy was undertaken during the period September 2013 and March 2014.

 

Summary of the findings:

Our school has strengths in the following areas:

  • Childrens results in Standardised tests for Reading show an improvement year on year over the last three years.
  • Most children are scoring at national norms in the six percentile bands.
  • Children continue to develop independence in their writing skills through the use of Free Writing on a regular basis.
  • Most parents are happy with their childs progress in Literacy.
  • Most children have a positive attitude to Literacy.
  • Teachers state that the programmes and methodologies we use in the school are effective in teaching Literacy.

 

The following areas are prioritised for improvement:

  • The development of Speaking and Listening skills.

 

Summary of the School Improvement Plan:

The School Improvement Plan is a three year plan.

 

Improvement Targets:

  • To begin assessment of pupils development and progress in the area of Speaking and Listening.
  • Equip all classes with resources for developing Speaking and Listening.
  • Develop childrens oral language, confidence and conflict resolution skills in Junior and Senior Infants through the Play to Learn Programme.
  • Extend childrens receptive and expressive vocabulary.
  • Introduce self-assessment to the chidren in both Speaking and Listening.
  • Develop childrens confidence and competence in using language.
  • Provide parents/guardians with resources/support to enable them to assist in the development of oral language skills.

 

 

St. Francis’Junior School  Enrolment / Admissions Policy.

General Introduction :

The Board of Management of St. Francis’ Junior School Priorswood is setting out its policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998.

The Board of Management trusts that by so doing parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters and furthermore the Chairperson of the Board of Management, Mrs. Anne Hogan and the Principal Teacher, Mrs. Gráinne Power, St. Francis’ Junior School, Priorswood (phone : 847 0804) will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.

This Enrolment / Admissions Policy contains the following 2 sections :

  1. General Information.
  2. The Specific Procedures for Enrolment.

A.            General Information

 School Name              :         St. Francis’ Junior National School.

Address                          :         Clonshaugh Drive, Priorswood, Dublin 17.

Phone No.                        :      847 0804

Fax. No.                         :         847 0804

e-mail No.                       :         stfrancispriors.ias@eircom.net

Denomination                  :         Roman Catholic.

Patron                           :         The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin.

Single Sex or Mixed          :         Mixed

Total Number of Teachers         :         14 (including Principal)
9 Class Teachers 2 Learning Support Teachers 1 Resource Teacher 1 Home/School/Community Liaison Teacher.

In St. Francis’ Junior School, the following range of classes are taught :

Junior Infants, Senior Infants, First Class, Second Class

¨        In addition, there is a number of models and levels of support available in the school to pupils with Special Educational Needs.

¨         This school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education & Skills and it operates within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the Department.  Theschool must have regard to the resources and funding available.

This school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act (1998).

Within the context and parameters of Department of Education and Skills regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act, and the funding and resources available, this school supports the principles of :

~         inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need;

~         equality of access and participation in the school;

~         parental choice in relation to enrolment;

~         respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

The School Day

The school grounds are open from 8.15am approximately, but the Principal and Staff cannot accept responsibility for children arriving before the official opening of the school at 8.50am or remaining on the school grounds after the official closing time.

  1. The classrooms open to receive pupils at 8.50am
  2. Teachers accept responsibility for classes at 8.50am
  3. No pupil should arrive later than 9.00am
  4. Classes are dismissed each day at the following times :

Infant Section                  :         1.30pm

All other classes               :         2.30pm

Parents of children in the Infant Section of the school who wish to have their children escorted home should arrange to have them collected at their own classroom door at 1.30pm.

Some parents of Senior Infant children allow their children to go home by themselves.  If you wish your child to go home unaccompanied each day please give the class teacher a note to that effect.

Children in all other classes are dismissed at 2.30pm to go home on their own or to be met outside the school gates if parents so wish.

  1. B.           The Specific Procedures for Enrolment

Application Procedures :

Parents who wish to enrol children can do so by making an appointment to meet with the Principal.  This can be done by phoning the school secretary at 01-8470804 during normal school hours.  All applications must be accompanied by the child’s original birth certificate which will be copied and returned on the same day.

Applications for enrolment may be made between November and April (inclusive) for the following September.

The Board of Management will communicate generally to the school community through appropriate channels e.g. newsletter to parents of existing pupils, parish bulletin, school/church notice boards, outlining the “Application for Enrolment” procedures.

2.  Certain information will be required when an enrolment application is being made and an “Enrolment Application” form will also be provided by the Board of Management for this purpose.  Such information will include :

Pupil’s name, date of birth and address.

Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians.

Copy of pupil’s birth certificate.

Copy of pupil’s baptism certificate (if applicable) unless the pupil was baptised in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Priorswood in which case the provision of a copy of his/her certificate will not be necessary.

¨    Contact telephone numbers.

¨    Contact telephone numbers in case of emergency.

¨    Details of any medical or other conditions of which the school should be made aware.

¨    Religion.

¨    Previous schools attended, if any, and reasons for transfer, if applicable.

¨    Any other relevant information, including any such other information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act, 2000.

2.  Decisions in relation to enrolment applications :

¨    Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with School Policy.  The Board of Management is required under the terms of the Education Welfare Act 2000 to notify parents of their decision within 21 days of receiving such information as will be prescribed by the Minister under the Act.

¨    As a general principle and in so far as practicable having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled on application, provided that there is space available.

¨    In the event that the number of applications for enrolment exceeds / is expected to exceed the number of places available the following is an outline of the processes for decision-making and the criteria to be used. The criteria will include the following:

(1)  Children must be aged four or over on 1st September of the year of enrolment.

(2)  Catholic children from within the parish of St. Francis of Assisi.

(3)  Brothers and sisters of children in the school.

(4)  Catholic children who live outside the parish and do not have a Catholic school in their parish.

(5)  All children who live within the parish boundaries but are not Catholic applying for a placement are entitled to a place if there are vacancies after the groups from (2) to (4) have been allocated places.

(6)  All children who apply to the school and are not Catholics and not residents within the parish boundaries are entitled to a place in the school if there are vacancies in the school after the groups from (2) to (5) have been allocated places.

The Board of Management shall exercise its discretion in the application of the criteria.

