Our Enrolment Policy

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1. Introduction

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of The Education Act 1998, The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2002 , The Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and The Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school.

The policy was approved by the school patron on September 15, 2020.  It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year concerned.

The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

2. Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school

St. Brigid’s National School is a Catholic co-educational primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Bishop of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin.

“Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting:

  1. the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
  2. a living relationship with God and with other people; and
  3. a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
  4. the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith, and which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference.

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of St. Brigid’s National School shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.

 

3. Mission Statement and General Objectives of the School.

The school motto in St. Brigid’s N.S. ‘Learning, Striving, Achieving Together’.

The school is a co-educational Catholic, primary school, which strives to provide a purposeful, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed. While St. Brigid’s N.S. is a school with a Catholic ethos, it also has due recognition for parents and students of all other religions or of none.

 

St. Brigid’s N.S. strives to

  • work in partnership with the Board of Management, staff, parents and school community to develop moral and Christian values
  • meet the needs of all its students and facilitate their personal and academic development
  • help students to appreciate, explore and express their individuality as well as that of others
  • support all of its students to grow and cultivate their talents and interests while helping them to mature as balanced, hard-working members of society
  • promote, both individually and collectively, the professional and personal development of teachers through staff development programmes
  • encourage the involvement of parents through home/school contacts and through their involvement in St. Brigid’s N.S. Parent Teacher Association
  • enhance the self-esteem of everyone in the school community
  • imbue in the pupils respect for people and property and to encourage in them the idea of being responsible
  • promote equity and equality in the school

 

4. Admission Statement

 

St. Brigid’s N.S. will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

 

  • the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  •  the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  •  the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or
  • the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has special educational needs

 

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’,  ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

 

St. Brigid’s N.S. is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values i.e. Catholic values and beliefs, and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not Catholic and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

 

Schools with special education class(es)

St. Brigid’s  school will establish  ASD special classes, with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills in the course of this year. The class will provide an education exclusively for students with a diagnosis of ASD as specified by the Minister and may refuse to admit to the class a student who does not have the category of needs specified.

 

Criteria for enrolment into the Special Class for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD:

  • The child must have a diagnosis of Autism/ASD with complex needs, without significant intellectual impairment made using the DSM V or ICD 10, and a recommendation that a placement in an ASD unit/ class is appropriate.
  • A recent (no more than 2 years old) psychological assessment or a report from a multi-disciplinary team should be provided. A multi-disciplinary team may consist of a Clinical Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech & Language Therapist, Social Worker and a Physiotherapist
  •  The overall IQ score/level of ability as measured in the educational assessment must fall within the Average or Mild General Learning Disability Range. Liaison with a psychologist may be deemed necessary.
  • Children must be aged between 4 – 12 years of age to qualify for enrolment. Each application will be considered by the school Principal, Special Education Coordinator and Special Education Teachers.
  • The maximum class size in each special class is six (6) pupils.

 

Oversubscription

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, the following criteria will apply in priority order:

 

  1. Brothers and sisters of children in the school or children who live within the parish. Places will be allocated by date of birth starting with the oldest and working to the youngest. Where two or more students are tied for a place a lottery will be used to determine the outcome.
  2. Children who are not resident within the parish boundaries are entitled to a place if there are remaining places. Where two or more students are tied for a place a lottery will be used to determine the outcome.

 

Categories of Special Educational Needs catered for in the school/special class

The Board of Management of St. Brigid’s N.S. provides Inclusive Education for students as determined by the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act s. (2) and s. (14)

 

S. 2 Inclusive Education

A child with special educational needs shall be educated in an inclusive environment with children who do not have such needs unless the nature and degree of those needs would be inconsistent with (a) the best interests of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under this Act, or (b) the effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated.

 

S. 14 Duty of Schools

(1) The board of management of a school shall-

(2)Ensure that section 2 is complied with as respects that school.

 

St. Brigid’s N.S. with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, has two established special classes to provide an education exclusively for students with ASD.

 

5. Admission of Students

 

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

 

a)    the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)

 

b)     a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student

 

Inclusive Education

The school provides inclusive education in line with section 2 of The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 and may refuse admission in accordance with subsections (a) or (b).

 

Upholding the Catholic ethos

St. Brigid’s is Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic religion where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the Catholic ethos of the school.

