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POLICIES

  • Admission Policy
    1. INTRODUCTION This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school. The policy was approved by the school patron September 2020. It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it. The relevant dates and timelines for Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned. This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year concerned. The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it. 2. CHARACTERISTIC SPIRIT AND GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHOOL Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is a Catholic boys primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of Bishop Tom Deenihan. “Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church which aims at promoting (a) The full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and (b) A living relationship with God and with other people; and (c) A philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and (d) The formation of the pupil in the Catholic faith And which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference. In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of [Insert the name of the school] shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school. 3. ADMISSION STATEMENT Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following: (a) the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, (b) the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, (c) the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, (d) the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, (e) the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, (f) the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, (g) the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or (h) the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has special educational needs Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is an all-boys school and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit a girl applying for admission to this school. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not Catholic and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is a school which has established a class, with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, which provides an education exclusively for students with a category or categories of special educational needs specified by the Minister and may refuse to admit to the class a student who does not have the category of needs specified. Children with special needs will be resourced with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills to our Board of Management. In the event of an application for a child with special needs the Board of Management will request a copy of the child’s psychological or medical report or a professional assessment of the child’s needs. The Board will meet to determine how best the needs can be met by the school. Where the Board deems further resources or personnel are required, it will, prior to enrolling the child, request such resources from the Department of Education and Skills. The principal will meet with the parents prior to enrolment to satisfy both parties that the child’s needs can be met in our school. As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’, ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara will cooperate with the NCSE in the performance by the Council of functions under the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 in relation to the provision of education to children with special educational needs, including in particular by the provision and operation of a special class or classes when required to do so by the Council. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, will comply with any direction served on the board or the patron under Section 37A and 67(4)(b) of the Education Act 1998.” 4. CATEGORIES OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS CATERED FOR IN THE SCHOOL/SPECIAL CLASS Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, has established classes to provide an education exclusively for students with ASD. In accordance with our Enrolment policy for our ASD class,applications for enrolment in our ASD classes can only be considered if a professional report from a psychologist states that the child has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in accordance with the DSM-V diagnostic tool and that the report also recommends placement for the child in an ASD class attached to a mainstream school. 5. ADMISSION OF STUDENTS This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where – a) the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details) b) a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara provided education exclusively for boys and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the gender provided for by this school. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a pupil a person who is not of Catholic denomination where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school. The special classes attached to this school provide an education exclusively for pupils with ASD and the school may refuse admission to this class where the pupil concerned does not have the specified category of special educational needs provided for in this class Children with special needs will be resourced with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills to our Board of Management. In the event of an application for a child with special needs the Board of Management will request a copy of the child’s psychological or medical report or a professional assessment of the child’s needs. The Board will meet to determine how best the needs can be met by the school. Where the Board deems further resources or personnel are required, it will, prior to enrolling the child, request such resources from the Department of Education and Skills. The principal will meet with the parents prior to enrolment to satisfy both parties that the child’s needs can be met in our school. 6. OVERSUBSCRIPTION The BOM recognises the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice. The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara must also consider the rights of the existing school community and in particular the children already enrolled. Therefore the BOM reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class bearing in mind the following criteria: ● The size and/available space in classrooms ● The timely provision of appropriate resources and personnel for each classroom by the Dept of Education ● The educational needs and special needs of all children in the class. ● The Department of Education and Skills’ maximum class average directives The maximum number of children will be determined for each class and reviewed each year in line with the Department guidelines on pupil/teacher ratios and will be published in the annual Admission Notice. In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice: ● Brothers of boys currently enrolled in Réalt na Mara BNS ● Brothers of girls currently enrolled in Réalt na Mara GNS ● Children who reside in the Mornington Laytown parish ● All other applicants In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply: Priority will be decided based on age with older children being offered places in the first instance. If a situation arises where two or more applicants are tied for the last available school place and these applicants share the same date of birth, the last place available will be awarded to the oldest based on time of birth on the birth certificate. In the case of twins being tied for the last remaining place both would be admitted by way of exception 7. WHAT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED OR TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT In accordance with section 62(7) (e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school: ● A student’s prior attendance at a preschool or preschool service including naionraí other than in relation to a student’s prior attendance at an early intervention class. ● The payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school. ● A student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude other than in relation to a special class insofar as it is necessary in order to ascertain whether or not the applicant has the category of special educational needs concerned. ● the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents; ● a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school; other than where siblings of the pupil are attending or had attended our school. ● a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission; ● a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude, (other than in relation to: - admission to Gliondar Mara, our ASD classes, in the event of the pupil having a recommendation to attend an ASD class as per the criteria noted in Section 5 above and also in our Enrolment Policy for ASD Classes - the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school, This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned. This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting lists (up until 31st January 2025 only). 8. DECISIONS ON APPLICATIONS All decisions on applications for admission to Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara will be based on the following: ● Our school’s admission policy ● The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable) ● The informationprovided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications (Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 15 below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.) Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used to make a decision on an application for a place in our school. 9. NOTIFYING APPLICANTS OF DECISIONS Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice. If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned. Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details). 10. ACCEPTANCE OF AN OFFER OF A PLACE BY AN APPLICANT In accepting an offer of admission from Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, you must indicate— (i) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and (ii) whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned. 11. CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH OFFERS MAY NOT BE MADE OR MAY BE WITHDRAWN An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara where— (i) it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading. (ii) an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school. (iii) the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or (iv) an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above. 12. SHARING OF DATA WITH OTHER SCHOOLS Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students. Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom— (i) an application for admission to the school has been received, (ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or (iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted. The list may include any or all of the following: (i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school; (ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school; (iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant; (iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005). 13. WAITING LIST IN THE EVENT OF OVERSUBSCRIPTION In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought. Placement on the waiting list of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy. Applicants whose applications are received after the closing date, outlined in the Annual Admission Notice, will be placed at the end of the waiting list in order of the date of receipt of the application. Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list. 14. LATE APPLICATIONS All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act. Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application no later than three weeks after the date on which the school received the application. Late applicants will be offered a place if there is a place available. In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant will be added to the waiting list as set out in Section 13. 15. PROCEDURES FOR ADMISSION OF STUDENTS TO OTHER YEARS AND DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR Boys can transfer to Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara at any time during the school year subject to space being available in the relevant class group and the following requirements being adhered to A fully completed Enrolment Application form must be submitted, in conjunction with relevant reports from the pupil’s previous school and professionals where relevant to the child’s educational needs. The Enrolment application must be signed by both parents, including acceptance of the school’s Code of Behaviour. A written response will be forwarded in respect of all applications within three weeks of receipt of the application by the Principal. 16. DECLARATION IN RELATION TO NON-CHARGING OF FEES The board of Bunscoil Buachillí Réalt na Mara or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of- (a) an application for admission of a student to the school, or (b) the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school. 17. ARRANGEMENTS REGARDING STUDENTS NOT ATTENDING RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION The following are the school’s arrangements for pupils, where the parents of the pupil has requested that the pupil attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school. These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such pupils: A written request should be made to the Principal of the school. A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s) of the pupil, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school. 18. REVIEWS/ APPEALS Review of decisions by the board of Management The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998. The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills. The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998. Note: Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. Right of appeal Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission. An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed. An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed. Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management) Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management) Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills. The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills. This policy was approved by the Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara on __21st December 2022___________________ Signed______________________(Chairman) It will be reviewed in 2024
  • Anti-Bullying Policy Annual Review
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
    Réalt na Mara Boys’ National School Donacarney Mornington Co Meath Anti-Bullying Policy (Reviewed and amended September 2023) 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 Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara 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 and takes cognisance of the DE (2022) Cinéaltas: Action Plan on Bullying. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour: A positive school culture and climate which- is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity; encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and promotes respectful relationships across the school community; Effective leadership; A school-wide approach; A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact; Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that- build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying address identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic 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) On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy. Definition of Bullying In accordance with the “Anti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary School” 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. Bullying behaviour thrives in an atmosphere of uncertainty and secrecy in which the victim often feels a sense of hopelessness. 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. This last is not exhaustive, please see appendix 4 for Examples of Bullying Behaviours. Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, including a once off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, while not to be condoned, cannot be described as bullying and 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 is dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour. Indications of bullying: Anxiety about attending school Deterioration in educational performance Pattern of physical illness Unexplained changes in mood or behaviour Visible signs of anxiety or distress Possessions missing Increased requests for money Unexplained bruising Reluctance to say what is troubling him/her These are all signs of a variety of problems as well as bullying. Responsibilities of Parents Encourage positive behaviour and discourage negative behaviour both at home and at school. Encourage children to solve difficulties without resorting to aggression. Encourage children to share, to be kind, to be caring, and to be understanding towards others. Watch out for signs and symptoms that your child is being bullied or is bullying others.Don't dismiss your instincts as being wrong. Discuss the school's anti-bullying policy with her/him. Support the school in its efforts to prevent and treat bullying. Parents please note: The legal age for WhatsApp is 16+ years and 13 years for having a social media account. Social networking sites, including TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and all others, have associated risks and dangers to your child and others. Parental supervision is essential. Use of the internet and social media accounts (at home) fall under parental responsibility. If your child has a device which connects to the internet, parents should be aware of, and have control of, the websites/ platforms visited and people contacted. They should also be aware of messages sent and received. Responsibilities of Pupils Pupils are expected to be tolerant and to have mutual respect for each other. Pupils are encouraged to report incidents of bullying to their parents and teachers. Responsibilities of School Staff The relevant teacher for dealing with matters of bullying will, in the first instance, be the class teacher in conjunction with the principal. In the absence of the principal, the deputy principal will take over the role of principal in this regard. The school staff will foster an atmosphere of friendship, respect and tolerance throughout the school. Teachers will help pupils to develop empathy by discussing incidents which may cause tension, and discussing the perspectives of the parties involved. The development of mutual respect and trust is encouraged so that pupils will have confidence in the school staff. The formal curriculum of the school will be used to educate all pupils against bullying behaviour. Education and Prevention Strategies: Teachers are vigilant and will respond sensitively and caringly to pupils who disclose incidents of bullying, and will investigate all such incidents following the procedures given in this document. Encourage a culture of telling, with a particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. All reports of bullying, including anonymous reports, must be investigated by the class teacher. In that way, pupils will be given confidence in ‘telling’. The ‘confidence’ factor is vital. It will be made to clear to pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not telling tales but are behaving responsibly. Explicitly teaching pupils the steps to take to tell and how to tell: Tell the teacher. Discuss ways the child can communicate with the teacher discretely e.g. after class, lunchtime, tell the Principal/Deputy Principal or trusted teacher e.g. when they see Ms Campbell/Ms Brennan in the morning, on yard, around the school. Parents/Guardians make a phone call to the school or write a note to Teacher in their Homework Journal. Comment Box in the classroom. Ensure pupils are aware of their role and power as a bystander. Bystanders can play a key role in preventing and stopping bullying. Anti bullying posters can be seen around the school. Anti-bullying issues will be raised every year and in every class through the implementation of the Social Personal and Health Education Curriculum (Stay Safe and Relationships and Sexuality Components of the programme) and the Grow in Love religion programme. Pupils will be encouraged to build friendship and self esteem through the use of evidence based programmes such as Weaving Wellbeing. Where training is available, programmes such as Friends for Life and the Incredible Years Programme (NEPS) will be used as an intervention for particular classes. Prim-Ed resources, Bullying and Conflict Resolution deal very specifically with the topic of bullying and provide tools to empower pupils to resolve conflict. These publications are available in the school for 1st- 6th classes. In partnership with the Parents’ Association, parents are invited to attend an information evening on cyber-bullying at the school at least once during their time as parent of a child in Réalt na Mara BNS. Our Community Gardaí are invited annually to talk to all classes covering a variety of themes including Being Kind Online, Consequences of my Behaviour, My Neighbours Staff are updated on anti-bullying strategies through professional development workshops, including the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Course facilitated by DCU Anti-Bullying Centre. Tips for dealing with cyber-bullying are advertised in the school’s newsletter and available on the school website. Safer Internet Day is annually acknowledged. Targeted delivery of lessons exploring cyber bullying e.g. Zeeko, Webwise. A variety of picture books – exploring themes of exclusion, bullying, discrimination and empathy are available to staff to supplement the delivery of the SPHE Curriculum where appropriate. Through the delivery of elements of the SESE Curriculum e.g. World War II, pupils are offered a structured opportunity to engage in scaffolded discussions exploring social justice and discrimination. Procedures for noting and reporting incidents: If parents have concerns about their child being bullied they should inform the class teacher. The class teacher will inform the Principal of all allegations of bullying and will be kept abreast of the investigation. The Principal will become involved in a formal capacity at certain stages of the process. Reports of bullying either from parents or staff members must be recorded in writing. The teacher should investigate and act appropriately, with a view to resolving the issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved. Teachers will take a calm, unemotional, problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff, or families. Where possible, investigations will be conducted outside the classroom to ensure the privacy of all involved. However, classroom discussions may take place to tease out the intricacies of the situation. All parties involved will have the opportunity to be heard. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide useful information giving context to the situation. The teacher will use the restorative practice question framework to seek answers: What? Where? When? Who? Why? If the teacher suspects that bullying occurred, the Principal/Deputy Principal should be informed The teacher may ask those involved to write down an account of the incident. If a group is involved, each member will be interviewed individually. Thereafter, all those involved should meet as a group. The teacher must use the recording template at Appendix 3 to record the bullying behaviour. This template, when completed, must be retained by the teacher and a copy supplied to the Principal or Deputy Principal. Parents and pupils are required to cooperate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as practical. Parents will have an opportunity to discuss ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the support for their pupils. In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken. Parents will then be given an opportunity to discuss the matter with the teacher. A record should be kept of how the matter was handled and the outcome. When the class moves on, the succeeding teacher should be informed of any problems that existed Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him how he is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied. It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his parents and the school. In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded, by the relevant teacher, in the recording template at Appendix 3. In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed, the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account: whether the bullying behaviour has ceased; whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable; whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable; any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal; 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 Responding to Bullying In-school support will be provided for pupils affected by bullying. These supports will be designed to raise self-esteem, to develop friendships, social skills and build resilience. Examples of such activities are: Circle Time Morning Check-Ins A Buddy system Where appropriate, pupils will be supported in repairing relationships damaged by bullying and bullying behaviour. In accordance with the preventative measures as set out in the Education and Prevention section of this policy, a formal programme of support (Friends for Life, Prim-Ed Bullying Lessons) will be implemented at the earliest possible opportunity to facilitate all pupils involved or affected by bullying behaviour. Support will be provided for anyone who is bullied by offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about their experience with their teacher or other teacher, along with continuing support when they feel they may need it. This support may take the form of referring the pupil to outside agencies for counselling. Permission of his parents must be sought in advance of promising such an intervention to the child and the Principal or Deputy Principal must also be informed in advance of any outside agency being considered. A victim will be assured that the school community will help them and put monitoring procedures in place to safeguard them. The school will inform parents/guardians of what has happened and of the measures being taken to help their child, encouraging them to report further incidents if they occur. Help and support will be sought for a bully. This will include speaking with them to discover why they became involved, informing their parents/guardians and continuing to work with them in order to modify their behaviour. In certain instances, counselling for the bully and for other pupils affected by bullying will be encouraged. This is with the permission of their parents and in consultation with the Principal and class teacher. Strong collaboration between home and school will be essential in supporting pupils who have engaged in bullying behaviours. The school code of behaviour applies to bullying. After discussions with the teacher, a Reflection Form will be completed to help the bully to see things from the victim’s point of view. Bullies may be excluded from the playground at lunch break or subject to special monitoring procedures and if bullying continues they may be suspended in accordance with procedure. Pupils who observe incidents of bullying behaviour will be encouraged to discuss them with teachers. Any pupil who is involved in retaliation against a pupil who reports bullying will be subject to the school Code of Behaviour. Incidents of bullying will be used as opportunities for reinforcing the anti-bullying policy of the school. Follow-up meetings may be arranged to assess progress and/or restore relationships. In a case where the school has serious concern regarding the ongoing behaviour of a pupil involved in a bullying incident, the advice of NEPS will be sought. In accordance with our Child Protection Policy where the incident is serious and behavior is regarded as potentially abusive, the school will consult the HSE Children and Family Social Services with a view to drawing up an appropriate response. Serious incidents will also be reported to the Gardaí where appropriate. In the case of school personnel having concerns about a child but are not sure whether to report the matter to the HSE, the Designated Liaison Person must seek advice from the HSE Children and Family Social Services. 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. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ________________ [date]. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department. Signed: ______________________________ Signed: _______________________ Chairperson, Board of Management Principal Date: ______________ Date: __________________ Date of next review: ___________________ Ratified by Board of Management on __________________ Signed: __________________________________________ Chairperson, Board of Management Appendix 1: Practical Tips for Building a Positive School Culture and Climate The following are some practical tips for immediate actions that can be taken to help build a positive school culture and climate and to help prevent and tackle bullying behaviour. Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times. Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school. Display key respect messages in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school . Involve pupils in the development of these messages. Catch them being good-notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention. Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school–this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN. Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent. Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines. Explicitly teach pupils about the appropriate use of social media. Positively encourage pupils to comply with the school rules on mobile phone and internet use. Follow up and follow through with pupils who ignore the rules. Actively involve parents and/or the Parents’ Association in awareness raising campaigns around social media. Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school. Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas. All staff can actively watch out for signs of bullying behaviour. Ensure there is adequate playground/schoolyard/outdoor supervision. School staff can get pupils to help them to identify bullying “hotspots” and “hottimes” for bullying in the school. Hotspots tend to be in the playground/schoolyard/outdoor areas, changing rooms, corridors and other areas of unstructured supervision. Hottimes again tend to be times. Where there is less structured supervision such as when pupils are in the playground/schoolyard. Support the establishment and work of student councils. Appendix 2: Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation The Board of Management (the Board) must undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist must be used for this purpose. The checklist is an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list. In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school’s anti-bullying policy will be required. Yes /No Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools?YesHas the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association?YesHas the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?YesIs the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?YesHas the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils? YesHas the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies? YesHave all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented? YesHas the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?YesIs the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?YesHas the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal? YesHas the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?YesHas the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?NoHave any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?NoHave any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?NoHas the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?YesHas the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?YesHas the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement? Yes Signed: ______________________________ Signed: _______________________ Chairperson, Board of Management Principal Date: ______________ Date:__________________ Appendix 3: Bullying Incident Investigation Form ‘Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or a group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time. Name of Pupil being bullied and class group: Name_______________________ Class________________________ Names and Class(es) of pupil(s) engaged in bullying behaviour Source of bullying concern/report (tick relevant boxes) Pupil concerned Other pupil Parent Teacher Other Location of incidents Playground Classroom Corridor Toilets School Bus Other Name of person(s) reporting the bullying concern 6. Type of Bullying Behaviour Physical Aggression Cyber-bullying Damage to Property Intimidation Isolation/Exclusion Malicious Gossip Name Calling Other(specify) Where behaviour is regarded as identity-based behaviour, indicate the relevant category HomophobicDisability/SEN relatedRacistMembership of Traveller communityOther(specify) Brief description of bullying behaviour and its impact 9.Details of actions taken Signed:________________________(relevant Teacher) Date______________________________ Date submitted to Principal/Deputy Principal_________________________ Appendix 4: Examples of bullying behaviours: General behaviours which apply to all Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc. Physical aggression Damage to property Name calling Slagging The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person Offensive graffiti Extortion Intimidation Insulting or offensive gestures The “look” Invasion of personal space A combination of any of the types listed. Cyber bullying Denigration: Spreading rumors, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety Silent telephone/mobile phone call Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls Abusive text messages Abusive email Abusive communication on social networks e.g.Facebook/Twitter/You Tube/Snapchat or on games consoles Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures Abusive posts on any form of communication technology Identity Based Behaviours Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community). Homophobic and Transgender Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian...used in a derogatory manner Physical intimidation or attacks Threats Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background Exclusion on the basis of any of the above Relational This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include: Malicious gossip Isolation & exclusion Ignoring Excluding from the group Taking someone’s friends away “Bitching” Spreading rumours Breaking confidence Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear The “look” Sexual Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching Harassment Special Educational Needs, Disability Name calling Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues. Mimicking a person’s disability Setting others up for ridicule
