Fáilte a Chairde,
Your child’s happiness and progress at school are the main concern of this school and the central concern of our Staff. As parents, you make the most important contribution to your child’s education and development. Parents are willing and able to help, but are sometimes at a loss to know exactly what is expected of them and their child. In this booklet we hope to set out for you:
- The basic aims of the school
- School organisation
- How Parents can help
Education is concerned with two broad areas
- Knowledge, understanding and skills
- Values, interests and beliefs.
In this context we see education as an extension of the home. The education of the child is the joint responsibility of home and school. One cannot succeed without the help of the other. This booklet has been prepared so that you, as Parents, may know what the school hopes to achieve for your child and how you can play your part in co-operation with the school. We would like, therefore, to stress that the Principal and members of the Teaching Staff will gladly make themselves available to discuss any school problems. Just ask and we will gladly make an appointment to meet with you. Our school caters for a wide variety of children who have differing abilities and who come from diverse backgrounds. To cater for these differences, we strive to provide a differentiated curriculum to match the needs of the children. We provide English language and learning support as required. We also have programmes aimed at gifted children who come to terms with the normal curriculum at a faster rate than their peers. We sincerely hope that your child will be very happy and that by co-operation and mutual understanding we will be able to lay a firm spiritual, moral and intellectual formation for your child.
le gach dea-ghuí,
Irene de Brún
Curraglass National School is a co-educational Catholic school under the patronage of the Bishop of Cloyne. Curraglass National School is a school with a Catholic ethos. Curraglass National School also welcomes children of other nationalities and faiths and respects their beliefs and culture.
In Curraglass National School we aim to work in harmony with parents, clergy, teachers and school staff, children and all of their interests in developing the spiritual, physical, moral and intellectual talents and abilities of all pupils.
It is our mission to educate the ‘whole child’ and to strive for each child to fulfill his/her potential. It is our mission that each child will experience success in school and their unique talents and abilities will be praised.
It is our mission that each child will be helped to develop a strong sense of self and self-worth. We strongly believe that self-esteem and self-belief are crucial for each child in order to succeed in school and in the wider world.
It is our mission to instill in the children a love and respect for their local area, local customs and traditions. We also aim to instill in children a love and respect for Ireland’s language, culture and traditions. We seek to develop a sense of responsibility in the children towards preserving our local, national and global environment for future generations.
Our Vision at Curraglass National School
In Curraglass National School we believe that every child is entitled to feel affirmed and valued in school. We aim to provide a safe environment where happiness and enhancement of self-esteem are of prime importance. The children should be valued for their individuality, culture and heritage. They should be encouraged to develop to their full potential in a stimulating and caring environment and leave us as well rounded, confident, caring individuals with happy memories of their time with us.
School Moto- Ní neart go cur le chéile…Together we are stronger!
Teaching and Ancillary Staff (subject to change, due to redeployment panels)
Irene Bn. de Brún Príomhoide-
Ms. Margaret- Ann Grant Deputy Principal -( Career Break)
Ms. Josephine Frisby Class Teacher Infant Room
Ms. Maura McCarthy Class Teacher Middle Classes
Ms. Billie Jean Sheehan Class Teacher (Fixed-Term)
Ms. Angela Byrne Special Needs Assistant
Ms. Nikki Bryan Special Needs Assistant
Ms. Lesley Feeney School Secretary
Mr. Aidan Hughes School Caretaker
Board of Management
Mr. John Morrison Chairperson
Ms. Clodagh Fitzgerald Patron Nominee
Ms. Helen Mulcahy Community Nominee/ Treasurer
Mr. Pat O’Connor Community Nominee
Mr. Steven Cummins Parent Nominee
Ms. Bríd Barry Parent Nominee
Ms. Josephine Frisby Teacher Nominee
Irene Bn de Brún Príomhoide
Ms. Caroline Senior Chairperson
Ms. Lisa Moore Treasurer
Ms. Linda Mounir Secretary
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday- 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Class Hours: Infant Classes- 9.20 a.m.to 2.00 p.m.
