​PARENTS INFORMATION

Curriculum

St Michael’s aim is to provide a board general education, emphasising high academic standards so as to prepare our children for further education and to enable them to lead fulfilled lives as adults in a rapidly changing society.  No two children are the same, the curriculum emphasises and encourages the individuality of the every child including children with special needs.

The curriculum is laid out in several areas:-

  • Religious education

  • English

  • Irish

  • S.E.S.E.– History, Science and Geography

  • Arts – Visual, Music and Drama

  • Physical Education – including swimming, tennis, soccer, athletics and hockey

  • S.P.H.E.

 

School Books

A booklist is provided to all pupils in June.  There is a book rental scheme in place and details will be sent out with the booklist.

 

School Routine

School hours are from 8.30am -1.10pm for the infant classes and until 2.10pm for the remainder of the pupils.  As it is important that the children develop the habit of being punctual for the school, they should arrive as near to 8.30am possible.

 

Children are not allowed into the school building before 8.10am or remain on the premises after 2.10pm as the Board of Management cannot take responsibility.

 

Children must be escorted to the back door of the school in the morning and be collected promptly at the end of the school day.  Parent/guardians are to allow their children to make their own way to class and shouldn’t escort their child to their classroom.

School Uniform

The school uniform consists of a light blue polo shirt, v-neck jersey.  Girls can wear navy pants, knee length navy skirt or navy pinafore and the boys can wear navy pants or tracksuit. 

The St Michaels tracksuits are available from Laura’s Boutique, South Douglas Road.  Suitable footwear should be worn on P.E. days.

Please mark all the children’s clothing and personal property such as books, copies, lunch boxes etc.

Communication

Given that the parent/guardian is the primary educators of the child, home-school communication is very important adding a significant dimension to the child’s learning.  Regular communication between teachers and parent/guardians is necessary for the development and nurturing co-operation between home and school which is in the interest of the parent/guardian, pupil and teacher to ensure a good relationship.  If you have any concerns, please contact the school and arrange to meet with the teacher/principal.

We send out newsletters and circulars so please check your child/ren’s bag regularly.  We also use Text-A-Parent from time to time. 

Please inform the secretary in writing if there is a change to your address or telephone numbers.

Parent/Guardian Teacher Meetings

An annual parent/guardian-teacher meeting takes place before Christmas each year.

Homework

Homework should be seen as a positive experience for children.  It is normally assigned from Monday to Thursday and the amount varies according to the age and learning needs of the pupil.  Pupils are expected to complete homework neatly and to the best of their ability. Homework is a valuable aspect of the learning process and contributes to the development of sound study habits. 

When parent/guardians take an interest in what the pupil is doing, homework tends to be completed at a higher standard and more regularly. If homework is stressful for the child and parent/guardian then something is wrong. This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose.  Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities will be detailed in our newsletter and parent/guardians will be notified of them during the year.

Holidays/Absences

Pupils are obliged to attend school every day the school is in operation unless there is a reasonable excuse for not attending.  It is necessary to notify the teacher in writing the duration and reason for absence. 

If the pupil shows signs of illness he/she should not be sent to school.  Please contact the secretary informing the school of the pupil’s absence. 

Under the Health and Welfare Act, pupils who miss 20 days or more of school the education welfare office must be informed.

Parents AssocIation

The Parent/Guardians Association plays an active and supportive role in our school and promotes general interest in the welfare of the school.  The association supports the school in a myriad of ways; it organises extra curricular activities such as swimming and through their fund raising they provide school resources which greatly benefit the children. 

Social evenings are arranged so that parent/guardians have the opportunities to meet and get to know each other.  An AGM is held once a year where a committee is elected. 

New committee members are always welcome.

Healthcare

If a pupil shows signs of illness they should not be sent to school and the secretary informed that they will not be attending school.  If a pupil is injured or becomes ill at school, parent/guardians will be notified by telephone.  It is essential that all contact details are kept up to date.

Accidents can happen despite supervision.  Minor accidents are treated in school.  Slight cuts and grazes are normally treated by cleaning with cold water and if necessary, a plaster is applied.  When a dressing has been applied, parents are requested to inspect the wound when the child comes home from school.

The school should be informed of any illness or emotional problem which may affect the child’s time in our school which in turn may affect his/her progress at school.

If a pupil suffers from asthma please inform the class teacher and leave an inhaler with clear written instructions for him/her to store in school.  A pupil can only use their inhaler under adult supervision.

Always please inform the school immediately of infectious diseases or headlice.  This will help to minimise the spread of the problem.  Please check your child’s head regularly for headlice.  If there is an outbreak in class, all parents are informed by note and parents are asked to take immediate action with regards to treatment.

The Southern Health Board personnel visits the school annually to give vaccinations, carry out eye tests etc.  Parents are notified in advance of these visits.

