Child Safeguarding Statement

Dripsey National School is a primary school providing primary education to pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class and opened an Early Intervention Class for children with Autism/ASD in September 2019. This class is currently in the process of transitioning to an ASD class.

In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of Dripsey National School has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.

  1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement
  • The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is                              Bernard Sheehan
  • The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Sarah Lucey
  • The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. In its policies, procedures, practices and activities, the school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

The school will:

  • recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;
  • fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children;
  • fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters;
  • adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;
  • develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and
  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters.

The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.

  • The following procedures/measures are in place:
  • In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website. 
  • In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website.
  • In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary, instruction and training, to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school-
  • Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Ensures all new staff  are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
  • Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
  • Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
  • The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training
  • In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015.
  • In this school the Board has appointed the above named DLP as the “relevant person” (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the school’s child safeguarding statement.
  • All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015.
  • In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures.
  • The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school.

Note:  The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management shallalso include in this section such other procedures/measures that are of relevance to the school in question. 

  • This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association (if any) and the patron.  It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested. 
  • This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers.

This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on 22/04/2021 .

Signed: _Jim O’Connell            Bernard Sheehan

Chairperson of Board of Management      Principal/Secretary to the BOM

Date:     23/04/2021                     

Midterm Greeting

Good morning all,

I am sure that many of you were looking out the window yesterday morning wondering if it was going to snow.

Some of might even have been wondering if I would have “closed the school” for the day had there been snow.

Believe it or not but I was doing the exact same as you. Unfortunately, all we had was cold rain and some sleet.

You may know that we are having Midterm next week (Thursday and Friday, some of you may have siblings in secondary school who are off for the full week). I am sure that you are all looking forward to the break from Teams/OneNote/Aladdin.

Today marks the end of our 5th week of Distance Teaching this year and I am really proud of much work everyone has done. It has not been easy for you, well done.

The teachers have decided that we will be giving less work each day next week than we have been doing up to now.

However T’s & C’s apply to this decision.

  1. Today’s work is to be completed in good spirits, no trying to get away from the table to take a break or anything like that.
  2. Next week’s reduced work is also to be completed in good spirits, no trying to get away from the table to take a break, no excuses or anything like that.
  3. Children are to use their extra time to help out with whatever their parents ask them to do next week. *

*this T&C is for the children, the others apply to the children and adults!

I have sent out a YouTube of me reading this message so it can be played for the younger children.

Take care.

Bernard Sheehan

Elf on the Shelf

Here is a compilation of the Elf on the Shelf pictures that were submitted.

Enjoy

Nollaig Shona

Dear Parents/Guardians

 

Returning to school in September has been very different to previous years and I appreciate the support that everyone has given. It is something I am very grateful for.

 

I am very appreciative of the keen sense of responsibility everyone had shown over the last number of months. Our children have adapted brilliantly to the changes that have been necessary and have shown great resilience in the face of all the challenges the year has brought.

 

I know that many of the children’s favourite activities have been postponed or changed due to the restrictions and that is why the school staff felt it especially important to make school as normal and enjoyable as possible for the children this year.

 

The children have had a fantastic time in school, culminating in the past week of 

  • Lego Workshops
  • Pantomine (Cinderella)
  • Christmas Jumper Day in aid of BUMBLEance (Go raibh maith agaibh Rang a Cuig agus a Sé) which raised €450
  • No Uniform Day today (another Christmas Jumper Day?)
  • Treats from the Parents’ Association  
  • A Christmas Disco in the school yard 
  • A whole school recording of the poem Twas the night before Christmas 

Many thanks to Dripsey CLG for providing 2 excellent coaches for the children over the course of this school term.

I would also like to thank the Parents’ Association for organising Halloween treats, paying for Lego workshops, the incredible Christmas treats/Teddies, Halloween competitions etc. These bits have been the cherry on top for the children.

On behalf of the school staff, I would like to thank you and your families for all the support they have given the school.

Finally, I have attached an audio of The Night before Christmas for your listening pleasure. Many thanks to Miss Lucey and her class for compiling this. You may recognise some of the voices…

I look forward to seeing you all in 2021 and I am sure we will not have to be looking at each other from afar.

Nollaig Shona agus Athbhlian faoi Mhaise daoibh go léir.

Bernard Sheehan

Drop-off and Collection Routines

Dear Parent / Guardian,

The BoM and the School Leadership Team have been working to ensure a safe return to school for all pupils and staff in two weeks’ time.   We have now finalised our plans for drop-off and collection of the children every day. 

Dripsey NS appreciates your support as we try to safely reopen the school building. If at all possible we request you not to come into the school playground or into the school building unless it is essential. We appreciate that dropping off the Infant pupils to their yard may be necessary, but for the older pupils a drop off in the yard is desirable. Working together we hope to be able to progress the reopening in as safe a manner as possible for all.

We would ask all parents to familiarise themselves with the following drop-off and collection routines for the safe delivery and collection of pupils from school.  Please be patient as we endeavour to embed these necessary precautionary and protective practices at the beginning of the school year.

