Carrigaline Community School Pastoral Care Policy


Carrigaline Community School endeavours to provide an environment of excellence and care for each member of the school community. We demonstrate our valuing of each person through our school’s motto of ‘Together, we achieve’. We foster excellence through the highest standards in our teaching, learning and pastoral care structures and programme. Carrigaline Community School realises its core aims and goals through a variety of means, none more important than our pastoral care approach. We understand Pastoral Care ‘as an approach to education which endeavours to value and develop each member of the school community. It promotes learning at every level of the student’. Each member of the school community has access to relevant pastoral structures and procedures. Each member of the school community is invited to play their part in contributing to the pastoral ethos of this school community. We seek to nurture positive relationships as the core resource in developing a pastoral approach. It promotes effective and caring leadership and partnership in the school community. It influences all aspects of the life of the school: polices, curriculum, roles and structures in order to sustain and enrich the educational experience of each student.

This policy aims to put in place a framework necessary to underpin and support this approach. The policy will address the following areas:

  • Pastoral Roles: Definitions and Responsibilities
  • Pastoral Programmes
  • Pastoral Procedures
  • Resources and Professional Development
  • Monitoring and Evaluation

1.    Pastoral Roles: Definitions and Responsibilities

Every member of staff contributes to student support in the school. There are key roles however, which carry significant support dimensions and responsibilities.

Year Head

  • Year Heads have both a pastoral and disciplinary role.
  • They are the key point of contact for their particular year group and are assisted in their duties by an assistant year head.
  • Year Heads mentor all students in their year group, identify students needing care, and support students in difficulty.
  • The Year Head directs students when necessary to other personnel on the staff: chaplain, guidance counsellors, SEN co-ordinator etc.
  • The Year Head liaises with parents according to agreed procedure particularly in respect to the yearly parent-teacher meeting and individual meetings with parents.
  • The Year Head will hold morning and afternoon assemblies daily with their year group.
  • The Year Head will report to staff in relation to the year group and from time to time will meet with subject teachers.
  • The Year Head will attend a weekly meeting with the principal, deputy principals, other year heads, chaplain, and guidance counsellors.
  • The role of the Year Head in relation to behavioural matters is outlined in the Code of Behaviour.
  • The Year Head encourages good behaviour, and presents and records Principal Awards.

Class Teacher

  • A class teacher, on behalf of the school community undertakes the role of caring for a particular class group with responsibility in the pastoral and academic areas.
  • They get to know the students as individuals. They have an awareness of and support students with difficulties.
  • They foster positive class spirit and boost class morale. They act as a friendly guide and motivator to individuals and the general class group.
  • They oversee the student journal and monitor notes.
  • They encourage class involvement in all activities that promote the ethos of the school.
  • Class teachers will meet as a group with their Year Head at least once a term formally and will liaise informally with the Year Head when necessary.
  • The class teacher is involved in induction programmes where appropriate.

Pastoral Care/Year Head Team

  • This team meets once per week for each of the Junior and Senior sections of the school.
  • The team consists of Principal, Deputy Principals, Year Heads, SEN Co-ordinator, Chaplain and Guidance Counsellors.
  • Issues discussed include school organisational issues, student issues, all policies and procedures in relation to the running of the school.
  • This is an opportunity for liaison between the Student Support Team and the senior management and year heads.

Student Support Team

This team brings together all the support services of the school to review how the school is responding to the overall needs of the student and in particular students facing challenges. The teams plays a part in supporting year heads and class teachers, reviewing students with particular difficulties and advising relevant groups within the school community on pastoral issues.

  • The members of the team are as follows: Chaplain, Guidance Counsellors, SEN Co-ordinator, Resource Centre Co-ordinator.
  • The Student Support Team meets regularly.
  • Community links are fostered and the student support team meets with local youth worker on occasion.
  • The Student Support Team encourages and supports student development programmes such as induction programmes, Seedlings etc.
  • Minutes of all meetings are recorded and filed.