Through the Board of Management, there is a facility for parents to take out insurance as a result of an accident in a school.  Full details of this compulsory insurance is given at the beginning of each school year.

Nutrition

Surveys have shown that children’s lunches are often very unhealthy and not nutritionally adequate because they tend to be low in fibre and high in sugar.

The school policy in operation with the agreements of the parents/guardians and staff is that all pupils should be provided with a healthy, nutritious lunch.  Please do not give the pupil fizzy drinks, crisps or chocolates for lunch.

Finance

Parents are asked to settle all money matters promptly.  Exact amounts should be in a clearly marked envelope stating what the money is for and the amount.  A receipt will be issued by the school.

The Department of Education and Sciences provides a small grant to families suffering financial hardship with the costs of books (e.g for those families on social welfare or unemployment benefits). Please contact the principal if you need to avail of this.

Discipline

We are proud that at St Michael’s pupils on a whole are very well behaved and frequently complimented on their good behaviour and manners.  We are grateful for the support parents give the school in the matter of discipline which encompasses every aspect of school life.  Correct attitudes towards homework, punctuality, wearing of school uniform, litter and respect for school property and peers is important. 

The aims of the Code of Behaviour is to achieve a happy, safe, secure environment in which children can develop to their full potential by promoting acceptable behaviour and discouraging unacceptable behaviour.  Any form of behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable.  The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child  to an education in a relative disruptive free environment.

School Rules & Codes of Behaviour

  • School opens at 8.10am and homework is handed up.

  • Formal teaching begins at 8.30am and finishes at 1.10pm for junior & senior infants and 2.10pm for 1st -6th classes.

  • Pupils are to wear their school uniform each day

  • No pupil may leave the school grounds during the school day for any reason unless there is a written request from the parent/guardian.

  • Pupils are to show respect, courtesy, consideration and tolerance to staff, visitors and other pupils. Similar behaviour is expected when on school tours and outings.They should show respect by standing against the wall and letting adults walk through doorways before them and to wait their turn to talk without interrupting.

  • All homework set by the teacher should be completed.

  • Persistent disruptive talking and answering out of turn or sniggering at other pupils will not be tolerated.

  • Bad language, bullying and fighting are forbidden.Instances of bullying will be treated with severity and incur disciplinary measures.

  • Weather permitting, pupils go outdoors during break times unless a parent/guardian has requested that the pupil stay indoors for health reasons.

  • If pupils must stay indoors due to inclement weather, they must remain seated unless told to do otherwise by an adult.

  • Pupils cannot re-enter the school without the permission of an adult.

  • Pupils must line up in their class lines after break and obey the instructions of the adult on yard duty.

  • Climbing walls or trees and cycling on the school grounds is prohibited.

  • Pupils are expected to walk quietly and in an orderly manner in the school building

  • Pupils must keep the school building and grounds clean and litter free

  • Pupils may not interfere with or damage the property of the school, staff or other pupils. Parents may be liable for the damage.

  • When the ‘end of day’ bell rings, pupils must leave the classroom promptly, leaving the classroom neat and tidy.

  • Pupils must obey the instructions of teachers, instructors, supervisors and school personnel at all times. Insubordination by demeanour will be regarded as a breach of school discipline.

  • Unnecessary moving about the classroom disrupts the teacher and wastes the pupil’s learning time.

  • Pupils must seek permission before using the school telephone.

Anti-Bullying Policy

We are committed to raising the awareness of bullying as form of unacceptable behaviour.  Every pupil has the right to enjoy his/her time in St Michael’s free from bullying both inside and outside the school. We will not tolerate unkind actions or remarks even if these are not meant to hurt.  We regard bullying as a very serious matter.

Bullying as an aspect of children’s behaviour has received considerable attention in recent years.  What had remained a largely hidden problem, has emerged into the public area.  International research indicates that the existence of such a policy, alongside an increased awareness of bullying behaviour in the school community as a whole, to be the best way to counter bullying behaviour in school.

A stable, secure learning environment is necessary to achieve the highest possible quality of education for children.  This is as true at home as in the school.  Bullying behaviour, by its very nature undermines and dilutes the quality of this environment and imposes psychological, often lasting damage.  Whatever the source (pupil, parent/guardian etc) it is  recognised as affecting not only those immediately involved, but everyone in the classroom in the home, in the school and in the wider community.  It needs to be recognised that bullying behaviour is not confined to pupils and schools alone, it is prevalent in society, in the workplace and in the home.  It may damage self-esteem and undermine their confidence as adults.

Definition

Bullying is REPEATED aggression – verbal, psychological or physical, conduct by a group or an individual against others.  Isolated incidents of aggression, which cannot be condoned, cannot be strictly described as bullying.  Only when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing can it be termed bullying.

