Ratified :October 2019

Reviewed and ratified : 24/11/2021

Phone Number

(028) 3085 1294

Statement of the school’s core values in relation to Pastoral Care

“Christ is the reason for this school, the unseen but ever present teacher in its classes, the model for its staff, the inspiration for its children”

We believe that Pastoral Care reflects the values, attitudes, beliefs and practices of our Catholic faith. The pastoral dimension of St. Patrick’s Primary & Nursery School therefore fosters a high level of care for our children, parents, staff and others involved in the life of the school.
Our school values each member of the school community as a unique person made in the image of God. We endeavour to create an atmosphere in which the children feel secure and happy and all staff work together as a team, supportive of one another and sensitive to each others’ needs.

Aims of Pastoral Care Policy

  • To recognise and respect that every child is unique with different gifts and talents and to value each child.
  • To approach the care of our children in a positive way, reinforcing the philosophy and ethos of the school, following the various associated school policies relating to Pastoral Care..
  • To strive to ensure that the children feel happy and secure in whatever activity /situation they are engaged.
  • To encourage in our children the development of self discipline and self respect.
  • To encourage the values of honesty, forgiveness, loyalty and concern for others.
  • To develop in our children independence of mind, taking responsibility for their own actions and learning from past experiences.
  • To promote the children’s understanding of themselves as individuals – their strengths and limitations, their personal qualities and their attitudes.
  • To promote a caring environment where pupils’ learning is developed within the context of their individual needs and abilities.
  • To promote the development of positive relationships where children and staff have respect for each other and the opinions of others.
  • To welcome, cherish and respect those in our school family from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, religious beliefs and cultures – seeking always to integrate newcomer children and their families into the life of St. Patrick’s.
  • To be aware of the specific needs and circumstances of individual children, families and members of staff and to take account of these e.g. physical, medical, emotional, social, economic etc.
  • To value the work of our staff, giving due recognition for their efforts and achievements.
  • To support our staff and children e. g. integration of new staff members, newly arrived families, family needs, etc.
  • To adopt a team approach in caring and providing for our children.


We believe that every child has the right to feel happy, safe and free from harm in school.
We value and cherish the contribution which every child can make to school life in the hope that school is a positive experience.
We believe that school should be a positive experience for every child.
We believe that every child has the right to be helped to develop to their full potential.
We believe that every child has the right to be given equality of opportunity, regardless of their background, ability, religious belief or gender.
We believe that every child should learn to respect their school – their teachers and ancillary staff, their fellow pupils, visitors, school property and the school environment.
We believe that every child should be helped to recognise the responsibility which they have to live out the ethos of St. Patrick’s.


We believe that all members of staff should be treated with courtesy, fairness and respect.
We believe that the opinions of all members of staff should be listened to and valued.
We believe that each staff member is entitled to a clear definition of their role and responsibilities within the school.
We believe that every staff member is entitled to support in their work, particularly in times/ situations of difficulty or crisis.
As a staff, we are committed to working together for the good of the school. To this end, co-operation and teamwork will be promoted and developed appropriately.

Pastoral Care in Practice

The school will seek to demonstrate its Pastoral Care system as follows:

Greeting our children i.e. welcoming them when they arrive at school as newly enrolled members of our school community and daily thereafter. Enhanced efforts will be made to integrate Newcomer children and their families to life in St. Patrick’s respecting each child’s particular circumstances. Staff and children will proactively seek out opportunities to make children from cultures different to their own feel happy and secure within the school.

Chatting informally with the children, listening to their news, their concerns, etc.

Getting to know our children personally, becoming aware of their personal circumstances and showing sensitivity to their individual needs.

Supporting them as far as possible, in situations of need which may arise.

Ensuring that School Council members LEAD an active CHILDREN’S PARTICIPATION appropriately in school matters e. g. Annual School Forum (Second Term)

Aiming to be a listening school where the CHILDREN’S VOICE is seriously considered and acted on in a meaningful way.

Promoting their self-esteem and confidence.

Allowing children to assume responsibility through tasks/activities in class and around the school.

Addressing a range of pastoral issues via Assemblies and the school’s Prayer Life

Providing Teaching & Learning which addresses issues related to pastoral care, in keeping with the PDMU programme.

Ensuring appropriate supervision of play areas at break and lunch time, with particular attention to the prevention of bullying.

Providing supervision of pupils at arrival and home-times, to ensure their personal safety on the school premises. Agreeing procedures for children’s safe arrival/departure daily at main school entrances. (See Appendix 1)

Developing partnership and communication between all members of staff, in order to facilitate the sharing of information and concerns about pupils.

Agreeing daily procedures between members of staff to ensure maximum safety & wellbeing for all our children.