1st to 6th Class- 9.20 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.
Yard supervision is provided in the morning from 9.10 a.m.
The present Primary School Curriculum was introduced in 1999. It identifies three primary aims of primary education:
- to enable the child to live a full life as a child and to realise his or her potential as a unique individual
- to enable the child to develop as a social being through living and co-operating with others and so contribute to the good of society
- to prepare the child for further education and lifelong learning.
- The curriculum is learner-centred. It emphasises the importance of literacy, numeracy, and language, while at the same time responding to changing needs in science and technology, social personal and health education, and citizenship. The curriculum is presented in 6 subject areas comprising 11 subjects:
Primary School Curriculum
|Social Environmental and Scientific Education (S.E.S.E.)||History, Geography, Science.|
|Arts Education||Drama, Music, Visual Arts.|
|Social Personal and Health Education (S.P.H.E.)|
In its totality, the Primary School Curriculum aims to enable children to meet, with self-confidence and assurance, the demands of life, both now and in the future (Introduction, p.6). The curriculum may be viewed or downloaded from www.curriculumonline.ie. There is a new language curriculum being introduced to schools nationwide and will be implemented over the next three years.
In addition to the above mentioned Curriculum, the school delivers elements of special curricula for children with specific educational needs. The Learning Support, Resource and Language Support Teacher assists Class Teachers in meeting the needs of children with specific educational needs. Gifted children are also catered for. These are children who find normal school work very easy, who learn quickly and who may become bored and frustrated in the classroom without the provision of a more challenging learning environment. All Class Teachers differentiate the curriculum to meet the individual needs of the children in their care.
A range of extracurricular activities take place in the school-
Sport: Gaelic Football, Hurling, Camogie, Basketball, Soccer, Orienteering
Music: Tin Whistle
Safety at the School Gate
Please note that, from December 2016, there will be a new set-down area/ car park for the school. Please do not stay parked in the car park for too long. Please drop your child and vacate your space as quickly as possible so as to allow for a smooth flow of traffic to and from the set down/ car park area.
Children from Junior to Sixth Class will wear the school tracksuit on days designated by their teachers as PE days. The School Tracksuit consists of :-
- Royal Blue Polo Shirt,
- Navy Blue sweatshirt with crest,
- Navy tracksuit bottoms
The School Uniform will be worn on days other than PE days by all children from Junior Infants to Sixth Class.
- Royal Blue Polo Shirt,
- Blue sweatshirt with crest
- Grey slacks. (Girls may wear grey slacks, skirt or pinafore.)
Notes: Please mark clothes to identify owner.
Home / School Communication
The implementation of the Curriculum is best done in partnership between home and school. Good and timely communication is vital if this partnership is to be truly effective. If your child is experiencing any difficulties in school, or if something is worrying you about the school, please come and talk to us immediately. Please make an appointment through the school secretary or write a note in the homework journal to meet with the Class Teacher or Principal. The earlier we know about your concerns, the earlier we can deal with them. Please ensure that the school has your up-to-date contact details, in case we need to contact you during the school day. Where possible, send a written note to the Class Teacher regarding routine matters – it is sometimes difficult to get through on the phone. The Principal communicates with Parents through written notes which are sent home with the children. You should occasionally empty out your child’s school bag to ensure that s/he actually hands them up to you!!! Our school website – http://www.curraglassns.wordpress.com – contains a wealth of information about the school. It is being updated at present to allow us upload and refresh the information from within the school. We have one formal Parent / Teacher meeting each year, in November/ December. You will be informed of the date and of the time of your meeting with your child’s Class Teacher.
Code of Conduct
The aim of the Code of Conduct is to provide a framework within which the child can come to develop a sense of self-discipline and a standard of behaviour which shows true Christian respect for oneself and others. We expect these values and the overwhelming majority of children meet our expectations.
