Thank you for your interest in enrolling your child in Powerstown National School. This handbook has been drawn up to help you learn some bit about how our school operates and what we hope to achieve. The most important message that you, as a parent, should take on board is that you are the primary educator of your child. If you are committed to your child’s education and appropriately encourage and motivate him/her, you will have taken a large step towards ensuring his/her success at school. Your child’s teacher will depend on you to be a significant role-model for your child because your child will learn most from your behaviour and attitude to school and to school work. Once correct attitudes are in place, the teachers will be in a position to give the best to your child and to get the best from your child.
We have always been extremely fortunate in Powerstown to have wonderfully supportive parents sending well-motivated children to our school. This has allowed the teachers to give their full attention to the children under their care. We look forward to continuing our work with parents as we all strive to provide a high standard of education within a safe and secure environment. It is through a partnership approach that we will best achieve our mission of creating a caring school environment that is conducive to learning and to the development of the whole person, where children can achieve their full potential; spiritually, physically, academically and socially.
Again, I thank you for your interest in enrolling your child in Powerstown National School. I look forward to a positive and fruitful relationship with you.
Mise le Meas,
The Board of Management is the chief authority in the school and has responsibility for areas such as enrolments, finances, safety, employment of staff, school insurance etc. The Principal is appointed to direct the daily affairs of the school and reports to the Board.
The current Board of Management began their four year term in November 2015. They are Fr. Peter Ahearne (Chairman), Eugene Fogarty, Edel Meehan, Brian McCarthy, PJ Stafford, Suzanne O' Quigley, Diarmuid Burke and Paudie Everard.
The Department of Education sets the Primary School Curriculum and provides funding for the operation of schools. The inspectorate is a branch of the Department of Education and ascertains standards achieved in schools. It is also the Department that is responsible for providing funding for school buildings and extensions.
Every parent is a member of the Parents’ Council by right. Each year, the parents elect a managing Committee at their A.G.M. Powerstown School is very fortunate to have an active, progressive Parents’ Committee. The current chairperson is Eimer O’ Keeffe and the secretary is Ruth Healy Lucey.
Each year, in addition to fundraising, the Parents’ Committee organises different events for the children, including a hugely popular Halloween Disco and Family Fun Day. The Committee also runs a Christmas Art Competition and arranges for Santa Claus to visit the school. After many years in operation, an annual fund-raising Table Quiz for parents was discontinued andinstead, there was a Fun Run in Powerstown Park Racecourse. The Parents’ Committee have provided Christmas Lights and a nativity scene for the front of the school and Christmas decorations for the interior.
After-school initiatives by the Parents’ Committee have involved tennis coaching, classes with Kool School, conversational Spanish for senior pupils, percussion classes and hurling coaching, guitar and drama lessons.
Powerstown’s Enrolment Policy details the procedures the Board of Management will follow in regulating the annual intake of students. To ensure that the school’s development and future direction is controlled, limits may have to be placed on the number of successful applicants each year.
Should places be limited due to the school being over-subscribed, priority will be given in the following order to:
a) Children whose homes are in the parish of Powerstown/Lisronagh.
b) The siblings of children who are pupils in the school.
c) Children of school staff.
a) The siblings of children who were pupils in the school.
b) The children of past pupils.
a) Because of their proximity to the school and traditional attendance at the school, children from Springfields and Tivoli Heights, will be given priority over other localities outside of Categories 1 or 2.
a) Children from other localities.
In each of the above Categories, the sub-categories are of equal standing. Should it be necessary to further limit places within a category, places will be offered according to age, with priority being given to the oldest children. A waiting list will be set up in accordance with the priority listing.
Offers of places will be sent to parents in early March. Acceptances in writing must be received by the Principal before the specified date. Failure to do so may result in the offer being withdrawn.
The new Junior Infants and their parents will be invited to the school for Induction prior to September. This familiarises children with the school and their new teacher in advance of starting and provides important information to parents.
