School Prospectus

GENERAL INFORMATION

Sacred Heart P.S. is a co-educational Catholic Maintained Primary School admitting pupils from aged 4 to 11 and has a current enrolment of 80 pupils.  It was erected on its present site in 1966 as the replacement school for the Old Blackfort Primary School.

The school is located in the townland of Tattyreagh, approximately half way between Omagh and Fintona, and enjoys a spacious layout with a tarred play area for both infants and older pupils and a grass football pitch along with lawns to the front and rear of the school.

At present there are three permanent classrooms along with one new mobile classroom, a library and P.E./dining hall.  Each class is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and the teaching resources necessary for delivering a modern balanced curriculum.  A friendly, caring atmosphere pervades the school and the entire staff and governors are committed to ensuring the highest possible educational standards and provision for the pupils.

Strong links with parents have been developed over the years and are one of the great strengths of our school.  A Parents’ Association has been formed, they organise a variety of activities and events throughout the school year to provide invaluable extra resources for the pupils and school.  All parents are welcome to attend any of their meetings and are encouraged to become actively involved in the planned events throughout the year.

 

GENERAL AIMS OF THE SCHOOL

In order to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for every pupil in a safe, caring, secure and stimulating environment we aim:-

to develop good relationships within both the classroom and school

to value pupils, staff and parents as individuals and ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect

to co-operate with the home, the parish and the wider community in the promotion of good behaviour and self-discipline

to foster in the children responsible attitudes and values so that they may become prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experience of adolescent and adult life

to encourage the Catholic ethos of the school so that the moral and religious development of each child is fully realised

to present the children with a stimulating and imaginative environment both inside and outside the classroom so that learning, success and personal satisfaction for themselves are achieved

Of paramount importance in helping to achieve these aims will be the need for the development of mutual trust and the building and fostering of good relationships at every level.

The Board of Governors has recently been constituted and is as follows:-

THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS

The W.E.L.B. Rep. and Chairman…………………………………………………Mr Pat Darcy

Trustee Representative……………………………………………………………….Rev. Fr. D.McGirr

Trustee Representative……………………………………………………………….Mrs Bernadette Broderick

Trustee Representative……………………………………………………………… Mrs Michelle Collins

Trustee Representative……………………………………………………………… Mrs Sheila Mullin

WELB Representative…………………………………………………………………Mrs Bernadette Harkin

Parent Representative…………………………………………………………………Mrs Collette McCann

DENI Representative…………………………………………………………………  Mr Tony Teague

Teacher’s Representative…………………………………………………………… Mrs Annette Breen

Secretary…………………………………………………………………………………   Mr Jarlath McElholm

ADMISSIONS PROCEDURE

If you wish to enrol your child in Sacred Heart Primary School you must complete an enrolment form (available from our secretary) and return it with your child’s birth certificate to the school. A copy of the school’s Admission Criteria as published in WELB’s admission is included at the back of this booklet.

Parents of Reception and Primary One children will receive an invitation to an induction day when they will receive an Induction Booklet. This details all aspects of school life for parents whose child is a first child at the school, the opportunity to see the school facilities, when their child can visit the school and meet their teacher in what will be their first classroom.

  2013 to 2014 2014 to 2015 2015 to 2016 2016 to 2017
Number of Applications              12               10             9              9
Numbers Accepted              12               10             9              9

ATTENDANCE AND ABSENSES

Children are obliged to attend school for 190 days. Any absence should be accompanied by a note to explain a reason for absence, so as to keep records for the EANI’s Educational Welfare Officer.

We pride ourselves on having outstanding attendance figures as it reflects well on the relationships within the school. Our current attendance figures are 97.0% and we actively acknowledge full attendance at prize-giving with awards and EANI certificates.

STAFF

Principal – Mr J. McElholm

Class Teachers:

  • P1/P2 – Mrs A. Breen
  • P2/P3 – Mrs B. Mellon
  • P4/P5 – Mr C. Kelly
  • P6/P7 – Mr J. McElholm
  • P1 Classroom Assistant – Miss F. McDermott
  • P2 Classroom Assistant – Ms S. Funston
  • General Classroom Assistant – Mrs M. Torney
  • Classroom Assistant (Special Needs) – Mrs B. Meyler
  • Secretary – Mrs N. McElholm
  • Building Supervisor – Mrs M. Sheridan
  • Canteen Assistant – Mrs N. White
  • Principal Release Teacher – Mrs J. Meehan

