090 64 53600

School Principal
Mr. Garrett Buckley
Deputy Principal

Ms. Stacey Guinan

GALLEN C.S. REPORT 2014/15

Mission Statement-

Gallen Community School is a caring and Christian Community, committed to quality and excellence in education and central to this is our motto “Creideamh and Cultur”. In this environment of faith and nurturing we aim to share with parents the spiritual, moral and intellectual formation of their children. We pursue an educational programme which is broad, balanced and challenging. We pursue a pastoral care system, which encourages self-esteem and promotes a sense of personal and social responsibility. Our goal is the informed student who prizes truth, appreciates the value of learning and is mature and honourable.

Appointment of Acting Principal and Deputy June 2014

Following the granting of a secondment to Mr John Irwin to the Association of Community Schools the Board of Management appointed Mrs U. Finnegan as Acting Principal and Mrs F. Scully as Acting Deputy Principal.

VS Ware

Plans to introduce a new cloud based data management system  to the school went ahead in August 2014 and separate in-service training was provided for the office staff and teaching staff by Vsware. It has many applications,  a few of which include  roll call, class rolls, checking attendance, classes, timetabling, substitution, school reports end of term reports.It will be used for all timetabling for the 2015/16 academic year.

School Development Planning: Policies reviewed and updated 2014/15:

  1. Guidance Policy
  2. Code of Behaviour
  3. Substance Use and Misuse Policy
  4. Admissions Policy
  5. Anti-Bullying Policy
  6.  Student Protection
  7. Attendance Policy

Policies to be ratified/ updated 2015/16:

1      CCTV

2       Special Education Needs Policy

3      Student Activities Policy

School Development Planning:

Subject Planning

Four formal Subject Planning meetings were held during the year with many informal ones also taking place. Some of the Croke Park hours were used to facilitate the formal meetings.

School Self Evaluation and actions taken in 2014-2015

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy

Following on the work of the Literacy team, Numeracy was identified as the  strategy to be prioritised in 2014/15. A Link Teacher for Numeracy was nominated and she attended in-service training .The maths teachers with the principal formed the Numeracy team. Staff and student opinions were gathered in September and feedback taken note of. The numeracy strategy was changed twice during the year taking cognaisance of feedback from staff and students and looking at the context of our school The Numeracy Plan is currently being implemented and will continue into the next academic year. It is focused on getting students to “estimate calculate and check” in all their class and homework assignments

In-Service Training

In-service was provided for all staff on:

Vsware- VsWare staff from Dublin

Numeracy-  numeracy linked teacher

Staff members attended in-service on a variety of topics including:

Literacy,

Numeracy

Project Maths

CPD for newly qualified teachers.

School Self Evaluation,

Junior Cycle Framework,

Google Forms,

Timetabling,

Child Protection,

Subject Association Meetings

Assessment of LCVP Portfolio Work,

Guidance Counsellors Annual Conference,

NAPD Annual Conference

ACCS Education Conference,

ACCS , Annual Conference,

ACCS Allocations workshop

ACCS Training for Newly Appointed Principals and Deputies.

DES funded training ofr Deputy Principals

Curriculum & Special Needs Education

The school offers a great choice of subjects at Junior and Senior Cycle. While Transition Year is optional the vast majority of students in third year pick it.  Students in first year sampled all subjects on a rotational basis throughout the year and only pick their subjects for second year in April. The new English syllabus was introduced for the first years and on Open Night teachers and first year students spoke about their experiences during the year. The principal and staff will wait to see if a new Framework for Junior Cycle is published in July 2015.

The Cluny Centre for students with Autism opened a third class and we have now reached maximum capacity for 18 students.. The Cluny Centre accomodates three groups of six students though some students attend mainstream classes. Three students will graduate in June 2015 and one will complete a Leaving Certificate in five subjects.

We continued to provide ongoing support for students with Special Educational Needs. This was done through providing extra class divides in some subjects, withdrawing students from class either individually or in small groups and by the use of team teaching. Application was made to the Special Education Needs Organisor for resource hours and/or assistive technology as the need arose. Applications were submitted to the State Examinations Commission for Reasonable Accommodations for students sitting State Examinations. Applications were submitted to the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) for Educational Psychological Assessments for students identified as requiring assessment and a number of students were assessed or had assessments reviewed during the year.

