Board of Management Annual Statement

Holy Trinity National School

June 20th 2017.

Introduction

We are delighted to present this report to the school community of Holy Trinity N.S.  The Annual Report provides a summary of information on the operation of Holy Trinity National School in line with the requirements of the Education Act. The report serves as an addition to the information provided on the school website www.holytrinity.ie, the various monthly newsletters issued by the school, circulars to parents, Information Booklet provided to all parents of new junior infants, the School prospectus, and all information provided to parents during the school year.

The report sets out to reflect on the work of the past school year 2016/17, and looks ahead to the bright future in Holy Trinity NS.

Board of Management

The Board of Management was elected in November 2015. This board will serve a four year term. The board's main function is to manage the school on behalf of the patron and for the benefit of the students and to provide an appropriate education for each student at the school. The board is accountable to the patron and the Minister for Education and Skills.

Mrs Mary White- Chairperson

James Tobin – Principal and Secretary to BoM

Fr Paul Ludden – Patron Nominee

Gráinne Heneghan – Parent Nominee - Treasurer

Pádraig O Conaill – Parent Nominee Finance Committee

Caroline Walsh- Teacher Nominee Finance Committee

Patricia MacConville- Community Nominee

Mick Lynch- Community Nominee- Health & Safety Officer.

School Ethos

A caring, nurturing experience of Christianity is central to the school. It has found expression this year in

  • Good Friend Week

  • St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper Collection

  • Attitude of Gratitude focus

  • Catholic Schools’ Week Celebration in January

  • First Penance & First Communion for 2nd Class pupils in April/ May

  • Weekly School assemblies celebrating our successes in our school community.

  • Continued Professional Development for Staff in Wellbeing during September for the school community.

    We are indebted to the support of our school chaplain Fr Peter Byrne. Fr Peter has been a frequent visitor to our school and has been a wonderful shepherd leading us through the various school religious ceremonies and celebrations during the year. We especially thank Fr Peter for organising our 6th class trip to Glendalough in June.  This opportunity for the graduating class will live long in their memories and will hopefully help nurture them in the spiritual growth in the years ahead. The new Religious Education programme Grow in Love will be introduced to third and fourth classes in the coming school year.

    A recent visit by the Diocesan Advisors gave the school great praise for the work of teachers in the school.

Staffing

In 2016/17 we have an administrative principal, Mr Tobin and deputy principal, Ms. Brady Dawson who make up the middle management structure of the school. We have eighteen classroom teachers. We have five learning support teachers and two resource teachers. School administration is supported by our school secretary, Julie Roe along with Elaine O Dwyer. We also employ a part-time caretaker John Barron and school library assistant, Michaela McAleer.

The school will increase to nineteen mainstream classes in the coming year with eight SEN teachers.

Policy Development

 The following school polices were reviewed and approved since September 2016.

-Child Protection Policy Review

-School Behaviour Policy

-Staff Leave Policy

-Health & Safety Policy Review

-Anti-Bullying Policy

-Anti-Cyber Bullying Policy

-Dignity at Work Policy

-Acceptable Use Policy

-Reconstitution of Classes Policy

-Exemption of Irish Policy

School Inspection

Two staff members were successfully probated following detailed inspection visits by Ms. Noreen Kavanagh and Ms. Jean Pender.

Curricular Development 

Mathematics

Developments in the teaching of Mathematics in Holy Trinity are ongoing.

In 2016/2017, the school applied for, and received sustained support for Maths from PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers). A facilitator worked with staff to develop pupils’ learning in Mathematics, in line with evidence-based research and best practice. New approaches to estimation, computation and general problem-solving skills were implemented. Greater emphasis is placed on pupil thinking and talking and classroom environments encourage pupil-invented strategies to problem-solving. Response from pupils, teachers and parents has been very positive.

