Returning to school August 2020

Summary of information for parents.

  • New children will be in school from August 31st. This is a ½ day, 9.00 to 12.00. The buses will operate on that day.
  • All children will be in school from September 1st. This too is a ½ day.
  • Normal school hours from September 2nd, 9.00 to 2.40.
  • Safety will be our number 1 concern and will underpin everything we do.
  • Your child will be met by staff and brought to their line one by one.
  • Please do not gather at the entrance to the school.
  • Please do not park anywhere near the entrance to the school as we will need all the space to get the children in safely.
  • Your child will need lunch and drink and a school bag. All other material will be provided for them.
  • Please send in rainy day clothes that we can keep in school. These should be clearly marked with your child’s name. We will keep these clothes in school.
  • PLEASE do not send your child to school if you have been abroad unless you have completed the full 14 day quarantine.
  • Please do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms whatsoever. It is better to keep your child at home to see how symptoms develop rather than take a chance.
  • Please send in an e mail address for contact if you have not yet done so.
  • Your child will need to be able to open their own lunch boxes, tie their own shoes, button their own coats and open their own drinks.
  • Please do not come into the school at any time. You can e mail Angela on angela.power@stoliverplunkett.ie or Janette on janette.martin@stoilverplunkett.ie.
  • If your child needs medication during school time, please let us know.
  • If your child has allergies, please let us know what symptoms to expect and also keep a careful eye in case these symptoms change.
  • Uniforms should be taken off as soon as the child gets home and could hang in the fresh air after school. If you don’t have a uniform that is clean send your child in in ordinary clothes.
  • Bank transfers, refunds for swimming and uniforms will all be sorted out next week.
  • There must be someone available AT ALL TIMES to collect your child in the event of a Covid scare.
  • Buses will be in touch with you re pick up points and times.
  • There will be no homework at the start of the year.
  • The issue of primary school children wearing masks is still be debated. If you want your child to wear a mask, there is no problem but they must know how to use it properly and you must supply properly fitting child-sized masks.
  • Please practice safe handwashing again with your child.
  • If you are giving your child a particular hand sanitizer, please ensure it is in a spill proof bottle and that children do not share.
  • Please read the entire Covid Response Plan. It isn’t the most exciting read in the world but it is very important. It is available under “Policies”.

Admission/Enrolment Policy

ST. OLIVER PLUNKETT SCHOOL, MONKSTOWN

ENROLMENT / ADMISSION POLICY

Admission Statement

Name of School:         St Oliver Plunkett Special School

Address:                     Alma Place, Carrickbrennan Rd, Monkstown, Co Dublin

Telephone/Fax:          01 280 8824

Patron:                       Archbishop of Dublin.

Staff:                           Administrative Principal

                                    7 Teachers

                                    5 x Special Needs Assistants

                                    Secretary

                                    Caretaker                    

Opening Hours:         The school day begins at 9.00am and ends at 2.40pm

Classes:                       There are seven classes in the school and the pupil teacher ratio is 9:1

Age of Pupils:             Pupils must be eight years of age by 1st September in the year of enrolment or have completed second class.

St. Oliver Plunkett NS is a Catholic, co-educational school catering for children with Specific Reading Difficulties/Dyslexia. Children who attend have been assessed as having a Specific Reading Difficulty, (Dyslexia). Classes range from 3rd to 6th and enrolment is normally for two years.

The Board of Management of St. Oliver Plunkett School hereby sets out its policy of enrolment in accordance with the provisions of the Admission to Schools Act (2018), the Education Act (1998), The Education Welfare Act (2000), Equal Status legislation, guidelines laid down by the DOES and following consultation with the school community. The Board of Management trusts that this policy will assist parents in relation to enrolment matters. Furthermore, the chairperson and the principal will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from this policy.

The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education & Science and operates within the regulations laid down from time to time by the Department.  The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education & Science (except for the teaching of Irish) as well as a specialised literacy programme.

Because of the needs of the children, special emphasis is placed on the teaching of reading, writing, spelling and the development of good oral language skills.