Code of Discipline
When accepting an offer of a place in Powerstown N.S. parents are asked to confirm that they will help to implement the school’s Code of Discipline. The Code of Discipline is available on the web-site.
We are rightly proud of the school’s ethos and sincerely thank all the parents who have helped to create our culture of sharing and caring for each other. This is an ethos we hope all new parents will learn to respect and value and our Code of Discipline is an expression of that desire.
There is a reception period from 8.50 am to allow parents to drop their children in time for school. The school day begins at 9.00 am and finishes at 2.40 pm. The school day for infants is shorter. They should be collected at 1.40 pm. As these are the official hours of school opening and closing, the Board of Management does not accept responsibility for children on the premises outside of these times.
We ask parents to be punctual in the mornings and again when collecting the children in the evenings. Punctuality is a value we aim to instil in the children. On a more practical level, children often feel uncomfortable about being late, particularly since they will be challenged over persistent lateness. There is also the disruption to their class to be considered.
Finally, as the school is situated on quite a narrow stretch of road, the school authorities and Parents’ Council ask parents to park at the church car park and walk their children to the school. There is a higher risk of an accident if parents drive close to the school.
Many past pupils have fond memories of playtime in Powerstown National School. Monkey Land, Ant Hill, tiles and dens under the trees feature strongly in these memories. The school has attempted to keep these traditions of children playing and having fun. Lunch breaks are an opportunity to release some pent up energy as well as to have something to eat. There is a short break at 11.00 when children may have a light snack. Time is given to eat lunch between 12.30 and 12.40; thereafter children are expected to go outside to play when weather permits.
To maximise the space to run around with fewer accidents, the children are allowed onto the grass to play whenever possible, taking into account Ireland’s moist climate. The area under and behind the trees is also used by infants. The school has a play area/sports pitch beside the school which is used during recreation periods and a tarmacadam area was developed in Summer ‘08. We recently received a donation of an additional ½ acre from Bulmers to compensate for play space, lost to building, and this was developed in Summer 2015.
In all but the severest weather, children are allowed outside. Parents should ensure that they send their children into school with appropriate outdoor wear, including coats in cold weather. It is also advisable not to send children to school in their “Sunday Best”.
Parents who wish their children to remain inside at break following a bout of illness must send a note requesting this. Children staying inside for longer periods are missing out on the social side of school and this is seen as a less than perfect arrangement. As a general rule, if children are so unwell that they cannot go outside to play and take fresh air, then they are too unwell for the rigours of a school day.
If a child has an accident during the break, they are examined by the supervising teacher and are sent inside for medical attention if necessary. When children complain of a bang to the head, an advisory phone call is automatically made to parents, even where the teacher has no major concern. This is for the parents’ information in case the child’s condition should deteriorate after he/she goes home.
Children require healthy, nutritious school lunches. A sandwich, a piece of fruit, perhaps a yoghurt and a non-fizzy drink are recommended as an appropriate lunch. Fizzy drinks, crisps and chewing gum are not allowed and chocolate should be kept to a minimum. The ten minutes from 12.30 to 12.40 are provided specifically for eating and the children may go outside once finished. In general, children who have balanced, regular diets are more alert and responsive at school. Because some children in our school have suffered from nut allergies, all nuts and nut products are banned.
It is vital that our contact numbers are up to date so that we can get in touch with parents in an emergency. We ask for a home telephone number, mobile numbers and a back up number of a relative or friend to who will continue trying to contact the parents if we fail. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that we are informed of a change of number.
The main holidays for each school year are determined by the Department of Education and can be researched at www.education.ie. The Halloween Break, Christmas Holidays and Easter Holidays are the same for all schools in Ireland. Minor differences may occur between schools for the start and end of the Summer Holidays, February mid-term and other discretionary days during the year. A calendar for that school year is distributed in September/October to parents and contained in the Homework Journal for 1st - 6th Class. In addition, there can be days when the school is used for election purposes and the school is closed to children. These days are notified to parents as the school learns of them. In more recent years, the school has had to close for health and safety reasons, for example heavy snowfall or no water. This is advised to parents using web-texts, no later than 8.30am on the morning of closure.
