The aim of an 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 access and use is considered both a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions will be imposed.
It is envisaged that school and parent representatives will revise the AUP annually.
AUP April 2020
Before and After-School Care is available on-site. It is run by Kids Inc. and all enquiries and bookings should be made directly to Kids Inc.
Children attending Kids Inc. are expected to adhere to the same Code of Behaviour as we use during the school day.
Assessment is part of our everyday work here in St.Christopher’s.
To read more about how/when it is done, please click below.
St.Christopher’s Primary School is committed to providing a learning environment that will foster all children’s learning and encourage them to attend school regularly. Our aim is to provide a stimulating day, with clear guidelines and structures, so that children feel welcome and nurtured while attending school. We believe that our pupils will benefit from this education through regular attendance.
In so far as possible, we aim to have full attendance from all of our pupils.
Casual absences (for whatever reason) are discouraged as they have a direct impact on children’s learning. We aim to support children and parents in achieving good attendance.
Among the many strategies/measures we use to ensure regular attendance are:
• We aim to provide a warm, welcoming and supportive learning environment for our pupils, one in which they are valued and respected and in which provision is made for their learning needs.
• We hold regular and open class-level discussions with the children on the importance of regular attendance.
• We publicly and positively affirm those children who have excellent attendance.
• We praise and reward those who are making a serious effort to improve their attendance.
• We have regular communication with parents and provide them with updates on their child’s attendance if it is a cause for concern.
• Our Home-School Community Liaison teacher may visit families who may need encouragement and support in ensuring their child/children attend school.
• Our class teachers and support teachers seek to ensure that children who may be experiencing learning difficulties are actively supported and encouraged with appropriate teaching. Homework is tailored to the individual needs of these pupils.
• Our school’s code of behaviour takes a positive approach to fostering good behaviour.
• We ask parents to value every minute that the children spend at school and therefore make sure that the children are sitting in their classroom by 9.00am. All late arrivals are noted on the school’s Aladdin system so that there is a record of time missed.
• In the same way we ask parents not to ask to let the children off early, unless for a specific appointment. We use a sign-out sheet for children who are collected early by a parent. This enables us to keep a record of such absences and make parents aware of how much time is being missed.
The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 provides a framework under which attendance at school can be dealt with by law. As a result of the Act, the National Education Welfare Board (Tusla) has been established and has appointed Education Welfare Officers.
Under the regulations of the Act, the school is obliged to:
• Keep a record of pupils’ attendance, (this is done on the Aladdin system).
• Submit to the Tusla the names of all pupils who miss 20 or more days from school.
• Keep a written record of pupils’ absences.
Under the Act, parents are required to:
• Send their children to school each day.
• Notify the Principal, in writing, the reason for a child’s absence. This is facilitated by use of the school app, Aladdin Connect.
The school keeps a record of all such absences on Aladdin, using the codes as set down by the Tusla (see below).
Tusla Codes for Category of Absence
B Urgent Family Reasons (e.g: Bereavement)
E Other (e.g: Holidays, Religious Observance, Emigration)
G Transfer to another school (written confirmation received from other school)
Our previous Child Protection Policy is now replaced by our Child Safeguarding Statement.
We have revised our Child Protection Policy, to take regard of Children First (National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, 2011)) and new procedures from the Department of Education and Skills (Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, 2011).
Healthy Lunch Policy
As part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (S.P.H.E.) Programme we encourage the children to become more aware of the need for healthy food in their lunch boxes. In addition, the Physical Education programme supports the physical development and fitness of the children. The Science curriculum also looks at the development of the body and deepens the children’s understanding of how the body grows and develops.
Aims of this Policy
- To promote the personal development and well being of the child.
- To promote the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects.
- To enable the child to appreciate the importance of good nutrition for growing and developing and staying healthy.
- To enable the child to accept some personal responsibility for making wise food choices and adopting a healthy balanced diet.
Lunch is an important meal for school going children. It should provide one third of their recommended daily allowance of nutrients without being high in fat, sugar or salt. It should also provide dietary fibre (roughage).
In our school the children eat twice a day, before going out to play. To ensure good concentration it is important for children to drink lots of water, so please encourage your child to bring a bottle of water. We have water filters in every classroom so children can re-fill their bottles during the day.
A word about Milk
Growing children should get approximately one pint of milk a day. This ensures that they get enough calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
We provide milk free of charge to the pupils in our school. Milk is a rich source of protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. If you child wishes to have milk in school please fill out the Milk Order Form in September.
The Healthy Lunch Guidelines
Every child in our school can choose to take a Carambola lunch, free of charge. Carambola has detailed nutrional information on its website and we encourage parents to read the information about all menu options before making choices for their children. Changes can be made to your child’s menu, by going online and using your child’s ID to login. The Carambola website is www.carambola.ie
Children in each class were asked to discuss what they thought should be in a healthy lunch. From these discussions the following guidelines emerged.