  • Acceptable Use Policy
    Acceptable Use Policy (Access to Internet) The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy ( AUP) is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the School’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to, this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed. It is envisaged that school and parent representatives will revise the AUP annually. School Strategies The School will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. These strategies are as follows: General • Access to the Internet on the school premises will always be supervised by a teacher. • Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material. The school internet is protected by the firewall provided by the NCTE (National Centre for Technology in Education). • Pupils and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety. • Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted. • Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis. • The use of personal memory sticks in school is not allowed. Pupils are not permitted to bring devices with potential for Internet access to school. • Pupils will observe good “netiquette” (i.e., etiquette on the Internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute. World Wide Web • Pupils will use the Internet for educational purposes only. • Pupils will be familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning. • Pupils will never disclose or publicise personal information. • Pupils will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons. • Pupils will not visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials. • Pupils will be taught appropriate use of the Internet, using the www.webwise.ie teaching materials. Email • Pupils will not have access to personal email facilities at school. Any emails to other children/schools, will be sent through the school email or class email address. For the purposes of remote learning, teacher- pupil email correspondence is permitted via the parents’ email account only. It is also permitted to email the pupil, again, via the parent’s email, for the purposes of receiving assignments and offering feedback but the parent must also be addressed in the email. Internet Chat ( Very restricted use only) • Pupils will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums, such as the etwinning forum, that have been approved by the school. • Chat rooms, discussion forums and other electronic communication forums will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised. • Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity. • Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet chat is forbidden. Online Learning Platforms Teachers use the Online Learning Platforms Seesaw (Junior and Senior Infants) and Google Classroom from (1st to 6th Class). Pupils may only participate in these platforms with parental consent Parents are expected to monitor their child's access to and use of the above platforms The school has signed up to the terms of service of the Online Platform in use by the school. The school has enabled the most up to date security and privacy features which these online platforms provide. Video Conferencing software such as Google Meet, Zoom or Skype may be used for contacting other children/schools for project work and assignments. This will only be carried out under teacher supervision. Video Conferencing for Remote Learning Teachers must pre-record video lessons. Live lessons are not permitted. Live video conferencing sessions must be approved by the principal in advance. The principal or deputy principal must be invited to these sessions and may appoint the co host to these sessions. Every pupil in the class must be invited and must have the materials required at home to access the pre-recorded lesson or video conferencing session. Parental permission for every pupil must be sought for each live session. Pupils must be appropriately dressed eg no pyjamas Sessions can only be conducted from a common room in the pupil’s home such as a living room or kitchen. Pupils are not permitted to take or share screenshots, recordings or personal information about staff or pupils on social media. Pupils are not permitted to rename themselves, use the chat facility or to leave the breakout rooms without permission of the hosts. Any pupil in breach of the above netiquette will have their video conferencing session curtailed with immediate effect and will not be invited to any future such conference. As per our Code of Behaviour any gross misbehaviour may result in suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities. Teacher Safety Tips for hosting live video sessions with pupils Disable ‘join before host’ option Check participants before letting them into class by using waiting rooms Lock the classroom door when all pupils are in. Turn off participant sharing Disable rename What to do if someone ‘zoombombs’ your meeting? Lock meeting/mute all controls and kick them out using ‘Remove a participant’ option School Website • Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the school website. • The publication of student work will be coordinated by a teacher. • Pupils’ work will appear in an educational context on Web pages. • Parental permission for the use of each pupil’s photograph on the school website will be sought at enrolment and/or when updating contact details of parents • Personal pupil information including surnames, home address and contact details will not be used on school web pages. Legislation The school will provide information on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet which teachers and parents should familiarise themselves with: • Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 ( see school policy) • Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 • Interception Act 1993 • Video Recordings Act 1989 • The Data Protection Act 1988 Personal Devices Devices such as mobile phones, iPads, Nintendos, smart watches with video/voice recording or any gadgets with internet access, are not allowed in the school. If a pupil needs to bring a phone to school for use after school, he must leave it in the school office in the storage box provided. Assistive Technology Pupils who are in receipt of assistive technology as recommended by the Department of Education and Science are permitted to take the devices/technology home for their own educational purposes only. An agreement must be signed in advance of these devices being taken to and from school to ensure their safekeeping, and that they are used for the permitted purposes. *See Appendix 2 User Agreements Respect for Equipment: Pupils are expected to show great care at all times when using technological devices at school. The rules for use of the digital hub and iPads are as follow: This AUP must be outlined to the pupils in advance of their first visit to the digital hub/use of iPads. •No food or drink is allowed in the vicinity of the equipment. •Only a staff member is allowed input passwords to open the PCs. •Equipment can only be used under teacher supervision. The library partition must remain open at all times. A request may be made in advance to the principal to allow for its safe closure and reopening. •Pupils are not allowed to sit underneath or on the counter of the digital hub. •Pupils must learn the steps for shutting down the equipment properly as the last class in the digital hub on Friday is responsible for that. •iPads must be kept on a secure surface at all times. Support Structures The school will inform pupils and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet. We also provide workshops on internet safety for pupils in 4th, 5th and 6th classes and their parents. We use the services of the NCTE , www.webwise.ie and www.safety.ie. We highly recommend that parents read and also follow the guidelines on Internet safety as offered on webwise.ie and safety.ie. Sanctions Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities. If for any reason a pupil takes a phone to school, it must be left switched off and given to the Principal for the day. Any infringement of this rule will involve the confiscation of the phone and will only be returned to the parent or guardian of the pupil after 24 hours or after the weekend Review This policy was developed in 2015. It was reviewed in 2020 in conjunction with the teaching staff and representatives of the parent body and will be updated annually and/or as developments in technology continue to impact on education in particular. Signed_________________________(Chairman B.O.M.)Date _______________ Appendix 1 Permission Form Please review the attached school Internet Acceptable Use Policy, sign and return this permission form to the class teacher. This form will be kept on file until your son has left Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara. Name of Pupil: ______________________Class:______________________ Parent/Guardian As the parent or legal guardian of the above pupil, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy and grant permission for my son/child in my care to access the Internet. I understand that Internet access is intended for educational purposes. I also understand that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if pupils access unsuitable websites. I accept the above paragraph □ I do not accept the above paragraph □ (Please tick as appropriate) In relation to the school website, I accept that, if the school considers it appropriate, my child’s schoolwork may be chosen for inclusion on the website. I understand and accept the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy relating to publishing children’s work on the school website. I accept the above paragraph □ I do not accept the above paragraph □ (Please tick as appropriate) Signature: ____________________________ Date: ___________________ Appendix 2 User Agreement for Assistive Technology (Sample Contract) I wish to apply for, and confirm that I am willing to accept the responsibility for, taking into my possession an item of Assistive Technology for the period of the school closure due to Covid 19 restrictions. I confirm that I have read, understood and agree to the attached ‘Terms and Conditions of Use’ and am willing to take responsibility for the AssistiveTechnology subject to these ‘Terms and Conditions of Use’ and such other policies as are determined by Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara. By accepting this ‘Assistive Technology Use Agreement Form’, I agree to the terms and conditions of use and accept delivery of the Assistive Technology. Assistive Technology User Agreement Sample Contract 1 1.The _______________ remains the property of Name of School 2. The _________________ is covered under school insurance however; the user must take reasonable care to avoid damage or loss. 3.The ________________ has been provided for school related use. 4. All major _______________ faults to be recorded on an AssistiveTechnology Problem Report Form and logged in the school office. 5. The Reading Pen is for _______________ usage and must not be transferred to a third party. 6. Please make every effort to securely store the ______________ as per instructions in pack. 7. I will use the ____________ lawfully and in accordance with the instructions. 8. I will not sell, assign, transfer or otherwise dispose of the _______________ 9.If my status changes with Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, or if I breach any of these terms or conditions, Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, may revoke this arrangement by giving me written notice. 10. I will take due care of the _____________ package at all times, including: · Not leaving the _____________ unattended in a public place. · Not leaving the __________ in plain view in an unattended or unsecured vehicle. · Not allowing the _____________ to be accessed by any other person (unless authorised by Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara). · Not allowing the ________________ to be interfered with, tampered with or altered by a third party or otherwise except in accordance with clause · Ensuring due care is taken in the handling, transporting and usage of the Reading Pen. 11. If the __________________ is lost, stolen or damaged I will advise the Principal and the Gardaí as soon as possible. Signed:_____________________(Parent) Date:_____________________ Contract for Use of Laptop This agreement is made effective upon receipt of the laptop computer, between Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, the student receiving the laptop -----------and his parent(s)________________ The Student and Parents, being provided with a laptop computer, software, and any other related materials for use while the student is enrolled at Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, hereby agree as follows: 1. Ownership: Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara retains sole right of possession of the computer and grants permission to the Student and Parents to use the computer according to the guidelines set forth in this document. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara staff retain the right to collect and/or inspect the computer at any time. 2. Equipment Provided: All computers offered by Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara will include a power source (charger), and a laptop bag. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara will retain records of the serial numbers of provided equipment. 3. Responsibility for Electronic Data: a) The student and parents are responsible for ensuring that existing software remains on the computer. b) Principal/ Teacher permission must be granted before downloading new software. 4. Charging: Student computers are to be fully charged prior to each school day at the home of the student. Charging locations will be provided at the School but should be secondary to home charging. Damage or Loss of Equipment 1. Responsibility for damage: The Student is responsible for maintaining a 100 percent working computer at all times. The Student shall use reasonable care to ensure that the computer is not damaged. Examples of gross negligence include, but are not limited to: a) Leaving equipment unattended including damage or loss while at school. b) Lending equipment to others other than one’s parents/guardians. c) Using equipment in an unsafe environment. d) Using the equipment in an unsafe manner. 2. Responsibility for loss: In the event the computer is lost or stolen, contact the school immediately. 3. In the event of damage/loss or need for technical support/repair, report the problem immediately to the classroom teacher. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara maintains a strong commitment to preparing students to use information and communication technology (ICT) in a positive and productive manner. The school encourages the ethical use of ICT to support curriculum and productivity both inside and outside the classroom. Laptop Computer Use Agreement Please sign and return this slip: We have read and agreed with this primary school Laptop computer use agreement. Student's name (please print): ______________________________ Student's signature and date: _________________________________ Parent's signature and date: __________________________________________________________ Class Teacher's signature and date: _________________________________________________________ Principal’s signature & date: ___________________________________________
  • Assessment Policy
    Policy on Assessment (March 2011) (reviewed by staff, school management and BOM reps April 2011) Policy Rationale: The core of the policy is that all children should experience success at school. This policy endeavours to identify at the earliest possible opportunity, children who may have learning difficulties and put in place a school response to their needs. An effective assessment policy is central to this core objective. Aims and Objectives: The primary aims/objectives of the policy are; 1.To facilitate improved pupil learning 2.To create a procedure for monitoring achievement 3.To track learning processes which assist the long and short term planning of teachers 4.To co-ordinate assessment procedures on a school basis involving parents and pupils in managing strengths and weaknesses Policy Content: This policy is geared towards using assessment to inform planning and identify the needs of all pupils, including the exceptionally gifted so that adequate strategies are put in place early enough to facilitate remediation. These strategies may include pupil self assessment, pupil profiling, two way communication between parents and teachers, modification of teacher programmes and individual education plans. Standardised Testing: The Micra T and Sigma T tests are administered from First to Third Classes inclusive. The Micra T Level 1 is given to Senior Infants.Fourth and Fifth Classes take the Drumcondra reading and maths test. In sixth class the Drumcondra Reading and Maths may also be administered but this is left to the discretion of the class teacher. The tests are usually administered in the last week of May or first week of June by the class teacher. Standard and percentile ranking scores are recorded on the class record template and stored by each individual teacher with a copy held in the administration office. The SET analyse the results in June for allocation of resources to pupils in September. Diagnostic Assessment: Diagnostic tests are administered by the Learning Support and Resource Teachers following referral by the class teachers in consultation with parents/guardians. The administration of such tests is in keeping with the approach recommended by Circular 02/05 where a staged approach is used by the individual class teachers before recourse to diagnostic testing /psychological assessment. Parents are provided with test results and if a psychological assessment is warranted, parental permission is sought and a consent form is completed. The Principal will facilitate such an assessment happening. The diagnostic tests used in the school include; Bangor Dyslexia Screening test Neale Analysis Aston Index Quest Screening: The screening tests used to identify learning strengths and weaknesses in the school are; ​​ •Belfield Infant Assessment Programme •Middle Infant Screening Test (MIST) •SPAR / Parallel Spelling Test •Non Reading Intelligence Test (NRIT) •Aston Index •Sigma T (occasionally) •Otis-Lennon Mental Ability Test These tests are administered individually or on a class basis. The MIST is administered around March of each year while the Aston Index is administered individually by the Learning Support Teacher when deemed appropriate. Screening is used by the school to initiate the staged approach to intervention as per Circular 24/03 and Circular 02/05. Psychological Assessment: If stages 1 and 2 fail to deliver adequate intervention, the class teacher/Principal will contact the parents for permission to secure a psychological assessment for their child. An assessment will determine the subsequent level of intervention, be it ‘Learning Support Resource’ hours or an ‘Individual Education Plan’. The most common form of assessment used in our school is teacher observation, teacher designed tests, projects and homework (informal assessment). These informal assessments are at the discretion of individual teachers. Records of teacher-designed tests are kept by the individual teachers and communicated to parents at the Parent-teacher meeting and the school report issued at the end of the school year. Each teacher has discretion as to the format, administration and frequency of in-class testing. The most common types of informal teacher designed testing in our school are math’s tests, spelling tests and quizzes. Recording: Each pupil has a profile card which is stored in the Learning Support Resource Dept. This file records standardised test results and records if other assessments are available.The end of year reports for each pupil are also stored here.Psychological assessments and other reports from outside agencies are also stored in the LSR department This file is passed from teacher to teacher as the child progresses through the system. Procedures are in place to manage sensitive data (see Data Protection Policy). Success Criteria: This policy is considered successful if; •Early identification and intervention is achieved •Clarity is achieved regarding procedures involved in a staged approach •Procedures are clear, with roles and responsibilities defined •The Special Education team have clearly defined roles and objectives •There is efficient transfer of information between teachers Roles and Responsibilities: Mainstream Special Education Teachers and the Principal assume shared responsibility. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to set in train staged interventions at class level. At Stage 2, the responsibilities are shared with the Special Education Team. The Deputy Principal assumes a primary role at Stage 3 when a Psychological Assessment may be required. Parents have a role at all stages and the lines of communication must be always kept open. Implementation: This policy reflects current practice in the school. Ratification & Communication: This policy was ratified by the Board of Management in ____________and uploaded to our school website thereafter. Review Timetable: This policy will be reviewed in 2 years time and amended as necessary by means of a whole school collaborative process. References: DES Circular 02/05 – 24/03 DES Learning Support Guidelines 2000 www.sess.ie Working Together to make a Difference for Children – NEPS Address. Donacarney, Mornington, Co. Meath ©
  • Administration of Medication Policy
    Administration of Medication Policy (Reviewed August 2015) While the Board of Management has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils when they are engages in authorised school activities, this does not imply a duty upon teachers to personally undertake the administration of medicines. The Board requests parents to ensure that teachers made aware in writing of any medical condition suffered by their child. This information should be provided at enrolment, or at the development of any medical conditions at a later date. Non-prescriptive medicines will neither be stored nor administered to pupils in school. Prescribed medicines will not be administered in school without the written consent of parents and the specific authorisation of the BOM. The medicine should not be kept by the pupil but be safely stored in the First Aid Room. Certain medicines, such as inhalers used by asthmatic children must be readily accessible at all times of the school day. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that the child brings the medication he needs to school each day. The medication should be self administered if possible under the supervision of an authorised adult. No teacher can be compelled to administer medicine of drugs to a pupil. In the case of a serious medical condition it is important that the school are informed in advance of the child`s attendance so that the staff can agree with the parent on who can best administer the required medication in the absence of suitably qualified medical personnel. In emergency situations qualified medical assistance will be secured at the earliest opportunity. Parents of a pupil requiring regular medication during school hours and/or emergency treatment involving the administration of prescribed medication in school, must complete the form appended to this policy document and send it to the BOM in advance of the child attending school. Parents are responsible for ensuring that the medication is delivered to the school and handed to a responsible adult, for ensuring that an adequate supply is available and that the medication is in date. The BOM shall seek an indemnity from the parents in respect of liability that may arise regarding the administration of the medicine. The BOM shall inform the school insurers accordingly. Request for administration of medication should be renewed at the beginning of each school year. Administration of Medicine Form Address. Donacarney, Mornington, Co. Meath © 2021
  • Child Safeguarding Statement Annual Review
  • Child Safeguarding Statement
