STAY SAFE ..Part of SPHE Curriculum

SPHE and the Stay Safe Program

We would like to share some information on the Social, Personal and Health Education curriculum (S.P.H.E.) and on how it is taught in our school. The S.P.H.E. curriculum is divided into three strands –  Myself, Myself and Others, Myself and the Wider World. Each strand is further subdivided into strand units, with learning objectives for each unit. Aspects of all three major strands will be taught each year and strand units will be organised so that pupils will receive a comprehensive programme in S.P.H.E. over a two-year cycle at their class level.

Five strand units will be taught each year and all class levels will explore the same strand unit over a two-month period, after which a new unit will be taught until all ten strand units have been covered over a two-year period.

 The Stay Safe programme is part of the Social, Personal and Health Education curriculum and all primary schools are required to teach it as part of the strand unit, Safety and Protection. In our school classes from First to Sixth will be taught the programme in September/ October and Infant Classes will  commence it in November.

The aim of the Stay Safe programme is to teach children personal safety skills so they can look after themselves in situations which could be upsetting or dangerous.

It deals initially with common situations which most children will experience at some stage or other, e.g. getting lost or being bullied. The programme also teaches children the safety skills necessary to protect themselves from physical or sexual abuse and emphasises the importance of telling a trusted adult about any problems they have.

Co-operation between parents and teachers is essential to the success of the programme. It is important that parents are aware of the content of the Stay Safe lessons and are able to discuss the lessons with their children.

Your child may bring home worksheets which will inform you on the topics being covered in class and how you can reinforce the messages at home. You can also familiarise yourself with the content of the Stay Safe lessons at

Please email the school,  if you require further information.


Stay Safe Policy

Stay Safe Policy


St. Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Ave., Castleknock teaches the Stay Safe Programme, a teaching package designed for use in Irish primary schools. It was researched and developed by the Child Abuse Prevention Programme. The principal aim of the programme is to prevent both physical and sexual abuse of children. 

Under Child Protection Guidelines all schools are obliged to teach the Stay Safe Programme. The Stay Safe Programme has been updated and the revised Stay Safe Programme has been implemented in our school this year (2018).

The Stay Safe Programme is taught as part of the S.P.H.E. (Social, Personal and Health Education) curriculum and it will be taught every year during the first term as part of the S.P.H.E. strand unit of Self Identityduring Year 1 and Safety and Protectionduring Year 2. Lessons from the RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education) programme and The Walk Tall Programme will also be used to cover all the strands of the S.P.H.E. curriculum.

Children from junior infants to sixth class participate in formal lessons on the Stay Safe Programme.

Parents/Guardians are encouraged to become involved by discussing each lesson with their child and helping their child to complete each worksheet based on the lessons in the programme.

It is considered good practice to inform parents in advance of commencement that the Stay Safe Programme is due to be taughtand to direct them to for any further information.

In the event that a parent withdraws their child from the Stay Safe Programme a written record of their reasons for doing so will be kept on file.

Staff have been facilitated to attend CPD training in the revised Stay Safe Programme.

This plan was ratified by the Board of Management at a meeting on:

Date: June 2018


Cyber Safety Day

Safer Internet Day takes place on Tuesday 5th February, 2019 and this year’s theme is “Together for a Better Internet”. In light of this we would like to share some findings with you from the Cybersafety talks that were delivered to our 4th, 5th and 6th classes last October by Cybersafe Ireland.

Cybersafe Ireland is an Irish children’s charity which provides guidance to children, parents and teachers on safe and responsible use of the Internet. 

We all have a role in empowering the children in our care to be responsible digital citizens and increasingly more and more children are gaming online with classmates or strangers. Very often parents and guardians report a level of aggression or gamer rage in children which can spill over into the classroom.

Additionally, many children are randomly browsing through YouTube videos or are indeed posting their own videos in which their face can be seen or they are posting and sharing personal information as well as accepting friend requests from strangers on social media apps.