The Board of Management is bound by the Department of Education and Skills “Rules for National Schools” which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of 4 years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years.

In the event that there are more applicants within any category than there are available places, priority will be given to children within the particular category in order of age, starting with the oldest.

2.  Enrolment of Children with Special Needs :

In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, the Board will request a copy of the child’s medical and / or psychological report.  Where such a report is not available the Board may request that the child be assessed immediately.  The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his / her disability or special needs and to profile the support services required.  Following receipt of the report the Board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report.  Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request the Department of Education and Skills to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the psychological or medical report.

It may be necessary for the Board of Management to decide to defer enrolment of a child, pending :

~     the receipt of an assessment report and / or

~ the provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Skills to meet the needs specified in the Psychological and/ or medical report.

¨    The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse enrolment in exceptional circumstances e.g.
a)   The pupil has special needs such that, even with additional  resources available from Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the pupil with an appropriate education.

(b) In the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, school staff and/or  school property.

Parents have a right to appeal against a decision to refuse enrolment (Section 29, Education Act, 1998)

5.  Pupils Transferring :

Pupils may transfer to St. Francis’ Junior School at any time subject to :

~         School Policy.

~         The rules of the Department of Education and Skills.

~         Available space.

~         The provisions of the Education Welfare Act (2000) in relation to the transfer of pupils.

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St. Francis’ Junior School Enrolment / Admissions Policy

General Introduction :

The Board of Management of St. Francis’ Junior School Priorswood is setting out its policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998.

The Board of Management trusts that by so doing parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters and furthermore the Chairperson of the Board of Management, Mrs. Anne Hogan and the Principal Teacher, Mrs. Gráinne Power, St. Francis’ Junior School, Priorswood (phone : 847 0804) will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.

This Enrolment / Admissions Policy contains the following 2 sections :

General Information.
The Specific Procedures for Enrolment.
A. General Information
School Name : St. Francis’ Junior National School.

Address : Clonshaugh Drive, Priorswood, Dublin 17.

Phone No. : 847 0804

Fax. No. : 847 0804

e-mail No. : stfrancispriors.ias@eircom.net

Denomination : Roman Catholic.

Patron : The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin.

Single Sex or Mixed : Mixed

Total Number of Teachers : 14 (including Principal)
9 Class Teachers 2 Learning Support Teachers 1 Resource Teacher 1 Home/School/Community Liaison Teacher.

In St. Francis’ Junior School, the following range of classes are taught :

Junior Infants, Senior Infants, First Class, Second Class

¨ In addition, there is a number of models and levels of support available in the school to pupils with Special Educational Needs.

¨ This school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education & Skills and it operates within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the Department. Theschool must have regard to the resources and funding available.

This school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act (1998).

Within the context and parameters of Department of Education and Skills regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act, and the funding and resources available, this school supports the principles of :

~ inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need;

~ equality of access and participation in the school;

~ parental choice in relation to enrolment;

~ respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

The School Day

The school grounds are open from 8.15am approximately, but the Principal and Staff cannot accept responsibility for children arriving before the official opening of the school at 8.50am or remaining on the school grounds after the official closing time.

The classrooms open to receive pupils at 8.50am
Teachers accept responsibility for classes at 8.50am
No pupil should arrive later than 9.00am
Classes are dismissed each day at the following times :
Infant Section : 1.30pm

All other classes : 2.30pm

Parents of children in the Infant Section of the school who wish to have their children escorted home should arrange to have them collected at their own classroom door at 1.30pm.

Some parents of Senior Infant children allow their children to go home by themselves. If you wish your child to go home unaccompanied each day please give the class teacher a note to that effect.

Children in all other classes are dismissed at 2.30pm to go home on their own or to be met outside the school gates if parents so wish.

B. The Specific Procedures for Enrolment
Application Procedures :

Parents who wish to enrol children can do so by making an appointment to meet with the Principal. This can be done by phoning the school secretary at 01-8470804 during normal school hours. All applications must be accompanied by the child’s original birth certificate which will be copied and returned on the same day.

Applications for enrolment may be made between November and April (inclusive) for the following September.

The Board of Management will communicate generally to the school community through appropriate channels e.g. newsletter to parents of existing pupils, parish bulletin, school/church notice boards, outlining the “Application for Enrolment” procedures.

2. Certain information will be required when an enrolment application is being made and an “Enrolment Application” form will also be provided by the Board of Management for this purpose. Such information will include :

Pupil’s name, date of birth and address.

Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians.

Copy of pupil’s birth certificate.

Copy of pupil’s baptism certificate (if applicable) unless the pupil was baptised in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Priorswood in which case the provision of a copy of his/her certificate will not be necessary.

¨ Contact telephone numbers.

¨ Contact telephone numbers in case of emergency.

¨ Details of any medical or other conditions of which the school should be made aware.

¨ Religion.

¨ Previous schools attended, if any, and reasons for transfer, if applicable.

¨ Any other relevant information, including any such other information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act, 2000.

2. Decisions in relation to enrolment applications :

¨ Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with School Policy. The Board of Management is required under the terms of the Education Welfare Act 2000 to notify parents of their decision within 21 days of receiving such information as will be prescribed by the Minister under the Act.

¨ As a general principle and in so far as practicable having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled on application, provided that there is space available.

¨ In the event that the number of applications for enrolment exceeds / is expected to exceed the number of places available the following is an outline of the processes for decision-making and the criteria to be used. The criteria will include the following:

(1) Children must be aged four or over on 1st September of the year of enrolment.

(2) Catholic children from within the parish of St. Francis of Assisi.

(3) Brothers and sisters of children in the school.

(4) Catholic children who live outside the parish and do not have a Catholic school in their parish.

(5) All children who live within the parish boundaries but are not Catholic applying for a placement are entitled to a place if there are vacancies after the groups from (2) to (4) have been allocated places.

(6) All children who apply to the school and are not Catholics and not residents within the parish boundaries are entitled to a place in the school if there are vacancies in the school after the groups from (2) to (5) have been allocated places.

The Board of Management shall exercise its discretion in the application of the criteria.

The Board of Management is bound by the Department of Education and Skills “Rules for National Schools” which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of 4 years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years.