Sometimes, parents book holidays outside of the approved school holidays. While understanding their reasons for doing this in terms of cost and sometimes, available holidays, the school officially discourages this practice. Not only do the children who have been on holiday return having missed school work, but they also return with a “holiday mentality” and the other children pick up on this, which can be very disruptive. If the holiday is taken in May/June, it causes children to miss or perform badly in summer tests. In addition, we advise that the responsibility for catching up on missed work lies with the parent.
The Principal is obliged to report in a case where a child is absent for 20 school days during the year, even if this absence is through illness. The Child and Family Agency may then make contact with the family to investigate if their help is needed in ensuring the children get to school regularly. An advisory note is sent home if a child has missed 15 school days.
It is not necessary to phone the school if a child is sick. The absence will be recorded on the daily roll call. However, the school requires a written explanation for every absence when the child returns to school. The explanations for absences are passed on to the Child and Family Agency where a child misses more than 20 days in the school year or where the Principal has a concern over a child’s pattern of attendance.
Communication with Parents
The child’s homework notebook is the main form of communication between teachers and parents. For this reason, it is important that parents sign the notebook every night and check that the teacher has not written a note for their attention. Parents may use the notebook to indicate problems their child may be experiencing and give feedback to the teacher. However, the child must bring this note to the attention of the teacher as the notebook is not necessarily checked every day. At younger levels, the teacher will generally bring a concern to the attention of parents when the children are going home.
The school newsletter has been discontnued in paper format. The school’s website at www.powerstownns.com contains important information.
Meetings with Parents
Parents are the first and most important educators. They are a huge factor in determining a child’s success at school. It is thus extremely important for parents and teachers to remain in communication with each other. There may be times during the year when parents wish to speak to the teacher about their child’s progress or tell the teacher of something which will impact on the child’s education. This information is sometimes sensitive in nature and is best told directly to the teacher. The policy of the school is for parents to make an appointment to speak to the teacher when the meeting is going to require a significant amount of time away from class. If possible, the reason for the meeting should be indicated either in a note to the teacher or by phone call to the school secretary so that the teacher can research any information required and give a reasonable assessment.
There are formal parent teacher meetings held once a year in November. Because of the settling down period required for junior infants, the meetings for their parents and teachers are held in February. Written end of year reports are given to all children. However, it is our belief that there should be nothing in the end of year report which comes as a surprise to parents if proper communication, including parental supervision of homework, has been maintained.
Because school is a community of people, often with different expectations and requirements, there are inevitably times when there is a difference of opinion. It is best to take a bit of time to consider the full set of circumstances before seeking an appointment with the teacher or principal to discuss the issue. Is there a series of events or is the event a once-off? Has the full story been told? Approached reasonably, most problems can be solved quite easily. In the unusual event that the parent and teacher come into conflict, the following simplified steps should be followed with a view to resolving a serious problem: (Full Set of Procedures available at www.education.ie and on this website)
A note should be sent to the teacher advising of difficulty and, if necessary, seeking an appointment.
Meet the class teacher and try to resolve the difficulty.
Request an appointment with the Principal to discuss the problem.
Seek a meeting with both the Chairman of the Board of Management and the Principal.
Write to the Board of Management outlining the grievance.
All visitors to the school should enter by the main entrance and report immediately to the Secretary’s Office. If the Secretary is unavailable, visitors must wait until such time as they can be attended to. As the teachers may not be familiar with all parents, under no circumstances should a child be approached directly at break-time without first reporting to the teacher on duty or to the secretary. A person who is not known by the school staff is open to questioning/challenge and should not take this personally. Children who are being collected before the official school finishing time must be signed out. A notebook for this purpose is inside the main entrance.
With the level of child Protection concerns and responsibilities being imposed on schools, it is highly likely that the Board of Management will be required to amend its policy of welcome to visitors such that entry to the school can be by invitation only. The above paragraph will be amended accordingly.
