The school has a strong system of support services in place. Our Pastoral Care Team is there to give all students support in coping with change in every aspect of their lives.The Career Guidance Counsellor has a central role to play in helping new students to settle in, assessing academic ability, advising on subject choice and generally helping students to cope with the demands of school.Special attention is given to senior students as they plan and make applications for their future careers.Students who feel the need to speak about any difficulties they are experiencing will be listened to and supported. All our staff, in particular, Class Tutors, Year Heads, Guidance Counsellor are available when the need arises. Our Learning Support Teachers assists pupils with special learning needs. Close contact is maintained with parents.
It is the policy of ALS to endeavour to develop the student as a whole person, and to make available support structures to cater for those needs which are not catered for in the curriculum.
Students have four ten minute periods with their class tutor a week. This is an opportunity to address any issues that students may have in an informal manner.
ALS has a part-time counsellor, whose role is to assist in the development and welfare of all students in the school.
Counselling is an integral part of the work of the Guidance Councellor - Personal, Educational and Career Counselling.
The counsellor also organises a study skills course for students in Leaving Cert and Junior Cert During their exam year.
To enable students to make informed choices about his/her life and career and to make transitions consequent on these choices. To enable each student to achieve his/her full potential, career wise.
All students are free to avail of counselling, provided appointments are made, by themselves or their parents.
Class Teachers, Tutors and Yearheads may also refer students. Parents may consult the Counsellor, provided appointments are made.
The school has a part time chaplain.
Support for Learning
Ardscoil La Salle's Support for Learning policy emphasises that: All children have the right to the widest possible educational opportunities.All children have the right to an appropriate education.Every child has individual learning needs and that students with Special Educational Needs are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential in the school.It is the responsibility of all staff to meet the educational needs of the children in their care.The principle aim of Learning Support is to optimise the teaching and learning process in order to enable pupils with learning difficulties to achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy.
There are three models of learning support/resource teaching in Ardscoil La Salle:
i) Team Teaching
ii) Group withdrawal
iii) One-to-one withdrawal Benefits for the pupil include:
It allows for greater inclusion of SEN students in the mainstream while still accessing support.Additional classroom support is made available to a whole class group, while at the same time, an individual student may be monitored and supported.A faster resolution for pupils experiencing difficulties with course work.Enhanced learning through working under more favourable conditions.
Which pupils will benefit from Learning support/Team Teaching?
Most classes from first to third year will contain children covering a broad range of abilities and attainments – from a child who works slowly and clumsily, perhaps still in the process of learning basic language skills, to the child who copes easily and speedily with new concepts, and has acquired an advanced range of knowledge and skills. All children in this diverse mix are likely, at some stage in the curriculum, to have difficulties with course work therefore the learning support teacher should be sensitive to the needs of all and must be perceived by students as being in the classroom to support the learning of all. Most mixed ability classes will have children with special educational needs. Learning support/Resource teachers will wish to target support on these students. Pupils whose native language is not English will also require special considerations.
Each year Transition Year students act as Student Mentors to our incoming first years. Each mentor is linked with 2/3 first years. All students going into Transition Year act as mentors. They take part in leadership training at the start of the year, to prepare them for the role.
The role of the mentor includes:
To be a friend and a support to incomming first years.
Meet 1st year students on their first day in school, give them a tour of the school and organise refreshments for them.
Meet 1st years formally - in either SPHE or RE class.
Watch out for 1st years on the corridors, around lockers and outside in the yard.
Make contact with students at least once a week for the first half term.
Organise a fun activity for the students in the first half term.
Give students whatever help they can, practical help e.g. lockers, how to get involved in afterschool activities, how to avoid trouble etc.Report all problems they encounter to a member of staff and advise the school counsellor of such problems.
Attend meetings for mentors.
At the end of the first half term the mentoring system is reviewed and involvement of the mentors with the students over the rest of the school year is decided upon.
School Completion Program
The School Completion Programme sponsors the following programmes in the school either directly or with the provision of equipment:
A text is sent home to parents when their child is absent from school without permission. SCP funds the cost of our text system.
This club runs every Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays for 1 hr. Homework is completed with the aid of the supervising teacher.
Provides a warm breakfast in supervised surroundings for those who wish to partake. The breakfast club runs every morning from 8.20-8.40
High Interest Books
Finance is provided to purchase high interest books for the resource/learning support department.
St. John's Education Centre
The SCP funds the cost of this programme for the school.
Senior students mainly transition years act as mentors for first years, helping them settle into school life. Mentor training involves leadership, team-building and responsibility. All mentor activities are sponsored by the SCP.
The SCP gives financial support to enable all students take part in the more expensive activities associated with this year.