Scoil Fhionáin, Kilfinane
Adoption of Policy
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 Scoil Fhionáin 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.
This policy replaces all previous Anti-Bullying Policies.
- Key principles
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:
o is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
o encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
o promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
- 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
o build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
o explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, transphobic and homophobic bullying.
- Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
- Supports for staff;
- Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
- On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
We in Scoil Fhionáin view bullying as an unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated in our school.
We encourage all pupils to support each other by reporting all instances of bullying.
All reports of bullying in our school will be investigated and be dealt with sympathetically.
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.
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 not 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 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools. (See also Appendix 1)
- Role of school personnel
Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) recommends that the relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying in Primary Schools is/are the class teacher(s).
In the case where children from two different classes are involved, both class teachers will be deemed to be the relevant teachers. In such a case a local agreement can be made between the two relevant teachers that one of them take on the case, or they can work together on this.
- Education and prevention strategies
The Anti- Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools
(KEY PRINCIPLES OF BEST PRACTICE, 6.1 Positive school culture and climate, 6.1.1 & 6.1.2) state:
“A cornerstone in the prevention of bullying is a positive school culture and climate that is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusively and respect. A school policy on bullying is most effective when supported by a positive school climate which encourages respect, trust, care, consideration and support for others.
Central to a positive school culture is respectful relationships across the entire school community. This encompasses relationships amongst peers (e.g. pupil to pupil, teacher to teacher) and relationships between groups (e.g. teachers and pupils, parents and teachers etc.).
It is with this in mind that the education and prevention strategies which will be used in Scoil Fhionáin are as follows:
- Children will be made aware of what to do if they feel they are being bullied, or if they see another child being bullied. The role of the bystander will be specifically explained to all children.
- Anti-bullying lessons within the SPHE programme.
Specific target lessons are taught should a need arise.
- Anti-cyberbullying lessons will be given to classes from 3rd to 6th annually.
- A variety of resources are used by teachers (Stay Safe, Walk Tall, RSE and Webwise).
- Friendship week. This is a whole school, cross-curricular approach to the theme of friendship.
Talks by invited guest speakers (gardaí, health professionals etc.)
- Support systems for yard times from September 2017:
o Senior yard – Buddy system (older children volunteer to be a friend to a child who needs support).
o Friendship stop in Junior yard. A child needing someone to play with can stand at the Friendship Stop, any child can offer to play with that child.
- Staff meetings will address issues which may have potential to lead to bullying.
- In Scoil Fhionáin we operate a whole school approach to all behaviour management including bullying. All adults working in the school are made aware of and implement these policies.
- We recognise that this list is not exhaustive. All anti-bullying education and prevention strategies used during the school year will be included in the annual report as required by legislation.
- Procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of alleged bullying behaviour & established intervention strategies:
- In Scoil Fhionáin we note that some children engage in low-level negative behaviours towards others. These behaviours may be the same as behaviours which can be deemed as bullying, but do not always fall under the definition of bullying e.g. a child may laugh at another child, this may be hurtful but a one -off experience, or it can be part on an on-going pattern of behaviour that may amount to bullying.
- Teachers monitor these behaviours as part of their responsibilities. In Scoil Fhionáin, the teacher/s are encouraged to keep a note of behaviours, if and when they see a pattern emerging and to alert other staff and the Principal. However minor or once-off occurrences of negative behaviour may not be recorded and can generally be dealt with informally through our Code of Behaviour.
Having said that, the school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of alleged bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of alleged bullying behaviour are as follows (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
- Initial verbal report from child and or parent/staff member to designated teacher.
- Should any member of staff witness possible bullying behaviour s/he should tell the perpetrator to stop immediately and make the relevant class teacher aware of the incident.
- On receipt of a report the relevant teacher will take a three-step approach to dealing with the allegation of bullying;
- Step 1 – The relevant teacher speaks to individuals concerned to establish chain of events and whether bullying has occurred. (See Section 6.8.9 of Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools for detailed steps on how to conduct an investigation). In the case of suspected bullying the relevant teacher will keep written records of the case.
- Step 2 -If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore as far as is practical the relationships of the parties involved. The teacher will establish a plan of action on how to resolve the issues within the next 20 school days. These records will be held by the class teacher.
This period of time gives the child who has been engaging in bullying behaviour the opportunity to change his/her behaviour.
- If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, parents/guardians of all parties concerned will be contacted by the relevant teacher to inform them of the incident, findings and the plan of action for the next 20 school days.
- When the 20 school-day period has elapsed, the relevant teacher will determine whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed. In doing so the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:
o Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;
o Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;
o Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable.
- Step 3 – In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately resolved by the children 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 provided in the information pack given to staff members (Appendix 3 of Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) and inform the Principal.
- Should the relevant teacher require the support of the Principal and/or Deputy Principal at any point in the procedure, the relevant teacher should discuss the case with the Principal/Deputy Principal. Where appropriate the Principal/Deputy Principal can proceed with the case. The relevant teacher shall be included in all further stages of the procedures.
- The purpose of these procedures is to resolve the bullying behaviour so that it stops, rather than apportioning blame. Below are intervention strategies that will be used.
- If it is deemed necessary that sanctions be implemented, the relevant teacher shall refer to the school’s Code of Behaviour.
- A behaviour plan is implemented for the child who has been deemed to be bullying. The aim of this is to reward positive behaviour and to encourage the child to make positive choices in his/her behaviour towards other children. A trusted adult can act as a mentor to encourage positive behaviour in this child in the future.
- In relation to bullying in schools, Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011 (Children First) and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools provide that in situations where “the incident is serious and where the behaviour is regarded as potentially abusive, the school must consult the HSE Children and Family Social Services (Túsla) with a view to drawing up an appropriate response, such as a management plan”.
- 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.
- 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.
- Programme of support
The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows (see Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
This policy draws on the expertise in the DES Action Plan on Bullying 2013 & The Anti-Bullying Centre, Trinity College Dublin.
- It is recognised in our school that bullying affects the victim, the person who is doing the bullying and the person who witnesses bullying.
Support for the child who has been bullied
- Support in the form of a trusted adult to speak to is offered to the child who has been bullied, for as long as this is deemed necessary.
