St Paul’s Secondary School Mission Statement
St. Paul’s Secondary School provides an inclusive climate of learning based on the key value of respect within a nurturing and stimulating educational setting.
We are a secondary school of the community for the community. Each student is expected to strive to fulfil his or her potential. Each person is encouraged to develop personally, academically, spiritually, socially and culturally.
“When we aspire, believe and achieve, together we can succeed.”
St Paul’s Secondary School Ethos
St. Paul’s Secondary School is a Catholic voluntary co-educational secondary school under the Trusteeship of the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. St Paul’s is a welcoming and inclusive school. It is the secondary school of the community, for the community. It is the natural extension of the family with brothers and sisters, neighbours and relations learning, sharing and growing together.
The school strives to maintain and promote an atmosphere of Christian care, concern and respect where our students grow into well-adjusted men and women. The school has a strong Christian tradition, in which the Sisters of Mercy have had, and continue to have, an important role.
Inbuilt structures and procedures in the daily life of the school offer the students opportunities to develop personal initiative and responsibility, together with a questioning mind, which will help them assess, with a critical eye, the wide and varied values of the world they live in today. In school they also learn the importance of personal commitment, punctuality, regular attendance, planning for the future and working as a team.
At St Paul’s the holistic development of each student is supported, promoted, encouraged and celebrated. On completion of their education students will be prepared for life, further education, work and the varied and exciting challenges of adult life.
In preparation for life, students at St Paul’s will be taught essential habits, skills and values. Christian values and the key principles of “respect” and “doing one’s best” will remain central to what we are and all we do.
Through its curriculum, teachers and timetable, the school will provide a comprehensive education for its students. Subjects will be offered at all levels and programmes and specific courses of study will be tailored to the students’ needs. A wide range of additional academic opportunities will be afforded to students. Support, advice and guidance on further education and careers will be extensive.
Through its unique atmosphere, the school will help students develop into well-adjusted men and women. Through its pastoral care and guidance, students and their families will be supported through difficult times. The provision of physical education, sports and the promotion of healthy living will remain paramount. Through extra-curricular, subject and programme related activities students will have many opportunities to showcase their talents, perform or experience the arts. The School Charter sets out the conditions and the expectations for all the school partners to achieve St Paul’s Mission Statement through the school ethos.
Introductory Statement and Rationale
This policy will be formulated in consultation with the principal, staff and parents of the St. Paul’s Secondary School and is awaiting approval by the Board of Management.
The Home School Community Liaison Scheme is an integral part of the DEIS initiative in St. Paul’s Secondary School and is a targeted intervention aimed at addressing educational disadvantage within the school.
Vision, Aims & Objectives
All of the partners in St. Paul’s Secondary School community including parents, teachers, pupils and management will work together – underpinned by our Catholic/Christian values and beliefs – to ensure that we create the optimum learning/teaching atmosphere in our school. Working together, we will support all of our pupils in developing their full potential and use their diverse talents. We will create an inclusive atmosphere where all of the partners in the school community will treat each other with respect and dignity as partners and as equals.
- To maximise active participation of the students in the learning process, in particular those who may be experiencing some level of educational/socio-economic disadvantage.
- To promote active co-operation between home, school and relevant community agencies in promoting the educational interests of the students.
- To raise awareness in parents of their own capacities to enhance their son’s/daughter’s education process and to assist them in developing relevant skills.
- To enhance the children’s uptake from education, their retention in the educational system, their continuation to post-compulsory education and third level education and their life long attitudes to learning.
- To disseminate the positive outcomes of the project throughout the school system generally.
- This policy will inform school management and staff in the development of partnership and collaborative work towards the alleviation of educational disadvantage.
- This policy will enable the H.S.C.L. co-ordinator to consult, advise and collaborate with the principal and staff to plan and implement strategies to address the problems of educational disadvantage.
- Increase the participation of the students in the learning process, particularly those at risk of ESL.
- Promote active co-operation between home, school and relevant community agencies.
- Ease the transition for children/parents from primary to secondary education.
- Organise classes/courses to meet the needs of parents, firstly having identified these needs with parents.
- Visit other schools/people and view good practice.
- Spend at least 33% of available time on home visitation/contact.
- Help to alleviate causes for absenteeism/disruption in a proactive.
- That the HSCL Scheme is targeted and focused on the most marginalized families.
- That parent development leads to the setting up of a Local Committee (LC) which deals with issues in the community that impinge directly or indirectly on learning.
- That pupils become involved with and participate in SCP led initiatives.
- That there is on-going development in teacher understanding of educational disadvantage and of partnership;
- That there is development in new methods and practices in our school so that pupils can reach their potential.
- That the positive outcomes of the scheme would be disseminated throughout the school system generally.
- It is the practice of St. Paul’s Secondary School to provide equal opportunity of access to all parents, within the guidelines laid down by the H.S.C.L. scheme.
- That HSCL co-ordinator will produce yearly, termly and weekly plans and incorporate targets and measures in the DEIS plan to meet key targets.
Methodologies, Assessment & Record-keeping
Approaches and Methodologies
- Staff development
- Parental development
- Parental involvement in school
- Parental support
- Parent to parent
- Delegation to parents
- Home visitation
- Working partnership
- Out of school provision
- Transfer from Primary
- Liaising with Community Agencies
- Teacher support
- Continuous professional development
Assessment and Record-keeping
- S.C.L. Co-ordinator records the participation of parents in activities.
- Feedback from & Evaluation by parents.
- Improved attendance.
- Greater parental involvement in school
- Higher expectations
- Self-help leading to inter-dependence
Planning and Health & Safety
It will be the policy of St. Paul’s Secondary School that the H.S.C.L. co-ordinator will have yearly, termly and weekly plans which will include all objectives of the scheme as laid by the DES under the DEIS initiative. Time will be set aside each week for planning, administration and evaluation.
Health and Safety
The health and safety guidelines for all H.S.C.L. activities are those of St. Paul’s Secondary School as a whole. In addition to those the following guidelines will be practised:
- A fully charged mobile phone is to be taken on all visits.
- The mobile phone is to be clearly visible on all home visits.
- A special notebook is to be left in the secretary’s office of the school in which the HSCL co-ordinator will document all out of school journeys for that or the forthcoming day.
- The HSCL co-ordinator will return or make contact with the school before going home at the end of each day.
Monitoring, Implementation and Review
Monitoring of Success Criteria
Success will be evident as per the targets set in the DEIS plan and the following
- Success indicators will be teacher/parent/community feedback.
- Greater involvement of marginalized parents in the education of their children.
- Better attendance.
- Improved communication between home and school.
- A more positive attitude towards school from families experiencing educational/socio-economic disadvantage.
Implementation & Review
- This policy will be supported, developed and implemented under the aegis of the H.S.C.L. in consultation with the principal and teaching staff.
It will be implemented on an ongoing basis.
It will be necessary to review this policy regularly to ensure optimum delivery of the scheme to those targeted.
The Principal, HSCL and interested school partners will be involved in the review of this policy.