Scoil Réalt na Mara Parents Handbook 2015/2016

Introduction

On behalf of the Board of Management and staff of Scoil Réalt na Mara I would like to present this Parents handbook which has been prepared with the assistance of the Parents Association. I would especially like to take this opportunity to welcome all new parents/guardians and children to the school. The purpose of this booklet is to give parents some information about Scoil Réalt na Mara and to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. We hope you find this booklet informative and of value to you.

Seán Ó Seachnasaigh

Príomhóide

About the School
The school was built in 1986 and an extension was later added in 2004. It now comprises of five classrooms, a hall, staff-room, kitchen, office, learning support room, medical room and library.

Vision and Mission Statement
Scoil Réalt na Mara aims to promote through education, the balanced growth of each of its pupils. The school sees education as providing grounding in the basics of literacy and numeracy, as well as nurturing the moral, physical, emotional, spiritual, aesthetic and creative faculties of the child.

Scoil Réalt na Mara is a Catholic school under the patronage of the Bishop of Kerry. Pupils of all religions and nationalities are equally welcome.

Contact Details
School Name: Scoil Réalt na Mara Scoil Réalt na Mara
Address:         An Chromán, Cill Orglan, Cromane, KIllorglin, Co. Chiarraí. Co. Kerry
Tel:                 066 97 69331 066 97 69331
Fax:                066 97 69521 066 97 69521
Email:             realtcromane11@gmail.com
Website:         www.cromanens.com

Contacting the School
Communication and the involvement of parents/guardians with the school are welcomed. Effective communication benefits all concerned. School-work is a partnership between the school and parents and participation of both is for the good of the child’s education.

Parents are welcome to contact class teachers or the principal at any time. In order to avoid disruption to class, it is preferable to make an appointment in advance to meet the teacher at a mutually convenient time.

When contacting the school by phone please limit calls, where possible, to the following times:

Monday & Tuesdays: 9.00am-2pm.

Other mornings: 11am – 11.10am
12.30pm-1pm
3pm-3.15pm

Your cooperation is very much appreciated.

Each class has a Parents’ representative on the Parents Association who can also liaise on parents/guardians’ behalf. A list of Class Representatives can be found on the Parents notice board in the front hallway of the school.

Parent-teacher meetings are normally held in October providing you with an opportunity to discuss your child’s work. Appointment times are allocated to each parent/guardian by your child’s class teacher.

The School Contacting You
To enable us contact parents/guardians, it is imperative that correct telephone numbers are submitted to us. Please only give numbers where you are contactable and please ensure we have your up-to-date correct number.

The school regularly sends notes home with children and therefore it is advisable for those with very young children, that you check your child’s bag for these. The school also occasionally contacts parents by web text, in particular for reminders on days when school closes earlier than normal. Replies to these texts are not necessary!

The school website has been constructed (www.cromanens.com) and it is hoped this will continue to develop. Notices will also be posted here. There is also a notice board on display inside the main door of the school.

Please note that photos of pupils are taken at most school events and subsequently posted on the school website – if you do not wish your child’s picture to be posted on the website please inform the school Principal.

School Hours
All classes begin at 9.30am sharp. Please ensure your child is in school by 9.20am. Sos is from 11am to 11.10am and lunch is from 12.45 to 1.15pm. Junior and Senior infants’ classes finish at 2pm. All other classes finish at 3pm. Parents and guardians are asked to please ensure your child is collected promptly.

Absenteeism
Regular attendance is essential for progress in learning. However we understand that a child’s absence is sometimes unavoidable. In the event of sickness it is expected that a child will remain at home until well enough to return. When a child returns to school after any absence, please submit a short note to the school outlining the reasons for such absence. This is to conform to guidelines as set out by the National Education Welfare Board.

Where a child is absent from school for more than twenty days, the school is obliged to report this to the NEWB.

School Calendar
Mid-term breaks are October and February with a break also at Christmas and Easter. A letter outlining the year, with all scheduled breaks, is sent out at the beginning of the school year and is also on the school notice board and website.

Teaching Staff
The Principal: Seán Ó Seachnasaigh
Special Education Needs Team: Seán Ó Seachnasaigh and Susan Murphy

Ms. Lesley Ann Colgan (Junior Infants and Senior Infants)

Ms Maura Joy (First Class )

Teacher to be appointed  (Second Class and Some Third Class)

Ms. Lisa Falvey & Ms Elaine Caulfield (Some Third class & Fourth Class)

Mr. Kevin Corkery (Fifth Class and Sixth Class)

Special Needs Assistants: Mrs. Geraldine O Riordan, Mrs Breda Griffin and Mrs Juliet Russell.

Secretary: Angela Teahan (Monday & Tuesday mornings 9am – 2pm)

DEIS

Scoil Réalt na Mara is a D.E.I.S. school (Delivering Equality of Education in Schools). This is a scheme devised by the Department of Education to target extra resources (funding and personnel) at selected schools.
School Meals Scheme
In September 2013 Scoil Réalt na Mara commenced participation in the School Meals Scheme funded by the Department of Social Protection. This sees each child attending Scoil Réalt na Mara receiving a pre-ordered healthy lunch each school-day free of charge.