- Self-esteem building exercises and opportunities to increase feelings of self-worth will be undertaken with the child who has been bullied in order to restore their self-esteem.
- Where appropriate or necessary friendship groups or a buddy system will be implemented for the child for yard times.
- If it is deemed appropriate the child will be offered concrete support in how to deal with a similar situation in the future i.e. given the language tools to react and seek help immediately. This can be practised with role play and drama. This is particularly useful for children with Special Educational Needs who may lack the necessary verbal and/or non-verbal skills to do so. The teacher, with the support of the SEN team will offer this support.
Support for the child who has deemed to be engaging in bullying behaviour
- The child who has been engaging in bullying behaviour will be offered concrete support in changing her/his behaviour. This can involve self-esteem building exercises and opportunities to increase feelings of self-worth. This child may also be given the opportunity to speak to a trusted adult on a regular basis to encourage her/him to continue to make positive behaviour choices.
- Where deemed appropriate follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved may be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing both sides together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable. This can have a therapeutic effect.
Support for the child who has witnessed bullying behaviour
- The child who has witnessed bullying behaviour will be offered concrete support if necessary, by being given the opportunity to speak to a trusted adult to help him/her process what s/he has witnessed.
- Children who make an initial report on what is later deemed to be bullying behaviour will be praised. The importance of the bystander will be highlighted.
- 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.
- Prevention of harassment
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its 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 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.
- Date of adoption of policy
This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ________________ [date].
- Availability of policy
This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website 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.
- Review of policy
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 and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.
(Chairperson of Board of Management)
Date of next review: _______________
Addendum to Anti-bullying Policy
Anti-bullying Resources for Staff
- Recommendations from Anti-bullying Centre TCD
- Recommendations from Dr. Lori Ernsberger (SESS Bullying Awareness course)
- Anti-bullying websites
- Recommendations from Anti-bullying Centre TCD
WHAT TO TELL CHILDREN IF THEY ARE BEING BULLIED
What to Do
Act as confident as you can. Face them and tell them clearly to stop. Try and be calm and move away from them.
Don’t Hit Out
If someone is bullying you don’t try to hit/kick them. You may get badly hurt in a fight and even if you don’t, the bully can sometimes use how you hit them against you, and make it seem like you are the bully.
If They Call You Names
If they tease you or slag you off, try and laugh it off. Don’t let them see that they have hurt you. Bullies like to get a reaction, if they don’t get one there is no point in them bullying you.
Remember, It’s Not About You
Often people who bully other people do it to make themselves feel better, because they are unhappy, at school or at home. Remember that they have the problem not you. Don’t believe what they say to you, and don’t blame yourself.
Tell Your Friends//People You Can Trust In Class
Tell them what is going on and how you feel. Ask them to come with you to tell a teacher if you are afraid. Ask them to stand up with you against the bully.
If you’re being bullied, try and tell someone about it.
Talk to :– Your parents
– Someone in your family
– Your teachers
– A Helpline
If your school has a peer mediation or mentoring program try to use it. No one can help you if you don’t tell them.
- Recommendations from Dr Lori Ernsperger
3 R’s: recognise, respond, report – Anti-bullying Workshop – SESS Oct 2013
- Make a child friendly definition of bullying and teach it so children are clear.
- Teach children what to say, how to stick up for themselves , what to do in immediate instance of bullying:
- Assertive body language
- Say something (Stop, Go away)
- Move away
- Get someone inspirational to talk to children
- Public displays of anti-bullying ethos
- Make anti-bullying posters: sample catchphrase
o Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it
o Right is right even if no-one is doing it
- Teach self-protection, self-image, strong body language
- Never ignore or dismiss an accusation of bullying.
- Give children the opportunity to report bullying
- Anti-bullying websites
www.r_word.org – particularly for SEN students, but useful for all cases
www.bully4u.ie – parent resources
www.stopbullying.gov – US gov site
www.micheleborba.com CALM approach – immediate reaction to bullying
 Transphobic bullying is when an individual (or group), usually repeatedly, harms another individual or intentionally makes them unhappy because of their gender or sexuality
Child Protection Policy
This document is formulated in response to recent changes in Guidance and Procedures in relation to Child Protection matters and takes account of the provisions of each of the following important pieces of legislation:
- Freedom of Information Act 1997
- The Education Act 1998
- The Child Welfare Act 2000
- Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011.
The new procedures are based on the recently published Children First – National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011.
- ‘Children First’ (Department of Children and Youth Affairs 2011)
- ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools (Department of Education and Skills 2011)
The Board of Management (BoM) recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in each school policy, school 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 BoM of Scoil Fhionáin has approved this Child Protection Policy.
The BoM has adopted and will fully implement without modification the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2011. These procedures will therefore underpin the content of this policy.
The following key personnel have been identified and ratified by the BoM:
The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Siobhán O’Flynn.
The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Maura O’Connell.
In its policies, practices and activities, Scoil Fhionáin will adhere to the following principles of best practice in Child Protection and Welfare. Our school recognises that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations and will therefore;
- Fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation 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
- Fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters
- Adhere to the above principles in relation to any pupil with a special vulnerability
Specific policies named hereunder are key elements of this overall document and must be referred to in the context of this policy:
- Code of Behaviour
- Health & Safety
- Record Keeping
- Special Ed
- School Tours/Sporting Activities
- S.E. Policy
- P.H.E. Policy
This policy will also be considered with reference to the participation by pupils in sporting activities, other extra-curricular activities and school outings. Other practices and activities, where child protection might have particular relevance, will consider the procedures outlined within this policy. The Board has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices as appropriate are in place in respect of each of the above listed items.
This policy is available to all school personnel and the Parent Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. It is also available in hard copy in each classroom. A copy of this policy is available for the attention of the DES and the patron if requested.
Designated Liaison Person (DLP)
In Scoil Fhionáin the Principal, appointed by the BoM, is the DLP. Maura O’Connell acts as Deputy DLP. Both teachers have attended Child Protection Training days.