In the event that there are more applicants within any category than there are available places, priority will be given to children within the particular category in order of age, starting with the oldest.

2. Enrolment of Children with Special Needs :

In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, the Board will request a copy of the child’s medical and / or psychological report. Where such a report is not available the Board may request that the child be assessed immediately. The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his / her disability or special needs and to profile the support services required. Following receipt of the report the Board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request the Department of Education and Skills to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the psychological or medical report.

It may be necessary for the Board of Management to decide to defer enrolment of a child, pending :

~ the receipt of an assessment report and / or

~ the provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Skills to meet the needs specified in the Psychological and/ or medical report.

¨ The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse enrolment in exceptional circumstances e.g.
a) The pupil has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the pupil with an appropriate education.

(b) In the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, school staff and/or school property.

Parents have a right to appeal against a decision to refuse enrolment (Section 29, Education Act, 1998)

5. Pupils Transferring :

Pupils may transfer to St. Francis’ Junior School at any time subject to :

~ School Policy.

~ The rules of the Department of Education and Skills.

~ Available space.

~ The provisions of the Education Welfare Act (2000) in relation to the transfer of pupils.

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Child Protection Policy

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, practices and activities. Accordingly, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, the Board of Management of St. Francis’ Junior School has agreed the following child protection policy :

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 as part of this overall child protection policy.

2. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Gráinne Power

3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Fíona Mhic Dhomhnaill

4. In it’s policies, practices and activities, St. Francis’ Junior School will adhere to the following principles of best practices in child protection and welfare :

The school will

• recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;

• fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relating to child protection and welfare matters;

• 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;

• develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and

• fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.

5. The Board has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices
that are particularly relevant to child protection are in place :

RSE Policy
Communication Policy
Code of Behaviour & Discipline
Anti-Bullying Policy
Safety Statement
Internet Policy
Use of DVDs/Videos

(see Appendix A)

6. This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parents’
Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. A copy of this
policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

7. This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.

Appendix A
Child Protection Practices

The staff and Board of Management of this school have identified the following as areas of specific concern in relation to Child Protection. Following discussion and consultation, the staff and Board of Management have agreed that the following practices be adopted :

• Physical contact between school personnel and the child should always be in response to the needs of the child and not the needs of the adult.

While physical contact may be used to comfort, reassure or assist a child, the following should be factors in determining its appropriateness :

• It is acceptable to the child
• It is open and not secretive
• The age and developmental stage of the child

School personnel should avoid doing anything of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves.

School personnel should never engage in or allow :

• The use of inappropriate language or behaviours
• Physical punishment of any kind
• Sexually provocative games or suggestive comments about or to a child
• The use of sexually explicit or pornographic material

All media products (CDs, DVDs etc.) should be checked for their appropriateness with regard to age and suitability. (See Policy for the use of DVDs/Videos).

Visitors/Guest Speakers

Appropriately appointed and screened visiting teachers of varying disciplines, engaged by the Board of Management of St. Francis’ Junior School to perform specific duties, may be left to work with a class alone at the Principal’s discretion.
Visitors/guest speakers should never be left alone with pupils. The school principal/teacher has a responsibility to check out the credentials of the visitor/guest speaker and to ensure that the material in use is appropriate.

– 1 –
Children with specific toileting/intimate care needs

• In all situations where a pupil needs assistance with toileting/intimate care, a meeting will be convened, after enrolment and before the child starts school, between parents/guardians, class teacher, special needs assistant, Principal and if appropriate the pupil. The purpose of the meeting will be to ascertain the specific needs of the child and to determine how the school can best meet those needs.
• The staff to be involved in this care will be identified and provision will be made for occasions when the particular staff involved are absent. A written copy of what has been agreed will be made and kept in the child’s file.

Toileting accidents

Clean underwear and suitable clothing will be kept in the school so that if a pupil has an ‘accident’ of this nature, they will in the first instance be offered fresh clothing into which they can change.

If the pupil for whatever reason cannot clean or change themselves and the parents/guardians cannot be contacted, the child will be assisted by members of staff familiar to the child. A record of all such incidents will be kept and Principal and parents will be notified.

Accidents

While every precaution will be taken under our Health and Safety Statement to ensure the safety of children, we realise that accidents will happen. Accidents will be noted in our Incident book and will be addressed under our Accident Policy as part of Health and Safety.

One-to-one teaching

• It is the policy in this school that one-to-one teaching can sometimes be in the best interest of the child
• Every effort will be made to ensure that this teaching takes place in an open environment
• Parents of children who are to be involved in one-to-one teaching will be informed and their agreement sought
• Work being carried out by Special Needs Assistants will be carried out under the direction of the class teacher in an open environment

Attendance

Our school attendance will be monitored as per our attendance policy. With regards to child protection, we will pay particular attention to trends in non-attendance. We will also monitor non-attendance in correlation with signs of neglect/physical/emotional abuse.

– 2 –

Bullying

Bullying behaviour will be addressed under our Anti-Bullying policy. If the behaviour involved is of a sexualised nature or regarded as being particularly abusive, then the matter will be referred to the DLP.

Children travelling in staff cars

Members of the school staff will not carry children alone in their cars at any time.

Communication

Every effort will be made to enhance pupil-teacher communication. If pupils have concerns they will be listened to sympathetically. The SPHE/OralLanguage/RE programmes allow for open pupil-teacher communication, which is hoped will aid the pupil-teacher relationship. If teachers have to communicate with pupils on a one-to-one basis, they are requested to leave the classroom door open or request a colleague to attend. Further details on communications are found in the school’s Communication Policy.

Induction of Staff

The DLP will be responsible for informing all new teachers and ancillary staff of the Child Protection Procedures (DES, 2011) and Children First Guidelines (2011), but particularly the recently published Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011). All new teachers are expected to teach the appropriate SPHE objectives for their class.

Induction of Pupils

All parents and children will be made aware of attendance rules and their implications as laid down in the Education Welfare Act (2000). All parents will be informed of the programmes in place in the school that deal with personal development e.g. RSE, Walk Tall, Stay Safe and SPHE. All new parents will be given a copy of the school’s enrolment policy, which outlines the procedures parents and children should use when contacting the school if there are absences or concerns of an educational/personal/family matter. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the class teacher/principal if they wish to discuss their child’s progress. All parents will be given a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies.