Ensuring uniformity of approach/practice in the event of an accident (Risk Assessment – Appendix 2).

Implementing the Staff and Visitors’ Codes of Conduct

Keeping total cost of school/educational activities to a minimum to cover all expenditure incurred. Education Authority guidelines will be followed regarding Finance and the school will seek always to assist families in need of particular support. Teachers will inform SLT if a child is unable to meet payment or presents unsubstantiated reasons for not wanting to participate in activities, so that appropriate pastoral arrangements may be made in a sensitive manner. No child will be disadvantaged regarding access to educational opportunities due to costs.

The school will endeavour to be mindful of the needs of children who have the responsibility of being carers at home/within the extended family and will develop communication with relevant external agencies to support this role while maintaining effective home-school links.

Organisation of Pastoral Care within the school

Roles and Responsibilities

The Board of Governors hold overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the Pastoral Care Policy. The Principal and Senior Leadership Team are responsible for ensuring that Pastoral Care systems are implemented and are reflected in the School Development Plan. They will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of Pastoral Care across the school. The Principal and PDMU Coordinator are responsible for informing and liaising with other relevant coordinators and outside agencies as well as providing resources and support. Furthermore, they will have responsibility for implementing staff training.
Every member of staff in the school has responsibility for ensuring the ongoing health, safety and wellbeing of our children.

How each teacher contributes to Pastoral Care.

Class teachers hold primary responsibility for the daily pastoral care of the children in their classes. Teachers will seek to develop relationships of trust, empathy and understanding within the classroom. This will provide the ethos within which pastoral care can be strong and effective.
Additional responsibility is held by the Principal and Vice Principal, Mrs O Mc Kinley who work closely to ensure high standards of Pastoral Care at all levels. Furthermore, as Designated Teacher for Child Protection, Mrs Mc Kinley is the main link between members of the school community and external agencies e.g. Social Services. She is the main source of information and advice in relation to Safeguarding & Child Protection for all members of the school community. She maintains all records in relation to Safeguarding & Child Protection. Mrs S Kelland and Mrs B O’Hare are Deputy Designated Teachers and will assume Mrs Mc Kinley’s responsibilities in her absence. Mrs J. Smyth is the Deputy Designated Teacher within the Nursery class. The duty of care towards children in relation to Safeguarding & Child Protection issues pertains to all teaching, ancillary, supervisory and auxiliary staff.

Record Keeping and Administration

A School Information Form is held for every child (see Appendix 3). This form is completed annually by parents in early September and provides information on pastoral and medical matters. Information re contacts etc. is updated appropriately on the school’s managed data system.
The principal maintains a record of significant contacts made by parents with the school in relation to pastoral matters/areas of concern, together with action taken by the school in response to these issues. Teachers maintain a similar system at individual class level.

Parental Involvement/Communication with parents

In St. Patrick’s, we value the vital role parents and carers play in the ongoing academic, spiritual and emotional development of their children and therefore seek always to work in effective partnership with them. Parents should always keep the school updated regarding any key changes in family life which may affect their child/children’s wellbeing.
This policy will be available to parents both electronically or in hardcopy on request from the school office. Copies of all key documents are accessible on the school website at and on the school app. They are also available in hardcopy on request from the School Office
All parents are provided with a hard copy of the school’s Safeguarding & Child Protection Procedures on entry to Nursery and Primary One. This is also made available on the school website and the school app and a hardcopy is available on request.
Parents should make an appointment to see a teacher at a time that is mutually convenient to discuss pastoral or curricular matters relating to their child – Teaching & Learning Time may only be interrupted in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Principal/Vice Principal.
The school strives always to develop partnership and communications with parents, in order to facilitate the sharing of information and concerns about pupils.
Parents are invited to attend an Information Meeting held by the class teacher at the beginning of each academic year where key information and procedures are discussed and an outline of the curriculum (together with support materials) for the year ahead is presented.
Outcomes of termly assessments are made available to parents. Annual Reviews for children having Statements of SEN are held in the Spring Term annually. In October each year parent/teacher meetings take place to discuss the progress and particular needs of each child. Meetings related to Sacramental preparation are facilitated annually in liaison with Mayobridge Parish and a Programme of preparation is compiled and managed jointly. Nursery and Primary One Induction Programmes are held in June annually for new entrants for the following September.
Opportunities for necessary contact with the Early Years’ teachers are provided at the end of the school day. Parents are encouraged to support the school via social functions and key occasions. Fundraising events occur periodically throughout the school year. Attendance and Punctuality procedures are discussed and agreed with parents, these are monitored systematically on a regular basis and where appropriate, issues are addressed in liaison with the EA’s Education Welfare Service

Written Communication:

Important information is shared appropriately with parents via the school app and class email.
The School’s Text Messaging Service is also used effectively to communicate key messages promptly where necessary.
School News Updates/reminders/fliers are issued appropriately and are available on the school app which also provides up to date key information. School policies are made available on the school website. An email and Twitter facility is available for communication. Informal notes/liaison books are used by teachers/parents as appropriate to children’s needs

Curriculum Provision

Pastoral Care will be delivered primarily through our PDMU programme. Appropriate time will be set aside to deliver the statements of minimum requirement relevant to each strand i.e. Personal Understanding and Health and Mutual Understanding in the local and extended community. However, Pastoral Care permeates the wider school life and therefore cannot be completely addressed as a discrete curriculum area. Therefore, through the teaching of other curriculum areas e.g. World Around Us and by using a variety of teaching styles and strategies, children will have valuable experiences in aspects of themes which promote their holistic development.

Examples include:

  • Grow in Love , Flourish & Mindful Matters
  • Healthy Eating & Wellbeing e. g. Healthy Break; Fruit Days; P 5 Dairy Council Workshop; Daily Mile etc.
  • Healthy Body & Healthy Mind – Mental Health Week
  • Promotion of ECO awareness and Environmental Issues
  • Personal Safety – Sun, Electricity & Fireworks; Stranger Danger Programme
  • Road Safety & Playing Safely outside
  • Emergency Life Support Agencies e g Fire Service, Ambulance, PSNI.
  • Young Lifesavers Programme (P 7 First Aid)
  • Anti-Bullying Week – Promotion of creative strategies
  • Transition Programmes (Pre School/P1 & KS2/3)
  • Circle Time
  • P7 Annual Retreat
  • PDMU ‘Living Learning Together’ Programme
  • Cycling Proficiency (P7)
  • Wide range of extra-curricular activities involving Sport, Music & Culture
  • E-Safety workshops for children and adults
  • Health and Safety procedures in practice
  • Drugs & Alcohol Education (P.7)
  • ‘Love for Life’ Programme (P7)

This is not an exhaustive list and will be subject to change over time

Positive Behaviour

Our Positive Behaviour Policy has been devised with the rights and feelings of our children, staff and parents in mind. Our pastoral support principle is to promote high standards of behaviour proactively and address issues of low standards fairly, based on an agreed Code of Conduct for Children which has been developed in consultation with children, staff and parents.

It is essential that all staff respect and show a caring attitude towards all our children. Care and respect must be shown at all times by teachers, teaching assistants and supervisory assistants. We also ask that parents show the same high level respect and care to our children, staff and volunteers. As outlined in our Staff Code of Conduct, all members of staff are encouraged to show respect and care for each other.

Merit and Reward

In considering the pastoral needs of our children we are committed to highlighting the positive nature of children’s improvement, achievement and contribution to school life. In St Patrick’s Primary & Nursery School we promote a system of regular and annual awards/rewards which is intended to be fair and effective and aimed at promoting self-esteem and celebrating individual and group achievements. We encourage each child to take responsibility for his/her actions and to have their efforts recognised and rewarded.

School Policies to support Pastoral Care

In addition to this overall Pastoral Care Policy document, the school has developed/is developing a range of other policies and procedures which support the implementation of Pastoral care. The key policies are detailed as follows:

1. Safeguarding and Child Protection
2. Emotional Health & Wellbeing
3. Staff Health & Wellbeing
4. Child Protection: Record Keeping in Schools
5. Anti Bullying
6. First Aid & Medication
7. Drugs & Substances Education
8. Special Educational Needs
9. Handling Complaints Procedure
10. Smoking
11. Safe Travel to School
12. Use of Reasonable Force and Safe Handling
13. Food in School: Healthy living
14. Positive Behaviour
15. Pupil Attendance
16. Relationships & Sexuality Education
17. Intimate Care
18. Treatment of Head Lice
19. School Care
20. Health & Safety
21. Staff Code of Conduct
22. E Safety

Training and Resources

Inset training is provided for teaching and support staff as appropriate to changing needs and strategic developments. The Board of Governors and all staff will be encouraged to attend appropriate, external courses and In Service training days. The Principal and PDMU Coordinator will keep all staff suitably updated and recommend amendments/changes to policy and procedures where necessary.

Links with community and outside agencies

We are committed to developing good working relationships with relevant external support agencies to enhance, protect and support individual children’s social and emotional welfare. Such agencies may include:

School Nurse/Nursery Health Visitor/ Local Pharmacist/Dentist
Child Protection Support Service
Social Services Educational Psychology Service
Educational Welfare Service Peripatetic Teachers
Behaviour Support Team RISE Team
Occupational/Speech Therapists EnCompass Scheme (PSNI)
PSNI Emergency Services
EA Music Service School Chaplain
Pre School & Post Primary Transition personnel.
Coaching/Sport/Art/Drama programmes e.g. GAA support
CCMS/Dept. of Education/Education Authority/CCEA

Members of the local community with specific expertise provide the pupils and staff with extended educational experiences. Pupils engage in educational visits and trips to increase their knowledge of the world around them and help in supporting others in their community and further afield. The school is represented/involved in events and initiatives within Mayobridge Community. Furthermore, regular links are maintained with parish and community groups.