Progression from second level

The vast majority of our students progressed on to third level this year with the remainder going to PLC colleges. On the 27th Nov. 2014 the Irish Times had Gallen CS listed as joint top feeder school in Offaly and 3rd most improved in Leinster. Board members congratulated the staff of Gallen C.S for their work in raising student aspirations over the years to go on to Higher and Further education but the principal reminded Board members that the numbers of students who progress to Higher education each year fluctuates. A lot of factors have to be taken into consideration for each year group and it is important that we highlight the successes of all students who complete a Leaving Certificate and achieve their individual goals.

Pastoral Care:

Religion/Faith Development

All class groups were timetabled for 2  class periods of Religion and one of SPHE at Junior Cycle. In fifth year students are timetable for 3 religion classes but team teaching occurs which facilitates SPHE being implemeted at senior cycle . In sixth year students are timetabled for 2 religion classes , the other for Career guidance.

Our Mission Statement states Gallen CS is a caring Christian community and the chaplain in a spirit of inclusivity organises many liturgical and spiritual events in the school. Examples of some events were:

  • Opening school mass
  • Class Retreats – held in-house by Chaplain
  • Mass for deceased members of the school community in November.
  • Advent Prayer service in school Oratory.
  • A Christmas Carol service is held annually.
  • Graduation mass for 6th years was held in May with parents also in attendance.

Guidance

The DES gave a curricular concession to appoint a Guidance counsellor for 20 hours a week for this year only.She had timetabled classes and  did a lot of one to one counselling accross all years during the year. Her work was hugely appreciated by all and of note was the Careers Night for senior students which was well attended by both college representatives and students and parents.

Year Heads and Care Team

All members of staff take an active role in the Pastoral Care of the students as an integral part of their work in the school. The Guidance Counsellor is available to meet students as the need arises and staff can bring any concerns they have to the attention of the Guidance Counsellor, Deputy Principal and/or Principal.

A class tutor is appointed to each class group and each year group has a year head. The deputy principal selected a  group of 5th year students to work as mentors with 1st years .

A weekly year head meeting takes place . A weekly Pastoral care meeting also takes place which is attended by Principal,Deputy, Resource teacher, Chaplain and Guidance counsellor and we have implemented a sytem of informing staff and follow through on assisting students in need.

The school does not have disadvantage status. We operate a book rental scheme for all students which includes books, locker rental, Journal, 24 hour insurance, parents council sub.. We do not ask parents for  a voluntary contribution, During the year we were aware more families are feeling the effects of the economic situation as collection of monies for book rental and mock exams is becoming more difficult.

Positive behaviour

Positive behaviour and student achievements were recognized and acknowledged at year group assemblies throughout the year and highlighted on the student notice board in the GPA area, on the TY Newsletters and on our school website. The Junior Merit awards continued. In October we held our annual Academic Awards night honouring studetns who excelled in their house exams and others who excelled in the  Junior and Leaving Certificates. These award winners were determined by the results achieved in the State Examinations the Cluny Scholarship was given to the highest achieving Leaving Cert and BOM scholaships were awarded to all who got more than 500 points in their Leaving Certificate. Subject Departments presented awards for outstanding achievements in particular subjects.Five awards were given for Junior Certifate achievements

In May we had end of year awards for the three junior year groups and prizes, certificates were given for academic success, homework recording /Journal, effort in school, random acts of kindness and attendance awards

Extra-Curricular activities

Students participated in a wide range of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities during the past year including:

Juvenile, Junior and Senior football,

Junior and Senior Rugby

First year hurling,

Ladies Football

Golf,

Badminton

Fencing

Swimming

Inaugural College Week

Junior Maths Competition,

Study Skills Seminars,

Student Enterprise Awards,

Young Scientist and SciFest

Science Week, quiz and poster competitions,

Maths Week, quiz and competitions,

School Musical,

Lynx Cycling Fundraiser for the Cluny Centre

TY outings & tour to Barcelona.

Seachtain na Gaeilge,

1st year tour,

Visits to Cinema, Ice skating, Theatre and National Gallery,

Visiting Speakers gave talks on Young people and the Law, Sexual Health, Alcohol Abuse, Motivation and Leadership, and a range of Careers talks.

