Policy on the Allocation of Children to Classes

Policy on the Allocation of Children to Classes

MISSION STATEMENT

St. Patrick’s Loreto Primary School seeks to foster a welcoming environment in which the dignity of every child will be valued, respected and equally cherished.

Our aim is the pursuit of excellence through a holistic education based on Gospel values. We strive to develop children’s self-esteem and to motivate them to achieve their full potential in a spirit of friendship and belonging.

RATIONALE

In keeping with the Mission Statement, the school is committed not only to the intellectual, physical, moral, spiritual development of each child but also to their emotional and social development. It is in this context that we promote the importance of positive relationships and endeavour to equip the children with the skills to form and sustain friendships with their peers. As part of this process, we are committed to re-forming classes at the end of each year from Senior Infants to 5th Class.

AIMS

The principal aims of re-forming classes at the end of each year from Senior Infants to 5th Class are

  • to ensure mixed ability groups
  • to maximise the learning outcomes for each child
  • to ensure that each child has the experience of being in class with a wider number of their peers
  • to develop the children’s social skills and to better equip them to form and sustain friendships
  • to minimise tensions where difficult relationships exist

PROCEDURES FOR ALLOCATING CHILDREN TO CLASSES

Junior Infants

  • As children coming in to Junior Infants are new to the school, it is impossible to ensure that each class has an even spread of abilities. 
  • We do undertake to ensure a balanced allocation of girls and boys to each class, while also being mindful of the numbers of children with specific educational needs (that have been identified to us prior to the child starting school) and children for whom English is not their first language. 
  • We also consult with the parents of twins to establish their preference for placing the siblings in the same class or separating them.
  • At the end of Junior Infants, it is the norm for each class to move on as a unit to Senior Infants to a new teacher. It may occasionally be necessary for a teacher to take a class for both Junior and Senior Infants but this would not be the norm.

Senior Infants 

  • At the end of Senior Infants, the boys leave St. Patrick’s and the girls from the six Senior Infant Classes are re-formed in to three 1st Classes. However, it should be noted that the number of 1st Classes is dependent on the number of girls in Senior Infants and the pupil/teacher ratio determined by the Department of Education and Skills which is open to amendment on an annual basis.
  • Each Senior Infant teacher will divide the girls in their class into 3 mixed ability groups (or whatever number of 1st classes there will be).
  • The ability of the girls to interact positively with one another will also be a factor in the formation of these groups.
  • The Senior Infant teachers will then meet as a group to discuss the formation of their individual groups into classes.
  • These proposed class groupings, when finalised, are presented to the Principal for his/her consideration.
  • The Principal may make alterations to these groupings in consultation with the teachers.
  • The Principal’s decision will be final.

1st – 5th Class

  • The teachers of the classes from 1st to 5th will divide the girls in their class into 3 mixed ability groups (or whatever number of classes there are).
  • The ability of the girls to interact positively with one another will also be a factor in the formation of these groups.
  • The class teachers in each class group will then meet as a group to discuss the formation of their individual groups into classes.
  • These proposed class groupings, when finalised, are presented to the Principal for his/her consideration.
  • The Principal may make alterations to these groupings in consultation with the teachers.
  • The Principal’s decision will be final.

CHILDREN WHO ARE ENROLLED DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, children who are enrolled in the school during the course of the school year will be allocated to the age appropriate class with the fewest number of students, at the time of enrolment.