In Jarlath’s a big effort is made to prevent and raise awareness about the issue of bullying. There is an annual poster campaign in which junior students design posters that convey an anti-bullying message, the posters then being posted on the walls of the main hall so as to make sure the message is conveyed to as many as possible. SPHE teachers also spend time throughout all the years raising awareness of the problem, as well as providing help to students who feel effected.
The assessment test for first year students is a regular occurrence in May. This test consists of four parts: English, General Knowledge, Maths and Irish. All prospective First Year students must sit the test. No student is excluded from the school on the basis of this test. The purpose is to assess abilities, meaning those who require special assistance will be aided through their time here. Further literacy and numerical ability tests are given to children throughout first year to ensure all are looked after.
There is a very active Parents’ Association in St. Jarlath’s. It meets regularly throughout the school year and is actively involved in many areas of school life. Members of the Association help at both Opera and Leaving Cert Graduation time with catering.
Jarlath’s has had an active student council for many years now, in which elected student representatives from each class in the school meet regularly to discuss issues relating to student life, to suggest solutions to problems as they see them and to organise charity and fundraising work in the school. They help organise and run the hugely successful Christmas raffle each year, the proceeds of which each year go to a worth charity. They’re also useful in giving students a feeling of belonging in school life outside of just being taught, as well as giving them a forum to air their grievances.
All students are supplied with a Homework Journal where prescribed homework can be recorded. It’s a useful device and students are encouraged to make full use of it. The Journal also contains standard forms allowing parents to write notes to teachers explaining absences, as well as allowing teachers to write notes to parents when necessary.
Junior students are not allowed to leave school grounds during school hours including during break and lunchtime. Students are also discouraged from hanging around up town before school in the morning or after school in the evening.
Supervised study is available from 4.14 to 6.15 in the study hall. Study facilities are also available from 8.00 a.m. for students who arrive early by bus. A pilot scheme of Saturday study was launched this year to students in Leaving Cert, and will hopefully be offered again after Christmas.
A choice of hot lunch is available to students in the school dining room each day. This facility is provided and run by Get Fresh Catering, and is available at a very reasonable price. The hot lunch is very popular amongst students. Soup and sandwiches are also available for students to buy in the dining room.