The DLP has specific responsibility for Child Protection Procedures and will represent the school in all correspondence with Health Boards, An Garda Siochana and other parties in connection with allegations of abuse. All matters pertaining to child abuse concerns should be processed through the DLP (DES Procedures 3:2)
The DLP acts appropriately where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion or where an allegation has been made.
All information regarding concerns of possible child abuse should only be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis in the interests of the child. The giving of information to those who need to have that information is not a breach of confidentiality. This procedure exists for the protection of a child who may have been or has been abused. The DLP who is submitting a report to the Health Board or An Garda Siochána should inform a parent/guardian, unless doing so is likely to endanger the child or place that child at further risk. A decision not to inform a parent/guardian should be briefly recorded together with the reasons for not doing so.
In emergency situations, where the Health Board cannot be contacted, and the child appears to be at immediate and serious risk, An Garda Siochána should be contacted. A child should not be left in a dangerous situation where Health Board intervention is not forthcoming.
Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse
The protection for persons reporting Child Abuse Act 1998 provides immunity from civil liability to any person who reports a child protection concern ‘reasonably and in good faith’ to designated officers of Health Boards or any member of an Garda Siochána (DES Procedures 1:10)
People making a report to the DLP in good faith have ‘qualified privilege’ under common law. Reports made to TÚLSA may be subject to provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997. This act enables members of the public to obtain access to personal information relating to them which is in the possession of public bodies. However, the act also provides that public bodies may refuse access to information obtained by them in confidence (DES Procedures 1:11)
Definition and Recognition of Child Abuse
Child abuse can be categorised into four different types:
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
Each of these categories is defined in full in ‘Children First’ (Dept. of Children & Youth Affairs Chapter 2).
Neglect can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, medical care.
Guidelines for Recognition of Child Abuse
A list of child neglect indicators is contained in Chapter 2:2 of Children First. This policy draws particular attention to ‘persistent evidence’ of neglect, including indicators such as no lunch, lack of uniform, no homework, poor attendance, persistent health problems, lack of sleep indicating inappropriate television viewing late at night and other evidence that would indicate lack of supervision in the home. All signs and symptoms must be examined in the total context of the child’s situation and family circumstances.
There are commonly three stages in the identification of child abuse:
- Considering the possibility
- Looking out for signs of abuse
- Recording of information
Each of these stages is developed in ‘Children First’ (2:2)
Handling Disclosures from Children
(DES Procedures 3:5) gives comprehensive details of how disclosures should be approached. Staffs are advised to deal with each situation sensitively, reassure the child but not to make promises that cannot be fulfilled.
The adult should not ask leading questions or make suggestions. They should explain that further help may have to be sought. The discussion should then be recorded accurately.
The record should include reference to what was observed with sketches of physical injury where necessary. It should also record when the alleged incident took place. Records should be kept in a secure place. The information should then be conveyed to the school DLP.
If the reporting person and the DLP are satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion/allegation, the procedures outlined in ‘Children First’ must be adhered to. Standardised reporting forms should be used (DES Procedures Appendix 4). The content of the report should follow the guidelines in ‘Children First’.
Allegations or Suspicions in relation to School Employees (DES Procedures Chapter 5)
The Chairperson and the DLP are concerned with the protection of the children in their care in the first instance. However, employees must be protected against false and malicious claims. Due process must be observed in relation to allegations against employees. Legal Advice should be sought by the BoM in relation to an allegation in relation to an employee. If the allegation is against the DLP, the BoM Chairperson will assume the responsibility for reporting the matter to the Health Board.
When an allegation of abuse is made against a school employee, the DLP should act in accordance with the procedures outlined in Children First. A written statement of the allegation should be sought from the person/agency making the report. A parent/guardian may make a statement on behalf of a child. The DLP should always inform the Chairperson of the BoM and is responsible for liaising with the HSE. The Chairperson assumes responsibility for dealing with the employee.
School employees, other than the DLP, who receive allegations against another school employee, should immediately report the matter to the DLP. School employees who form suspicions regarding conduct of another school employee should consult with the DLP.
The employee should be informed by the Chairperson (Employer) that:
- An allegation has been made against him/her
- The nature of the allegation
- Whether or not TÚLSA or Gardaí has been informed.
The employee should be given a copy of the written allegation and any other relevant documentation. The employee should be requested to respond to the allegation in writing to the BoM within a specified period and told that this may be passed to the Gardaí, TÚLSA and legal advisers.
The Chairperson must take the necessary steps to protect the child and may consult the BoM in this matter. The BoM may direct that the employee take administrative leave with pay and avoid suspension, thus removing any implication of guilt. The DES should be immediately informed.
School Measures Taken to Protect the Children in Our Care
There are a number of areas where common sense in our school should prevail in order to protect the children in the school and the staff who care for them. In relation to this, certain points should be noted:
- Scoil Fhionáin shall fully implement the Stay Safe programme.
- A copy of the school’s child protection policy, which includes the names of the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Deputy DLP, will be made available to all school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request.
- The name of the DLP and other relevant support services are displayed in a prominent position near the main entrance to the school.
- In addition to informing the school authority of those cases where a report involving a child in the school has been submitted to the HSE, the DLP shall also inform the school authority of cases where the DLP sought advice from TÚLSA and as a result of this advice, no report was made. At each BoM meeting, the Principal’s Report shall include the number of all such cases and this shall be recorded in the minutes of the BOM meeting.
- Scoil Fhionáin will undertake an annual review of its Child Protection Policy and its implementation by the school. A checklist, to be used in undertaking the review (included at Appendix 1). The school has put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement which might be identified in the annual review. The Board of Management shall make arrangements to inform school personnel that the review has been undertaken. Written notification that the review has been undertaken shall be provided to the Parent Association. A record of the review and its outcome shall be made available, if requested, to the patron and the DES.
- Staff who take classes swimming should make sure that there are two adults in attendance. The dressing rooms and pool area should be well supervised.
- Staff should make every effort not be alone in a classroom with one child or detain a child on their own after school. In the case of special needs pupils where resource hours and assistance are sanctioned on an individual basis, occupants are visible at all times through a glass panel in the door of all classrooms.
- When possible children work in groups.