Collection of Children From School
Prompt collection from the school gate is required at 2pm for junior and senior infants, and 3pm for all other classes.
In the event that you need to take your child out of school earlier, it is advisable to send in a note with your child where possible in the morning. Alternatively a phone call to the school is appreciated at the times indicated above. Under no circumstances are children allowed to leave the school grounds without a teacher’s permission.

Parking
In the interest of safety please note that the area to the extreme left is to be kept vacant to allow the school bus to turn and park safely. Parents are asked to escort their children from car to gate and vice versa for safety reasons. Parents please be constantly vigilant for pedestrians and cyclists.

School Bus
The school bus service is run by Bus Éireann. Further information can be obtained by contacting the school transport section of Bus Éireann at 066 71 23566. In the interest of safety children must remain seated at all times and must wear the seat belts provided. Children living more than two miles from the school may be eligible for a reduced rate.

School Uniform
Parents cooperation in ensuring children wear the School Uniform would be greatly appreciated. It is as follows:
GIRLS
• Grey skirt, pinafore or trousers.
• Maroon jumper or cardigan with crest.
• White shirt/blouse or polo shirt.
• Grey tights or white socks.
• Dark coloured shoes.
BOYS
• Grey trousers.
• Maroon jumper with crest.
• White shirt or polo shirt.
• Dark coloured shoes.

The maroon jumper with the Scoil Réalt na Mara crest can be purchased at Place Of Clothing in Killorglin. The remaining items are readily available in Dunnes, Marks and Spencers, Tesco, Heatons or any of the other chain stores.
Parents please ensure all items of your child’s uniform are named clearly and permanently.

General Behaviour
A pupil’s enrolment implies an agreement on the part of parents and pupils that school regulations are observed. Rules are put in place to promote a co-operative and respectful atmosphere based on self-discipline and respect for others. Students are expected to show courtesy, consideration and good manners in their dealings with staff, each other and any visitors to the school. It is important that parents and children understand exactly what is and is not acceptable within school hours and while travelling on the school bus. Reinforcement of school rules at home is expected, and bad language is not tolerated under any circumstances.

School Rules
Safety: For their own safety, and that of others, children must:
• Always walk while in the school building
• Remain seated in class and while eating lunch
• Show respect for each other, teachers and other staff
• Never leave the school grounds without the permission of a teacher or the Principal
• Refrain from walking on the school wall
• Tell a teacher if they see anybody behaving in an unsafe way, e.g. fighting or bullying

Caring for myself: Children need to care for themselves in the following ways:
• By respecting themselves and their property, always keeping their school bag, books, and copies in good order.
• Always ensuring they are in school by 9.20am
• Respecting their school by dressing appropriately and taking pride in their appearance
• Always bring a sensible, nutritional lunch to school. Crisps, fizzy drinks, sweets and chewing gum are not permitted
• Aim to do their personal best in school by listening carefully, working hard and completing their homework as well as possible.

Caring for others: Students must at all times respect the safety and well-being of others and are required to behave in a socially acceptable manner. Aggressive and boisterous behaviour is not tolerated.
It is important to be kind and respectful to teachers and fellow pupils by:
• Being mannerly and polite, taking turns and remaining silent and orderly in the class line
• Behaving well in class so that all children are able to learn
• Working together to keep the school clean by bringing home unfinished lunch items, and composting and recycling where possible
• Show respect for the property of fellow pupils, the school building and school grounds.
• Be truthful and honest at all times

Bullying: Scoil Réalt na Mara is a ‘bully-free’ zone.
It is important that students and parents/guardians are aware that bullying in any form is unacceptable. Children must observe the following:
• I will never bully others. I will never allow others to bully me or any other child and if it happens I will tell my parents and my teacher. Bullying is always unacceptable.

Policy on Bullying:
Bullying can cause misery for many young people. The school has a comprehensive anti-bullying policy, which can viewed on request from the Principal and which needs the support of all pupils, teachers and parents/guardians. We ask you for your help in making the school a happy and supportive place for the whole school body. All cases will be dealt with in an understanding and considerate manner where the emphasis will be on corrective rather than punitive action.
Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against others. Possible indications that a child is being bullied include:
• Anxiety about travelling to or from school
• Unwillingness to go to school
• Deterioration of educational performance
• Pattern of physical illnesses
• Unexplained changes in either mood/behaviour.
• Visible signs of anxiety/stress
• Possessions missing
• Increased requests for money
• Unexplained bruising
• Reluctance and/or refusal to say what is troubling him/her.
If you have any concerns please contact your child’s teacher or the Principal immediately.

Format for Complaints/Grievances
If a parent/guardian has a complaint or concern regarding their child the first step is to arrange a meeting with the appropriate teacher. If follow up is required an appointment to meet with the principal to further discuss the issue is welcomed. If the issue remains unresolved parents/guardians can seek further recourse to the Board of Management.

Health & Safety
Please do not send your child to school if he/she is not well. Should your child become unwell during the school day, staff will inform you on the contact number you have provided. Parents/guardians are requested to inform the school of infectious diseases, i.e. measles, chickenpox, mumps, impetigo etc to allow other parents/guardians to be informed.