Types of Bullying

  • Physical : constant hitting, jostling, pushing around, punching and severe physical assaults, damage to property, extortion, intimidation.

  • Verbal : name calling, hurtful remarks (comments about physical appearance, family, clothes etc) ‘slagging’ and teasing.

  • Emotional : deliberate exclusion (more common with girls) passing notes, ‘whispering’, insults etc.All types are damaging, but verbal and emotional bullying are more difficult to detect and prove.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Anxiety about travelling to and from school

  • Unwillingness or refusal to attend school

  • Sudden deterioration in performance at school

  • Pattern of physical illness – headaches, stomach pains

  • Unexplained changes in either mood and/or behaviour

  • Visible signs of stress – stammering, withdrawal, nightmares, insomnia, crying, loss of appetite, bed wetting

  • Out of character comments about other children

  • Possessions missing or damaged

  • Unexplained bruises or cuts or damage to clothing

  • Reluctance to say what is wrong

  • Begins to bully other children

  • Continuously making excuses to explain away any of the above

These signs do not necessarily mean that bullying is taking place, but when repeated or recurring any combination they should always been investigate.

Disciplinary Procedure

To maintain a high standard of behaviour and discipline so that learning and development can take place, the following disciplinary procedure is followed:-

  • Reasoning with the pupil

  • Reprimanding (including advice on how to improve)

  • Temporary separation from peers, friends and others

  • Detention during break or after school

  • Pupil may not be allowed to participate in school outings for their own safety and that of other pupils

  • Parents informed through pupil’s homework journal

  • Loss of privileges

  • Referral to principal and/or deputy principal

  • Daily/weekly reports

  • Parents summoned to the school to meet with teachers

  • Parents formally informed by letter

  • In cases of serious misconduct or repeated incidents of minor misconduct (continuous disobedience and disruption), child and parents meet with Board of Management.

  • Suspension (temporary)

The full Code of Behaviour including guidelines on suspension is available under 'School Policies'

The Drumcondra Tests

What are the Drumcondra Tests ? 

Nowadays, it is common practice for schools to assess pupils using standardised tests such as the Drumcondra Primary Reading / Mathematics / Spelling. These tests are administered to groups of children by the children's class teachers (or another teacher in the school), following procedures outlined in the test manual.

What do the test scores mean ? 
In developing the DPMT-R, the test was administered to nationally-representative samples of about 2000 children at each class level. The results were used to develop test norms. The test norms allow teachers to compare the performance of an individual pupil in their class with that of other pupils nationally at the same class level.

The results of standardised tests may be reported in terms of Raw Scores, Standard Scores, Sten Scores, or Percentile Ranks. 

The Raw Score corresponds to the number of questions answered correctly by the child. Thus, on a test of 60 questions, a raw score of 30 means that the child answered half of the questions correctly.

In standardising a test, Raw Scores are transformed to Standard Scores. Standard Scores tell you the position of a child relative to other children nationally. On most standardised tests, the average Standard Score is set at 100. The following table may be helpful in interpreting standard scores. It provides a descriptor for scores in each of several score ranges, and also indicates how the performance of a child may be interpreted relative to other children in the norm group.

A Standard Score of 115 is in the high average range, and indicates a fairly strong performance on a test. Fewer than 25% of children achieve a score that is this high. A score of 75 is in the below average range, and indicates low performance. Fewer than 10% of children achieve a score that is this low.

Performance on standardised tests may also be reported in terms of a Sten Score. These scores are on a scale of 1 to 10.

A Sten Score of 2 indicates that a child performed poorly on the test relative to other children at the child's class level nationally. A Sten Score of 5 indicates that the child achieved a score that is in the average range, while a Sten Score of 9 indicates a high score on the test.

Finally, a child's score may be reported in terms of a Percentile Rank.

If a child achieves a Percentile Rank of 40, it means that the child achieved a score on the test that was the same as, or better than, 40% of children nationally (and lower than 60%). Similarly, a Percentile Rank of 70 means that the child did as well as, or better than, 70% of children on whom the test was standardised (and less well than 30%).

How accurate are achievement test scores ? 
Unfortunately, there is error associated with all test scores. A child's test score is an estimate of his or her true score. If a child achieves a Standard Score of 115, it indicates that the child's true score is probably in a range or band or scores around 115. For example, we might say that there is a 95% chance that the child's 'true' score falls in the range 110 to 120. This means that your child's score on a test such as a Drumcondra Test is an estimate of his/her 'true' achievement rather than a precise measure of achievement.

Because of this error margin, if your child score drops a few percentile ranks, this should not necessarily be cause for alarm. Remember, these scores reflect how your child did at a certain time on a certain day of the year ! Perhaps the child wasn't feeling well, had other things on his mind, or just panicked on the day of the test. The scores given by the tests should be used as a guideline only.

© 2017 St. Michael's National School

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