Previous surveys carried out in Powerstown N.S. by the Parents’ Council showed that 68% of families are not in favour of introducing a school uniform. As there has never been a tradition of a uniform in the school and there is not a strong majority in favour of its introduction, the Board of Management opted not to introduce a uniform.
A reasonable standard of dress is expected and children should be neat and clean coming to school. Ornamentation of person or clothing is only allowed subject to the approval of the school authorities.
There are paper towels and liquid soap in all toilets. Parents are asked to ensure that their children understand the need for hygiene when using the toilets and to especially emphasise the washing of hands. At infant level, this cannot be stressed often enough.
A bin for sanitary towels is provided in the toilets for older girls.
Cough and Sneeze Etiquette means the children use a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If they don’t have a tissue, they should sneeze into their shoulder or crook of their elbow.
Children should not be sent to school if they are visibly sick and unhealthy. If a child becomes sick at school or has an accident, we will make every effort to get in touch with parents. If unable to make contact, we will use our discretion, up to and including bringing the child to hospital. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure contact numbers are up to date.
Certain illnesses such as chicken pox are contagious and children should not attend school for a time after a bout of such illness. Head lice, in particular, are easily transferred in the school environment because children are in close contact with each other. Where a parent detects head lice in their child’s hair, a note or phone call to the school would be appreciated so that we can advise other parents of their presence in the classroom. All parents should check their children’s hair upon receipt of an advisory note from the school.
Parents must inform the school of any problem that may affect the child during their time in school eg. Asthma, heart trouble, diabetes, allergies etc. Where a child must have any form of medical intervention on a regular basis, the parents are required to make satisfactory arrangements for this. Administration of medicine by school staff is only undertaken in cases of severe and urgent need. In advance, parents must have provided written instructions from a doctor and given written consent for staff to administer medicine. The Board of Management must also have authorised school staff to administer any medication. School staff do not accept responsibility for supervision or administration of cough mixtures, throat lozenges, headache tablets or any other such form of medication. Children who require these should be kept at home.
Use of School by HSE
The Health Board and Clinic regularly seek the use of the school for vaccinations and immunisations. We appreciate the value in allowing these occur in school rather than parents collecting children to go to the clinic and returning them back to school. There can be a certain amount of disruption during these times. As the school only offers its premises as a facility and has nothing to do with vaccinations etc., we ask that all queries in relation to these should be directed to the Clinic or Health Board.
Transfer of Data
Relevant information relating to each child and their background is sought when completing an enrolment application for Powerstown N.S. It is on the basis of this initial Enrolment Application Form that places are allocated in the school.
End of year reports are distributed and a copy of these is kept on file.
The names of children, their dates of birth, addresses and the names of parents are shared with the Health Board and Clinic for the purposes of contacting parents in advance of vaccinations, eye tests etc.
Exchange of information with psychologists and other health care workers will only be undertaken subject to parental consent. However, in exceptional circumstances, the school authorities may believe it would be in the best interests of the child to give information to social workers or gardai and there may be a legal obligation on the school to do so, without seeking parental permission.
The school is obliged to report on a child’s attendance.
The names and addresses and a contact number provided by families are shared with the Parents’ Committee.
The Department of Education has introduced POD – Primary on-line Database. Schools have been asked to provide the information to the Department to populate this database. Some of the information requested is considered sensitive under data protection and may only be shared with permission from the parents/guardians.
Transfer to Secondary
At the end of 6th class, pupils transfer to secondary schools. The majority of our pupils attend Loreto, Presentation Secondary and High School, Clonmel. We facilitate this transfer by sharing the information that comes to the school regarding application dates, open days etc.
Towards the end of sixth class, opportunities are provided to the children to discuss any fears and concerns they may have in relation to secondary school and its operation. We are satisfied that children are well prepared to meet the challenges of secondary school at the end of sixth class in Powerstown N.S.
To help secondary schools to put in place necessary supports, information is shared on children’s academic and social progress as required.
Homework keeps parents in touch with their child’s progress; it consolidates work done in school and cultivates the habit of private study. The homework assigned will usually be well within the capability of the child and should be done without too much help from parents. Homework should be prioritised and children who are having difficulty should complete work that they are able for. This should be discussed with the class teacher. Homework will not normally be given at weekends. In the school year 2015/2016, a Homework Journal was introduced following consultation with the Parents' Committee. All pupils from 1st – 6th are expected to purchase a Homework Journal, which contains the school calendar.
The following guidelines should prove helpful:
Some form of reading should be completed every night, even when not written down as part of formal homework. Classes from third upwards should be doing a minimum of fifteen minutes independent reading each night. Younger classes would benefit greatly from reading a story for five to ten minutes with their parents.
It is of very little use to a child to spend long periods of time completing homework. They will have ceased to gain any value long before the work is finished. A parental note to the teacher explaining that their child became tired will be acceptable. The following are indicators only of the maximum time that a child would be expected to spend on homework where the child’s concentration is not being interrupted. There will be nights when the children do not spend anywhere near these times on homework.
General Guidelines on Times Spent
Allowing for individual differences in rates of work completion
Junior Infants: Up to 15 minutes
Senior Infants Up to 20 minutes
First/Second Class Up to 30 minutes
Third Class Up to 45 minutes
Fourth Class Up to 60 minutes
Fifth Class Up to 75 minutes
Sixth Class Up to 90 minutes
General Aims of Primary Education
( Revised Primary School Curriculum 1999)
The Primary Curriculum
Social, Environmental and Scientific Education
History Geography Science
Visual Arts Music Drama
Social, Personal and Health Education
Powerstown National School is in the parish of Powerstown and Lisronagh, on the outskirts of Clonmel. It is under the patronage of the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore. The chairman of the school’s Board of Management is Fr. Peter Ahearne. The school upholds a Catholic ethos.
The sacraments are a very important part of the Catholic faith and we support the work of parents in passing on the faith to their children. Children are prepared for First Confession and First Holy Communion at second class. Children in sixth class generally receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Parents are the primary educators of their children and this is especially true of religious beliefs. The school’s role is one of support and preparation. We strongly encourage parents to say prayers with their children and to play an active role in helping their children prepare for the sacraments.
On certain occasions throughout the school year, the children may participate in prayer services, services of reconciliation or masses. If a parent wishes their child to be absented from religious instruction or preparation for sacraments, this is acceptable, provided that the parent ensures that alternative supervision is arranged in consultation with the Principal. Where the entire school community, pupils, teachers and ancillary staff are attending a service in the church or engaging in religious instruction, such alternative supervision may require the child to be collected early or sent to school late.
It is primarily in the home that the habit of reading is fostered. Parents greatly assist the efforts of teachers by encouraging their children to join the library and to read for pleasure. Reading should not be seen as a chore, confined to school or homework.
Similarly, a child’s ability to listen and communicate verbally is greatly enhanced in a home environment that encourages conversation rather than mute television watching. Much of the success at school is based on an ability to understand instructions and to construct sentences, including questions. Oral competence has a huge effect on reading development.
Children with reading difficulties may be referred to the Special Education Team. The purpose of learning support is to give more individualised attention and to support the work of the class teacher. For a support programme to be successful, it requires the encouragement and active cooperation of parents. Specifically, parents are requested to listen to their children reading on a nightly basis. Practice and a positive attitude overcome all bar the most severe reading difficulties.
Parents must sign a consent form before their children can attend learning support. The Department of Education issues guidelines regarding the numbers to attend for learning support and this intervention cannot be offered to everyone.
The Department of Education has made changes to the way Special Education is organised for schools. It states that this will allow schools to allocate extra teaching to those most in need, without the requirement for a specific diagnosis. Certain quasi-scientific factors have been used to decide on the allocation each school will get. These factors have included the use of out of date standardised tests and their inaccurate results and a school's estimate as to what proportion of their families are on low income. While this revised model allows for children with complex needs in the overall allocation, there is no definition currently available on what represents complex needs.
