School Policies

Admissions

ENROLMENT AND ADMISSIONS  POLICY

  1. This is a statement of the policy of Cashel Community School with regard to the enrolment and admission of students to the school.   This policy has been drawn up in consultation with the Board of Management, staff, parents and students of  Cashel Community School.   This policy statement is in line with the objectives set out in the school’s mission statement and in the Deed of Trust for Community Schools.

 

  1. Cashel Community School was established in 1994 with the aim of providing a comprehensive system of post-primary education open to all the children of  the community, combining instruction in academic and practical subjects, and ongoing education for persons living at or near Cashel in the County of Tipperary and generally for the purpose of contributing towards the  spiritual, moral, mental and physical well-being  and development of the community.

 

  1. The trustees of Cashel Community School are the Presentation Sisters, the Christian Brothers and Tipperary Education & Training Board.

 

  1. Cashel Community School is funded by the Department of Education &  Science and is provided with a staffing allocation in accordance with the teacher allocation system of the Department of Education & Science.

 

  1. Cashel Community School operates in accordance with the regulations as set down from time to time by the Department of Education & Science.

 

  1. Cashel Community School provides the curricular programme set down by the Department of Education & Science in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of Education Act, 1998. The programmes available are, Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and Transition Year (optional).   The full range of curricular subjects, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities are detailed in the school prospectus which can be obtained from the school office.

 

  1. Enrolment to the school is limited by school capacity and by the requirements of the school  curriculum and organisation as prescribed from time to time by the Board of Management and as determined by the Department of Education & Science regulations and standards.

 

  1. Cashel Community School is a co-educational post-primary school.

 

  1. The religious ethos of Cashel Community School is multi-denominational and the school will seek to provide religious instruction and worship in accordance with the rites, practice and teaching of the religious denomination to which the student belongs.   It should, however, be noted that in accordance with the Deed of Trust for Community School that Cashel Community School has a full-time Chaplain nominated by the Archbishop of Cashel & Emly. It should also be noted that the majority of students enrolled in the school are members of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

ENROLMENT PROCEDURES.

 

  1. Cashel Community School will prepare and provide for prospective students  and their parents , a prospectus providing information about the school such as school ethos, range of subjects, facilities, extra curricular activities, programmes, services and enrolment procedure.

 

  1. Cashel Community School will also disseminate relevant information to parents and prospective students through an annual Open Night for prospective first year parents and students.

 

  1. The enrolment process for incoming first year students will normally commence during the first term of the school year prior to the time for students to commence secondary school.   Application forms for enrolment will be available at the beginning of the week during which the annual OpenNight  for primary school students and parents takes place.  The Open Night  takes place at the end of the 1st  term.  A standard application form will be produced to ascertain the information required for the application to be considered.

 

  1. The closing date for receipt of completed application forms will be early in the 2nd term.

 

  1. Applications will be considered and a decision on the application will be communicated to parents within twenty one days of the annual closing date.

 

  1. The offer and acceptance of a place in Cashel Community School implies a full acceptance of the rules of the school as laid down from time to time by the Board of Management.

 

  1. In view of the resource implications and the timetabling structure of the first year programme [modules], enrolment to first year is limited. The desirability of base class groups with a maximum of twenty four students will result in a limit on the intake reflecting multiples of twenty four. The absolute limit in any event is 144 first year students.

 

  1. The date of the Assessment Test for incoming first year students together with other organisational arrangements will be communicated to the parents/guardians of those students who have been accepted for enrolment.  The Assessment Test will normally take place during February and the actual date will depend on the dates of the Easter holidays.   The assessment will take place on a Saturday and will take place in Cashel Community School.

 

  1. Cashel Community School will liase with the Principals of the primary school of each student who is enrolled to request relevant information on each student educational progress and related matters.

 

  1. At senior cycle students have the option of pursuing Transition Year, Leaving Certificate (Established) and the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme.   Students in junior cycle will have to apply for a position on their chosen course at senior cycle.

 

 

(i)  Information on senior cycle course and subject options will be disseminated through an Information Night for parents, an information booklet for students and parents and information sessions organised by the Principal and/or Guidance Counsellors on the options open to the students at senior cycle.

 

(ii) Application  forms will be distributed to the students involved in the weeks immediately following the completion of the Pre-Junior Certificate examinations.   The closing date for the return of completed application forms will normally be during the final week before the Easter holidays.

