This policy was originally formulated in the early 2000’s. It was reviewed by the teaching staff during the 2015/2016 school year. It applies to all staff and children during school hours, break times, and on all school related activities.
In our school policy we will endeavour to organise and participate in the effective supervision of pupils during school hours 9.20a.m. – 3.10p.m. Before the official start of school, from 9.10am, the principal will organise a rota for teachers to supervise: one will circulate at regular intervals through corridors and classrooms as the other supervises the playground. The rota is a weekly one for all teachers, except the principal, to supervise for a week at a time. Current practice is that the principal supervises every day with a teacher from the rota. This amounts to three hours per annum of ‘Croke Park Hours’ per teacher.
The rules for National Schools 121(4) and 124(1) obliges teachers to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of pupils and to participate in supervising pupils during school time and during all school related activities.
Legislation such as the Health Safety and Welfare at Work Act and recent Court judgments have placed a “duty of care” and accountability on schools that must be underpinned by a policy covering all possible eventualities.
Relationship to the Characteristic Ethos of the School
This policy is in keeping with the school ethos of providing a safe and secure environment for learning for all pupils and the wider school community.
Aims and Objectives
• To develop a framework that effectively ensures, as far as is practicable, the safety of children while at play on the yard or while engaged in school related activities
• To observe and monitor behavioural patterns outside the confines of the classroom
• To contribute to effective school management and comply with relevant legislation.
• It is the policy of the school to supervise the school yard at all times during regular school breaks i.e. 11.00am to 11.10am, 12.30pm to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 2.10pm. Teachers assume a duty of care at 9.20am. The Board of Management informs parents that the school does not accept responsibility for pupils dropped off earlier than 9.20am or children who are not collected promptly at 3.10pm. The school provides supervision from 9.10am to 9.20am, one teacher in the school yard and one internally. This is organised by the principal
• A rota for supervision is drawn up by the principal and this is displayed on the staff room notice board.
• Three teachers supervise at all break times with one responsible for each of the play areas.
• Rules of the school yard are reviewed and revised continually and communicated to children regularly.
• If parents indicate a worry about a particular child on the yard all teachers rostered for yard duty are informed of the concern so that the particular concerns can be addressed satisfactorily
• Teachers on yard duty remain with the classes until the class teacher returns from break. Alternatively, they can accompany the classes into the school and remain with the class until the class teacher arrives.
• Teachers taking an E.P.V. day must swap supervision duties with a willing colleague. If a teacher is unexpectedly absent a volunteer colleague will assume his/her duties in a reciprocal arrangement
• Special Needs Assistant/s are on duty during all breaks. The number os S.N.A.’s required is decided by the principal in consultation with the staff, taking into account the needs care of the children. While these Assistants provide individual supervision for designated children with special needs, they can act in an observing and reporting capacity, bringing instances of misbehaviour to the attention of the teacher on yard duty. The schools anti-bullying/discipline policy covers incidents of misbehaviour.
• Children with injuries/complaints are dealt with directly by the teacher on yard duty. Children are not permitted to report directly to the staff room if there is an incident on the yard. Procedures for dealing with an injured child are outlined in the Accident/Injury Policy and below in ‘Good Practice’ section.
• A First Aid box and an Accident Report Folder are kept as a matter of procedure (See Accident / Injury Policy). All accidents where there is an injury of consequence should be noted in the Accident Report Diary by the teacher on supervision. Where teachers suspect that a child is unwell, parents are alerted, usually by phone. Parents should always be informed of a head injury even if the child appears unaffected.
• If children remain uncollected after 3.10pm, the school ensures that a duty of care is provided until a parent/guardian calls. If a parent/guardian is late collecting their child after school, the class teacher has a duty to remain with that child until collected. However, this responsibility can be passed on to a willing colleague.
• At all other times each teacher is responsible for the supervision of all children under their care.
• No supervision is provided outside the school grounds, except on school-related activities.
• Unless unavoidable, teachers should never leave their classroom unsupervised. Teachers may however, take a fifteen minute lunch break from 12.15pm on the days they are doing lunchtime supervision. When leaving the classroom, the teacher informs the teacher next-door and he/she will supervise, leaving the doors to both rooms open and making regular visits to the other classroom.
• The teacher on supervision duty will inform the class teacher or any incident or injury relating to children in their class.
• Children who are withdrawn from their mainstream classroom for special education or for any other purpose are collected at the classroom door by the relevant teacher and supervised until they re-enter the classroom.
a) Out of school activities such as games, swimming, tours, etc
Back up provisions are put in place to ensure adequate levels of supervision are provided. The level of supervision is determined by the principal in consultation with the staff taking into account the particular activities involved and the needs of the children taking part.
b) Meeting with Parent
In the unlikely event that a teacher is called from his/her classroom to meet with a parent, another member of staff may be released to cover. (This will usually be a Special Education Teacher or the principal). However, it is school policy to request parents to make an appointment for outside of teaching time in order to minimize the disruption to classroom teaching and learning.
c) On wet days
• Children remain in their classes.
• The normal supervision rota will apply for all breaks, teachers walk between classrooms, S.N.A.’s remain with children with special needs.
• Children may play with board games/toys, draw, read, watch DVD or any other activity suited to the confines of the classroom.
d) When visiting teachers, speakers, students on teaching practice, etc are in the classroom, the class teacher maintains a presence. S.N.A.’s are not left in sole charge of a class.
e) The school Safety Statement lists all hazards on the school yard and supervisors are accordingly briefed.
f) Child in the school at break time
• If a child has to stay in the school building at break time when the other children are outside, the class teacher informs the teachers on supervision and they make an arrangement for the supervision.
h) Success Criteria and Review
• Ensuring a safe child-friendly school premises and grounds.