- Children with physical disabilities who may require assistance in toileting will be aided by a Special Needs Assistant who has met the necessary screening requirements when being employed by the school.
It should be noted that children with disabilities may be more at risk of abuse due to a number of reasons (DES Procedures 2:3). Parents, teachers and all staff involved in services for children with disabilities need to be familiar with the indicators of abuse and to be alert for signs of abuse.
Appendix 1: Checklist for Annual Review of the Child Protection Policy
The Board of Management must undertake an annual review of its Child Protection Policy and the following checklist shall be used for this purpose.
The checklist is designed as an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list. The BoM may wish to include other items in the checklist that are of particular relevance to Scoil Fhionáin and reserves the right to do so if/when the need occurs.
|1.||As part of the overall review process, Boards of Management should also assess other school policies, practices and activities vis a vis their adherence to the principles of best practice in child protection and welfare as set out in the school’s Child Protection policy||YES||NO|
|2.||Has the Board formally adopted a child protection policy in accordance with the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?||YES||NO|
|3.||As part of the school’s child protection policy, has the Board formally adopted, without modification, the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?||YES||NO|
|4.||Are there both a DLP and a Deputy DLP currently appointed?||YES||NO|
|5.||Are the relevant contact details (HSE and An Garda Síochána) to hand?||YES||NO|
|6.||Has the DLP attended available child protection training?||YES||NO|
|7.||Has the Deputy DLP attended available child protection training?||YES||NO|
|8.||Have any members of the Board attended child protection training?||YES||NO|
|9.||Has the school’s child protection policy identified other school policies, practices and activities that are regarded as having particular child protection relevance?||YES||NO|
|10.||Has the Board ensured that the Department’s ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary|
and Post Primary Schools’ are available to all school personnel?YESNO11.Does the Board have arrangements in place to communicate the school’s child protection policy to new school personnel?YESNO12.Is the Board satisfied that all school personnel have been made aware of their responsibilities under the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?YESNO13.Since the Board’s last annual review, was the Board informed of any child protection
reports made to the HSE/An Garda Síochána by the DLP?YESNO14.Since the Board’s last annual review, was the Board informed of any cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report to the HSE was made?YESNO15.Is the Board satisfied that the child protection procedures in relation to the making of reports to the HSE/ An Garda Síochána were appropriately followed?YESNO16.Were child protection matters reported to the Board appropriately recorded in the Board minutes?YESNO17.Is the Board satisfied that all records relating to child protection are appropriately filed and stored securely?YESNO18.Has the Board ensured that the Parents’ Association has been provided with the school’s child protection policy?YESNO
Ratification of Policy
This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.
This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on
Signed: _________________________ Signed: __________________________
Chairperson of Board of Management Principal
Date: __________________________ Date: __________________________
Date of next review: January 2016
The Board further endorses the Principal, Siobhán O’Flynn as the school DLP and Maura O’Connell as Deputy DLP.
On behalf of the Board of Management:
_______________________________ (Chairperson) Date: _____________________
Child Protection Practices
The staff and BoM of this school have identified the following as areas of specific concern in relation to Child Protection. Following discussion and consultation, the staff and BoM 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 material
All media products (CDs, DVDs etc.) should be checked for their appropriateness with regard to age and suitability.
Appropriately appointed and screened visiting teachers of varying disciplines, engaged by the BoM of Scoil Fhionáin to perform specific duties, will be permitted to work with a class alone at the Principal’s discretion
Visitors/Guest speakers should never be left alone with pupils. The school (Principal/ teachers) has a responsibility to check out the credentials of the visitor/guest speaker and to ensure that the material in use is appropriate.
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
- Any deviation from the agreed procedure will be recorded and notified to the DLP and the parents/guardians.
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. Where possible, two members of staff should be present. A record of all such incidents will be kept and Principal and parents will be notified.
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 of a more serious nature will be noted in our Accident book in accordance with our Health and Safety.
- 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.
- Work being carried out by Special Needs Assistants will be carried out under the direction of the class teacher in an open environment.
Changing for games/PE/Swimming
Pupils will be expected to dress and undress themselves for Games/PE/Swimming. Where assistance is needed, this will be done in the communal area and with the consent of parents. Under no circumstances will members of staff/volunteers be expected to or allowed to dress/undress a child unsupervised in a cubicle/private area. In such situations where privacy is required, the parents/guardians of the child will be asked to assist the child. Scoil Fhionáin will endeavour to have two male volunteers/member of staff in the male changing area and a female members of staff/ volunteers in the female changing area.
The BoM of Scoil Fhionáin has requested that all swimming volunteers apply to be vetted. At all times there must be adequate supervision of pupils. While every effort will be made to adhere to best practice as agreed and outlined above, in the event of an emergency where this is not possible or practicable, a full record of the incident should be made and reported to the Principal and parents.
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.
Children are encouraged at all times to play co-operatively and inappropriate behaviour will be addressed under our Code of Behaviour. If an incident occurs which we consider to be of a sexualised nature, we will notify the DLP who will record it and respond to it appropriately.
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.
Every effort will be made to enhance pupil-teacher communication. If pupils have concerns they will be listened to sympathetically. The SPHE/Oral Language/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. A member of staff, once trained, will be responsible for the mentoring of new teachers and will be responsible for supporting new teachers as they implement the SPHE objectives.
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.
It is the intention of the Principal and Staff at Scoil Fhionáin 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. There will also be annual meetings during which parents will be invited to attend a session with an invited speaker to stay abreast of the ever-changing situation regarding internet access.
Teachers will keep records on each child’s reports using Scoil Fhionáin Record Keeping Sheets. These records are kept in the drawer of each teacher’s desk. 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 filing cabinet in the office. Further details on record keeping will be found in the school’s Record Keeping Policy.
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 10.30 and lunchtime breaks.
Teachers will ensure that children are visible in the school playground. Children will not be allowed to spend time in classrooms, toilets or yard where they would not be under adult supervision. They are not to leave the school playground or to engage with adults who are outside of the school playground.
In recent years, as a society, we have become very aware of the problem of child abuse through neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
Each one of us has a duty to protect children and Children First, the National Guidelines, for the Protection and Welfare of Children noted that teachers, who are the main care givers to children outside the family, are particularly well placed to observe and monitor children for signs of abuse.
