The Pastoral Approach in our School
Each member of Coláiste na Sceilge has access to the relevant pastoral structures and procedures, through contact with the Principal, the Deputy Principal and the Year Heads. They can arrange an appointment with these individuals directly or through the school secretaries. Each member is also invited to play their part in contributing to the pastoral ethos of this school community. Coláiste na Sceilge seeks to nurture positive relationships as the core resource in developing a pastoral approach.
Pastoral Roles: Definitions and Responsibilities
The pastoral roles contribute to the pastoral nature of the school community. These are the Class Teacher, the Year Head, the Guidance Counsellor, the School Counsellor and the Chaplain. Other key roles in the school also carry significant pastoral dimensions and responsibilities. These are the Principal, the Deputy Principal, the Learning Support Coordinator, the Special Needs Coordinator and the Special Needs Assistants.
The Class Teacher teaches the class for which they have responsibility. The Class Teacher has access to the relevant information on the students in their class, The Class Teachers will meet as a group with their Year Head at the beginning of the school year. Members of the wider Pastoral Team will be invited to this meeting where possible. The Class Teachers are given opportunities for professional development in their role annually if possible.
The Year Head
An agreed time for role allocation is assigned to each Year Head – at least the equivalent of three periods a week.
A clear role in the Behaviour Code is designated – up to a recommendation for suspension. There is clear access to relevant information on the students in the year group. A regular meeting usually once a week occurs of the Year Head team with the Principal and Deputy with, when possible, members of the pastoral team, The Year Heads have strategies to recognise and acknowledge excellence, effort and contributing to year spirit
The Year Heads meet with their team of Class Teachers at the beginning of the first term. The Year Heads are given opportunities for professional development. The Year head reports to staff in relation to the year group and from time to time meets with the subject teachers and specific students when situations arise. The Year Head liaise with parents according to agreed procedures particular in respect of the annual parent-teacher meeting and individual conferences with parents.
The Pastoral Care Team
The Guidance Counsellor, the School Counsellor, the Chaplain and other members may be co-opted at any time. The team will meet at least every two weeks. They will have responsibility for supporting the Class Teachers and the Year Heads; supporting the pastoral programme; reviewing students with particular difficulties; advising relevant groups within the school community on pastoral issues.
The Pastoral Programme
Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) is a core area of school life and its link to pastoral care is clear. Coláiste na Sceilge has a commitment to SPHE and demonstrates this in its provision on the curriculum, which adhere to the official Department of Education and Science guidelines. We in Coláiste na Sceilge ran our own SPHE Programme before it was made compulsory. SPHE is a whole school concern. On-going professional development for staff is prioritised. In addition to and in concert with the SPHE curricular programme, this school has its own pastoral programme that is facilitated by the Pastoral Team in conjunction with the Class Teachers and the Year Heads.
This school’s pastoral programme deals with such areas as: Induction; Transfer to Coláiste na Sceilge; the School’s Ethos; Class and Year Group spirit; Study Skills and School Procedures. The programme is reviewed annually in May. Teachers have an opportunity to prepare for the following year in terms of gathering resources and undergoing relevant training.
Is a peer-support program to assist children, adolescents and adults who aregrieving a death, separation or other painful transition in their family. The Rainbow site was established in Coláiste na Sceilge in 2005 for students. The program helps students by providing a safe setting in which participants can talk through their feelings with others who are experiencing similar situations. They are helped to articulate their feelings by a facilitator. It is run in the school if four or more students are interested in taking part and provided that at least two trained staff members are available to facilitate the programme after school.