SCHOOL RULES

  1. School uniform should be worn at all times during the school day. The uniform consists of a sweater and trousers for boys whilst the girls wear a sweater/cardigan along with a skirt/pinafore. The school tie is also expected to be worn. All items of the uniform can be purchased locally at ‘Select’, Old Market Yard, Omagh (Behind Dunnes). Similarly our school sweaters are available on the Tesco website www.clothingattesco.com All uniform should be marked clearly with the pupil’s name in indelible ink.
  2. All absences should be explained by note from the parents/guardian to the class teacher.
  3. Doctor/Dental appointments are asked to be kept to a minimum.
  4. Pupils are expected to behave themselves in an appropriate manner throughout the school day. Similar behaviour is expected on school outings/trips. Pupils are expected to abide by the school’s ‘Health Promotion’ policy.
  5. Chewing gum is not permitted.
  6. Pupils are asked not to bring electronic games or mobile phones to school.
  7. Due to the physical nature of boy’s play, boys are not permitted to wear ear-rings.
  8. Hair should be kept clean and neat. No tips/highlights are permitted at any time.
  9. Pupils are expected to help keep our school clean by placing litter in the bins provided.

REVISED CURRICULUM

From September 2007, a revised Curriculum has been introduced in the school. This will result in some changes, although these will be spread over various year groups over many years.

The ‘Revised Curriculum’ builds on the good classroom practice which is already in place. It came from a consultation process which looked at what pupils, teachers, employers and you as parents thought about what was being taught in classrooms here.

The main teaching areas are basically the same although schools now have more choice in relation to the content for certain subjects.

AREAS OF LEARNING

Language and Literacy

Mathematics and Numeracy

The Arts

The World Around Us

Personal Development and Mutual Understanding

Physical Education

The Department of Education and Education Boards have stressed that any changes will not be immediate, but will evolve over a period of many years – the ultimate aim being that the curriculum will become more ‘skills-based’ and less ‘content-based’.

The children will be offered a variety of lively and exciting experiences, which will enable them to fulfill the Northern Ireland Curriculum requirements with enthusiasm and to attend the levels that are within their abilities. We also provide Irish language tuition for all pupils.

Each Christmas a variety of shows are presented to parents and the public by the children in various year groups – these are definitely ‘must-see’ events!! We provide music tuition in guitar & tin whistle, in addition to after school Gaelic football, drama and art. Coaches from the Youth Sport West Programme come along and offer coaching in other sports such as basketball, golf, athletics, netball, rugby throughout the year whilst

The school will endeavour to create the atmosphere of a believing community, committed to living out in its daily operation the Christian way of life. Each child will be encouraged to get to know Christ as a person and follow the way of life he taught by word and example. A carefully structured religious education programme – Alive O – will be taught throughout the school. The core syllabus for Northern Ireland will be covered through these programmes.

Children will be prepared for the sacraments of Reconciliation, The Eucharist and Confirmation. Strong links between home, school and parish will be encouraged.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL PROVISION

Care is taken at all times to match the curricular provision for all children to their particular stage of development and to take account of any particular difficulties or special talents which they show. Where provision beyond what can be given by the class teacher is required, every attempt will be made to provide this by the other staff in the school. If necessary the specialist services of the EANI’s Special Education Section will be used. The school’s Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO) is Mrs B. Mellon.

The staff have put in place procedures for early identifications of children with specific learning difficulties under the terms of the Code of Practice for S.E.N. introduced in September 1998. We encourage parents to work closely with us in helping to support children who are identified as having learning difficulties and involve them at each stage of the process.

Children with difficulties specific to reading may be considered for daily withdrawal to undergo a Phonics programme with our Qualified Phonographix Tutors, Mrs B. Meyler and Mrs M. Torney. All such decisions will, of course be taken in consultation with parents.

HOMEWORK

It is the policy in Sacred Heart P.S. that all pupils should receive homework. Homework can play an important part in the education process. It allows pupils to practice, apply and consolidate what has been learnt in school and at the same time facilitates parental involvement in the child’s learning.

The type of homework set will range from informal tasks in the early years to a more formal arrangement in the senior classes. Each class teacher will decide on the most appropriate tasks for his/her class. Parents need to ensure that they get the homework programme from the teacher involved with their child so that a genuine working partnership can be established between teachers and parents.

Homework tasks will generally cover a wide range of activities and may not always involve written work. Children will be asked to research topics, make observations, gather and record data, collect materials and conduct interviews, learn spellings or tables and practice handwriting. At all times children will be encouraged to take home books to read. Parents will be encouraged to try to find the time to read with their children and to discuss their books with them. Some tasks will be directly related to work going on in the classroom and pupils will be asked to practice, apply and consolidate the knowledge and skills which they have learnt in school.

Parental support and encouragement will be vital for the success of the homework programme. We ask parents to set aside:-

TIME

  • To check homework
  • To ask spellings
  • Listen to reading

SPACE

  • To enable children to work uninterrupted and without unnecessary disturbances

Remember to PRAISE and ENCOURAGE your child’s work.