 

Designation of category of special classes

The special classes attached to St. Brigid’s provide an education exclusively for students with a diagnosis of ASD and the school may refuse admission to this class, where the student concerned does not have this specified category of special educational needs as provided for in these ASD specific classes.

 

 

6. Oversubscription

 

In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice:

 

Selection criteria here in the event of oversubscription

Available places will be allocated in sequence starting with priority category 1.

 

Priority Category 1

Children who are resident in the parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock and/or children who are siblings or step siblings of children already enrolled in St. Brigid’s N.S. The eldest child will have priority in this ranking.

 

Priority Category 2

Children of staff. The eldest child will have priority.

 

Priority Category 3

Children residing outside the parish. The eldest child will also have priority.

 

In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply

 

Priority Category 1

Places will be allocated by the date of birth of the child starting with the oldest and working to the youngest children.

 

In the event that there are two or more children tied for a place a lottery will apply with an independent party present.

 

Priority Category 2

Where places remain available after the offer of places to children living in the parish or who have a sibling in the school, places will be allocated to this category in the same manner as category 1 pupils i.e

Places will be allocated by the date of birth of the child starting with the oldest and working to the youngest children.

 

In the event that there are two or more children tied for a place a lottery will apply with an independent party present.

7. What will not be considered or taken into account

 

In accordance with section 62(7) (e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school:

 

  1. a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service,
  2. other than in relation to a student’s prior attendance at an early intervention class
  3. the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;
  4. a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;
  5. the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents
  6. a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;
  7. a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school; other than siblings of a student attending or having attended the school as per Enrolment Criteria.
  8. the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school,

 

 

8. Decisions on applications

 

All decisions on applications for admission to St Brigid’s N.S, will be based on the following:

  • Our school’s admission policy
  • The school’s annual admission notice
  • The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications

 

(Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 15  below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.)

 

Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used to make a decision on an application for a place in our school.

 

9. Notifying applicants of decisions

 

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice.

 

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned.

 

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details).

 

 

10. Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

 

In accepting an offer of admission from St. Brigid’s, you must indicate

 

(i) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and

 

(ii) whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

 

Acceptance for a place(s) in St Brigid’s must be received by the date set out in the Admission Notice and must also contain the information set out at (i) and (ii) above. Acceptances should be addressed to The Principal St. Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

 

 

11. Circumstances in which offers may not be made or may be withdrawn

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by St. Brigid’s where—

(i)    it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.

 

(ii)    an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.

 

(iii)   the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or

 

(iv)   an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above.

 

 

12. Sharing of Data with other schools

 

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students.

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

 

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received,

 

(ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or

 

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

 

The list may include any or all of the following:

 

(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;

 

(ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;

 

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;

 

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

 

 13. Waiting list in the event of oversubscription

 

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to St. Brigid’s N.S. were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

 

Placement on the waiting list of St. Brigid’s is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy.

 

Applicants whose applications are received after the closing date, outlined in the Annual Admission Notice, will be placed at the end of the waiting list in order of the date of receipt of the application.

 

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

 

14. Late Applications

 

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act.

 

Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application no later than three weeks after the date on which the school received the application.  Late applicants will be offered a place if there is a place available.  In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant will be added to the waiting list as set out in Section 13.

 

 

15. Procedures for admission of students to other years and during the school year

 

  1. When places are available, applications will be offered to children immediately.
  2. When classes are full, a waiting list is held and children are placed on that list. Fully completed application forms together with relevant documents as outlined on the application form will be accepted at any time during the school year. They will be date stamped and held until a place becomes available.
  3. When places becomes available and in the event of oversubscription, the selection criteria of the school in relation to the admission of students to classes other than the school’s intake group are as follows:

 

  1. Children of school-going age who live in the Parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock and who do not have a school place.
  2. Children of school-going age who live in the Parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock and who do not have a school place in the Dublin 15 area.
  3. Children who reside in the Parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock and who are attending one of the schools in the Dublin 15 area .
  4. All other applicants.

 

Available places will be allocated in sequence starting with priority category 1.

 

 

16. Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees

 

The board of St. Brigid’s or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

(a)            an application for admission of a student to the school, or

 

(b)           the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

 

 17.  Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parents requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school.