Monitoring and Evaluation

To ensure that Pastoral Care is working effectively in our school we continually monitor, evaluate and review the procedures and practice. We value the contribution made by our staff, parents and children to effect appropriate change when necessary. This will be achieved through:

  • Teacher/parent interviews
  • SEN Annual Reviews
  • Curriculum evenings/Workshops
  • Induction days
  • Staff meetings, Board of Governors meetings
  • Periodical questionnaires/ audits/correspondence with parents

This policy will be reviewed every three years and is due for updating in February 2026.

Signed: M Ryan (Principal)


Signed: Mrs P. Smyth (Acting Chairperson of Board of Governors)

Pastoral Care in Practice

Arrangements for Safe Arrival/Departure

The School Car Park has been operational since February 2017 and is the main area designated for safe arrival and departure for the children.
Following ongoing consultation and feedback, the following arrangements are in place in the Health and Safety interests of all users.

Morning Arrival (all classes Nursery – P.7)

Children who walk/cycle to school i. e. not dropped off by car, will access the school 8.50 am onwards via the bottom pedestrian and middle gates on Chapel Hill and make their way to their classrooms as directed at the beginning of the school year.
Children who arrive by school bus will follow the same arrangement from the Bus Space.
Children attending the Breakfast Club will enter the school through the pedestrian gate and Front Door and make their way to Resource Room 2 on the bottom corridor. They will be taken to their respective classes at 8.50 am.
Children arriving by car should be taken to the bottom right area of the new Car Park 8.50 am onwards and left onto the footpath from where they will walk along the ‘Convent path’ below the Convent Lawn. They will cross the ‘Top Yard’ at St. Clare’s Building and make their way to their respective classrooms as directed. We operate a one-way turning circle in the Car Park. School Staff will demonstrate appropriately.

The Gate at the Car Park entrance to the path will be secured at 9.00 am. Children arriving after this time should make their way to the Front Door and sign in at Reception to confirm arrival. Please be reminded to have your child/children in school punctually daily as class begins at 9.00 am sharp. All external doors will be secured at this stage.

·Nursery children should also be brought to their classroom from either the Front Top Gate or the Car Park (via the Convent Path and make their way to Nursery, walking past Mrs Parr’s P.1 class)
· End of Nursery Day: Children should be picked up at the Front Area of the school on Chapel Hill. Pick up is at the internal classroom door. Any child not picked up by 11.40 am will be taken to the School Office in the Reception area to await collection.

2 pm Pick Up (P.1-2)

All children going home by car should be collected using the Car Park (not from the Front Area of the school)
Parents/Childminders should park in the Car Park and walk along the Convent path into the Top Yard. At this stage Mrs Parr’s parents should proceed to the classroom door to pick up children, Miss Walsh and Mrs Vint’s parents should go to the usual door for pick up .
Parents/Childminders who walk to school from the village should use the bottom pedestrian gate and proceed around the back of the Kitchen area to the pick up points.

3 pm Pick Up (P.3-7) (2 pm on Friday)

  • Miss Killen and Mrs Goss, Patrol persons will lead ‘Walking’, ‘Cycling’, and ‘Bus’ children to the area at the Bottom School Gate (pedestrian entrance) from where they will walk/cycle/board the bus. Only these children will be dismissed at the front of the school.
  • Teachers will lead their classes to the pick up point in the Car Park, where the Duty Teacher will be on duty
  • Parents should again use the one way system for pick up. Children should use only the footpath areas for accessing cars i.e. do not walk across the main body of the Car Park where the traffic will be moving.
  • Children not picked up at 3.05pm will be brought back to the Reception Area to await pick up.

The Front door will be secured throughout the School Day in keeping with Safeguarding & Child Protection requirements. All admissions for routine school business are via the Front Door. Parents cannot proceed beyond the Reception area unless with approval from Office Staff – Visitors badges will be issued appropriately.

The Car Park may be closed during severe frost/snow – parents will be notified in advance via school app/text message

The PSNI provide invaluable support regarding Traffic Management and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure maximum safety for all users.

We appreciate your cooperation and patience in implementing these arrangements – we will notify you of any amendments. Similarly, please let us have your views and comments as we seek to work together in the best interests of the School Community.

M. Ryan