It is recognised that self-esteem is essential to the development of every child. The School is committed to making every effort to foster the growth of self-esteem in each and every pupil. Parents have a vital role in this. Parents should help their children to learn and practice good behaviour and have a positive attitude towards themselves, towards other people and towards the school. It is more important that good behaviour be acknowledged and rewarded than that other behaviour be highlighted and punished. Children crave attention and approval. Their development as mature, independent and strong personalities depends on the quality of recognition and encouragement they get as children. Your child depends on you as parents and on us as teachers for this recognition and encouragement. Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí
School Policy on Discipline
Discipline creates an environment which assists the self-development and growth of pupils. It is based on human dignity and respect for each person. Qualities such as unselfishness, self-control and thoughtfulness for others are fostered in our school and help in the development of a fully integrated person. We aim for the achievement of maturity and self-discipline in the character formation of each individual pupil. The discipline engendered by rules and routines is designed to make the school safe for all children and allow school business to take place in an orderly fashion.
Why do we need a Code of Conduct?
- To make pupils aware of the necessity of good conduct
- To make school a safe place for all
- To encourage in all pupils, respect for themselves and for others
- Without good order and discipline, the educational standards, which parents have a right to expect, will fall
- To assist each pupil to achieve the highest standard possible of personal maturity and self-discipline before leaving our school, consistent with his/her circumstances and personal potential
- Mutual respect and co-operation are necessary to achieve a productive classroom, playground and school atmosphere
- As a Catholic school we aim to help our pupils achieve the Christian ideal of “Love thy neighbour as thyself”
The Code of Conduct
All pupils will conduct themselves in a manner which is respectful of themselves, their peers, their teachers and all School Staff and visitors. They will always be punctual, properly dressed, and properly engaged in their assigned tasks. They will be obedient to the directions of Principal and Teachers.
The School Playground
We are always conscious of the necessity of keeping the school yard a safe and friendly place in which children may enjoy themselves. The aim of our discipline policy in relation to the school playground is to focus on the positive behaviour of the majority of children who play safely and with consideration for others daily. Those who contravene the Code in the playground will be dealt with by putting his/her name in a notebook. If the child’s name is entered into the notebook three or more times during the week the child will not receive 5 minutes extra play time on a Friday and will have to sit with a designated teacher for those five minutes doing written work assigned by the child’s class teacher.
It is School Policy that pupils wear their correct school uniform every day.
- School Uniform except for Sports Class Days
- Junior, Middle and Senior Classes will wear tracksuits only, on P.E. days or other designated days.
- P.E. days are notified by the Class Teacher.
In the morning
- Pupils must be in time for school in the morning.
- Pupils must enter by the gate only.
- Pupils must line up correctly in the morning.
- Pupils must bring home all any uneaten food and wrapping used in their lunches – it must not be put in school litter bins.
- Pupils must play in a manner which respects others and is safe.
- Pupils must never engage in rough play.
- Pupils must get into line quickly and quietly when the bell rings.
- At all times pupils must be of good behaviour on the corridor and in classrooms – there must be no running or unnecessary noise.
- Pupils must never use foul language.
- Pupils must show courtesy to adults and fellow pupils at all times.
- Pupils must not chew gum on the school premises.
- NB We are a Pistachio and Cashew Nut Free School due to a serious allergy
Notes from parents/guardians
- Pupils must not leave the school or playground without permission from their class teacher or the teacher in charge of the playground.
- Pupils must have a written request submitted by parents / guardians to leave school during school hours. Please write this note in your child’s Homework Journal.
- Pupils must bring a note to explain all absences.
- Pupils must respect school property and the property of others.
- Damage to property must be paid for by the person who damaged it, or by his/her parents/guardians.
- Pupils must do all homework, oral and written, every night.
- Homework must be neatly presented.
