The school offers a multitude of services through the chaplain. The chaplain is responsible for ensuring the Catholic ethos of the school is apparent through various liturgical seasonal displays, the organisation of Masses for the students, prayer services, Edmund Rice education and spiritual guidance where necessary.
The chaplain also offers one to one student support – predominantly for grief counselling but also looking at the general wellbeing of students. The chaplain is a faith presence in the school promoting the caring, kind and considerate values of the Christian religion that is inclusive and tolerant of all beliefs and cultures. Moreover, the chaplain’s pastoral role in the school is to help guide and support all of its students.
Finally, the chaplain is also part of the Positive Behaviour Strategy Team which encourages students to behave in a positive and reflective way.
The HSL supports parents in the education of their children. The HSL offers a systematic approach to establishing good rapport with parents through home visitation and encouraging parents to become involved in the whole school community.
The work of the HSL is both a symbolic and real expression of interest in families and the vital importance of parental involvement in their son’s education. The HSL plays a significant role in the provision of care for our students and supporting a strong partnership between the school and home in providing the best education for their son.
The principal aim of the Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator is to optimise the teaching and learning process in order to enable pupils with learning difficulties to achieve adequate levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy. With this the SEN Co-ordinator ensures that the needs of the students are communicated effectively to parents and their sons aswell as their teachers to optimize the teaching and learning process.
The GC co-ordinates and participates in the school Guidance and Counselling service which endeavours to assist students to develop self-management skills which lead to effective choices and decisions about their lives. It encomapasses three seperate but interlinked areas, Personal and Social Development, Educational Guidance and Career Guidance. Counselling is a key part of the school guidance programme offered on an individual or group basis as part of a developmental learning process and at moments of personal crisis.
The GC works closely with the Principal, Deputy Principal, HSL, BFL, Chaplain, SEN Co-ordinator, Year Heads and Subject Teachers to ensure a comprehensive service is provided to all students. Communication with parents and outside agencies is an integral part of the role.
Meditation classes were introduced to St David’s in 2012. Mindfulness classes were introduced in 2014. In the modern world young people are constantly bombarded with information and stimulation. Students are unable to live in the present and levels of insomnia have risen greatly. Meditation gives students the tools to help them relax and cope with difficult situations. Students learn to ‘be still’, which is increasingly difficult with present day distractions (e.g. social media, mobile devices etc.).
There is growing evidence on the benefits of meditation. Research shows meditation increases memory and improves attention. It has been shown to promote positive thinking, reduce depression and lower stress levels. At present all classes, from first to sixth year, have an opportunity to take meditation (or mindfulness) class (one period per week for one hour).
Ms Bennett is a trained and licenced ‘ Heal Your Life’ teacher, workshop leader and life coach (based on the transformational and life-changing philosophy of Louise Hay). During one to one coaching sessions with students, she helps them to learn strategies to cope with everyday stressful situations, using a range of techniques such as meditation, visualisation and affirmations increase their self-esteem and learn emotional resilience, develop coping skills to effect positive change in their lives
A life coach helps people clarify goals, develop the behaviours and attitudes to achieve those goals and focus energy in the direction of achievement. The simple fact of having a focused coaching time each week is a great motivator and support for students. As a coach, Ms Bennett is a facilitator and helps the students to gain balance in body, mind and emotion.“It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.