    Réalt na Mara Boys’ National School is a primary school providing education to pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class including Gliondar Mara, our two ASD Classrooms. In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Addendum to Children First (2019), the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools (revised 2023) and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara BNShas agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document. 1 . The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools(revised (2023) as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement 2 . The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Ms. Caitríona Campbell 3 . The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Ms. Anne Brennan 4 . The Relevant Person is Ms. Caitríona Campbell (The relevant person is one who can provide information in respect of how the child safeguarding statement was developed and will be able to provide the statement on request. This person can also be the DLP) 5. The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. In its policies, procedures, practices and activities, the school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare: The school will: · recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations; · fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children; · 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; and · fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters. 6 The following procedures/measures are in place: · In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and PostPrimary Schools (revised 2023) and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the gov.ie website. · In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the Department of Education and available on the gov.ie website. · In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school- Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement Encourages staff to avail of relevant training Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training · In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (revised 2023), including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015. · All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015. · In accordance with the Children First Act 2015 and the Addendum to Children First (2019), the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is included with the Child Safeguarding Statement. · The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the gov.ie website or will be made available on request by the school. 7 This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association and the patron. It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested. 8 This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers. This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on _________________ [date]. This Child Safeguarding Statement was reviewed by the Board of Management on _________________ [most recent review date]. Signed: _________________________ Signed: ____________________________ Chairperson of Board of Management Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management Date: __________________________ Date:__________________­­­­­­­_ Child Safeguarding Risk Assessment (of any potential harm) List of School ActivitiesThe School has identified the following Risk of Harm The School has the following Procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessmentTraining of school personnel in Child Protection mattersHarm not recognised or reported promptly Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures given to all school personnel including all new staff The Child protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2023 are available to all school personnel DLP & DDLP to attend PDST webinars to update training. All Staff to view Túsla training module & any other online training offered by PDST The Child protection Procedures for primary and Post- Primary Schools 2017 are made available to all staff School personnel are required to adhere to the Children First Act 2015 and its Addendum 2019 BOM records all staff and board training One to one teaching Risk of child being harmed in the school by a member of school personnel One to one teaching may be provided for any pupil where it is deemed necessary in the best interest of the child and teaching staff. All one to one teaching sessions should be clearly timetabled and should only be carried out where appropriate agreements are in place with regard to the physical environment: Classroom door is left open when a pupil is on his own with an SNA or teacher. Table between teacher and pupil. Every room has a glass panel in its door for ease of observation. The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda Vetting Legislation and relevant DE circulars in relation to recruitment and garda Vetting Care of Children with special needs, including intimate care needsHarm by school personnel All school personnel are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools (revised 2023) are made available to all school personnel School Personnel are required to adhere to the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and all registered teaching staff are required to adhere to the Children First Act 2015 The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda vetting legislation and relevant DES circulars in relation to recruitment and Garda vetting The school complies with the agreed disciplinary procedures for teaching staff The school has a Special Educational Needs policy Gliondar Mara: SNAs are responsible for certain children’s care needs. This can involve helping children with toileting, changing of clothes, etc. Two SNAs should accompany a child for any situation involving the removal of clothing, applying lotions or creams or other situations where the situation could be considered sensitive.Where this is not possible the door of the room being used will be kept open.The child’s dignity will always be maintained. Mainstream Toileting Accidents: Fresh clothing will be offered to the child into which they can change. The child will be encouraged to change his clothes himself and parents will be informed. If this is not possible, the SNA will do all that is possible to make the child comfortable and the parents will be contacted. Two members of staff will be present at all times. Toilet areasInappropriate behaviour Teachers & SNAs monitor the use of the toilets by pupils during class-time. Only one person is allowed in each toilet cubicle at any one time. During Yard-time, pupils must report to the teacher on duty. Pupils use toilets in room B1.22. A teacher on duty supervises the use of this room during yard time Curricular Provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay safe.Whole school policy developed by teaching staff School implements SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe in full List of School ActivitiesThe School has identified the following Risk of Harm The School has the following Procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessmentDaily arrival and dismissal of pupilsInjury/harm to pupils and staff Staggered arrival times. Arrival and dismissal supervised by Teachers and SNAs from 8.50- 9.10am Dismissal: 1.50pm and 2.50pm Parents and other visitors are discouraged from walking around the school campus. Supervision at the back gate. Pupils will only be released to parents or those nominated by the parents to collect the child. Managing of challenging behaviour amongst pupils, including appropriate use of restraintInjury to pupils and staff Some children will require interventions that require physical restraint. Staff of our Autism Classrooms, all SNAs and other staff have completed a Positive Handling Course. Two qualified adults will utilise positive handling techniques only where it is deemed absolutely necessary. This will be recorded and parents will be notified. Sports CoachesHarm to pupils The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda Vetting legislation and relevant DES circulars in relation to recruitment and Garda Vetting A member of the teaching staff remains present throughout coaching sessions with outside personnel. Students participating in work experienceHarm to pupils The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda Vetting legislation and relevant DES circular in relation to recruitment and Garda Vetting. Student to sign and agree Work Experience Policy Student given the Child Protection Statement Recreation breaks for pupils Harm from older pupils on the playground Yard supervision is satisfactory with a minimum of one teacher and one SNA on Infant yard, 4 teachers and 2 SNAs on Senior Yard. Supervising staff will wear high visibility vests. In addition the Principal patrols both yards on a regular basis. Child Safeguarding Statement Code of Behaviour Visitors are not allowed observe yard activities Classroom teaching Harm by school personnel All school personnel are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement. The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 are made available to school personnel School Personnel are required to adhere to the Child protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and all registered teaching staff are required to adhere to the Children First Act 2015 Glass panel in every classroom door Teaching Council Professional Code of Conduct Outdoor teaching activities Harm by school personnel Injury to pupils Health & Safety Policy Code of Behaviour Teaching Council Professional Code of Conduct Sporting Activities Harm by school personnel Injury to pupils Health & Safety Policy Code of Behaviour Teaching Council Professional Code of Conduct Homework club/evening study Harm by school personnel Injury to pupils Code of Behaviour Health & Safety Policy Homework Club’s own Health & Safety Policy & Code of Behaviour. Risk Assessment and Safeguarding Statement School outings Harm by school personnel and other adults Injury to pupils Child getting lost Health & Safety Policy Code of Behaviour Policy & Procedures in place Supervision by SNAs and teachers only Annual Sports Day Harm by school personnel Injury to pupils Health & Safety Policy Code of Behaviour Supervision by SNAs and teachers. All teachers to supervise their own class’s activities. Visitors are not allowed to observe yard activities Fundraising events involving pupils Harm by school personnel, older pupils and other adults Child Safeguarding Statement SPHE Policy RSE Policy Stay Safe in full Code of Behaviour Health and Safety Policy Parents’ Association may be present to assist with fundraising (i.e. selling cakes, sorting books etc) but direct care of the children remains the role of the teacher. Use of off-site facilities for school activities Harm by school personnel or other adults Injury to pupils Teachers and SNAs to supervise all activities. Child Safeguarding Statement Stay Safe in full Code of Behaviour Health and Safety Policy School transport arrangements including use of bus escorts Harm to pupils Injury to pupils Child Safeguarding Statement The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda Vetting Legislation and relevant DE circulars in relation to recruitment and garda Vetting Stay Safe in full Boarding of bus at school or outings is supervised by teachers or SNAs Seat belts are compulsory Administration of Medicine Administration of First Aid Injury to pupils and staff Health & Safety Policy Administration of Medication Policy First Aid Policy Encourage more staff to be fully qualified First Aiders-currently Emma Egan and Eimear Fox fulfil that role. Training updated Curricular provision in respect of SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe Harm to pupils if not taught. School implements SPHE, RSE, Stay Safe in full Child Safeguarding Statement Monthly reports reflect teaching of SPHE Prevention and dealing with bullying amongst pupils Harm to pupils Code of Behaviour Anti-Bullying Policy which fully adheres to the requirements of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools Bully formally recorded on template ‘Appendix 3’ (available in Purple Folder)and records will be kept in office) Walk Tall implemented at all class levels Stay safe programme implemented Cyber bullying presentation from outside agency 3rd -6th class every second year. Gardaí Community officer talk every year to 5th and 6th classes Training of school personnel in child protection matters Harm or injury to pupils. Child Safeguarding Statement & DES procedures made available to all staff All staff have engaged with either the TUSLA and/or PDST webinar Staff to view any further Tusla training module & any other online training offered by PDST Principal and Deputy Principal to engage in further training. Use of external personnel to supplement curriculum Harm to pupils All external personnel are fully supervised by a garda vetted teacher for the duration of their visit. Where this is a regular occurrence, the guest must be garda vetted. For after school activities, organisation or trainer or individual must be garda vetted and have adequate insurance if working with children. Care of pupils with specific vulnerabilities/ needs such as Pupils from ethnic minorities/migrants Members of the Traveller community Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) children Pupils perceived to be LGBT Pupils of minority religious faiths Children in care Harm to pupils RSE policy Code of Behaviour Anti-bullying Policy Anti-Bullying Policy which fully adheres to the requirements of the Department’s SPHE Policy Diverse range of materials being acquired-eg posters, books-to reflect the diversity of family presentations, cultures, faiths of our pupils. Staff encouraged to participate in relevant training Recruitment of school personnel including - Teachers SNAs Caretaker/Secretary/Cleaners Nurse Sports coaches External Tutors/Guest Speakers Volunteers/Parents in school activities Visitors/contractors present in school during school hours Visitors/contractors present during after school activities Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported Non essential visits not permitted.The school: has provided each member of school staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement Intimate care policy made available to all staff Staff to view Tusla training module & any other online training offered by PDST The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda Vetting Legislation and relevant DE circulars in relation to recruitment and Garda Vetting Policy of Parents / Volunteers- All parents and volunteers are fully supervised with a teacher present at all times for the duration of the school visit. Policy on Visiting Contractors. Visiting Contractors are never left alone with any child or children. They are accompanied at all times by a teacher. List of School ActivitiesThe School has identified the following Risk of Harm The School has the following Procedures in place to address risk identified in this assessmentUse of Information and Communication Technology by pupils in school Children inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media, phones, Smart devices while at school Children inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media, phones, Smart devices while at school Risk of harm due to children inappropriately accessing/using computers, social media, phones and other devices in school Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerability Risk of harm due to inappropriate use of online teaching and learning communication platform such as uninvited person accessing the lesson link,Students being left unsupervised for long periods of time in breakout rooms Risk of harm due to inappropriate relationship/communications between child and another child/adult Acceptable Use Policy to include provision for online teaching and learning remotely Anti-Bullying Policy which fully adheres to the requirements of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools Code of Behaviour Internet Safety lessons & online etiquette lessons taught as part of our SPHE programme. Cyber bullying presentation from outside agency 3rd -6th class every second year. Gardaí Community officer talk every year 5th and 6th classes School personnel communicating with pupils in an inappropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device or other mannerRisk of harm caused by member of school personnel communicating with pupils in an inappropriate manner via social media, texting, digital device, or other manner Risk of harm caused by member of school personnel accessing/circulating inappropriate material via social media, texting, digital device or other manner Teachers Code of Conduct from Teaching Council The school complies with agreed disciplinary procedures for teaching staff The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda Vetting Legislation and relevant DE circulars in relation to recruitment and garda Vetting Use of video/photography/other media to record school events Bullying Risk of harm to children with SEN who have particular vulnerability Breach of GDPR Guidelines Acceptable Use Policy Parents are made aware that photographs that include children and staff other than their own cannot be shared under any circumstances. Parents permission to allow pupil’s photographs to go on school website, newsletter, social media platform is sought on enrolment in the school Application of sanctions under the school’s Code of Behaviour including detention of pupils, confiscation of phones etc. Code of Behaviour Students participating in work experience in the school Harm to pupils by student. Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported Work experience Policy Child Safeguarding Statement The school adheres to the requirements of the Garda Vetting Legislation and relevant DE circulars in relation to recruitment and garda Vetting Student teachers undertaking training placement in school Harm to pupils by the student teacher. Harm not recognised or properly or promptly reported Work experience Policy Child Safeguarding Statement Teachers Code of Conduct from Teaching Council Use of video/photography/other media to record school events Harm to pupils if recordings are used inappropriately Photography consent procedure ICT policy Anti-Bullying Policy Code of Behaviour Policy on Visiting Contractors – if professional recordings take place Important Note:It should be noted that risk in the context of this risk assessment is the risk of “harm” as defined in the Children First Act 2015 and not general health and safety risk.The definition of harm is set out in Chapter 4 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools (revised 2023) In undertaking this risk assessment, the board of management has endeavoured to identify as far as possible the risks of harm that are relevant to this school and to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to manage all risks identified.While it is not possible to foresee and remove all risk of harm, the school has in place the procedures listed in this risk assessment to manage and reduce risk to the greatest possible extent. This risk assessment has been completed by the Board of Management on ....................... [date]. It shall be reviewed as part of the school’s annual review of its Child Safeguarding Statement. Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________ Chairperson, Board of Management Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________ Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management
  • Code of Behaviour Policy
    CODE OF BEHAVIOUR (Reviewed and revised January 2020 in conjunction with the staff, parent reps,students council, Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachailí Réalt na Mara) (Reviewed and revised August 2020 with addendum on page 10 to include rules for safe return of school) Related Policies available on request: 1. Anti-Bullying 2. Health & Safety Statement 3. Admission and Participation (Enrolment) Policy 4. Child Protection Policy. 5. Positive Behaviour Plan Introduction Our School aims to provide a happy, secure, friendly, learning environment, where children, parents, teachers, special needs assistants, ancillary staff and Board of Management work in partnership. Each individual is valued, encouraged and respected for their uniqueness and facilitated to reach their full potential in a positive atmosphere. This will enable the child to live a full life and will equip him to avail himself of further education so that he may go on to live a full and useful life as an adult in society. The staff are committed to the realisation of these Objectives. Our aim is to create a happy, secure environment for our pupils in which there is a sense of good order and a reasonable approach to discipline. In this way, a large group can be organised so that the school can operate smoothly for the benefit of all. This revised Code of Behaviour comes into effect on 15th November 2019. The code has been considered by the Staff, Parents Association, student representatives and Board of Management of our school. The code is mindful of the Curriculum, the school’s Health & Safety Statement, Anti-Bullying Policy, Admission and Participation Policy and Child Protection Policy. Discipline for Learning (DFL) In our school, we have a positive approach to teaching and learning. Positive rules for behaviour in class and out of class are learned by pupils at the beginning of their school year. Pupils are disciplined by being motivated to keep these rules. Positive everyday interactions between teachers and students are encouraged. All pupils have a need for positive affirmation. Our staff are committed to giving positive oral feedback for good behaviours with a view to building self esteem, reducing inappropriate behaviours and encouraging positive social behaviours, actions and attitudes. We have many ways of recognizing good behaviour and effect including awards, stamps, positive cards, Coder dojo points, smilies, positive comments and homework passes. An important aspect of our school culture is to both teach and model good behaviour e.g staff treat others with respect. Good behaviour and achievements are regularly celebrated in our school e.g. a shout out or certificate presented at assembly, an encouraging word, smile, ‘high five’ to individual pupils or a whole class from a teacher (not just class teacher) or principal. Teachers must discuss and uphold clear expectations of pupil behaviour are discussed. The agreed expectations are clearly explained and displayed in the classroom. A visual such as a traffic light system, ball in basket system are used as an extra incentive to improve behaviour. Restorative Practice Restorative Practice in our school provides a focus on developing positive relationships between all members of the school community. It gives opportunities for pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour and learning. Restorative Practice is a process whereby children are given the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour and how they and others have been affected by it so as to help heal broken relationships and prevent reoccurrence. Circle Time is encouraged in every class. This provides an opportunity to explore and articulate feelings, to understand the impact of actions on others and, where necessary, to provide an opportunity to make amends and restore relationships. Kindness is a key principle in the restorative practice approach, it is emphasised as an admirable and necessary quality. It is explicitly modelled, taught and rewarded. Restorative Questions to respond to Challenging Behaviour 1. What happened? 2. What were you thinking about at the time? 3. What have your thoughts been since? 4. Who has been affected by what you did? 5. In what way have they been affected? 6. What do you think needs to happen to make things right? To help those harmed by other actions 1. What did you think when you realised what had happened? 2. What have your thoughts been since? 3. How has this affected others? 4. What has been the hardest thing for you? 5. What do you think needs to happen to make things right? General Guidelines for Behaviour All pupils are expected to behave in a reasonable manner both to themselves and to others, showing consideration, courtesy and respect for other pupils and adults at all times. Respect must be shown at all times. Respect must be shown for the property of the individual and of the school at all times. Code of Behaviour The code of Behaviour covers the following areas: · Behaviour in class · Behaviour in the playground · Behaviour in the school environment and behaviour on school outings · Attendance at school/Education Welfare Act · Homework after school and extra-curricular activities. Behaviour in class Courtesy and respect are essential. Disrespectful behaviour towards other pupils or towards other pupils or towards a teacher (e.g. defiance, cheek, insolence) are unacceptable. Pupils must respect the right of other pupils to learn. Any behaviour which interferes with the right (e.g. constant disruption of the class persistent distracting of others) is considered unacceptable behaviour. In order that pupils benefit from their work in class full co-operation is required at all times. Pupils must co-operate with instructions given by the teacher. The Essential Classroom Rules 1. Be ready for class 2. Good manners are expected at all times 3. Always do your best and allow others to do the same 4. Raise hand, wait for attention and listen to the person who is speaking 5. Take good care of personal and classroom property 6. Ensure you are safe in class and make it safe for others Behaviour in the Playground Pupils should treat others as they would like to be treated themselves. Any behaviour which endangers or offends others is not permitted. Rough behaviour e.g. fighting, kicking, spitting, pushing is forbidden. Games or activities considered to be dangerous are prohibited. Any behaviour which interferes with other pupils play is not permitted. Pupils may not leave the playground for any reason during breaks without permission of the supervising teacher, this includes re-entering the school building without permission. Yard rules are on display on windows and doors facing the yard and in classrooms alongside the yard play rota. The Essential out of Class Rules 1. Stay within the boundaries in yard-children from 3rd class upwards are discouraged from going back into the school for any reason. However, if they need to go they must check back in with a staff member to let them know of their return. 2. Stay in your Class Zone in the morning and at lunchtime. 3. Play safely and fairly. Treat others fairly, the way you would like yourself to be treated 4. Listen and respect all teachers and SNAs on duty. 5.. Keep yard and school environment litter free and tidy. 6.. Respect all school property. 7. Only Class balls allowed on yard. 8.. Walk or skip. No running allowed between zones. 9. All pupils must freeze after the first whistle at the end of breaks. 10. Line up quickly and quietly and leave and return to your classroom in an orderly fashion. Behaviour in the School Environment & Behaviour on School Outings Respect and courtesy to others is essential. Any kind of verbal or physical abuse of other pupils is unacceptable. Use of foul language among pupils is unacceptable. Bullying or intimidation of other pupils is prohibited and is always regarded as a serious offence. Pupils must show respect for school property at all times. For reasons of safety and to minimise accidents, pupils should move about the school in an orderly manner. Pupils are encouraged to be respectful of each other on their way to and from school. When on school outings pupils are expected to behave in an orderly manner and show respect for public property. They should always co-operate fully with their teachers and special needs staff. Children with SEN and/or Behavioural Needs Many children with special needs come to school with behavioural supports already in place. However, the requirements of many other children with special needs may only become evident as they get older. Part of the successful implementation of our Code of Behaviour is ensuring a better understanding, among our school community, of special educational needs, including challenging behaviour and its root causes. Challenging behaviour can be displayed by any child, even those with special educational needs. Often, while the challenging behaviour can be very obvious, the educational or personal needs that are hidden behind the behaviour may not. Every effort will be made to deal with children with special educational/behavioural needs fairly through the school’s Code of Behaviour. Some children may require an individualised approach to dealing with challenging behavior and this approach will be monitored, in consultation with parents, by means of a Behaviour Continuum. Availing of clinical and therapeutic services outside school may need to be considered in some cases. In every instance of repeated misbehaviour, serious and gross misbehaviour the health and safety and educational needs of other students and the health and safety of school staff is also a key consideration for the school management team and the Board of Management. Attendance/Education Welfare Act Under the Education Welfare Act 2000, the school must be notified by parents about reasons for absence. This can be done on the Aladdin system. Absences of 20 days or more must be referred by the school to Education Welfare Board. Any child wishing to leave school early must have a note signed by their parent or guardian. The Education Welfare Officer is available to support parents with attendance issues. Parents/Guardians write a note in the school journal if they require their children to leave early or to attend an appointment. Daily attendance and punctuality are required from pupils. School opens to receive pupils at 8:50 each morning. Pupils`reason for absence must be give in writing to the school preferably via Aladdin. When a pupil has to leave school early (i.e. before 2.40pm) a note from parents must be brought to the class teacher stating the time at which the pupil is to leave. Please refer to School Attendance Policy. Homework It is the policy of the school to assign homework on a regular basis. The time taken for this will vary from child to child, but should in most cases take between 30 minutes and one hour. Homework is recorded in the pupil’s journal. Parents should sign the homework journal to confirm that the work has been fully attempted. If for some reason homework (or part of it) cannot be completed, parents are asked to note this in the homework journal. Generally, homework is not given at weekends. Written work must be done neatly and carefully. Graffiti on textbooks and copy books is not permitted. Please refer to the school Homework Policy for further information. Jewellery Students are not permitted to have piercings, pendants or smart watches. Mobile phones/IPods/Electronic Games Use of mobile phones, IPods and electronic games during school hours is strictly forbidden. However, if for any reason a pupil takes a phone to school, it must be left switched off and given to the Principal for the day.Any infringement of this rule will involve the confiscation of the phone and any other electronic equipment and will only be returned to the parent or guardian of the pupil after 24 hours, or after the weekend. School Uniform All pupils must wear the correct school uniform. The school tracksuit is worn for PE days or days on which matches, athletics, swimming or tennis is scheduled. The formal uniform is worn for days in which there is no scheduled sports or PE activities. School journal The school journal is an important communication tool between parents and the school. Please read and sign the journal each night. Examples of Unacceptable Behaviour Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross. All everyday instances of a minor nature are dealt with by the class teacher, or the supervising teacher at break-times. In cases of repeated serious misbehaviour or single instances of gross misbehaviour parents will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet the teacher and/or the principal to discuss their sons behaviour. Examples of minor misbehaviour include: · Bringing electronic equipment or mobile-phones to school · Not wearing appropriate uniform; bringing in chewing-gum · Not following instructions. Examples of serious misbehaviour include: · Behaviour that is hurtful (including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation) · Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning · Threats or physical hurt to another person · Damage to property · Theft · Bringing dangerous equipment to school · Leaving school/school activities without permission. Examples of gross misbehaviour include: · Assault on a teacher or pupil · Serious theft · Serious damage to property · Serious bullying · Carrying drugs, alcohol, cigarettes The above is intended as examples rather than serving as a comprehensive list of discouraged behaviours. *Addendum to Serious and Gross Misbehaviours: In the light of the school’s reopening during the Covid 19 pandemic the following rules will need to be adhered to by all pupils to best ensure the safety of all. Arrive and depart from the school premises at the agreed time. Wash hands thoroughly before entering school premises and while at school, washing hands for at least 20 seconds more often than usual with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Remain in designated seating within the classroom during lesson time Keep a safe distance from other pupils. Maintain healthy practice when coughing or sneezing, Refrain from spitting or coughing at or towards other pupils and members of staff. Maintain responsibility for their own equipment, eg stationery and water bottles. These cannot be shared with others. Tell a member of staff if they are feeling unwell. A child who is consistently and deliberately breaking the above rules will have to work in isolation from his peers. His parents will be contacted to encourage him to improve his behaviour. If the behaviour persists his parents will be called to collect him from school. This sanction will follow the rules in relation to suspension as outlined below. Bullying is repeated aggression – physical, verbal or emotional - conducted by an individual or group against another or others. · PHYSICAL: includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking, tripping,`spitting, biting, etc. · VERBAL: name calling which hurts, insults or humiliates. · EMOTIONAL: threats or persistent hurtful remarks regarding sensitive areas e.g. appearance, dress, progress, colour, culture and disability. Isolating or shunning a child. Threats to extort money or possessions. “Cyber/text” bullying. The school takes particular care to intervene early in responding to the needs, fears or anxieties of individual members in a sensitive manner. Issues in relation to Bullying are explored continually during SPHE lessons and using Circle Time, Drama etc. Should a parent/guardian have any concerns which need to be discussed with a teacher, all staff members are more than willing to facilitate a meeting, made through the proper channels i.e. a phone call to the office, or a note to the class teacher to arrange a convenient time for both parties. The first person to be informed should be the class teacher. This arrangement ensures that all concerns are dealt with in a dignified, meaningful manner, without infringing on valuable teaching time. Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while not to be condoned, cannot be described as bullying. Incidents of bullying will be dealt with in the same manner as breaches of discipline – already outlined in our Code of Behaviour. In the case where a parent reports a bullying incident, the school reserves the right to inform the relevant parties of the identity of the person making the complaint, when this is deemed necessary. Sanctions for Minor Misbehaviour All efforts are made for the pupil to understand the impact of his behaviour on others. He is given an opportunity to make amends. Consequences, in accordance with those drawn up in the class contract(eg loss of dojo points, ball moved to orange basket) are given but with an opportunity to receive those points and awards again if behaviour improves. Continuous and repeated incidents of minor misbehaviour by a pupil may be deemed to constitute serious misbehaviour in so far as these behaviours interfere with the teaching and learning in school. Sanctions Serious Misbehaviour Stage 1 – Warning/Reflection Reflection: Pupil fills out reflection form appropriate to his class level which must be signed by his parents and the principal Stage 2 – Reflection & Detention Pupil has to complete a reflection form appropriate to his class level(eg picture drawn in Infants, Template 1 1st-3rd Template 2 4th-6th Class/yard teacher or principal sends the pupil to another class with work (note to parents in journal) Stage 3 – Booking Detention and Contract If a pupil receives two reflection forms in any four school weeks the class teacher and pupil go to the office and draw up a written behaviour agreement. This contract will be signed in the presence of the Principal. A copy of the written behaviour agreement will be posted to parents and returned and signed. Stage 4 – Case Conference If the child’s misbehaviour persists the child’s parents will be asked to meet the class teacher and principal. The child will be asked to give a written undertaking that he/she will behave in school. This will be witnessed and signed by Parent/Parents or guardian. Stage 5 – Internal Suspension/Shortened Day An Internal Suspension is when a pupil is removed from their own base class and is placed in another class for up to five school days. The pupil is sent with work to the other class. This will be activated when stages 1-4 and are exhausted or when a series of misbehaviours(ie three or more reflection forms given) occurs. A shortened day may be more productive for developing the desired behaviours in some cases. This may be deemed a more appropriate action, dependant on the pupil. Stage 6 – Suspension This procedure is used in the case of gross misbehaviour, a series of serious misbehaviours and or health & safety grounds: a) If stage 4 is exhausted or there is a single incident of gross misbehaviour the Principal requests a meeting with the parents. If considered warranted the Principal reserves the right to suspend the pupil for 3 days initially. This power of suspension is delegated to the principal by the school Board of Management. b) In certain circumstances the Principal with the approval of their Chairperson of the BoM may suspend a pupil for up to 5 school days c) A meeting of the BoM may authorise further suspension up to a maximum of 10 days. The BoM should normally place a ceciling of ten days on any one period of suspension imposed by it. Suspension will be in accordance with Section 23 of the Education Welfare Act 2000. A single incident of gross misbehaviour may be grounds for suspension Minor Incidents in the yard are communicated to the class teacher of the pupils concerned. Major incidents(resulting in injury, or the threat of injury) are recorded in the Office Incident Folder Appeal Parents of a pupil who has been suspended for 20 school days or more are entitled under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 to appeal such a suspension. Stage 7 – Expulsion This procedure may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with Section 23 of the Education Welfare Act 2000. Grounds for Expulsion · Behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process · Continued presence of pupil constitutes a real and significant threat to safety · Pupil responsible for serious damage to property. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour toward a pupil or staff member. The above is a list of examples only: it is not intended to be a total list of misdemeanours Automatic Expulsion BoM may sanction automatic expulsion for certain prescribed behaviours, even if they are a first offence: 1. Sexual Assault 2. Possession of illegal drugs 3. Supplying illegal drugs to other pupils in the school 4. Actual violence or physical assault 5. Serious threat of violence against another pupil or member of staff. Procedures in Respect to Expulsion 1. Detail investigation by school principal 2. Recommendation by principal to BoM 3. BoM considers Principal’s recommendation and holds hearing 4. BoM decision, is expulsion appropriate? If BoM recommends expulsion, the BoM will propose a date which will allow a 20-day cooling off period 5. Education Welfare Officer is informed of proposal to expel pupil and effective date of that proposal 6. Parents of the pupil are informed of rights to invoke a Section 29 appeal under the Education Act 1998 7. Education Welfare Officer arranges consultations 8. Confirmation of decision. Conclusion The essence of our code of behaviour is valuing people and encouraging them to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and to develop self discipline. Review This Policy will be reviewed in_____________. Ratification This Policy was ratified by a member of the school Board of Management on __________2020. Signed: ________________________ Chairperson of the Board of
  • Child Protection Policy
    Child Protection Policy Reviewed September 2016 The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, practices and activities. Accordingly, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills’ Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, the Board of Management of Realt na Mara BNS has agreed the following child protection policy: 1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools as part of this overall child protection policy. 2. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is An t‐Uasal Seán Ó Conghaile (Principal) 3. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Mrs Jacinta Duffy( Deputy Principal) The name of the DLP is on display in the foyer of the school. 4. In its policies, practices and activities, Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare. The school will: • recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations; • fully co‐operate with the relevant statutory authorities in 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; and • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters. The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara aims to provide its pupils with the highest standards of care and protection, in order to promote each child’s well‐being and safeguard him/her from harm while in the school. The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara has adopted the “Children First" Guidelines of the Department of Health & Children 1999 and the "Child Protection" Procedures of the Department ofEducation & Science 2001. Designated Liaison Person (DLP) The DLP has specific responsibility for child protection and will represent the school in all dealings with Health Boards, An Garda Síochána and other parties in connection with allegations of abuse. All matters pertaining to the processing or investigation of child abuse should be processed through the DLP. In the absence of the designated Liaison Person the Deputy Principal will take over this role Guidelines for Recognition of Child Abuse 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. These are: ‐ Considering the possibility Looking out for signs of abuse Recording of information Handling Disclosures from Children When information is offered in confidence the member of staff will need to act with sensitivity in responding to the disclosure. The member of staff will need to reassure the child, and retain his/her trust, while explaining the need for action and the possible consequences, which will necessarily involve other adults being informed. It is important to tell the child that everything possible will be done to protect and support him/her but not to make promises that cannot be kept e.g. promising not to tell anyone else. The welfare of the child is regarded as the first and paramount consideration. In so far as is practicable, due consideration will be given, having regard to age and understanding, the wishes of the child. The following advice is offered to school personnel to whom a child makes a disclosure of abuse. Remain calm. Listen to the child with sensitivity and openness. Take all disclosures seriously Do not ask leading questions or make suggestions to the child Offer reassurance but do not make promises. Do not stop a child recalling significant events Do not over react Explain that further help may have to be sought Record the discussion accurately and retain the record of dates, times, names, locations, context and factual details of conversation. This information should then be passed onto the DLP and a record will be retained in the school. If the reporting person or member of the school staff and the DLP is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion/allegation, the procedures for reporting as laid out in 'Children First' – Section 4.4 pg 38 (Appendix 10) will be adhered to. The Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed before the DLP makes contact with the relevant authorities unless the situation demands that more immediate action to be taken for the safety of the child in which case the Chairman may be informed after the report has been submitted. Any Professional who suspects child abuse should inform parents/carers if a report is to be submitted to the Health Board or An Garda Síochána unless doing so is likely to endanger the child. In cases of emergency, where a child appears to be at immediate and serious risk, and a duty social worker is unavailable, an Garda Siochána should be contacted. Under no circumstances should a child be left in a dangerous situation pending Health Board intervention. ORGANISATIONAL IMPLICATIONS Child Protection Procedures for Primary and PostPrimary Schools are available on http://www.pdst.ie/sites/default/files/CP_procedures_primary_post_primary_2011_0.pdf Our most up to date Child Protection Policy must be openly displayed in each classroom. Supervision Every effort will be made to ensure that there is comprehensive supervision of children throughout the school day. A roster of staff on duty will be drawn up and displayed in the principal’s office, and also in the staffroom. Teachers will ensure that the children are visible in the schoolyard. Children will not leave the schoolyard or engage with adults outside of the schoolyard. Visitors All unscheduled visitors to the school are expected to report the reception on arrival. Staff on yard duty will be aware of visitors entering the schoolyard and direct them to the school reception. The drop‐off/pick‐up of children throughout the teaching day will be processed through the school reception. Bullying Bullying behaviour will be addressed under our Anti‐Bullying Policy. If the behaviour involved is of a sexualised nature or regarded as being particularly abusive, the matter will be referred to the DLP. Behaviour Children are to be encouraged at all times to play co‐operatively and to show respect for themselves and others. Toilets It is school policy that only one child is permitted to enter the toilet area at a time. Children from Junior Infants to Third Class who need to use the toilet during yard time must seek the permission of the teacher on yard. During yard time, the toilet area closest to the yard will be used. If a teacher notice that a child has a wetting accident during the school day, parents will be notified. It is school policy to call a Parent/Guardian if a child soils themselves in school and requires intimate care. In the unlikely event of failing to make contact staff will follow the procedures as for (1) above. All accidents of this nature will be reported to Parents/Guardians. Staff Cars In rare instances where a staff car must be used to transport a child, children will never be taken alone. Staff will not assist in the dressing of the child. School Tours/Trips School staff accompanying children on school tours/trips (including after school sporting events) will deliver a duty of care commensurate with the trip/venue. The higher the risk factor the higher the number of teachers/responsible adults involved. As per School Tour Policy, hired buses/vehicles must provide safe transportation and a functioning seatbelt for every child/adult. Swimming Lessons In line with the policy of our local swimming pool, parents who need to assist their children in changing before/after a lesson will be required to be identified by a member of the school staff to the swimming pool staff and must sign in before entering the changing area. Parents who assist their children in dressing will use the individual cubicles in the pool, not the group changing room. Lead teacher must identify the parent to the swimming staff in advance of each lesson. Teachers will not assist in the dressing of children before or after the swimming lesson Attendance School attendance is monitored carefully.. The NEWB will be informed of any concerns relating to a child’s attendance. Children who miss 20 days or more will be reported to the NEWB in accordance with legislation. One to One Teaching Parents will be made aware when one‐to‐one teaching is in the best interests of the child. Written consent is required for all one‐to‐one teaching. Where possible, children in Learning Support/Resource will be taught in small groups. The door to the room will be left open if a teacher is alone with a child, or the teacher will not be visible through the glass panel of the door. No member of school staff will ever be alone with a child where the room door is closed, or the teacher is not visible through the glass panel of the door. Intimate Care If any child in our school requires intimate care the procedures involved with such care will be agreed in consultation with the pupil, their Parents/Guardians and any other personnel involved in the care of the pupil. This is in keeping with best practice, keeps the best interests of the child to the fore and maintains the child’s personal dignity. Such procedures, when agreed will be communicated to all parties involved and recorded. Stay Safe Programme: The Stay Safe Programme is taught throughout the school from Senior Infants to Sixth Class inclusively. The main objectives are: To help the child identity feelings that are safe and unsafe To help the child deal with common unsafe situations To help the child with the process of making and keeping friends To help the child understand and deal with bullying The central message for the child in unsafe situations is to say “No” Move away and tell. The following policies and procedures bear particular relevance to our Child Protection policy. They have been put in place by the staff of Realt na Mara BNS, in conjunction with parent representatives, and have been ratified by our Board of Management: Administration of Medication Policy Anti Bullying Policy Code of Behaviour Critical Incident policy Data Protection policy Health & Safety statement, including assessment and procedures Internet Acceptable Usage Policy Work Experience Policy Duties of the Board of Management Review Child Protection Policy annually Formally adopt the child protection policy in accordance with the “Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools” Ensure that every employee of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara has “Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools” available to them. Has arrangements in place to communicate the school`s child protection policy to new school personnel. This will be in the form of a hardcopy of the schools Child Protection Policy and also one by email to each new member of staff. Ensure that there is a copy of the Child Protection Policy on clear display in each classroom. Ensure that in relation to the reporting of any cases involving the protection of children from the school, that correct child protection procedures are followed in the reporting of such matters to the HSE/An Garda Síochána Ensure that such matters are appropriately recorded in the Board minutes. Ensure that the Parents` Association has been provided with a copy of the school`s protection policy. Ensure that correct procedure is followed, as outlined below, in the case of allegations being made against a school employee. Allegations Against School Employees The most important consideration for the Chairperson, Board of Management or the DLP is the safety and protection of the child. However, employees also have a right to protection against claims which are false or malicious. As employers, the Board of Management should always seek legal advice as the circumstances can vary from one case to another. There are two procedures to be followed: i. The reporting Procedure ii. The Procedure for dealing with the Employee. The DLP has responsibility for reporting the matter to the Health Board. The Chairperson, Board of Management has responsibility, acting in consultation with his/her Board, for addressing the employment issues. If the allegation is against the DLP, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will assume the responsibility for reporting the matter to the Health Board. Reporting When an allegation of abuse is made against a school employee, the DLP should immediately act in accordance with the procedures outlined in “Child Protection.” A written statement of the allegation should be sought from the person/agency making the report. The DLP should always inform the Chairperson of the Board of Management. 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 procedures outlined in will then be followed. The chairperson of the Board and DLP should make the employee aware privately a) That an allegation has been made against him/her b) The nature of the allegation c) Whether or not the Health Board or Gardaí has been/will be/must be/should be 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 Board of Management within a specified period and told that this may be passed to the Gardaí, Health Board, and legal advisers. The priority in all cases is that no child be exposed to unnecessary risk. Therefore, as a matter of urgency, the Chairperson should take any necessary protective measures. These measure should be proportionate to the level of risk and should not unreasonably penalise the employee in any way unless to protect the child. If the nature of the allegations warrant immediate action in the Chairperson’s opinion, the Board of Management should be convened to consider the matter. The Board will consider feedback if any has been received from the Health Board, Gardai or relevant source. This may result in the Board of Management directing that the employee absent him/herself from the school forthwith while the matter is being investigated (Administrative Leave). When the Board of Management is unsure as to whether this should occur, advice should be sought from the Gardaí and/or the Child Care Manager of the Health Board and the legal advisers to the Board of Management. Administrative Leave Should the Board of Management direct that the employee absent him/herself as above, such absence of the employee would be regarded as administrative leave of absence with pay and not suspension and would not imply any degree of guilt. The DES should be immediately informed. Board of Management The Chairperson should inform the Board of Management of all the details and remind the members of their serious responsibility to maintain strict confidentiality on all matters relating to the issue and the principles of due process and natural justice. This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request and on the school website. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested. This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. This current policy has been subject to review by school management, parent representatives, BOM representatives and staff of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara in September 2016 and will be reviewed again in the first term of the 2017 school year. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on _________________ Signed: _________________________ (Chairman BOM) Date:________________ Signed: __________________________(Principal) Date: Date of next review:_______________________________ Ratified by Board of Management on __________________ Date Signed __________________________________________ Chairperson, Board of Management
  • Data Management and CCTV Policy
    School Policy on CCTV System and Data Management ​ A Closed Circuit Television System (CCTV) is installed in Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara under the remit of the Board of Management. PURPOSE OF THE POLICY The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of CCTV and its associated technology in the monitoring of both the internal and external environs of the premises under the remit of the Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara. A CCTV system is installed both internally and externally on the premises for the purpose of enhancing security of the building and its associated equipment as well as creating a mindfulness among the occupants, at any one time, that a surveillance security system is in operation within and/or in the external environs of the premises during both the daylight and night hours each day. CCTV surveillance at the school is intended for the purposes of: • protecting the school buildings and school assets, both during and after school hours; • promoting the health and safety of staff, pupils and visitors; • preventing bullying; • reducing the incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour (including theft and vandalism); • supporting the Gardaí in a bid to deter and detect crime; • assisting in identifying, apprehending and prosecuting offenders; • ensuring that the school rules are respected so that the school can be properly managed. SCOPE This policy relates directly to the location and use of CCTV and the monitoring, recording and subsequent use of such recorded material. GENERAL PRINCIPLES The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, as the corporate body, has a statutory responsibility for the protection of school property and equipment as well as providing a sense of security to its employees, students and invitees to its premises. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara owes a duty of care under the provisions of Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and associated legislation and utilises the CCTV system and its associated monitoring and recording equipment as an added mode of security and surveillance for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life of the school community by integrating the best practices governing the public and private surveillance of its premises. The primary aim of the CCTV system in Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is to deter crime and vandalism and to assist in the protection and safety of the said property and its associated equipment and materials. The use of the CCTV system will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner and any diversion of the use of CCTV security technologies for other purposes is prohibited by this policy e.g. CCTV will not be used for monitoring employee performance. Information obtained through the CCTV system may only be released when authorised by the Principal, following consultation with the Chairperson of the Board of Management. Any requests for CCTV recordings/images from An Garda Síochána will be fully recorded and legal advice will be sought if any such request is made (See ‘Access’ below). If a law enforcement authority, such as An Garda Síochána, is seeking a recording for a specific investigation, An Garda Síochána may require a warrant and accordingly any such request made by An Garda Síochána should be requested in writing and the school will immediately seek legal advice. CCTV monitoring of public areas for security purposes will be conducted in a manner consistent with all existing policies adopted by the Board of Management, including the provisions set down in Equality and other Education-related legislation. This policy prohibits monitoring based on the characteristics and classifications contained in equality and other related legislation e.g. race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability etc. Video monitoring of public areas for security purposes within the school premises is limited to uses that do not violate the individual’s reasonable expectation to privacy. Information obtained in violation of this policy may not be used in a disciplinary proceeding against an employee of the school or a student attending the school. All CCTV systems and associated equipment will be required to be compliant with this policy following its adoption by Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara. Recognisable images captured by CCTV systems are ‘personal data’. They are therefore subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003. JUSTIFICATION FOR USE OF CCTV Section 2(1)(c)(iii) of the Data Protection Act requires that data is ‘adequate, relevant and not excessive’ for the purpose for which it is collected. This means that the Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara needs to be able to justify the obtaining and use of personal data by means of a CCTV system. The use of CCTV to control the perimeter of the school buildings for security purposes has been deemed to be justified by the Board of Management. The system is intended to capture images of intruders or of individuals damaging property or removing goods without authorisation. The CCTV system will not be used to monitor normal teacher/student classroom activity in school. In other areas of the school where CCTV has been installed, e.g. hallways, the Principal has demonstrated that there is a proven risk to security and/or health & safety and that the installation of CCTV is proportionate in addressing such issues that have arisen prior to the installation of the system. LOCATION OF CAMERAS The location of cameras is a key consideration. Use of CCTV to monitor areas where individuals would have a reasonable expectation of privacy would be difficult to justify. The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara has endeavoured to select locations for the installation of CCTV cameras which are least intrusive to protect the privacy of individuals. Cameras placed so as to record external areas are positioned in such a way as to prevent or minimise recording of passers-by or of another person’s private property. CCTV Video Monitoring and Recording of Public Areas in Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara may include the following: • Protection of school buildings and property: The building’s perimeter, entrances and exits, lobby and corridor, receiving area for goods/services. • Monitoring of Access Control Systems: Monitor and record restricted access areas at entrances to building and other areas • Verification of Security Alarms: Intrusion alarms, exit door controls, external alarms • Video Patrol of Public Areas: Parking areas, main entrance/exit gates, traffic control • Criminal Investigations (carried out by An Garda Síochána): Robbery, burglary and theft surveillance. COVERT SURVEILLANCE The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara will not engage in covert surveillance. Where An Garda Síochána requests to carry out covert surveillance on school premises, such covert surveillance may require the consent of a judge. Accordingly, any such request made by An Garda Síochána will be requested in writing and the school will seek legal advice. NOTIFICATION – SIGNAGE The Principal will provide a copy of this CCTV policy on request to staff, parents and visitors to the school. This policy describes the purpose and location of CCTV monitoring, a contact number for those wishing to discuss CCTV monitoring and guidelines for its use. The location of CCTV cameras will also be indicated to the Board of Management. Adequate signage will be placed at each location in which a CCTV camera is sited to indicate that CCTV is in operation. Adequate signage will also be prominently displayed at the entrance to Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara property. Appropriate locations for signage will include: • at entrances to premises i.e. external doors, school gates • reception area • at or close to each internal camera STORAGE & RETENTION Section 2(1)(c)(iv) of the Data Protection Act states that data ‘shall not be kept for longer than is necessary’ for the purposes for which it was obtained. A data controller needs to be able to justify this retention period. For a normal CCTV security system, it would be difficult to justify retention beyond a month (28 days), except where the images identify an issue – such as a break-in or theft and those particular images/recordings are retained specifically in the context of an investigation/prosecution of that issue. Accordingly, the images captured by the CCTV system will be retained for a maximum of 28 days, except where the image identifies an issue and is retained specifically in the context of an investigation/prosecution of that issue. The images/recordings will be stored in a secure environment with a log of access kept. Access will be restricted to authorised personnel. Supervising the access and maintenance of the CCTV system is the responsibility of the Principal. The Principal may delegate the administration of the CCTV system to another staff member. In certain circumstances, the recordings may also be viewed by other individuals in order to achieve the objectives set out above (such individuals may include the Gardaí, the Deputy Principal, other members of the teaching staff, representatives of the Department of Education and Skills, representatives of the HSE and/or the parent of a recorded student). When CCTV recordings are being viewed, access will be limited to authorised individuals on a need-to-know basis. Tapes/DVDs will be stored in a secure environment with a log of access to tapes kept. Access will be restricted to authorised personnel. Similar measures will be