Our aim here in Belgrove Senior Girls’ is to help each child to achieve her full potential. Together with her educational development, each child’s personal, emotional and social development is our priority. The building of each child’s self-esteem is of prime importance. We inculcate in our pupils’ good behaviour patterns based on consideration, respect and tolerance for others. We aim to maintain a safe and happy environment for our pupils, with a positive atmosphere of encouragement and praise.
“Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí!”
2. A Brief History of our School
Belgrove Senior Girls’ School first opened in our present building in 1969/70. However, the origins of our school go back quite a bit further.
The original Clontarf National Schools for girls and boys were on Vernon Avenue and opened in 1847. In 1940 the schools moved to Belgrove House, the building which is now the home of Clontarf G.A.A. Club. At this time the schools were officially titled St. John the Baptist National Schools, or Scoil Eoin Baiste. The name Belgrove was colloquially adopted and, to this day, is the name by which the schools are fondly known far and wide.
Throughout the years Belgrove has gained an excellent reputation for its high educational standards and the high level of achievement of its pupils. The present-day staff and pupils aim to maintain this standard of excellence. In this we have the support of parents who take an active interest in the education of their children.
3. Enrolment, Staff and Accommodation
Belgrove Senior Girls’ School is a Catholic Primary School operating within the rules of the Dept. of Education and Skills and under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin. The girls are prepared for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. We will be implementing the new “Grow in Love” Religion Programme for 2nd classes while the Alive O Religion programme will continue to be taught in 3rd – 6th
- The school caters for girls from Second to Sixth Class.
This year the School Staff comprises the Principal, fifteen Class Teachers (plus job-sharing teachers), three Learning Support/EAL Teachers, (one is shared with another school, plus job sharing teachers), a Resource Teacher, three Special Needs Assistants, a School Secretary, a Caretaker and a Classroom Assistant. Through parental funding, a specialist PE Instructor is also employed in the school.
- Within the main school building, we have fourteen classrooms and a Computer Room. The fifteenth classroom is in a portacabin, along with rooms for the Learning Support Teachers. There is another Learning Support room at the rear of the stage and the Resource Teacher has a separate portacabin (adjacent to the larger one) at the rear of the school yard.
The school has a well-stocked Library, which is housed in a portacabin in the courtyard. Each classroom also has its own class library.
We have a large School Hall which is shared with the Infant Girls’ School.
The school has a large playground and also shares the use of Clontarf GAA Club’s astroturf pitch during school hours.
Our school garden is located behind the portacabin in the yard.
4. Board of Management
- Our school has a dedicated and hard-working Board of Management, which meets regularly. The Board has eight members, with equal representation from the Patron, the Teaching Staff, Parents, and the wider community. Current members of the Board are:
Patron’s Representatives: Mr. Owen Wilson (Chairperson) & Fr. Larry White.
Teachers’ Representatives: Mrs. Anne McCarthy (Principal) & Mrs. Eva MacNamee.
Parents’ Representatives: Mr. Mark Bryans & Ms. Claire Roddy.
Community Representatives: Mrs. Bernadette Hollingsworth (Treasurer) & Mr. Donal Friel.
5. Parents’ Association
- We have a very active Parents’ Association. The support of our Parents is invaluable to the school, in many practical ways. The Parents’ Association is always looking for new parents willing to assist them in their activities. Make sure to make contact if you would like to help.
- Seeing their parents actively involved in the school has a positive effect on children.
- Teachers often require the assistance of parents in different ways in the classroom. Let your daughter’s teacher know, if you have a particular skill or occupation, which you might like to share with the class!
6. Teaching Staff and Curriculum
- As a Teaching Staff we constantly strive to follow best practice in our profession and work very hard to achieve high standards, in a pleasant learning environment for our pupils. Staff-pupil relationships and inter-staff relationships are very positive and friendly, based on mutual respect and trust.
- We embrace the ideals of the Revised Primary School Curriculum, which is very holistic, encompassing the whole development of each child. The Revised Curriculum focuses on the child as a learner and aims to help children to develop strategies to equip them for lifelong learning. The methodologies that are recommended in teaching the Revised Curriculum aim to make the children more actively involved in the learning process.
- The eleven subject areas:
English, History, Visual Arts, Gaeilge, Geography, Physical Education, Mathematics, Science, Drama, S.P.H.E., Music
- The eleven subject areas:
- The new Primary Language Curriculum will be implemented on a phased in basis over the next few years. The initial emphasis will be on the Oral Language/Teanga ó Bhéal Strand from Infants – 2nd
The school operates a book rental scheme in line with Department of Education and Skills guidelines. The books are owned by the Board of Management of the school and are given on loan to the girls as required. Some books will be used for the whole year, while others will be used for a shorter time period. It’s important your daughter looks after the books very carefully. They belong to the school, and they will be required for use by other girls. Should the books be damaged or defaced you will be charged for the cost of replacing them.