In response to this, the Department of Education and Skills published procedures for all schools in relation to child protection and welfare. These guidelines promote the safety and welfare of all children and are to be welcomed.
The Board of Management of Scoil Fhionáin has adopted these guidelines as school policy. Consequently, if school staff suspect or are alerted to possible child abuse, they are obliged to refer this matter to TÚLSA. Specifically TÚLSA will then assess the situation and provide support for the child concerned.
Children First, the National Guidelines for the Protection of Children may be assessed on the website of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.(www.dcya.ie) and the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures can be read on the Department’s website (www.education.ie). Parents/Guardians are also welcome to look through the guidelines here at the school.
Child Protection Contacts
Designated Liaison Person Siobhán O’Flynn
Deputy DLP Maura O’Connell
Bruff, Garda Station
Telephone: 061 382940
Local Contact For
‘The Children and Family Social Services of the HSE’
TELEPHONE: 069 66653/62155
Duty Social Worker
Social and Family Welfare Office
9.00 A.M. Bell rings. Pupils are admitted to classrooms.
NO RESPONSIBILITY IS ACCEPTED FOR PUPILS ARRIVING BEFORE THE SCHOOL OPENS
9.10 A.M. CLASSES BEGIN
10.30 A.M. – 10.40 A.M. BREAK
12.15 P.M. – 12.45 P.M. LUNCH
1.40 P.M. –Home time Junior and Senior Infants only
2.40 P.M.-Home time SCHOOL DAY ENDS
Parents who wish to have their children escorted home should make their own arrangements to have them met outside the school gate, not later than 2.40 p.m. (or 1.40 p.m. in the case of infants) as the school cannot accept responsibility for looking after the children after that time.
For the attention of all Parents:
Please be aware that the school is required to record and report attendance and absence numbers.
These are submitted to the National Education and Welfare Board at regular intervals throughout the year.
It is a legal obligation to do this.
Consequently, it is necessary to do the following:
1. Fill in an absence form for all days missed.
2. Complete all sections of the form accurately.
3. Return completed forms promptly.
4. Complete a separate form for each child in the family.
Incomplete or non-returned absence forms are reported as ‘no reason given’.
Forms are given to your child by the class teacher, available from school office or on the website.
Reason for absence________________________________________
(Please copy Absence note if required)
CODE OF BEHAVIOUR – POLICY
The Staff and representatives of parents of the school drafted the following policy on ___January 2014_____ after compiling a review process.
The Board of Management of Scoil Fhionáin, has adopted the Dept. of Education and Skills Guidelines and Procedures for schools in relation to Section 23 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000. It has referenced ‘Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools ’(N,.E.W.B. 2008) in the process of drawing up this policy.
The school has a central role in the children’s social and moral development just as it does in their academic development. In seeking to define acceptable standards of behaviour it is acknowledged that these are goals to be worked towards and expectations to be met.
The children bring to school a wide variety of behaviour. As a community environment, in school we must work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. It follows that acceptable standards of behaviour are those that reflect these principles.
Children need limits set for them in order to feel secure and develop the skills for cooperation. Therefore any rules will be age appropriate, with clear agreed consequences.
Parents can co-operate with the school by encouraging their children to understand the need for school rules.
A code of behaviour is established to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of each child to education in a safe, positive climate and environment.
Aims of the code
To create a positive learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour
To promote self-esteem and positive relationships
To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour
To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights of others
To facilitate the education and development of every child
To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment
To enable teachers to teach without disruption
To ensure that the school’s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through letters to parents, availability of policies and an ethos of open communication
To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy
Whole School Approach
The Board of Management recognises the importance of creating consistent values, policies, practices and relationships that support the Code of Behaviour. Such an environment may be formed by involving the entire school community and in this respect the Board acknowledges the importance of the roles played by the principal, teachers, ancillary staff and parents in the review and operation of the Code.
Responsibility of Adults
The adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children.
As adults we should aim to:
Explain what respect and courtesy means
Create a positive climate with realistic expectations
Promote, through example, honesty and courtesy
Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect and understanding of the needs of others
Ensure fair treatment for all regardless of age, gender, race, ability, disability or differences
Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of all
To discourage physical aggression, encourage self-discipline and promote positive conflict resolutions
These are based on the following principles of good behaviour-
Respect for self and others
Respect for property of others
Respect other students and their learning
Kindness and willingness to help others
Courtesy and good manners
Readiness to use respectful way of resolving difficulties and conflict
These can be summed up as 11 main rules;
Follow direction of the teachers
Show respect, be nice to everyone
Do your best in class and at homework
Walk quietly inside school building
Value the property of school and others
Attend school on a regular basis and be punctual
Use toilets in a respectful and hygienic manner
Disrespectful or foul language, tone or manner are not allowed
Ignoring staff requests is not tolerated
School uniform must be worn on non P.E. days with dark shoes
Plain navy or school tracksuit must be worn on P.E. days with runners
At the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will draft a list of class rules with the children with the aim of promoting a positive learning environment within the classroom. These reflect and support the school rules, but are presented in a way that is accessible to the children. Class rules should be kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. They should where possible, emphasise positive behaviour (e.g. ‘Walk’ and not ‘Don’t run’). Rules will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.
Each child has the right to play happily and safely in the school yard.
1. Pupils are expected to be respectful and considerate towards fellow pupils and teachers
2. Pupils must play within their own designated area.
3. The teacher on yard duty or at P.E. must be obeyed immediately and at all times.
4. No rough play, fighting, mock fighting or bad language.
5. No bullying.
6. No cartons or papers to be taken outside.
7. All pupils must go out and stay outside in the school yard or playing field unless given permission to do otherwise.
8. When the first bell rings walk calmly to the line.
9. Walk quietly into the classroom when instructed by an adult in charge.
During school outings (tours, matches, etc.) each pupil is expected to adhere to the general school rules and also to specific guidelines which will be relayed to pupils prior to the outing. Broadly, pupils will be expected to follow the directions of the teacher and /or other adult in charge, to remain with their assigned group and to behave politely towards those they meet on the outing.
