Child Safeguarding Statement

St. Oliver Plunkett B.N.S is a boysprimary school providing primary education to pupils from Second to Sixth Class.
In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of St. Oliver Plunkett B.N.S has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

1 The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement

2 The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Mrs. White

3 The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP is Ms. Maher

4 The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities In its policies, procedures, practices and activities, the school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

The school will:
• recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
• fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
• fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
• adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;
• develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and
• fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.
5 The following procedures/measures are in place:

• In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website.

• In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website.

• In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school-

¬ Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
¬ Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
¬ Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
¬ Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
¬ The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training

• In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015.

• In this school the Board has appointed the abovenamed DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the s child safeguarding statement.

• All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015.

• In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures.

• The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school.

Note: The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management shallalso include in this section such other procedures/measures that are of relevance to the school in question.

6 This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association (if any) and the patron. It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.

7 This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers.

Assembly Policy

Weekly Assembly
• Weekly assemblies are held every Monday morning at 9:20am in Mr. Keena’s room. All children will assemble at 9:20am with their class teacher.
• Topics and dates (which may change) for each assembly are decided in advance.
• Assembly is used as an opportunity to acknowledge student achievements.
• Students involved in school committees can report to all school members during assembly.
• All staff members are welcome to make suggestions regarding the content of assemblies.

Monthly Assembly
• Monthly assemblies are held on the last Friday evening at 2:30pm in Mr. Keena’s room. All children will assemble at 2:30pm with their class teacher.
• Assembly is used as an opportunity to acknowledge student achievements as well as curricular areas covered in the previous month. All classes are given time to present some of their work.
• Awarding of certificates for ‘Gaelgeoir of the month’, ‘Hard working Student of the month’, ‘Best presentation of the month’ and ‘Most helpful student of the month’ will take place at monthly assemblies.

Communication with Parents:

Formal Parent / Teacher Meetings are held during the First Term. Teachers are willing to meet parents at other times but an appointment must be made with the school secretary to arrange such. The school secretary works on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.20am to 2.20pm.Please make an appointment so as not to disrupt class time. Reports are sent home at end of each school year. The Class Teacher keeps a progress record on each child. Parents are kept informed of school news by frequent newsletters and through each class blog on our website. The homework journal is the best means to communicate and all parents are requested to sign the journal each night and keep an eye for important messages. Text messages and emails are also used to communicate with parents. A school calendar outlining school closures is available on the website and a copy is sent home at the beginning of the school year. Pupils are not allowed out of school at any time during the school day unless they have written permission from a parent/guardian or if a parent contacts the school. All children leaving school early must be signed out by a parent/guardian.

Parents are requested to inform the school at the start of the year of any person they designate to collect their child during the school year. Names and contact details must be furnished. No unauthorised persons are allowed collect pupils.

Healthy Eating Policy

Background
A healthy school is one that is successful in helping pupils to do their best and build on their achievements. It is committed to ongoing improvement and development. It promotes physical and emotional health by providing accessible and relevant information and equipping pupils with the skills and attitudes to make informed decisions about their health. A healthy school understands the importance of investing in health to assist in the process of raising levels of pupil achievement and improving standards. It also recognises the need to provide both a physical and social environment that is conducive to learning.

Rationale
At St. Oliver Plunkett B.N.S. we recognise the importance of a healthy lifestyle and diet. A healthy lifestyle is essential for maintaining and protecting children’s health, for ensuring they perform to their full potential during the school day (both academically and physically) and for their growth and development. Our aim is to help them establish a healthy lifestyle that will continue into adulthood.

Benefits of a healthy lifestyle
• Helps young people develop, grow and do well in school.
• Prevents childhood and adolescent health problems such as obesity, eating disorders, tooth decay and healthy anemia.
• May help prevent health problems later in life.
• Establishing eating habits at a young age is critical because changing poor eating patterns in adulthood can be difficult.
• Sitting down to lunch/meals with other children is an important part of a child’s social education. Break time allows children to chat and talk while eating.