“With careful management the books can last for up to eight years. They are normally replaced because the books are out of date rather than because of the condition of the books. Parents of girls who damage a book will be asked to replace the book.” Guidelines for Developing Textbook Rental Schemes in Schools, Department of Education and Skills.
We rent English readers & novels in 2nd class, while Religion books, English readers, novels & textbooks, Maths books, SESE (Social Environmental and Scientific Education, consisting of History, Geography & Science) Books are rented in 3rd – 6th classes.
- Social, Personal & Health Education (SPHE)
The curriculum subject, SPHE, incorporates three main areas, as indicated in the following programmes in use in the school:
The following school policy documents relating to SPHE are available for inspection in the school:
– SPHE Policy Plan
– RSE School Policy Statement
– School Substance Use Policy
– Child Protection Policy – Children First
*Please note that the school follows the Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.
- IT: Information Technology is used as a teaching and learning tool in the school. In addition to the sixteen PCs in our Computer Room, there is a computer in each classroom and the entire school is networked and has Broadband. Interactive Whiteboards are in use in all classrooms.
The school has an Internet Acceptable Use Policy with which staff and pupils must comply.
*You will receive a copy of our Internet Acceptable Use Policy in September.
7. Home-School Liaison
- Good communication and co-operation between parents and teachers is fundamental to the development of an effective and happy learning environment for your children.
- It is important to inform your child’s teacher each year of relevant family information which may affect her wellbeing at school. It is best not to assume that such sensitive information has been passed on from the Infant School or from your daughter’s last teacher in the Senior School.
- Parents are always welcome in the school. You are encouraged to keep in regular contact with your daughter’s teacher and to be aware of her progress at school. It is important also, for the teacher to know of any concerns you may have, so that you can work together for the child’s welfare.
- We ask you not to call unexpectedly to see your daughter’s teacher, as she will be unable to talk to you. If you wish to discuss something please arrange an appointment with her. If you wish to meet with the School Principal you are also requested to make a prior appointment.
- When calling to the school always use the main front entrance and ring the bell marked ‘Senior School’.
- You will receive newsletters during the year keeping you up to date with school information/activities. They will also be available on our school website.
- Newsletters, notices, leaflets etc. are usually sent home with the children. Please arrange a system with your daughter, for ensuring that you receive these from her.
- Please note we do not allow the distribution of party invitations in school.
- Your child’s Homework Journal is a daily contact with school and should be checked and signed each day by you, for communication purposes.
- Formal Parent/ Teacher meetings are held each year, usually in late November.
- Annual School Reports are issued towards the end of the school year as per DES circular 0056/2011. This gives you the opportunity to discuss any area of concern on the Report with your daughter’s teacher during the last term of the year.
As per Circular 56/2011, Standardised Tests in English & Mathematics will be given to the girls in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes towards the end of the school year. We also test 3rd & 5th classes in mathematics towards the end of the school year. All classes are tested in English at the beginning of the school year.
- Our school website is belgroveseniorgirls.ie
- Aladdin Data Management System
We use Aladdin Schools, a computer-based data system for administration purposes. It also has a text messaging system which is used to send important/urgent information to a group of parents at once. Generally, one mobile phone number is used as a point of contact. Aladdin Schools complies with world class standards of information security and data protection.
- Primary Online Database (POD)
The Department of Education and Skills (DES) has developed an electronic database of primary school pupils called POD which will involve schools maintaining and returning data on pupils to the DES at individual pupil level on a live system. See Circular 0017/2014 and Circular 0025/2015.
We are in the process of rolling out the Aladdin ePayment system for all parents/guardians of girls in our school. This system is to facilitate the easier payment of school money collections for parents/guardians and to reduce the amount of cash and cheques being sent into the school in line with recent central bank directives. This will be phased in over the next school year. In order to preceed with the setting up of this system we are collecting parent e mail addresses. In the future, when money is due for any school activity that is relevant to your daughter, you will receive a text/email message containing your payment access link. This will bring you to a parent payment page which will contain all payments requested for all siblings in a family. There is only one link per family ensuring you have the option to pay all amounts due for all your children in one transaction. Once you have completed your payment, you will be issued with a reference number. You will also receive an email receipt which will contain details of the transaction and reference number.
8. The School Day
- The official opening time of the school is 8:40am. Please be aware that supervision by staff begins in the morning at 8.40am. Please ensure your daughter has appropriate clothing for cold / wet weather.
- Classes commence at 9.00am and end at 2.20pm.
- No responsibility is accepted for pupils arriving before 8.40am.
- No responsibility is accepted for pupils who are left on the school premises after 2.20pm unless they are engaged in an organised extra-curricular activity.
- Please ensure that your child arrives punctually every day, by 8.50a.m. and that she has all her books, copies, pencils etc. in good order for the day.