 

These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such students:

 

A written request should be made to the Principal of the school.  A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s) or the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.

 

18. Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the board of Management

The parent of the student may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.  

Requests to the Board of Management to review a decision to refuse admission must be made in writing no later than ten (10) calendar days of the date the school notified the parents of the refusal. The correspondence must be addressed to The Chairperson, Board of Management, St Brigid’s N.S, Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock.

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

Note:  Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Requests to the Board of Management to review a decision to refuse admission must be made in writing no later than ten (10) calendar days of the date the school notified the parents of the refusal. The correspondence must be addressed to The Chairperson, Board of Management, St Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Requests to the Board of Management to review a decision to refuse admission must be made in writing no later than ten (10) calendar days of the date the school notified the parents of the refusal. The correspondence must be addressed to The Chairperson, Board of Management, St Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock

 

19. Right of appeal

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

 

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.  

The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

 

 

[1]


[1] A child with special educational needs shall be educated in an inclusive environment with children who do not have such needs unless the nature and degree of those needs would be inconsistent with (a) the best interests of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under this Act, or (b) the effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated.

Enrolment 2019

Application to Enrol in Junior Infant Classes 2019

Parents who wish to have a child enrolled in junior infant classes in St. Brigid’s N.S. for September 2019 are asked to hand in;

1       Child’s PPS Number

2       Child’s birth certificate,

3       Two recent utility bills with current address  (Electric, Gas, Land-line phone, cable) and

4       Any relevant reports (Medical, psychological etc)

to the school enquiries office by January 25th 2019.  Places will then be allocated in accordance with the school Enrolment Policy.

If you haven’t filled in the online form yet you can do so here

Further information is available from the school office at (01) 8214040 or by reading our Enrolment Policy here 

Expression of Interest Form Information

Please complete the  online expression of interest form if you want to put your child’s name down on any of our intake lists . There are several years available. Please ensure you pick the right one! This form does not  guarantee a place nor infer any priority.

Once you complete the form you will see an acknowledgement page giving your child’s reference number. We recommend you print this page and keep it for your records.

You will be contacted by the school in the January of the year your child is due to start. Please read our policy and the criterion we apply when offering places.

If your child is already attending a primary school and wishes to transfer to our school, please contact the school secretary after reading the transfer policy. We do not offer an online application form for transfer pupils.

Continue to expression of interest  form here

Information for Parents on the Primary Online Database

Information for Parents on the New Primary Online Database (POD)

Why has the Department introduced POD?

There are already databases in place covering pre-primary, post-primary, PLC and third level education, and the lack of individualised information on primary school pupils presents a very significant data gap for monitoring the progress of pupils from primary to secondary level. Therefore the Department has developed an electronic individualised database of primary school pupils, called the Primary Online Database (POD).

The purpose of POD is to monitor the progress of children through the education system in order to ensure that everyone can meet his or her educational potential, and also to ensure that every child of compulsory school age is in receipt of an education. POD data will underpin grant payments and teacher allocations to schools, based on verified data.

Is it compulsory to include my child on POD?

All pupils must have a record on POD in order to be counted for school’s capitation payment and teacher allocation purposes.

Does the school need my consent to put my child’s details on POD?

The Department has consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to the collection of individual pupil information for the Primary Online Database. As both religion and ethnic and cultural background are considered sensitive personal data categories under Data Protection legislation, it is necessary for each individual pupil’s parent/guardian to identify their own religion and ethnic or cultural background, and to consent for this information to be transferred to the Department of Education and Skills. All other information held on POD is deemed to be non-sensitive personal data and therefore does not require written permission from parents for the information to be transferred to the Department.

Are schools/the Department of Education allowed ask for my child’s PPSN?

Schools, as the provider of a public service, are allowed to ask for a pupil’s PPSN as long as there is a valid purpose for collecting it. The Department has consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner and they have stated that PPSN can now be collected by primary schools with the purpose being it is a requirement of the Primary Online Database to validate pupil identity. PPSN is already collected for the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme and by post-primary schools.

The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, Section 262 allows for the collection of the PPSN by schools and the Department of Education and Skills, and the Department is on the Department of Social Protection’s Register of PPSN users.

Why do you need my child’s PPSN?