Within the context and parameters of the Department of Education regulations and the criteria for enrolment in reading schools, St. Oliver Plunkett School supports the principles of:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Equality of access and participation in the school
  • Parental choice in relation to enrolment
  • Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society and ensures equality under gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the travelling community.

Mission Statement

  • We seek to assist all children to reach their full potential by creating a warm, caring, inclusive, yet highly structured, environment in which each child is treated as a unique individual with their own special talents.
  • We seek to improve the literacy levels of each child in the areas of reading accuracy, reading comprehension, spelling and writing to enable them to be better equipped to cope with the demands of mainstream education.
  • We endeavour to ensure that each child, and each member of staff, will have the opportunity to grow intellectually, spiritually and emotionally while a member of our school community.

Due consideration is taken with regard to the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act and the funding and resources available in the school.

St Oliver Plunkett N.S. is a Catholic School but all children, of other religions and none, are welcome. The objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not catholic and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

The Board will have regard for relevant Department of Education and Science guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provisions and/or any other relevant requirements concerning accommodation, including physical space and the health and welfare of children. Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management of the school.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year concerned.

Procedures

There are common procedures for enrolment / application to each of the three Reading Schools in Dublin.  These were agreed by the 3 schools the DOES and NEPs. St Oliver Plunkett National School, Monkstown follows these common procedures.

COMMON ENROLMENT CRITERIA FOR READING SCHOOLS.

Assessment by a psychologist on a standardised test of intelligence should place general intellectual ability within the average range or above.

The assessment must not be more than two years old.

Obvious discrepancy between general intellectual ability and performance on a standardised test of reading ability.

Discrepancy between verbal and not-verbal abilities, one of either the verbal or performance scores should be within the average range and the combined scores should indicate ability within the average range.

Performance in basic literacy skills as measured by a standardised test should be at a very low level compared to the vast majority of children in a similar age cohort.

The pupil should have completed second class in primary school or be at least eight years old and not more than twelve on enrolment.

Consideration should also be given to the child’s speaking, writing, spelling & comprehension skills as well as to his/her social and personal development.

Evidence of SLD, as defined by the Department of Education & Science, as the primary difficulty of the child.

Placement in a reading school should be one of the options recommended by the psychologist.

In September, the principal will report to the Board of Management of Catherine McAuley N.S., St Oliver Plunkett N.S or St Roses N.S. that procedures for enrolment were followed.

Enrolment criteria & procedures in accordance with the provision of the Education Act and the guidelines laid down by the Department of Education & Science

How to apply and the enrolment procedure

·         An application consists of a copy of the child’s most recent educational psychological report which states that the psychologist recommends applying to the reading schools. The report can be sent by the parent or the school (with the permission of the parents). All contact details of school and parents should be contained in this application. Inaccurate or falsified information could result in the child not being offered a place.

·         The closing date for receipt of applications will be 5.00pm on the day before the school closes for Christmas holidays. For example, applications for the school year 2021-2022 will close on December 21st, 2020 at 5.00pm. This will allow time to process the applications and to give parents adequate opportunity to find an alternative placement should the application be unsuccessful.

  • All applications received after that date will go forward for consideration for the following year.
  • When applications are received they are acknowledged, by letter, and placed in a file in the order in which they are received. They are date stamped and a cover sheet for each applicant is completed.
  • Each application will be considered under the criteria and a list of eligible children will be drawn up.
  • A list will be prepared of eligible children up to and including those on the 5th Percentile for Word Reading, and places will be offered in ascending order.
  • In the event of oversubscription on any of the percentile ranks, the children will be prioritised by age, with the older children being offered places first.
  • A waiting list is created. This list is numbered and parents are kept informed of where they are on the list. Initially this is communicated by telephone and as the situation becomes clearer they are informed in writing in the second half of term 2. Places only become available by a parent/guardian deciding not to send a child to the school.
  • Successful applicants will be informed in the first half of the second term.
  • The school principal of the school that the child is currently enrolled in will be informed of the intention to offer a place.
  • A pro forma report is sent to the school principal requesting a report on the child’s progress at school.
  • Further information may be requested from psychologist, school, parents/guardian and other relevant agencies.
  • The parents of successful applicants are sent a detailed brochure about the school and an appointment time to visit. They are not obliged to visit and places will not be withheld if parents do not attend these meetings. (Appendix 2)
  • Parents visit the school in a small group and meet with the principal and members of the BOM and Parent association. They also fill out relevant forms at this meeting. The children do not attend this meeting. (Appendix 3)
  • Parents will be offered a period of 10 school days to decide on accepting places in writing (Appendix 4).
  • Successful applicants are placed on the Aladdin School Management System). Relevant information will be forwarded to the POD (Primary On-line Database on enrolment.
  • The meetings with parents take place during the 2ndterm after places have been offered.