Guidance Counsellor

The Guidance Counsellor participates in and co-ordinates the school guidance and counselling service. This participation can be categorised under three integrated areas of activity:

  • Personal / Social Guidance and Counselling
  • Educational Guidance and Counselling
  • Vocational Guidance and Counselling

This service is central to our pastoral care provision and involves a range of activities which include:

  • Counselling
  • Assessment
  • Information gathering, organisation and dissemination
  • Educational Development Programmes
  • Referral
  • Consultation with parents, teachers and pupils
  • Guidance activities to help students make transitions
  • Administration
  • Evaluation

An explanation of these activities is contained in the Guidance Counsellor’s Plan.


The Chaplain is involved in the pastoral aspect to school life in a variety of ways:

  • Supporting individual students at times of need through teacher or student referrals
  • Supporting staff members at times of need
  • Systematic meeting and welcoming of all first year students individually
  • Providing school liturgies at appropriate times in school life
  • Home visiting as the need arises
  • Hospital visiting as the need arises
  • Involvement in the running of student pastoral programmes at times of particular need
  • Being part of the student support team
  • Attending weekly year head/pastoral care meetings

 SEN Co-ordinator


  • To co-ordinate provision for students with special educational needs
  • To advise the Principal on a regular basis regarding SEN
  • To meeting with LS / Resource teachers and SNA’s once a week to review progress of individual students, discuss best practice and evaluate procedures
  • To facilitate the construction of Individual Education Plans which are directed towards meeting students’ individual needs
  • To co-ordinate the development of school based strategies for the identification and assessment of pupils with SEN
  • To liaise with and advise fellow teachers
  • To work closely with the Student Support Team through regular attendance at meetings which review the school’s response to the overall needs of students with challenges
  • To oversee the records of all students with special educational needs
  • To liaise with external agencies: RACE, SENO, NEPS, CAMHS, etc.

Learning Support / Resource Teaching Team

The role of learning support teachers and resource teachers is to meet the needs of pupils with SEN through one-to-one tuition, small group work, team teaching and in-class support, and to construct an individual programme of support. The structured programmes should be in line with students’ needs and provide opportunities for success. The Resource Centre Co-ordinator and the SEN Co-ordinator meet weekly.

An explanation of these activities is contained in the SEN policy.

2.    Pastoral Programmes and Events

  • The school has a commitment to SPHE and RSE and demonstrates this in its provision on the curriculum.
  • A comprehensive enrolment and Induction programme exists for new students including a transition day for SEN students.
  • The Seedlings Programme runs occasionally for students dealing with bereavement.
  • Study skills and approaches are provided, particularly for state exam groups.
  • Days of Reflection / Personal Development are organised for 5th year students.
  • Anti-Bullying Week highlights awareness of the importance of relationships with others, respect for difference.
  • The Principals Awards initiative offers positive re-enforcement to the student body and recognition of student achievements.
  • A Mass of Remembrance is held yearly for bereaved students and staff of CCS.
  • School community celebrations of Christmas through a carol service, annual Christmas fast and fundraiser, Operation Christmas Child are held.
  • Health Promotion Week highlights awareness of healthy body, mind and spirit.
  • Talks in relation to mental wellbeing are organised regularly for students and parents.
  • Internet safety talks are provided for students and parents every year.

3.    Pastoral Procedures

The foundation stone of the pastoral structure in the school is the year head / class teacher system supported by management, the guidance team, SEN team and chaplain.

This school has a number of policies which outlines procedures to support students. Please refer to the Code of Behaviour, Anti-Bullying, Critical Incident, Guidance Plan, SPHE Plan, SEN Policy, Chaplain’s Plan etc.

In the area of information we are committed to dealing respectfully and sensitively with information that is received, shared, stored and accessed.

The school has a dedicated EWO who focuses on in the area of attendance and is supported by the Regional EWO.

4.    Resources and Professional Development

This school is committed to providing the necessary resources to underpin this pastoral policy. The Chaplin, SEN Co-ordinator, Guidance Counsellors attend yearly conferences to keep abreast of new developments, build contacts and maintain links with appropriate support agencies. Guidance Counsellors regularly counselling supervision, and also CDP provided by the Cork branch of the IGC. Pastoral Care Team members are affiliated members of professional bodies and attend regular meetings. General in-service / staff development is supported and facilitated by management.

5.    Monitoring and Evaluation of Policy

Effective policy requires constant monitoring and evaluation to ensure successful implementation and to review what adjustments may be necessary from time to time. This policy is to be reviewed at the end of the school year.

To be reviewed: 2021