The PPSN is a unique identifier, so this is the best means of ensuring that there are no duplicate records in the system i.e. that two schools do not have the same child on their roll, and that every child of compulsory school age is receiving an education. It also allows the pupil’s educational history to be maintained accurately as he or she changes school.

Who will have access to my child’s details?

POD will be accessed by schools through the Esinet portal, a secure network managed and controlled by the Department. It may only be accessed through password controlled accounts. Only schools and a small number of Department staff will have access to an account. No agency or other Government Department will have access to the Primary Online Database. POD application roles have been developed which limit school staff to viewing and maintaining their own pupil records. Access within the Department to POD data is limited to the POD team, which currently consists of fewer than 15 people.

How secure is POD?

Data recorded on POD is stored securely in the Department’s database. This database is hosted on the Department’s servers which are located in the Revenue Commissioner’s data-centre. Access to the servers is protected by both Revenue and Government Networks firewalls. Staff of the Revenue Commissioners do not have access to the data in the database. Data from POD is not stored in a cloud-based system.

Schools have responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all pupil data which they hold. They may only access the data of students currently enrolled in their schools on the POD system.

Who will the data be shared with?

The Department proposes in the future to share some of the personal data stored on POD with other State bodies. These are:

 Central Statistics Office, under the Statistics Acts to assist with the compilation of national statistics.

 The National Council for Special Education, under the Education Welfare Act, in order to assist in supporting resource allocation in relation to pupils with special educational needs.

 The Child and Family Agency, under the Education Welfare Act, to ensure that each child of compulsory school age is in receipt of an education.

 To meet the Department’s business needs in regard to the allocation of resources to schools, the Department will share a limited amount of each pupil’s personal data, including a child’s PPS number with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform PPSN validation service, or directly with the Department of Social Protection Client Identity Database area, in order to validate the identity of each pupil and ensure that the correct resource allocation is granted to each school. The legal basis for this sharing of data is set out in the Social Welfare Acts.

The Department will put in place a memorandum of understanding with each of these bodies, which includes information n the purpose and legal basis for which the body requires the data, how it will be stored securely, and for how long it will be retained.

How long will information on my child be retained for?

Identifiable pupil data will be retained until the pupil’s 19th birthday, so when your child has reached his or her 19th birthday his/her records will be anonymised and their personal details – PPSN, name, address – deleted. The anonymised records will then be used for statistical and longitudinal analysis.

Why are you asking for information about my child’s religion and ethnic/cultural background?

The question about ethnic and cultural background has been developed in a process of consultation with the CSO and is based on the question that was asked in the 2011 Census of Population will be used in the 2016 Census of Population. The question give people the opportunity to identify themselves according to their ethnic and cultural background, if they choose to do so.

Information about a pupil’s religion and ethnic/cultural background will be as defined by his or her parents. These questions are optional, so you can choose to select ‘No Consent’ in reply to them, if you wish. The same applies to the question about religion, which is also optional.

Collecting this information allows the Department to gather information about the diversity of our school population. The Data Protection Commissioner has advised that the most equitable way to collect this type of sensitive information is to give all pupils an opportunity to identify their own ethnic and cultural background and consent to the information being passed to the Department, rather than targeting a particular ethnic or cultural group in the data collection. This data will be a useful aid in ensuring that education departments devise policies that help ensure that all children in the education system can reach their potential.

Pupils’ religion is requested for statistical purposes only.

What should I do if I don’t want my child’s details to be put on POD?

A minority of parents object to having their children’s details on POD. They must submit their objections in writing so that the school can have an accurate record of the number of pupils. Please note that this objection should be sent to the school.

In the case where parents or guardians object in this manner, a partial record of their child will be created on POD; that is, an unidentifiable record.

Please note that verbal objections to a pupil’s data being placed on POD will not suffice, as schools are required by the Department to maintain written records of objections.

How can I find out what information about my child is recorded on POD?

Under the Freedom of Information Act (2014) and the Data Protection Act, parents/guardians are entitled to view a copy of any information held about any child(ren) they are responsible for. If a parent/guardian requests a copy of information held on POD about a child, the Department will request:

 Confirmation of the child’s identity (copy of passport/birth certificate or other identification)

 Confirmation of the parent/guardian’s identity (copy of passport/birth certificate or other identification)

Requests for POD data should be submitted in writing to the Statistics Section, along with copies of the relevant documentation.