HOMEWORK/SCHOOL CONTACT

Parental contacts with the school are actively encouraged by the teaching staff. The parent’s support is essential in working with the school for each child’s benefit. This school attempts to foster parental relationships in various ways such as invitations to concerts and plays, meetings and other events as well as informal contacts at the beginning and end of the school day. Parents may contact the Principal about any matter at any time when the school is open but it is advisable to phone for an appointment beforehand to ensure availability. Any parent wishing to discuss important issues with a teacher should make an appointment as a matter of courtesy and this will be arranged during non-teaching time.

PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION

The current officers of Sacred Heart P.S. Parents’ Association are:-

Mrs L. Devlin (Chairperson)
Mrs U. McDonagh (Secretary)
Mrs F. Teague  (Treasurer)

The Parents’ Association organise events throughout the year to foster social contact in the school community and to raise funds for necessary school resources. All parents are invited to support events organised throughout the school year and are welcome to become actively involved in the committee.

ASSESSMENT AND PROGRESS REPORTS

As a parent you will want to know how your child is progressing as they move through the school year. Pupil progress is reported in a variety of formal and informal ways in Sacred Heart P.S. starting with ‘Baseline Assessment’ at the beginning of Year 1 right up to Transfer Reports in Year 7. However, pupils’ progress is being continually monitored by teachers using their professional judgement to inform curricular planning for their own pupil.

Formal parent/teacher meetings take place on two occasions throughout the year. The first meeting occurs in the Autumn term and involves a review and discussion of your child’s work up until that time. This is followed in the summer term with a written progress report issued for each pupil. Details of individual pupil levels or attainment in end of Key Stage 1 (Year 4) and end of Key Stage 2 (Year 7) assessments are also included in these annual written reports.

Teachers will use both their own and agreed standardised tests to assess progress and inform professional opinion when formulating each pupil’s progress report. Where appropriate this may be supplemented by any other information available from within the school or WELB etc.

SCHOOL DISCIPLINE

Our positive behaviour approach to discipline is aimed at encouraging amongst the pupils the importance of good behaviour, which respects each individuals right to courtesy, consideration and respect from everyone in and out of the school environment at all times.

To help achieve these aims we very much work towards recognizing, acknowledging, praising and rewarding the instances of success in many areas of school life. This is done through individual and class rewards – school assemblies – press releases and notes home to parents.

The foundation for our policy however, is built upon the establishment of sound relationships between teachers and pupils and stimulating teaching and learning activities. It will also include the application of some sanction and punishments from time to time. These may include at present loss of privileges – ‘time-out’ or extra work. Where consistent misbehaviour is occurring, parents will be invited to discuss both the problems and possible solutions with the class teacher, principal or both if deemed necessary.

We very much emphasise the vital role that parents play in helping the children to maintain the highest standards of behaviour both inside and outside the school. It’s important that the pupils see teachers and parents working closely together to establish and maintain good working relationships that encourage and promote the ‘POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR APPROACH’.

CLASS SIZE AND COMPOSITION

As far as possible and in line with DENI guidelines, class sizes in Sacred Heart Primary School will not exceed 30 pupils. (Sometimes however, for practical reasons, this is unavoidable.) The average number of pupils per class at present is a very healthy 21.5. This low pupil/teacher ratio ensures more quality learning time for your child and the school and governors remain committed to trying to maintain this low pupil/teacher ratio where financially possible.

PUPIL WELFARE AND PASTORAL CARE

The staff in the school work closely with pupils and parents to ensure the well being of all the pupils in the school. Parents are invited to discuss any matters of concern with their child’s class teacher and an appointment can be arranged at a mutually suitable time to facilitate this. In the past we found that any misunderstandings and potential problems can be avoided if they are dealt with openly and quickly.

The Principal will also be available to discuss any matters of concern to parents or children at any time but it is advisable to make an appointment to ensure an uninterrupted period of consultation.

CHILD PROTECTION

In accordance with recent legislation Sacred Heart Primary School operates a “Child Protection Policy.” The teacher responsible for advising staff about Child Protection is Mr J McElholm, with Mrs A Breen the deputy designated teacher.

A primary responsibility of the school is to protect the pupils in its care from any actual or suspected abuse and parents are informed about both the school’s and their own responsibility in reporting cases of suspected child abuse. The school is obliged to comply with current legislation and DENI recommendations and report any instances of suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.

HEALTH PROMOTION

As part of our role in promoting a healthy lifestyle, the school has adapted a ‘Healthy Breaks’ policy. This entails pupils choosing a healthier option of fruit/vegetable and milk/water as their snack during the morning period of school. Naturally we encourage this policy to be considered when making up your child’s lunchbox.