- If you are driving your daughter to or from school, you are asked to respect the yellow box, i.e. no stopping zone, around the school entrance, to obey the directions of the School Warden and please do not park in front of neighbours’ gateways .
- Bicycles/scooters at school: If your daughter cycles/scoots to school and parks her bike/scooter in the school grounds, please note it is not covered by the school insurance.
- Home-time: Classes are dismissed at 2.20pm. Please ensure suitable arrangements are in place for your daughter’s collection. If your daughter is attending an extra-curricular class straight after school, she should remain on the school premises and go directly to the classroom in question.
- Extra-curricular classes: Information regarding these classes is distributed in September.
- Your daughter is required to wear the correct school uniform each day.
Belgrove Senior Girls’ School uniform is available in Pender’s on Vernon Avenue and Lynch’s of Marino. The required uniform is listed on the back of your daughter’s Booklist.
If wearing socks only white or navy should be worn with the school uniform please.
- Uniform tracksuits with white polo-shirts are required wear for PE. (Tracksuit bottoms may be purchased separately).
- Please note that suitable flat shoes are required for school wear and trainers (with laces tied properly) are required for PE. When purchasing trainers for PE please ensure that they are suitable for sportswear and not just designer wear. ‘Heelies’, the little wheels on certain trainers, are forbidden at school.
- No jewellery of any kind should ever be worn at PE and only minimum “safe” jewellery should be worn at any other time.
- Please ensure that jumpers, tracksuit tops and jackets etc. are clearly labelled with your daughter’s name.
- An old shirt or tee-shirt should be used to protect your daughter’s uniform at Art-time.
10. Healthy Lunch
- Please ensure that your daughter has a healthy and nutritious lunch each day and continue to include fresh fruit or veg. As well as being good for your child’s general well-being, healthy eating also adds to her ability to concentrate at school. Please try to avoid fizzy drinks, sweet things or chocolate, and to also include other healthy options (e.g. sandwich, pitta bread, rice-cake, etc.). We do not allow crisps or chewing gum. Sweets and lollipops are also discouraged.
- Popcorn, while fairly healthy, is not a terribly suitable option for school. It takes a long time to eat and too often ends up on the floor!
All unfinished lunches should be brought home. In this way, you will know what your daughter is not eating at school.
- Please make sure that your child has a secure container for her drink.
- Glass bottles are forbidden.
- We take part in the E.U. Milk Scheme, which offers subsidised milk to school children. Orders for the year are taken in September.
- We ask you to ensure that your daughter brings home her empty milk or juice tetra-pack cartons for recycling. We recommend that she has a little bag with her lunch-box for these. School recycling bins do not have the capacity for the collection of tetra pack cartons in such quantity, nor is there the time in school for the daily rinsing out that would be involved.
- There are two breaks during the school day, a short break from 10.30am-10.40am and a longer break from 12.15pm-12.45pm.
11. Absences, Illness etc.
If your child has been absent from school, it is essential that a written note explaining the reason for her absence is submitted to her teacher, on her return to school as per TUSLA (Child and Family Agency. Established 01/01/2014). These notes will be retained by the Class Teacher for record purposes so should not be written in the Homework Notebook. Please note that absences totalling 20 days or over, must and will be reported to TUSLA (Educational Welfare Services Child and Family Agency) The precise reason for each absence must be stated when reporting– hence the importance of written notes to the class teacher.
- All pre-arranged absences e.g. medical/dental appointments, music exams etc. should be arranged outside of the school day as far as possible. Should your daughter be absent, the class teacher must be notified in writing.
- If your child has to leave school early, for whatever reason, you must send a note to her teacher or call for her in person.
- You may not take another child with you without a note from that child’s parent stating the reason and granting you permission.
- Holidays during term are not encouraged. Neither is it the policy of the school to set ‘holiday work’ for pupils. Attendance at school is very important and the work of the school continues right up to the end of June each year. If family holidays during term time are unavoidable, please inform your child’s Class Teacher in writing, in advance of the proposed absence from school.
- Please do not send your child to school if she is ill.
- Any infectious illness should be notified to the school without delay.
- If your child has an infectious illness or similar ailment, please consult your doctor or the Health Board, before sending her back to school.
- Head-lice are a recurring problem in schools. It is every parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to remain vigilant in this regard and to check your daughter’s hair on a regular basis.
12. Accidents and Emergencies
- The school retains the contact telephone numbers on each child’s Enrolment Form. Please notify us of any change of number in case we should urgently need to contact you.
- In the event of a serious accident parents or guardians will be contacted immediately. If necessary an ambulance will be called.
- Minor cuts or stings will be treated in accordance with parental permission on Enrolment Form.
- In the event of illness or injury (e.g. a bang on the head or a sprain), parents or guardians will be contacted.
