Nurture in Shinrone NS
Our school is one of only fifty schools in the country with a dedicated Nurture Room. Our school is intent on embedding a nurturing culture, enhancing teaching and learning, promoting healthy outcomes for children and young people, all by focusing on emotional needs and development as well as academic learning in a whole-school environment.
Two members of staff (SEN team) are currently receiving training in Nurture Groups and the entire staff has expressed a willingness to receive training in the Nurturing Schools programme. We are very aware of the myriad of research showing how, having one significant adult who cares in a child's life, can improve that child's overall wellbeing and therefore, educational outcomes. Staff have noticed the difference a positive relationship makes, to educational outcomes. All members of staff have seen how:
Pupils benefit – from the approach that supports them in their specific needs while delivering teaching and learning in a way that all can access.
Parents benefit – from being involved and welcomed in the school, in seeing the improvement in the children’s learning, behaviour, confidence and attendance. A better outcome for their children both in and out of the school and classroom.
Teachers themselves have attested to how they have benefit – from a renewed focus on their pupils and a culture change where every voice counts. A more balanced measure of outcomes for individual pupils ensues.
Overall, our school has benefitted – from showing our commitment to developing an ethos and culture that is inclusive and supports everyone in and associated with the school.
We are one of only a handful of schools with members of staff (SEN team) trained in using play therapeutically to support children in special circumstances, for instance, bereavement, divorce or children whose learning is impeded by emotional difficulties. There is a myriad of research on how therapeutic play can be utilised to help get children ready to profit from the learning experiences offered in primary schools.
Scaffolded play results in clinical improvements in children's language, social understanding, cognitive development and peer interactions thus accelerating their readiness to learn. In this regard, we are satisfied that the therapeutic play interventions which we conduct with a small number of children at present are helping us meet their needs by facilitating communication, fostering emotional wellness, enhancing social relationships and increasing personal strengths.
Being mindful of our mission to nurture the holistic development of each child, we provide a wealth of extra-curricular activities at Shinrone NS. We have a School Choir. We participate in the Music Generation programme and attend the Peace Proms and Singfest regularly.
We produce an Annual Christmas Show of an exceptionally high standard. We have very successful hurling and camogie teams. We have won the Cumann na mBunscol finals on many occasions. We engage professional coaches for Athletics, Tag Rugby, Gymnastics, Hurling and Soccer. We organise a very successful Active Schools Week on an annual basis culminating in our Sports Day.
We have a whole-school Golden Hour on a Thursday afternoon where the children sign up for an activity of their choice such as Gardening, Cooking, Tennis, Tidy Towns, Yoga with staff members. Speech and Drama classes take place in the school once a week. We take part in Science Week, Maths Week, Seachtain na Gaeilge and celebrate World Book Day & Grandparent's Day.
We participate in Discover Primary Science and send entrants each year to the Comhrá Gaeilge competitions in the Fleadh Cheoil. We believe in giving our pupils a voice and also in developing their leadership capacities and so, to this end, a newly elected Student Council has been established. We participate in the Junior Entrepreneur programme, debating competitions and the annual Credit Union Quiz. We are also currently re-embarking on the Green Schools programme.
Focus on Wellbeing;
Our school has adopted a whole-school approach to wellbeing. Our actions to improve the wellbeing of all include a whole-school focus on one of our core Restorative Practice values each month (Fairness, Respect, Inclusion, Empathy, Nurturance, Dignity, Safety); Circle-Time in each class first thing each Monday morning to build trust, positive relationships and connection in each classroom, Reflective Wellbeing Journals to be filled in by each child after our Wellbeing Assemblies; the setting up of a Student Council to improve student voice and ensuring that there is Communication Box in each class.
We introduced RP into our school in September 2018. The aim of the Restorative approach is to develop our community and to manage conflict in an emotionally healthy way by focusing on repairing harm when relationships are damaged. The Restorative approach helps children develop the skills necessary for positive relationships, emotional intelligence, resilience, reflective-thinking, problem-solving, appropriate risk-taking and the ability to take responsibility.
DEIS curricular initiatives;
The staff of Shinrone National School have been implementing DEIS curricular initiatives such as 'Literacy Lift Off', Mata sa Rang, Language for Fun, Guided Reading, Ready Set Go Maths, etc for many years. Through these programmes, our pupils experience focussed and intensive learning in their zone of proximal development.
We are fortunate to have three staff members trained in Reading Recovery. This invaluable training in how to observe children closely in order to fine tune teaching for struggling readers, has changed the lives of many of our pupils over the years for whom other methodologies weren't working.
Strong home/school partnerships;
A strong partnership exists between school and home, which is vital for good learning outcomes. We have an open-door policy to parents in Shinrone National School and we value parental input . Parent-Teacher meetings take place in November each year . Regular meetings take place in the case of pupils receiving School Support and School Support Plus. We have a Welcome Day for the parents of incoming Junior Infants in May. We communicate with parents/guardians via the Aladdin App and our school website/blog.