Old Bawn Community School

Pobalscoil Lios na Coille

Every Person Matters - Every Moment Counts

Chaplaincy Policy

Chaplaincy Policy 2018

Chaplaincy Policy

Old Bawn Community School

2018

Table of Contents

1. School Mission Statement
2. Objectives of the Policy
3. Rationale of the Policy
4. Chaplaincy Vision Statement
5. Role of the Chaplain
6. Wider Community Links
7. Personal/Professional Support
8. Evaluation
9. Chaplaincy Appointments
10. Continuous Professional Development
11. Chaplaincy Programme & Curriculum Content for Each Year Group
12. Confidentiality & Data Protection
13. Social Outreach & Justice
14. Spiritual Guidance
15. Retreats
16. RE in the Whole School Community/Life/Day
17. Sacred Space
18. Policy Review & Update
19. Resource Sharing

1. School Mission Statement

Old Bawn Community School is a community of learning and personal growth, which includes our students and their families, our teachers and staff, our trustees and our adult students. We have a role in the wider community and in the overall educational community.
All parties to our school have their rights and duties within our structures. Our commitment is to learning in its broadest sense and our procedures and practices reflect this. Respect for the uniqueness of each member of our community commits us to maintaining a caring working environment in which we all can achieve fulfilment.

2. Rationale for the Policy
As a community school we are committed to the importance of formal religious and moral education. This policy allows us the opportunity to reflect on, explore and articulate what it means to be a community school. We hope to channel the religious and spiritual development of our students and to provide opportunities for them to reflect on themselves as well as getting to know their God/gods.

3. Objectives of the Policy
 To promote the religious and overall development of the students.
 To ensure the status of the Chaplain and RE in the school.
 To appreciate the richness of religious traditions and to provide a framework to encounter these traditions.
 To lead to a greater degree of clarity in respect of aims, procedures and roles for RE in the school.
 To provide a framework for the profession and work of the Chaplain.

4. Chaplaincy Vision & Objectives
The Chaplain works in harmony with the Principal and teachers of the school along with the families, communities and parishes of the students. They seek to know all students within the school and endeavour to meet some students individually when necessary. They are involved in ensuring that retreats are made available for students so that they may have the opportunity to reflect and develop a sense of awe, wonder and mystery. They also work as a member of the pastoral care team.
They are involved with students who have suffered bereavement or are experiencing personal difficulties in their lives. They liaise with classroom teachers, the tutors, the SDO’s ( student development officers ) and year heads over matters relating to the formation of the students and provides assistance as appropriate. They work with all staff to create a well-balanced school community, involving themselves in the life of the school and are present at major events in the student’s school life.
They aim to encourage and foster an awareness of spirituality within the school to provide the students with an opportunity to express their own religious identity, through liturgies, retreats and other religions and non-religious occasions.
The Chaplain aims to be available to all members of the school community – students, staff, parents and to develop an open and trusting relationship with all those with whom they come into contact with.
The chaplain also teaches the required 4 hours a week in the assigned subject of religion.

Objectives:
 Being a person of faith in the school, committed to the values of Christ, rooted in Gospel values so that every person is met with love, understanding and sincerity.
 Being available to students, teachers, staff, parents and school authorities as someone to confide in, who listens and cares.
 Working with school management and the care team to promote a positive, living and enriching school ethos.
 Formulating any policies which relate to the pastoral care or holistic development of students.
 Following up referrals of students from the school care team, teachers or parents. In conjunction with parents and school authorities, advising on appropriate courses of action should the student need further intervention.
 Celebrating the key events in the Church’s liturgical calendar and providing opportunities for staff and students to celebrate their faith.
 Decorating and maintaining a prayer space in the school where students and teachers can develop their spiritual selves through prayer, meditation and mindfulness.
 Teaching Religious Education and working closely with the RE team to co-ordinate the annual program of liturgies, retreats, talks, prayer, meditation and mindfulness.
 Seeking opportunities, both in school and in the wider parish and local community, where students can develop socially, spiritually, creatively, morally and personally through outreach initiatives as outlined in the introduction above.

