1. School Details

1.1.       Background

1.2.       The school in numbers

1.3.       Premises and Facilities

1.4.       Governance Activities

  1. Vision & Mission

2.1.       Vision

2.2.       Mission

  1. Curriculum Plans
  2. Policies
  3. Development Section

5.1.       SCOT Analysis Completed in Consultation with Parents and Staff Members

5.2.       Children’s Wishes for the School

5.3.       Development Objectives

5.4.       Development Actions

  1. Ratification and Review

1.     School Details

1.1.  Background

Knocknacarra Educate Together National School (KETNS) was established in 2014, under the patronage of Educate Together, in response to a demographic need for additional primary school places in the Knocknacarra area.

This background has influenced the school in two key ways:

  • The Educate Together ethos informs all aspects of the school including its governance, teaching and social activities.
  • The demographic growth of the Knocknacarra area has been fuelled by the migration of people to the area. This is reflected in the diverse backgrounds of the pupils.

This diversity partnered with the Educate Together ethos has seen a school character emerge which has at its heart:

Child-centred Decision-Making – While recognising the rights of all stakeholders including parents, guardians, staff, board of management, the patron and the Department of Education and Skills, the needs of the children will remain at the heart of all decision making.  The overriding ambition is for all children to be happy and to nurture them so that they can achieve their potential within a supportive academic environment that encourages high expectations.

Community – There is a strong desire to build a school community which takes an active role in the wider community based on values of active citizenship and civic responsibility.

Inclusion – Our school community endeavours to make a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels including governance, teaching and social activities.

These characteristics will inform the development objectives of the school plan. This is a new school and the school community recognise that we are the creators. This is a privilege but also a responsibility which the school community takes seriously. This plan is a living document that is being developed and by the Board of Management (BOM) in consultation with the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), the staff and children of the school. It is a plan for all of the school community, and therefore, all members of our learning community are asked participate in this exciting journey to create a new school community.

1.2.  The school in numbers

1 Stream The school will grow by adding one class per annum until there are 8 classes in total.
3 Classes In 2016-2017 there are junior infants, senior infants and first class.
8 Board of Management Chairperson and Patron Nominee: Louise Shields

Treasurer and Patron Nominee: Maggie Hall

Secretary and Principal: Matt Wallen

Teacher Nominee: Áine Ní Chuinneagáin

Female Parent Nominee: Lynn Morgans

Male Parent Nominee: Waqas Khawaja

Community Nominee: Elaine Keane

Community Nominee: Paul Adams

9 Staff 2017-2018 Staff

1 Teaching Principal

3 Class Teachers

2 Learning Support Teachers

2 Part-time SNAs

1 Secretary

78 Pupils 2016-2017 Enrolment

23 in Junior Infants

28 in Senior Infants

27 in First Class

1.3.  Premises and Facilities

The school is located in temporary accommodation at Brooklawn House, Galway West Business Park, Western Distributor Road.  The temporary accommodation is comprised of three mainstream classrooms, one staff room and one small classroom for support teaching.  An additional classroom has been arranged on the first-floor as a temporary measure until the school is relocated to new premises.  There is a fenced-off outdoor play area.  Efforts are ongoing to liaise with the Department regarding additional short-term temporary accommodation as well as permanent accommodation.

1.4.  Governance Activities

  Responsible officer Timeline
1.1 Review of School Plan BOM Annually by June
1.2 Review progress of Development Actions BOM/PTA Monthly
1.3 Review school policies BOM As required by policy
1.4 Publication of minutes of BOM meetings Principal Monthly
1.5 Appointment of new Board of Management Patron November 2019

2.     Vision & Mission

2.1.  Vision

To build a child-centred school community which values inclusion, diversity and the unique talents of all.