·         An open day for new students also takes place in the 2nd term.

  • The names of possible third year candidates are sent to the principal by class teachers, after Christmas, and parents are invited to consider if they wish to make a formal application. These children will then be tested by the principal. These children will be tested in January. (Please see Addendum May 2002 further in this document)

 

Enrolment Procedures & Application Procedures will be communicated to the school community through appropriate channels.

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with the Department of Education & Science’s policy for enrolment in a special reading school.

Enrolment is strictly adhered to as detailed in the enrolment policy. There are almost always more candidates than places.

As a general rule and in so far as practicable having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled on application, provided that the child meets with enrolment criteria for reading schools and there is space available.

The Board of Management has regard for the Enrolment Criteria for Reading Schools.  These enrolment criteria and procedures are in accordance with the Education Act 1998 and the guidelines laid down by the Department of Education & Science.

 

Provision of Key Information by Parents

A Pupil Registration Form is provided to parents when children are being enrolled in the school.  This information includes:

  • Pupil’s Name & Address
  • Names & Address of Parents/Guardians
  • Contact telephone numbers and telephone numbers in case of emergency
  • Details of any medical conditions
  • Previous schools attended and reasons for transfer and all details relevant for POD (Primary Online Database)
  • Any other relevant information (including information as may be prescribed under the Education welfare Act (2000) or Education for People with Special Needs (2004)

Refusals

If the child does not meet criteria of enrolment a letter is sent informing the applicant that the child is not eligible for enrolment and the reasons for non-enrolment are stated. (Appendix 1)

Applications may not meet the criteria necessary for enrolment due to:

  • The psychological report does not place the child within the average range of ability.
    • As evidenced in the psychological assessment the SLD/Dyslexia is not the primary difficulty of the child.
    • The child’s performance in basic literacy skills as measured by a standardised test is above the level accepted for enrolment.
    • Children should be eight years old and not more than twelve on the first day of the school year.

Parents are informed that this decision of the Board of Management may be appealed under section 29 of the Education Act within 45 days of receipt of a refusal letter.

Appeals should first be made to the Board of Management and following dissatisfaction with this decision a further appeal can be made to:

Section 29 Appeals Administration Unit

                                                      The Department of Education and Science

                                                      Friars Mill Road

                                                      Mullingar

                                                      County Westmeath

Addendum May 2002             Enrolment for a Third Year

Placement in St Oliver Plunkett NS is for a maximum period of two years. In certain circumstances a third year may be offered where:

  1. Reading scores on standardised assessment tests are significantly below expected levels of attainment.
  • The child’s rate of progress across all literacy areas is very low. And the child’s scores at the end of year two, if he were to apply for initial placement, would meet the criteria for enrolment.
  • In addition to school administered standardised tests, the principal will test reading ability using the Wechsler Objective Reading Dimension Test for Teachers (WORD)
  • The child’s parents and principal have all been consulted and agree that a third year is necessary.
  • The BOM have received, through the principal, a written request from parents/guardians for their child to be considered for a third year.
  • If a child, through continuing illness or other medical reasons, has missed a lot of school, a request for a third year may be considered.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management, communicated to the parent body, communicated to the patron body and published on the school website in April 2020. This policy will be subject to review in 2022.

