St. Columba’s Boys’ National School
Information Booklet for Parents/Guardians


St. Columba’s BNS is a Catholic primary school which strives to provide a structured, caring, happy and secure environment where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed.

While St. Columba’s BNS is a school with a Catholic ethos, it also has due recognition for other religions.

The School will strive to promote, both individually and collectively, the professional and personal development of teachers through staff development programmes.

The School will encourage the involvement of parents/guardians in their children’s education through home/school contacts and through their involvement in the Parents’ Association.

The School will endeavour to enhance the self-esteem of everyone in the school community, to imbue in the pupils respect for people and property and to encourage in them the idea of being responsible.

St. Columba’s BNS is a community which is proud of its Catholic tradition. We are committed to developing each child’s full potential in a positive, supportive and Christian environment. We invite everyone to participate and we urge everyone to contribute.

The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department of Education & Skills, (DES) upon which it depends for funding and resources. School policy must have regard to the funding and resources available.

Déanfaimid iarracht Gaeilge a labhairt.

St. Columba’s BNS
Douglas Village

Tel: 021 436 49 38
Facebook: St. Columba’s BNS


ALL JI & SI 1st – 6th
Doors Open 8:40
Classes start 8:50
First Break 10.45-11.00 11.00-11.15
Lunch Break 12.30-13.00 13.00-13.30
Going Home 13:30 14:30

You will be notified in advance of all school holidays and days off.
The school adheres to the Department of Education standardised year.

• To ensure the safety of the children and the security of the school premises, all visitors must report to the office on entering the school.
• A child can only be collected by calling to the secretary’s office
• Once a child enters the school premises he/she cannot leave without permission
• If a child has to be collected early/unexpectedly then the adult collecting him/her must sign the child out at the school office.

In the event of illness or an accident, minimum first aid is administered and parents/guardians are informed when collecting the child. In the event of a serious accident/illness, the parents will be informed, and if necessary the child will be brought to hospital.
Children with a long-term medical condition will be accommodated in order that they continue with their education. Parents/Guardians must seek permission in writing, from the Board of Management on an annual basis.

Copies of all the school’s policies are available on request at the office. Some are included at the end of this booklet.

Under the Education Welfare Act 2002 the school is obliged to inform the Education Welfare officer of all absences exceeding 20 days during the academic year. Parents must inform the school in writing the reason for their child’s absence from school. Full attendance will be rewarded with a certificate.

Parents/Guardians who wish to collect their son early from school must first sign their son out from the office.

Under Health & Safety regulations please inform the school immediately if your child contracts any infectious illness (including head lice).

Pupils will not bring drugs or alcohol onto the premises. If these substances are found, the Gardaí will be informed.

During the school year, appropriate educational outings will be available to all children. The school will request written permission from parents/guardians for all educational tours.

Pupils should not have mobile phones in school unless specifically requested by parent/guardian. If a child has a mobile phone, it should be in the off mode until after school has ended.
No mobile phones are permitted in the yard. No camera phones are allowed in the school.

Please ensure your child’s name is on all clothing, lunch boxes and books. Lost property will be displayed once a term. If not claimed, it will be sent to a charity.

The creative and artistic talents of the pupils are nurtured through the curriculum and through the use of visiting experts, class trips and competitions. Computer studies are also available to classes. All classes use ICT to access the curriculum and improve their computer skills.

The primary school curriculum is presented in seven primary areas, some of which are further subdivided into subjects. These are
• Religious Education
• Language (Gaeilge and English)
• Mathematics
• Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (History, Geography and Science)
• Arts Education (Visual Arts, Music and Drama)
• Physical Education and
• Social, Personal and Health Education.

A meeting will take place in the first term where the class teachers discuss the year’s programme.


Extra Curricular Activities
During school day:
Pilates and Core Strength 4th – 6th
Short Tennis S.I. – 1st
GAA Coaching 3rd – 6th
Swimming 3rd and 5th
Robotics 5th
Yoga JI -2nd
Golf 1st – 3rd

After school activities
Karate, Spanish Club, CoderDojo, Arts & Crafts, GAA training (school teams)

• Homework is assigned Monday to Thursday with the children being excused homework on weekends provided that their work has been conscientiously and satisfactorily done on the other nights. Homework is never given on unfamiliar subjects.
Suggested timeframe for homework:
a) Infants: 10 – 15 mins
b) 1st/ 2nd: 20 – 30 mins
c) 3rd/4th: 30 – 45 mins
d) 5th/6th: 1 hour.
• If homework is not done a note to the teacher should be written in the homework notebook.
• Please Note: It is important that your child has somewhere quiet to study away from noise and distraction – a busy kitchen or a room near a television are not recommended!
**If your child is experiencing regular problems with homework please contact the class teacher**



Homework Club
We run a homework club on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 14.30 – 16.00.