Balanced diet
To ensure a balanced diet, foods from each of the following food groups should be included in meals:
• Bread, cereal and potatoes
• Fruit and vegetables
• Milk and dairy foods
• Meat, fish and alternatives

A healthy diet is one that allows for a balance of different foods that sustain the wellbeing of the individual. Different lifestyles result in different dietary needs and individuals need to be aware of these and the effects of different foods on their bodies. A healthy balanced diet may vary between individuals from different cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds.
Only balanced lunches/snacks are to be eaten during the day. The following foods may be included in lunches/snacks: Sandwiches, fruit and vegetables, yogurt and cheese, crackers and plain biscuits. To drink we allow water, fruit juices and milk drinks.
Fizzy drinks, popcorn, crisps, sweets, chocolate or chocolate biscuits are not allowed in school. Foods with artificial additives or high sugar content are not encouraged. Chewing gum and energy drinks are strictly forbidden.

Pupils are encouraged to drink water during the day. Drinking water is available in the yard. It is a good idea for pupils to have a plastic bottle, which they can refill. Pupils are required to take home their water bottles each day to be washed and refilled.
Treats are an important part of a healthy eating plan. Party days happen from time to time, celebrating end of term or an occasion in the class/school. Sweets can be given occasionally by teachers as part of a range of little treats and rewards/prizes in the classroom.

Responsibilities of Pupils
• Recognise that most of us need to eat more fruit, vegetables, cereals, bread and less sugar, salt and fat.
• Eat our snacks/lunch in the classroom or canteen. Take our time and waste no food.
• Bring all lunch waste home in lunchbox.
• Participate in the Recycling Programme – ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.’

Responsibilities of Teachers
• Through the curriculum increase pupil’s knowledge, understanding and attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle. This is explicitly addressed within the Social Personal and Health Education Programme, the Physical Education Programme and the Science Programme.
• Work together to help each other take responsibility for our own health and to adopt health-enhancing attitude and behaviours.

Responsibilities of Parents
• Support the school’s healthy lifestyle policy by providing balanced lunches/ snacks for their children.
• Ensure your children have fruit juices, bottled water or milk with their lunch.
• Reduce the amount of waste created by your child’s lunch/snacks by using a lunchbox.
• Ask your children to participate in the Recycling Programme promoted by the school ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.’
• Encourage your children to participate in out of school activities.
• Our key message to the pupils is, enjoy your food. Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups each day. Don’t skip meals.

Current practice regarding nutrition, physical activity, dental and mental health education
• Pupil’s education on nutrition, physical activity, dental and mental health education is provided in the broader context of a Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) Programme. The programme is school-based, developmental and delivered in the context of a supportive whole school environment.
• The school will avail of the use of an outside visitor/speaker to enhance the work done in class. This will be considered in the context of a full SPHE programme and will be undertaken in the presence of a teacher.

Healthy School Guidelines:
• Through these guidelines, St. Oliver Plunkett B.N.S aims to help all those in our whole school community (children, parents and staff) to develop a healthy, positive and responsible attitude to nutritional, physical, dental and mental health.
• Parents and professionals will be encouraged to be good role models for healthy eating.
• Food is celebrated and seen as an important part of culture and tradition.

Nutrition
• Everyone working with the children throughout the school year will have opportunities for relevant training and development.
• Training will include basic food hygiene, knowledge of healthy eating and any other relevant issues.
• A range of teaching methods and resources will be used to promote healthy eating e.g. activities using media such as art, music and drama and expertise sought from external agencies.
• Snack times/mealtimes will be an opportunity for positive social interaction and promoting social skills.
• For a lunchbox to be nutritious it has to contain food from the first four shelves of the food pyramid.
• Some of the healthy snacks that we encourage for small break include fruit, yogurt, crackers, cheese, raisins….
• All classes will receive a sufficient amount of lessons each term on nutrition.
• Enough time will be given to pupils to eat their lunch. Teachers and older children will help younger children with their lunch.
• Teachers will discuss nutrition with 5th and 6th class, who will be peer educators to the younger pupils.
• Teachers will provide positive modeling and supportive attitudes to encourage healthy eating.

