Saint Brigid’s National School, is a primary school situated in the middle of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Our mission is to provide the highest quality education for all our children in a happy, safe and stimulating Christian environment, focusing on their academic, social, personal, moral and spiritual development to help the achieve their advancement.

Children’s Mobile Phones

Policy on Children’s Mobile Phones/Electronic Games

Introductory Statement

This policy was drawn up in response to technological advances which have seen a significant increase in hand held electronic ‘gadgets’ amongst the school population over recent years.

Rationale

  • I Pods, mobile phones, Game Boys, PSPs, MP3s etc. are intrusive and distracting in a school environment
  • Strategies need to be in place to reduce the intrusiveness of unauthorized technology in a school situation
  • Some electronic devices may be harmful due to frequent use
  • Mobile phones may be used to conduct bullying campaigns

Relationship to School Ethos

The use of mobile phones and other electronic games contravenes the provision of a safe and secure school environment conducive to learning, a provision which is central to the ethos of St. Brigid’s.

Aim: To lessen intrusions on and distractions to children’s learning

Internal School Procedures

The following are the guidelines for mobile phone and electronic games

Where a pupil brings a mobile phone to school, the phone must be kept out of sight in the student’s school bag.

It should be switched off during the school day and should not be used, for any purpose, on school premises, grounds or during off-site school activities (such as school swimming or sports activities).

Children who need to contact home during school hours may do so through the school secretary using the school landline phone.

The only exception to this is in an emergency or with the prior approval of the Principal or a member of the school team.

Pupils are not allowed bring electronic games into school

Breaches of this policy

–      Pupils who ignore this policy and use a mobile phone on school premises without permission will be required to hand over their phone to a member of the school team and parents will be asked to collect it from the school office. The same holds true for electronic games as they are not allowed.

–      If a teacher has any suspicion that a mobile phone has unsuitable material stored on it, pupils will be required to hand over the phone to a teacher and parents will be asked to collect it from the school.

–      Where there is a suspicion that the material on the mobile may provide evidence relating to a criminal offence the phone will be handed over to the gardaí for further investigation. Parents will be informed in such circumstances.

–      Pupils using mobile phones to bully other pupils or send offensive messages/calls will face disciplinary actions as per the school Code of Behaviour.

–      It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person. As with all such incidents, the school may consider it appropriate to involve the gardaí.

–      The school will incorporate this policy in the school’s discipline policy and will treat breaches as they would treat any other breach of school discipline.

Lost, stolen or damaged phones/electronic games

– The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones. The safety and security of mobile phones is wholly a matter for pupils/parents.

– The school accepts no responsibility for pupils who lose or have their mobile phones stolen while travelling to and from school.

– Mobile phones which are found in the school and whose owner cannot be located should be handed to a member of the school team.

– It is strongly advised that pupils use passwords/pin numbers to ensure that unauthorised phone calls cannot be made on their phones (e.g. by other pupils, or if stolen).

Pupils must keep their password/pin numbers confidential. Mobile phone and/or passwords should not be shared.

The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged electronic games as they are not allowed on the premises.

Roles and Responsibilities

All the school team share in the co-ordination and implementation of this policy.

Evaluation

This policy is monitored on an ongoing basis and amendments added as new technology comes on stream.

Implementation

Ratified by Board of Management

and communicated to the school community.

14th January 2014

School Tour Policy

Introduction

When this policy was drafted in May 2008 as a response to safeguarding the health and safety of the children, it put in writing the safe practices used by the staff up to that date. This policy was most recently reviewed in September 2014.

The Board of Management has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils when they are engaged in school activities when inside and outside the school.

Rationale

The formulation of this policy enables out school effectively

  • provide for the safety of students and staff
  • ensure that adequate arrangements are in place for the planning of school tours and trips outside the school
  • have a policy with which all staff are familiar

Roles and Responsibilities

The Board of Management, Principal and staff have a duty of care to the students in the school. This is achieved in co-operation with the parents.

School Ethos

This policy re-enforces the element of the school mission statement which advocates providing a safe and secure learning environment for each child; ensuring a duty of care at all times when the school is in operation.

Aim/Objectives

To develop satisfactory procedures where by the safety and well being of all staff and pupils is safe guarded.

Procedures

Tours will be arranged at the discretion of the class teacher. School tours should take into account the age and interests of the children and the curriculum being covered. Children go on school tours and trips to learn, to take part in sports and to enjoy themselves.

Over the year there may be opportunities for the children to go to forest areas such as Knocksink (for the infant classes) and Glendalough (for older children), the National Concert Hall, the Zoo, the National Aquatic Centre, the Ark etc.

Permission slips

When a visit is planned outside the immediate local area a letter with permission slip is sent home to be signed. Children cannot travel without these being signed.

Local trips

Local trips are covered by the general permission slip signed by the parent when the child first enters the school. Local trips include those to the church, the North or South Beach, the library, the fire station, local sports facilities. Whether the teacher and class are travelling locally or further afield, the school secretary and Sister Kathleen should be informed.

Supervision and travelling 

Adequate supervision is vital. When walking, children should walk in twos or single file depending on the width of the pavement. They should not walk near the edge of the pavement or on the road.

The children should be reminded to show consideration for other people, especially the elderly. The children should walk with care to avoid tripping or walking into lamp posts. Children should also be asked not to pet stray dogs.

An adult should lead and one adult should mind the ‘tail end ’ of the line, making sure no one falls back behind them. Ideally there should also be an adult in the middle. A whistle can prove useful.

When travelling by private coach, there should be seatbelts. The children have to remain tied in and seated during the journey.

If it is looking like the children are likely to be home later than scheduled please ring the office, so that parents inquiries can be answered.

Safe practices

If walking, the route should be planned in advance. Teachers unfamiliar with the area should check with staff members the safest way to get to the destination.

It is suggested that the teacher try the route in advance first even by car. Teachers should brief the adults who are travelling with them and tell them in advance about anything to watch out for on the route.

Cost

The teachers should do their best to ensure that the cost of the tour is reasonable and represents value for money.

Booking

Tours should be booked early. Popular venues are can be booked up before Easter. Please sure the date booked does not clash with e.g. Sports Day

Feedback

Where problems arise either with venue or transport teachers will report back to the transport/tour organiser who will in turn discuss it with the Principal

Conduct on Tours

Pupil’s behaviour on tours will comply with the standard set down in the School’s Code of Discipline.  In certain circumstances parents may be asked to agree to a contract on behaviour.

Where it is felt that a child’s conduct would pose a safety risk or inhibit the educational benefit for self or others, the teacher may decide that the child permission to travel.  Parents will be advised of this in advance.

Safety and Supervision

Teachers will be extra vigilant when taking children out of the school.  Special attention will be paid to:-  Road Safety, Behaviour on bus, Risks posed by particular venues (e.g. adventure playgrounds, National Aquatic Centre etc.) Parents accompanying the students are asked to be vigilant too.