The pastoral care system is central in the whole school approach to the development and progress of each student.
The role of the Subject Teacher is central to our Pastoral Care System. This role is enacted in each and every class.
Each student in a year group has a Year Head - takes overall care of student in the year in terms of needs, discipline issues, studies, contact with parents etc. Liaises with tutors, SPHE teachers, guidance counselor and subject teachers.
Each Junior Cycle class group has a class tutor - they are the main contact person for the students.
The Deputy Principal and Principal support the pastoral care system while emphasising the on-going development of a positive, affirming atmosphere in the college, in line with the college ethos and vision.
In addition to the formal roles of subject teacher, class tutor, year head, deputy principal and principal within the pastoral care system the following are some key aspects of the pastoral care system.
Either formally or informally, all staff provide guidance to pupils, on a wide diversity of issues as they progress through secondary school. This guidance is varied and includes, advice on how best to approach an exam, how to perform a scene in our school musical, to the private word of encouragement offered at the end of a class and much more. Rosemarie Sexton is the school's guidance counsellor who provides student support, student care and student welfare while offering career advice, third level information and career pathways, post secondary school.
While the school does not have a full time chaplain, chaplaincy services are delivered by Fr. Brendan Hanley and Betty Keohane. They provide an important pastoral service for the whole school community, including:
Spiritual Direction, Pastoral counselling, Support in crises, Trauma Management, Bereavement Support, Liturgical Celebrations, Prayer Experiences, Critical Incident Management
Adrian Adams provides counseling to all members of the school community in a wide diversity of issues, particularly issues thar are affecting the mental health of an individual. Adrian is involved directly, in teaching the mental health module in Transition Year and mentoring the student peer support group.
The student mentoring system is a support service managed and run by student for students. Senior cycle students are trained every year in "Peer Support" by HSE staff Peer Mentoring is a form of mentoring that takes place between an older more experienced student and a new student(s). Peer Mentors should not be confused with prefects. Peer mentoring is a good way of practicing social skills for the mentor and help on adapting and settling in for the mentoree. Peer mentors may assist particular students with time management, study skills, organizational skills, curriculum planning, administrative issues, test preparation, goal setting, and grade monitoring. Additionally, such mentors may provide other forms of social support for the student, such as friendship, networking, and aiding the student's adjustment to school life. Fun activities such as twister, the weakest link, talent competitions are also run to involve all students and to generate a community atmosphere.
The Sacred Heart Secondary School has a clear policy of inclusiveness and welcome to all students of all levels of ability. Our Special Education and Resource department embraces this policy in a very special way.
The needs of each students academic, emotional, pastoral and physical, are taken into consideration when organising timetables and staffing. The staff who work with our students who have special educational needs, are dedicated teachers who provide a warm and caring working environment and who work with their students to enable them to achieve their utmost academically, while ensuring their scholastic experience is an enjoyable one.
An entrance examination is undertaken early in the year of admission to assist the Special Needs Department in determining which students may have difficulties with Maths and/or English.
Learning Support is provided for students:
Students who have been granted exemption from Irish in primary school continue with this exemption in secondary school. Extra Maths/English is provided at this time.
Special Needs Assistants
The SNA staff members provide invaluable supports to students with particular special education needs. Such supports ultimately allow them to integrate into their secondary school along with their peers and be part of an accepting fully integrated community of students.
The student's council is a vehicle for channeling the voice of the students to school management on issues relevant to their education. The council is comprised of a Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Sixth Year representative, Fifth Year representatives,
Fourth Year representatives, Third Year representatives, Second Year representatives, and First Year representatives. The council existence within the school is an important statement as it declares that this is a listening school, an inclusive school and one that values and promotes partnership.
All subjects are taught with care and compassion in mind. Special attention is always given to the overall welfare of the student and this is formally channeled in to the weekly year head, care team meetings. Opportunities arise in all classes to promote the self esteem and worth of all students, to develop positive relationships and to generate a sense of inclusiveness and family in the school community. In particular the subjects of Physical Education, Religious Education, Guidance, CSPE and SPHE become key elements in the school's promotion of wellbeing while acting simultaneously as part of the school's strategy in preventing critical incidents from occurring. SPHE is a key element of the school's preventative work. SPHE support the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual development and wellbeing of all members of the school community. Modules within the SPHE programme including, Belonging and integrating, Self management, Communication skills, Physical Health, Friendship, Relationships and sexuality, Emotinal health, Influence and decisions, Substance use and Physical safety.
The school has in place a vibrant school development planning team. The primary focus of this team is to develop and review formal school policies that are designed so that all members of the school community are protected and supported. Partnership is central to the process as all policies are developed with the contributions of all partners. All policies are student focused and have at their heart the needs and development of the student community.
The School has a Pastoral Care Policy, available on request.