Internet Safety

It is the intention of the Principal and Staff of St. Francis’ Junior School to ensure that child protection concerns will be addressed in the school’s Acceptable Use Policy as part of its Information and Communication Technology policy. The Stay Safe lessons in each classroom may be supplemented with appropriate resources.

– 3 –
Record Keeping

Teachers will keep records on each child’s reports using St. Francis’ Junior School Record Keeping Sheets. These records are kept in the filing cabinet in the Secretary’s Office. Roll books will be updated daily. Sensitive information regarding children will be shared on a need-to-know basis. All educational files of pupils who no longer attend this school are kept in the strong room.

Supervision

The school’s supervision policy will be followed by all staff to ensure that there is comprehensive supervision of children at all breaks. A rota will be displayed to cover breaks.

Visibility

Teachers will ensure that children are visible in the school playground. Children will not be allowed to spend time in classrooms, toilets or sheds where they would not be under adult supervision. They are not to leave the school play ground or to engage with adults who are outside of the school playground.

Collecting Children from the School

Children in Junior and Senior Infants must be collected from the classroom at 1.30pm by a parent/guardian who shall be made known to the class teacher at the beginning of the school year.

Children in 1st and 2nd class must be collected from the School Gate at 2.30pm. The class teacher will accompany the children to the gate and ensure that all children are collected by a parent/guardian.

Parents of children in 1st and 2nd class who wish their children to go home alone must notify the school in writing.

Should a parent/guardian be unable to collect the child, the school must be notified and the name of the person collecting the child must be made known to the teacher.

Should a parent/guardian wish to collect their child before the end of the school day, they must notify the Principal/Secretary before collecting their child, giving the reason for collection and sign the Signing Out Book.

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03/2014
Policy on Detention

In St. Francis Junior N.S. every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.

The Code of Behaviour and Discipline offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by teachers.

The Code also lists sanctions which may be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. Children will incur a period of detention from the playground if they have committed a serious offence or persistently cause trouble (having been initially warned).

Serious Offence

i. A serious offence is deemed to be a deliberate action that could cause injury to another child or other aggressive behaviour.

ii. Bullying.

iii. Going out of bounds repeatedly.

iv. Name calling or messing up other children’s game (repeatedly).

v. Persistent refusal to obey instructions.

vi. Being disruptive in the class or yard.

Any of the above warrant detention.

Notes :

i. No child should receive detention for failure to do work in class or homework or for being inattentive in class.

ii. Any incident in the yard should be reported by the teacher on
yard duty to the class teacher.

iii. Detention will be supervised by the Principal or H.S.C.L. teacher. In the event that they are unavailable, another teacher may be appointed to do this task.

N.B. Where there is only one child for detention it must take place in an open
area, visible to others.

Guidelines to follow before detention :

The teacher who is supervising when incident warranting detention occurs will speak to Class Teacher and/or Principal as necessary about the incident. A detention slip will be issued and sent home to the child’s parents to be signed. Copies of all detention slips will be kept on file. A record book shall also be kept with details of the incident.

Arrangements for detention :

i. Children will sit apart from one another.

ii. Silence must be observed and children must remain seated.

iii. Children must be given work to do which is appropriate but not fun.

iv. Supervising teacher should discuss with children the reason for their detention and how they can improve their behaviour.

v. Parents will be called after second day in detention within a month. In the event of a serious incident (e.g. a deliberate incident causing harm) parents will be notified at once.

vi. In the event of a pupil having 3 periods of detention within a month, his/her parents will be requested to come to the school.

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St. Francis’ Junior School
Priorswood, Dublin 17
November 2014

Home School Community Liaison Plan

This plan was devised by a group of parents and teachers working together in St. Francis’ Junior School.

St. Francis’ Junior School is fully committed to the principle of partnership within education between parents, teachers and the community. The Home School Community Liaison Scheme has provided an excellent means of supporting and developing this commitment.
It promotes preventative rather than curative initiatives, with a commitment to early intervention at its core.

The Home School Community Liaison programme has been enthusiastically implemented in St. Francis’ Junior School since its initiation by the Department of Education and Science. We were initially awarded a shared post with St. Francis’ Senior School but subsequently both schools were given full time positions.

We have found the programme invaluable in developing a spirit of partnership between the parents and staff of our school. The Home School Community Liaison position has also been very proactive in forging links and partnership between the school community and the wider Dublin 17 community.

Communication between Home and School

A school information pack is given to the parents of all incoming junior infant children and those who transfer from other schools. This pack contains the Code of Behaviour and Discipline, Child Protection Policy, Internet Policy and ‘It’s Cool to be in School’ booklet.
It also contains general information about the school and specific details about the purchase of the school uniform.

Written messages/texts are sent to all families concerning school events and closures.

The attendance monitor contacts the home when a child is absent.

Parents are involved in the formulation of all relevant school policies.

A school report is sent to all parents in the month of June each year.

A school newsletter is posted on the school website each term.

The H.S.C.L. coordinator is in constant contact with parents to inform them about current issues and to encourage their participation in school events.

The H.S.C.L. coordinator is available to parents to discuss any issues of concern they may have.

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Parent Teacher Meetings

An information meeting is held for the parents of the incoming junior infants prior to their commencement.

The junior infant children and their parents are invited to an open hour in the classroom with their new teacher prior to commencement.

Class meetings are held in each room at the beginning of the school year.

One to one parent teacher meetings are held once a year, usually during the second term.

A number of information meetings take place each year involving some or all parents, e.g. book project (Junior and Senior Infants), First Communion.

Home Visits

Families of the junior infant children are visited by the H.S.C.L. coordinator.

The school completion programme target group are visited.

Families are targeted for visits in order to remind them about the parent teacher meetings or as a follow on afterwards.

A home visit may be requested by the principal or a teacher.

Visits may take place in support of a community initiative, e.g. the Preparing for Life project.

Parental Support

The book project for the Junior and Senior Infants involves parents and teachers working with the children on specific storybooks.

Parents of 2nd class children work with their children at home on a First Steps writing project each year.

