phone: 01 8438266 - email: secretary@stcatherinens.ie

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Board of Management Header

All relevant documets can be opened and downloaded by clicking the links below.

Enrolment Form in English:
Enrolment Form English
Formulaire d'inscription en français:
Enrolment Form in French
Zapisy w języku polskim:
Enrolment Form Polish
Uzņemšana Veids angļu valodā:
Enrolment Form Polish
Uniform Policy:
uniform policy picture
Mobile phones:
A parent’s guide to
safe and sensible use

Protecting Children online:
what parents can do to help.

Child Protection Policy:Click for the Child Protection Policy

Enrolment Policy:
enrolment policy pic

Inclusion Policy:
Inclusion Policy download

Custody & Separation Info:
Custody & Separation download

Mobile Phones & Electronic Devices Policy:
Mobile Phone Policy download

Anti-Bullying Policy:
anti-bullying policy
Critical Incident Policy:

critical incident policy

As a parent of a child wishing to attend St. Catherine's National School, or a child already attending the school, this is your page. Here you will find enrollment forms, school policies and the school rules for download or to print.

Inclusion Policy:
In St Catherine’s we value the individuality of all of our children. We are committed to giving all of our children every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. We do this by taking account of pupils’ varied life experiences and needs. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum and have high expectations for all children. The achievements, attitudes and well being of all our children matter.
This policy helps to ensure that this school promotes the individuality of all our children, irrespective of ethnicity, attainment, age, disability, gender, religion or background.

Aims and objectives:
Our school aims to be an inclusive school. We actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils, or groups of pupils. This means that equality of opportunity must be a reality for our children. We make this a reality through the attention we pay to the different groups of children within our school;
Girls and boys
Children who need support to learn English as another language
Children with special educational needs
Gifted and talented children
Children who are at risk of disaffection or exclusion
Children from different ethnic and minority groups
Children who come from differing family backgrounds

The Primary Curriculum is our starting point for planning a curriculum that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. We meet these needs through;
Setting suitable learning challenges
Responding to children’s diverse learning needs
Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils
Providing information about support services available outside school. E.g. speech and language therapy etc.

We achieve educational inclusion by continually reviewing what we do, through asking ourselves these key questions:
Do all our children achieve their best?
Are there differences in the achievement of different groups of children?
What are we doing for those children who we know are not achieving their best?
Are our actions effective?
Are we successful in promoting racial and social harmony and preparing pupils to live in a diverse and multicultural society?

Teaching and learning style:
We aim to give all our children the opportunity to succeed and reach the highest level of personal achievement. We analyse the attainment of different groups of pupils to ensure that all pupils are achieving as much as they can. We also make ongoing assessments of each child’s progress. Teachers use this information when planning their lessons. It enables them to take into account the abilities of all their children. We encourage a differentiated approach to teaching. Differentiation refers to the method whereby the teacher varies the content, activities, methodologies and resources to suit the child’s experience, interests and needs.

When the attainment of a child falls significantly below the expected level, teachers enable the child to succeed by planning work that is in line with that child’s individual needs. Where the attainment of a child significantly exceeds the expected level of attainment, teachers use other materials, or extend the breadth of work within the area or areas for which the child shows particular aptitude.

Teachers are familiar with the relevant legislation governing equal opportunities, race, gender and disability.

Teachers ensure children;  
Feel secure and know that their contributions are valued
Appreciate and value the differences they see in others
Take responsibility for their own actions
Are taught in groupings that allow them all to experience success
Use materials that reflect a range of social and cultural backgrounds, without stereotyping
Have a common curriculum experience that allows for a range of different learning styles
Have challenging targets that enable them to succeed
Are encouraged to participate fully, regardless of disabilities or medical needs 

Newcomer Children - Children entitled to Language Support
A number of our children have particular learning and assessment requirements, which are linked to their progress in learning English as an additional language.

The teaching, learning, achievements, attitudes and well being of all our children are important. We encourage all our children to achieve to the highest possible standards. We do this through taking account of each child’s life experience and needs. Children who are receiving language support have skills and knowledge about language similar to Irish children speaking English. Their ability to participate in the full curriculum may be in advance of their communicative skills in English.

In St Catherine’s teachers take action to help children who are learning English as an additional language by various means:

1. Developing their spoken and written English by;
Ensuring that vocabulary work covers the technical as well as the everyday meaning of key words, metaphors and idioms,
Explaining how speaking and writing in English are structured for different purposes across a range of subjects
Providing a range of reading materials that highlight the different ways in which English is used
Ensuring there are effective opportunities for talking, and that talking is used to support writing
Encouraging children to transfer their knowledge, skills and understanding of one language to another
Building on children’s experiences of language at home and in the wider community, so their ‘developing uses’ of English and other languages support one another.