5. Role of the Chaplain

The role of chaplain involves the establishment of a relationship or relationships whose purpose may encompass support in a time of trouble and personal and/or spiritual growth through deeper understanding of oneself, others and/or God.
A significant role of the Chaplain will always be to ensure that the characteristic spirit of the school, as expressed in the school’s mission statement, finds practical expression in faith formation, alongside pastoral, liturgical, para-liturgical and outreach activities.
According to the white paper on Education: “Pastoral Care is proactive and seeks to address the totality of the human person.” Therefore the role is holistic in nature. The Chaplain is called to act collaboratively with all members of the school community; in particular with those who hold designated pastoral responsibilities relating to students, staff and members of the wider community connected with the school. To this end, the Chaplain seeks to involve him/herself in whatever promotes “an integrated development of the pupils, particularly with those at risk or those who struggle with life.”

As Chaplain I endeavor to exercise my pastoral role by:

 Personal contact and offering student support to individual students.
 Access to classes and small groups.
 Maintaining a lively interest in recreational, cultural and outreach activities.
 Liaising with, supporting and being available/present to staff.
 Communicating with and supporting parents/guardians.
 To be available for staff and pupils around the school for informal contact.
 To take part when practical in retreats or days of recollection.
 To attend when practical parent meetings and open evenings.
 To be responsible, in liaison with the Head of RE and the Senior Management team for the key liturgical events such as holy days of obligation and major school celebrations.
 To encourage the sacramental life of the school through events such as para liturgies
and services of reconciliation.
 To liaise with and encourage Christian social groups in the school such as St Vincent de Paul Society, Parish center, Meals on wheel, Community workers, YSI etc…
 To maintain close links with the local people of all faiths and encourage their visits to and involvement with the school.
 As Chaplain, I undertake to do student support as previously outlined (Personal contact with students). It is important to highlight that this is very much a combined effort with the Guidance Counsellor, the Principal, Deputy Principals, Year Heads, school completion program and our SEN Department. The Care Team meets on a weekly basis to raise and discuss students deemed to be in need/at risk. Student support helps students in crisis by exploring and developing a range of coping strategies and interventions, in a thoughtful and caring way, deemed appropriate to the student’s individual needs. The Chaplain’s office is purposely decorated to create a warm welcoming space where students can relax and feel at ease. Student support takes place in an accepting, non-judgmental atmosphere where the young person feels secure enough to explore new ways of dealing with difficult situations. In some instances, students may be referred to outside agencies that are deemed to be for the best interest of the student. If students are deemed to be at risk at holiday times they are referred to a local counselling agency. When issues of Child Protection arise, I maintain regular communication with the Principal as the Designated Liaison Person.

6. Wider Community Links

PASTORAL CARE TEAM
The Care Team meet once a week. Those on the team include one Deputy Principal, Guidance Counsellor, Chaplain, SEN co-ordinator, School completion co-ordinator, Wellbeing co-ordinator and other parties are invited to attend when deemed appropriate. Here, strategies and interventions are co-ordinated for students who are at risk.

YEAR HEADS
Communication with Year Heads is frequent. Students are often referred to me by the Year Head; therefore feedback on the student’s progress is regular. If requested, I will provide a written update report to be retained by the Year Head in the student’s file. When it is deemed helpful, I am available to meet parents together with the Year Head.

CLASS TUTORS/SUBJECT TEACHERS
From time to time the class tutor or subject teacher will refer a student to me. In such cases, feedback is shared with the teacher, as appropriate.

SPHE AND WELLBEING CO-ORDINATORS & TEACHERS
These links are mainly in relation to offering preparatory and follow-up support around RSE workshops, etc. Occasionally, students’ engagement with the content of SPHE class and the Wellbeing program may prompt a teacher to refer a student, who may be in need of support.

STUDENT COUNCIL & TIER LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
The Student Council, the Tier Leadership Program, link teachers and students may report circumstances that benefit from Chaplaincy support.

NEPS
In the case of a critical incident, the support of NEPS will always be invited. If a student’s behaviour indicated a need for the intervention of a NEPS psychologist, I would work in conjunction with the SEN co-ordinator in order to arrange a referral.