2.2.  Mission

  • To nurture each pupil, encouraging them to use their unique talents so that they reach their potential in all areas including academic subjects, the arts, sport and social skills.
  • To create a community which is inclusive of all and accepts an integral role in promoting active citizenship.
  • To create an atmosphere where pupils, staff, parents and the community feel safe, respected and valued and which develops a love of learning.
  • To support the patron body in setting up a secondary school to enable pupils to complete their education in the ethos of Educate Together.

3.     Curriculum Plans

CURRICULUM PLANS DATE TO BE WRITTEN DATE RATIFIED DATE TO BE REVIEWED
English 2017 2020
Maths 2017 2020
An Ghaeilge 2017 2020
Learn Together 2017
ICT 2017
Geography 2018
History 2018
Science 2018
Visual Arts 2019
Music 2019
Drama 2019
PE 2019
SPHE 2019

4.     Policies

POLICY DATE TO BE COMPLETED DATE RATIFIED DATE FOR REVIEW
Enrolment 2015 2018
Health and Safety 2016 2017
Child Protection and Garda Vetting 2017 2018
Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying 2017 2018
Critical Incidents 2015 2018
Attendance 2015 2018
Record Keeping and Data Protection 2016 2019
Substance Use 2016 2019
Healthy Eating 2016 2019
Afterschool Clubs 2016 2019
Social Media and School Website 2016 2019
Communications (including Grievance Procedure) 2016 2019
Exceptional Closures 2016 2019
Job-sharing and Career Breaks 2016 2019
Special Education Needs 2016 2019
Internet Acceptable Usage 2017 2020
Extra Personal Vacation (EPV) Days 2017 2020
Off-site Learning Experiences 2017 2020
Work Experience/Student Teachers 2017 2020
Sharing Accommodation 2017 N/A
Equality of Access and Participation 2017
Retention 2017
Adult Bullying and Harassment 2017
Assessment 2017
Homework 2018
Class Allocation 2018
Mobile Phone/Electronic Devices 2018
Induction of New Staff 2018
Parental Involvement 2018
Staff Meetings/CPD 2018
In-school Management Team 2019
Relationships and Sexuality Education 2019
Student Council 2019
Intercultural Education 2019

5.     Development Section

This section summarises a consultation process involving parents, Board members, staff and children regarding short- and long-term expectations for our developing school community.

5.1.  SCOT Analysis Completed in Consultation with Parents and Staff Members

Strengths

  • A new school – we are the creators
  • Sense of community
  • Commitment to good governance including principles of democracy and transparency
  • Emphasis on teaching Irish
  • Diversity of pupils’ backgrounds
  • Class size capped

Challenges

  • How to ensure all backgrounds are represented
  • Impact of first-come, first-served enrolment policy on siblings
  • Maintaining a sense of community and intimacy as the school grows
  • Establishing sustainable fundraising opportunities

Opportunities

  • Develop school profile within the wider community
  • Learn about other cultures from our peers
  • Build a sustainable school community

Threats

  • Uncertainty regarding long-term school accommodation
  • Lack of understanding in community about Educate Together ethos
  • Lack of opportunity to continue to second level

5.2.   Children’s Wishes for the School

5.3.  Development Objectives

  • To nurture the pupils by developing infrastructure including governance, buildings, technology and enhanced professional development.
  • To develop the school community by creating opportunities for pupils, parents and the community to interact.
  • To create an atmosphere where pupils, staff, parents and the community feel safe, respected and valued and which develops a love of learning.
  • To support the patron body in setting up a secondary school to enable pupils to complete their education in the ethos of Educate Together.