employed when using disk storage, with automatic logs of access to the images created. ACCESS Tapes/DVDs storing the recorded footage and the monitoring equipment will be securely stored in a restricted area. Unauthorised access to that area will not be permitted at any time. The area will be locked when not occupied by authorised personnel. A log of access to tapes/images will be maintained. Access to the CCTV system and stored images will be restricted to authorised personnel only i.e. the Principal of the school. In relevant circumstances, CCTV footage may be accessed: • By An Garda Síochána where The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara (or its agents) are required by law to make a report regarding the commission of a suspected crime; or • Following a request by An Garda Síochána when a crime or suspected crime has taken place and/or when it is suspected that illegal/anti-social behaviour is taking place on school property, or • To the HSE and/or any other statutory body charged with child safeguarding; or • To assist the Principal in establishing facts in cases of unacceptable student behaviour, in which case, the parents/guardians will be informed; or • To data subjects (or their legal representatives), pursuant to an access request where the time, date and location of the recordings is furnished to The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, or • To individuals (or their legal representatives) subject to a court order. • To the school’s insurance company where the insurance company requires same in order to pursue a claim for damage done to the insured property. Requests by An Garda Síochána: Information obtained through video monitoring will only be released when authorised by the Principal following consultation with the Chairperson of the Board of Management. If An Garda Síochána request CCTV images for a specific investigation, An Garda Síochána may require a warrant and accordingly any such request by An Garda Síochána should be made in writing and the school should immediately seek legal advice. Access requests: On written request, any person whose image has been recorded has a right to be given a copy of the information recorded which relates to them, provided always that such an image/recording exists i.e. has not been deleted and provided also that an exemption/prohibition does not apply to the release. Where the image/recording identifies another individual, those images may only be released where they can be redacted/anonymised so that the other person is not identified or identifiable. To exercise their right of access, a data subject must make an application in writing to the school Principal. The school may charge up to €6.35 for responding to such a request and must respond within 40 days. Access requests can be made to the following: The Chairperson, Board of Management, Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara, Donacarney, Mornington, Co. Meath. A person should provide all the necessary information to assist the school in locating the CCTV recorded data, such as the date, time and location of the recording. If the image is od such poor quality as not to clearly identify an individual, that image may not be considered to be personal data and may not be handed over by the school. In giving a person a copy of their data, the school may provide a still/series of still pictures, a tape or a disk with relevant images. However, other images of other individuals will be obscured before the data is released. RESPONSIBILITIES The Principal will: • Ensure that the use of the CCTV system is implemented in accordance with the policy set down by The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara • Oversee and co-ordinate the use of CCTV monitoring for safety and security purposes within Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara# • Ensure that all existing CCTV monitoring systems will be evaluated for compliance with this policy • Ensure that the CCTV monitoring at Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is consistent with the highest standards and protections • Review camera locations and be responsible for the release of any information or recorded CCTV materials stored in compliance with this policy • Maintain a record of access (e.g. an access log ) to, or the release of, tapes or any material recorded or stored in the system • Ensure that monitoring recorded tapes are not duplicated for release • Ensure that the perimeter of view from fixed location cameras conforms to this policy both internally and externally • Provide a list of the CCTV cameras, their locations and the associated monitoring equipment and the capabilities of such equipment to the Board of Management for formal approval • If required, approve the location of temporary cameras to be used during special events that have particular security requirements and ensure their withdrawal following such events • Ensure that all areas being monitored are not in breach of a reasonable expectation of the privacy of individuals within the school and be mindful that no such infringement is likely to take place • Advise the Board of Management to ensure that adequate signage, at appropriate and prominent locations, is displayed • Ensure that external cameras are non-intrusive in terms of their positions and views of neighbouring residential housing and comply with the principle of ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ • Ensure that monitoring tapes are stored in a secure place with access by authorised personnel only • Ensure that images recorded on tapes/DVDs/digital recordings are stored for a period not longer than 28 days and are then erased unless required as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings (criminal or civil) or other bona fide use as approved by the Chairperson of the Board of Management • Ensure that when a zoom facility on a camera is being used, there is a second person present with the operator of the camera to guarantee that there is no unwarranted invasion of privacy • Ensure that camera control is solely to monitor suspicious behaviour, criminal damage etc. and not to monitor individual characteristics • Ensure that camera control is not infringing an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy in public areas • Ensure that where An Garda Síochána request to set up mobile video equipment for criminal investigations, legal advice has been obtained and such activities have the approval of the Chairperson of the Board of Management Links to other policies All school policies are consistent with one another, within the framework of the overall School Plan. Relevant school policies already in place, being developed or reviewed, are examined with reference to the CCTV policy and any implications which it has for them are addressed. The following policies are among those considered: • Data Protection policy • Child Protection policy • Anti-bullying policy • Code of Behaviour • ICT Acceptable Usage policy The CCTV policy has been developed mindful of the school’s obligation under Data Protection Legislation. IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS, ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The school Principal is assigned the role of co-ordinating the implementation of this CCTV policy and for ensuring that all members of the school community are familiar with the policy. Ratification & Communication A draft CCTV Policy was developed by the principal in consultation with the members of the ISM (Internal School Management). This draft policy was circulated to all staff and B.O.M. members for review and comment. The ISM committee finalised the draft policy having regard to the feedback received. The B.O.M. reviewed the draft policy and the CCTV policy was ratified by the B.O.M. The ratified policy was circulated to all staff members and to the officers of the Parents’ Association. All parents were advised of the availability of the policy on the school website at donacarneyschool.ie Staff members are required to be familiar with the CCTV policy. IMPLEMENTATION & REVIEW The policy will be reviewed and evaluated from time to time. On-going review and evaluation will take cognisance of changing information or guidelines (e.g. from the Data Protection Commissioner, An Garda Síochána, Department of Education and Skills or the NEWB), legislation and feedback from parents/guardians, staff and others. The policy will be revised as necessary in the light of such review and evaluation and within the framework of school planning. Practical indicators that will be used to gauge the impact and effectiveness of the policy will include the extent to which: • Staff and parents/guardians are aware of the policy • Requests for access to personal data are dealt with effectively • Personal data records are held securely • Personal data records are retained only for as long as necessary Signed: ................................................................. Chairperson, Board of Management. Dated:
  • Enrolment Policy for ASD Class
    Enrolment Policy for ASD Class Enrolment Policy for ASD Class, Gliondar Mara, Réalt Na Mara BNS Introduction The Board of Management of Réalt Na Mara BNS has developed this policy for the Autism Spectrum Disorder classrooms in conjunction with the overall policy for the school. This policy is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998, the EPSEN Act 2000 and the Education Welfare Act, 2002. The Board of Management trusts that by doing so, parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. Furthermore, the Chairperson and/or Principal will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy. Réalt Na Mara BNS is a mainstream national school with two ASD classes, both school-going age. Aim The aim of the admissions and transitions policy is to ensure that a fair and consistent procedure is used when deciding on individual applications to the ASD classes. Our ASD classes aim to offer an autism- specific learning environment within a mainstream national school. This setting facilitates optimum inclusion as part of the school community with access to mainstream activities as appropriate to each child’s individual needs and abilities. Admissions Policy Subject to sufficient places being made available in the ASD classes, the criteria for enrolment in the ASD classes, incorporating the Department of Education policy are as follows: ● An Enrolment Application Form, provided by the school, must be fully completed by the parents/guardians on behalf of the child. ● A current psychological and cognitive assessment with a relevant Irish governing body, that has assessed and classified the child as having autism or autistic spectrum disorder without significant intellectual impairment, within the range of Mild General Learning Disability or above, according to DSM-V or ICD 10 criteria or equivalent. ● The report must be dated within 24 months of the closing date for applications. ● There must be a recommendation by a member of the Multi - Disciplinary team in the report that a special class placement in a Mainstream school is both necessary and suitable for the child. ● Inclusion is an integral part of our school ethos. Therefore, it is a necessary criterion of enrolment that any child attending the ASD class must be capable of integrating into a mainstream class setting. ● All relevant reports and assessments must be given to the school prior to the child enrolling ● An observation appointment of the child may be useful and must be organised with the school before the closing date for applications. The school may meet with the parents of the child to discuss the school’s suitability for the child, along with the SEN coordinator, class teacher and /or Psychologist where appropriate. ● The Board of Management reserves the right to provisionally enrol a child for a period of time in order to fully assess the child’s needs prior to full enrolment in conjunction with the HSE representatives, the NEPS psychologist, the HSE occupational therapist etc. The Board reserves the right to defer or refuse enrolment if it believes the child’s needs cannot be properly met in this school. ● The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse enrolment if they believe the school cannot meet the needs of a particular child. This decision is open to appeal by parents/guardians under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998. ● The Department of Education and Science states that the ratio for each class is a maximum of six pupils to one teacher and a minimum of two SNAs. Should the number of applicants exceed the number of places, a waiting list is put in place. ● In order to be placed on the Waiting List parents/guardians must supply the school with a completed enrolment form and ALL reports specifying that the child meets all requirements to attend a School Going ASD class. The waiting list is valid for one academic year. Parents/Guardians must reapply the following year in line with the schools admissions policy. ● If a place is secured in another ASD class/school please inform the school that you no longer wish to remain on the Waiting List. ● Once a place has been offered in the ASD class it is a requirement of the Board of Management that a written response from parents is sent, within FIVE days, to confirm acceptance of the place otherwise the place will be offered to the next child on the waiting list. ● When an application is successful, the Principal will make an application on behalf of this pupil for school transport, to the local Special Educational Needs Organiser, provided that this is required by, and agreed with parents. ● Successful applicants will be issued with a Letter of Acceptance. This will include the start date and the projected date of transition to secondary school. This will be countersigned by parents and Principal with a copy being kept on the child’s file and by parents. ● It is hoped that all children will be fully or partially integrated into mainstream by 6th Class. Children will be integrated into an age-appropriate class. ● It is school policy to facilitate the discharge of pupils from the ASD Class once they have reached the age of thirteen or have completed the eight year primary school cycle whichever occurs first. Pupils who reach the age of thirteen after September 30th in any year will be permitted to complete that academic year. It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to organise a suitable secondary school placement. Admissions Team Each application will be considered by the Admissions Team. The team will include the School Principal, the SEN co-ordinator and/or the special class teacher. A recommendation will be made by the Admissions Team in relation to each application to the Board of Management of the school. Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management The Pre-enrolment form or receipt of acknowledgement of an application to enrol by the school does not constitute an offer of a place or guarantee a place in the school. Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Admissions Team in accordance with our enrolment policy and approved by the Board of Management. After completing the initial Pre-enrolment form, parents/guardians will be invited to complete an Enrolment Application Form. This must be completed and returned to the office accompanied by all of the following supporting documentation: 1. An original Birth Certificate (together with a photocopy) 2. Two of the following original documents, as proof of address: Electricity Bill Gas Bill Telephone Bill 3. A current psychological and cognitive assessment with a relevant Irish governing body, that has assessed and classified the child as having autism or autistic spectrum disorder without significant intellectual impairment, within the range of Mild General Learning Disability or above, according to DSM-V or ICD 10 criteria or equivalent, including a recommendation by a member of the Multi-Disciplinary Team in the report that a special class placement in a Mainstream school is both necessary and suitable for the child Monitoring and Review All placements are subject to a yearly review or at the request of the parent/guardian and/or the school to determine whether this is an appropriate school placement for the child. The review will include input from the parents/guardians, relevant professionals and the school (Teacher, Principal and Board of Management). Following the review a recommendation may be made that the child be enrolled in a school that can meet his needs or that their school day will be shortened for the benefit of students and staff. Behaviour Children with special educational needs may display difficult, defiant or oppositional behaviours. All efforts will be made by the school to manage such behaviour using various strategies and through the implementation of the child’s Individual Education Plan. All pupils including those with special needs are subject to the School Code of Behaviour. Where a child’s behaviour repeatedly impacts on the health and safety of school staff, other pupils in the ASD class or in a mainstream class and where behaviour impacts in a negative way to the extent that pupils’ constitutional right to an education is being interfered with as judged by the Board of Management of the School, the school reserves the right to advise parents that a more suitable setting should be found for their child. In line with the schools Code of Behaviour, the Board of Management reserves the right to suspend or expel a child. Parents have the right to appeal decisions of the Board in the first instance to the Board of Management and secondly through the provisions of Section 29 as provided in the Education Act 1998 and amendments. The parents of the child must accept and agree to the school’s Code of Behaviour and the terms of this policy. CATCHMENT AREA The priority bandings for enrolment in an ASD class will be as follows: 1. Pupils currently attending mainstream in Réalt na Mara BNS or who have siblings already in the school or students who have been offered a place in the mainstream school for the coming September (Priority eldest). 2. Pupils who ordinarily reside in the catchment area of Réalt Na Mara BNS (Priority eldest). 3. Pupils who ordinarily reside in the County of Meath (Priority eldest). 4. Subject to appropriate provision being made for pupils as defined in (1) (2) and (3), pupils who ordinarily reside outside, but contiguous to those areas, will be offered places subject to availability. 5. In all cases, places are subject to availability. If all available places in the class are filled, then the applicants will go on a waiting list. The waiting list is valid for one academic year. Parents/Guardians must reapply the following year in line with the school’s admissions policy. RATIFICATION of this policy is subject to annual review by the Board of Management of Réalt Na Mara BNS. The enrolment policy for the ASD class was ratified, subject to scrutiny, by the Board of Management of Réalt Na Mara September 2022. Signed....................................................................... Date:______________________________ Mr. John Corbett Chairperson, Board of Management. Signed...................................................................... Date:______________________________ Ms. Caitríona Campbell, Principal
  • Homework Policy
    Homework Policy (reviewed by staff, management and BOM reps April 2011) Introduction Homework fosters independence, self-reliance, self-esteem, co-operation and responsibility and life long learning. It is an essential part of primary education as it re-enforces what children learn in school. It provides a link between teacher and parent and encourages parental involvement in their child’s education. In general, homework is meant to be achievable by a child working on their own to the best of their ability. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. It can be used to practice what is done in school or can be designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity. How often is homework given? Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays with certain exceptions: If homework has been neglected during the week In senior classes some project work is undertaken at weekends. Sometimes at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given ‘homework off’ as a treat or as acknowledgement of some special occasion. Homework Content Usually, homework contains a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks. This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work. Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be ‘learned by heart’, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class. Children often feel that reading and ‘learning by heart’ is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring this work is done well. Duration of Homework The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are general guidelines: Infant classes 0-20 minutes First / Second 20 – 30 minutes Third/Fourth 30 – 40 minutes Fifth / Sixth class 50-60 minutes with additional reading Pupils should: Enter homework accurately in homework diary. Ensure they take home relevant books and copies. Complete homework assignments to the best of their ability. Present written work neatly. Parents/Guardians should: Encourage a positive attitude towards homework in all subjects from an early age. Encourage children to work independently as far as possible. Resist over-helping. Encourage children to organise themselves for homework. Have all books and materials at hand. The pupil should have the Homework Journal open to tick off work as it is completed. Agree a suitable time for doing homework, taking into account; age, the need for playtime, relaxation and family time. Providing a quiet place, suitable work surface, free from distractions, interruptions and television Encourage good presentation and neatness within a reasonable time. Sign the homework diary (1st-6th classes) checking that all homework is complete. Check that the child has all necessary books, homework journal, copies, pencils, mathematical equipment, dictionary, P.E. clothes, if needed for the next school day. Communicate difficulties to the teacher using the homework journal or scheduling a meeting. How often do teachers monitor homework? Teachers set homework, review assignments and provide feedback to students. They also monitor homework to help identy pupils with special difficulties. Ideally, teachers check homework on a daily basis. However, with large class numbers, it is not always possible to check each child’s homework journal every day. As children get older and learn to work independently, some items of homework are checked less often, e.g. every second day or once a week. Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked by children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children as it promotes responsibility and self esteem. What happens when Homework is not done? When homework is not done regularly the teacher contacts parents with a view to resolving the situation. If the situation continues, then the matter is brought to the attention of the Principal who will contact the parent(s) and arrange a meeting to discuss how the matter can be resolved. Homework and Holidays Please note that it is our policy to discourage pupils from taking holidays during term time. We do not assign work for them for their holidays, nor set catch up work for them on their return. You are reminded that if your child is absent for twenty or more days in the school year, we are obliged to contact the National Welfare Board
  • Healthy Eating Policy
    Healthy Eating Policy Background/ Introduction: Food and drink are an essential part of our daily lives. They play a fundamental role in the development of the human being and can contribute to fulfilling our physiological needs, and also contributes to our mental and emotional development. As young people spend such a large part of their life in school it is imperative that we educate, support and create a sense of responsibility around food, nutrition and making good choices. Here at Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara we are taking a holistic approach to our healthy eating policy and believe that being supported by the whole school community including staff, parents and students will lead to a greater sense of ownership and success. Rationale: Health and Nutrition form the basis for long, healthy, happy lives and with increasing rates of childhood obesity we felt now was the time to make proactive changes to our school environment. We feel it is our duty to educate and empower our students to develop healthy habits for life! Research has proven good nutrition not only leads to good health and consequently less absentee days, but also concentration and behaviour levels as well as self-esteem. Our Policy is being created in line with the Department of Health Promotion’s Healthy Food for Life Campaign (launched 2016). It also forms part of our educational curriculum through subjects like SPHE, SESE and PE and we aim to promote nutrition awareness and positively affect healthy food and drink choices within the school community. Aims & Objectives The overall aims of Healthy Eating Policy : • In line with our school ethos this healthy eating policy will contribute to the personal development and well-being of the child. • It aims to help pupils establish a healthy lifestyle for life by educating them on facts around food and nutrition in line with the new Department of Health Promotion’s Healthy Food for Life Campaign. • This policy aims to encourage parents and children to think critically about healthy eating, experience a wide variety of foods and make healthy food choices at each meal. • An important aim this policy is to enable the child appreciate the importance of good nutrition and fitness as a foundation for healthy living for life. • This policy aims to promote the importance of encouraging and praising positive behaviour when small, sustainable changes are evident. • In order to support a foundation for healthy living this policy aims to help students develop an appreciation for the importance of good nutrition and fitness and to accept responsibility for making good food choices. • As a by-product of healthy eating this policy aims to improve overall health and wellness, concentration, behaviour and attendance at school. This policy will strive to help ensure the safety of children with allergies. Definition: “What is Healthy Food?” The Committee will work within national recommendations for healthy eating focusing particularly on the following recommendations: 1. Enjoy a wide variety of foods from the five food groups. 2. Find enjoyable ways to be physically active everyday – balancing your food intake with active living will help protect you against disease and prevent weight gain. 3. Keep an eye on your serving sizes – choose smaller serving sizes and add plenty of vegetables, salad and fruit. 4. Plain wholemeal breads, cereals, potatoes, pasta and rice provide the best calories for a healthy weight. 5. Eat plenty of different coloured vegetables, salad and fruit – at least five a day. 6. Drink plenty of water. The Guidelines These are some of the guidelines possible as part of the Healthy Eating Policy: • Teachers will provide positive modelling and supportive attitudes. • A healthy lunch box includes a piece of food from the first four shelves of the food pyramid: Small Break/Fruit Break: apples, bananas, blueberries, carrot, cucumber sticks. Whole grains:brown bread, brown pasta Dairy:milk, cheese, yogurt Protein: chicken, hummus, tuna, cheese Milk/Water are the most tooth-friendly drinks • Foods not allowed in school: Crisps Chocolate, sweets, lollipops Chewing Gum Biscuits, pastries, doughnuts Chocolate Spread Fizzy Drinks Cereal Bars, Winders High Sugar Yogurts • We cannot have cake in the for children’s birthdays • Exceptions to the rule are allowed for special occasions ( set out by the school / teacher). • Foods that have wrappers are to be kept to a minimum and disposed of properly to reduce litter and protect our environment. Try to use recyclable and reusable containers and not items like tinfoil, glass and cans. Children are encouraged to take their food wrappers home. • Any uneaten food will be sent home in lunchboxes. Considerations of the Healthy Eating Policy • It is expected all parents will support the Healthy Eating Policy in every way possible. If a child brings a food which is deemed unacceptable, it will be returned to the child at the end of the day and sent home to the parent. • It is the obligation of the parent/guardian to inform the school office of any special dietary requirements or allergies pertaining to their child. Promotion of the Healthy Eating Policy Throughout the year there will be a number of ways to promote the healthy eating policy: • ‘Fruit/Vegetable Break’ will be encouraged at Small Break • Healthy Eating and Wellness Week/Month including Active Homework • Healthy Eating Awards at Assembly • Healthy Eating Displays around the school • Cross - curricular activities each term to promote a holistic positive approach to good food and nutrition. • Continually modelling, monitoring and positive reinforcement by teachers and staff. • Promotional Materials pertaining to the new 2016 Healthy Food for Life ( new food pyramid) will be evident around the school Roles & Responsibilities Role of Parents: • The support the ethos and guidelines of the healthy eating policy • Provide healthy, well balanced lunch for children in accordance with the guidelines and monitor child’s eating habits at school. • Provide lunches in an “environmentally friendly” manner as possible. • Inform the school of any special dietary requirements or allergies. Role of Children: • Try new foods, keep hydrated and make time to eat their lunch • Have a positive attitude to the healthy eating policy and be responsible for their own actions. • Help make their lunch at home and remind busy parents to follow the guidelines of the policy. Role of School: ● Be the positive role model and support to the whole school community in relation to the healthy eating policy. ● Monitor and observe the adherence to the policy. ● Continually review and adapt the policy to best suit the needs of the school community. ● Engage with a holistic, cross curricular approach to the healthy eating policy. Ratification: This Policy was reviewed November 2017 Signature of Principal: Signature of Chairperson of BOM
  • Parental Involvement
    Parental Involvement As a Catholic school, we believe that the school is not an isolated unit but a union of many people who come together to give it it’s life and meaning. The triple partnership of home, school and parish is essential if the school is to live up to its mission statement. We aim to establish this relationship through: •Encouraging a shared commitment to the success of each individual child. •Encouraging an ethos of understanding and openness in home/ school/parish relationships. •Helping parents to develop a positive role in complementing and supporting the work of the school in educating their children. •Involvement in sacramental preparation. •Attending parent/teacher meetings, class displays, plays and concerts. When a parent needs to meet a member of staff they must make an appointment through the school office. •Parents/guardians are also asked to notify the school if there are any changes which might influence a child’s behaviour /performance. •Please make sure the school has the up to date contact numbers (home, mobile and additional contacts).