Where can I get more information about POD?

A Helpdesk has been set up and the POD team are there to assist you with any queries you may have about the new database. The Helpdesk can be contacted by phone, at 01 8892311, or by email at pod@education.gov.ie.

Transferring from another School

Policy on Transferring from another school to St. Brigid’s N.S.

Parents who wish to transfer a child from another primary school to St. Brigid’s N.S. during the school year must make a formal application in writing to the Board of Management for consideration. Children may transfer into Junior Infants after September 30th of any given year and into other classes at the beginning of each half-term except in the case of an emergency transfer or an unexpected change of address to the school catchment area.

The Board of Management will accept transfers into the school subject to the terms of Circular 24/02, and to the following:

  •  that the child has already been enrolled in another school or is receiving home tuition under the DES/NEWB Túsla/Child and Family Agency approved guidelines
  • that the child is transferring to an age-appropriate class and
  • that there is a space in a class at that level for the child wishing to transfer
  • that the child is leaving with the goodwill of his/her previous school.

Where the Board of Management is unable to offer a child seeking a transfer a place in the school, the child will be placed on a waiting list. The child’s position on the waiting list is determined by the following criteria:

  1. Children of school-going age who have come to live in the catchment area and who do not have a place in any school.
  2. Siblings of children currently and previously enrolled in St. Brigid’s N.S.
  3. Children who live in the catchment area and who do not have a school place in the Dublin 15 area.
  4. Children who live in the catchment area and who are attending one of the schools in the Dublin 15 area.
  5. All other applicants.

In the event of the number of children in category (1) exceeding the number of places available in a given class, when a place becomes available, the Board of Management will implement a cut-off, whereby children will be offered a place according to their date of application. The same criteria will be adopted in relation to pools (2), (3), and (4) respectively, until all places are filled. All unsuccessful applicants will remain on the waiting list, in accordance with the above criteria for places that may become available at a later date. All unsuccessful applicants have a right of appeal under Section 29 Department Of Education. Places must be accepted in writing not later than 14 days after dispatch of B.O.M. enrolment letter.

This policy was approved by the Board of Management on January 30th 2017

Curriculum

Children are natural learners and have an inbuilt curiosity and an eagerness to know more about the world around them. Our aim is to ensure that your child’s experience of school will be such that he/she will come to value learning and will develop the ability to learn independently. However, children will only learn when they are ready and when their interest is aroused. Because they come to us so young we must guard against putting pressure on them to learn what they are not yet ready for. Demanding too much can switch a child off completely but at the same time we must cultivate readiness for learning so that they can get moving as soon as possible.

In the junior infant class, specific goals are prioritised, namely those of settling in, relating to others, making friends, feeling happy and gradually getting used to the routine of school. In terms of learning, the emphasis is on getting children ready for learning by

  • Developing their oral language and expression.
  • Developing physical coordination especially of hand and fingers. We engage the children in activities to strengthen and improve their gross motor and fine motor skills.
  • Extending the children’s concentration span and getting them to listen attentively to teacher and to each other.
  • Getting each child to accept the general order which is necessary for the class to work well.
  • Co-operating with the teacher and each other and learning to work and share with each other.
  • Performing tasks by themselves and thereby helping them become independent learners.

 

Aistear: Learning through play.

Aistear is a new framework that was developed to support the implementation of the curriculum using the methodology children know best …play . Aistear is divided into 4 themes .

  1. Communicating,
  2. Wellbeing,
  3. Identity and Belonging
  4. Exploring and Thinking.

 

Different Types of Play:

Creative Play

Language Games

Pretend Play

Games with Rules

Physical Play

Playing is children’s work and through it they learn social skills and to build relationships, they learn creativity, how to read , write and count. They learn how to think and plan. How to problem solve, they learn to use language and they develop their muscles and fine motor skills through physical play .

 Readiness for Learning

Oral Language

Language acquisition is a developmental process. It begins from birth and continues throughout the primary school and beyond. Your child comes to school with considerable verbal facility. This is achieved not in any formal learning or teaching situation but in the day-to-day social context of the home, and its most important characteristic is the engagement of the child in a stimulating and challenging way. Language, therefore, is a central factor in the expansion of the child’s conceptual framework and body of knowledge.