If we are all to “Work Together for a Better Internet” we would like to offer you some tips suggested by Cybersafe Ireland:

  • Do your research on safety for each app or game. Install and use them yourself if you
    can, or check them out on YouTube. A great website for information on apps, their risks
    and safety settings is
  • Discuss your concerns, agree rules (e.g. for sharing info and accepting friend requests)
    and check out the privacy/safety settings and reporting mechanisms together.
  • Keep an eye on their friends’ lists, language and tone they or others use, who they’re
    talking or gaming with, and what they are sharing online. Reiterate importance of
    controlling their information.
  • Discuss how words and actions can affect others. Encourage your child to look after their
    friends and to stand up to cyberbullying by always telling you when they see it going on.
  • Agree time limits up front and technology free time. Keep devices out of bedrooms,
    especially at night. Always try to model the same behaviour yourself.
  • Check out parental control options, especially for younger children, but do not place too
    much reliance on technical solutions as older children often find ways around them.
  • Snapchat & Instagram have an age restriction of 13 years old &  Whatsapp is 16 years old

Useful Links

Advice for Parents on Apps

Advice on Social Media

Advice for Parents

E-Safety Kit for Families

Advice for Pupils

Family Agreements



Anti – Cyber Bullying

Saint Brigid’s National School aims to ensure that children are safe and feel safe from bullying, harassment and discrimination. This school is committed to teaching children the knowledge and skills to be able to use ICT effectively, safely and responsibly.


  • Cyber bullying is the use of ICT (usually a mobile phone and or the internet) to abuse another person. It can take place anywhere, it involves a far wider audience than traditional bullying and can affect the victim even when not in the presence of the bully.
  • Anybody can be targeted including pupils and school staff
  • It can include threats, intimidation, harassment, cyber-stalking, vilification, defamation, exclusion, peer rejection, impersonation, unauthorized publication of private information or images etc.
  • While bullying involves a repetition of unwelcome behaviour the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, September 2013, states:

2.1.3.      In addition, in the context of these procedures placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.


There are many types of cyber-bullying. The more common types are:

  1. Text messages – can be threatening or cause discomfort.    Also included here is‘ Bluejacking’ (the sending of anonymous text messages over short distances using bluetooth wireless technology)
  2. Picture/video-clips via mobile phone cameras – images sent to others to make the victim feel threatened or embarrassed
  3. Mobile phone calls – silent calls, abusive messages or stealing the victim‛s phone and using it to harass others, to make them believe the victim is responsible
  4. Emails – threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else‛s name
  5. Chat room bullying – menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room
  6. Instant messaging (IM) – unpleasant messages sent while children conduct real-time conversations online using MSM (Microsoft Messenger), Yahoo Chat or similar tools
  7. Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs (web logs), personal websites and online personal ‘own web space’ sites such as You Tube, Facebook,, Twitter and Myspace – although there are others.

Explanation of slang terms used when referring to cyber-bullying activity: 

  1. ‘Flaming’: Online fights using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language
  2. Harassment’: Repeatedly sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages
  3. ‘CyberStalking’: Repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm or are highly intimidating or engaging in other on-line activities that make a person afraid for his or her own safety
  4. Denigration’: ‘Dissing’ someone online. Sending or posting cruel gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships
  5. Impersonation’: Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material online that makes someone look bad, gets her/him in trouble or danger, or damages her/his reputation or friendships
  6. Outing and Trickery’: Tricking someone into revealing secret or embarrassing information which is then shared online
  7. Exclusion’: Intentionally excluding someone from an on-line group, like a ‘buddy list’

This list is not exhaustive and the terms used continue to change.


  • To ensure that pupils, staff and parents understand what cyber bullying is and how it can be combated
  • To ensure that practices and procedures are agreed to prevent incidents of cyber-bullying
  • To ensure that reported incidents of cyber-bullying are dealt with effectively and quickly.


  • All reports of cyber bullying will be investigated, recorded, stored in the Principal’s office and monitored regularly
  • Pupils and parents will be urged to report all incidents of cyber bullying to the school
  • Mobile phones and smart watches are not permitted in school.
  • Parents will be provided with information and advice on how to combat cyber bullying through talks arranged by ICT post holder, information provided the school website.
  • Staff CPD (Continuous Professional Development) will assist in learning about current technologies
  • Pupils will learn about cyber bullying through Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), assemblies, anti bullying  activities and other curriculum projects
  • Staff, pupils, parents and Board of Management (BoM) will be made aware of issues surrounding cyber bullying through the use of appropriate awareness-raising exercises
  • Procedures in our school Anti-bullying Policy shall apply
  • The police will be contacted in cases of actual or suspected illegal content
  • This policy will be reviewed annually. Pupils, parents and staff will be involved in reviewing and revising this policy and any related school procedure