Ratified on _____________________________________________

Appendix 1    Copy of “Refusal letter” (Common to all Schools)

     

Dear___________

I wish to acknowledge your application for enrolment in our school for September 20__.  Unfortunately, this application does not meet the necessary criteria due to: (Choose one)

  • The psychological report does not place the child within the average range of ability.
    • As evidenced in the psychological assessment the SLD/Dyslexia is not the primary difficulty of the child.
    • The child’s performance in basic literacy skills as measured by a standardised test is above the level accepted for enrolment.
    • Children should be eight years old and not more than twelve on the first day of the school year.

Thank you for your interest in St. Oliver Plunkett NS. I wish you, and your child, well in the future.

Yours sincerely

Angela Power

_____________

(Principal)

If you are dissatisfied with this decision an appeal should first be made to the Board of Management. This appeal should be made within 10 school days of receipt of this letter.

Following dissatisfaction with this decision a further appeal can be made to:

Section 29 Appeals Administration Unit

                                                      The Department of Education and Science

                                                      Friars Mill Road

                                                      Mullingar

                                                      County Westmeath

Appendix 2 Sample letter inviting Parents to the school for an initial meeting.

school Logo 29

Dear ………..

We are delighted to be able to offer your child a place in our school and look forward to welcoming you to our school community. Please find enclosed a copy of our school brochure for 20  -20  . This will, hopefully, answer some of your questions.

We wish to invite you to a meeting in the school on ……………….. You will meet with me, some members of the Parent’s Association and other parents of children who will be starting this year. You will also get an opportunity to see the school.

 Please do not bring your child to this meeting.

This will be a general meeting but if you have specific enquiries about your child, I will make sure you have time to meet with me on your own. The meeting should last for no longer than an hour.

If you have any additional information about your child, please bring it with you.

I will be looking forward to meeting you.

Angela Power (Principal)

Appendix 3   Enrolment Form

school Logo 29

PUPIL REGISTRATION FORM 20–/20–                                                     CONFIDENTIAL

Name of Child …………………………………………………………Gender……M………F……

Home Address ………………………………………………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………County………………………

Date of Birth ………………………Age……….……………P.P.S.N. Number…..…………………

Religion……………….Language spoken at home ………………… Nationality ………………..

Parents’ names …………………………………………………………………………………………

Mother’s name before marriage (if different)……………………………………………………

Previous school attended in (2016-2017)……………………………………………………………….

Address of school ……………………………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………Class (16-17)……………… 

Principal ……………………………………… Class Teacher………………………………………        

Learning/Resource Teacher ……………………………. Phone number of school ……………….. 

Details of any extra help received during the past two years (in school & privately)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Referring Psychologist ………………………………………………………………………………

Child’s interests and hobbies ………………………………………………………………………….

E Mail address……………………………………………… (this will go on our management system)

Main mobile phone number (this number will go on our texting service)…………………………

Mother’s phone number ……………..……………Father’s phone number……………………….

Please list other names and phone numbers of people who can be contacted in case of emergency

(1)……………………………(2)………………………….(3)…………………………………..

           Name & Number                   Name & Number                           Name & Number

SPEECH & LANGUAGE/TECHNOLOGY

  1. What age was your child when he/she started to talk? …………………
  • When learning to talk, did you notice a difference between this child and other members of the family?   Yes           No

If yes, please give details………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………

  • Was your child ever referred to a speech & language therapist?………………………… 
  •  Did your child ever attend a speech and language therapist for an assessment or for therapy sessions?       Yes             No

If yes, please give details below

  1. Name & Address of therapist …………………………………………………

                                                     ……… …………………………………………

                                                      .………………………………………..……….

  • Description of child’s problem ……………………………………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………….

  • How long did the child attend?  ………………………………………………..
  • Why were the sessions discontinued?  …………………………………………
  • Any other details: ……………………………………………..………………..
  • If further information is required we may wish to contact your child’s psychologist and/or Speech & Language Therapist.  If your child has not previously been assessed by a Speech & Language Therapist, it may be deemed appropriate to carry out such an assessment. Please sign below, if you give permission for such an assessment and for access to relevant reports.