 

(iii) Applicants for Transition Year will be interviewed, during the third term, to determine their suitability for a place on these innovative programmes.   Factors such as attendance record, behaviour record and overall performance and levels of motivation will be considered in assessing a student’s suitability for these courses.   This interview will take place during the final term and students will be advised of the outcome prior to the end of May.         

 

(iv)   In view of the resource implications and the timetabling structure of the transition year programme, enrolment to transition year is limited. The desirability of base class groups with a maximum of twenty four students will result in a limit on intake reflecting the multiples of twenty four [e.g. 24/48/72 students being desirable to make maximum use of resources].

 

(v) Students applying for Fifth Year will make a preliminary open subject choice application in accordance with  (ii) above.   Students will also have to complete a second subject choice form during the third term which will reflect the subject option blocks for that particular year.   The closing date for returning this form will be during the month of May and in event will not be later than May 31st.

 

  1.   In accordance with the ethos of a community school, Cashel Community School welcomes applications from pupils with special needs.   The following  procedures should be noted.

 

(i)  It is essential that accurate information on the nature of the special needs and/or disability is provided to the school before the deadline for the submission of applications to the Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) for additional teaching resources and/ or access to Special Needs Assistant support. Copies of  Psychological Reports or other relevant reports must be submitted in order to support the application’s to the SENO by the school for additional resources.

 

(ii)  The school will  apply to the National Council for Special Education (N.C.S.E) and for resources for students with special needs in accordance with agreed procedures and deadlines.  

 

  1.  An application for a transfer from another school will be considered in accordance with the following procedure.

(i)  Applications to transfer will only be considered during the final term of the school year prior to the commencement of the school year for which the transfer is being sought. Applications to transfer must be received on or before the last day of the school year which is the Friday at the end of  the week prior to the commencement of the State Examinations in June.

(ii) Students who wish to transfer will be interviewed, with their parents, by the Principal prior to a decision on the application being made.

(iii) Students who wish to transfer will have to provide copies of recent school reports and other relevant documentation from the school they are currently enrolled in.

(iv) Students who wish to transfer will have to complete the standard application form.

(v)  Applications to transfer will normally only be considered from students who are commencing second year, transition year and fifth year.

( vi) Applications to transfer will not be considered once the school year has commenced .

(vii) All applications to transfer will be considered in view of available resources,  timetabling/class size restrictions and of the schools capacity to provide for the educational needs of the student.

(viii)   Applications to transfer will only be accepted from students who can satisfy the management of Cashel Community School that there is no history of the applicant being involved in violent behaviour or in any behaviour which has the potential to endanger the health, safety and well-being of staff and students in Cashel Community School.

(ix) Students whose families transfer into the area during the school year will be subject to each of the above conditions which are relevant to the application.

(x)   A decision on an application to transfer will be made within twenty one days of the receipt of the completed application form.

 

  1. Cashel Community School is committed to the key characteristics of the Community School concept and also endeavours to serve the local community and to consider all applicants who have completed the curricular and other requirements of their previous/primary school. In view of the fact that enrolment to the school is limited by school capacity and by the requirements of the school curriculum and organisation, the following specific enrolment criteria will be utilised in assessing applications for enrolment.   Priority in considering applications will be determined in accordance with the following criteria in the event of there being insufficient capacity.

 

(i)  Students who have attended and completed the curricular requirements of any one of the fifteen agreed feeder primary schools which constitute the recognised catchment area.   Students from these primary schools and their parents receive a direct formal invitation to attend the annual Open Night.   The fifteen primary schools which constitute the recognised catchment area are, St. John the Baptist Girls, Boys and Deanery Schools Cashel, Ballagh, Ballytarsna, Ballinure, Boherlahan, Clonoulty, Dualla, Golden, Knockavilla, New Inn Boys and Girls, Rosegreen and Thomastown.

 

(ii)  Students who have siblings attending or who have attended Cashel Community School.

 

(iii)  Students whose parents are on the staff of Cashel Community School.

 

(iv)  Students who reside in the catchment area referred to in (1) above but who attend school outside the area.

 

(v)  Students attending schools, outside the catchment area referred to in (i) above, from which students have enrolled in Cashel Community School in the past.   These schools are principally on the periphery of the recognised catchment area. The schools in this category are Moyglass, Ballyclerihan, Rathkeevin, Donaskeigh, Gaile and Rossmore.

