WILLOW PARK FIRST YEAR
1.1 Willow Park School is a Roman Catholic school owned by the Spiritan Congregation under the patronage of the Des Places Educational Association. The first year of Blackrock College Secondary School is situated in Willow Park School. This facilitates a unique inductive process allowing the pupils to adjust to their new subjects, range of teachers and the challenges of secondary education in a self-contained milieu before transferring to Blackrock College for second year. Willow Park First Year has its own dedicated administrative structure, specialist secondary teachers, Pastoral Team and games staff providing the necessary attention and care for the boys. We aim to support Parents in their responsibility for the spiritual, religious, moral, academic and physical needs of their children
1.2 Education flourishes in an environment where good relationships are encouraged, where people feel valued and respected and where there is a genuine acceptance, fairness and support for all. The rules and policies of the school aim at creating a community environment in which each student can develop his full human and spiritual potential. They are intended to ensure a high standard of behaviour in the community and to encourage courtesy and consideration in the conduct of all.
1.3 Against a background of the educational philosophy of the Spiritan congregation in Ireland, Willow Park School aims to provide an environment in which:
· faith is nurtured.
· pupils can develop their full potential.
· personal responsibility is promoted.
· pupils are made aware of their cultural heritage.
· parental collaboration is promoted and encouraged.
1.4 Each Pupil is entitled to an education free from fear and intimidation.
Bullying is not tolerated in Willow Park School.
1.5 There are 8 mixed ability classes of 25 pupils. There is specific provision for Boarders with up to 16 places.
1.6 Applications for Willow Park School should be made in writing to The Registrar.
By return, an application form will be sent to the applicant. The application form will request personal details including:
· name/address of boy and parents/guardians,
· date of birth,
· contact telephone numbers/e-mail address,
· details of any medical/psychological condition,
· previous schools attended.
Closing date for applications is March 31st in the calendar year previous to year of commencement.
1.7 A copy of a recent report and reference will be requested along with any other relevant information. Places are typically awarded 12 to 18 months in advance of commencement. Applications received subsequently to the allocation of places are on a waiting list status only.
1.8 Willow Park School, within the context and parameters of D.E.S. regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron, as set out in the Education Act and the funding and resources available, supports the principles of inclusiveness particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational needs.
1.9 It is expected that parents wishing to enrol their sons will support the school ethos as espoused by the School Ethos and Mission Statement. We strive to engage with the family, not just the boy, as per the Ethos and Mission Statement
1.10 Willow Park School is a Catholic school. Priority is given to boys of the school’s Faith. Willow Park considers the applications of those from other faiths when they are willing to support the ethos of the school.
1.11 The school day: classes commence at 8.35 am and finish at 3.10 pm (Monday-Friday).
1.12 Personnel: The Principal of Willow Park First Year is Mr Alan Rogan.
2. ORDER OF PRIORITY IN ADMISSION
1. Pupils of Willow Park Junior School
2. Brothers of existing pupils
3. Sons of Teachers and nephews/grand-nephews of the Spiritan Community
4. Sons of past pupils
5. Grandsons, nephews of past-pupils
6. Willow Park reserves the right to allocate a limited number of places (not to exceed twelve in any one year) to applicants on grounds of compassion, or special circumstances. The decision to award any such place will be based on an objective assessment of the particular pupil and his circumstances, including an interview of the pupil and his parents/guardians.
7. Allocation of further places will be based on date of application, with priority given to those who applied earlier.
3.1 Applicants, other than the pupils of Willow Park Junior School, are invited to a prefatory meeting in the school.
3.2 All successful applicants are assessed in the autumn prior to the year of enrolment. The purpose of the assessment is to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of the child. Following receipt of the report of the assessment, the school will determine how the school could meet the needs indicated by the assessment.
4. APPLICANTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
4.1 If further resources are required, a request will be sent to the Department of education and Science to provide the resources to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the report. These resources may include, (but are not limited to), access to or provision of a combination of the following:
· visiting teacher services,
· resource teacher for special needs,
· special needs assistant,
· a laptop
· specialised equipment or furniture,
· transport services.
4.2 The school will meet with the parents to discuss the child's needs and the school's suitability or capability in meeting those needs. It may be necessary to defer enrolment until the provision of the appropriate resources by the D.E.S.
4.3 The School reserves the right to refuse admission to pupils seeking to transfer from other schools.
4.4 The criteria for enrolment are outlined above under‘Order of Priority in Admission.
5.1 There are three fundamental school rules:
(1) Be Caring
(2) Be There (present at whatever activity is scheduled – on time)
(3) Be Truthful
5.2 General regulations:
· Good conduct is expected at all times not only in school but also in the surrounding area.
· A boy’s conduct should always be courteous and governed by consideration for others.