5.4.  Development Actions

  1. To nurture the pupils by developing infrastructure including buildings, technology, and communication structures.

Buildings

Action Responsible officer Timeline
1.1 Liaise with Dept of Education regarding school building Principal Ongoing
1.2 Devise lobbying strategy BOM As required
1.3 Implement lobbying strategy BOM/PTA As required
1.4 Set up buildings committee to project manage building/renovating of new building BOM As required
1.5 Project-manage building/renovation of new school Building Committee As required
1.6 Project manage move to new building Building Committee As required
1.7 Establish and resource a school library Staff and PTA Beginning 2017-2018
1.8 Plan and develop a playground and outdoor classroom Building Committee and PTA As required

Technology

Action Responsible officer Timeline
2.1 Research options for personal ICT equipment for classes Principal and staff October 2017
2.2 Complete procurement and purchasing Principal and BOM 2018
2.3 Develop a whole-school ICT plan Principal and staff 2017-2018
2.4 Establish links with parents and the wider community for technology enrichment activities during and outside the school day Staff and parents 2018 onwards
2.5 Involve older classes in communicating learning through the school website and other platforms Staff and children 2019 onwards

Communication Structures

Action Responsible officer Timeline
3.1 Manage private facebook page for parents PTA and principal Daily
3.2 Expand use of the website to support learning by incorporating resources Principal and staff 2017-2019
3.3 Establish a Student Council Principal and children 2018
3.3 Review and enhance portfolio sharing meetings Staff 2019-2020
3.4 Establish joint planning sessions for teachers, children, parents and Board members All stakeholders led by Principal By 2020

 

  • To create a school community which takes an active role in the wider community by creating opportunities for pupils, parents and the community to interact.
Action Responsible officer Timeline
4.1 Support and develop end-of-term gatherings Teachers Per term
4.2 Establish sustainable fundraising to support extracurricular activities including the Spring Fair PTA, staff and BOM Annually in May and as required
4.3 Investigate the provision of adult classes, e.g. Irish PTA and Principal 2017-2018
4.4 Arrange for GAA lessons through a local club and begin the establishment of additional after-school and curricular sports activities Staff 2017-2018
4.4 Organise family social events PTA and staff Ongoing
4.5 Develop an environmental programme to include completing the Green Flag programme and investigating transport options Principal, lead teacher, staff, children and PTA Beginning in 2017-2018
4.6 Develop links with community groups e.g. Age Action, Blue Teapot Theatre Company PTA and staff Ongoing
4.7 Forge links with local sports organisations to provide experiences and training opportunities Staff and PTA Ongoing
4.8 Develop a liaison programme for the transition to secondary school Staff and children 2020

 

  • To create an atmosphere where pupils, staff, parents and the community feel safe, respected and valued and which develops a love of learning.
Action Responsible officer Timeline
5.1 Establish regular opportunities for parents and children to become more aware of safe ICT use Principal and staff 2017 and onwards
5.2 Develop additional extra-curricular activities PTA Ongoing
5.3 Allocate resources and support teachers in developing and performing shows in both English and Irish Principal and Staff Ongoing
5.3 Tosaigh oibre le haghaidh Gaelbhratach a bhaint amach (Begin work towards achieving the Irish Flag Award) Principal, lead teacher, staff and children Beginning in 2017-2018
5.4 Initiate participation in the Green Flag programme Principal, lead teacher, staff and children Beginning in 2017-2018
5.5 Initiate participation in the ISPCC Shield Flag programme (an anti-bullying campaign) Principal, lead teacher, staff and children Beginning in 2018-2019
5.6 Establish plans for achieving an Active School Flag Principal, lead teacher, staff and children Beginning in 2019-2020
5.7 Begin working on the Yellow Flag (a diversity programme) Principal, staff and children Beginning in 2021-2022

 

  • To support the patron body in setting up a secondary school to enable pupils to complete their education in the ethos of Educate Together.
Action Responsible officer Timeline
6.1 Forge strong links with the Galway Educate Together Second-Level Campaign PTA 2017
6.2 Ensure new parents are informed of the campaign PTA Ongoing
6.3 As children get older, seek their voice and involve them in the campaign Staff and PTA 2019 onwards

6.     Ratification and Review

This School Plan was ratified by the Board of Management on 15th June 2017.  It will be reviewed on an annual basis in a report by the Principal to the school community.