 

(vi) Students from schools not included (i) to (v) will be considered if they are resident in areas from which students have traditionally enrolled in Cashel Community School. In this instance priority will be given to students who are the oldest of families and whose families regard Cashel Community School as their school of first choice. Applications from students not included in (i) to (v) above will be considered subject to availability and such places are allocated on a first come first served basis i.e. according to the date on which the completed enrolment form was received by the school.                                               

 

  1. The Board of Management will assess all applications in accordance with criteria contained in this Admissions Policy. In accordance with the terms of Section 29 of the Education Act this policy provides for a right of appeal by the parents of a student (or, in the case of a student aged 18 years or more, the student) against a decision by a board to permanently exclude, to suspend or to refuse to enrol that student.   This right to appeal is to the Board of Management in the first instance and to the Secretary General of the Department of Education & Science under Section 29 of the Education Act1998.

Health and safety

Anti-bullying

(a) Every child has the right to pass safely through childhood in to adulthood. This right, which no person should take from another, includes the right not to be bullied. Bullying happens when one person or a group of people tries to upset another person.
(b) Students are expected and encouraged to report any instance of bullying which they experience or observe.
(c) lt is the policy of Cashel Community School that all incidents of bullying will be investigated and that decisive action will be taken to resolve such a serious breach of the accepted code of behaviour.

Homework

We in Cashel Community School believe students are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework , it shows students that what they do is important. “Active involvement of parents during their student’s homework provides an ideal context for developing them as first educators of their students.” (News Education, October 2015)

Homework can take a variety of forms including:
• Written assignments
• Creative Assignments
• Learning Assignments
• Revision Work
• Collecting information for projects
• Listening to tapes or CD’s
• Preparing for debates, role plays etc.

A topic covered in class has to be studied for the next class and so it must be recorded in the Student Record Book. (SRB)

All homework, irrespective of format must be recorded in the SRB which is given by the school to the students specifically for this purpose. The Record Book is signed on a weekly basis by the parents/guardians of students from 1st through 3rd year. Record books are regularly monitored and signed by the tutor and are available to all teachers should they wish to communicate with parents.

Parents are asked to support the school by assisting with the following:

  • Ensuring that students have a quiet area for study; equipped with a desk, chair and good quality lighting.
  • Encouraging the student to complete each assignment.
  • Ensuring that any part-time jobs do not interfere with the completion of homework and revision.

The school expects that all homework is completed on time and to the best of the student’s ability. If a student is struggling with homework the parent/guardian should approach the
teacher/tutor/year head to discuss the matter. Students who are absent from class due to participation in extra-curricular activities are expected to establish what work has been assigned and have it completed on schedule.

If a student is unable to complete an assignment it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to communicate this to the teacher, through the SRB.

Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a problems, or just encouraging students to take a break. Effective parent involvement comes when a true partnership exists between schools and families. Creating that partnership, especially around academics, is what works for student achievement. – National Parents Council, 2014

TY

TY is an extra year at Senior Cycle which allows the students to mature as a person, develop a wide range of skills and experience the adult world of work. It is a year of opportunity for the students to become a more self confident and efficient person.

Core Subjects :

  • Modules including new areas such as Personal Development,
    Drama, Spanish and Road Safety.

  • Work Experience (3 weeks)

  • Voluntary Community Involvement in the following centres:
    Nagle Centre, St. Patrick’s Hospital, Day Care Centre, King’s Deli,
    Scoil Aonghusa and St. John the Baptist Girls’ Primary School

  • Outdoor Pursuits

  • Workshops including Study Skills

  • Musical

  • Guest Speakers

  • Competitions

  • Outings e.g. Young Scientist Exhibition, Ploughing Championships,
    French Theatre/Film, Maynooth University etc

Benefits:

  • Exams twice a year (Modular Assessment). A detailed report home follows tests.
    School Certificate awarded at the end of the year, based on continuous
    assessment, in the following categories: Excellence, Distinction,
    Commendation, Merit, Participation.

  • Allows students to realise their potential

  • Enables students to make informed choices for 5th Year

  • Students develop a greater social awareness.

  • N.C.C.A study has found that students perform better academically when they do TY

Transition Year activities in Cashel Community School from a students viewpoint

The first activity the TYs did this year was a walk in Dundrum Woods which took place the day after receiving the Junior Cert results. That morning seventy tired tired TY’s and three slightly more enthusiastic teachers set off on the short trip to the woods. After around five minutes though, we were feeling a lot more energetic and everyone chatted and laughed their way through the walk. After some minor navigational difficulties we all managed to find our way back to the bus and back to school.