- Where homework assignments are not completed, a signed note from a parent / guardian must be furnished.
The children normally go outside during break-times. However, if the weather is inclement the children remain in their own classrooms. The children may receive 5 minutes under the shelter at the side of the school under the guidance of the teacher on duty. The breaks are as follows:
Morning break: – 11.00 to 11.10
Infant Classes and junior classes play in the Front area of the playground. Middle classes and senior classes can play on the pitch if they have a spare pair of shoes when the pitch is muddy.
Lunch time break 12.30 to 1.00
All classes eat their lunch from 12.30 to 12.40 in the classroom. Infant Classes and junior classes play in the Front area of the playground. Middle classes and senior classes can play on the pitch if they have a spare pair of shoes when the pitch is muddy.
Children are supervised by Teachers at all times during these breaks.
Unfortunately, bullying tends to be present wherever groups of human beings gather. Schools are no exceptions and NO SCHOOL is immune from bullying. Our aim is to ensure that, when bullying arises, as it will, it will be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Telling All children are encouraged to tell on a bully. It is difficult at times for children to do this, but we are gradually trying to change the culture of acceptance among children of bullying behaviour. As the level of acceptance of anti-social behaviour among the children decreases, it becomes easier to tell an adult about a bully.
Parents are asked to be aware that your child may be bullied in school. Sometimes parents will become aware of the bullying before the Class Teacher becomes aware of it. If you become aware of bullying which affects your child, contact the school immediately.
The school will treat each and every case of bullying very seriously. Each incident will be fully investigated. The parents of both the victim and bully will be informed. Appropriate action will be taken to safeguard and reassure the victim. Appropriate action will also be taken to assist the bully to understand that his/her behaviour is unacceptable and to reform his/her ways.
Parents and Teachers must be particularly vigilant for signs of bullying behaviour and must act immediately to stop it and to reassure the victim and make the perpetrators aware of the error of their ways and of the consequences for themselves and the victims.
Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others.
A) Indications of Bullying / Behaviour:
- Anxiety about travelling to / from school
- Unwillingness to go to school
- Deterioration in educational performance
- Pattern of physical illnesses
- Unexplained changes in either mood/behaviour
- Visible signs of anxiety/distress
- Possessions missing
- Increased requests for money
- Unexplained bruising
- Reluctance and/or refusal to say what is troubling him/her
B) Procedures for noting and reporting incidents:
- All reports of bullying will be noted, investigated and dealt with by the Class Teacher so that pupils will gain confidence in telling. A special Incident Book will be kept in the staffroom for this purpose only. No reported case of bullying will be left unresolved.
- Serious cases will be referred immediately to the Principal by Parents or Class Teachers.
- Parents may often be the first to become aware of the fact that their child is being bullied. Parents should contact the Principal immediately if they suspect that their child is being bullied. The Principal or Class Teacher will inform Parents if their child is involved in a bullying incident in school.
- Pupils must understand that reporting is not ‘telling tale
C) Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying:
- A calm, unemotional problem-solving approach is best employed when dealing with a bullying situation.
- The Class Teacher in the first instance, and then the Principal will investigate and deal with all bullying incidents initially. Parents will be informed of the progress of such investigations and will be involved as appropriate.
- Because of its nature, bullying can often be a pattern of repeated behaviour on the part of the bully. Changing such behaviour may take time. Parents and teachers will work together to change bullying behaviour in bullies.
- Bullying has a detrimental effect on its victims. They may suffer physically, emotionally and mentally. Teachers and parents will work together to restore their confidence and to ensure that the unseen damage of bullying is repaired as far as possible.
- Every case of bullying will be fully investigated and will be continuously monitored until both Parents and Teachers are satisfied that the matter is fully resolved.
D) Programme for work with pupils:
The school recognises the value of tackling bullying at a class level. Learning strategies which allow for the enhancement of each pupil’s self-worth – circle time and lessons to specifically enhance self-esteem are conducted in all classes. All children are taught about bullying in Religion lessons, SPHE lessons and as the opportunity arises in other subjects.