Parental Involvement (Report from Secretary of Parents’ Council)

There were five Parent Associations meeting held during the 2014/2015 academic year. Margaret Healy agreed to continue to act as secretary and Aidan Egan was elected chairperson.

The following are some of the range of topics discussed over the year at our meetings:

  • Change in school management
  • Literacy and Numeracy project within the school
  • Updates on new Junior Cycle
  • School attendance /uniform
  • BOM news
  • Visit of Inspector Seamus Knox and SSE
  • TUI& ASTI strike days
  • Sports and Academic Awards night
  • Study skills workshops
  • Talks for senior students in the school
  • Student achievement in sport, young scientist, Fresh Film Festival etc.
  • Health Promoting Schools Project
  • Closure of Ulster Bank
  • Sixth year Graduation
  • Lynx Charity Cycle in aid of the Cluny Centre
  • School Musical
  • Juno and the Paycock production
  • Weight of school bags
  • Moving to 40 minute classes from 2016 onwards
  • Transition year tour.
  • Death of Patricia Kelly RIP
  • Election of new Parents Association and reps for new BOM

The following were the activities that the parents association got involved in during the year:

  • Sports and Academic Awards night
  • Health Promoting Schools Project
  • Closure of Ulster Bank
  • Lynx Charity Cycle in aid of the Cluny Centre
  • School Musical
  • Juno and the Paycock production

Suggestions for 2015/16

  • As recommended by BOM that principal invest in 2or 3 sets of extra books for class sets so students would not have to carry the heaviest of their books to school.
  • Continue to work on the Health Promoting schools project.
  • Communicate with other parents re : 40 minute classes
  • Inform themselves more on new Junior Cycle and its implications for teaching and learning.
  • Organise some fundraising for purchase of more sets of books
  • Bring in a speaker re : Bullying/Parenting

Student Council Report(Report from Chairperson of Student council)

The student council of 2014/15 had a very successful year .Elections were held in the autumn and representatives from all years were elected. Four sixth years were on the student council to facilitate leadership development of the student council and also to ensure a presence of some seniors if others were taken up with school work.

Our new building is maintained to a high standard so we had no suggestions to make regarding improvements to any facilities for students. In September a request was made to allow sixth years make tea/coffee before evening study in the Meeting room. The principal facilitated this all year and the students want to acknowledge her support.

The student council; got involved in the survey on Health Promoting schools and three members were elected onto the Health Promoting Schools Committee. After all the surveys from staff, parents and students were collated, “Healthy eating” was chosen as the focus for this new initiative which continued all year. Student’s opinions were sought on food in canteen, suggestions for healthy options etc.

The student council also got involved in the planning of a Christmas school concert following the carol service and also the Easter Egg Hunt to raise some money for Haiti. They invited a representative from the charity to come to the school and talk with a lot of the students…

The student council also had their own meeting with newly appointed Bishop Francis of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise and Bishop Frances is one of the patrons of the school.

In April the student council with school management organised a guard of honour for the funeral of our secretary and mother of one of our sixth year students.

The four Leaving Certificate student council members asked if all four could speak at their Graduation in August and the principal was delighted to facilitate this knowing what great ambassadors these young people are for our school.

All members agreed that they had a very successful year and that the experience was very worthwhile.

BOM (Report from Chairperson of BOM)

The Board of Management was in the 3rd year of its term during 2014 /15.

The Board held eight meetings, including one for consideration of the industrial actions by the teachers unions and one for staff appointments. All meetings of the Board were well attended.

One of the first duties of the Board this year was the appointment of an Acting Principal and Deputy Principal following the secondment of Mr John Irwin to the Association of Community Schools.

The agenda for Board meetings include : Minutes of previous meetings and matters arising,  Correspondence, Financial report , ACCS and Parents Association  business, Principal’s report, School Policies and Procedures,  School Self Evaluation, Anti –Bullying report, Child Protection report., AOB.

This year among many other topics also discussed by the Board of Management  were :the Health Promoting Schools Project, the closure of  the Ulster bank in the town, the Transition year tour, Health and Safety, Staff allocations,  loss of  DES curricular concession for Guidance, staff retirements and  new staff appointments.

The Board acknowledges the support received from parents, teachers and students during the year as well as the support of ACCS and wishes the new Board of Management success in its role.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.