It is now Board of Management policy that all pupils will be included in the Personal Accident Insurance Scheme with 24hr cover. This is at a current cost of €5.60 per pupil, which is included in annual Book-list Extra Costs.
Pupils’ Personal Accident Policy – The insurance covers all pupils on the school register 24 hours a day.
Please note the Allianz policy does not limit the time in which follow on claims can be made under the Medical and Dental Expenses heading. Allianz will pay insured medical/dental expenses, which are not recoverable from any other source, until the need for care has ceased (subject to the policy monetary limit). This benefit is particularly relevant for dental expenses where children may require further treatment long after the insured incident occurs. (Further details available from office).
13. School Holidays and other Closures
- You will receive a list of School Holidays. This list is also available on the school website. Should there be any other school closures during the year you will be notified by letter in advance.
- Emergency closures – you will be contacted via text “Aladdin Schools” and/or Parent Association contact lists.
14.Tours and Outings
- Permission is sought from parents before children are brought on a school tour. Usually, you will receive a letter about the tour with a permission slip attached.
If the teacher does not receive the permission slip signed by you, your child will not be allowed to go on the tour.
Our school has a comprehensive Code of Behaviour. New children to the school will receive a copy of the School Code of Behaviour in September.
- We expect a high standard of behaviour from the children in our school. The children are expected to show respect for each other, for the staff of the school and other adults, and for school property.
As new children become familiar with the school, they are also made aware of the school’s Rules and Safety Procedures. The children become aware that rules are intended to ensure the safety of all in the school community and that rules and procedures help to make the school a pleasant place to be.
- In class, each child is expected to do her best, to be attentive and diligent, to present her work with care, and to co-operate with her teacher and with her classmates.
- Kindness, tolerance and inclusiveness are continually emphasised.
- Countering Bullying Behaviour: Our school has a comprehensive policy on countering bullying behaviour, intended for the whole school community. The good example shown by adults is vital to the formation of good habits of behaviour among children. As well as outlining procedures for dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour, our policy includes positive action towards the prevention of bullying.
Mobile Phones: Pupils are not permitted to have mobile phones switched on or to use them on the school premises during the school day. If any girl needs to have a mobile phone in school with her, it must remain in her schoolbag. If you wish to contact your daughter for any urgent reason, please use the school telephone number. New children to the school will receive a copy of the School Mobile Phone Policy in September.
School Policy recommends the following approximate times to be spent on homework:
Rang 2: 20-30 mins
Rang 3: 30-40 mins
Rang 4: 40-50 mins
Rang 5: 50-60 mins
Rang 6: 60-70 mins
If they have worked hard at school, children should not be expected to spend longer at homework than these recommended times. If your child has difficulty with homework or regularly cannot complete it in the recommended time, please inform her teacher.
Homework will include Reading, Spelling, Tables or other learning work, Maths, and perhaps a written exercise in English or another subject area. Written work will always have been well prepared at school. Maths homework will be consolidation of concepts or computation being studied at school. In higher classes, some home research and project work may be required from time to time.
17. How you can help at home
- Check your child’s homework each day.
- Help her, but do not do the work for her.
- Make sure that homework is done at a table or desk, without distractions nearby.
- Ensure that written work is neat and presentable.
- Homework Reading:
Allow your child to read aloud for you. Do not pressurise her about any word she does not know. Simply tell her the word and ask her to read the sentence again, perhaps returning to difficult words at the end of the reading session, to see if she remembers them.
The children are encouraged to learn spelling using the “Look and say, Cover, Write, Check” method which they can do alone. You should only be called to “Ask me my spellings!” when your child has already tested her knowledge of them. The actual writing down of each spelling is a very important part of the learning process.
- See the school website “Annual Information” section under your daughter’s relevant class for helpful suggestions.
Outside of Homework time, you can help your child’s education at home in many valuable ways.
- The benefit of reading can never be over-emphasised. Read to your child, read with your child, and let your child read to you. Surround her with books! Discuss the book she is reading with her.
- Games with an educational value are a wonderful fun way of learning e.g. family board-games, jigsaws, puzzles, card games, word games, games requiring strategy and logical thinking etc.
- Help your child informally, to read the time, to be familiar with coin values and change, to understand halves and quarters. Such knowledge will help her Maths education.
Monitor IT use. Ensure that some of your home software has a real educational value. Don’t allow too much inactive screen watching.
- Monitor television watching. Set limits on viewing time.
- Ensure that regular exercise is part of your child’s life.
- Lastly, school-going children need a regular sleep-pattern and early nights!
Míle buíochas, for taking the time to read this introduction to Belgrove Senior Girls’ School. Céad míle fáilte romhaibh agus roimh d’iníon go dtí ár scoil. We are delighted to welcome you and your daughter to our school. We wish your daughter success and happiness, during her years in Belgrove.