The following procedures will assist in the smooth running of the school outings;
1. Locations suitable for the education, enjoyment and safety of children will be chosen.
2. Reputable bus companies will be used and all legal requirements will be adhered to.
3. Adequate supervision of children will be provided.
4. All children will be in the care of a particular staff member for the duration of the trip.
5. Parents of children with a particular need or condition may be asked to accompany a child where relevant.
6. Advice will be given on suitable clothing to be worn by children.
7. Parents will be notified of details of the trip.
It is the Principal’s responsibility to ensure the school’s Code of Behaviour is administered in a manner that is consistent and fair to all pupils. However each staff member has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within common areas of the school.
Teaching staff are specifically responsible for the management of behaviour within their own class.
Discuss the Code of Behaviour with their class in an age appropriate manner at the beginning of the school year
Ensure the rules are displayed in the classroom
Encourage self-discipline and positive behaviour
Ensure there is an appropriate level of supervision at all times
Implement the reward/sanction scheme in a fair and consistent manner
Keep a written record of all incidents of continued, serious or gross misconduct. This record will indicate the advice and/or warnings given to the child on the misbehaviour and, the consequences of its repetition
Inform pupils when instances of misbehaviour on their part are being recorded.
Report repeated instances of serious misbehaviour to the Principal
Incidents of bullying behaviour will be recorded on a special template as directed by D.E.S. and kept by the Principal. (Appendix 3 Template for recording bullying behaviour).
Parents and Guardians
Parents/guardians play a crucial role in shaping attitudes in their children which produce positive behaviour in school. Parents/guardians can assist the school by encouraging their children to abide by the school rules, encouraging punctuality and regular attendance and by ensuring that homework is given due time and effort.
Should a parent/guardian be concerned about any aspect of their child’s behaviour they are welcome to make an appointment to discuss their concerns.
In cases of an identified pattern of misbehaviour parents will be invited to participate in an intervention process.
Promoting Positive Behaviour
Part of the vision of Kilfinane National School is to help children achieve their personal best – academically, intellectually and socially. We recognise that there are many different forms of intelligence and that similarly children use a variety of approaches to solve problems. Children will be encouraged, praised and listened to by adults in the school. Praise is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements. Rates of praise for behaviour and effort should be as high as for work
The following are some samples of how praise might be given;
A quiet word or gesture to show approval
A comment in a pupil’s exercise book
A visit to another member of staff or to the Principal for commendation
A word or praise in front of a group or class
A system of merit marks or stickers
Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
A mention to parent, written or verbal communication
General positive comments by staff when dealing with children around the school eg. play, in corridors etc.
Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross
Instances of minor misbehaviour will be dealt with by the class teacher
In cases of serious misbehaviour parents will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet with teacher and/or Principal to discuss the child’s behaviour.
Examples of serious misbehaviour:-
Continued minor misbehaviour
Behaviour that is hurtful or dangerous to oneself or others including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimising of a physical, verbal or psychological nature.
Behaviour that often interferes with teaching and learning
Deliberate damage to property
Leaving the school premises without permission
Aggressive or defiant behaviour
Continued, repeated disruption of the class
Examples of gross misbehaviour:-
Serious damage to property
The following steps will be taken when the children behave inappropriately. They are listed in order of severity with one being for a minor misbehaviour and ten being for serious or gross behaviour. The list is by no means exhaustive. Teachers may put in place alternative measures bearing in mind the features by which sanctions should be characterised. The aim of any sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and if necessary to help the pupils devise strategies for this and recognise that their actions have consequences.
1. Reasoning with pupil
2. Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
3. Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class
4. Prescribing extra work/writing out the story of what happened
5. Loss of privileges
6. Detention during break
7. Communication with parents
8. Referral to Principal
9. Principal communication with parents
10. Exclusion (Suspension or Expulsion) from school (in accordance with rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and Education Welfare Act 2000). However, sanctions should relate as closely as possible to the behaviour. Therefore a child, who does not do his/her work in class or has not completed his/her homework, may be detained at break time to finish the work.
Pupils will not be deprived of a curricular area unless there are health, safety or welfare grounds for doing so.
A standardised record system will be used to track an individual pupil’s behaviour. Such records will contain:
Incidents of misbehaviour
Intervention used to improve behaviour, including contract with parent(s)/guardian(s) or referral to other agencies
Evidence of improved behaviour
Any sanctions imposed, and the reasons they were imposed
Pupils will be told when a record is being made about their behaviour, and the reasons for keeping a record will be explained.
All records will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003.
A template for recording bullying behaviour as indicated by D.E.S. will be filled out by a teacher dealing with a report or incident and given to the Principal.
Procedures for Suspension and Expulsion
Suspension as defined by ‘Developing a Code of Behaviour, Guidelines for schools (N.E.W.B.)’ requires ‘the student to absent himself/herself from the school for a specified, limited period of school days’. The Principal of Scoil Fhionáin in consultation with the Chairperson has the authority to suspend a student for a maximum of 3 days where deemed necessary except in exceptional circumstances.
Before serious sanctions such as detention, suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on reasons for misbehaviour.
For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, suspension may be considered. Parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. (Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil or staff member will be regarded as serious or gross 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 be suspended for a period. Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.
In exceptional circumstances, the Principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the school would represent a serious threat to the safety of students or staff of the school, or any other person.
Certain behaviours may incur automatic suspension as a sanction. Fair measures will be applied in all cases of suspension, according to ‘Developing a Code of Behaviour’( N.E.W.B.)
Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rule for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall
1. Notify the Local Welfare Education Officer in writing by registered post in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act.
2. Will not expel the student before the passage of 20 school days from the date on which the Educational Welfare Officer receives this written notification.
3. Will in writing notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their decision and inform them that the Educational Welfare Officer is being contacted.
4. Will be represented at the consultation to be organised by the Educational Welfare Officer.
5. Will suspend the student, if it is deemed likely that the continued presence of the student during this time will seriously disrupt the learning of others, or represent a threat to the safety of other pupils or staff.
Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)
Following or during a period of suspension, the parent(s) must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required.