As part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) Programme we encourage the children to become more aware of the need for healthy food in their lunch boxes.

Foods not allowed in school
• Crisps
• Fizzy drinks / juices
• Sweets
• Chocolate biscuits/bars

Please consult the Healthy Eating Policy of the school.


In this school we strive to create a positive school climate, which focuses on respect for the individual, which encourages trust, caring, consideration and support for others.
Pupils are encouraged to report incidents of bullying, and all reports will be noted, investigated and dealt with by the teachers.
The Board of Management is obliged to report any concerns in relation to child abuse to the Health Board in accordance with the Guidelines and Procedures issued to all school by DES. The Health Board will assess the case and put measures in place to provide the necessary supports for the child concerned. Abuse is defined as – neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. The Designated Liasion Person for the school is the Principal Mr. Finbarr Hurley.

• Every effort will be made to contact parents/guardians by telephone in case of emergency closing
• Please ensure all telephone numbers are updated regularly with the school secretary
• Please check that the school is open before leaving your child at school.

• Maroon Pullover
• School Tie
• Grey Shirt
• Grey Trousers
• Black Shoes
• Black with green piping top and bottom with the school crest
• School polo T-shirt

* Junior and Senior Infants wear the school tracksuit as their uniform.

The BOM has overall responsibility for the school, including finance, maintenance, staffing and the development of the school plan and policies. The Board comprises of two direct nominees of the Patron, two elected parents (a mother and a father) the Principal and one other teacher on the staff and two extra members proposed by these nominees, The Patron appoints the Chairperson of the board. The term of office for the Board of Management is 4 years.

The school operates in accordance with the rules for national schools. The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the DES.

There is an active parents association in St. Columba’s BNS. The committee usually meets on the first Monday of the month. See the Parents’ Association notice board for information.
The PA liaises regularly with the Principal and provides a forum to raise issues and concerns, suggest and implement initiatives and organises fundraising activities.
The very active and supportive Parents Association helps to organise and fund certain activities within the school as well as offering advice on certain policy issues


• Parents/Guardians are frequently informed of activities in the school by letter/ circular/texts
• Parents/Guardians often help out with certain school activities (Sports Days, school tours, concerts, fund-raising activities, craftwork, etc.)
• A meeting for parents/guardians of the new Junior Infants takes place in June, prior to the child arriving at school
• Two parents’ representatives are members of the Board of Management

• Notes may be written in ‘homework journals’
• Visits of parents/guardians – by all means make an appointment to see the class teacher or principal – it is not appropriate to call unannounced, as the class teacher/principal will not have sufficient time to discuss your concerns without prior notice
• Reports are sent home at the end of the school year.


St. Columba’s BNS has 30 teachers including the Principal.

There are:
16 mainstream teachers
8 LSRT ( Learning Support Resource Teaching)
5 ASD ( Autistic Spectrum Disorder) Teachers
12,5 SNA ( Special Needs Assistants)
Support Staff School Chaplain, Secretary, Caretaker, Cleaner.

In St. Columba’s BNS we have a LSRT team to ensure that all pupils achieve basic literacy and numeracy skills by the time they complete their primary education. We aim to support pupils experiencing learning difficulties through a team approach involving the pupil, class teacher, learning support/ resource team, parents, and other relevant personnel i.e. psychologist, speech therapists etc. Resource teaching hours and SNA support is available to specified pupils approved by the DES.

• An annual Parent / Teacher meeting takes place at the end of the first term
• Parents can request a meeting with a teacher by making an appointment
• Summer reports for each child are sent home
• Curriculum meetings for parents are organised by the class teacher in September
• Newsletters/ circulars are distributed regularly to the pupils. Please check your child’s bag or log on to our website or our facebook page St. Columba’s BNS

Parents are asked to discuss their concerns with the class teacher initially, by making an appointment and, if necessary to proceed further with the complaint, to contact the Principal by making an appointment.