  • Reconstitution of Classes
    Reconstitution of Classes Policy In the interest of providing the best education for all pupils it may be from time to time necessary to divide and combine class groups into mixed classes. Reconstitution of classes benefits all children from an emotional, social, developmental and academic point of view. Aims and objectives of this policy to provide a framework for the reconstitution/splitting of classes to outline the criteria for placing children in particular mixed class groups to outline the criteria on which children are selected to be placed in a mixed or straight class to set out the supports which may be used to ensure the best learning outcomes for all children in mixed classes Rationale: At the time of planning classes for the coming year, the Principal will look at the overall numbers in each year group and the number of teachers available to the school in accordance with the terms of the most recent staffing circular. This schedule is dictated annually by the government and schools have no control over it. The Principal will decide how best to organise classes with a view to providing the best education at opportunities for all children. Other reasons may include: To provide the best inclusive education for all pupils Achieve a better balance in the allocation of resources to classes Special education and/or medical needs Break unhealthy cliques Criteria for reconstituting a class: We group children in such a way to maximise learning outcomes for each child.The following factors will be taken into account when reconstituting a class: mixed ability groupings emotional and behavioral factors class dynamics friendship groups special education needs of pupils medical needs Benefits for your child Children experience and learn to cope with change Forming new friends is important for the social development of the child and links with the SPHE programme Provides good preparation for secondary school as it helps the children get used to change within a safe environment with the support of friends An evenly distributed mix of needs has better outcomes for every child in a class Cooperation between home and school: The Principal and staff and consultation with parents in our school will work together to reconstitute classes when required. The process of forming new friendships is the key life skill which is important to develop. A positive and supportive attitude from parents is a key element in achieving a successful outcome in the reconstituted classes. The decision will ultimately with the Principal who must consider the needs of every child in the class Procedures for regrouping classes: In the third term the SPHE programme has a focus on friendship and teachers teach a series of lessons on the importance of friends and what friendship means. Children will be asked to complete a personal friendship worksheet where they write the names of some of their friends. Teacher /pupil conferencing will be used in the Junior classroom. The school will endeavour to guarantee that at least two of these children will be in their class. Parents will also be asked for their input when the children take these worksheets home and return them to their class teacher. If parents have concerns or have any additional information that they feel should be considered when reconstituting the classes they are asked to make contact with the principal prior to the final date of the friendship list being submitted. The school will not be in a position to relook at groupings once the children and parents have been informed. In line with the criteria for reconstitution of classes, lists will be drawn up by the teachers. At least a week before the end of school parents and children will be notified as to what class their child has been placed in. Decisions regarding individual teachers will not be made until staff recruitment is complete. The new classes will be afforded opportunities in the last few weeks of school to mix with their new class group. The decision will ultimately with the Principal who must consider the needs of every child in the class Other influencing factors for multi-grade classes: Criteria on which children are selected to be placed in mixed or straight classes: Consultation with the class teacher and if necessary or previous teachers of the classes involved lists of possible groups are drawn up. Children who to date have shown an ability to work independently are considered to cope better in a mixed class where from time to time the classes are taught separately. Children who have special learning needs at either end of the learning spectrum are generally deemed to be better left in a straight class all other things being equal. Criteria for placing children in particular class groups: When dividing a class into groups to be placed in separate classes there are certain criteria to be taken into consideration: Initial split of the classes will be based on age with the younger members of the senior class and the older members of the junior class forming the split. It is considered best to form mixed ability groups. Therefore there may be some amendment to the age-based rule to help maintain mixed ability groups. The ability of a pupil will be determined by teacher observation and test results where applicable. The supports which could be made available to children and teachers in multigrade classes: The Principal, the class teacher and special education team will consult on how best to organise the learning support for the mixed class. In some cases the Special Education Teacher (S.E.T.) may work in the classroom with the class teacher in a team teaching arrangement. It is possible that S.E.T. may work in the classroom supporting one child or small group of children with the class teacher doing the main teaching of the lesson or the class teacher may work supporting one child or small group of children with S.E.T. doing the main teaching of the lesson. Another arrangement for learning support which may suit the class is for either the class teacher or the learning support teacher to withdraw small groups of children. Occasionally, especially in the case of senior infants/first, second/ third, fourth/fifth, it may suit the classes better if the teaching of mathematics is taken separately by the class teacher for one class and S.E.T. for the other class. All of these arrangements must be considered on a class by class basis from year to year. In all instances of class reconstitution: The reconstitution of classes is carried out with great care, professionalism and the best interests of the children are the central focus. However, it must be noted that even though the school will do its best it will not always be possible to ensure children are with all of their friends. It is envisaged that once new class groupings are formed every effort will be made to keep that class together going forward. Classes that have been regrouped can reunite daily at break time so they can maintain existing friendships as well as the new friends in the new class. This increases their circle of friends and their ability to form new friendships. This policy was reviewed in May 2024 Implementation: Immediate This policy was ratified by the B.O.M. Signed:___________________________ Date:_____________________ Mr. John Corbett Chairperson Signed: ___________________________ Date:_____________________ Ms. Caitríona Campbell Principal
  • Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy
    Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy Rationale Education in Réalt na Mara BNS is characterised by respect for the individual. The child’s many needs are met in a well-structured environment where he can live fully the life of a child. One of the subjects of the revised curriculum is SPHE (Social, Personal and Health Education). This includes a module on Relationships and Sexuality Education for all mainstream classes in Primary school which must be delivered on an annual basis. Our school aims to develop a policy on RSE which reflects our ethos and vision and is in accordance with the National Curriculum and Guidelines for RSE as prepared by the NCCA. Definition of RSE Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) is a lifelong process of acquiring knowledge and understanding, and of developing attitudes, beliefs and values about sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. This education is delivered consciously and unconsciously by parents, teachers, peers, adults and the media. In school, RSE will provide structured opportunities for pupils to acquire a knowledge and understanding of human relationships and sexuality through processes which will enable them to form values and establish behaviours within a moral, spiritual and social framework. This approach gives opportunities to our children to learn about relationships and sexuality in ways that help them think and act in a moral, caring and responsible manner. In Réalt na Mara BNS, RSE aims to help children learn, at home and in school, about their friendships and relationships with others. This work will be based on developing a good self-image, promoting respect for themselves and for others, and providing them with age appropriate information. Existing Provision for RSE Prior to the current RSE Policy being in place, Réalt na Mara BNS, provided RSE through the formal and informal activities of the school, which include: 1. The SPHE programme (Walk Tall, Be Safe etc) 2. The promotion of a caring and respectful atmosphere on a daily basis 3. Weaving Well-being Programme 4. Lessons dealing with enhancement of self-esteem 5. The Stay Safe Programme 6. Health Education lessons 7. The SESE curriculum 8. The P.E. curriculum 9. The Grow in Love Programme 10. Friends for Life programme The aims of our RSE Programme 1. To assist parents in their role as primary educators so that they may guide their child's development physically, socially and emotionally. 2. To enhance the personal development, self-esteem and well-being of the child. 3. To help the child to develop healthy friendships and relationships. 4. To foster an understanding of, and a healthy attitude to, relationships and sexuality in a moral, spiritual and social framework. 5. To develop an appreciation of the dignity, uniqueness and well-being of others. 6. To acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of self. 7. To understand the nature, growth and development of relationships within families, in friendships and in wider contexts. 8. To acquire and improve skills of communication and social interaction. 9. To develop and promote in the child a sense of understanding of and respect for the process of birth and new life. 10. To develop some coping strategies to protect oneself and others from various forms of abuse. Policies which support SPHE / RSE Child Protection Policy Substance Use Policy Code of Behaviour Anti-Bullying Policy Enrolment Policy Acceptable Use Policy Healthy Eating Policy Management and Organisation of RSE in our School Parents are the primary educators of their child. The school has a role to play in supporting and complementing parents in this work, helping to communicate the Christian visions of human life and relationships through the RSE programme. It is the policy of our school to nurture Catholic values in relation to love, marriage, parenthood and family life. Curriculum Content –The curriculum by NCCA will be followed as published, and will be taught from infants to 6th class. All resources used will be in keeping with the ethos of the school, the whole school plan for SPHE and the RSE policy. Each class teacher will teach the content for their class level each year as laid out in the curriculum, and utilising the RSE manuals to complement their teaching. Management of RSE The strands Growing and Changing, and Taking Care of my Body are covered in Year Two of a 2 year SPHE plan. The sensitive lessons are covered as part of these broad topics. Special consideration will be taken to ensure that the needs of children with Special Educational Needs are met. Taking into account the pupil’s social and emotional development, instruction will be based on individual needs where possible. Pupils attending Gliondar Mara will access the RSE programme in both their integrated mainstream class & in Gliondar Mara as appropriate. Parents will be consulted around sensitive issues. Parental Involvement Research has consistently shown that parents are supportive of the RSE programme. In Réalt na Mara BNS we will endeavour to keep parents informed about RSE. Parents will be informed that the school fully implements the RSE strands of the SPHE Programme including sensitive aspects of the programme at enrolment. Parents will be informed in advance of lessons on the sensitive areas of the RSE programme, with information relevant to what will be taught at their child’s class level. Communication will be issued in advance, giving parents an opportunity to meet with relevant teachers if they so wish, to discuss or clarify what is covered and to prepare their children, it also gives parents an opportunity to become involved, to inform themselves of the programme content and to prepare children for the information they will acquire around the sensitive areas and discuss areas covered in RSE/SPHE. Parents are invited/welcome to view the curriculum and may speak to the teacher if they have any concerns at any time during the year. The school acknowledges that parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children about growing and changing. Following discussion with the Principal and Class Teacher, if a parent wishes to withdraw their child from the sensitive lessons it should be given in writing stating their reasons for doing so and this will be centrally filed. Parents are therefore encouraged to support the programme as appropriate. By discussing attitudes, beliefs and values with their children in order to clarify issues and develop relevant general skills in this area. By the encouragement of responsible, informed and age-appropriate decision making and the recognition that decisions have consequences. By encouraging a positive sense of self-worth in their children. d) By discussing issues involved in bullying, in association with the school. e) By using the proper names for parts of the body and bodily functions from the earliest appropriate age. f) By discussing with their children changes in their bodies as they mature and develop, how babies are conceived and born, and other sensitive aspects of the programme. Such discussions should ideally place both before and after such topics are dealt with in school. The home-school links letters from the DES RSE Resource Books may be sent home upon completion of lessons. Withdrawing children from the RSE programme A parent's right to withdraw a pupil from the process will be honoured on the understanding that the parent is taking full responsibility for this aspect of education. It is the responsibility of the parent to inform the school in writing of their decision to withdraw and their willingness to cover sensitive issues with their child outside of school hours. A child who has been withdrawn from class for the duration of a discrete RSE lesson will be accommodated in another classroom under the supervision of another teacher. If a child is withdrawn from the class for the teaching of sensitive issues we cannot guarantee that the other children will not inform him about what has been taught. The teacher may also need to make incidental reference to the issue at another time while that child is present and will regularly use anatomically correct language for body parts throughout the school year. Organisation and Curriculum Planning: RSE forms part of the national curriculum for SPHE by NCCA and will be taught from infants to 6th class. RSE will be covered under the following strands and strand units of the SPHE curriculum: Myself Growing and changing Taking care of my body The RSE programme is divided into two main parts: 1) The general programme which contains content covered through SPHE strands and strand units and compliments the aims and objectives of RSE • Friendship • Self-identity • Family • Self-esteem • Growing up 2) The second section will deal with any sensitive / specific content covered through RSE strands and strand units. The sensitive aspects are in bold. Topics covered up to 2nd include:Topics from 3rd to 6th include:• Keeping safe • Bodily changes from birth (birth-9) • Making age-appropriate choices • Appreciating the variety of family types and the variety of family life that exists in our school and community • Recognising and expressing feelings • Self-care, hygiene, diet, exercise and sleep • Expressing opinions and listening to others • Naming the parts of the male/ female body using appropriate anatomical terms (Junior/ Senior Infants) • Naming the parts of the male/ female body using appropriate anatomical terms and identify some of their functions (2nd). • Bodily changes • Healthy eating, personal hygiene and exercise • Keeping safe • Expressing feelings • Appreciating the variety of family types within our school and community and how these family relationships shape us • Making healthy and responsible decisions • Forming friendships • Discuss the stages and sequence of development of the human baby in the womb(4th class) • Introduction to puberty and changes (4th and 6th class) • Changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty (6th Class) • Reproductive system of male/female adults (6th class) • Understanding sexual intercourse, conception and birth within the context of a committed loving relationship (6th class). All the content objectives of the RSE Programme will be covered by the time children leave sixth class. It is school policy that the content objectives are covered with each class level as outlined in the SPHE curriculum statement, within the context of the school’s Catholic ethos and without personal slants from the class teacher. One half hour period per week is timetabled in each class for SPHE and RSE will be included in the programme taught during this time. The approach to the teaching of RSE will be kept as normal as possible and will usually be delivered within the child’s class by the class teacher. Teachers will be encouraged and supported to teach the sensitive issues to their own class. Each objective will be presented and taught using an age-appropriate and sensitive approach. Sensitive issues are usually taught in year two of the SPHE two year cycle. Language It is important that children learn the appropriate vocabulary for discussing aspects of life related to sexuality, growing up and their bodies’ physical changes so that they can communicate confidently about themselves. When children begin school, it is not unusual, indeed it is quite normal, for them to have other names for their genitals. However, the use of proper terms for parts of the body and bodily functions should be encouraged from the earliest age, so that these terms are given a status and acceptability. We will give children the correct anatomical and appropriate language as outlined in RSE resource materials. Teacher Guidelines for Questions Each class teacher will teach the RSE programme including the sensitive issues unless they choose to opt out. A teacher's right to opt out from teaching the sensitive issues will be honoured. In this case, arrangements regarding the teaching of the programme will be made by the Principal. We use some simple principles when fostering discussion and questioning Teachers will teach only the topics laid down for the class and will only answer those questions which are relevant to the programme for that year. Questions arising from curriculum content will be addressed in a sensible, sensitive and age-appropriate manner. Teachers will not answer personal questions about themselves nor require the child to give information of a personal nature. A Question Box will be availed of by the children in 6th class for lessons on sensitive issues. The teacher will be mindful of their reaction to any questions Questions do not have to be answered straight away Should a pupil require information that is not in line with the curriculum content and not considered to be age-appropriate, the school will not give such information and will refer the question back to the parents. Question Box - Senior Classes During the delivery of each section of the sensitive lessons– children will be encouraged to place their questions into a box in the classroom. These questions will then be monitored and screened with the teacher answering the questions in later lesson taking into account the following; Questions arising from lesson content will be answered in an age-appropriate manner The class teacher cannot answer questions which do not relate to the particular curriculum objectives for a class Pupils will be informed if a question/issue is not on the programme and they will be advised to talk with their parents Teachers may exercise discretion to contact parents themselves if they feel that a question is very inappropriate or needs to be communicated with home because of other reasons No personal questions will be answered and children will be reminded not to share personal information about their families or others – but can share with teacher after the lessons. If issues arise which might be seen to contravene Children First Guidelines, the teacher will notify the Designated Liaison Person in the school. Confidentiality The school follows the Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary schools (revised 2023) that give direction and guidance in relation to meeting the statutory obligations under the Children First Act, 2015 and in the continued implementation within the school setting of the best practice guidance set out in the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017. If a child is withdrawn from the teaching of sensitive issues, we cannot guarantee that the other children will not tell or inform him/her about what happened. Resources to be used: Resource Materials for Relationship and Sexuality Education: Junior Infants to Sixth Class (Department of Education and Science). Anatomical Dolls · Busy Bodies DVD ( Copies in school) Busy Bodies Booklets Resource Pack for Relationship and sexuality Education in Primary Schools: (RSE Office Drumcondra) Walk Tall Manuals Junior Infants to Sixth Sexual Orientation In Réalt na Mara BNS we aim to foster a culture which is accepting of difference. We aim to respect others. This includes respect for families and individuals who are different from the norm. False ideas, assumptions and prejudice need to be addressed and not ignored. It is highly important that discussions are age-appropriate and in the context of the school’s R.S.E. policy. Provision for ongoing support and development Réalt na Mara BNS will offer ongoing training for teachers and the policy committee where necessary to help them implement the RSE programme. Information regarding courses or training for parents will be offered and may be organised by the Parents' Association/BOM/school. Relevant RSE school resources will be sourced, stored and updated on a regular basis. This policy will be circulated to parents, teachers and the BOM and amended when consensus has been reached by all parties. The final agreed policy will be presented to the BOM, to be ratified and then circulated to all parties involved. It will be implemented in this school in January 2024 Review This policy will be reviewed in 2025 and thereafter as necessary. All partners will be informed of any amendments necessary after such a review. RSE resources will also be reviewed to ensure they are kept up to date. Success Criteria The success of this plan will be evaluated through teachers' planning and preparation, and if the procedures outlines in this plan have been consistently followed. We will also deem it to be a success if the children have been enabled to achieve the aims as outlined. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on _________________[date] Signed: ________________ Principal Date:______________________ Signed:____________ Chairperson of Board of Management Date:____________ Date of next review:______________
  • Remote Learning Policy