TUSLA (CHILD AND FAMILY AGENCY)
When a student is deemed to be at risk of abuse, a report is made to the Designated Liaison Person within the school. This, in normal circumstances, is the Principal and he follows the Child Protection Guidelines, in referring the case to Tusla – the Child & Family Agency. As Chaplain, I am available to link with social workers when they are involved with students and their families.

LOCAL PARISH TEAM
I liaise with the Local Parish team and attend Deanery Meetings throughout the year.

LUCENA CLINIC & PIETA HOUSE
When necessary, I will make contact with these agencies to access supports for students. However, in general, such supports are accessed by parents/guardians following GP visits with the particular child in need.

VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS AND CHARITIES
When the need arises, I will use the following agencies to access information and advice: AA, Aware, Barnardos, Bodywhys, Childline, Cura, Enable Ireland, First Light, Grow, Headstrong, HSE – various information/support services, Jigsaw, Cura, Youth Work Ireland, Samaritans, Teen Counselling, St. Catherines – the Priory, village counselling etc.

7. Personal/Professional Support

As Chaplain’s, we are aware of the need for support. When possible, Chaplain’s will meet with their cluster group for support, information and collaboration. When necessary, Chaplain’s will avail of supervision and counselling to ensure self-care.

8. Evaluation

In line with recent educational trends and School Self-Evaluation, the Chaplain is required to provide an evaluation at the end of each term. (See Appendix 1)

9. Chaplaincy Appointments

As Chaplain, I meet students on a one to one basis when needed to help them understand their life’s journey with a view to helping them cope, with whatever issues may be significant and relevant for them. Students can present themselves for support; by making a request to talk to me, or I will introduce myself to students when they have been referred to me by the Care Team, Principal, Deputy Principals, Year Head, SEN Department, Tutor, Parent or other interested parties with a view to suggesting and arranging a one-to-one session.

10. Continuous Professional Development

As professionals, Chaplain’s should seek and avail of CPD in their area.

11. Chaplaincy Program & Curriculum Content for Each Year Group

Chaplain’s will work on a viable program for each year group and will adjust it accordingly.
(see appendix 2)

12. Confidentiality, Data and Child Protection

As part of the code of ethics, a chaplain must store, handle, transfer and dispose of all records (including written, electronic, audio and video) securely and in a way that safeguards the student’s right to privacy. Care should be taken when storing all data related to the student’s particular care needs. In obtaining information from or about a client, the chaplain should deal only with what may be necessary for the client’s welfare. The chaplain will use a specific note book to record all data.

Confidentiality must be secured from the beginning of the relationship. This confidentiality can only be broken in certain circumstances and these apply if there is a disclosure of sexual abuse with a minor or if the chaplain evaluates that the student is a danger to self or others. In the case where a chaplain deems it necessary to breach confidentiality, this will be done with the student’s knowledge and is seen as an extension of care rather than a breach of confidentiality. Therefore the student is safe in the knowledge that their confidentiality is guarded unless they are perceived as a threat to themselves or others. It is understood that the chaplain cannot use any confidential information for any personal advantage. If a student is involved in legal proceedings, this releases the chaplain from confidentiality in any fact relevant to legal proceedings.

13. Social Outreach and Justice

The Chaplain promotes a spirit of concern for others within and beyond the school community. The Chaplain may help the students take part in fundraising work for charities to help those in need. For example, fundraising for St. Vincent de Paul, hampers for those in need in our local area, homeless organisations etc… Helping those in our own community through community service programs is also an area that the chaplain may help students become involved in. Raising awareness of social justice problems and moral issues in our locality and worldwide, for example, poverty, child labour, war, human rights etc.

14. Spiritual Guidance

The Chaplain animates the spiritual life of the school community and offers opportunities to develop a meaningful relationship with God. The Chaplain cares for the young people’s spiritual needs also. While many young people have difficulty with organised religion, they recognise their need for God/gods, higher being. They have spirituality – they just need to find ways to express it. The chaplain is in the privileged position to guide students and to explore various prayer methods which bring peace and fulfilment. Working alongside the Religion Department with the school, the Chaplain ensures the school community has time to celebrate its identity in religious worship.