Use of Mobile Phones/Recording Devices by Pupils
- The BOM discourages pupils from being in possession of Mobile Phones or Recording Devices during school hours. Should the need arise, the school secretary will make emergency or other calls.
- Mobile Phones and Recording Devices are nowadays capable of being used in a manner which amounts to the invasion of privacy of school Staff and Pupils. They are also capable of being used to bully others.
- The BOM will allow pupils, in exceptional circumstances, to be in possession of a Mobile Phone / Recording Device during school hours with the consent of their parents and the full knowledge of the Class Teacher. Such pupils must have presented a signed permission note to the Class Teacher. The permission note will explain to the Class Teacher the nature of the exceptional circumstance which requires the child to be in possession of a Mobile Phone / Recording Device and will relate to a specific date only.
- Mobile phones may not be used in the playground. Where a child, who has a permission note, is in possession of a mobile phone in the playground, it should be kept out of sight and switched off.
- Where a pupil is found to be in breach of this, the mobile phone will be confiscated by a teacher and returned to the pupil at the end of the school day.
- The BOM accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to mobile phones.
Parents / Guardians are requested to write a note in the Homework Journal to the Class Teacher if their child has been absent from school. Children cannot be allowed home from school unless collected by their parent/guardian, or an authorised person chosen by you to act on your behalf in an emergency. The school must be notified of such a person. In accordance with the provisions of the “Education Welfare Act”, the school is obliged to inform the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) of any child who has been absent for 20 days in any school year. This notification will result in a letter or visit from an Educational Welfare Officer to the parents / guardians of such a child.
The purpose of homework is
- to inculcate in pupils the habit of independent study
- to revise what has been learned in class
- to guide the child in further educational exploration at home
- to guide the parental assistance with the child’s work in school
- to allow parents / guardians follow their child’s progress in school
- to lay a foundation for independent study which will play a major role in the child’s development at second and third level education.
Homework will be given to pupils on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Pupils will not normally be given homework for the weekend. Homework routinely consists of written assignments, memory work or the practice of a skill. Pupils may also be assigned artwork or other work of a creative or research nature. Pupils are expected to complete all the homework assigned by their Teacher. Pupils should write the details of their homework in their Journal or in a Homework Copy. Parents/guardians should sign the Homework Copy or Journal when the homework has been completed. Where a pupil cannot complete the Homework, the Parents / Guardians should furnish a written note in the Homework Journal to the Class Teacher. The supervision and completion of homework is a parental responsibility. Parents should always inform the Class Teacher if a child has persistent difficulty in doing homework assignments.
When and Where
It is advised that pupils do their homework as soon as possible after coming home from school, rather than leaving it until later when they may be tired. Where possible, pupils should do their homework in a room free from the disturbance of television. Time guidelines Class Teachers should use the following guidelines when assigning homework:
Infant Classes 10- 15 mins
Rang a haon 15- 20 mins
Rang a dó 20-30 mins
Rang a trí 30 mins
Rang a ceathar 30- 40 mins
Rang a cuig 40- 50 mins
Rang a sé 50- 60 mins
The school community of Curraglass National School, acknowledge that the health of our children is paramount. Consequently, we aim to improve the nutritional standard of the children in our school and of the school community as a whole. The curriculum is used to teach the principles of good nutrition through the S.E.S.E. and S.P.H.E. programs.
Infants have 10 minutes morning break. Parents/guardians might take this into account when preparing lunch boxes for infant classes. 1st to 6th have a 10 minutes morning break and, at lunch time, 10 minutes is reserved for eating lunch in the classroom. This time may be extended, as required, by Class teachers to ensure that all children have sufficient time to eat their lunches.