Dental Health
• Dental health and disease prevention is important so children are encouraged to drink milk and water during the school day.
• The school is a ‘sweet-free’ zone.
• The staff in our school has the knowledge to deal with dental trauma.
• This school acknowledges the importance of brushing twice daily.
• Our school has a ‘no fizzy drinks’ policy.

Physical

• The school will review the healthy eating guidelines every 12 months.
• Every child will be enabled to achieve a minimum of 30 minutes dedicated physical activity each day. Active play equipment will be provided at break times for children’s use.
• This school will provide two hours of physical education per week to every child delivered by appropriately qualified staff. The qualifications of coaches and delivering sport and physical activity programmes will be checked prior to lessons.
• This school will provide secure storage for bicycles for those children cycling to school.
• This school provides opportunities for physical activity that are inclusive and that are appropriate to age, gender and ability. Extra curricular activities provide a wide variety of activities both competitive and non-competitive, team based and individual based.
• This school will provide physical and social environments that encourage and enable physical activity in a safe setting: Adult supervision, teaching in safe methods of physical activity training, safe facilities and the appropriate use of protective equipment are all components of a safe environment for physical activity.
• This school promotes sport and physical activity by providing information on sports clubs and physical activity opportunities within the community via a newsletter.

Homework

Homework is an important part of the overall school plan.  Homework is given to reinforce and consolidate work carried out in class.  Children are encouraged to do their homework in a room free from distraction.

A time guide is set out as follows:
2nd class: 15-20 minutes.
3rd class: 20-30 minutes.
4th class: 30-40 minutes.
5th class: 30-45 minutes.
6th class: 45-60 minutes.

Parents are advised to check homework daily and sign the school journal once all homework is completed.
The school offers a homework club Monday to Thursday.  Any queries regarding this can be made to Mrs. Kelly.

Lunch Procedures and Code of Behaviour

  • Pupils must play in designated supervised areas.
  • Pupils must not re-enter the school building during break times without permission from the supervising teacher.
  • Children must enter and leave classrooms in an orderly manner. Once bell is rung, each child must return to the class line.
  • The use of bad language is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • Bullying, both physical and verbal, and threatening behaviour are totally forbidden.
  • During inclement weather, children stay in classrooms for breaks. They must observe any directions given by teachers and safety procedures must be followed at all times.
  • Any kind of behaviour, which endangers the children themselves or others, is forbidden.
  • When misbehaviour occurs, the following steps are used:
  • Step 1: A verbal warning is given to the child.
  • Step 2: 10 minutes time off the yard.
  • Step 3: A lunchtime detention with a slip sent home to be signed by parents/guardians.
  • Step 4: A week of lunchtime detention and parents/guardians called in.
  • Step 5: Meeting with parents/guardians and possible suspension.
  • Teachers shall keep a written report of all instances of serious
    misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the
    behaviour of disruptive pupils.
  • A gross breach of school rules may result in immediate suspension.

The school Principal and staff will endeavour to work with all children and attempt to resolve any difficult and challenging behaviours. However, if interventions and strategies that have been used are not proving successful the school will examine the option of suspension and possible expulsion. Parental consultation and communication is deemed extremely important in dealing with such issues.

Mobile Phones:

Children are not allowed bring mobile phones to school.. The only exception to this is in an emergency or with the approval of the class teacher. Pupils who ignore this policy and use a mobile phone on school premises without permission will be in  breach of the school discipline policy. The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones.

School starts at 9:20 each morning and finishes at 3 p.m.
Pupils are not permitted on school grounds before 9:00 in the morning.

St Oliver Plunkett Boys National School
Aghanargit, Moate, Co. Westmeath

T: (090) 648 1862

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