Parents are requested to inform the school if their child is under medical supervision or taking regular medication. Also please ensure the school is notified of the child’s family doctor.

Except in exceptional circumstances, staff will not administer medicines.

We are regularly informed of outbreaks of head lice by parents. All parents are requested to be vigilant in looking out for head lice and to treat accordingly.

It is school policy to have a teacher on yard duty during breaks to ensure children are supervised at all times.

Children are taught the rules of the road in school and parents are asked to reinforce these rules to ensure children are safe.

Accident & Emergency Policy
Should a child require medical attention it is policy to first contact the parents. In the event of parents not being immediately contactable the family Doctor will be contacted as outlined in the registration form.

Fire drills are carried out regularly to teach children what to do in the event of the need to evacuate the building.

Healthy Eating Policy
The school strongly encourages a healthy diet for all. Crisps, fizzy drinks, sticky toffees and chewing gum are not allowed. Gum is unhygienic and is not permitted in the school. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, nuts, seeds, yoghurt and sandwiches are all acceptable. Drinks such as milk and water are encouraged. Except in exceptional circumstances, children are not permitted in the school kitchen. Healthy eating is part of the S.P.H.E. (Social, Personal and Health Education) programme and is covered in the classroom.
Lost Property
A Lost Property Box is kept in the school hall; please enquire with your child’s teacher. Parents are strongly advised to label all belongings clearly and permanently – uniform, lunchboxes, coats etc. Any belongings not collected are brought to the St. Vincent De Paul at the end of school term.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are not allowed in school. In the event of a student needing to contact his/her parents, the office phone is available with the permission of the class teacher/principal.

Religion in the School
While Scoil Réalt na Mara is a Catholic school under the patronage of the Bishop of Kerry, children of all faiths and none are welcome. The Alive O program is taught in all classes. The Sacrament of First Holy Communion for children in Second Class is celebrated every year in May at the Star of the Sea Church here in Cromane, and Confirmation is held in Killorglin for Sixth Class pupils in Spring in St James’ Church, KIllorglin. Active parental participation in the spiritual growth of your child is encouraged.
School Tour
Children are divided into groups for the annual school tour. Each group engages in an age appropriate tour prior to the summer holidays.
School Funds
The School receives a grant from the Department of Education towards the running of the school.
Each year the school receive donations from the Cromane Family & Friends Fun Day Committee for which we are very grateful and we commend the Committee on all their hard work and input over the past number of years.
The Parents Association will also engage in fund raising throughout the year.

School Book Loan Scheme
The School operates a book loan scheme which reduces the cost to parents. Children are asked to take care of books which are loaned to them from the school. School Book bills normally issue to families in early October.
Homework Policy
It is the policy of the school to assign homework on a regular basis. Parents are strongly advised to take an active interest in their child’s homework and to sign off on their homework each night, ensuring that it is done to the best of the child’s ability.
Extra Curricular Activities
Extra-curricular activities are an integral part of school life and of each pupil’s educational development. Such activities include:

• Children participate in the Mid-Kerry School Sports each Spring under the guidance of Mr. Kevin Corkery.
• Fully supervised swimming lessons for Third and Fourth Classes are held in the Tralee Sports Complex Pool.
• Each Christmas, a concert is held in the school. This allows children an opportunity to express themselves in drama and to show their music, art and dancing to parents. Due to space restrictions this is restricted to parents and immediate family members. A raffle is normally held at this concert and a great night is always had by all.
• The Life Education Unit visits once a year and this educates children on personal hygiene, bullying, peer pressure, social acceptance etc.
• A School Sports Day is held once a year, weather permitting, on the school grounds with a wide range of fun and challenging sports related activities for the children.
• Some children are involved in local football, soccer and basketball clubs. The school participates in the mid-Kerry schools competitions and Cumann na mBunscol Gaelic Football Competitions.
• Opportunities are made available for the children to participate in Irish Music and Choral singing. Athletics, Basketball and Gaelic Football are also available at various times.

Children are encouraged to participate in the wide variety of local clubs available, Gaelic football, basketball, athletics, dance, karate, rowing, golf, swimming, music and drama etc.

Board of Management
The school is administered by a four-yearly Board of Management under the chairmanship of Ms. Kathleen Teahan. Staffing, planning and maintenance of the school are the responsibility of the Board which comprises of:
• Two Patron’s nominees
• Two parent’s representatives
• The school Principal
• The teacher’s representative
• Two community representatives

Parents Association
The Parents Association, which represents all parents of children in Scoil Réalt na Mara, has an active partnership with the teaching staff and the Board of Management. It is affiliated to the National Parents Council.

The Parents Association holds an AGM and welcome evening at the beginning of each school year which all parents are encouraged to attend. Belonging to the Parents Association is a positive way of being actively involved with the school during your child’s time here and new members are always welcome.

This handbook has been compiled by the Parent’s Association in conjunction with the teachers. We hope this information has been of use to you. However, if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us at the school.
Wishing you and your families health and happiness.
Scoil Réalt na Mara Parents Association

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