Exhibitions of class work are held in the Parents’ Room and children display their work for the parents and teachers.

The mobile library provides books for parents to share with their children.

The Parents Association assists in organising school events and fund-raising.

The Parents Association also organises some activities with class groups, e.g. cookery, science day, art day.

Parents representatives participate in the Local Committee and Parents sub Committees.

Parents are involved in Policy Committees

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Parents in the Classroom

Parents assist in the implementation of the maths programme in the Junior and Senior Infant classes.

Parents also assist in the Maths for Fun project in the 1st and 2nd classes.

Parents and Grandparents give talks to classes based on their own experiences on topics related to the curriculum e.g. local history, musical instruments, other cultures, people who help us.

Courses for Parents

Courses in leisure interests, e.g. fitness/art & craft/cookery

Literacy classes, e.g. Story Sacks

Self-development classes – FETAC Level 3 modules

English classes for people for whom English is a second language take place in Coláiste Dhúlaigh.

Parents are informed about other classes in the community.

Links with other Agencies

The H.S.C.L. coordinator is a participant in the following committees and working groups :
Dublin 17 family cluster
H.S.C.L. area clusters
School Completion Programme
One to One committee
Traveller Education Network
Sphere 17 youth service
Dublin 17 Local Committee
Moatview Early Learning Centre

HSCL Programme

1. Developing and supporting parents as prime educators.

Forming a relationship with parents :
~ Home Visits 33.3% spent on
~ Junior Infants
~ School Completion target group
~ Specific families – reminders of meetings etc. as issues arise during the year
Yard, funerals, meetings, communion etc.

Courses :
~ Leisure interests
~ Curriculum based
~ Self-development – communications and parenting courses

Parents supporting the curriculum :
~ At home
Homework, book projects, First Steps Writing project

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~ In School
Parents’ Association : Assist with fundraising and events. Organise class activities e.g. Easter cookery

Parents in the classroom : Junior Infants – Maths, Art & Craft
1st and 2nd class – Maths for Fun

Parents and school policies : Homework, bullying etc.

2. Working with school management and staff.

 Promoting partnership : Encouraging, facilitating, supporting links between teacher and parents.
 Supporting the school Management, Principal, B.O.M.
 Staff development : Keeping staff informed of developments in area. Informing staff about HSCL. Introducing new initiatives. Speakers. Supporting staff in difficulties communicating with some families.

3. Developing partnership with the community.

 Dublin 17 family cluster every week : Second level and Primary transfer. Common families; shared initiatives.

 Local Clusters : Bigger group, more diverse; twice a term, shared practice

School Completion Programme :

Target group, In-school support, After school clubs, Fund breakfasts and lunches. Out of school activities e.g. swimming, courses. Family support – Paul Donnelly. Care teams meet regularly

Traveller Education Network – Dublin 17 area
One to One Committee
Sphere 17 youth service
Dublin 17 local committee
Parents sub-committee – e.g. Head Lice
Moatview Early Education Centre

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COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS – POLICY (September 2012)

St. Francis’ Junior School communicates with parents in a number of ways.

• We have a variety of booklets dealing with school policies and general information concerning the school. These booklets are distributed to all parents when their child first enrols in the school.
• We notify all parents of school closures and important dates by way of letters given to the children at home time. Check your child’s school bag regularly for these letters.
• Also, some notices may be sent as a text message so it is very important that we always have a valid mobile phone number for contact purposes.
• At the end of each term a newsletter is sent home to inform parents of activities and events taking place in the school.
• Parents/Teacher meetings of various types are held during each school year. We would urge all parents to avail of the opportunity to attend these meetings.
• Parents and teachers also meet regularly when children are going to and coming from school. These informal meetings are a good opportunity for parents to pass on small pieces of information regarding their children to teachers. However, if a parent has a particular concern about their child or wishes to discuss their child’s progress they can arrange a meeting with the class teacher. Should a parent wish to meet Mrs. Power it will be necessary to make an advance appointment.

In addition, if Mrs. Power or the class teacher requests a meeting with you it is important that you try to attend or else notify us in writing as to when you can come, but please do not let a request for a visit to the school go unheeded.

PARENT / SCHOOL CONTACT

If both parents are working it is essential that clear instructions should be left with the school for contacting them in case of emergency.

NECESSARY MEDICAL INFORMATION

If your child has any serious or recurring medical problem it is essential that you give the school Principal all necessary details.

SCHOOL MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS

Personnel from the Schools Section of the Northern Area Health Board will visit the school on a number of occasions during your child’s four years in this school. You will be informed of any visit relevant to your child as the need arises.

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INTERNET POLICY (2009)

• Our Internet Policy has been written by the school using N.C.T.E. guidelines. It has been agreed by the Principal, and approved by the Board of Management of the school. It will be reviewed on a regular basis.
• The purpose of Internet use in school is to raise educational standards, to promote pupil achievement, to support the professional work of staff and to enhance the school’s management information and business administration systems.
• Internet use is a part of the statutory curriculum and a necessary tool for staff and pupils.
• The Internet is an essential element in 21st Century life for education, business and social interaction. The school has a duty to provide students with quality Internet access as part of their learning experience.

Benefits of using the Internet in education include:

• access to world-wide educational resources including museums and art galleries;
• inclusion in government initiatives such as the DES Broadband for Schools Initiative.
• educational and cultural exchanges between pupils world-wide;
• cultural, vocational, social and leisure use in libraries, clubs and at home;
• access to experts in many fields for pupils and staff;
• staff professional development through access to national developments, educational materials and good curriculum practice;

The school Internet access will be designed expressly for pupil use and will include filtering appropriate to the age of pupils. Pupils will be given clear objectives for Internet use.

• Teachers will choose on-line activities that will support the learning outcomes planned for the pupils’ age and maturity.
• Internet access will be planned to enrich and extend learning activities. Access levels will be reviewed to reflect the curriculum requirements and age of pupils.
• Pupils will be educated in the effective use of the Internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location and retrieval.
• Pupil use of the Internet will be strictly monitored at all times by the class teacher.