Parent’s signature ……………………………..     Date …………………..

Did your child receive any assistive technology in his/her school? Yes…..No……..

MEDICAL INFORMATION                                                          CONFIDENTIAL

(Use the back of this form or a blank page if necessary)

Has/does your child suffer from an illness or condition such as asthma, epilepsy etc.

Yes       No

 If yes, please give details ……………………………………………………

Has he/she ever had an injury or illness which required hospitalisation? Yes     No

If yes, give details……………………………………………………………………………..

Is he/she taking any medication at present?    Yes               No

If yes, give details……………………………………………………………………………..

Is he/she allergic to any drugs (e.g. penicillin)?   Yes            No

If yes, give details……………………………………………………………………………..

Is he/she allergic to any foods (e.g. fizzy drinks, dairy products)   Yes          No

If yes, give details …………………………………………………………………………….

Please give details of your child’s most recent tests of hearing & vision – dates, venue, results etc.

Vision …………………………………………………………………………………………

Hearing ………………………………………………………………………………………..

Any other relevant information …………………………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Signed ………………………                              Date ………………………….

 

ACCIDENT/EMERGENCY FORM                                              CONFIDENTIAL

Should your child require medical attention (e.g. as a result of an accident), while attending this school, every effort will be made to contact you or the other people nominated on page one of this form, this is why it is vital that we have up to date phone numbers.

If it is not possible to contact you, we will, in an emergency, take your child to a doctor or hospital.

We would appreciate if parents would complete and sign this form, to authorise the staff of the school to obtain appropriate medical attention for sick or injured children.

Child’s name ………………………………………………………………

Child’s address ……………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………

Name & Address of family doctor …………………………………………

……………………………………………………………………………….

Doctor’s telephone No. ………………………………………………………

Signed ……………………………             Dated ……………………………

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

To save time and money, we usually correspond with one parent or guardian. If you wish text messages, e mails, letters from school, school notices, newsletters etc., to be sent to a second address in addition to the address above, please fill in below.

Child’s Name ………………………………………………

Parent’s Name …………………………………………….

Extra address ………………………………………………

……………………………………………………………..

Phone Number……………………………

Email……………………………………

Appendix 4 Letter of Acceptance, signed at meeting or soon thereafter

school Logo 29

Dear

We are delighted to be able to offer your child, a place in our school and look forward to welcoming you to our school community. Please indicate by signing the form below if you accept or decline this offer of a place for your child.

_______________________

Angela Power (Principal)

On behalf of the Board of Management of St Oliver Plunkett National School

——————————————————————————————————————

I wish to accept/decline the offer of a place for my child, (name) at St Oliver Plunkett National School for the school year 20–/20–.

I also

  • understand this is an offer for one year which will be reviewed in 20–
  • agree to be bound by the school behaviour policy
  • agree to photographs of my child being posted on the school website
  • agree to my mobile number being used for the school text messaging service.
  • agree to my mobile number being used by the Parent Association.

Signed________________________________________________________

Recommendations for children staying in St. Oliver Plunkett N.S.