Children with Special Needs
All children are required to comply with the code of behaviour. However the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher, learning support/resource teacher, and or Principal will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times. Professional advice from psychological assessments will be taken into consideration.
The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs to adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support. This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.
Methods of Communicating with Parents/Guardians
Communicating with parents/guardians is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school.
A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly.
Parents should be encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers only about any significant developments in a child’s life, in the past or present, which may affect the child’s behaviour.
The following methods of communication are to be used at all levels within the school:
Informal parent/teacher meetings and formal parent/teacher meetings
Through children’s homework journal (infants do not have a homework journal- check bags)
Letters/notes from school to home to school
WHOLE SCHOOL PLAN FOR SOCIAL PERSONAL HEALTH EDUCATION
This plan was formulated by the teaching staff of Scoil Fhionáin to conform to principles of learning outlined in the Primary School Curriculum.
In our school we strive to make each child and adult feel valued in a caring atmosphere where everybody is equally respected
The school seeks to embrace children of all needs, cultures and beliefs
The development of the whole child, which includes his/her academic, physical, moral, emotional, spiritual, social, aesthetic, cultural and personal growth is our priority
We aspire to create an environment where honesty and justice prevail
We aim to achieve a healthy work ethic and a dedication to excellence
Dia ár mbeannachadh
Aims and Objectives:
While attempting to meet the pupils needs we endorse and will follow the aims and broad objectives of the SPHE Curriculum as outlined on pages 9 and 10 of the Curriculum Statement.
We aim through this plan, drawn up in accordance with the SPHE curriculum, to set out our approach to SPHE. This plan will form the basis for teachers’ long and short term planning. It will also inform new or temporary teachers of the approaches and methodologies used in our school in relation to SPHE.
We recognise that the curriculum for SPHE is spiral in nature, where similar aspects are revisited in different ways according to age, stages of development and readiness of the child. The curriculum comprises ten Strand Units to be covered over a two year cycle. As a staff we have decided to cover—–strand units at each level throughout the school during the school year 2004/2005 and —– strand units during the school year 2005/2006. (See attached sheet) We will endeavour to achieve a balance between skill development, the fostering of values and attitudes and the acquisition of information.
In the curriculum it is stated that Active Learning is the principal learning and teaching approach recommended for SPHE. It requires children to actively participate in their own learning (cognitively, physically, emotionally and creatively), thereby increasing the possibility of them internalising what they have explored and of being able to use the learning in their everyday lives. As a staff we will endeavour to use Active Learning strategies where possible.
Pictures, photographs, visual images
Discussion (in pairs, small groups, with whole class)
Media and ICT
(Teacher Guidelines Pgs. 54-95)
We believe that SPHE is a lifelong process and begins, as such before the child comes to school. We are in agreement that, in the context of SPHE, the parent/guardian is the primary educator of the child, and we, as teachers, work in a supportive role.
We recognise that there are three contexts for the implementation of SPHE:
1. The climate and atmosphere of the school and classroom
2. Discrete SPHE time
3. Integration with other curricular areas
1. We understand that much SPHE takes place incidentally, through the hidden
Curriculum and the positive climate and atmosphere of our school. We will endeavour to develop and strengthen the climate and atmosphere of our school through the following strategies as outlined in the curriculum:
Building effective communication within the school
Catering for individual needs
Creating a health promoting physical environment
Developing democratic processes
Enhancing self esteem
Fostering respect of diversity
Fostering inclusive and respectful language
Developing appropriate communication between home and school
Developing a school approach to assessment
Discreet time: We will timetable SPHE for half an hour each week or for extended blocks of time where appropriate.
Intregration: At each class level, teachers will seek to integrate SPHE with other curricular areas. (See pages 67 – 70 Primary School Curriculum, Introduction).
As a staff we are committed to implementing SPHE in a combination of these three contexts.We will endeavour to ensure that by the time each child leaves sixth class all content objectives will have been covered in an age appropriate manner, as determined by the staff, taking cognisance of diverse needs as they present.
– Assessment: As is outlined in the Curriculum Documents there are three ways of assessing in SPHE:
Teacher designed tasks and tests
As a staff we will undertake to use these three methods. We understand that
Teacher Observation is something we as teachers are constantly engaged in. We see the children every day in relation to a number of children of the same age and are therefore well placed to observe behavioural and developmental patterns. As is outlined in the curriculum (C.S Pg 73) through Teacher Observation the teacher can assess the attitudes and skills developed by the children, their ability to set their own goals and targets. The teacher can take note of how the children can work with others, types of questions asked, level of interest and self confidence, ability to ask for help, coping with difficulties and change and their understanding of the work in hand. Through Tasks and Tests, the child is given the opportunity to engage in his/her own learning. These activities will promote dialogue, questioning reflection and action. A variety of tasks will reflect the variety of intelligence in the class. A Portfolio will contain examples of the work carried out by the children. These examples will indicate the child’s progress in and experience of the strands of the curriculum.
Under the umbrella of SPHE the following policies have been drawn up in consultation with parents, the Board of Management and other interested parties in the local community:
Substance Use Policy
Bullying in the context of our Code of Behaviour
Child Protection Policy
– Although SPHE is a new curricular area, in our school we have been teaching many elements of it already. As a school we have always sought to provide a foundation that would inform the child’s actions and decisions and provide a basis for future development. We have a number of procedures in place to make our school a healthier and safer place for all. These include:
Provisions for safety and security (Fire Drills, Fire Extinguisher)
Litter Control on the school grounds and in the classrooms
Nutritious lunch policy is implemented in co-operation with parents
Care of the environment is promoted/Recycling
We recognise that SPHE is the shared responsibility of the family, the school, the community and the health professionals within the community. With this in mind we intend to foster positive relations with these parties at all times. This will include:
–parent teacher meetings
–regular communication policy with the home
–inviting various community members to the school
–involvement of the school in community – St. Patrick’s Day Parade/ Christmas Carol Service
–involvement in competitions – Write a Book
–celebration of school achievements
–visit to theatre, concerts…
–school saving scheme – Sammy Saving Stamps
–fundraising for various charities/developing a spirit of altruism
Provision of Training and Staff Development:
In order to successfully implement this whole School Plan for SPHE all/some of the teachers have attended:
–Two full days in service training by the PCSP
–Training in the Child Abuse Prevention Programme (Walk Tall)
–Training in the Relationship and Sexuality Programme (RSE)
We will access further training through our Education Centre if necessary in the future.
