DES Circular 0013/2016
‘It is important for the present and future health of our population that pupils are equipped with the key skills and knowledge which will enable them more confidently to make healthier life choices.’
The circular acknowledges the role that schools play in contributing to the healthy lifestyles of young people and goes on to say, ‘It is equally important that schools’ efforts in this area are complemented and reinforced by practices in pupils’ homes and in the wider community.’
As well as catering for the pupils’ intellectual & physical development our school promotes personal & social development. We aim to:
• Create a secure & caring environment for all members of the school community
• Promote positive & supportive relationships throughout the school so that effective teaching & learning can take place
• Promote a positive behaviour code which respect the rights & responsibilities of teachers, pupils & parents
• Develop children’s social & life skills
Social, Personal & Health Education (S.P.H.E.)
Our Social, Personal & Health Education (S.P.H.E.) programme explores issues, develops skills & teaches relevant information on:
- Personal and social education (including R.S.E.)
- Anti-bullying (including Stay Safe Programme)
- Drugs education (including Walk Tall Programme)
- Road Safety
- Internet Safety
- The promotion of positive behaviour through various programmes and whole school initiatives.
Relationships and Sexuality (R.S.E.) is taught as part of the S.P.H.E. programme.
The Department of Education & Skills implements guidelines and procedures for all schools in relation to child protection and welfare. Herein, child abuse is categorised into four different types: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. These guidelines promote the welfare of all children and are welcome. The Board of Management of Rathfarnham Educate Together National School has adopted these guidelines as school policy. Consequently, if there is a matter of concern in relation to abuse of children we are obliged to report this to the duty social worker at the local Health Service Executive, where the case will be assessed and the necessary support will be provided. If you would like to receive further information or clarification regarding any aspect of these guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact the Principal who is the school’s Designated Liaison Person (DLP). Link to full Child Protection Policy
Health and Safety
Attendance and Punctuality
Parents are reminded of the importance of good attendance and punctuality. The Child and Family Agency, Tusla, is informed if a child has missed more than 20 days.
Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their child who is attending a recognised school is at school on every day that the school is open, unless there is a genuine reason for him or her not to attend (Section 17 of Education (Welfare) Act 2000). Only absences relating to activities organised by the school or in which the school is involved can be authorised by the principal (Section 21(9) of Education (Welfare) Act 2000).
Developing the Statement of Strategy for School Attendance, Tusla 2015 (p.17, 5.5)
Parents/guardians can promote good school attendance by:
- ensuring regular and punctual school attendance
- notifying the school if their children cannot attend for any reason
- working with the school and education welfare service to resolve any attendance problems
- making sure their children understand that parents support good school attendance
- discussing planned absences with the school
- refraining, if at all possible, from taking holidays during school time
- showing an interest in their children’s school day and their children’s homework
- encouraging them to participate in school activities
- praising and encouraging their children’s achievements
- instilling in their children a positive self-concept and a positive sense of self-worth
- informing the school in writing of the reasons for absence from school
- ensuring, insofar as is possible, that children’s appointments (with dentists etc), are arranged for times outside of school hours
- contacting the school immediately, if they have concerns about absence or other related school matters
- notifying, in writing, the school if their child/children, particularly children in junior classes, are to be collected by someone not known to the teacher.
N.B. schools cannot give ‘permission’ for holiday absences during term time (Tusla 2015, p.17, 5.5). If a parent decides to take a child out of school for holidays a letter should be provided to the principal to say that they are doing so.
Our full Statement of Strategy for School Attendance is available to view here:
A leaflet for parents is available at the following link:
We in RETNS, in common with the vast majority of primary schools, promote healthy lunches. We ask for parents’ support in this work by providing healthy, well-balanced lunches for children. While regulating food intake is not the job of schools, we do support pupils in understanding the nourishment of common foods and the effects of certain foods on their bodies. Pupils are regularly reminded through their class-based work of the importance of making healthy eating choices to support their health and wellbeing, and are facilitated to develop skills and attitudes to make informed decisions about their food intake.
To support a policy of healthy eating, children are not allowed to bring chocolate, chewing gum, crisps or fizzy drinks to school.
‘Treats’ (which are usually high in sugar, fat and salt!) might best be left for special celebrations rather than being given regularly.
Children have access to fresh drinking water in the classrooms. For safety reasons glass bottles are not allowed in school.
We ask that parents inform the school of any special dietary needs their child has. For school lunch ideas/suggestions, you may like to refer to helpful websites, e.g. www.shb.ie, www.nwhb.ie, www.ndc.ie
In RETNS we recognise the value of physical exercise for children and as a school we strive to promote physical education and to be an active school community. All of our teachers adhere to DES guidelines regarding PE timetable provision for all students and teach a broad and balanced PE curriculum. Each year we endeavour to develop sport in different ways, both in school and through our extra-curricular programme. In 2017/2018 we received our Active School Flag. See the Sports section of this website for more details.
We have a number of established wellbeing initiatives in the school and are continually introducing new initiatives. These include:
Happy School Week, Healthy Eating Initiatives, Mindfulness Monday, Quote of the Week, Achievements Assembly including compliments box, Class Buddies, Global Citizenship work, Forest Learning initiatives, Internet Safety workshops, vegetable growing/outdoor development work, Active Schools initiatives throughout the year, playground projects, partnership with parents for numerous projects, participation in Heritage in Schools events, DLRCC events, local library events.
We have an Active Committee, a Student Council, ICT committee, Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Team, Green Team and Green School Ambassadors Team to give pupils a voice and develop a sense of ownership of and responsibility for their school.
Achievements – Green Flags; Litter and Waste, Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity, Global Citizenship, Litter and Waste, Active School. Digital School of Distinction Award. European Blue Star Award.
The school has a policy of not giving sweets as rewards. Internal motivation is actively encouraged and children are encouraged to learn at their own pace. Children are equally valued as members of the class irrespective of their rate of development.
Care of Hair
Parents are asked to check their child’s hair for head lice regularly as it is a national issue. If a parent contacts the school to say that they have found evidence of lice, all pupils in the concerned class receives a letter, stating school policy and the procedure to be taken. Pupils who are infected are to be treated at home. Long hair should to be tied back or plaited.