Parents/guardians are encouraged to include items from the four bottom sections of the food Pyramid (as recommended by dept. of education / Health Board guidelines). Children should be encouraged to eat up to 5 portions of fruit and / or veg per day between home and school. We would encourage the children to bring water with them to school as their main drink.
All left-over food and wrappings, including milk and juice cartons must be taken home in the child’s lunch box.
All parents / guardians should consider the proven importance of breakfast as a good start to a child’s day in terms of giving them enough energy for the day ahead and of forming good dietary habits for life.
Teachers cannot be responsible for the administration of medicines during school hours. Children who are ill and are on medication on a short term basis should be treated at home. Parents of children who require medication on a long term basis should speak to the Principal.
Illness in Class
The parents / guardians of a child who becomes ill in class will be contacted by the school and will be asked to take the child home. All parents should ensure that the school is in possession of accurate and up-to-date contact information for parents / guardians or an alternative contact person in the event of the parents/guardians being unable to come to the school.
Unfortunately, accidents will happen. In most cases, children suffer only minor discomfort or injury and it can be dealt with in school. While no medications will be administered to a child, a minor cut will be washed with water only and a sticking plaster applied.
In the case of a more serious injury, parents / guardians will be informed immediately. in the case of an emergency, the school will seek immediate medical assistance and then inform parents. Parents will always be informed of any head injury or headache, however minor.
A special School Insurance Policy is available to cover medical and other expenses associated with accidents to children. The policy is very reasonably priced and can be purchased to cover children while in school or on a 24-hour basis.
The School nurse visits the school a number of times each year. During their time in school, each child is checked for hearing and vision and will be offered immunisation injections. Parents will be informed in advance of these visits.
Inevitably, there are costs associated with having a child in the Primary School. We try to keep these costs to a minimum. No child, no matter what the circumstances of his/her parents will be denied anything in the school because of cost. Any parents / guardians who, due to financial difficulties, are worried about school costs should make an appointment to see the Principal. The meeting will be confidential and matters will be resolved. The school operates a confidential parent assist fund.
Duty to Protect Children and Support Families
Children, because of their dependency and immaturity, are vulnerable to abuse in its various forms. Parents or guardians have primary responsibility for the care and protection of their children. When parents or guardians do not or cannot fulfill this responsibility, it may be necessary for the HSE or Gardaí to intervene to ensure that children are adequately protected.
The wider community also has a responsibility for the welfare and protection of children. All personnel involved in organisations working with children should be alert to the possibility of child abuse. They need to be aware of their obligations to convey any reasonable concerns or suspicions to the health board and / or An Garda Síochána and to be informed of the correct procedures for doing so. The wider community of relatives, friends and neighbours are well placed to help and must also be aware of the steps to take if a concern arises. Personnel working with children and the wider public should know that early action by them is often the best way to protect children and to enable a family to say together.
Principles for best practice in Child Protection
The Principles which should inform best practice in child protection include the following:-
- The welfare of children is of paramount importance.
- a proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents / carers and families, but, where there is a conflict, the child’s welfare must come first.
- Parents / guardians have a right to respect and should be consulted and involved in matters which concern their family.
Child Protection in Curraglass National School
All Staff working in the school are instructed in their duties relating to the protection and welfare of children in accordance with the Dept. of Education Guidelines and Procedures for Child Protection and in accordance with Children First – the National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children. Staff, or parents, who are concerned about a child protection or welfare issue will report it to the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) or Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP) in the school. The DLP/DDLP will discuss the matter with the reporting person and will decide if the matter should be reported to the HSE or Gardaí for further investigation. The Principals outlined above will guide the DLP/DDLP in reaching this decision. Where there are clear signs of abuse or neglect, the DLP/DPLP will err on the side of protecting the child. The DLP is Irene Bn de Brún Principal and the DDLP is Ms. Margaret Ann Grant, Deputy Principal. Children First can be downloaded from http://www.dohc.ie and the Dept. of Education Guidelines and Procedures can be downloaded from http://www.education.ie