· A pupil, or a pupil party to a group, who brings the school community into disrepute whilst under the jurisdiction of the school is subject to sanction proportionate to the offence committed.
· Further, the school authorities reserve the right to resign the charge of a pupil for persistent idleness, violation of school rules or for any other reason judged by them to be in the interest of the common good.
· Each pupils is entitled to an education free from fear and intimidation. Bullying is not tolerated in this school.
5.3 Specific Regulations:
5.3.1 Possession of alcohol or illegal substances is prohibited while engaged in any school or school related activity. Failure to observe this regulation may lead to the school resigning the charge of a pupil.
5.3.2 Smoking is seriously injurious to health and is forbidden within the school buildings and precincts. Breach of this regulation will incur external suspension.
5.3.3. Chewing gum is forbidden within the school
5.3.4 Mobile phones, MP3 players etc. are prohibitedin classrooms, on the corridors and during formal school activities. Refer to the school’s policy on acceptable use of mobile phones for further information.
5.3.5 The display of an uncaring attitude towards any member of the school community, or towards its property is unacceptable. Breach of this regulation may incur suspension.
6. ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL:
In the event of absence from school, a pupil is required, on the day of his return, to bring an explanatory letter from home signed by parent or guardian. Absence from class without permission is not acceptable.
7.1 Cyclists are strongly recommended to wear cycling helmets, hi-vis jackets or bag covers, and to use lights.
7.2 Boys using public transport to get to and from school should maintain at all times the standards of behaviour expected of pupils of Willow Park.
8.1 Application Cards give an individual teacher's assessment of the effort made by a pupil during that week. The mark given is an indication of the quality of the class work, homework and co-operation of pupil.
8.2 Progress Cards are marked every four/five weeks. The marks based on class tests/assessments indicate the standard attained by a pupil in the subject matter covered in class in the preceding weeks. Dates of cards are outlined on the school calendar. Please make sure you see the cards, sign and return them.
8.3 There are full-scale examinations at the end of the Christmas and Summer Terms. Reports are sent to parents giving examination results and comments by the Deputy Principal/Principal
8.4 Parents are afforded the opportunity of discussing all aspects of their son’s education in the school with class teachers at Parent-Teacher meetings during the course of the year or with the Deputy Principal at any time by appointment.
9. HOMEWORK JOURNAL
Each pupil is required to have and to use their homework journal on a daily basis. This should contain a record of both the oral and written assignments given by the teacher in class during the course of the day. Parents are asked to check the homework journal regularly.
10. EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY
A wide range of activities is provided for the boys both before and after school. All boys should be involved in some extra curricular activity - music, debates, sport etc. There is concern when a boy’s involvement is limited to attendance in class.
11. DRESS AND DEPORTMENT
11.1 A high standard of dress and deportment must be maintained. The Deputy Principal is the judge of acceptable standards of dress and deportment.
11.2 Boys coming to school improperly dressed may not be permitted to attend class or school activities.
11.3 Hair should be neat and tidy. A boy wearing excessively long or excessively short hair or hair which has been bleached or dyed will be considered improperly dressed for class or activities associated with the school.
11.4 The wearing of jewellery, other than watches, whilst in school or involved in school activities is not permitted.
11.5 Except for games and PE, runners are not permitted during school hours unless excused by parents on medical grounds.
11.6 Parents have an important role to play in the maintenance of good standards of conduct and deportment. We ask for full co-operation in this matter.
12. LOSS OR DAMAGE OF PUPILS’ PROPERTY
We strongly recommend that all pupils should have their clothes and other property clearly marked to facilitate identification. Pupils are be held responsible for the care and security of their own property. The School authorities do not accept responsibility for loss or damage of pupils’ property – bicycles, phones, MP3 players, cameras, sports equipment, clothes etc. Parents are advised that these items can be readily insured under the normal household policy.
The school authorities should be given information of any medication, which a pupil must take on a regular basis. Please refer to the school policy of the administration of medication for further information. We also strongly recommend that parents have appropriate medical cover in the event of injury or accident.
14.1 Willow Park School recognises and facilitates the parental/guardian role in the education of their sons.
14.2 The Parents Association, with its unique year committee structures, provides a vehicle for pro-active, participative involvement in the educational provision.
14.3 The application and progress cards, homework journal, end of term reports and newsletters inform on the pupils’ classroom performance, extra-curricular involvement and opportunities available.
14.4 The family liturgies are occasions for community prayer and endorsement of the school ethos.
14.5 The Deputy Principal, Pastoral Team and class tutors are available by appointment throughout the year for personal consultation.
14.6 Evening Seminars, Parent Retreats, Sports and Social Functions bring parents together, thus including them as valued members of the Willow Park School Community.
This policy was revised and updated in January 2015