Pupil use of e-mail

• Pupils will not be given personal e-mail addresses. Whole class or group e-mail addresses will be used in all classes.
• E-mail sent to an external organisation should be written carefully and authorised before sending, in the same way as a letter written on school headed paper.
• Access in school to external personal accounts will be blocked.

Authorisation of Internet access

• Access to the Internet will be by teacher demonstration with occasional directly supervised access to specific, approved on-line materials.
• Parents will be informed that pupils will be provided with supervised Internet access.
• Parents will be asked to sign and return a consent form.
• The school will keep a record of all staff and pupils who are granted Internet access. The record will be kept up-to-date, for instance a member of staff leaving or the withdrawal of a pupil’s access.

Assessment of risks

• In common with other media such as magazines, books and video, some material available via the Internet is unsuitable for pupils. The school will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material. However, due to the international scale and linked nature of Internet content, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a school computer. The school cannot accept liability for the material accessed, or any consequences of Internet access.
• Methods to identify, assess and minimise risks will be reviewed regularly.
• The Principal and Special Duties IT teacher will ensure that the Internet policy is implemented and compliance with the policy monitored.

Introduction of policy to pupils

• Rules for Internet access will be posted near all computer systems.
• A module on responsible Internet use will be included in the SPHE programme covering both school and home use.
• Pupils will be informed that Internet use will be monitored.
• Instruction in responsible and safe use should precede Internet access.

How staff will be informed

• All staff must accept the terms of the ‘Responsible Internet Use Policy’ statement before using any Internet resource in the school.
• All staff will be provided with the School Internet Policy and its importance explained.
• Staff should be made aware that Internet traffic can be monitored and traced to the individual user. Discretion and professional conduct are essential.

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POLICY ON BEHAVIOUR & DISCIPLINE (March 2014)

• This policy on Behaviour and Discipline is a revised code, developed in accordance with Guidelines for Schools : Developing a Code of Behaviour (NEWB publication 2008).
An audit and review of the school’s policy on Behaviour and Discipline (2011) was carried out by school staff during 2014.

• In formulating this code, the Board of Management considered a submission relating to the possible content of a code received from, and discussed with, the body representing the parents of the pupils attending the school.

• All members of the teaching staff have been involved in planning this code.

1. In devising this code, due consideration has been given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.

2. Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school. The code offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by teachers.

3. The school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long run, give the best results.

4. The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences.

5. 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, pupils and parents.

6. School rules are kept to a minimum and are positively stated in terms of what pupils should do.

7. All efforts will be made to match the curriculum to the abilities, aptitudes and interests of each pupil.

8. The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the principal. Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common
responsibility for good order within the school premises. A pupil will be referred to the principal for
serious breaches of discipline and for repeated incidents of minor misbehaviour.

This school code of behaviour and discipline covers the following areas :

1. General behaviour and discipline.
2. Attendance and punctuality.
3. Behaviour in classrooms and within the school building.
4. Behaviour in the school playgrounds and outside the school.
5. Rewards.
6. Sanctions.
7. Detention

1. GENERAL BEHAVIOUR AND DISCIPLINE :

Students are more likely to benefit from their education and to be happy in a structured, caring environment where high standards of behaviour are expected and adhered to. As it is vital that pupils understand the purpose of the school’s Code of Behaviour and Discipline teachers will ensure that pupils are familiar with the rules throughout the school year.

Teachers will, from the beginning of each school year, insist on proper standards of pupil behaviour and discipline e.g. showing proper respect for teachers, staff members and fellow pupils; wearing the proper, complete school uniform (see below)

SCHOOL UNIFORM

The school uniform is an important symbol of our school to all who see our pupils as they come and go from school. Our school uniform consists of :
Boys Girls
Royal blue V-neck jumper Royal blue V-neck jumper
Grey shirt Grey shirt
Grey socks White socks or royal blue tights
Grey trousers Grey pinafore (crew neck)
Tie (Blue with silver or white Tie (as for boys)
Diagonal stripe)
Tracksuit with school crest (for PE) Tracksuit with school crest (for PE)
Runners (for PE) Runners (for PE)
NOTES :

a) The school tracksuit with crest is available only from “Happy Events”
b) All children must wear the complete school uniform from 1st September to 30th June each school year, except on “PE days” when the school tracksuit and runners must be worn.
c) The wearing of a school uniform / tracksuit is obligatory for all pupils of this school.

2. ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY :

a) All pupils are expected to be regular and punctual in attendance.
b) Pupils absences must be explained by written message from parents / guardians. Attendance Record notes are available from Class Teachers and will be sent home to be completed.
c) Irregular attendance without adequate explanation will be referred to the Education Welfare Officer for investigation.
d) In accordance with the Education Act 2002 (see below), parents will be notified in writing after their child has 10 absences from school. They will be further notified after 15 absences. This is to help parents to comply with the Education Act in the interests of their children’s education.
e) In the interest of pupils’ safety, no child will be allowed home early from school unless the school has received a written or verbal request from the child’s parents / guardians or has been previously advised by the parents / guardians to expect the arrival of a specific, named person. Parents must sign-out their children from the secretary’s office.

The Education (Welfare) Act 2002 :

This Act became law in July 2002. Under the Act, schools must report pupil absences
when the aggregate number of school days on which a pupil is absent from school during
a school year is not less than 20. The School Principal must notify, in
writing, an Educational Welfare Officer.

*** All school absences should be explained by a Doctor’s Certificate or a written
explanation by Parents/Guardians or a visit to the Class Teacher/Principal by
Parents/Guardians. ***

3. BEHAVIOUR IN CLASSROOMS AND IN THE SCHOOL BUILDING :

a) Pupils must behave in a reasonable manner and must respect the rights of other pupils to learn. Any behaviour which persistently distracts others or disrupts the learning atmosphere of the class is unacceptable.
b) Pupils must at all times show courtesy, obedience and truthfulness to school principal, teachers and other members of staff.
c) Pupils must show proper respect for themselves, their fellow pupils, their teachers and all other members of the school staff.
d) The behaviour of pupils in the classrooms and others areas of the school building must not cause a danger to themselves or to others.
e) Pupils must show proper respect for their own property, other people’s property and school property.
f) Pupils are not permitted to run in classrooms or in other parts of the building.
g) Pupils are not permitted to use offensive language in any circumstance.