Language

Holy Trinity continues the introduction of the new Primary Language Curriculum (English and Gaeilge), which currently covers Junior Infants to 2nd Class. The emphasis in this curriculum is on supporting pupil language learning in terms of development along particular Progression Milestones. Much work has already been done in Holy Trinity to improve teaching approaches to literacy and existing school practices compliment many of the concepts, dispositions and skills which are at the heart of the Learning Outcomes in this new Curriculum.

Aistear

Infant classes continue to use our Aistear Room, where curriculum objectives are fulfilled through structured play in a stimulating and motivating environment.

SPHE

Pupil social, personal and health education has also been a focus this year. Two positive mental health programmes were introduced in selected classes – Friends for Life and Weaving Wellbeing. A decision has been taken to extend the use of the Weaving Wellbeing programme, will involve lessons on Character Strengths, Positive Emotions, Tools of Resilience, Positive Relationships and Empowering Beliefs. Our commitment to this aspect of Social Personal Health Education reflects our belief in the importance of helping our pupils to weave positivity into their daily lives, develop self-awareness, resilience and self-efficacy and ultimately be empowered to cope with the interactions and ‘ups and downs’ of life.

In tandem with this focus, our Sonas room, which was opened this year, has afforded teachers the opportunity to expose pupils to quiet reflection, visualisation and Mindfulness practices.

A new Stay Safe (Child Protection) programme has been introduced in primary schools. To ensure that parents can support the work done in school, this programme will be completed in the second term each year. A letter to parents at the start of the programme along with regular home-link bulletins will be sent home to keep parents updated on content covered in the programme.

New model of allocation of support for pupils with special educational needs

The Department of Education has made changes to the provision of support for pupils with special educational needs. From Sept. 2017, schools will have greater autonomy to allocate teaching resources flexibly, bases on pupils’ needs, without the requirement for a diagnosis of disability. This will be done within the context of the SEN teaching posts given to the school.

ICT

Since the beginning of this year, we have employed the services of Get Smart Media to help maintain and develop the opportunities for using ICT to support teaching and learning in the classroom.

The Support has three aspects.

  1. Training and supporting teachers to embed ICT in all subject areas to extend learning. This support is in the form of briefings and demonstrations to staff as well as working with classes and teachers together.
  2. Managing the school hardware so the technology does what it’s meant to do.
  3. Help build a development plan for ICT to adjust to school budget.
  4. Use by class teachers to give pupils hands-on access to material for SESE, language and literacy projects.

During this year, a set of 16 I-pads were purchased to allow more hands-on learning opportunities in classes. Initially the plan for the term March – June set out to:

  1. Provide hands-on support in classrooms. Nine classes benefitted from the 6 week modules.

  2. To develop a suite of apps that can support individual, group and whole-class learning.

  3. To explore the opportunities for creative work and coding.

    This support has been successful for all, and the project will be extended in the coming year.

Assessment

Pupil progress is measured using the following assessment tools:

Teacher observation, Teacher designed tasks and tests, Work samples, portfolios & projects, Checklists. Holy Trinity is mindful of the importance of assessment for learning as well as assessment of learning.

In May, school standardised tests for English and Mathematics were conducted in all classes from 1st – 6th. The results of these tests are communicated to parents in the end of year pupil report. Summary details are also communicated to the Department of Education and Skills. Reports on sixth class pupils transferring to second level are forwarded to the relevant second level school at the end of the academic year.

Child Protection

The Board is happy that the School Child Protection Policy is working effectively. Updated reports are presented to each Board meeting and Child Protection features on the agenda of every Staff meeting. The Designated Liaison Person maintains regular contact with Túsla, the Child Protection Agency.

Attendance

The Board of Management receives regular updates on school attendance. The Board is satisfied that the school is compliant with mandatory reporting of pupils who miss more than twenty school days. The School Attendance Strategy developed in 2015 is proving effective as a proactive and positive impact in preventing school absence. Average monthly attendance during the year was just over 95%.

