“Student wellbeing is present when students realise their abilities, take care of their physical wellbeing, can cope with the normal stresses of life and have a sense of purpose and belonging to a wider community”. (cf NCCA Guidelines for Wellbeing 2018)
Pastoral care underlies all relationships within the school community. We aim to create a safe and happy environment which enriches the lives of the students. From the moment a student is enrolled, there are specific teachers on the staff whose roles are to ensure that students’ wellbeing is supported throughout their time in Loreto.
A specific teacher liaises with primary schools to enable a smooth transition to secondary school. Another organises a two-day Orientation programme for all first years, to help them make the adjustment from primary to secondary school. A Twinning co-ordinator also helps First Year students with this transition and is assisted by Fifth Year students who act as “Twins” to the first years.
Form teachers take a wellbeing class each week and take an active role in each student’s progress. Year Heads monitor an entire year group in conjunction with the Form Teachers, Chaplain, Guidance Counsellors, Deputy Principals and Principal. Regular assemblies are held in each group.
The student support team is an important part of the pastoral care system in the school. The remit of the team is to provide a range of supports that cater for the learning, social, emotional and behavioural needs of the students. Members of the team include a deputy principal, year head, chaplain, guidance counsellors and a member of the SEN team.
The Chaplaincy sservice and careers counsellors work collaboratively to help students who may encounter difficulties with their lives. The primary role of the Chaplaincy service is to be a faith presence in the school. The school chaplain works closely with the management team and staff, responding to students’ needs, and has specific responsibility for their spiritual and pastoral development. Throughout the school year, significant religious events are celebrated. Liturgies occur at relevant times and a school mass celebrates the beginning of each school year. Retreats are organised for each year group.
The careers department strongly believe that young people learn more effectively and have better academic outcomes if they are happy in their work, believe in themselves and feel acknowledged and supported in their schools. The wellbeing of our young people is critical to their success in education and life. A whole school guidance approach prepares students to develp wellbeing and positive mental health,where emotioanl wellbeing may be understood as an educational end in and of itself. A whole school approach involves all members of the school community engaging in a collaborative process to change and improve specific areas of school life that impact on wellbeing. A whole school approach produces a wide range of benefits for students, including improved behaviour, increased inclusion, improved learning, greater social cohesion, increased social capital and improvements on mental health.
The careers counsellors also help students with career orientation, organise D.A.T.s tests, Open Day visits to third level colleges, careers talks, careers fairs, mock interviews and arrange for relevant guest speakers to visit the school.
The SEN department works as part of the whole school approach to students with special educational needs. Student wellbeing is an integral part of the work of the SEN department. In the creation of an inclusive,supportive, learning environment for all students which enables them to develop coping mechamisms and build resilience for the present and into the future.
An S.P.H.E. (Social, Personal & Health Education) programme provides valuable insights and information to junior students.
“Student wellbeing is present when students realise their abilities, take care of their physical wellbeing, can cope with the normal stresses of life and have a sense of purpose and belonging to a wider community”. (cf NCCA Guidelines for Wellbeing 2018) “The school community is commended on the very wide range of programmes it provides to promote student wellbeing. These include an Intercultural week, a Mental Health week and a Friendship week, all of which add to the strong sense of community in the school.” (cf DES Careers Inspection Jan 2019).
During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of all students’ will be paramount, students will feel secure that their wellbeing is supported and that every effort will be made to safeguard and protect the positive inclusive atmosphere that has alawys been the hallmarkof Loreto Balbriggan.