    Remote Learning Policy - Introduction In response to this time of uncertainty regarding school closures, we have formulated this policy to outline how the school will maintain the link between school and home. In the event of another whole or partial school closure, we aim to continue to communicate with our pupils through various means. We recognise that online safety is of huge importance and the aim of this document is to help to protect both school staff and pupils, while teaching and learning online. This policy does not set out to replace our Mobile Phone or Acceptable Usage Policy. Rather, it is proposed as an important addition to the area of learning from a digital platform. The policy presented here should be read also in tandem with our school’s Code of Behaviour Policy and Anti-Bullying (including Cyber Bullying) Policy. The primary obligation of all schools is to the welfare of the learners in their school. This policy, therefore, seeks to ensure that remote learning is safe for all student learners and that personal and sensitive data is also protected under GDPR legislation. Schools must ensure that learning takes place in an environment that is respectful and fair and meets its statutory duties. This Policy has been formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Department of Education and relevant sections of: The Education Act (1998) Education (Welfare) Act (2000) Equal Status Act (2000) Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004) Disability Act (2005) Children First Act (2017) GDPR Data Protection Act (2018) Department of Education: Child Protection Procedures for Primary schools NEWB Guidelines for Developing a Code of Behaviour (2008). DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling for Primary Schools (May 2020) DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling: Supporting Primary Pupils at very High Risk to Covid 19 (August 2020). Guidance on Remote Learning in a COVID-19 Context: September – December 2020 This is a working document. As we continue to explore options available to support distance learning, the document will be updated accordingly. Context Teaching and Learning is always evolving, especially, as we move deeper into the 21st century. Developments in IT provide us all with great opportunities as learners and teachers. Never before has there been greater scope to learn using technology and it continues to change the learning relationship between teachers and students. Advances in technology mean that assignments can be delivered remotely and that greater access to information on the internet affords the opportunities for real learning to take place under the watchful and professional guidance of the teacher. However, whether a child is being directed remotely or via a traditional classroom environment, it is very important that all partners are aware that once a learning exchange takes place between a student and teacher, whether at home or school, the same statutory rules apply i.e. the school’s Code of Positive Behaviour and all of the school’s policies apply. We recognise that online collaboration is essential for distance learning and that families are in favour of increased opportunities to maintain the connection between school and home. Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara uses a variety of child friendly, online tools, which assist in providing more effective teaching and learning, while also enabling greater communication between staff, families and students. Guidelines for good online communication in our school Under no circumstances should pictures or recordings be taken of video calls. Staff, families and students are expected to behave in an appropriate, safe, respectful and kind manner online. It is the duty of parents/guardians to supervise children while they are working online and to ensure that any content submitted to their teacher is appropriate. Staff members will communicate with pupils and their families via Google Classroom or through an established app (e.g. Seesaw). Any electronic forms of communication will be for educational purposes and to allow for communication with families. Students and staff will communicate using tools which have been approved by the school and of which parents have been notified (Seesaw, Google Classroom, Zoom) Parental permission will be acquired before setting up a profile for a pupil on a communication forum. For video calls(Google Meet/Zoom) parental permission is implied, as the link to a video call will be communicated via the parent/guardian’s email address. Essentially, by virtue of the pupil logging on to the call, permission is assumed. For security reasons, passwords will be provided to families, where applicable. Bunscoil Buachailli Realt na Mara cannot accept responsibility for the security of online platforms, in the event that they are compromised. Bunscoil Buachailli Realt na Mara will use online platforms for communicating and connecting with families/pupils. Our ‘Remote Teaching and Learning Plan’ will include a combination of assigned work pre-recorded lessons using the Seesaw & Google Classroom platforms. Media which the school will use: School App Staff will communicate regularly with parents and pupils via the Aladdin App. All families are asked to download the school and to check it daily for updates and important information. Seesaw Seesaw Class App is for our pupils to connect to their folder and they then have the option of uploading items to their folder for their teacher to see. This app is used for pupils in Gliondar Mara and also Junior and Senior Infants. Each child will be assigned an individual access code. Unfortunately, single family log in is not facilitated on Seesaw. Some lessons will be pre -recorded and uploaded via Seesaw. Google Classroom: (also includes Google Meet where appropriate) Google Classroom is an online platform used with First- Sixth Class pupils and again it enables our pupils to connect to their folder of work and it also allows access to their teacher when required. Our teachers will also provide feedback and communicate with pupils via Google Classroom. Some lessons will be pre -recorded and uploaded on Google Classroom. Zoom Zoom is a video-conferencing platform which we use for Staff meetings and pre recording lessons for pupils. We have also used it to facilitate meetings with parents and/or pupils with outside agencies such as the National Psychological Education service, and for assemblies. Rules for pupils using online communication For submitting learning: Submit work and pictures that are appropriate - have an adult take a look at your work before you send it. Use kind and friendly words. For video calls/Zoom: Chat is disabled. Recording not allowed. Remember to ensure you join each Zoom meeting using your family name. Pictures or recordings of the video call are not allowed. Remember our school rules - they are still in place, even online. Set up your device in a quiet space, with no distractions in the background. Join the video with your microphone muted. Raise your hand before speaking, just like you would do in class. If you have the chance to talk, speak in your normal voice, using kind and friendly words. Show respect by listening to others while they are speaking. Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the video call. Be on time - set a reminder if it helps. Enjoy! Don’t forget to wave hello to everyone when you join! Guidelines for parents and guardians For learning It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to ensure that pupils are supervised while they work online. Check over the work which pupils send to their teacher, ensuring it is appropriate. Continue to revise online safety measures with pupils. For video calls: Under no circumstances should pictures or recordings be taken of video calls. Your camera must remain on at all times. Ensure that the school has the correct email address for inviting you to join apps and meetings. The main purpose of a video call is to maintain a social connection between the school staff and pupils. Encourage pupils to listen and enjoy the experience. Be aware that when participating in group video calls, you can be seen and heard unless you are muted. Please note that school staff will only accept users into video call if you can be identified by the display name on your zoom account. (i.e. Family Name) Please ensure that your child is on time for a scheduled video, or they may be locked out. Please request to join the call approximately five minutes before the scheduled start time. This will give school staff time to verify your email address. Make sure to familiarise your child with the software in advance. For video in particular, show them how to mute/unmute. Participants in the call should be dressed appropriately. An appropriate background/room should be chosen for the video call. For detailed information on GDPR and Zoom, please visit https://zoom.us/privacy It is important to note that any breach of the above guidelines will result in a discontinuation of this method of communication. A breach may also result in a person being immediately removed from a meeting or a meeting being immediately terminated. Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Pupils Check assigned work each week Communication may only take place during normal school hours The normal school calendar will apply The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning: Code of Behaviour Anti- Bullying Policy Acceptable Use Policy Teaching and Learning best practice will continue to apply, with students expected to present all assignments to the best of their ability and on time, where possible in this evolving and unprecedented situation. In so far as possible, provision for SEN students will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies. In so far as possible, provision for students at very high-risk to Covid 19 will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies. Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Parents We ask parents/guardians to ensure protocols for students are adhered to. Check-in on their child’s school work on a daily basis and talk to their child about the work being assigned. The health and wellbeing of all is paramount. Circumstances may change for any of us unexpectedly, teachers or parents, so please keep schooling in perspective and do not allow anything school related to impinge on your child negatively. You are the primary educator of your child and you make those calls. We encourage a little work every week day for routine. We provide work and guidance and ask parents and pupils to do their best and that is all. Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Teachers/SNAs Check uploaded work each week Communication may only take place during normal school hours The normal school calendar will apply The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning: Child Protection Policy Data Protection Policy Teaching and Learning best practice will continue to apply with students expected to present all assignments to the best of their ability and on time, where possible. Remote Teaching and Learning Provision specifically for the following Covid 19 related scenarios Provision for children who are at very high risk to Covid 19: The school will engage directly with relevant parents, regarding remote educational provision for children who are deemed to be at very high risk to Covid-19 (see HSE Guidelines) where medical certification has been provided to the school. Provision for all other children who are instructed to self-isolate by their GP or HSE Public Health, educational provision will be provided as follows: Children who are awaiting Covid 19 test results for themselves or a family member and have been instructed by their GP to isolate at home for a few days. These pupils will be supported to catch up on their learning on their return to school. Children isolating at home on instruction from their GP due to a confirmed case within their own family/close contact outside of school (14-day isolation period). Teacher will link in with the pupil via See-Saw/ Google-Classroom (not video conferencing). School POD (group of six) instructed by HSE Public Health to self-isolate. Teacher will link in with the pupils via See-Saw/ Google-Classroom (not video conferencing) School bubble (whole class) instructed by HSE Public Health to self-isolate (14day isolation period). Teacher will engage with the bubble daily on Seesaw/Google Classroom and regularly on Zoom. Whole school closure as instructed by HSE Public Health (duration of closure will be advised by Public Health) Teachers will engage with pupils, using a blended approach of pre-recorded lessons, Seesaw/Google Classroom and regular contact on Zoom. Please note that the current situation is quite fluid and these circumstances may vary throughout the year. Summary: Do what you can, within your circumstances. Forget about following books and workbooks outside of the work set by teachers for the moment. There will be no school work set for planned school closures/holidays. There will be no interaction on Zoom, Seesaw or Google Classroom during these times Please keep abreast of postings on the school app– it is our main mode of communication going forward. We ask parents/guardians, students and teachers to ensure protocols are adhered to at all times. If you have yet to connect to any of the on-line platforms/school App, please do so. If you are experiencing difficulties please email the school at office@donacarneyschool.ie and we will assist you in any way that we can and please contact the school with any further queries you may have. We thank the school community for adhering to the above guidelines for everyone’s safety and welfare. Recommended Apps In addition to a pared back plan of work for your child/children, we suggest the following Apps for your child’s use too, if you can access them. If not, do not worry, they are helpful but not essential. ● Cúla 4: Excellent for younger pupils for Irish vocab – very child friendly. There are also videos of your children’s favourite cartoons here as Gaeilge which would be useful to watch occasionally to keep up with Irish. ● Duolingo: most suitable from 2nd class upwards. Excellent app. Tests your child Irish ability level at the start and they work away at their own level for 10mins daily. ● Mathduel: For tables. Fun and interactive. ● Starfall: For spellings. Again, very child friendly and useful to keep spellings progressing without feeling like schoolwork. ● Jolly Phonics App: to keep up phonics learning for infant classes. ● Dolch words Apps (there is a wide range available): for the development of sight words. ● Nessy Apps: for reading for pupils with dyslexia or difficulties. ● PinkFong: Digital stories for infant classes. Excellent and engaging. ● Khan Academy: Useful for maths for older pupils especially. ● Kahoot: for general knowledge and quizzes. ● Toontastic: probably the best app ever for digital storytelling – pupils can devise their own digital story, picking a range of characters, settings, even musical background. They plan a beginning, middle and end to their story and can record their own voices to tell the story. ● Puppetpals: similar to toontastic – useful for younger pupils. They can record themselves telling the story also. ● Lightbot – Coding app – super for all ages.
  • Routines
    Routines •Assembly is at 9.20 a.m. It is important that the children develop the habit of being punctual for school. All children arriving late must report to the office. •The B.O.M. strongly discourages the dropping off of pupils before 9.00 a.m. as the yard is not supervised. •There is a short break at 11.15 a.m. Lunch break is from 12.25 to 12.55 p.m. The children should have a small snack at 11.15 a.m. and something more substantial at lunchtime. •Under no circumstances, for safety reasons, is any child allowed to leave the school unaccompanied before 3.00 p.m. Parents must be punctual in collecting children at 3.00. •Parents delivering lunches, books or copies must come directly to the office with these items.
  • School Rules
    Rules 1.Be kind and respectful to others. 2. Say "please" and "thank you". 3. Be in time for school - school commences @ 9.20am 4. Be prepared for your day. Wear full school uniform (or tracksuit on PE days) and always have the proper school materials. 5. Respect all school property and keep the school environment clean and litter free. 6. In-class work, and assigned homework, both written and oral, are expected to be completed on time and with care. 7. Allow others to do their work without interruption. 8. Any form of behaviour which interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable. 9. Always be aware of your own safety, and that of others, when at work or at play. 10. Remember our school motto "Ár ndícheall í gconaí". At the heart of our Code of Behaviour is an effort to reward, praise and encourage good behaviour from all pupils. * see Code of Behaviour Address. Donacarney, Mornington, Co. Meath © 2021 Don
  • Swimming Policy
    Swimming Policy Rationale: The school has regard to both the physical and mental development of each of its pupils. Believing that a healthy body promotes a healthy mind, the school arranges swimming instruction in Aura swimming pool for the pupils in our senior classes during the school year. Aims The aim of this policy is to ensure that pupils benefit from learning opportunities offered by external personnel, who help to supplement the delivery of the curriculum in a safe and effective manner To enable pupils to acquire basic swimming skills To comply with the requirements of the Revised Curriculum in aquatics. Instructional Arrangements The swimming pool at Aura is reserved for forty-five minute swim sessions. Attendance at this course fulfils the Aquatics Module of the PE Curriculum as laid down by the Department of Education. It is compulsory for all children to participate in aquatics lessons as part of the National Curriculum. Should a child be unable to attend aquatics, due to a medical condition, a letter from the child’s doctor must be sent to the school requesting exemption and stating the reason why. Should a child be unable to attend a lesson due to ill health or any other reason, a letter must be given to the class teacher and he will go to another classroom with set work from the class teacher for the duration that the class is away swimming. Parents are not required to be present in the swimming pool. It is a normal school day and normal supervision by the class teacher will take place. Pupils will be accompanied by and supervised by their class teacher and supported by teaching and SNA staff on the way to and from the pool. Pupils will travel by bus to the pool and the school staff will provide supervision on the bus and before and after the swimming lesson. All children attending the course should wear their tracksuit. Swimming trunks should be worn under tracksuits coming to school. Each child must have a suitable bag (sports bag or similar with secure zip or other fastening) to carry his swimming gear (swimming trunks, hat, socks and towel, spare bag for wet gear). Time is limited so children are not encouraged to bring shampoo and shower gel to the pool and to quickly rinse after their lessons. A swimming hat must be worn in the pool. There is not enough time to fully dry children’s hair with a hair dryer. A silicone hat could be worn to keep hair dry in the water and pupils with long hair should wear their hair tied up for the day. Deodorants must not be brought to the pool as the dressing rooms are confined spaces and they leave a strong smell. All items brought to the pool should be clearly labelled with the child’s name. Mobile phones and cameras are forbidden to be used in the swimming pool premises by children in the interests of child protection. Instructional Arrangements: Instruction in the pool will be provided by qualified pool instructors who are garda vetted. If a child is not following the instructions given by the instructor he/she can request that the child has to leave the pool and class teachers will have to take the responsibility to monitor this child. Special Needs Pupils: The SNAs are required to assist Special Needs pupils to undress and dress before and after swimming lessons in Aura Swimming pool. The SNA with another adult from the school will take the child to a special dressing room to assist the child with dressing and undressing. This arrangement will be previously discussed with parents and a signed letter of consent will be kept on file. They should also assist the child to enter and exit the pool and be available at all times during the swimming lesson to take the child from the swimming instructor if he was no longer taking part in the lesson. The SNAs are not required to enter the water with the child. They do not have sufficient training to do so. It is the responsibility of the instructor, be it an individual or group instructor, to teach the special needs pupil during their swimming lessons. It is the decision of the swimming pool whether or not the pupil is capable of being in a group swimming situation or an individual one. This depends on the ability of the individual child in the water. If the child is required to have an individual instructor the matter will be discussed with the principal and also parents/guardians. This decision may be reached before or after the child’s first lesson in the pool. It is the decision of the Board of Management whether a pupil is capable of attending swimming lessons with the school. The Board of Management will assess if the swimming pool and school have the appropriate resources to accommodate each individual child especially with regards to helping him remain regulated at the pool and travelling to and from the pool. The health and safety of the child is paramount and of those travelling with him. Health and Safety Best practice in relation to the supervision, instruction and child protection procedures as outlined by the Irish Sports Council, Swim Ireland and the National Safety Council will be adhered to at all times. Staff will follow the guidelines of the school’s Health & Safety Statement and Child Protection Policy at all times. One adult will not be supervising the children on their own at any time. All children will line up in the dressing room and leave the dressing room together so as no child will be left in the dressing room on their own. Pupils are required to behave at all times in a manner that ensures the safety of all involved in school swimming lessons. Pupils must obey the instructor’s orders at all times and comply with the school’s Code of Behaviour and the pool’s Health and Safety Guidelines. Parents/guardians will receive a standard letter or communication through Aladdin Connect, providing information on school swimming before their child starts their swimming term. The fees for swimming lessons must be paid in advance via Aladdin. Teachers of all classes remain on the viewing deck during the lesson in order to supervise the overall group and pupils who may need to use the bathroom or need their attention during the lesson. In the best interest of the child, it is the duty of parents/guardians to inform the class teacher and/Principal with regard to any health condition that may affect the child in the pool. This information will be held in confidence and provided on a need to know basis to the swimming instructors. Implementation and Review This policy was originally implemented by the Board of Management in________________ This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management every two years Due to be reviewed again in January 2026. Ratification and Communication: This policy was ratified by the Board of Management in ________________. Signed: _________________________ Chairperson of Board of Management Date: ___________________ Signed: ________________________ Principal of the Board of Management Date: __________________________
  • Dignity in the Workplace, Bullying and Harassment Policy
    Réalt na Mara Bunscoil Buachaillí Dignity at Work Policy and Procedures Policy and Procedures for Addressing Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Bullying in the Workplace Introduction: The Board of Management, in consultation with staff, drew up this Policy on Dignity in the Workplace. The policy is formulated in light of a number of background documents, including: • the IPPN and NPC joint document ‘Supporting Each Other’ • the INTO document ‘Working Together’ • DES Circular 40/97 Assaults on Staff in Primary School • the Health & Safety Authority’s ‘Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work, 2005’ • the Equality Authority’s Code of Practice, given legal effect in the Statutory Instrument entitled Employment Equality Act, 1998 (Code of Practice) (Harassment) Order, 2002 (S.I. No. 78 of 2002). Rationale: The Board of Management and the staff are committed to creating, maintaining and enhancing a positive work environment where work is done in an atmosphere of respect, collaboration, openness and equality. Relationship to the Characteristic Spirit of the School: Réalt na Mara B.N.S. is a Catholic school. The Board and the Staff promote respect for all and value each member of the school community. The school’s mission statement promotes the spirit of inclusiveness and the principles of equality. A Commitment to Dignity and Respect: Réalt na Mara B.N.S. is a school which is committed to creating, maintaining and constantly striving to enhance a positive work environment where work is done in an atmosphere of respect, collaboration, openness and equality. Unkind behaviour, including adult bullying and harassment in the workplace, are phenomena which we as a staff at Réalt na Mara B.N.S. seek to prevent. Further, we declare that such unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated. As a team, we believe that all employees have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. As a team we recognise that we all have our part to play in modelling and promoting good behaviour, and that in the unlikely event of experiencing less than nice behaviour, we will aim to explain to our partner(s) of communication that their behaviour is offensive to us and why. If it continues, those school community members who are the management team are committed to intervening in an appropriate manner. The Board of Management of Réalt na Mara B.N.S. recognises that all employees have the right to a workplace free from bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. The Board is committed to ensuring that its employees can enjoy that right. This policy covers our school building, school grounds and all work-related undertakings. As well as giving specific definitions of workplace bullying, harassment and sexual harassment, this policy will outline procedures for investigating and dealing with possible allegations. It also outlines our commitment to creating a positive work environment and the methods we will employ to attain this end. A Positive Work Environment Réalt na Mara B.N.S. is a good place in which to work and we will strive to keep it that way, through: • A supportive atmosphere • Good and open communication (e.g. through opportunities for consultation and regular staff meetings) • Appropriate interpersonal behaviour • Collaboration • Open discussion and resolution of conflict • Recognition, feedback and affirmation as appropriate • Fair treatment of all staff (including fair systems of selection and promotion in line with agreed procedures) Every person in the school community of Réalt na Mara B.N.S. has a responsibility to play his/her part in contributing to our positive work environment, including a team member who may witness behaviour that is not nice. We each have a clear responsibility to raise concerns about dignity at work, and threats to this, in an appropriate and timely manner. Reflecting our commitment to respect and dignity, our Safety Statement (which is to be reviewed annually) will include a commitment to a positive work environment. Definition of Workplace Bullying: Our School Team has adopted the definition of adult bullying as set out by the Report of the Task Force on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying (2001) which has also been adopted by the Health and Safety Authority: ‘Workplace Bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work. An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but, as a once off incident, is not considered to be bullying’. Forms of Bullying: Bullying occurs in many guises and reveals itself through obvious and direct methods as well as in less direct and subtle forms. Bullying may manifest itself across the organisational and management structure of a School or within a classroom. It can occur within peer groups, from management to staff and from staff to management. Bullying may be categorised in a number of forms including behaviour that may: • Intimidate: physical abuse or threats of abuse, open aggression, threats, staring, shouting abuse or obscenities; • Verbal abuse: persistent unwarranted • Humiliate: Preventing a colleague from speaking by using aggressive and/or obscene language, sneering or ridicule including horseplay or practical jokes and criticising