Recommendations for the parents of children who are returning to us next year

  • We cannot stress the importance of attendance.  The success of the programme depends on children being here every day.
  • The children will progress well and be happier in school if all homework is done and if all work is signed as required by the teacher.
  • Every child in the school is obliged to swim on Fridays.  It is part of the school curriculum.  If your child cannot swim for medical reasons, they will require a doctor’s certificate stating the reasons why.
  • Children with these difficulties get very tired because they work hard.  They need loads of sleep, exercise and fresh air.
  • It is important that they realise that even though they have difficulties that there are ways around them and they should not limit their future plans or dreams in any way.
  • The more the children are exposed to books the better it will be for them.  Visits to the library, bookshops and book fairs should be encouraged and seen as an exciting time.
  • It would be great if you can read to your child as much as possible and also good if they can see you reading.
  • Your child should be encouraged to chat to you as much as possible.  Children here will sometimes have difficulty understanding or using language.
  • Don’t forget to listen to your child during these chats!
  • Any games that practice memory skills will be great for your child.
  • Go on trips to places of interest with your child.  Encourage conversation around these trips.  Encourage recording of these outings, maybe through taking photographs and drawing pictures.  This way your child will see that information is not only recorded by the written word.
  • If your child is getting extra tuition outside the school, or over the summer, please ensue that the tutor either knows the Wilson Programme or is supporting the child in what they are learning here.
  • Encourage your child to write stories just for the fun of it.  Don’t correct their stories for spelling and grammar but chat to them about the characters and story only.
  • Enrich your child’s vocabulary at every available opportunity.  Play word games, ask them to explain things to you, discuss current affairs and chose books with a rich vocabulary for paired reading.
  • Have an organised, quiet area for homework.  Gradually reduce supervision until your child is working independently.  Remember, though, that there will always be areas of homework that will require your input.
  • When doing homework, start with the “middle” i.e. the piece of homework that is not too easy or too difficult.
  • There are some excellent apps for children with SLD. This is constantly changing so it is worth keeping an eye on your app store.
  • Remember to keep up with the books that your child’s peers are enjoying.  Your child may not be able to read them but if you choose them to read to your child they will be able to discuss them in school and will feel included.
  • Play board games with your child and encourage discussion around what you are all doing.
  • Start working on the school your child will be going to, when they leave here, as soon as possible. You will need to factor in time to have a lot of discussion with the school about your child.
  • We won’t know your child’s teacher until September. This is because we put a lot of work into organising the classes and it can change right up to the last minute.

Recommendations for children leaving St. Oliver Plunkett N.S.

Recommendations for children who are reintegrating into mainstream after a placement in St Oliver Plunkett NS (a school for children with a Specific Learning Difficulty)

  • An exemption from the study of Irish may be available for this student.  It is worth remembering that an exemption is not an exclusion and the child may choose to study Irish at any point in the future.
  • It should not be assumed that this child will not be able to study a foreign language.
  • We recommend that all staff working with this student are informed of his/her difficulties.
  • It will be important to remember that this student’s written work may not be an accurate reflection of his/her ability
  • This child may benefit from a simple summary of the class content.  This is especially important if there is a lot of information in the lesson.
  • It may be helpful to this child if his/her written work is marked on content as opposed to spelling or grammar.
  • It may be helpful for this child to submit information in bullet points.
  • This child could be allowed to record his/her homework using a Dictaphone or voice recognition software.
  • This child may have difficulty expressing him/herself orally.
  • This child may take longer to process oral instructions and/or find complex instructions difficult to follow.
  • This child may need to be required to do less writing as part of their homework.  It will be a balancing act to decide how much is enough and may take time to establish.
  • Visual aids like mind mapping, visual timetables and colour coding may help this child.
  • This child may be entitled to a school grant for technology to help him/her access the curriculum.
  • He/she may have difficulty with organisation and may require extra support in this area.
  • He/she may need longer than the rest of the class to copy from the whiteboard and to complete assignments.
  • We suggest that this child is not asked to read aloud in class until he/she is comfortable with same.
  • We recommend that he/she are not excluded from any subjects that he/she is interested in.
  • He/she may be very tired because of the extra effort involved in completing work.
  • This child may benefit from a reduction in external distractions while working.
  • It will be important that, while staff have an understanding of the child’s difficulties and that these difficulties are not used by the child as an excuse not to attempt or complete work.
  • This child may be a very strong visual or auditory learner.
  • There are specific apps available for children with SLD which may help.
  • Two IEPs have been written for this child for each year of their placement here.  These are available from the school on request.

School Trips

It is school policy to bring the entire school on trips at least twice a year.schoolbus2

In past years these have been to ice-skating, the pictures, exhibitions, Airfield City Farm and Croke Park.

These venues are subject to change. Classes may also take individual school trips during the year.

We have reduced the number, and cost, of such trips in the past few years.