Much of the support time available to the school is devoted to early intervention and prevention strategies. This may mean up to four teachers working in a classroom with smaller groups of the younger children. This intervention is designed to provide support at an appropriate level to the various groupings.
Powerstown School provides a broad physical education, incorporating the six strands as laid out by the Department of Education. Although the substantial play area proves a major resource for the school, a lack of indoor facilities places a reliance on weather and there is a greater emphasis on physical education in the Autumn and Summer months. To overcome this disadvantage, gymnastics and swimming lessons are provided in the second term to relevant classes, with the children brought by bus to Monroe Sports Complex and Clonmel Swimming Pool. The Board of Management, in cooperation with the Parents' Council, is seeking to address this deficit. The Department of Education does not provide funding for the building of General Purpose Halls.
In addition to the physical education curriculum, many sporting opportunities are offered. Children are requested to support their school and take part in school-organized activities, to the best of their ability.
Competitive football for boys and girls is organized in the first term through the Cumann na mBunscol competitions. There is an U11 competition, suitable for 4th/5th class pupils and an U13 competition for 5th/6th. The school has won these competitions a number of times, most recently in 2016.
Hurling is organized through the Cumann na mBunscol competition in the Spring term. Fewer children opt to play hurling and it can be difficult to field a team. The school insists that children interested in playing in this competition must be training at club level so as to have the necessary hurling skills. The Camogie team reached the County Final in 2009 while the boys won the Cumann na mBunscol competition in 2010 and 2012.
The school competes in the FAIS / Ribena 5 a side soccer competition. We enter a number of teams to allow for maximum participation. Our girls’ team were All-Ireland champions in soccer in 2009.
Powerstown normally supports the Cross Country athletics event organized by Clonmel Athletics Club during the year. For the past two years, the school has won the overall school trophy. A second track and field event is held later in the year which is also normally part of the school calendar.
A Sports Day is held each year in the third term and the emphasis is on fun.
Information and Communication Technology
The Department of Education provides a Broadband connection. Each classroom is equipped with a laptop as a teaching aid and these have a wireless internet connection.
All classrooms have been equipped with interactive whiteboards and projectors to help improve the interest level of lessons.
Music is taught as part of the curriculum at each class level. School children, under the direction of Mr. Flynn, sing at the two major sacramental celebrations each year – Communion and Confirmation.
Ms. Howley has set up a musical group named 'Sounds of Powerstown'. Children who are currently learning an instrument are invited to join the Monday practices. There are guitars, violins, recorders, tin whistles and even a box accordion. Performances generally take place at Halloween and Christmas for classes and parents.
In 2016, the school participated in the Peace Proms in Kilkenny for the first time. Children from 4th / 5th Class in Powerstown School sang in the concert. Many teachers were involved in this project. It was decided that participation could not be annual because of the time input required in preparing for the event. The school is participating in the Peace Proms again in March of 2018, this time with 3rd/4th & 5th Classes involved, making Powerstown the school with the most pupils participating in the Kilkenny venue.
We strive to provide children with a broad and balanced curriculum so that they enjoy work with various art mediums. Children regularly enter art competitions but the emphasis is on participation and enjoyment rather than winning. To enhance the children’s exposure to art, each class teacher collects money to buy art materials. This normally amounts to about €15.
Mrs. Roche has set up a knitting class after school. The nominal fee of €1 is charged per lesson but will be used to purchase either resources for the school or to treat the children to something of educational benefit.
School Tours are organized each year. Most tours are organized for May/June but may be held earlier when there is a special event occurring that would be of benefit to the pupils. Such events may be musical, dramatic or sporting in nature and can enthuse the children in that area of the curriculum. At other times, the tour may visit areas of historical, geographical or scientific interest.
The school tour is also of value because it gives the children a degree of independence and less formal interaction with teachers.
The cost of a school tour depends on the destination or destinations. Increased fuel and insurance prices mean that the hire of buses has become much more expensive. Infants have a less taxing tour, closer to home.