2. Ensuring access to the curriculum by;
Using accessible texts and materials to suit children’s ages and levels of learning
Providing support through IT and video and audio materials

All children in our school follow the requirements of the Primary Curriculum. Children receiving language support produce separate work. We withdraw children from lessons to receive language support. The Language Support Teacher works in partnership with class teachers. This involves supporting individual children or small groups of children and, at times, teaching the whole class. Sometimes the Language Support Teacher works with groups of children, of whom only one or two may be language support children.

Children with Disabilities:
Some children in our school have disabilities and consequently need additional resources. The school is committed to providing an environment that allows these children full access to all areas of learning. All our classroom entrances are wide enough for wheelchair access, and the designated points of entry for our school also allow wheelchair access.

Our teachers modify their teaching and learning as appropriate for these children. For example, they may give additional time to children with disabilities to complete certain activities. They speak clearly and slowly as required, use a range of communication techniques; arrange the classroom furniture for optimal accessibility, incorporate technical aids as part of the educational experience and work with Special Needs Assistants on toileting and other physical needs. In their planning, teachers ensure that they give children with disabilities the opportunity to develop skills in practical aspects of the curriculum. Teachers sometimes work with visiting teachers to develop programmes of work to support the child.

Teachers ensure that the work for these children;
Takes account of their pace of learning and the equipment they use
Takes account of the effort and concentration needed in oral work, or when using, for example, vision aids
Is adapted or offers alternative activities in those subjects where children are unable to manipulate tools or equipment, or use certain types of materials
Allows opportunities for them to take part in educational visits and other activities linked to their studies
Encourages social interaction
Uses assessment techniques that reflect their individual needs and abilities 

In response to the Disability Act 2001, the Board of Management is constantly reviewing how the school can be made more accessible for disabled children.

Racism and inclusion:
The diversity of our society is addressed through our schemes of work, which reflect the programmes of study of the primary school curriculum. Teachers are flexible in their planning and offer appropriate challenges to all pupils, regardless of ethnic or social background. All racist incidents are now recorded and reported to the Principal. The school contacts parents of those pupils involved in racist incidents. (See Racial Equality Policy). The children have a voice in student council and have the opportunity to suggest ways to deal with such issues as the playground, inclusive activities in and out of class. In fact the children are consulted on all matters of school life.
Children, ancillary staff and all stake holders  are included in the development of school policies.

In our school the teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes and well being of every child are important. We follow the necessary regulations to ensure that we take the experiences and needs of all our children into account when planning for learning.

The policy will be reviewed regularly, (next review June 2012), and also in the light of any unforeseen events that may arise.

Information on Custody & Separation:
We, the Board and Management and Staff of St Catherine’s NS recognize that among the student population there are those whose parents live apart from one another. We recognize that this can give rise to a range of issues and difficulties for the students and for the their parents.

We encourage separated, separating or non-cohabiting parents to come and speak confidentially to the teachers and/or Principal about any issues or difficulties which may arise for their child or children by reason of that separation.  It is our aim to handle such matters with sensitivity and compassion, and ultimately our primary concern is for the well-being and overall development of the child. We recognize that the range of issues to which separation can give rise can be very wide, but in our experience most can be overcome with some pre-planning and dialogue between the school and the parents. The staff can recommend books, videos, publications etc. dealing with the issue of separation, on request.

We have already adopted and implemented the following protocols, which we find addresses satisfactorily the needs and concerns of most pupils and their parents. We are always open to discuss individual requirements or concerns with parents, but we would kindly ask you to observe and co-operate with the following:

When a child spends time in two homes it is requested that the school be provided with both sets of emergency/contact numbers.

Regarding the collection of children from school, it is requested that the school be informed of any changes in collection arrangements by note.

It is the school policy to offer the option of separate parent/teacher meetings, if so desired. Please let us know in writing in advance if you wish to have separate parent/teacher meetings.

It is assumed that when we wish to communicate with parents regarding their child, the parent who is contacted (i.e. the parent with whom the child principally resides) will inform the other parent of meetings, arrangements etc.  Please let us know if this general arrangement does not meet your particular circumstances and we will try to accommodate any reasonable alternative arrangement.

In the case of married parents, the school cannot be asked to withhold a child from either parent in the absence of a custody arrangement or Court Order.

In the case of unmarried parents, as the natural father has no custody or guardianship rights unless a court grants those rights to him, the onus is on the father to produce evidence of a court order in the case of a dispute regarding the collection of a child during or after school.