What is a healthy lunch?
• It is full of goodness like protein, vitamins and calcium.
• Contains food with no sugar, because too much sugar is bad for your teeth.
• Contains no colouring or additives.
• Gives us strength and energy
• Makes us fit and healthy
• Helps our brain power
What could be in a healthy lunch?
• Sandwiches or rolls with cheese, meat or other fillings.
• Pitta bread, crackers
• Fruit (peeled and chopped for small children)
• Vegetables (washed and chopped))
• Small, plain biscuits (no chocolate)
• Yoghurt (easy to open)
What should not be in a healthy lunch?
• Crisps, salted nuts or popcorn
• Chocolate, sweets, lollipops or jellies
• Chewing gum
• Cake, biscuits, pastries or doughnuts
• Chocolate spread
• Fizzy drinks
• Flavoured milk
What drinks could we include in a healthy lunch?
• Diluted drinks
What drinks should not be allowed?
• Fizzy drinks
• Sugary drinks
• Hot drinks (in case we spill them)
Who should make sure everyone follows the rules?
• Our parents, because they make our lunch and should set a good example. They are responsible for our health.
• We should, because it’s our health and we want to be fit and full of energy.
• Teachers, because they can see what’s in our lunch boxes and know who’s eating the right foods everyday.
• The Principal
What should we do when children bring in foods not allowed?
• The children bring the food/drink home in their lunch box.
Should we make exceptions for special occasions?
• Yes, for treats after communion or confirmation
• Yes, for end of term parties
• No, for school trips (in case we get sick on the bus)
• No, we cannot have children’s birthday parties in school.
The children of St.Christopher’s are very keen to have healthy lunches and show a good understanding of what that means. We hope these guidelines will assist everybody in making healthy choices.
Developed: June 2005
UPDATE: We have incorporated our language support policy into the new Special Education Policy 2018 which is available on our website.
In doing so, we recognise that children who require English language support are provided with the language tools they require to achieve their potential, and are not necessarily in need of what was traditionally called learning support. The main tenets of the policy below still remain at the core of our approach to language support teaching.
English Language Support in primary education strives to empower pupils from many different communities to access the same educational opportunities as their English-speaking peers and to become fully-integrated members of the community of the school and the wider social community, while respecting and valuing the richness of cultural and linguistic diversity.
(Integrate Ireland Language Programme)
St.Christopher’s Primary School is committed to making appropriate provision of teaching and resources for pupils for whom English is an Additional Language and for raising the achievement of those pupils who are at risk from under-achievement.
The school will identify individual pupils’ needs, recognise the skills they bring to school and ensure a quality of access to the curriculum.
Staff Role and Responsibilities
The role of the Language Support teacher is a collaborative responsibility shared by all – The Board of Management, Principal, Class teachers, Learning Support teachers, parents and children.
We currently have three Language Support Teachers. The number of teachers is determined on an annual basis by the DES, based on the enrolment of non-English speaking pupils.
Role of Board of Management
• To oversee the development, implementation and review of the provision of Language support in the school.
• Ensure adequate classroom accommodation and teaching resources are provided for the language – support teachers.
Role of Principal
• Assume overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the school’s language support policy.
• Monitor the implementation of the school plan on an ongoing basis.
• Assume direct responsibility for coordinating language support and special needs services where appropriate to a particular child.
Role of the Class Teacher
The class teacher has primary responsibility for the progress of all pupils in her class including those in receipt of Language support. In supporting the development and implementation of the school plan on language support the class teacher should:
• Share their planning with the language support teacher to identify the language needs of the individual pupils.
• Adjust the classroom programmes in line with the agreed targets and activities.
• Modify presentation and questioning techniques to maximise the involvement of pupils with English as a second language.
• Place emphasis on oral language development across the curriculum.
• Set learning targets at an appropriate level.
• Ensure a high level of consultation and co-operation with the language support teacher.
Role of the Language Support Teacher
The main role of the language support teacher is to support the pupil’s development of English language proficiency so that he or she can gradually gain access to the curriculum, ultimately achieving the same education opportunities as English speaking peers by:
• Working in collaboration with the mainstream teacher to set achievable targets for each pupil.
• Preparing the pupil, on an ongoing basis, to access mainstream learning.
• Helping the pupil to develop appropriate strategies and skills to support their learning.
The responsibility of the language support teacher is to provide a programme of work based on the primary curriculum.
Each pupil is entitled to two full years of language support from the time they join our school.
When a pupil has additional difficulties, it may be appropriate for him or her to receive learning support.