It is imperative that

  • adults do not come within 2m of each other
  • parents do not try to have meetings with members of staff in the playground at drop-off and collection times – meetings between parents and teachers can only take place by prior arrangement. (This may have to be more restrictive depending on guidance – it is quite possible that the recommendation will be for remote meetings/telephonic communications.)
  • all parents adhere to the drop-off and collection plans as outlined below

Drop-off Plan

  1. Students from First Class, Second Class, Third Class and Fourth class are to be dropped off between 9:00 and 9:10.  These students will be going to class at 9:10 and commencing their school day.
  2. Students from Junior Infants, Senior Infants, Fifth Class and Sixth class are to be dropped off between 9:10 and 9:20.

On the first morning (September 1st), the Junior Infants are to be brought to their classroom door at 9:25. After this, it will be left to the discretion of these parents to bring their child to the door (once the other classes have left the yard) or to bring their child to the yard (while following Public health guidelines)

  • The School Bus will be arriving shortly before 9:10 so as to facilitate the above. Parents with children in both drop-offs may do likewise.

Late arrival:

If a child arrives late he/she is to go to the external door of their classroom for entry. The classes will be entering and exiting the building via these doors for the foreseeable so they will know where to go if necessary.

Collection Plan

  1. Students from First Class, Second Class, Third Class and Fourth class are to be collected at 2:50.
  2. Students from Fifth Class and Sixth class are to be collected at 3:00.
  3. Infants are to be collected at 2:00 (Junior Infants will be finishing at 12:00 until September 11th and it is anticipated that they will be finishing at 12:50 for the 2 weeks from September 14th. Miss Dineen will inform you of the precise date in the middle of the week of September 7th

If a parent needs to collect a child at a time other than the above, please inform the school in advance and collect the child from their classroom’s external door.

Bernard Sheehan

Physical Distancing and Safe School Attendance

Dear Parent / Guardian,

We are currently working on upgrading our procedures and routines within the school to ensure that there is as much Physical Distancing as is possible in our building. We will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue.

Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: –

Increasing Separation.  This will be achieved by re-configuring the classrooms to maximise physical distancing. Each class will be referred to as a bubble and we will ensure that there is as little contact as possible between children in different bubbles.  Within the bubbles, children will be organised into pods.  A pod is a group of children who will sit together and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom. 

Decreasing Interaction. This will be achieved by decreasing the potential for children from different bubbles to interact.  Bubbles will have different mid-morning and lunch-time access to the playground.  We will make these routines enjoyable activities for the children, emphasising safety at all times.

While all children will be welcome back to school, we would inform parents that, where children are displaying colds, coughs or flu like symptoms, they should not be sent to school.  Children who display such symptoms in school will be isolated and parents asked to collect them from the school.

Children who have travelled from countries not on the Green List should not attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period

Further information on COVID-19 symptoms in children is available at: –

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/if-your-child-has-symptoms.html

Teachers will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing, coughing or spitting.  We would be grateful if you could also practise correct hand washing and “elbow catching” with your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school.

Our aim remains to re-open the school in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the new school environment.  This will be achieved by all of us working towards this common goal.

Kind regards

Bernard Sheehan

Re-opening of Dripsey National School

Dear Parent / Guardian,

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

As you are aware, our school has now been closed since 12th March due to the COVID-19 situation.  We are now looking forward to re-opening our school safely, in line with current guidance and recommendations on September 1st.

Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.

We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now and have published the DES COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools on our school website.  The Response Plan gives details of

  • Physical preparation, signage, hand sanitiser stations,
  • Advice, procedures and training for the safe return to working in the school for all school staff and pupils
  • General and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus

Our BoM will keep you informed as to the progress of our re-opening plans and provide you with the information required by you to play your part in safely re-opening the school.

We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children. We will be in touch with you again before school re-opens.

Kind regards

Bernard Sheehan

The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: –

Share the Love Art Project

The children, staff and parents of Dripsey National School have been busy creating images of hearts for the ‘Share the Love’ Art Project. We are currently putting them together as a poster to remember our strength and solidarity at this time.

A lot of effort was put into some of these pieces of Art, so we decided to create a slideshow of the images so you can see the details clearly. Please let me know if I have left anyone out or if I have put the wrong name on any pictures (email sarah.lucey@dripseyns.ie). I know for a fact that I forgot my own so I’ll be adding that over the next few days! Once I am sure that everyone is accounted for I will create the poster. Enjoy!

HPS: Mindfulness

The PDST Primary Health and Wellbeing Team have developed a new resource for primary schools.

‘Breathe – Self-Regulation and Relaxation Techniques for Children’ features a range of calming breathing techniques, written activities and guided visualisations that children can use to bring about a sense of peace and comfort in any situation. The resource is suitable for children of all ages and class levels.

This may be of benefit to the children during these difficult times. If you are interested, the resources can be found by visiting the following link:

https://www.pdst.ie/primary/healthwellbeing/relaxationandself-regulationtools