School Building Health & Safety

Our school building is in excellent condition. The school Safety Officer completed a Health and Safety Audit in April. Identified hazards and issues were noted and appropriate action taken.

School Successes on the Sporting Field.

Just before Christmas our boy’s senior football team were victorious in the Cumann na mBunscol football final. A few days later our senior girls won the final of Basketball league in National Basketball Arena Tallaght. The trophy cabinet had to be opened again later in the year when two of our sixth class pupils won Gold and silver medals at the Santry Sports Athletics finals. These sporting successes are worthy of mention, and we congratulate all of those who represented the school on the school teams during the year.

Extra-Curricular Activities

In Holy Trinity, staff and outside facilitators continue to offer a broad range of extra-curricular activities to our pupils. The Board recognises that extra-curricular activities compliment in-school learning activities and provide further opportunities for pupils to explore their talents and develop holistically. Zumba was added to the schedule this year. We thank all after-school facilitators for their work during the year.

Public Service Agreement

Under the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement, teachers and special needs assistants completed a schedule of additional work which included the following;

- School planning - continuous professional development - induction - policy development - staff meetings - nationally planned in-service - school arranged in-service.

 A full report on the usage of these additional hours was prepared for the school Board of Management in June 2017.

Student Council

Our student council was elected in September 2015. The student council has the following aims and objectives:

  • to allow students play an active and positive role in matters of school life;

  • to provide effective communication between Staff, Students and Parents;

  • to empower students and give them a sense of responsibility;

  • to foster a sense of respect and a positive attitude among students.

This year the student council helped organise and present the presentation for parents in October. They organised sports leagues for 3rd – 6th classes during the year. They set up a tuck-shop on the day of the Easter holidays to help fund graduation hoodies for our sixth class. They have also been involved in the development of the Behaviour Policy during the year.

Before & After-School Care

A Breakfast Club and After-School Club currently operates in the school providing parents with a care option for all pupils early in the morning and infant pupils in the afternoon from 1.30-2.30. We thank the facilitators for their work. Following representations from parents, the Board entered into partnership with Kids Inc in the past few weeks. A more substantial after-school care facility will be provided to pupils in the new academic year.

Holy Trinity NS welcomed Mountainside Montessori to the building in September 2016. This has been a wonderful success. Priority for pupils enrolled in Holy Trinity National School will be established this year. We thank Martina and Anne for their trojan work with the young pre-schoolers during the year. We wish them well in the coming school year.   

School Finances

The financial management of our school is conducted in compliance with Department of Education and Skills requirements. The Board of Management’s Finance Committee prepares a monthly statement of income and expenditure ahead of each meeting. The Board is grateful to the parent association for the magnificent sum of    which ensures our budget remains in a very healthy state. The Board has consulted with the Parent Association with regard to the spending of this money. A report was issued to parents at the Parent Association Annual General Meeting in June on how fundraised money was spent during the year.

The school accounts were audited in accordance with the Education Act in October 2016.

The Board is satisfied that Holy Trinity NS remains in a financially sound position, with a clear budgeting plan in place again for the coming year.

Reflecting on School Activities and Achievements this year

The Board is indebted to the teaching staff, who, with the help of support staff, created so many additional learning opportunities and enjoyable events during the school year.

These include-

  • Class Trips and School Tours,

  • Dance module for 3rd and 4th classes,

  • Drama Workshops for 3rd & 4th ,

  • Graffiti Classics Visit.

  • Sonas Room

  • Seachtain na Gaeilge Céilí Mór

  • School Garden project,

  • Oliver the Musical

  • National Children’s Choir

  • Drumming workshop,

  • Storyteller visit,

  • Christmas Plays,

  • Growth Mind-set project,

  • Sports Day,

  • Gaelic Football Competitions,

  • Basketball competitions.

  • Indoor Hurling & Indoor Football in Naomh Olafs.

