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St Mary's National School

Policies and Guidelines

All the school policies which form the Plean Scoile (School Plan) for St. Mary's N.S. are available to anyone who wishes to see them, in the school's office.

On this website we include a selection of the more important policies, which are briefly described (below) and are also available in full. For the full versions, as approved by the Board of Management, please click the relevant button:

Curriculum

The revised Primary School Curriculum 1998 is the basis of the children’s education and gives information on the whole curriculum covered in school. Please see the NCCA Website for details.

If you have any queries about any aspects of your child’s learning, please talk to the child’s teacher or the principal. We will do our best to explain, discuss and reassure. We are committed to providing all the children with the best possible experience in primary school.

Our Mission Statement and Ethos

St. Mary’s National School is a co-educational school under Church of Ireland patronage.

In our school community we aspire to promote a nurturing inclusive environment where each child is encouraged and motivated personally, academically, socially, physically and spiritually to become a responsible, happy individual.

We work in partnership with parents and the community to empower students to live in and contribute to a rapidly changing society and to act as responsible, independent children and later, self sufficient adults who care about others and their environment.

Our school is part of the local church community and has strong links with the parish, including a worship dimension. At St. Mary’s we teach the Primary School Curriculum including Religious Education. The essentials of the Christian faith are explored and children are encouraged to think for themselves and to develop a personal faith by which they may later live.

For a printable version of our mission statement, please click here.

Code of Behaviour

The Code of Behaviour reflects the school's Mission and Ethos. This is a practical statement of the behaviour that is expected from each child, and stating it in an open manner helps to achieve consistency and improve communication between the adults who are responsible for the children (teachers, parents, bus drivers, auxiliary staff) and of course with the children themselves.

The aims of the code of behaviour are:

• To provide guidance for pupils, teachers and parents on behavioural expectations.

• To provide for the effective and safe operation of the school.

• To develop pupils’ self-esteem and to promote positive behaviour.

• To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance of others.

• To facilitate the education and development of every child.

• To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.

• To enable teachers to teach without disruption.

• To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner.

For a full statement of the Code of Behaviour, click here.

Playground

This is a simple set of common sense rules for the playground, which assists in the smooth day-to-day running of the school.

It includes, for example, brief statements of responsibilities for when children arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon.

For a full statement of the Playground policy, click here.

Anti-Bullying

The school's anti-bullying policy reflects its philosophy and ethos, and is based on current DES guidelines.

The school does not tolerate or condone bullying of any form or at any level of the school community. We are committed to ensuring that all members of the school community - pupils, staff, and parents are enabled to act effectively to deal with bullying. This policy guides action and organisation within the school for preventing and responding to bullying.

For a full statement of the Anti-Bullying policy, click here.

Relationships and Sexuality Education

This policy contains an important statement of the Ethos of Church of Ireland schools, which informs the approach to Social, Personal, and Health Education.

Social, Personal and Health Education contributes to the work of the school in promoting the health and well being of children and young people in areas such as drugs education, environmental education, safety and social responsibility, healthy eating, alcohol education etc.

Within this context, the aims of R.S.E. are:

• To enhance the personal development, self-esteem and well being of each child.

• To help the child to develop healthy friendships and relationships.

• To foster an understanding of , and a healthy attitude to, human sexuality and

• relationship in a moral, spiritual and social framework.

• To enable the child to acquire an understanding, appreciation and respect for, human love, sexual intercourse and reproduction.

• To develop and promote in the child a sense of wonder and awe at the process of birth and new life.

• To enable the child to be comfortable with the sexuality of oneself and others while growing and developing.

For a full statement of the R.S.E. Policy, including Parents' rights, click here.

Child Protection

In recent years, as a society, we have become very aware of the problem of child abuse through neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Each one of us has a duty to protect children and teachers, who are the main care givers to children outside the family, are particularly well placed to observe and monitor children for signs of abuse.

In response to this, this Department of Education and Science published Guidelines and Procedures for all schools in relation to child protection and welfare. The Board of Management of St. Mary’s National School has adopted these guidelines as school policy.

Children First, the National Guidelines for the Protection of Children may be assessed on the website of the Department of Health and Children www.dohc.ie, and the Department of Education and Science Child Protection Guidelines can be read on the Department’s website www.education.ie.

For a full statement of St Mary's policy in this area, click here.