The Garda Vetting Policy:
The Garda Vetting Policy operates in conjunction with the Child Protection Policy which serves to ensure the safety of all children in the school. The staff and Board of St Catherine’s endeavour to keep potential unsupervised access to children to a minimum. This is as much for the safety of the children as for the adults who may find themselves on their own with a child or children. The Board and staff fully recognise the limitations of Garda Vetting and realise that it does not provide clearance for any individual. However in the interest of best practice, it is the policy of St Catherine’s to have vetted any individual who may find themselves in a position on their own with a child or children. This includes members of the Board of Management and non-teaching staff.

C.f. Circular 0094/2006

Aims of the Policy
• To ensure that the school is a safe and secure environment for the children in our school
• That Garda Vetting be part of the wider process ensuring the protection and safety of all members of the school community.
What is Garda Vetting?
The process of Garda Vetting is carried out by the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU). The function of the GCVU is to provide details of ‘all prosecutions, successful or not, pending or completed, and/ or convictions’ in respect of an applicant to a registered organisation.

The applicant completes the Garda Vetting form which is then sent to an Authorised Signatory in CPSMA. The Garda Vetting form is then forwarded to the GCVU.
All rules of Data Protection will be observed in respect of any data received following a Garda Vetting;

• Information will be obtained and processed fairly
• Information will be kept for a specified, explicit and lawful purpose
• Use of and disclosure of information obtained occurs only in ways compatible with these purposes
• Information will be kept safe and secure
• It will be retained only while necessary for the purpose obtained
• Information received from the Vetting Unit will be shared with the individual at their request.

All offers of employment to non-teaching staff and volunteers are ‘subject to satisfactory vetting by the Garda vetting Unit’. The Teaching Council vets teaching staff separately.
Failure to complete the Garda Vetting form will automatically disqualify the candidate. The provision of inaccurate information on the Garda Vetting form, such as inaccurate date of birth or address, may also disqualify.
Decisions on whether to accept an applicant will involve consideration of a number of criteria as well as the Garda Vetting findings. In the case of convictions, cognisance is taken of the nature and dates of the conviction, restorative justice and rehabilitation of offenders.

Candidates will be able to challenge the information provided by the GCVU especially to avoid errors or cases of mistaken identity. In such cases re-vetting will take place.
In all decisions, it is recognised that the school will take as its first priority its responsibility to the protection of children attending school activities.

Completing a Garda Vetting Form
Please use BLOCK CAPITALS when completing the form. It is imperative that you complete the Garda Vetting Form fully and correctly. Do not leave any part of the form blank. If there is not an applicable answer please write N/A or cross out.

Surname: Insert your current surname.

Previous surname: Insert your previous name here (i.e. maiden name if applicable).

Forename: Insert your forename / first name.

Alias: If you are known by any name other than that/those on your birth certificate please insert here.

PPS No (formerly R.S.I Number): Please enter your P.P.S No. here (if you do not have a P.P.S. No, please contact the office of your local Revenue Commissioners to obtain same).

Date of birth: Insert your date of birth (dd/mm/yy).

Place of birth: Insert the name of the city or town that you were born in (e.g. Dublin City).

Have you ever changed your name? If yes, tick ‘yes’ box, if no tick ‘no’ box.

If yes please state former name: Insert any previous surnames if applicable (e.g. in the event that you were married on more than one occasion or that you have changed your name by deed poll etc).

Please state all addresses from year of birth to present date: It is very important that your current address and all previous addresses, including all addresses abroad, are provided. You must also insert the years that you resided at these addresses, year from and year to. These will be checked and if there is any time unaccounted for, the form will be returned to you.

Have you ever been convicted of an offence in the Republic of Ireland or elsewhere? If no, tick ‘no’, box. If yes, tick ‘yes’ box and then please provide details of conviction(s), i.e. Date, Court, Offence, Court Outcome.

Declaration: Please make certain you fill in the position you are applying for in the section marked: “I, the undersigned have applied to work as a …” You must read this declaration carefully, sign and date it, and also print your name in block capitals underneath the signature. (BLOCK CAPITALS).

If the form is not completed correctly it will be returned to you for further completion/ verification. Please note that this could significantly slow your appointment/ Garda Vetting process.The GardaVetting Form is ONLY available directly from the School, if you are required to fill one out the School will provide it to you.

Use of Mobile Telephones and Electronic Devices
This policy outlines the appropriate use of mobile phones and electronic devices in our school.

The possession and use of mobile phones by school pupils is now extensive, even in the primary school sector.

Our core business of teaching and learning needs to be conducted in an environment free from unnecessary distractions or disruptions. Therefore the school strongly discourages the bringing of mobile phones to school by students.

