Our Action Team for Partnership (ATP) was set up in December 2018 with the support of Partnership Schools Ireland (PSI).
Partnership Schools Ireland is a joint initiative by National Parents Council Primary (NPC), the Irish Primary Principals’ Network and the Department of Education and Skills. Better outcomes for children are the main objectives of a “Partnership School”, achieved by the whole school community, planning and working together on agreed activities.
This is a research and evidence based partnership model between schools and the community which originated in America based on research conducted by educationalist, Joyce Epstein. The approach seeks to encourage children, staff, parents and the local business community to form an effective partnership for the school with express benefit to the children
The team comprises of teaching staff, parents, pupils and community representatives. The aim of the collaboration is to develop specific goals and projects to enhance the work of the school, by involving families and community. Four goals are set for achievement over two years; two curricular, one behavioral and one welcoming.
Our team meet regularly to discuss ongoing projects. The pupils are actively involved in the meetings and they contribute to the implementation of current projects. They have also been very motivated to showcase the work of the ATP, by regularly updating and involving their fellow classmates and participating in ongoing projects. Our meetings are engaging and everyone has a part to play and our progress is regularly communicated to families.
The first academic goal identified and agreed upon by the ATP was to support the Irish language. ‘An Caife Gaeilge’ involving the pupils was already in existence and with the support of the ATP the initiative was extended to include families. All classes had a dedicated session, where parents/guardians were invited along to participate in an Irish-speaking session in a coffee morning setting. The sessions were fun and informal, while encouraging family participation in support of the language. Míle Buíochas to The Book Haven who sponsored the lovely An Caife Gaeilge aprons!
The second academic goal identified by the ATP was to support the geography curriculum by enhancing geographic investigative skills. The aim of the initiative is to enable the pupils, through a range of investigative skills, to explore and understand their surroundings and its relationship with the wider world. With the support of the ATP a nature trail has been developed on the grounds of the school, with trees, shrubs, bird feeders and other points of interest highlighted. We have also acquired a ‘Bug Motel’ to encourage the protection of pollinating insects.
- Behavioural Goal
The introduction of a daily Gratitude Journal was identified as our Behavioural Goal and while implementing this initiative the team developed the idea of a Wellbeing Week!
For a full week in December 2019, the pupils engaged in daily activities to encourage overall awareness of the various aspects of well-being, including social, physical and emotional well-being. The week was a great success, with the pupils experiencing yoga, playing board games, writing gratitude letters to a family member. The pupils were also encouraged to engage in a screen-free evening, which was also extended to include other family members to promote family connection.
- Welcoming Goal
Watch this space for our Welcoming Goal!
The SFX Senior School ATP Team members are: