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St Peter's Primary School, Ross Road, Belfast

Mission Statement

The teaching and learning experience at St. Peter’s inspires all of our children to question, to reflect and to understand in a happy, secure and inclusive environment.
We aim to provide an education that will maximise each child’s potential and promote his / her personal development.
We will achieve this in partnership with the parents and the local and wider community.
St. Peter’s Primary School is committed to the promotion of Catholic values as guiding principles for life and learning.

For our children, we aim to:
Fully develop their academic potential;
Promote high achievement through recognising and developing their physical, creative, social, cultural and spiritual skills;
Enable them to become independent thinkers, problem solvers and decision makers;
Develop self-confidence and self - esteem;
Equip them with knowledge and skills to use in the world in which they live and work;
Encourage a healthy lifestyle;
Develop a caring, compassionate and tolerant attitude compatible with our Catholic ethos;
Encourage respect for others, irrespective of race, colour, religion, gender or ability;
In order to maintain the best possible learning environment, the School will:
Provide a broad and balanced curriculum, sensitive to the needs of individuals;
Employ a variety of teaching and learning strategies;
Provide a range of resources and learning experiences;
Acknowledge achievement and behaviour and celebrate success;
Provide and encourage staff professional development;
Encourage teachers to be reflective and evaluative practitioners;
Employ new technologies to enhance teaching and learning:

In recognising the role of the school within the community, we will endeavour to:
Work with the local parish community to support the education of children
Maximise learning opportunities in the immediate environment and beyond
Develop partnerships with other schools and organisations
Encourage parents as partners in the teaching and learning process


Pastoral Care is the ethos of our school made visible in practice. It is concerned with the welfare of the whole individual and is for every member of our school community. It is also a response to discerned needs.
In St. Peter’s we aim to foster a caring Catholic Ethos where each unique individual is cherished and their worth and dignity are recognised.
Pastoral Care permeates the whole life of the school and each member of the community has the responsibility for it. The child is the main focus of Pastoral Care.
A Positive Behaviour policy supports all pupils within a caring framework of self - discipline and personal responsibility.
Our Child Protection Policy takes account of the Special Needs Policy within the school.
We see parents as co-educators and recognise the necessity for effective home/school links that support the Pastoral Care Policy.
We avail of the support of outside agencies involved in the care of children and maintain links with statutory and voluntary bodies in the wider community.
All staff will strive to provide an ethos in which equality, fairness, tolerance, compassion and forgiveness permeate all relationships within our school community. High standards of respect, commitment and sensitivity will be sought and everyone will be encouraged to achieve personal, social and academic goals.

Supporting Policies

Whilst all the policies and procedures within our school take cognisance of the pastoral care of pupils and staff, some support it in specific areas.
Cross referencing the policies is essential.

These policies include:

  • Child Protection – including the code of conduct for staff
  • Volunteers / Vetting
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Attendance
  • Health and Safety
  • Positive Behaviour
  • Anti – Bullying
  • Drugs / Misuse of substances
  • Internet Safety, Social Media
  • Critical Incident
  • Use of reasonable Force
  • Intimate Care
  • Complaints Procedure
  • Prescribed Medication
  • First Aid
  • Trips / Outings

Roles and Responsibilities

Pastoral Care is a shared responsibility for all staff. The Board of Governors has overall responsibility for monitoring the safety of each child in the school. The staff will ensure that pastoral care is given a high profile in the School Development Plan. The Principal and Vice - Principal will monitor and evaluate the implementation of the policy.

The School follows Child Protection guidelines fully.

  • Children know about keeping safe through monthly class assemblies P4 – P7, Primary Movement ( weekly P1 – P3 ), PD&MU curriculum and Grow in Love programme.
  • The pastoral care team visit the classrooms on a regular basis to remind the children who the designated members of staff are.
  • There are posters displayed around the school which include photographs of designated child protection staff. Children are often involved in making class posters for their classroom.
  • Information on Child Protection given to parents via policy and summary parent flyer are both available at the office. The summary CP parent flyer is available on the school website.
  • Designated staff photos are displayed in main entrance, infant entrance, P3 / P5 exit doors and mobiles.
  • There is a notice board designated to child protection in the staffroom.
  • Disability access is available at the front door and we have a purpose - built disabled toilet. Assistance for children with a physical disability is sought and professional recommendations are implemented when necessary.
  • We welcome children from all denominations, traditions and cultures.
  • Training in child protection is completed each August as part of an annual pastoral care day with all staff.
  • Governor training in Child Protection is maintained. Child protection is a scheduled agenda item at all Board of Governors meetings and a report is presented annually.
  • Checks of volunteers are carried out in accordance with EA / CCMS guidelines. Ref: Volunteers / Vetting policy.
  • Sign in/out register and visitor identification system is in place.

A healthy environment is provided to support children in making healthy choices.

  • Healthy eating is promoted. We implement the Healthy Break scheme and support the provision of nutritious school meals. The canteen staff make adjustments for pupils’ dietary needs.
  • Children are encouraged to bring water to school.
  • The school is a ‘nut free zone.
  • We ensure that children have opportunities for keeping physically active through our outdoor learning and play and the range of after school sporting activities.
  • We adhere closely to the school’s ‘First Aid’ and ‘Health and Safety’ arrangements.

