Introduction to Ratoath Senior National School
On September 1st, 2005, due to the huge increase in numbers, Ratoath Mixed National School divided into Ratoath Junior National School and Ratoath Senior National School. Ratoath Senior National School is a new two-storey building on the same campus as Ratoath Junior National School. The agreement between the Department of Education and Skills, the Patron and local management was to cap the numbers attending these schools at a maximum of 500 pupils in each. Ratoath Junior National School will take on four classes of Junior Infants per year. However, as the numbers continued to grow, a new school, St. Paul’s National School, opened in Jamestown, Ratoath. St. Paul’s National School has grown to provide classes from Junior Infants to Sixth Class.
The aim of Ratoath Senior National School is to provide a Christian, caring, learning environment, which facilitates the nurturing of each pupil’s full educational potential. The achievement of this aim informs all of the planning in the children’s education, with co-operation and communication between home and school being vital ingredients in the educational process. We share the same aim i.e. the well-being of the children in our care. This prospectus has been produced with the express purpose of sharing information with parents concerning school policies, rules and routines. Ratoath Senior National School operates in accordance with the Education Act, 1998 and the Rules for National Schools as determined by the Department of Education and Skills.
The overall objectives of our school are to provide our pupils with the best possible education, to inculcate in them a spirit of co-operation, a respect of each other and for their teachers and a willing attitude to their work, and as they grow through our school, teach them spiritual and moral values which will remain with them to maturity. We hope to achieve this in a happy atmosphere of school life here at Ratoath Senior National School. The emphasis of our teaching is upon the three R’s. Our curriculum is rooted in this but we also recognise the varied curriculum and the many changes which are taking place in the field of education.
The teachers of Ratoath Senior National School strive to provide a sound grounding in the three R’s but also wish to provide every other educational experience for each child. Ratoath Senior National School places great emphasis on I.T. as a learning tool in the primary school. Children have the opportunity to develop skills in this area right throughout the school. Laptops are being used in the school as a learning aid for some students with special educational needs. All classrooms have been fitted with interactive whiteboards and teachers engage in continuous professional development on an on-going basis to develop their skills in this area.
Children have a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular activities to participate in within the school. They experience various sporting activities throughout their education in Ratoath Senior National School. The children also participate in many drama activities during the course of the school year. We have had a local artist work in the school and the children have had the opportunity to work with her on various art projects around the school. All children learn to play the tin whistle in school. Some children learn to play the flute and the bodhran also.
We, the Board of Management of Ratoath Senior National School hope that each child will have a very enjoyable time in this school and that the information provided in this booklet will prove to be of major benefit.
Accommodation within the School:
Ratoath Senior National School was officially opened by Minister Mary Hannafin in September 2006 although the school opened for pupils in September 2005. The new building was able to accommodate most of our students, however we still needed to use prefabs because of our student numbers. This situation was rectified in 2010 when an extension to the school was completed.
Ratoath Senior National School is a bright and airy building which is very child friendly. The school now has 20 classrooms and accommodation for our Special Education Needs’ teachers in the various lobbies. We still need to use two prefabs. We have a state of the art computer room and a general purpose hall. We have a lift to facilitate children who have special needs.
There is a staff room for staff members to use during break times which is equipped with dishwashers, microwaves and other electrical appliances for staff use. There is a large office for our school secretary and the principal’s office. The school has a washing machine and dryer for washing sportswear which is used by the children on a daily basis.
We are very fortunate to have extensive grounds around the school which accommodate a large playing pitch, three basketball courts and other play areas for the children. We have some beautifully developed gardens all around the school grounds which are maintained by the school caretaker with a lot of help from one of our teachers and the members of her gardening club.
Aims and Objectives of Ratoath Senior National School:
Our school aims to provide each child with a balanced education to enable each child to develop his/her skills to live a full life as a child.
This is provided in a caring and kind environment where each child learns to treat each other with charity, justice, truth, patience and love.
The school provides a Catholic and Christian education for each child, while it recognises and respects other faiths and religions.
Our school recognises the importance of our Irish culture and incorporates music, language, sport, drama, dance and customs into each child’s education.