In addition, pupils are encouraged to drink water throughout the school day. Pupils are invited to ‘top up’ when they wish. The only proviso is that the water must be taken from a bottle with a ‘sports-cap’ so as to keep accidental spillage to an absolute minimum.

IRISH LANGUAGE

The school plays an active role in promoting the Irish Language. Simple conversation is practical in all classes and the school has earned a fine record in the Irish Language Section of the West Tyrone Feis, having won the award of Best Irish Speaking Primary School on a number of occasions. In recent years the school has embarked on the Gaelbhratach initiative to promote the spoken word within everday classroom life and whilst this is very much in its infancy, it is a project we are keen to develop.

 

 

 

 

Sacred Heart Primary School
6 Letfern Avenue
Tattyreagh Glebe
OMAGH
Catholic Maintained
Co-Educational
Age Range 4-11
Roll: 92
 Co Tyrone BT78 1LA
 
Tel/Fax No: 028 8224 4614
Email: info@sacredheartps.omagh.ni.sch.uk

Principal: Mr J McElholm
Chairperson: Prof P Darcy

Admisssions No: 13
Enrolment No: 82


 

ADMISSION CRITERIA – YEAR 1

The Board of Governors of Sacred Heart Primary school has determined that the following criteria shall be applied, in the event of the number of pupils applying for places in Year 1 in September being greater than the admission number, in the order set down below. Priority will firstly be given to pupils normally resident in Northern Ireland at the time of admission and then to those pupils regarded by the Board of Governors, on the basis of supporting written evidence provided by parents and/or statutory agencies, as having special circumstances, eg. medical, social or security factors.

In the event of over-subscription in any one of the criteria, taken in order, pupils will be selected on the basis of proximity of parents’/guardians’ home to the school as measured by the shortest walking route by public thoroughfare.

  1. Children of compulsory school age who normally reside in the Parish of Drumragh.
  2. Children of compulsory school age who have brothers/sisters, half-brothers/half-sisters, presently enrolled in the school.
  3. Children of compulsory school age whose parents/guardians, brother/sister, half-brother/half-sister who are past pupils and are residing in the Parish of Drumragh.
  4. Children whose parent/guardian is presently a permanent member of the school teaching/ancillary/auxiliary staff (or who have been appointed to take up imminent employment in the school).
  5. Children of compulsory school age from other areas.
  6. In the event of there being less applicants of compulsory school age than there are places available in Year 1, the Board of Governors may decide to enrol a number of under-age pupils. Children who have reached the age of 4 on or before 30 September would be considered for immediate enrolment. Any child reaching the age of 4 after this date, may be enrolled at the beginning of the next term.

In the event of there being over-subscription for such places, selection for the available places will be on the basis of chronological order of age.

The Board of Governors including the Principal draws up the criterion and the Principal is delegated to apply them if necessary.

YEAR 1 ADMISSIONS – AFTER THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR

Children who apply to enter the school during the academic year will be considered using the same criteria as for Year 1.

ADMISSIONS CRITERIA – YEARS 2-7

The Board of Governors of Sacred Heart Primary School has determined that the following criteria shall be applied in the order set down below to all pupils seeking admission to Years 2-7.

  1. Pupils will be considered for enrolment provided that the school will not exceed its enrolment number as determined by the Department of Education.
  2. Pupils will be considered for admission provided that, in the opinion of the board of Governors, they would not prejudice the efficient use of the school’s resources.
  3. Pupils regarded by the Board of Governors, on the basis of written and other evidence supplied by the parents/guardians and statutory or other agencies, as having special circumstances, eg medical, social or security reasons.
  4. Pupils who normally reside in the Parish of Drumragh.
  5. Pupils whose parent/guardian is presently a permanent member of the school teaching/ancillary/auxiliary staff (or who have been appointed to take up imminent employment in the school).
  6. Pupils who have brothers/sisters, half-brothers/half-sisters, presently enrolled in the school.

In the event of over-subscription in any one of the criteria, taken in order, pupils will be selected on the basis of proximity of parents’/guardians’ home to the school as measured by the shortest walking route by public thoroughfare.

ADMISSIONS AFTER THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR

Children who apply to enter the school during the academic year will be considered by the Board of Governors. Should the Board of Governors feel that the smooth running of the classroom will not be affected by a late admission then the candidate will be considered using the admissions criteria appropriate to his/her year group.

UNITY

I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care.

One was a teacher; the tools he used
Were books and music and art;
One a parent with guiding hand,
And a gentle loving heart.

Day after day the teacher toiled
With touch that was deft and sure
While the parent laboured by his side
And polished and smoothed it o’er.

And when at last their task was done
They were proud of what they had wrought
For the things they had moulded into the child
Could neither be sold or bought.

And each agreed he would have failed
If he had worked alone
For behind the parent stood the school
And behind the teacher, the home.

 

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