For children entering our school at the Infant level, it is expected that they will develop literacy, classroom language, vocabulary and so on at a similar rate to their peers.
Children entering our school at Senior Primary level can experience a greater challenge. Therefore, there is a need for a systematic and on-going needs analysis to support the acquisition of language.
Assessment, Monitoring and Review
• Ongoing observation of the language and literacy to identify the needs of each pupil.
• Implement the school policies on screening and selecting pupils for supplementary teaching when appropriate.
• Record Keeping- to keep appropriate records on each pupil to ensure continuity from year to year.
• The Renfrew Language Scales (Word Finding vocabulary Test).
• Bus Story Test (Test of narrative speech).
• Primary Schools Assessment Kit
Liaising with Parents
Effective communication with parents is essential to the success of a language support programme. Activities such as Intercultural Evening, may be organised to increase involvement of parents in supporting their child’s language.
• Provide Information Leaflets to parents in their own language.
• To be accessible to parents in a supportive role.
• Meet parents at organised parent teacher meetings either with the class teacher or individually to discuss their child’s progress.
Intimate Care and Toileting Policy
The following procedure will apply in cases of
• Vomiting on clothes
At all times we will maintain the privacy and dignity of the child.
The teacher/SNA will provide the child with a change of underwear, which the child uses to change his/herself. If necessary, we will provide a complete change of clothes. The teacher/SNA will assist the child with dressing only if absolutely necessary. If the child has soiled him/herself the parents will be contacted in order to take their child home. In the event that a parent cannot be contacted the teacher/SNA will do all that is necessary to make the child comfortable.
Wet/soiled clothes will be put in a plastic bag and parents will be informed of what has happened when they collect their child. Parents are asked to return the clothes given to their child, washed and folded.
A record of such incidents will be kept.
Parents are informed on this procedure in the Junior Infants induction meeting prior to their child starting school.
Changes of clothes and underwear are kept in the secretary’s office in the double cupboard under the sink. Infant teachers also have a change of underwear in their classrooms. Staff are required to wear protective gloves while changing a child.
Children with Specific Toileting/Intimate Care Needs:
It may be the case that a pupil will have an ongoing need for assistance with toileting/intimate care. In all such situations a meeting will be convened, after enrolment and before the child starts school. Parents/Guardians, Principal, Class Teacher, SNA, and if appropriate, the pupil, will attend. The specific care needs of the child, and how the school will meet them, will be clarified and an application for SNA access will be completed.
Personnel involved in this care will be identified and provision for occasions when staff members may be absent will be outlined (e.g. Substitute SNA’s will not generally be involved in intimate care).
Two members of staff will be present when dealing with intimate care needs. Staff will wear protective gloves. Any change of personnel or procedures will be discussed with the pupil, if appropriate.
As far as possible the pupil will be involved in identification of his/her personal requirements, wishes, changes etc., and at all times the dignity and privacy of the pupil will be paramount in addressing intimate care needs.
A written copy of the agreement will be kept on the pupils file and parents will be notified of any changes from agreed procedures.
- The School opens to receive pupils at 8.50am each morning.
- Children are allowed into the school playground at 8.40am because it is considered unwise to leave them outside on the footpath.
- The Board of Management provides supervision from 8.40am.
- The school bell is rung at 8.50am and children line up with their class. They are then escorted into their classrooms by their teacher.
During inclement weather children are admitted onto the corridor on the ground floor before 8.40am but are not allowed into classrooms.
- In St.Christopher’s lessons start at 9.00am and so children who arrive in school after 9.00am are considered to be late; a record is kept in each class (on Aladdin) of such tardiness and parents’ attention is drawn to it if there is a persistent pattern.
We emphasise the importance of the time a child spends in school and punctuality is paramount.
- Children in Junior Infants and Senior Infants finish school at 1.30pm. Junior Infants exit via the front door.
- Senior Infants exit via the side door. After-School providers collect children from the front door; supervisors must sign-out the children they are collecting.
Classes end each day at 2.30pm for 1st-6th classes. Each class teacher escorts her/his class to the designated exit. Children descending the stairs are trained to walk safely on the stairs, and are required to hold the banister.
- For safety reasons, 1st Class pupils exit first, through Exit 3. starting ar 2.25pm. They are followed by 4th Class at 2.30pm
2nd Class exit through Exit 2 and 3rd Class exit through Exit 1. 5th and 6th Classes exit through the front door.
After School Activities
Children who remain in school for After School activities are supervised by the relevant teacher and are then escorted to the door at the end of the lesson.
Children not collected at this point are brought to the office to be supervised if necessary. A phone call may be made to the parent to ascertain who is responsible for collection.
Occasionally children are required to come into school early (e.g: for a choir practice). The relevant teacher accepts responsibility for those children during the session and returns them to their class line-up at 8.50am.