If you are being bullied by phone or on the Internet:

  • Remember, bullying is never your fault. It can be stopped and it can usually be traced.
  • Don‛t ignore the bullying. Tell someone you trust, such as a teacher or parent or call an advice line.
  • Try to keep calm. If you are frightened, try to show it as little as possible. Don‛t get angry, it will only make the person bullying you more likely to continue.
  • Don‛t give out your personal details online – if you are in a chat room, do not say where you live, the school you go to, your email address etc. All these things can help someone who wants to harm you to build up a picture about you.
  • Keep and save any bullying emails, text messages or images. Then you can show them to a parent or teacher as evidence.
  • If you can, make a note of the time and date bullying messages or images were sent, and note any details about the sender
  • There is plenty of online advice on how to react to cyber bullying. For example, and have some useful tips.

 Text/video messaging

  • You can easily stop receiving text messages for a while by turning-off incoming messages for a couple of days. This might stop the person texting you by making them believe you‛ve changed your phone number
  • If the bullying persists, you can change your phone number. Ask your mobile service provider about this.
  • Don‛t reply to abusive or worrying text or video messages.
  • Your mobile service provider will have a number for you to ring or text to report phone bullying. Visit their website for details.
  • Don‛t delete messages from cyber bullies. You don‛t have to read them, but you should keep them as evidence.

Useful Websites




Child Safeguarding Statement 2018

Our Safeguarding Statement

Saint Brigid’s National School is a Primary National School, state-funded by the Department of Education and Skills. The school was established under the patronage of Archdiocese who defines the ethos of the school. We are based on Castleknock, Dublin 15. We provide primary education for children aged 4 to 12 years. In addition to the Principal and Deputy Principal we currently employ 46 teachers, 11 Special Needs Assistants, a caretaker, a secretary and a housekeeper.

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  An Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of St. Brigid’s National School has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.


The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement


The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Denis Courtney          


The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Noelle Mac Donagh and in the absence of both the most senior member of staff will assume the role.


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/guardians and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children;
  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.


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 DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the 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 this statement.


The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed here, the DES website or are  available in Reception


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


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.


This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted

by the Board of Management on _________________ [date].


Signed: _________________________               Signed: ____________________________

Chairperson of Board of Management                Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management



Date:     __________________________            Date:    __________________­­­­­­­_


Risk Assessments 








Safety in the Car Park

Please read the following letter  from Ms.Helen Spillane, Chairperson of the Board of Management.

Dear Parent/Guardians,

The safety of pupils at the school entrance and in the church car park has become a serious issue for us in St. Brigid’s. It has been discussed at recent staff meetings and at Board of Management meetings. The manner in which some adults park at both places and the speed at which they drive through the church car park is causing a serious risk to pupils coming and leaving our school. We are particularly concerned for children stepping out between parked cars onto the path of oncoming traffic – we ask parents to be vigilant for the unexpected child rushing out suddenly in the school vicinity.

We believe that, unless drivers dropping off and collecting children change their driving habits, a child could be seriously injured.

We need your support to protect all our children.  Please:

  • Drive SLOWLY and with care through the car park
  • Follow the ONE-WAY SYSTEM (arrows) in the church car park
  • Adhere to DOUBLE YELLOW-LINE and yellow box restrictions
  • Park ONLY in designated parking bays in the Church car park
  • Do not park or stop alongside the school railings at the Church car park
  • Use the set-down area for very brief stops

Furthermore, when parking in adjacent roads, please

  • Respect our neighbours’ right to access their drive-ways without inconvenience

Please, accept these suggestions as a genuine effort to guard against accidents or injury in the school vicinity.  By working together, we can all contribute to pupil safety.

Yours faithfully,

Helen Spillane

Chairman B.O.M.

Mobile Phones

We have examined the practice of  children bringing mobile phones to school and in line with our recent  child safeguarding risk assessment, we have decided NOT to allow any child to bring a mobile phone to school or on school outings.  If  on an outing there is a significant delay in the children returning , the office will contact parents by text.