The school is prepared to allow mobile phones on the premises but only within the parameters of the policy as stated below.

Use of mobile phones (particularly with the advent of increasingly sophisticated equipment and camera phones) presents a number of problems, including:
• Mobile phones can be valuable items and might render a pupil vulnerable to theft

• Mobile phones (and their cost and level of sophistication - or otherwise) can make pupils objects of envy or disparagement and could have implications with regard to discipline and potential bullying

• Even when apparently silent, the use of mobiles phones for texting purposes could be potentially undermining of classroom discipline

• Use of the newer phones with integrated cameras could lead to child protection and data protection issues with regard to inappropriate capture, use or distribution of images

• Many of the above issues also pertain to I-Pods, Game Boys, PSPs, etc. They can be very intrusive, distracting and anti- social in a school environment.

To inform all members of our school community about the appropriate use of mobile phones at our school. To outline the procedures and processes of this policy.

The school’s Board of Management accepts that it is not realistic to have a policy which prohibits pupils from taking phones to school. Not only would it be impractical to forbid pupils from carrying them (when the latest phones are so slim that they could be hidden easily), but it is believed that a number of parents would be concerned for health and safety reasons if their child were not allowed to carry a phone at all (and might therefore be unable to contact their parents in respect of any situation that might arise.)

However, it is the Board’s policy to prohibit the unauthorised use by pupils of mobile phones while on school premises, grounds or off site activities e.g. school swimming, as follows:

Guidelines for Children
• The Board discourages (and asks all parents to discourage) pupils from bringing mobile phones to schools on the grounds that they are valuable and may be lost or stolen.
Where a pupil does bring a mobile phone to school, the phone must remain switched off during the school day and may not be used, for any purpose, on school premises, grounds or during off-site school activities (such as school swimming or sports activities.)

• Parents are reminded that in cases of emergency, the school office remains the first point of contact and can ensure your child is reached quickly, and helped in any appropriate way.

• Where a parent feels that their child having a phone in school is essential the following will apply:

• Parents must send the Board of Management a letter requesting that their child be permitted to bring his/her mobile phone to school. One letter per school term. The letter should be addressed to the chairperson of the board and may be handed into the school secretary. This letter, if approved, will be kept on file.

• All phones brought to school must have a sticky label on the back with the child’s name and classroom number.

• The phones must be turned off and handed up to class teacher at the start of the school day. The teacher will keep the phones locked in top drawer until the end of school day.

• Any child found to intentionally have a phone in school without parental letter or without having handed it to teacher in the morning will have the phone confiscated. The phone will not be returned until a parent collects it.

Similarly, the use of electronic games, personal stereos, etc is not permitted during the school day (including arrival, class time, breaks and dismissal.)

• Where a pupil is found by a member of staff to be using a mobile phone or other electronic device, as above, for any purpose, the phone will be confiscated from the pupil and returned only to the parent, guardian or carer.

• The school will not be liable for the replacement of lost, stolen or damaged devices.
The school incorporates this policy into the Code of Behaviour and will treat breaches as they would treat any other breach of the Code.
• If a pupil is found taking photographs or video footage with a mobile phone of either other pupils or teachers or sharing inappropriate messages via bluetooth this will be regarded as a serious offence and disciplinary action will be taken according to the school’s Discipline Policy.

• If images of other pupils or teachers have been taken, the phone will not be returned to the pupil until the images have been removed by the pupil in the presence of a teacher.

School Trips and Outings.
• Children are not permitted to bring mobile phones with them on school trips and tours. A contact number will be provided for parents which may be used by them to contact the teacher on the trip.

• Children may bring cameras with them on school tours.

Guidelines for Staff
• During teaching time, while on playground duty and during meetings, mobile phones will be switched off or put on ‘silent’ or ‘discreet’ mode.

• Phones will not be used in sight of children except in the case of emergency. Calls for school business e.g. checking a booking for school tour, making arrangements for sporting events etc. should be done on the school phone.

• In very exceptional circumstances (eg a car has broken down en route to school and a mechanic has been called) the teacher may, with the permission of the principal, have their phones on for a period. An explanation should be given to the class in this case.

• Teachers are reminded to be careful when using their personal mobile phones to contact parents. Personal phones have been used in the past (for example to phone a parent who has requested a child be dropped in Rush village on return from a trip). There have been occasions where teachers who have used their phones in this way in good faith have subsequently received crank calls.

St. Catherine's National School, Kenure, Rush, Co. Dublin.
Principal: Mr. Ger Ó Sé, Deputy Principal: Ms. Fidelma Carroll, Uimhir Rolla: 19624T

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