Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care is not a frill or option; it is the oxygen essential for the learning process to occur. McGuinness (1989)

The school has its own Code of Conduct and Positive Behaviour policy which everyone is expected to follow. Good behaviour in school is only achieved by a positive partnership between parents, pupils and the school. To this end, we ask all parents and pupils to sign a contract and to take their responsibilities seriously. A strong, supportive pastoral system ensures that each child feels confident in asking for help.

Parents are the primary educators of young people. The responsibility and impact of the home environment in the formative years is acknowledged as the most important influence on the development of the adult person. However there are numerous other influences which come from a wide range of other sources. Central to these influences is the role of schools and more specifically teachers.

To develop as a person is to develop in all dimensions of life - physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually. In recognition of this Newry High School adopts an holistic approach to the development of our young people and we place great importance on the pastoral care of our pupils. Each pupil is a member of a tutor group under the oversight of a Form Tutor who generally 'moves through' the school with the pupil for the first five years. The tutor meets the group at the start of the school day and is concerned with their welfare in terms of attendance, academic progress, punctuality and behaviour and builds a special relationship with the group members. The tutor is the pupil's first line of help if problems arise.

For each Year group there is also a Year Head who co-ordinates and supports the work of the Form Tutors and assists them in the counselling of the pupils. Pupils will take part in the Personal Development programme which will help them develop important learning skills, help establish their individuality and to express their opinions on a wide range of issues ranging from study skills, decision making, establishing friendships, personal safety and hygiene and dealing with bullies to more global issues dealing with prejudice or third world development.

An Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) is assigned to the school and visits the school regularly to help promote and support good attendance.

Primary Liason

Newry High School pupils come from a large number of primary schools. Comprehensive information on each child's academic progress is passed on with them and our Head of Year 8, along with the Principal, visit the Primary Schools during the Summer Term to meet with Primary 7 teachers and the pupils. This ensures a smooth transition from Primary 7 to Year 8.

However, the preparation for the move to secondary school begins many years before this. Our close and supportive partnership with our Primary Schools ensures that all their pupils become familiar with Newry High School from an early age. This is reinforced with the introduction of Taster Days for Primary 6 and 7 pupils, where they are given the opportunity to experience a selection of subjects and take part in practical lessons.

Pupils are also invited to matinee performances of the School Pantomime.

Each year, an Open Evening is arranged for parents interested in sending their child to the school. Parents are also invited to consult with the Principal on an appointment basis and are welcome to view the school premises and facilities.

The Induction Evening held in June for our new intake provides parents and pupils with all the relevant information about our school.

Creating a Culture of Success

"Everyone works better when the good work they do is recognised"

All the staff in Newry High School praise enthusiasm, effort and achievement in a variety of ways; by speaking positively to students, by writing comments on work, by encouraging students and by giving good marks when they are deserved.

Recognition of special achievement is open to pupils of all ages and abilities and will reflect effort and achievement related to each individual's ability.

Recognition may also be earned for anything which sets a new standard for pupils personally, or for others to follow.

Merits will be awarded for the following:

Merits will not be given for good behaviour or good uniform as these are basic standards that all staff in Newry High School expect students to meet at all times

Safeguarding

Safeguarding forms an integral part of our Pastoral Care Policy and necessary procedures are in place to ensure the care, welfare and safety of our pupils. The school has a designated teacher and a deputy designated teacher for Safeguarding. All our staff have been subject to appropriate background checks.

The purpose of the procedures on Safeguarding is to protect our pupils by ensuring that everyone who works in our school has clear guidance of the action which is required where abuse or neglect of a child is suspected. The over-riding concern of all caring adults must be the care, welfare and safety of the child and the welfare of each child is our paramount consideration.

School Counselling service available in Newry High School for any student who has any worries or concerns.

All you need to do to make an appointment is post your name and class in the post box at reception (Cathy's office) or speak to your Year Head, Form Tutor
or any member of staff.

Student Council

Newry High School has a well established Student Council. The membership of the Council consists of a representative form each class in the school.

The general aims of the Council are:

The School Council meet regularly.

Monitoring of Pupil Progress

Pupils are continually monitored throughout the year and progress is reported to parents via pupil planners and formal whole school written reports after winter and summer exams.

There are annual parents' afternoon meetings where parents and pupils are invited to discuss progress with all subject teachers. Any parent/guardian having concern about their child can arrange to meet the teacher or year head by appointment any time throughout the year.

In addition, informal class assessment is based on homework, class tests, class work, project work and fieldwork.

The school uses Midyis (Year 8) and Yellis (Year 11) testing, a programme run by the University of Durham, to produce predicted grades for pupils to measure their potential and monitor their progress along with a tracking system for all our GCSE and A-Level students.