Healthy Eating Policy
As part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) Programme, at Scoil Fhionáin we encourage parents and children to appreciate the importance of healthy food choices in school lunch boxes.
What people eat is known to be a key factor in influencing health. Research indicates a strong link between diet and performance. A low sugar intake promotes concentration, lessens hyperactivity, protects teeth, and lessens the risk of diabetes. A low salt intake reduces the risk of heart disease in later life. Many fats are highly processed and should be avoided.
To promote healthy eating habits in our school and for continuity of good eating habits formed at Kilfinane Playschool, we have revised our policy which will take effect from September 1st.
- To promote the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects.
- To promote healthy food choices as part of the school’s holistic approach to education, personal development and wellbeing.
- To enable the child to appreciate the importance of good nutrition for growing, developing and staying healthy
- To enable the child to accept some personal responsibility for making wise food choices and adopting a healthy, balanced diet.
Lunch is an important meal for school-going children. It should provide one third of their recommended daily allowance of nutrients without being high in fat, sugar or salt. It should also provide dietary fibre (roughage).
We ask Parents/Guardians to provide your child with a healthy lunch right from the start of their school life, and to continue with this throughout their years at Primary School.
The following guide is designed to help you provide quick, appetising and nutritious
lunches for your children.
Portion sizes should be manageable and not too big, especially for younger children.
Fruit and vegetables should be peeled and chopped for small children. This saves time at school and is more appealing and less messy for children to eat.
Bread & Alternatives Savouries
Bread or rolls, preferably wholemeal Lean meat, best unprocessed
Rice – wholegrain Chicken/Turkey
Pasta – wholegrain Tinned Fish e.g. tuna/sardines
Potato Salad Cheese, cut from the block
Wholemeal Scones Quiche
Fruit & Vegetables Drinks
Apples, Banana, Peach, Milk
Mandarins, Orange Segments, Water
Fruit Salad, Dried Fruit,
Plum, Pineapple Cubes,
Tomato, Carrot Sticks, etc.
A Word About Milk
Growing children should get approximately one pint of milk a day, or its equivalent as cheese, yoghurt or milk pudding. This ensures that they get enough calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. If a child does not drink milk at lunch, encourage them to eat a small helping of cheese instead.
We ask that children do NOT bring the following to school:
Snacks known to be high in sugar, saturated fat, salt, additives and preservatives.
The following are not allowed:
· Crisps, popcorn (choking hazard)
- Fizzy drinks, fruit-flavoured water, fruit juices, diluted drinks
- Chocolate biscuits/bars
- Chocolate or hazelnut spread
- Coated rice cakes
- Cakes, buns
- Cereal bars
- Frubes, *yoghurts or yoghurt drinks
- Cheese strings or cheese dippers
- Chewing gum
*While natural, unsweetened yoghurt is a healthy food, containers often burst, leak or spill at school.
On very special occasions, the school will provide treats for children.
Please do not send in treats without prior approval of the school, so as not to disappoint your child.
Green Flag School
As part of our Green Flag status, children are also asked to:
- take home (in lunchbox) all uneaten food, silver paper, wrappings and disposable containers
- put only fruit peel and cores into the compost bins
- not bring in cans and glass, for safety reasons.
N.B. Parents/guardians of any child with a medical condition which requires a special diet should co
Parental Complaints Policy
The need for this policy arises from:-
Section 28, Education Act 1998 – procedures for processing complaints by parents prescribed for all school under the Act.
Relationship to School Ethos
The school promotes positive home-school links and endeavours to facilitate communication within the school community. The policy contributes towards those ideals.
- To foster fruitful and trusting relationships between school and parents.
- To afford parents an opportunity to express opinions/grievances through the framework of a defined procedure.
- To minimize the opportunity for conflict
- To afford parents an opportunity to liaise with the class teacher.
This policy does not cover:
- Complaints that are being dealt with through legal channels.
- Matters of professional competence which comes under the remit of the Dept. of Education and Skills and Teaching Council.
- Petty or vexatious complaints which do not relate to the work of a particular teacher.
In – School Procedures
If a parent has a concern in relation to the social or academic progress of their child, or the performance of a teacher the following steps are to be followed:
- A parent/guardian should firstly raise the matter with class teacher with a view to resolving it and, if unresolved, with the principal teacher. If still unresolved it should be raised with the board of management (BOM) Chairperson through the Principal.
The school should ensure that parents are informed periodically of the policy, particularly in relation to making an appointment to see the teacher. If the complaint is against the school principal, it should be raised firstly with the principal and, if unresolved, with the BOM chairperson.
This step should be followed with any complaint, either verbal or written.
- If the complaint is unresolved at Stage 1, the complainant should raise the matter in writing with the BOM chairperson who should try and resolve the matter informally within five days.
A note should be kept of any meeting and its outcomes which should be agreed with the parties.
- If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the chairperson should give the teacher a copy of the written complaint and arrange a meeting within ten days with the teacher and, where applicable, the principal teacher with a view to resolving the complaint.
- If unresolved, the chairperson should, within a further 10 days, make a formal report to the BOM. If the BOM decides the complaint to be unsubstantiated the teacher and the complainant are informed within three days of the BOM meeting.
If the BOM considers the complaint substantiated or warranting further investigation the teacher is informed, supplied with a copy of any written evidence in support of the complaint and asked to supply a written statement to the BOM. The teacher should be given an opportunity to make a presentation to the BOM within ten days and is entitled to be accompanied / assisted by a friend at this meeting, as is the complainant.
- When the BOM has completed its investigation, the teacher and the complainant should, within five days of the meeting, be informed of the final decision of the BOM including any outcomes and proposed action.
- Swift and efficient resolution of grievances.
- Parent/Teacher satisfaction.
- Positive school community feedback.
- Reviews of school policies as issues arise.