The next, and arguably the best trip so far, was to the Ploughing Championships in Athy. An early start meant we were at the championships by eleven o’ clock and, with everyone in their best wellies, we were ready to get down and dirty! There were celebrities in abundance, with Brian Cowen being spotted by a few people. We came home weighed down with free stuff ranging from yoyos to luminous jackets. This years Ploughing was a wet year and there were several people who almost needed to be hosed down before getting back to the bus! We arrived back to the school at six, exhausted but delighted after a great day out.

In early October, a trip to see a one man show called ‘Psycho Spaghetti’ was organised as part of our English class. The Simon Ryan Theatre in Tipperary Town was an excellent setting for this brilliant show which dramatised the ups and downs in a teenager’s life. The show, which was attended by Transition Year groups from various schools around Tipperary, managed to be extremely accurate while also being hilarious at the same time, with everyone able to relate to what the actor touched upon. It was a great outing that many of us still talk about.

Our latest expedition took place in January when we all travelled to Dublin for the Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS. Here we spent hours wandering around the exhibition taking in the fabulous displays which students, many of them Transition Years like ourselves, had spent months working on. There were many weird and wonderful things to be seen that were discussed in class afterwards with enthusiasm, including a snail the size of a man’s hand! Personally, the highlight of my day was meeting Ryan Tubridy, who I have to say, is just as friendly in person as he is on television! The Young Scientist Exhibition was, without a doubt, a fantastic trip for us.

While these are some of the official trips taken by the TYs, there were more, that many Transition Years got involved in. Any Transition Year student who took part in the schools production of the musical Hairspray got the chance to travel to Dublin to view the British National Tour’s production of the musical, starring Michael Ball, a huge West End star. The TY students studying French this year went to see a French film, Persepolis and there was also a trip organised to see Manchester United play Wigan in Old Trafford, a hugely successful tour.

We are all looking for forward to the upcoming trips planned for us including a chance to see a production of John B. Keane’s famous play, The Field, starring Brain Dennehy, and a two day trip to the Burren to take part in various fun activities.

Overall, this year has been action-packed and we can’t wait for what will be thrown at us next.

Healthy Eating

Cashel Community School: Healthy Eating Policy

Policy Statement

Young people need to be aware of the importance of good nutrition in order to optimise their growth, health and developmental potential through their teenage years and beyond.

This Healthy Eating Policy operates in the context of the school’s commitment to quality education and supporting each student to develop the skills to make informed choices and decisions throughout their life.

This Healthy Eating Policy has been developed in consultation with the Parents Association, staff and Student Council. This policy will be reviewed and updated as required.

The policy aims to support all members of the school community in improving and maintaining optimal health.

This policy is to be implemented during the 2014/2015 school year.

School Ethos

By working to promote the health of students, we are contributing towards the provision of a healthy learning environment.  The various issues of health will form part of an expansive curriculum which caters for the diverse needs of the school community.

Rationale

Research has shown that the poor eating habits of many adolescents can lessen their concentration levels and have a negative impact on classroom behaviour.  Ill-informed food choices are also associated with increasing levels of childhood obesity and lifelong health and dental problems. The school, in partnership with the home, can play an important role in developing healthy eating habits as part of its duty of care to its students.

Recent Statistics Nationally

A study carried out by the University of Washington in the US (2014) found that 26.5% of Irish girls and 16% of Irish boys under the age of 20 are classed as overweight or obese. The European average is 24.2%

Since 1990, the prevalence of weight problems and obesity among teenage boys has more than tripled, from 6pc to 19pc, while it has risen from a higher base of 15pc to 17pc among girls. The rate of obesity has increased from 1pc to 8pc among men, and from 3pc to 6pc among girls.

Obesity is the precursor to type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease and is also a major contributor to negative self-image and associated psychosocial issues. These concerning statistics suggest that obesity accounts for 5% of heart attacks and stroke, 10% of osteoarthritis, 20% of hypertension, 30% of all cancers and 80% of type 2 diabetes.

School Based Surveys (2012)

Parents, students and staff were surveyed in May 2012 on various aspects of the food available in Cashel Community School. The findings included:

100% of parents and 53% of teachers agree that there needs to be a healthy eating policy

25% of parents admitted to not being aware of their child’s eating habits in school

Items parents would not like available for their children included:

Sweets 22%, Crisps 36%, Fizzy Drinks 28%. Also mentioned were chocolate, chips/wedges, greasy foods and energy drinks.

41% of students felt there was not enough space available for them to eat their lunch.

58% of students surveyed were not buying healthy food in school and 35% of students believed they were not encouraged to eat healthy food in school.