their efforts often in front of others • Victimize: manipulation of a colleague’s reputation by rumour, gossip ridicule and/or innuendo; • Exclude and isolate: social exclusion and isolation • Intrude: through pestering, spying or stalking • Manipulate the nature of work by withholding information, setting meaningless tasks, giving repeated unreasonable assignments or duties that are obviously unfavourable to one individual, giving repeated impossible deadlines or impossible tasks, or regularly taking the credit for somebody’s work, but never taking the blame when things go wrong • Undermine a person’s authority. This is not an exhaustive list. Bullying is not: • An isolated incident of inappropriate behaviour • Exercise of proper authority by management • Fair and constructive criticism of an employee’s performance, conduct or attendance In the workplace environment, conflicts and interpersonal difficulties may arise. Many of these may relate to “industrial relations difficulties” – which should be dealt with through the appropriate industrial channels- e.g. INTO Definition of Workplace Harassment: For the purpose of this Dignity at Work Policy, the definition of harassment as outlined in the Equality Act 2004 will apply as follows Harassment is any form of unwanted conduct, related to any of the nine discriminatory grounds and being conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person Harassment that is based on the following nine discriminatory grounds – marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, or membership of the traveller community - is a form of discrimination in relation to conditions of employment. The Equality Act 2004 extended the definition of harassment to include discrimination which arises where one of the nine grounds is imputed to a person who is associated with another person, and is treated, by virtue of the association, less favourably than another person. The Equality Act 2004 outlaws the discrimination in the course of employment by an employer, another employee or by clients, customers or business contacts of the organisation. In the case of our school, this includes parents/guardians, coaches, visiting teachers and other visitors to the school. Forms of Harassment: There are many forms of harassment including: • Verbal -Harassment: jokes, comments, ridicule or songs • Written Harassment including text messages, emails, social media postings and hand-written notices • Physical Harassment such as jostling, shoving or any form of assault • Non-Verbal Harassment including gestures, posturing or threatening poses • Visual Displays such as posters, emblems or badges; • Isolation or exclusion from workplace social activities; • Pressure to behave in a manner that the employee thinks is inappropriate -e.g. being required to dress in a manner unsuited to a person’s ethnic or religious background. This is not an exhaustive list. Harassment may consist of a single incident or repeated behaviours. Within the staff there are many roles such as teachers, assistant principals, principal, SNAs, secretary, caretakers, visiting teachers, coaches etc. As a democratic school, everybody has a right to be treated with equity in line with their role. This means that all employees have the right to express their opinions and be listened to. In cases where a staff member identifies harassment, he/she should follow the process outlined in the policy. If the issues are with staff interpersonal relationships, it is advised that the staff member generally follows the “Working Together” guidelines. If the staff member is unsure, he/she should seek advice of another staff member or a union representative if they have one. Digital Harassment: It is expected that staff are aware of their own online presence and that teaching staff should adhere to the guidelines of the Teaching Council’s Professional Standards. However, staff are entitled to a private life online and this should be respected. For example, a staff member should not feel under pressure to “friend” another member of the school community. If members of staff agree to share contact details, they should not be expected to reply to school related communications outside of school time if they do not wish to do so. While messages may be sent via Aladdin at any time, staff members are not expected to check in to them or respond to them outside of working hours. Harassment and Other Stakeholders: In Réalt na Mara B.N.S., it is our belief that all members of our school community have the right to be happy, to feel safe and be given opportunities to learn. Anyone entering our building or grounds should be afforded these rights but, on the flip side, all adults in the school community have a responsibility to ensure that others are not denied these same rights. Pupils are also expected to take on these responsibilities, in line with their levels of social maturity and understanding. It is important that all stakeholders behave in a manner which falls within our “Dignity At Work Policy” framework. Examples of acceptable behaviour are listed below: • All stakeholders should speak to each other with respect. Using aggressive language or tones is not acceptable. If a stakeholder displays signs of aggression in the school building or grounds, he/she may be asked to remove themselves from the building. In certain cases, the Gardaí may be called. • Stakeholders should not interrupt teacher/pupil contact time. Should a parent/guardian wish to meet with a teacher, he/she should make an appointment to do so through the school office or via a written communication to the teacher in question. • When requesting a meeting with a staff member, it is good practice to outline the purpose of the meeting when making the appointment. This can save considerable time. • Stakeholders should not isolate others or attempt to influence others against particular individuals or groups in the school. • Violence or aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated. An Garda Síochána may become involved in any incident of violence or aggression between two parties. • Staff members will only speak about a particular pupil with his/her parents/guardians. Other pupils will not be discussed. The staff of the school will respect your child’s right to privacy, so it is asked that parents respect other pupil’s right to privacy also. • In line with our Child Safeguarding Statement, stakeholders should never approach a child in an aggressive manner. This list is not exhaustive. Definition of Sexual Harassment: The Employment Equality Act, 1998 expressly prohibits sexual harassment under Section 23 and defines sexual harassment as “any unwelcome act, request or conduct, which could reasonably be regarded as sexually or otherwise on the grounds of gender, to be offensive, humiliating or intimidating to the employee in question such as: • acts of physical intimacy • requests for sexual favours • other acts or conduct including spoken words, gestures, or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material that is unwelcome and could reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating. Section 23 only prohibits sexual harassment of a female by a male or a male by a female. However, for the purposes of this policy, the procedure outlined applies equally to incidents of same sex harassment. Forms of Sexual Harassment: Many forms of behaviour can constitute sexual harassment and a single incident may constitute sexual harassment. The following is a listing of potential forms of sexual harassment, which is not exhaustive: • unwelcome physical or verbal advances • sexually suggestive jokes, remarks or innuendoes • unwelcome physical contact such as groping, pinching, patting, unnecessary touching or brushing against another person’s body • indecent exposure • display of sexually suggestive or pornographic material • leering, offensive gestures, whistling In cases of serious sexual harassment, the Board of Management recommends that its employees contact An Garda Síochána as they are best placed to provide appropriate support to the complainant and to conduct the subsequent investigation. We recognise that bullying and harassment complaints may arise among work colleagues but may also arise in relation to visitors to the school. In either case, our commitment to a positive workplace where dignity at work is respected prevails. Resolution Process for Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: The Board of Management will usually refer to “Working Together-Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations” (INTO, 2000). However, the Board may also seek advice and then refer to “Code of Practice on Guidance, Prevention and Procedures for dealing with Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work made under the Employment Equality Act 1998” (Equality Authority, 2012) and the Teaching Council Professional Standards. The following are the stages which should be followed by staff members who feel that they are being harassed, sexually harassed or bullied in the course of their employment: Stage 1: Decide to Address the Matter: If the party (Party A) considers that he/she is being bullied or harassed, and decides to address the matter, he/she should follow these stages. In light of the potential effects of bullying or harassment, including loss of confidence, extreme upset, anxiety or fear, Party A may decide to seek Union or other assistance, including the Employee Assistance Scheme or other counselling, in order to consider the most appropriate application of the procedures in the circumstances. Party A should keep a record of the pattern of behaviour or instances where he/she considers that bullying/harassment has occurred. The record should contain details such as dates, times, persons present and details of what was said or what occurred. Stage 2: Informal Complaint Process: While in no way diminishing the issue or effect on individuals, an informal approach can often resolve matters quickly and effectively and minimises embarrassment and the risk of breaching confidentiality. Of all the processes available, this is probably the most effective in solving issues. It is preferable for all concerned that complaints of harassment, sexual harassment and bullying are dealt with internally and resolved to everybody’s satisfaction. Thus, any employee who believes he or she is being bullied should, where possible, indicate directly to the person complained of, that the behaviour in question is unacceptable. Some incidents of harassment, sexual harassment or bullying can be dealt with effectively in an informal way, as often the harasser may be unaware of the effect his/her behaviour is having on others. Resolving the problem informally involves the person who feels that he/she is being harassed, sexually harassed or bullied explaining clearly to the person engaging in the unwanted conduct that the behaviour in question is not acceptable, that it offends him/her or makes him uncomfortable and that it interferes with his/her work. The person against whom the complaint is made should be given the opportunity to respond and if requested, should be afforded time to consider his/her response. This response should then be given in a constructive manner. The resolution, as appropriate, may include any of the following, e.g. a commitment to cease the particular behaviour; modify the behaviour; plan to eliminate situations where the parties would be in conflict; monitoring. It could also emerge, as a result of the discussions between the parties, that there may have been a degree of misunderstanding in relation to certain behaviours and the resolution may make provisions for compromise or appropriate explanation or acknowledgement. If there is no satisfactory resolution between the parties, Party A should refer the complaint to Stage 3: Formal Complaint Procedures. Stage 3: Formal Complaint Process: Stage 3 provides a mechanism for mediation between the parties. The principal teacher will generally be the mediator but if the principal teacher is one of the parties, the Chairperson of the Board of Management should then get involved. In circumstances where the Chairperson is one of the parties, another member of the BOM may be designated to mediate. • Party A should inform Party B that he/she is proceeding to Stage 3 • Party A should state his/her complaint in writing and request the principal teacher (or Chairperson of BOM or another member of the Board as appropriate) to investigate the matter. • This person/mediator will 1. Obtain background details including details of what happened at stages 1 and 2 2. Consider the patterns of behaviour and the timescale 3. Hear both parties and attempt to resolve the matter 4. Act in a fair and impartial manner and deal with the matter sensitively having regard to the nature of the problem and the principles of due process 5. Exercise judgement and make decisions which he/she considers necessary to resolve matters The outcome of the discussions should be noted by both parties. It is vital that confidentiality is observed when dealing with such matters. Where resolution has not been possible, and particularly where there is a likelihood of the offending behaviour continuing, either party or the principal teacher (Or Chairperson or other member of BOM) should refer the matter to the Board of Management in accordance with Stage 4 below. Stage 4: Formal Complaint to Board of Management (BOM) It is open to any of the parties or the principal teacher (or chairperson of the board of management, as the case may be) to refer the matter to the BOM for investigation. The referral should be in writing and dated and should include a copy of the written complaint. • The BOM should consider the issues and investigate the matter. The BOM may enquire into the background of the difficulties including obtaining details of the sequence of initiatives taken at previous stages; • The BOM or the Chairperson of the BOM or an Investigator/Facilitator/Mediator appointed by the BoM may meet teachers individually or collectively, and may also request written submissions from the parties, having regard also to the principles of due process; • The BOM may request the principal teacher to furnish a written submission; • The BOM may afford the parties an opportunity to present their case orally at a board meeting. For mediation purposes, this would happen in each other’s presence; • Following oral presentations, the BOM may designate the Chairperson to meet with the parties again, separately or jointly, if further clarification is required or to work towards a resolution; • The BOM may convene a number of meetings in order to achieve resolution; • The BOM shall act in a fair and impartial manner in order to achieve resolution and shall deal with the matter sensitively, having regard to the nature of the problem. Having considered all matters, the BOM should reach a view on the matter not later than 20 school days after receipt of the written request/referral. Where the BOM finds that bullying/harassment has not occurred, both parties should be informed accordingly. No action shall be taken against the complainant provided the allegation was made in good faith. If the complaint was brought maliciously, it should be treated as misconduct and appropriate action taken, (as per relevant Disciplinary Procedures.) Where the BOM finds that bullying/harassment has occurred, the BOM should deal with the matter appropriately and effectively, (i.e. invoking the relevant Disciplinary Procedures.) This may include: • the issuing of a clear warning that bullying/harassment is not acceptable in the school workplace and that it will not be tolerated; • a demand that all forms of bullying/harassment cease and that acceptable patterns of interaction be established between the parties; • an instruction to the offending party that s/he apologise/ express regret or give an assurance that the bullying/harassment behaviour will cease; • seeking a commitment to attend counselling or seek appropriate professional assistance, perhaps through the Employee Assistance scheme; More serious disciplinary sanctions as may be commensurate and appropriate, such as: • oral warning • written reprimand • written warning • final written warning • suspension • dismissal (Reference also: Circular 0060/2009) As part of any resolution, the BOM should monitor the situation and should put systems in place to ensure that it is kept informed that resolutions are being implemented. The BOM should keep matters under review. Where an employee is victimised as a result of invoking or participating in any aspect of the complaints procedure, including acting as a witness for another employee, such behaviour will also be subject to disciplinary action. (Ref: Working Together document.) No record of any complaint will be registered on an employee’s file unless the formal procedure outlined above has been invoked. Gross Misconduct Offences The Board of Management will adhere to the Principles and Procedures outlined in Circular 0060/2009. In Conclusion As members of Réalt na Mara B.N.S. school community, we all have a duty of care to ourselves and to each other. Management has a duty of care towards employees. In formulating this policy, we sought to set out principles and practices to support the exercise of that duty in our school. Just as inappropriate and undermining behaviour among colleagues is taken seriously, so is such behaviour when perpetrated against an employee of this school by any other person. Together we are committed to building and maintaining a work environment where respectful, open and equal relationships are the norm. We are committed to having a good place in which to work. All staff are reminded of the free and confidential Employee Assistance Service (counselling service) Spectrum Life 1800 411 057. This policy was ratified by the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara B.N.S. on 19/10/23 Signature ____________________________________ (Chairperson) Signature_____________________________________ (Principal) This policy will be reviewed as the need arises or on request by members of the school community.
  • Parental Complaints Procedure
  • Procedure for Communicating with School Staff
    Procedure for Communicating with School Staff (Please note the term Parent as used in this document refers to parent, guardians or others in loco parentis. Outside agencies refer to other bodies directly concerned with a pupil`s welfare e.g. Psychologists, social workers, public health nurse, occupational therapist, ) The School Journal is the first source of communication between the parent and the child`s teacher. Homework given provides an excellent reference point for work done during the school day. And from time to time the pupil will also be encouraged to note any event in which his class is participating and whether he requires any additional material, equipment or money for same. It is important that the parent check this every day so that he/she is au fait with the student`s class needs, as well as his class work. The parent is also encouraged in the first instance, to make any written communications to the class teacher through the note system at the end of each week and also the templates at the end of journal. The school also regularly sends home notes to keep you updated with school events. In keeping with our green school themes we try to keep these notes to a minimum. Formal parent teacher meetings are held each year. Usually this is in the first term for Senior Infants to 6th class and in the second term in the case of Junior Infants. Should a parent or teacher need to request a meeting outside these times an appointment MUST be made in advance to facilitate both parties, even for what may be expected to be the briefest of meetings. Good communication between parents, outside agencies and the staff is highly valued in our school. However it is important for parents and agencies to realise that teachers, along with delivering a broad curriculum, also have duties to lots of other children in their care. While endeavouring to meet you at our earliest convenience, please be mindful of this fact and be aware that an immediate appointment is not possible with either the teachers or the principal. With this in mind, we would ask outside agencies to be aware that we have not got the space to accommodate any meetings which do not pertain directly with the school eg between social worker and child. Parents and other outside agencies should also be aware that there is no formal room available in the school solely for the purposes of such meetings. Therefore though we will endeavour to do so, we cannot guarantee complete privacy for the duration of meeting. Parents and outside agencies who are to attend a meeting should wait in the school office in advance of the meeting. The teacher or principal will take them to an available space in which the meeting may be facilitated.
  • Work Experience/Teaching Practice Policy
    Réalt na Mara B.N.S. Work Experience/Teaching Placement Policy (reviewed by BOM reps and school management January 2024) This policy has been drawn up by the management team of Réalt na Mara BNS. Its purpose is to best protect the needs of the children, staff and management of our school. Transition Year Students The school can only accept two students at any given time. Preference will be given to past pupils of the school. The total number of Transition Year students given placement in the school in any one academic year is limited to four. SNA/Classroom Assistants/ Student Teachers on Placement Schools are very busy institutions. The school schedule may be unpredictable. In applying for work experience/placement at any time of the year we would ask you to understand that our acceptance is solely at the discretion of school management. In the first instance, we ask that you apply in writing for a work experience position. While we will consider your application, please understand that we may not always be able to accommodate you given the needs of the school. The school can only accept one Special Needs Assistants or Classroom Assistants at any given time. The total number of SNAs / Classroom assistants given work placement in the school in any one academic year is limited to three. Discretion Discretion is extremely important. Access to confidential documentation-(e.g. reports, assessments, test results, Roll Book etc) is strictly forbidden to anyone on work experience. You are not permitted to discuss the school, the staff, and the pupils outside the school. If as part of your work experience you are required to complete a report, we would ask you not to name any pupils in that report and also to submit a copy of the report to our school office. If any breach of our policy on discretion occurs, the school management reserve the right to an immediate termination of your work experience / placement. Discipline. It is the role of the teacher to discipline the pupils in his or her care. It is important that the person on work experience accept the teacher`s professional judgement in all situations. Break Times For SNA / Classroom Assistants or Students on Transition Year Work Experience, your break times are as follows 10:30 - 10:50 and 12:10 – 12:30. The kitchenette or library should be available for your use. You should join the teachers & SNAs on yard duty whilst the pupils are on the yard. For student teachers on placement, your breaks will match the pupils and teachers. Child Safeguarding The Child Safeguarding Statement is an important document and must be read in advance of any placement / work experience. If you have any concerns on any aspect of a child’s welfare, you should immediately discuss this with the Designated Liason Person is the school principal, Ms. Caitríona Campbell. The Deputy Designated Liason Person is the deputy principal, Ms. Anne Brennan. It is essential that all visitors on work experience / placement are vetted by An Garda Síochana. General All school visitors to the school must sign in and out in the Visitors’ Book at reception. All school visitors must comply at all times with Board of Management Policies and administrative rules and school regulations. Signed Declaration I have read and understood the above document and agree to comply with same for the duration of my work experience. I have discussed the need for discretion with a member of school management (The Principal, Ms Campbell, or Deputy Principal, Ms Brennan) and I will comply with the need for discretion and confidentiality in regard to the children, and the school. If I have any concerns relating to this, or to any aspect of the child`s welfare, I will immediately discuss this with the class teacher or with a member of the school management team. I have also read and understood the school`s Child Safeguarding Statement. Signed_______________________________________ Date:____________________________________ Ratified by BOM Jan 2024 Signed Chairperson BOM______________________________ Date____________________
  • COVID -19 Policy Statement
    COVID -19 Policy Statement Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our students. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The Board of Management and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will: • continue to monitor our COVID-19 response and amend this plan in consultation with our staff • provide up to date information to our staff and students on the Public Health advice issued by the HSE and Gov.ie • display information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and correct hand-washing techniques • agree with staff, a worker representative who is easily identifiable to carry out the role outlined in this plan in relation to summer provision • inform all staff and students of essential hygiene and respiratory etiquette and physical distancing requirements • adapt the school to facilitate physical distancing as appropriate in line with the public health guidance and direction of the Department of Education • keep a contact log to help with contact tracing • ensure staff and students engage with the induction / familiarisation briefing provided by the Department of Education • implement the agreed procedures to be followed in the event of someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 while at school • provide instructions for staff and students to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during school time • implement cleaning in line with Department of Education advice All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions. This can be done through the Lead Worker Representatives, who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners. ​ Address. Donacarney, Mornington, Co. Meath ©
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