Parent Association

The Board of Management wishes to thank the committee of the Parent Association for their work during the course of the year. The Association, whose efforts stretch far beyond fundraising, organise many events and celebrations which greatly enhance the school life for our pupils and enable parents play an active and supportive role in their children’s school experience. The extraordinary fundraising efforts of the Association during the year has ensured that a sum of €26,500 is available to the Board of Management to ensure further improvement of the learning opportunities we can provide in Holy Trinity NS. We thank Anne-Marie Flowers who steps down after two years as chairperson.

Some of the Parent Association activities this year included:

  • Organisation of social and curriculum event at the beginning of the school year.

  • Major Fundraisers including Christmas Fair and ‘Drop ‘till You Drop’ Disco

  • Organisation of monthly parent coffee mornings

  • Organisation of hospitality for school events.

  • First Holy Communion Breakfast.

  • Organisation of Open Night with staff from Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School

  • Facilitating Wellbeing training for parents with NPC

  • Review of School Behaviour Policy.

  • Liaising between parents and principal on relevant matters.

     

    International Children’s Day.

One of the highlights this year was our celebration of National Children’s Day. An idea that came from the Parent Association grew into a truly remarkable day for the school community. We thank the Parent Association and Staff for preparing the day. We thank the many families who contributed presentations on the day. We thank the pupils for doing work for the wonderful art exhibition- ‘Me and the Wider World’.

June 1st 2017 will stand out as a real day of celebration. We can learn so much from each other. That’s what makes our school so enriched- an inclusive, integrated and intercultural learning environment, to prepare our pupils so that they can ‘share our similarities and celebrate our differences’.

Teaching Experience & Transition Year Student Support

This year, our school has again been in a position to host third and second-level students. As part of our co-operation with Teacher Training Colleges, we facilitated two trainee teachers for their teaching practice modules. We also facilitated ten transition year pupils from local second level schools, who as part of a Mol an Oige initiative organised by Naomh Olaf GAA Club and local Transition Year coordinators, coached our Senior Infant and First Class pupils in hurling and camogie. In addition, St Benildus College also provided a number of pupils throughout the school year on Friday mornings to assist with Active maths games in the Junior Infant classes. We thank the students for their efforts and we hope we have been able to give some focus on working in education as a fruitful and rewarding career choice.

School Communication

The Board acknowledges school efforts to encourage and support parental involvement and communication with the school. Information meetings were organised for each class in September and formal parent teacher meetings were held in November. Parents were facilitated in meeting teachers by appointment at other times during the year.

School newsletters were distributed to parents every fortnight. All of these bulletins were also uploaded n the school website. The school text service was advanced this year, providing important reminders to parents. All school bulletins are now distributed in soft-copy only.

An Extraordinary Staff.

In Holy Trinity NS, we are so lucky to have a staff who work so well together, and are truly dedicated to enriching the school experience of all the pupils. From the moment one enters the school building, you sense a thriving school community. We pay tribute to the fine work of the administrative staff, teaching staff and support staff who we commend for their dedication and hard work.

Graduation Class 2017.

It seems like just a few months since we welcomed in the junior infants of 2009. Eight years later we are sending them on their way to second level school. We thank all forty three pupils and their families for enriching our school during the past eight years, and we wish them all the very best in the months and years ahead as they begin the next chapter of their learning lives. A special thanks to the parents of some of these pupils who bring to an end their close affiliation with Holy Trinity. You have helped in so many ways to build this school into the wonderful school community that it is.

And Finally…

As Holy Trinity draws down the curtain on a busy, productive and fulfilling year, the Board wishes to salute all pupils, parents and staff, and to acknowledge the significant contributions all have made during 2016/2017.  We look forward to a bright new school-year after a well-earned break. Holy Trinity re-opens on Thursday August 31st. The school calendar for 2016/ 17 is available to the school community on the school website- www.hoytrinity.ie

Beir Bua ‘S Beannacht

 

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Mary White

Chairperson Board of Management                   

 

 

___________________                                                                                                        

James Tobin

Principal