 

Based on these findings:

  • Fizzy drinks including sports drinks were removed from the school shop, canteen, vending machine and students were not allowed bring them to school. (Sept 2012)
  • Wedges, curly fries, chicken goujons and sausage rolls were removed from the menu. (Nov 2013)

Healthy Eating Committee

Tracy Gibson

Marie Burke

Emily Kirwan

Mary Coman

Germaine Byrne

Anne Carey

Tracy Flanagan

Claire Whelan

Sandra Walsh

Aims:

This Healthy Eating Policy aims to achieve the following:

  1. To promote the importance of healthy eating throughout the entire community of Cashel Community School.
  2. To increase awareness of the impact that food has on general health amongst the students, staff and parents of the school community.
  3. To promote an active school community and create awareness of the benefits of regular exercise and its effect on both our mental and physical health.
  4. To foster positive attitudes towards healthy food choices with a view to setting the foundations for lifelong healthy food choices and practices.
  5. To encourage all members of the school community to avail of the healthier options available to them.
  6. To endeavour to make Cashel Community School a nut free zone.

Objectives –Short Term

  1. To frequently remind students and staff of the importance of healthy eating and regular exercise through the digital displays on the corridor and in the staff room, poster displays on the corridors and through Home Economics, Physical Education and SPHE classes.
  2. To plan and implement a Healthy Eating Week in order to promote healthy eating and regular exercise.
  3. To regularly assess the quality of food in the school canteen and in the school shop and to try to promote healthy food options within the school community.
  4. To inform parents and students that Cashel Community School will endeavour to be a nut free zone from January 2015.
  5. To assess the range of snack foods and drinks on sale in the vending machines and to increase the range of healthy options available.

Objectives – Long Term

  1. To provide more variety and choice of healthy food options available in the school canteen, school shop and in the vending machines.
  2. To maintain the short-term objectives as stated above.

 

The Healthy Eating Policy aims to achieve the following:

Objectives:

Action Plan:

This plan outlines the actions that will be taken to support Healthy Eating in Cashel Community School and drawn up in consultation with Senior Management, Parents Council, Student Council, Board of Management and Staff.

(1)

Action: To provide awareness of and information on Healthy Eating

How: Poster displays and information leaflets in classrooms and on noticeboards throughout the school building, presentations, competitions for designing a poster/information leaflet

Who: This can be promoted through cross-curricular activity and reference in Home Economics Classes, SPHE Classes, Language Classes {Gaeilge, German, French}, Science Classes, PE Classes, Art Classes

Timeframe: Poster Displays and leaflets to be drawn up as the subject teacher meets the topic of food and Healthy Eating and/or during Health Week

(2)

Action:  To highlight the importance of healthy eating through the execution of a ‘Health Week’.

How: By implementing and promoting a ‘Health Week’, we aim to highlight specific health issues to the whole school body. Emphasis will be placed upon current health issues such as Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, Osteoporosis, Dental Decay and Coronary Heart Disease. This health week will incorporate seminars, outside guest speakers (dietician, fitness trainer), cookery demonstration, health challenges, cookery competitions which will highlight all of the above.

Who: The Healthy Eating Policy Committee.

Timeframe: Health Week that will occur during Term 2 of the school year.

(3)

Action: Investigation of the food and drink choices available within the school tuck shop, vending machine and canteen.

How: Through investigating the sale of various types of snack foods available to the student body, we aim to introduce healthier food and drink choices for consumption over a phased basis.

Who: The Healthy Eating Policy Committee.

Timeframe: Evaluation of the foods and drinks on sale will regularly be done and will be updated as necessary.

(4)

Action: To endeavour to create a safe environment for all students in Cashel Community School including those with a nut allergy.

How: By creating awareness among staff, students and parents of nut allergies and their effects through a Powerpoint presentation.  A list of all the food products sold in the school has been made available and all products containing traces of nuts will be removed.  A letter will be posted to all parents asking them to exclude any products containing nuts from school lunches.

Who: The Healthy Eating Policy Committee.  Teachers of SPHE have been involved in the presentation to classes and the letter will be posted by the Principal.

Timeframe: We endeavour to have CCS a ‘nut free environment’ by January 2015.

(5)

Action: To highlight the importance of food hygiene amongst all food handlers in the school community.

How: By creating awareness in all Home Economics classes through Powerpoint presentations and through visual displays throughout the school. To ensure that strict standards of hygiene are upheld by all food handlers within the school environment.

Who: The Healthy Eating Policy Committee and teachers of Home Economics.

Timeframe: Poster displays will begin early 2015.