The Overall Objectives of Our School are:
The school values the contribution of parents, guardians and the wider school community in the development of the school and values the input of outside agencies such as psychologists, social workers, gardai and all others in caring for our children.
The school values the knowledge of history, geography (local, national, and international), music, singing, drama, art, design and craft making.
The school places great emphasis on the development of skills in our national games of hurling, football, camogie as well as a wide range of other sports including basketball, soccer and athletics.
Board of Management
The Board of Management of Ratoath Senior National School meets at least once a term and usually twice a term. The Board aims to meet at least five times a year as is required.
The Chairman of the Board of Management consults with the Principal who informs the school secretary. The school secretary then sends a notification in writing to the members of the Board of Management giving them at least a week’s notice.
The current Board of Management consists of:
|Chairman||Ms Lelia Byrne|
|Patron Nominee||Fr. Gerry Stewart|
|Secretary||Mrs Loraine Butler (Principal)|
|Treasurer||Ms Martina Eiffe|
|Teacher Nominee||Ms Mary Garvey|
|Community Nominee||Mr Brian Mc Conway|
|Parents’ Nominees||Ms Aisling Fleming|
|Mr Tony Browne|
The Chairperson and the Principal draw up the agenda for meetings and all members have the opportunity to discuss issues arising from the minutes and the agenda. Members have the opportunity to bring up any other issues under A.O.B.
The teacher member of the Board of Management is elected from the body of teachers on the staff. Proposals are taken from a staff meeting and a vote takes place to elect a successful member.
The Principal and the teacher inform the staff about the outcomes of Board meetings. This usually happens the day after a meeting has taken place. If the teachers have any issue which they feel needs to be discussed, they can ask the teacher nominee to bring it up.
The two parents’ representatives also bring various issues to the attention of the Board of Management. They are elected from the Parents Association.
There are very good links established between Ratoath Senior National School and our parents. Parents are encouraged to meet teachers at our parent/teacher meetings which take place late in the first term. Parents are encouraged to meet teachers, if they so wish, to discuss any concern they may have about their child’s education. An appointment is made with the teacher through the school secretary and the teacher will meet the parent.
Parents are encouraged by the Principal and the staff to be involved in their child’s education. They do this in so many ways in Ratoath Senior National School. Parents are encouraged to get involved in shared reading with their children and also to supervise and check homework assignments. Parents are very active in this area and also in the area of sport where many parents provide transport and support for their children at matches and competitions and other events that take place over the course of the academic year.
The Principal meets the parents on an on-going basis also and promotes the school and its pupils whenever and wherever possible.
Parents also provide valuable help in the area of fundraising. They contribute €50 per family annually to the school fund which traditionally purchases extras for the school. This is a voluntary contribution.
Parents can read about all the different events that take place in Ratoath Senior National School on the school’s website. This details school holidays, achievements of classes or children, extra-curricular activities taking place, school government activities and fundraising for various charities. The school secretary sends out e-mails to the parents on a regular basis updating them on various events and issues. A group of children in 6th class work on a school newsletter on a per term basis which includes photographs and written articles on the school’s many activities.
The Parents Association in Ratoath Senior National School has an A.G.M. in September or October where a committee is elected. The committee provides support to the school in the following areas:
The school formally liaises with the Parents Association through two parent representatives on an on-going basis throughout the year. School policy and issues relating to school are listened to and discussed.
The Parents Association shall:
The Parents Association shall organise their own fundraising events in consultation with the Principal and the Board of Management. They will also keep an account of their finances to be overseen by the treasurer.
Other elected members who form committees including two members to represent the parent body on the Board of Management.
VISION / MISSION STATEMENT
Ratoath Senior National School is a Roman Catholic School established with the Minister for Education and Skills under the patronage of the Bishop of Meath. The school aims to promote the full harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and with other people. The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Catholic School provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Catholic Church and promotes the formation of pupils in the Catholic Faith.
Ratoath Senior National School promotes Gospel values in a Christian learning community, where children can grow in knowledge and understanding and in the acquisition of skills, attitudes and values.
We are fully committed to offering excellence in education by:
Our aim is that all children should leave Ratoath Senior National School with the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy, I.T. Skills, an enthusiasm for learning, a thirst for knowledge, an appreciation of their religion and the world they live in and, above all, many happy memories.