The school is registered with the Data Protection Agency. All information is kept on file and will be retained in the school for administrative purposes only. Parents can access information on their own child.


A balance will be maintained between rewards and sanctions in such a way that pupils will learn that the choices they make will have consequences.
Examples of rewards
• Praise of specific acts of good behaviour
• Rewards – merit stamps/stars, homework pass, treats
• Pupil of the week / month

Levels of Behaviour Management


Level Pupil Behaviour Teacher Action Extra Support

Respects the rights of others, is cooperative, good self-discipline, works to the best of his ability.



Positively reinforces pupil’s behaviour, appropriate comments and specific feedback (acknowledgement, give responsibility)


Other teachers recognise pupil’s positive behaviour.


Basically respects the rights of others, but has a problem of self-esteem. Shows some frustration and low concentration level. Causes minor disruptions- annoying and rude to others, infrequent/no homework, incorrect/ no equipment.



Discuss/work behaviour with pupil, seek solutions. Behaviour contract, note in journal or home support. Discuss consequences. Action may include: extra work, extra homework (reason included; to be signed by parent/guardian), and warning that actions may be imposed. Pupil must make apology. Establish routines, reinforce success.



Help from principal and staff in defining problem and applying a solution.


Persistently violates the rights of others in a minor way – regularly interruptive, harasses/annoys others, fidgets and moves about, poor attitude to learning and work, unresponsive and rude in class.



Record incidents of misbehaviour. Cooling off time in class for set period – pupil thinks about/ records behaviour. Action may include: loss of privilege, booking, informs parent/guardian, detention, and time out in other class, confiscation. Consult with support teachers.


Help from senior teachers, learning support teachers with time out for set period(s).


Continually infringes the rights of others- verbal or physical assault, destroy/ takes equipment, intimidation, disruption, refuses to follow instructions, defiant. Continued deterioration in behaviour, refusing/ ignoring any attempts to help.



Incidents of misbehaviour. Cooling off time in class for set period- pupil think about/records behaviour. Action includes time out for longer periods, detention, no playground privileges, behaviour contract and daily behaviour reports; pupils must make restitution (in the case of damage/theft/defacement of property). Temporary suspension.


Must involve help from principal and staff- Principal sends note to parents. Longer periods of time out. Principal sends for parents/guardians.


Seriously and continually violates the rights of others and shows no sign of wanting to change- abusive, poor/negative effect on other pupils, dangerous, uncooperative and uncontrollable.


Teacher refers problem directly to principal. After discussion with parents/ guardian’s pupil may be suspended.


Principal advises parents of the possibility of suspension.

Principal asks Board of Management to suspend pupil.

Rules in Class

We speak kindly and respectfully
We put our hands up to speak
We do not shout in class
We do not use bad or hurtful language

We work quietly
We help each other
We take turns to answer and do not interrupt
We respect others’ opinions
We show our independence in our work ethic when teacher is working with others.

We come to school on time
We move quietly in our room
We put things away carefully
We line up and move quietly and safely between rooms

We respect each other
We are kind to each other
We look out for each other
We use good manners
We do not harass nor make other pupils feel small

We try to solve problems in a fair manner
We do not get aggressive
We ask a teacher for help

Rules out of Class

We speak kindly and respectfully to all we meet
We do not use bad lanugage
We line up quietly in the playground

We cooperate with others
We share on the playground

We take care when we are playing outside
We do not run in the corridor nor in the playground
We look after equipment

We respect each other
We play friendly games
We allow others in our games
We do not harass others

We talk to teach other and try to work problems out
If we need help we ask a teacher

At St Columba’s BNS everybody has responsibilities. We all need to care about ourselves, about other students, about Teachers, Special Needs Assistants and all who work in our school. We need to care about parents and all who visit as well as about our school and equipment.

To try and work out problems in a fair manner
To listen
To try our best
TO discuss
TO encourage
To share time
To be polite
To make time for others
To be on time
To help others understand
To help others belong
To cooperate
To ask for opinions and ideas
To make an effort
To be honest
To look after each other
To work and play safely
To share equipment
To ask for help

All policies are available from the school office on request and on the school website

School Calendar