 

Therefore, it is important that your child’s ability to talk is as advanced as possible. It is through speech that the child communicates his/her thoughts and feelings, his/her needs, desires and wonder. If he/she cannot express these in words he/she will tend to remain silent and will often withdraw from the learning activity of the class. That is why a lot of attention is given to language development in the early year’s classroom.

Developing Oral Language

Parental/Guardian involvement will help to develop a child’s oral language skills. You can talk to your child naturally and casually about things of interest that you or he/she may be doing at home. Remember that all the time he/she is absorbing the language he/she hears about him/her. It takes him/her a while to make it his/her own and use it for his/her own needs. You can help to develop your child’s oral language by:

 

  • Making time to listen when your child wants to tell you something that is important to him/her.
  • Answering his/her genuine questions with patience and in an adequate way.
  • Nurturing his/her sense of wonder and curiosity in the world around him/her.
  • Introducing him/her gently to the idea of questions and question words and the idea of How? Why? What? When? Where? etc. These demand more advanced language structures.

 Reading in the Early Year’s Classroom

The cornerstone of successful learning is the ability to read. However, learning to read is a gradual process and a lot of preparatory work must be done before a child is introduced to his/her first reader.

In junior infants, we deliberately do not rush or push children into reading. We get them ready for it over an extended period. Reading is something to be enjoyed and this is communicated to the children in the junior infant classroom. It should never start as a chore for the small child

 Parental/Guardian Involvement in Reading

You can help to foster a love of reading and an appreciation for books in your child by:

  • Having attractive colourful books in the home.
  • Looking at the pictures with him/her and talking to him/her about what they say, encouraging him/her to give descriptions and make predictions about the story.
  • Reading him/her a variety of stories from time to time. He/she will get to associate these wonderful tales with books and reading.
  • Conveying to your child that books are precious things and must be handled with care and put away safely.
  • Reciting nursery rhymes with him/her or playing taped nursery rhymes to him/her but take care not to push him/her into learning the rhymes before he/she is ready.
  • Singing the alphabet song with your child so that he/she at least has heard of the letters. If he/she knows what one looks like, all the better but don’t push your child into learning letter names and sounds.

 

Getting Ready for Writing

Making letters on paper is not easy for the small child. His/her hand and finger muscles are only gradually developing at this stage. He/she must learn to hold the pencil properly as failure to adopt the correct grip will impact upon his/her writing all the way up the school and becomes harder to correct as the child gets older.

 

Parental/Guardian Involvement in Developing Early Writing Skills:

You can help by working on your child’s hand/eye coordination through getting him/her to manipulate toys like:

  • Jigsaws, lego, threading beads
  • Plasticene and play dough to make his/her own shapes
  • A colouring book and thick crayons
  • Sheets of paper that he/she can cut up safely with a child’s scissors

In our school we use a multi sensory program called Handwriting Without Tears to teach handwriting at all levels. In Junior Infants we begin by teaching capital letter formation as the children find these easier to make correctly.   More information about this program can be found on the school website.

When your child begins to write, don’t worry if he/she begins spelling words incorrectly. As the children in junior infants learn their letters they will be encouraged to sound out and spell short words. If children have a go at spelling words this is fine – it is referred to as inventive spelling. And if your child is left-handed, do not discourage it. If that is his/her natural inclination, don’t attempt to change him/her.

 

Mathematical Learning in the Early Year’s Classroom:

In junior infants, mathematical concepts and skills are introduced to the children through focusing on the language that they use in understanding and talking about certain things in their daily experiences. For example,

  • He/she associates certain numbers with particular things familiar to him/her – two hands, five fingers, his/her house number, etc
  • Counting – one, two, three, etc
  • Colours – red, blue, green, etc
  • Prepositions (telling position) and their opposites: over/under, before/after, inside/outside
  • Matching/sorting – objects of the same colour/size/texture
  • Odd one out – difference in size, colour, shape

Understanding of these concepts comes very quickly for some children. For others it takes a long time. Be patient – you cannot force mathematical understanding on a child. However, the child gets to understand Maths best by handling and investigating and using real objects. This has been his/her natural method since he/she was a baby. At times this can be a nuisance but if it allows him to do the learning him/herself the final result is well worth it.