An important part of educating children is to impart a sense of social responsibility. As a result, we do a certain amount of fund-raising for charity during the school year. We annually support Trocaire’s Lenten campaign and individual classes sometimes adopt a particular charity eg. Christmas Shoebox Appeal.
During Advent 2016, the sum of €1208 was donated to St. Vincent de Paul. This was the proceeds from a bake sale by 6th Class pupils. €1405 was donated to Trocaire after Easter 2017.
The annual budget for primary schools is based on a “Capitation Grant” from the Department of Education and Science. The grant covers all costs in relation to running the school: insurance, electricity, heating, phone, purchase of equipment etc.
Certain activities and opportunities can only be provided with extra financial help from parents. The school, in all cases, asks for a voluntary contribution and families who are experiencing financial difficulties should ensure that they advise the school of their circumstances. We believe that no child should be deprived of an educational opportunity on the basis of an inability to pay.
Money is collected in September for Art & Craft, Photocopying and Standardised Tests. The amount due will be on the booklist for that year and should be sent to the school within the first week.
Other activities are organised in the school and money for these are collected as required eg. School Tour, Day Trips, P.E. Instructors, buses. We ask parents to settle all money matters as promptly as possible.
In 2004, land was acquired beside the school and we developed our playing pitch. A voluntary contribution was introduced by the Parents’ Committee to help fund our loan repayments. This collection has been continued even after the loan has been repaid. Money was given to help with the development of a tarmacadam area at the rear of the school, a donation has been given to help re-surface the church car park and data projectors were bought for three classrooms in 2009. In 2013, the Parents’ Council subsidised the rejuvenation of the play area at the front of the school. The voluntary contribution helps to improve facilities or educational opportunities and greater fundraising efforts are likely as the school will embark on major spending in the coming year. Money from the voluntary contribution is not used to cover the day-to-day running costs of the school. A very successful fundraiser was held by the Parents' Committee in 2015. €20,000 was donated to the Board of Management to assist in developing the additional tarmacadam playground. The Parents’ Committee also provided the €14,000 required to equip all of the classrooms with an interactive whiteboard in 2016.
Personal Safety & Bullying
Bullying is unwanted negative attention, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against others over time. Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour which should not be condoned, cannot be described as bullying. Bullying may be manifested in many forms such as physical aggression, damage to property, intimidation, isolation, name-calling and “slagging”. At the centre of our school’s response to bullying is the continued development of a positive school climate, which focuses on respect for the individual. It is an important part of our policy to raise awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour.
All incidents of bullying are investigated and dealt with by the teachers. Serious cases of bullying behaviour by pupils are referred immediately to the Principal. Parents of victims and bullies are informed earlier rather than later of incidents. It is made clear to pupils when they report incidents of bullying that they are behaving responsibly. It is important to counteract a culture which may associate “telling” with “informing”.
Encouraging a child to hit back is mistaken because it does not address the reasons for the bullying behaviour and it could also result in a child being seriously hurt in further incidents.
Relationships and Sexuality Education
Every school is now obliged to provide Relationships and Sexuality Education. This part of Social, Personal and Health Education ( S.P.H.E.) is meant to support the input of parents, not to replace it. Some parents may choose to deal with this area of education in their own homes and this is their choice. However, we encourage parents to allow their children take part in the R.S.E. Programme in the school.
New life, growing and developing are a part of the cycle of life. These are often mentioned informally in class and the children see these as natural events. As the children enter more senior classes, they will be given opportunities to learn about body changes, physical maturation and sexual development. An outline of topics to be covered will be distributed in advance.
Parents are asked for permission for their child to take part in the R.S.E. Programme. Any parent who does not want their child to be present during an R.S.E. lesson must make alternative arrangements with the school principal.
There are many more facets to school life than could be covered in this booklet. It would be impossible to make mention to every event that happens or will happen in Powerstown School. It is truly important for parents to understand the nature of schooling today as a Partnership Approach. The better the relationship between parents and teachers, the better the experience for all.
Read about the foundations of our school
View important dates and events
Photo Gallery of School & Activities