15. Retreats

The Chaplain organises retreats for different year groups. The retreat provides the students with an opportunity to reflect on their own lives, the issues they may face every day and where God fits in to it.

16. Religious Education in the Whole School Community/Life/Day

Every student has a personal responsibility to behave in a manner that allows them and others to be educated. It is grounded in an ethos which promotes good relationships with all stake holders.
The trustees of the Board are the Dominicans.
Important liturgical events are acknowledged and celebrated. Students are of various faiths in O.B.C.S. and this is acknowledged in the set up and use of the prayer room.

17. Sacred Space

We have an oratory which offers a sacred space for the spiritual development of all staff and students.

18. Policy Review & Update

The Chaplain will work with their BOM and Chaplain’s Cluster Group to review and update the policy.

19. Resource Sharing

The Chaplain will work with the Cluster group to share resources for the good of the students, for collegiality and to be up to date with current educational trends.

Appendix 1:

1. In general, how was the last term?

2. What were the highlights of the term?

3. What areas could be improved?

4. Who are the students I am currently working with?

5. Who are the parents/ guardians I am currently working with?

6. Comment on work with staff members.

7. What difficult areas need to be addressed?

Appendix 2

September
• 1st Year Induction Program
• 1st year prayer services
• Student support
• Meet all first years
• Weekly meetings with mentors
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Home school visits
• Link with parish
• Sacred Space – oratory
• Mindfulness for students suffering with anxiety
• Cluster meetings
• Deanary Meeting
October
• Prayer services with 2nd years
• 6th year retreat
• Chaplains conference
• Prize Giving
• Gideon Bibles for all first years
• Student Support
• Weekly meetings with mentors
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Home school visits
• Link with parish
• Sacred space
• Mindfulness
• Cluster meeting
• Deanary meeting
November
• Prayer service for 3rd years
• Christmas Hampers Fundraiser- Musical raffle
• Pilgrim Walk – 5th Years
• Student Support
• Anti – Buulying Campaign
• Weekly meetings with mentors
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Home school visits
• Link with parish
• Sacred space
• Mindfulness
• Cluster meeting
• Deanary meeting
December
• Christmas hampers campaign – bag packing – Dunnes, non – uniform day
• Hampers
• Christmas Carol Service
• Advent prayer services
• Student Support
• Weekly meetings with mentors
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Cluster meetings
• Deanary meeting
• Home school visits
• Link with parish
• Mindfulness
• Sacred Space
• Reconciliation service in the Deanary (Advent)
January
• 4th Year Prayer Services
• Student Support
• Mentor’s celebration for good work
• Weekly meetings with mentors
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Cluster meeting
• Deanary meeting
• Home school visits
• Link with parish
• Mindfulness
• Sacred Space
February
• Prayer services for Lent
• St. Brigid’s Day
• Feast of St. Blaise
• Student Support
• Weekly meetings with mentors
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Cluster meeting
• Deanary meeting
• Home school visits
• Link with parish
• Mindfulness
• Sacred Space
March
• Mentor Training
• St. Patricks Day
• Mother’s Day
• Mental Health Week
• Easter Prayer services
• Holy Week Prayer services
• Student support
• Weekly meetings with mentors
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Link with parish
• Cluster meeting
• Deanary meeting
• Mindfulness
• Home school visits
• Reconciliation service in the Deanary ( Lent )
• Sacred Space
April
• Mentor Training
• Primary School Meetings
• Stand Up Week
• 1st Year Sports Day
• Student support
• Weekly meetings with mentors
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Link with parish
• Cluster meeting
• Deanary meeting
• Mindfulness
• Home school visits
• Interviews for next year mentors
• Sacred Space
May
• Mentor Training
• Tree of Memories
• Mentor Commissioning Ceremony
• Third and sixth year exam prayer services
• Graduation
• Apply for retreat funding
• Student support
• Pastoral care meetings
• Chaplain’s meeting
• Link with parish
• Cluster meeting
• Deanary meeting
• Mindfulness
• Home school visits
• Mentors celebration
• Sacred Space

Adopted By Board of Management: 21.02.2018