We have a multi-layered approach to the provision of Pastoral Care in our school. In recognition of the fact that (with the exception of exam time) the transition from primary to post-primary education can be the most traumatic period faced by students, we pay particular attention to the induction of 1st Year students.
The start of the school year sees a staggered return for the year groups, so that 1st years generally have the building to themselves for their first day in the Community School. They are assigned a Tutor according to class group. Generally, the tutor will have the same class group through to Junior Certificate, and has plenty of time to build up an effective line of communication and trust. The change in classes after Junior Cert means that students normally have a different tutor for the Senior Cycle.
A second line of care is provided through the Mentor System. Each year 30 LC students volunteer to help the 1st years, and these mentors undertake intensive training both in school and at a Leadership Training Camp to give them the necessary skills to work with our newcomers. Meetings are held regularly up to Christmas, and the mentors have a clear set of guidelines on reporting any issues or problems that arise.
Since September 2014, we have run a Settling-in Programme which is delivered over a double class period per class group, once a week over four weeks. The feedback from this programme has been hugely positive and we are grateful to Mr. Liam Moroney, Youth Work Ireland, for working with our new 1st Years.