4. BEHAVIOUR IN THE SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDS AND OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL :

a) Pupils must walk to and from playgrounds, running, pushing etc. are not permitted.
b) Pupils must treat others as they themselves would wish to be treated, e.g. they must play in a way that is safe for themselves and others; they must not interfere with other pupils’ games etc.
c) Verbal or physical abuse, bullying (see below), aggressive behaviour, rough play etc. are unacceptable.
d) Children must remain in the playground at all times during break periods unless given specific permission to leave the area by the staff member responsible for playground supervision.
e) When the bell rings to signal the end of play-time, pupils must WALK to the designated place of assembly and line up properly to await the arrival of their class teacher.
f) Pupils must not leave the school grounds AT ANY TIME without the permission of the principal and / or the supervising staff member.
g) Pupils must not play dangerous games deemed to be dangerous in the playground.

Pupils experiencing behavioural, emotional and social difficulties will receive support from the class teacher and the Special Education Team through the use of the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) guidelines and support materials.

Bullying :

Bullying can mean many different things including being called names, being pushed or pulled about, being ignored and left out. When these behaviours are experienced in a repeated and ongoing manner they are called bullying.
Children will be empowered to tell school staff and parents through specific lessons in Social Personal and Health Education.

Bullying is defined as follows :
Unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or
group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

ALL FORMS OF BULLYING AND AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR ARE UNACCEPTABLE AT ALL TIMES. DUE TO ITS EFFECT ON THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE SCHOOL AND WITH REGARD FOR THE RIGHT OF EVERY PUPIL TO COME TO SCHOOL EACH DAY FREE OF THE FEAR OF INTIMIDATION, A VERY SERIOUS VIEW WILL BE TAKEN OF SUCH BEHAVIOUR – Parents should try to ensure that their children are not involved in “gangs” or bullying on the way to and from school.
(See our Anti-Bullying Policy)

5. REWARDS :

The rewarding of good behaviour will be emphasised at all times over the punishing of misbehaviour. Strategies such as the following may be used to show approval of good behaviour:

a) Use of “Star” stickers in class, e.g. in copies or on charts.
b) Use of merit badges e.g. “excellent work”, “well done”, “big improvement” etc.
c) Distribution of various classroom or playground “jobs” as rewards for good behaviour.
d) Occasional Friday “prize giving” or raffle in class.
e) Occasional cartoon show.
f) Referral of children to Principal for praise / reward / Golden ticket.
g) Invitation to Principal to classroom to praise good work / behaviour.
h) Attendance awards and certificates.
i) Most improved pupil of the term award.
j) Line of the week trophy for class.

6. SANCTIONS :

Strategies such as the following may be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour :

a) Temporary separation from peers, friends or others.
b) Re-arrangement of seating, to separate particular children from each other.
c) Yellow card / Red card awarded.
d) Detention during a break or breaks.
e) Referral to Principal.
f) Communication with parents / guardians.
(In addition, in the interest of both pupils and parents, in the case of a pupil behaving in an inappropriate manner, which is out of character for that pupil, parents will be informed).
g) Suspension (temporary).
h) Expulsion.

6. DETENTION

Children will incur a period of detention from the playground if they have committed a serious offence or persistently cause trouble (having been initially warned).
(See Detention Policy)

Serious Offence

Teachers shall keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils Before resorting to serious sanctions e.g. suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Parents will be involved at an early stage, rather than as a last resort.

(i) A serious offence is deemed to be a deliberate action that could cause injury to another child
or other aggressive behaviour.
(ii) Bullying.
(iii) Misbehaving repeatedly in a way that disrupts other pupils learning.
(iv) Going out of bounds repeatedly.
(v) Name calling or messing up other children’s games (repeatedly).
(vi) Persistent refusal to obey instructions.

Any of the above warrant detention.

When on detention :

 Children will be given appropriate work to complete by the class teacher.

 Children on detention will be given a Detention Slip which must be signed by their parents/guardians and returned to the school.

 In the event of a pupil having 3 periods of detention within a month, his/her parents will be requested to come to the school.

Communication with parents will be verbal or by letter, depending on circumstances. The parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, suspension will be considered. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards any staff member will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour, depending on circumstances.

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 be suspended for a temporary period.

In the case of gross misbehaviour the Board shall authorise the Chairperson or the Principal to sanction an immediate suspension, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case.

The Department of Education and Science has introduced Guidelines and Procedures for all
schools in relation to Child Protection and Welfare. These guidelines promote the welfare of all
children and are to be welcomed.

The Board of Management of St. Francis Junior School has adopted the above guidelines as
school policy. Consequently if there is a matter of concern in relation to abuse of children we are
obliged to report this to the HSE (Health Services Executive). They will assess the case and provide
the necessary support for the child concerned.

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Anti-Bullying Policy (March 2014)

1. 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 St. Francis’ Junior 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.
2. 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 (See Appendix 1) 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; involves collaboration among and between staff & pupils and promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

• Effective leadership

• A school-wide approach

• A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact

• 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

• Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils

• Supports for staff

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• Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies) and ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

3. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows :
‘Unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time’.
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
 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 do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of 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 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools and appears as Appendix 2 of this document.

4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows :
• The class teacher(s) initially
• The principal thereafter if necessary

5. The following education and prevention strategies, at the appropriate and relevant level for each class, will be used by the school :
• Prevention and awareness raising measures across all aspects of bullying and involves strategies to engage pupils in addressing problems when they arise. In particular, such strategies need to build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils

• Provide pupils with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth

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• Prevention and awareness raising measures focusing on cyber-bullying by educating pupils on appropriate online behaviour, how to stay safe while online

• Teachers can influence attitudes to bullying behaviour in a positive manner

• There are a number of curriculum components and programmes which are particularly relevant to the prevention of bullying and the promotion of respect for diversity and inclusiveness. The SPHE curriculum makes specific provision for exploring bullying as well as the inter-related areas of belonging and integrating, communication, conflict, friendship, personal safety and relationships. The Stay Safe and RSE programmes at primary level are personal safety skills programmes which seek to enhance children’s self-protection skills including their ability to recognise and cope with bullying. The Alive-O programme teaches children to respect themselves and others. Various other social, health and media education programmes can further help to address the problem of bullying behaviour.

