The Pastoral Care system and Code of Behaviour are intrinsically linked in the college. We believe that students, parents and teachers working in an environment of mutual care and respect promotes effective teaching & learning. At SelskarCollege we endeavour to support the welfare of each student through a co-ordinated approach involving all staff members & some senior students. Key structures have been set up as student support services, closely monitored and supported by the Principal and Deputy Principal.
Year Heads are responsible for monitoring the welfare, achievement and behaviour of all students in their year group and working with teachers, student, parents and other support services to manage student progress. Each year group has a specific year head and each class group has a tutor. Parents/Guardians can make an appointment to speak with the year head if they have concerns about their child’s academic or personal development.
A tutor is a teacher who meets the class each day and checks that students are in full uniform, have their journal and checks attendance, recording any reasons for absences. The tutor also checks on how students manage their homework journals and reports any concerns to the year head.
Guidance and Counselling
As soon as a student enters Selskar College they are involved in a guidance and counselling programme. The Guidance & Counselling service aims to provide for the personal and career development of each student. The Guidance Counsellor, Ms Teresa Kent-Nagle supports students in three main areas:
- Educational Guidance
- Vocational/Career Guidance
- Personal Counselling
During the Junior Certificate years we aim to help students to:
- Make the transition from primary college to secondary college
- Develop study skills
- Raise their self-esteem and respect for others
During Senior Cycle students are advised concerning subject choices and their implications for career choices. Each student is helped to plan their future career. The college participates in careers exhibitions. The Guidance Counsellor sees each student individually, not only to give career and third level education advice, but also to assist students in coping with the challenges of preparing for the Leaving Certificate.
Full details of the college Guidance Confidentiality Policy are available on request.
The School Completion Programme (SCP)
The School Completion Programme is a Department of Children and Youth Affairs initiative that aims to have a positive impact on levels of pupil retention in primary and second level schools and on the number of pupils who successfully complete the Senior Cycle, or equivalent. It is intergrated with the Home School Community Liaison Scheme and Educational Welfare Services under TUSLA.
SCP identifies young people at risk of early school leaving and aims to provide a range of supports for them in-school, after school and holiday time, through linkages with relevant community, youth and statutory agencies. Some of these supports include:
- Meal provision – breakfast clubs/ lunchtime clubs
- Homework clubs – assisting children with their homework
- Attendance Tracker – monitoring school absences on a daily basis
- Sports coaches/ Leisure activities
- Easter Camps/Summer Camps
SCP has been intergrated with HSCL since May 2009 and has been with Selskar College since 2002.
The Home School Community Liaison (HSCL)
Selskar College has a full time Home School Community Co-ordinator, Ms Bernie Murphy. The role of the coordinator is to work in partnership with parents, to establish bonds of trust and to empower parents to become involved in their children’s education. The purpose of this is to enhance learning opportunities for parents and thus to promote am improve their children’s retention in the education system. Courses are organised for parents throughout the school year to promote parent’s own education, development and involvement. These include Cookery Courses, Substances Misuse Education, Personal Care & Presentation, Art and Computers. These courses are supported by WWETB and the HSE and have been very well attended by parents.
There is a parent’s room in the college and this is the focal point for all activities for parents.
The HSCL Coordinator also works with the local community and is involved with all voluntary and statutory agencies in the area.
The Local Committee is set up by the HSCL Coordinator and comprises of parents and representatives of the local community. Its function is to focus on areas that impinge on students’ learning and to develop strategies to improve learning.
Home visitation is an integral part in establishing bonds of trust with families. The HSCL Coordinator is also involved in promoting literacy and numeracy in the college and in involved in many initiatives, and works closely with School Completion Programme.
The care team in the school consists of the Guidance Counsellor, Home School Community Liaison Coordinator, Behaviour for Learning Programme Teacher and two subject teachers. They meet every week to put in place relevant supports for students in need. The team decides collectively how best to support the student which may include referral to outside support agencies.
Learning Support in the college can take a variety of forms from small group teaching to team teaching. The college endeavours to assess the strengths and weaknesses of all students in core areas on entrance to the college. This is to enable us to plan correct support systems so students are being helped in the best way within the resources available. The college has a trained EAL (English as an Additional Language) teacher who provides support for students where English is not their first language.
The Rainbows Programme has been established in the college during the current academic year. RAINBOWS IRELAND, a registered charity, is a peer-support programme to assist children, youth and adults who are grieving a death, separation or other painful transition in their family. RAINBOWS helps by providing a safe setting in which children, youth and adults can share their feelings, emotions and struggles with others who have similar experiences. They are supported in this process by a trained facilitator. Two staff members Ms P Highland and Ms B Connick have been trained by a Rainbows Registered Director and plan to run two programmes during this year – one each for bereavement and separation. They also plan to have more staff members trained so that the programme will expand in the college. Ms P Highland is the site Coordinator. Ms E Ryan is the Site Administrator.
Behaviour for Learning Programme Teacher
The Behaviour for Learning Programme was initiated at the college in 2011 with support from the NBSS. The programme aims to explore the ways in which an individual teacher could develop a ‘Behaviour for Learning Programme’ specifically targeted at students in need. The Behaviour for Learning Programme teacher works with identified students individually or in small groups on Behaviour for Learning programmes that are designed to meet their social, emotional, behavioural and academic needs, so they can achieve and succeed in school.
Rather than responding after young people present chronic behaviours the college ‘Behaviour for Learning Programme’ includes preventive strategies and early intervention approaches for all students. Mr Kieran Kinsella is the Behaviour for Learning Programme teacher at the college. Parents are actively involved in this programme.
“Meitheal seeks to promote and foster good relationships within school communities thus creating a secure, safe and co-operative environment”
The Meitheal Programme in County Wexford is a training programme for students at senior level in post-primary schools. In this programme the students are trained to become mentors for incoming students at junior level. It is a programme based on respect between students and one that enables students to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of all who share a school environment.
Meitheal in Selskar College is co-ordinated by Ms Margaret Jones-Broaders. There is one Meitheal leader for every ten students. The leaders are involved in the college first year induction programme ‘Le Chéile’. They meet with the coordinator once a week and organise activities for the first years at lunchtime.
The aim is that if the junior student should experience difficulties or anxieties of any kind they can turn to their Meitheal leaders and find in them understand, respect, advice and assistances. They programme has proven to be effective in promoting the happiness of students in general as well as reducing instances of bullying, isolation and early school leaving.
The Meitheal leaders themselves gain a wealth of experience and develop leadership skills which they can bring with them into the wider community.