In September each year parents are given the opportunity to purchase additional Personal Pupil Insurance for their children. This is administered by the school and arranged through Allianz.
Policy on separation and custody issues
The Principal and staff of St. Christopher’s Primary School encourage parents who are separated or going through the separation process to come and speak confidentially to their child’s teacher and/or the Principal. It is our aim to handle such matters with sensitivity and compassion, and ultimately, our primary concern is for the well-being and overall development of the child/children involved.
We ask parents to consider the following:
1. When a child spends time in two homes, it is requested that the school be provided with both sets of emergency/contact numbers.
2. Regarding the collection of the child from school, it is requested that the school be informed of any changes in collection arrangements. Please amend the blue contact details page (held by each class teacher).
3. It is school policy to offer the option of separate parent/teacher meetings, if so desired. (Arranged in February).
4. It is assumed that when we wish to communicate with parents regarding their child, the parent who is contacted (i.e: the parent with whom the child principally resides) will inform the other parent of meetings, arrangements etc. Specific requests for separate communication can be accommodated.
5. School communication is mainly via email/text/app notification. Occasionally, a letter or form may be sent home in hard copy. It is assumed that the parent with whom the child principally resides will keep the other parent informed.
6. In the absence of a custody arrangement, both parents will be treated as equal partners in terms of parenting rights and responsibilities.
7. The school cannot be asked to withhold a child from either parent, in the absence of a custody arrangement. Only a Court Order stating the arrangements is deemed to be valid; a letter from a solicitor is not sufficient.
8. It is important that the Principal and the child’s teacher are kept up to date with custody arrangements.
9. The staff of the school will endeavour at all times to deal sensitively with children experiencing separation.
Substance Use Policy
The central objective of this school’s substance use policy is the welfare, care and protection of every student in line with the Education Act, 1998 and the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000.
This policy will address both education concerning alcohol, tobacco and drugs and the procedures for managing incidents relating to these substances.
The policy is applicable to all students, teachers, parents and users of the school building during school time and during all school related activities. The policy has been ratified by the Board of Management (2006).
By the introduction of this policy, and in keeping with our school ethos, we as a staff intend to provide a safe and secure learning environment for learning.
Education concerning substance use
Education about alcohol, tobacco and drugs will be provided within the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) programme.
• Our school will focus on the Walk Tall Programme, an SPHE programme for the prevention of Substance Misuse developed by the Department of Education and Science.
• Circle Time will be used in SPHE with all classes to address the issue of drugs, at age-appropriate levels. Children are invited to speak openly and confidentially about the subject. Various activities will help increase the children’s awareness about drugs during this time.
• In senior classes, the effects of drugs will be explored in Science, using age-appropriate resource materials.
Management of alcohol, tobacco and drug-related incidents
Incidents involving alcohol, tobacco and drug use might be:
• Use or suspected use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs on the school premises or during a school-related activity
• Intoxication/unusual behaviour
• Disclosure about use
• Finding these substances
Due care will be important in deciding on a balance between a pastoral and a disciplinary response.
In keeping with our Behaviour & Discipline Policy the above incidents would be considered serious offences and will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.
• Class teacher will speak to the student about incident. Teacher must record details of conversation.
• Principal will meet with student and discuss the incident further.
• The student’s parents will be notified and asked to attend a meeting with the Principal and the student.
• Depending on the severity of the incident Gardaí may have to be notified.
As teachers we accept the duty of care which devolves to us. In St.Christopher’s Primary School we make every effort to ensure that the children in our care are adequately supervised. The Deputy Principal is responsible for drawing up and updating the Supervision Rota, which is on display in the Staff Room.
During break times teachers and allocated SNAs supervise the playground during all playtimes. In addition, classroom assistants/interns are on supervision duty every day. The rules for playground behaviour are revised and reviewed regularly and are well known and repeated often to the children. The playground rules are on display in the playground. The teachers on supervision duty remain with the children until they have all been collected by their own teacher.
During ‘Wet play’ children remain in their classrooms and are supervised by teachers and allocated SNAs and interns.
Children are required to remain seated during ‘Wet play’ time.
In the event of a planned absence the teacher arranges with another teacher to swap supervision duties. In the event of unplanned absences, the Deputy Principal organises for another teacher to provide supervision.
At 1.30pm, the children in Junior and Senior Infants are delivered to their parents/child minders by their teachers.
Children who attend After-School care are signed out by a supervising teacher.
Children who attend on-site After School care are collected from their classrooms.
At 2.30pm, the children disperse in an orderly manner and leave through their allocated exit.
Children are supervised descending the stairs and a teacher remains on duty at the front door to ensure an orderly dismissal.
Only children who are validly enrolled in an after-school class may remain in the school after 2.30pm.