• The work could be extended into many other areas such as Art, Drama, Religious Education, Assembly and Physical Education. Co-operation and group enterprise can be promoted across all subjects

• Sporting activities in particular can provide excellent opportunities for channelling and learning how to control aggression. GAA coaching is offered to all classes

6. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows :
The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame) With this in mind the schools procedures are as follows :
i. In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher(s) will exercise his-her/their professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred, what type if it has and how best the situation might be resolved
ii. All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher(s). In that way, pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying, they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly
iii. Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), caretakers, cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher
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iv. Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible
v. It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupil and parents) understand the above approach from the outset
vi. Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents
vii. Initial investigations of bullying will be done in class where possible but some incidents might be best investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved
viii. All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way
ix. When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher(s) should seek answers to questions of what, where when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner
x. If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements
xi. Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher
xii. Where the relevant teacher(s) has/have determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied
xiii. It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)
xiv. In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher(s) that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions, being taken. The school should give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils
xv. It must also 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

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xvi. Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved may be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable
xvii. An additional follow-up meeting with parents of the children involved may take place after an appropriate time to ensure that the matter has been resolved satisfactorily
xviii. 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
xix. In the event that a parent has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children
RECORDING :
All records must be maintained in accordance with relevant data protection legislation. The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour will adhere to the following :
i. While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher(s), the relevant teachers(s) will use his/her/their professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same. If it is established that bullying has occurred this must be reported to the Principal
ii. If it established by the relevant teacher(s) that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher(s) must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved
iii. The relevant teacher(s) may use the recording template at Appendix 3 to record the bullying behaviour
iv. In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in the recording template at Appendix 3
v. In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account :
• Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;
• Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;
• Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable; and
• Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal

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7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying involves a whole school approach. Given the complexity of bullying behaviour, no one intervention/support programme works in all situations. Therefore various approaches and intervention strategies may be used including suggesting that parents seek referrals so that appropriate outside agencies in order to receive further support for the pupils and their families if needed.
8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils :
The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.
9. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 31/03/2014
10. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, it is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
11. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

Appendix 1 :

Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate
The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour.
• Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times
• Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school
• Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school. Involve pupils in the development of these messages
• Catch them being good – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention
• Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN
• Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent
• Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines
• Explicitly teach pupils about use of social media
• Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use
• Follow-up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules
• Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media
• Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school
• Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas
• All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour
• Ensure there is adequate playground/school yard/outdoor supervision
• School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying ‘hot spots’ and ‘hot times’ for bullying in the school
o Hot spots tend to be in the playground/schoolyard/outdoor areas, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision
o Hot times again tend to be times where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/schoolyard or moving classrooms

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POLICY ON TOURS / OUTINGS (November 2014)

Taking into account the age and interests of the children and the curriculum being covered, School tours will be arranged by the school to present the children with a new environment in which they can observe, investigate and relate their findings to their own environment.

Tours will be arranged at the discretion of the class teacher.

Transport :

The transport organiser of the tour will ensure that :-

(a) Tenders are sought for all tours.

(b) A form of transport, appropriate to the distance and the numbers travelling will be chosen.

(c) The bus company/suppliers and drivers accept the following conditions.

Conditions of Hiring :

(a) All transport supplied will be suitable and well-maintained. Teachers have the right
to refuse any bus they find unsuitable for their outing. If the bus proves unsuitable a replacement will be supplied or the money refunded.

(b) The driver will be used to dealing with children and have a thorough knowledge of
and follow the itinerary and timetable for the tour. The driver is responsible for the safety of the children while they are travelling but teachers have the right to intervene if it is felt that the safety of the children is compromised.

(c) The group will have access to the bus for the full day. Bus driver to be contactable by mobile phone at all times.

(d) Incidental singing on the bus – at an acceptable level – will be at the discretion of
the teacher in consultation with the driver.

(e) Buses will be left as they were found.
(f) Buses must have adequate seat belts for pupils in accordance with legal requirements.
(g) Lead teacher will consult with bus driver on the route to take prior to departure.

Tour Kit :

(a) Leaders will take a tour kit on all outings. These will be available from the office.
The kit will contain :

(i) First aid materials, refuse and illness bags, newspapers, kitchen roll.
(ii) Change of clothes (boys and girls).

Cost :

The teachers will ensure that the cost of the tour is reasonable and represents value for money. All children will be actively encouraged to save towards the cost of the tour. Spending money will not be required.

Venue :

Tours will be booked early in the 2nd term for a date as early as possible in the 3rd term. Teachers will be conscious of the likely “busier” days.

Not more that three classes will travel together, unless venue and transport arrangements warrant otherwise. Where more than one class travels, one teacher will accept the role of “leader”.

The teacher will be “au fait” with venue, particular reference to education opportunities afforded, and services available (phone, toilets, emergency facilities).

Weather Conditions :

Rain and head gear will be essential for all children and a change of clothes may be necessary, depending on the venue. This will be included on the tour information note.

Tours List :

A list of suitable tours for all classes will be available in a folder in the staff room. Classes may choose a venue suitable for their own level or lower but not from levels above. Teachers will ensure that venues are suitable for pupils with special needs.

Uniforms :

Teachers travelling together will decide whether uniforms should be worn.

Reports :

Where problems arise either with venue or transport teachers will report back to the transport/tour organiser who will in turn discuss it with the Principal.

Conduct on Tours :

Pupil’s behaviour on tours will comply with the standard set down in the School’s Code of Discipline. In certain circumstances parents may be asked to agree to accompany the child.

Safety and Supervision :

Teachers will be extra vigilant when taking children out of the school. Special attention will be paid to : – road safety, behaviour on bus, risks posed by particular venues (e.g. adventure playgrounds etc.)

The minimum ratio will be 15 : 1 (adult)
In the case of a child with special medication a parent will be asked to accompany them.

Informing Parents :

Teachers will ensure that Parents are given sufficient notice of :

(a) Itinerary & timetable
(b) Cost
(c) Special clothing necessary and packed lunch (no glassware) one small treat is sufficient

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