Pastoral Care in St Michael’s Primary School is a priority. It is acknowledged as playing a crucial role in the development of the Catholic ethos of the school. This distinct ethos is based on the Christian values with emphasis on the intellectual, moral, emotional and spiritual development of each pupil.
The Pastoral Care policy supports the school in promoting a caring, supportive environment in which staff and pupils can work in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
In St Michael’s Primary School we recognise that central to the success of this is the involvement of parents, pupils, Board of Governors, Ancillary Staff and other outside agencies within the community. We strive to work in partnership with them to achieve our aims.
• To ensure that each pupil feels valued, special and unique and a member of the school community.
• To instil a sense of personal worth and dignity through intellectual, moral and spiritual development.
• To empower pupils in building and monitoring good relationships with pupils, teachers and others.
• To assist individuals to develop their lifestyles, appreciate life and respect the world in which they live.
• To encourage a sense of personal accountability for their own learning and actions through setting targets and self appraisal.
• To help pupils realise they can make a positive contribution to the world they live in and they have a duty towards good citizenship.
To ensure a structured approach to the caring for all pupils we have developed the following structure
Head of Pastoral Care
Whilst the class teacher is identified as the key person in impacting on the care of the pupils in his/her class, it is important that they work in co-operation with the Pastoral Care Co-ordinator who will provide support and leadership in the pastoral domain.
In the event of additional support being required the Pastoral Care Co-ordinator and Principal are available to support individual pupils.
Whilst all policies and procedures within the school take cognisance of the pastoral care of pupils and staff some specifically support it in very specific areas.
Cross-referencing the following policies is essential in delivering the pastoral care policy.
These policies include
• Health and Safety
• Behaviour Management
• Drugs/Misuse of Substances
• Child Protection
• Acceptable use of the Internet
• Use of reasonable force
• Special Educational Needs
St Michael’s Primary School supports the fundamental principle that every pupil is entitled to be educated. In ensuring this we ensure that pupil’s individual needs are identified and supported to ensure they continue to feel part of the school community.
LIAISON WITH PARENTS
We see ourselves as partners with parents in the education of pupils. Mutual support and co-operation is an essential element in achieving our objectives. On-going activities to ensure communication and parental involvement include:
• Regular parent/teacher meetings
• Website and text service
• Workshops/ information evenings
• P1 Induction Day
• Assemblies e.g St Patrick’s Day
• Annual Progress Reports
• Sporting events
• Fundraising activities(Friends of St Michael’s)
• Extra-curricular activities
• Extended Schools
STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
Pastoral care remains a permanent feature of our School Development Plan and subsequently staff development and training are considered essential to support this. Our on-going development programme helps teachers identify the attitudes, values, skills and knowledge which will enable them to carry out their pastoral roles.
On-going training in interpersonal skills, counselling skills and teaching methods which engage pupils actively in their learning. Training programmes are organised through:
• On-site courses
• Courses organised by Education Authority
• Award-bearing and non-award bearing courses provided by other bodies
To ensure the implementation of the policy the Principal ensures that adequate resources are made available and that time will be made available to develop the programme throughout the school.
LIAISON WITH EXTERNAL AGENCIES
We are committed to developing good working relationships with relevant external support agencies to enhance, protect and support individual pupils’ and teachers’ social and emotional welfare.
DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS OF PUPILS
Cognisance is taken of the needs of pupils as they develop and change during their time at school.
A taught Personal, Social and Health Education programme is delivered to all classes. It aims to empower young people with the knowledge, values/attitude and skills required to make good choices in their lives. Active learning strategies such as Circle Time are employed to ensure the delivery of the programme.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
On-going monitoring is an integral part of our policy. Checklists are drawn up and procedures are discussed at regular staff meetings to ensure that the policy is implemented as planned. Support is given to those teachers who require assistance in carrying out any aspect of their pastoral role.
Evaluation procedures are in place to discover ways of improving the quality of provision in the school for the benefit of all pupils and teachers.
All aspects of the policy are evaluated on an on-going basis with parents’, pupils’ and staff views being requested through questionnaires, informal interviews and focus groups. Whilst the Head of Pastoral Care has overall responsibility for evaluation, self-evaluation is a feature of every teacher’s role.
This feedback forms the basis of our staff development programme for the year.
Updated March 2016