 

Parental/Guardian Involvement in Developing Mathematical Understanding

In the course of your ordinary daily routine in the home, in the shop, etc you should use suitable opportunities to casually introduce the Maths vocabulary referred to above. For example,

  • How many cakes are on the plate?
  • What colour is the traffic light?
  • Where is teddy?

 

Gaeilge

All children enjoy learning another language besides their own language. They have no difficulty in picking it up because it fascinates them as another code of communication. Children in junior infants enjoy learning Irish and love to show-off the new words, phrases, poems and rhymes that they learn. They are free of any hang-ups about Irish unless they become aware that the home attitude towards it is not good. So please be careful that anything you say does not give a negative attitude to your child.

We would like you to give every encouragement and help to your child in their efforts to acquire Irish. If they learn new words in school, encourage them to use them at home or to say the new poem/rhyme they have learned. Children are delighted to find out that their parents/guardians are into their new code and they may well assist you in increasing your own Irish vocabulary!

 

Other Areas of the Curriculum

In addition to the core subjects of English, Gaeilge and Maths, junior infant children will experience a wide range of subjects appropriate for their level. These include:

  • Social environmental and scientific studies
  • Social, personal and health education
  • Art
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Physical Education

Computer Education

Here at St. Brigid’s, we are very fortunate to have a fully equipped computer room, which junior infants, like other classes in the school will have an opportunity to use after the first few weeks. IBM has also supplied each Junior Infant classrrom with a young explorer Little Tikes computer station.

 Social Skills

Throughout junior infants, your child will develop his/her social skills through interacting with other children and teachers. The school yard is one area where some children may experience difficulties. While the junior infant teachers will keep a close eye to ensure that children are not left alone, it is important to ask your child whom he/she played with at school and to ensure he/she isn’t alone. Also you should encourage your child to mix rather than being dependent on one friend only.

Preparing for School

Preparing your child

Initially some children may find the experience of school quite daunting. To ensure that your child makes a smooth transition into school, it is important that he/she is as independent as possible – physically, emotionally and socially. If he/she can look after him/herself in these areas, he/she will feel secure and confident and settle in readily.

 

It would help us greatly if your child is able to:

  • Button and unbutton his/her coat and hang it up.
  • Open easily and without assistance his/her school bag, lunch box and drink container.
  • Use the toilet without help and manage his/her own pants and buttons. You should encourage personal hygiene and cleanliness so that your child knows to flush the toilet and wash his/her hands after use without having to be told.
  • Share toys and play things with others and take turns during activities.
  • Tidy up and put away his/her playthings.
  • If your child has had the experience of remaining contentedly in the home of a relative, friend or neighbour for a few hours, then separation from his/her parents/guardians when he/she starts school will not cause him/her any great anxiety.

 

The Big Day!

Your child’s first day at school is one that you will have prepared for, looked forward to (or indeed perhaps dreaded!) for some time. It is the day when your baby takes his/her first steps into the school system and we hope that your child’s first day at St. Brigid’s will be a day to remember.

Coming in

The date we return changes each year but you will be informed at the pre enrolment meeting what the date is for the coming September. When you arrive at the classroom, we would ask you to wait for the teacher to greet your child individually so that he/she receives the individual greeting and introduction to the classroom that each child deserves. Hopefully he/she will be absorbed in his/her new surroundings, so having assured him/her that you will be back to collect him/her, wish him/her goodbye and make your getaway without delay.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that different children react to their first experience of school in different ways. In spite of the best efforts of both teacher and parents/guardians, a small number of children will still become upset. It is important to trust the junior infant teacher as he/she is experienced and resourceful and is used to coping with all kinds of initial problems. So if your child happens to be one of those to get upset, don’t panic as patience, perseverance and very often distraction can work wonders!

Dealing with an upset child

If your child happens to be overwhelmed by his/her new surroundings, try not to show any outward signs of your own distress. Sometimes parents/guardians are more upset than the child and this can be the main cause of his/her anxiety. Try to be firm with your child from the start. Even if your child is upset, you must insist that he/she stay for a short time. When you have reassured him/her, leave as soon as possible. The teacher can distract and humour him/her more easily when you are not around.

School Routines

Starting school is an important milestone in the life of a child and indeed in the life of his/her parents/guardians. It is his/her first step into the wider world of the classroom and school and here at St. Brigid’s, we aim to make that first step as easy as possible. If a child’s first experience of school is one of happy involvement, a very good foundation will have been laid for fruitful school years ahead.

It is important, particularly during the first year that parents how we approach learning in the early years’ classroom, as some may expect too much in terms of academic achievement. We are also well aware that parents/guardians are keen to be involved in their children’s education and are willing to help in any way possible. Therefore, we have put together this information as a general guide for parents/guardians of junior infant children.

It deals briefly with the period before your child comes to school and his/her introductory stage in junior infants as well as including ideas for the home, which should stimulate your child’s interest and nurture his/her desire to know more.

We hope you will find it helpful and that your child’s experience of St. Brigid’s will be a happy and fulfilled one.

 

 School Routine for Junior Infants

Morning Times

School starts at 8.50am. Parents should accompany their child through the staff carpark and into the infant yard where they wait until the bell sounds. From mid September, junior infants will line up in the infant yard and their class teacher will walk them into the building in a line. Parents will be advised of this in advance. For safety reasons we ask parents not to congregate around the entrance to the Infant Building as the classes are going in.

Punctuality

Coming into school late can be very daunting and quite upsetting for children, particularly when they realise all the attention of their classmates is focused on them. It can also disrupt the school routine, as usually the reading books are swapped first thing in the morning. We ask parents/guardians to bear this in mind and aim to have children in school and in the line on time.

Packed Lunches

Children have two break times during their day at school. The first is a fifteen minute break at 10.30am and the second is a twenty five minute lunch break at 12.15pm. Junior infants will be allowed ten minutes eating-up time before each break. St. Brigid’s advocates a healthy lunch policy and we ask you to bear this in mind when preparing your child’s lunch. Crisps, popcorn, fizzy drinks, lollipops, sweets and chewing gum are not allowed in the school as stated in our Healthy Lunch Policy. Children may bring a treat on Fridays such as a small chocolate bar. All wrappers or cartons, etc contained will be brought home in the children’s lunch boxes. Also, we would ask that you give your child something you feel he/she can easily manage to eat as children can become upset if they do not finish their lunch.

Going Home:

The school day is a long day for the children so for the first two full weeks junior infants will go home at 12pm to help them make the adjustment to school. During their early weeks, they should have a small lunch and drink. After approximately two weeks the infant classes will finish school at 1.30pm and we ask you to be on time when collecting your child as children can become very upset if they see other children being collected and feel they are forgotten.

At hometime parents/guardians should come to the outside door of the classroom via the link corridor at the sports hall. Parents/guardians should wait in a line at this door. When the bell sounds the teacher will open the door. Please do not call children if you see them in the classroom as the teacher will call each child’s name when he/she sees the parent/guardian. Please inform your child’s teacher if there is any change in the collecting routine and also inform the class teacher if there are any special family arrangements we should be aware of.

After School

Children need plenty of rest after the effort and excitement of a day at school. You should ensure that your child gets to bed early and has a good night’s sleep.

Book List

The junior infant team will distribute a copy of the book list to each child in September, outlining the total cost of the books, copies and materials. The junior infant teachers buy the books, copies, pencils, etc for their class once all the money is received. We would appreciate if the money for Arts & Crafts and Photocopying, which will be outlined on the book list, be paid before the end of September. When purchasing a school bag please ensure it is large enough to take an A4 sized book. We prefer if children do not use wheelie bags as they can often unwittingly. injure another child as they wheel them.

Dress code

Junior Infants wear tracksuits and polo shirts . Velcro ties on runners are a good idea.

Personal belongings such as sweatshirts can easily get mixed up so please make sure your child’s name is clearly labelled on all items of his/her tracksuit, coat and lunchbox.

Birthday Party Invitations

We want to mention again that you must not distribute Birthday Party invitations inside your child’s classroom or on school grounds as this causes great upset to those children who do not receive an invitation. Similarly if you are collecting a group of children to take to a party please do so away from the classroom doors .

Please do not ask teachers to make an exception to this rule for your child as a refusal often upsets both parents and children.

Also as some children may have food allergies, we ask you not to send in Birthday cakes or treats as the teacher cannot distribute them.

Remixing Classes

It is school policy that at the end of first class the classes will be remixed before the children enter second. This is to enable us to address any issues that may arise during the first couple of years in school and to regroup the children in the best way possible.