High Quality Teaching and Learning

We deliver a comprehensive and appropriate curriculum which takes account of children as individuals. Teachers’ planners are prepared in detail and take account of children and their abilities. Planner evaluations encourage reflection in both content and progress achieved.
We use a range of teaching strategies that respond to the diversity within the classroom – the development of personal capabilities, independent thinking and collaborative learning. We acknowledge different learning styles and implement Assessment for Learning.

We provide a broad and relevant curriculum as is evidenced by:

  • Lessons for PDMU that meet the needs of our pupils;
  • Timetabling and other arrangements to deliver an effective PDMU curriculum;
  • Financial capability – Clonard Credit Union
  • Specific programmes relating to health and wellbeing e.g. ‘Smokebusters’, Anti-Bullying Week, Road Safety, Safer Internet Day, Sun Safety, Tesco Farm to Fork programme, Tesco Food Share, RADAR programme, Fire Service, Love for Life, assemblies and school trips.
  • We promote positive relationships between teachers and their pupils and with other school based staff through:
  • Teachers, supervisory staff, classroom assistants, secretary, dining room assistants and caretaking staff all work together to promote positive relationships within the school, playground, dining room and general school environment.
  • Each class discusses and agrees a class code of conduct. Rewards and sanctions, as outlined in the Positive behaviour Policy are also agreed (with respect to age group )
  • A staff code of conduct is provided.
  • A school council allows for pupils to become involved, to know they are listened to and that their views are valued.
  • A playground buddy system is in place.
  • Reading Buddies Programme with Cathedral Nursery.

Celebration of Pupil Success

In St. Peter’s we take every opportunity to celebrate individual and group success. This is done in a variety of ways:

  • Stickers,
  • Positive notes home,
  • Principal’s Award / visits to other members of staff,
  • Star of the Week, Best Pupil / Best effort Awards / Behaviour, Attendance Awards
  • Literacy Awards, Sporting Achievements, Prefect System,
  • Year 7 Liturgical celebration / Records of Achievement

Effective Leadership

Governors understand their responsibility for the pastoral care of pupils. Governors monitor and evaluate the strategies in place for promoting Pastoral Care, Health and Well – Being and Attendance. The Designated Governor and the safeguarding team ensure training is in place and updated when necessary. Governors monitor reports of anti – bullying, suspension and expulsion.
In relation to Pastoral Care, we support the professional development of staff and sharing from best practice. Staff training in Pastoral Care is supported through INSET, Exceptional Closure days and staff meetings. Staff share good practice through visiting other schools, trusted colleagues network and participating in cluster group meetings.
We use external agencies to promote pastoral care provision – Clergy, CAMHS, School Counsellor, Bereavement Teams, NSPCC, Outreach Support services, the Hub and voluntary bodies concerned with supporting a variety of syndromes and conditions: for example -Diabetes

We monitor and evaluate our pastoral care practices in a number of ways;

  • Specific monitoring / evaluative duties of individual staff with responsibilities – Pastoral care;
  • How we use school data – SIMS – Attendance, Breakfast Club attendance, Free School meals, Behaviour Management incidents;
  • Pupil / Parent questionnaires;
  • Information recorded by teacher – shared with DT / DDT;
  • Ensuring that at the end of year, the next teacher is made fully aware of any relevant pastoral issues:
  • Good relationships and communication exist between the school and its parents.
  • We believe it is very important that we make parents feel that they too have a role to play, alongside the school, in their child’s development.
  • We create a friendly atmosphere with mutual understanding. Parents are made to feel that they are welcome to come and discuss their issues in relation to their child/ren at appropriate times.

Good communication between the school and parents is crucial to our pupils’ health and wellbeing, learning and achievement. This is are developed by the following:

  • We encourage parents to share concerns about home circumstances or medical matters which may affect their child’s work or behaviour in school;
  • Parents are sent regular newsletters and notes to inform them of school events.
  • Every September parents are invited to a Curriculum evening for an overview and introduction to the coming year;
  • Parental interviews and reports also play and important part in home/school liaison;
  • IEP meetings with parents take place twice a year;
  • Parents complete a permission slip in relation to the use of the internet and pupil photographs both within the school and the wider community;
  • There is a range of documents on the school website e.g. policies, class curriculum information/guides with the intention that these will be added to over the next year. Copies are also available from the Secretary’s office;
  • There is a clear complaints procedure available to parents;
  • Parents are actively encouraged to attend school events - concerts, Fun Day, Sports’ Days, Sporting Tournaments, Assemblies, Sacramental Celebrations and Parish Events.

We are a school connected to its local community.

We benefit from and contribute to a strong community network. We maintain positive links with the following;

  • Falls Library;
  • Immaculata / Davitts Sporting organisations;
  • St. Peter’s Youth Club;
  • Dunville / Grosvenor Recreation Centres;
  • Falls Leisure Centre, Divis Community Centre
  • Area Learning Network Community;
  • Local Primary / Nursery / Secondary Schools;
  • Extended Schools – Full Service Community Network;
  • Monitoring and Evaluation

Ongoing monitoring is an integral part of our policy. Support is given to those teachers who require assistance in carrying out their pastoral roles.

All aspects of the Policy are evaluated on an ongoing basis with parents’, pupils’ and staff views being requested through questionnaires and Staff and SMT meetings.

The Ethos of our School and the Pastoral care Provision complement one another. Pastoral Care is fully integrated into the school’s daily routines, the curriculum and after - school activities.