• Providing well organised and safe out of school activities
• Constant monitoring of the safety and behaviour of the children
• Reviewing supervision duties yearly
• Altering or adjusting procedures deemed to be inoperable.
Organisation of Grounds
• Infants use the area behind the school.
• 1st and 2nd classes use the area between the school and the football field.
• 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes use the area in front of the school.
• In fine weather the children are free to use the pitch and we endeavour to keep the different age groups a safe distance from each other.
• Children use the play area with climbing frame etc. in rotation – small groups of 10 – 12 maximum
• Children may only enter the school during break-time with the permission of the teacher. (Discretion to be used in relation to infants)
• No pupil is allowed to leave the school grounds without the permission of a teacher. Permission may only be granted to a senior class (5th and 6th) pupil to go onto the road (to collect a ball etc) and this is done with the direct supervision of the teacher in charge, knowing that it is totally safe to do so
Good Practice for Teachers / S.N.A.’s in Roxboro N.S.
• continuous walking through the play areas.
• write down all incidents of misbehaviour etc. in incident book on the
day of the incident. (Incident Book in Office)
• same with accident.
• if the teacher needs to leave the play area he/she must get another teacher to supervise. If a child is injured during break time, the supervising teacher brings the child to the class teacher (or a special education teacher if the class teacher is supervising) and returns to supervision immediately.
• be on the lookout for rough play, games etc. that have the potential for injury. Prohibit those games and alert all the other teachers.
• report any potentially hazardous area, item etc. to the principal.
• confiscate items from pupils that could be used to cause injury. These may be returned at the end of the school day but, if in doubt, consult the principal.
• children should be kept in their respective play areas. Teachers should use their discretion when, for example, older pupils are playing with younger pupils in a way that is not likely to cause injury..
• teacher on yard duty rings the bell on time; firstly inside the school, then outside.
• teachers accompany their own classes to their room immediately after the breaks – ask another teacher to take responsibility if you are unavoidably delayed.
• teacher on yard duty is responsible for supervising at all three breaks. If a teacher is unavailable for supervising a break they must get another teacher to substitute for them.
2. Bringing Children out of the School
(a) Bus Journeys for school activities
1. The teacher must be the first out the gate to check for traffic on the road. If the bus is in the car park where the children do not have go onto the road then the teacher uses his/her discretion re. safety.
2. The teacher must ensure that the pupils walk orderly to the bus and behave in a safe manner on the bus.
3. Running to or from the bus at any time is strictly prohibited.
4. As in school, courtesy, good manners and addressing people properly are demanded of the pupils. The children should be taught and reminded regularly of this.
5. At swimming, use of vending machines is not allowed unless with a teacher’s permission and in exceptional circumstances.
6. When planning bus journeys, a teacher must plan carefully to try to foresee if more adults are needed for supervision. If so, the approval of supervisors by the Board of Management (through the principal) is required.
7. Pupils must be supervised by a teacher on a bus except in emergency and exceptional circumstances. Make the best arrangement possible under such circumstances.
8. Teachers and pupils must adhere to all road and traffic regulations including the wearing of seat-belts.
(b) On walks, e.g. to the church, nature walks etc.
1. High visibility top to be worn, these are available in the school.
2. The teacher must walk with his/her class.
2. The children walk in single file or in pairs on the right hand side of the road.
3. Running is strictly prohibited.
4. The teacher must give his/her full attention to the safety on the road.
5. Correct Church behaviour – genuflecting, kneeling, silence, praying etc. is to be taught to each class by their teacher and this behaviour is to be demanded of the pupils in the church.
6. When crossing the road, the teacher supervises the crossing.
(c) In school
1. Teachers must ensure insofar as is possible that pupils walk on the corridors and other such places inside the school.
2. No activity where there is a foreseeable risk should be undertaken other than the ‘normal’ risks associated with play in general (e.g. there would be foreseeable risk in children doing cartwheels, for example, in the classroom!)
3. Children are not to be asked or allowed to handle a hot items (kettle, tea-pots etc.) or lift or move heavy objects.
4. Adults are not expected to lift or move heavy objects but if doing so due care must be taken.
1. If a child is known to have had an injury we should get approval from the parent before he/she takes part in sport, stating that the child may participate as normal.
2. The teacher must be acquainted with such techniques and principles, and indeed with the basic ‘safety rules’ of the sport/activity that he or she is teaching.
3. Appropriate warm-up exercises to be undertaken before more vigorous exercise.
4. If a child has an injury he/she does not take part in activity where there is a foreseeable risk that the child may suffer further injury.
5. Sport activity should be sufficiently flexible for students who are physically
incapable of full participation.
6. Teacher should not participate in a game where (a) the teacher will not be able to adequately supervise the game and (b) the teacher might injure a much smaller player.
7. Weather/Playing Conditions – if these make the activity hazardous, then postpone the activity.
8. If refereeing, the teacher needs to ensure that the refereeing duty does not get in the way of his/her supervision of the event.
9. Use of Equipment – check before use that it is safe – if in doubt don’t use it.
10. Use of Equipment – only use it for the purposes it was designed for.
11. Use of Equipment – ensure proper instructions and supervision.
12. Supervision while the children are changing for P.E. is necessary, though not a presence as that could be interpreted as an invasion of privacy.
13. An activity should not be undertaken if the teacher believes there is inadequate supervision, level of safety etc.
14. Even when the class is being taught an outside coach/teacher (e.g. G.A.A., soccer coach), the class teacher must be present for the entire duration of the session
(a) Act reasonably and sensibly
(b) Use common sense
(c) Be conscious of the forseeability of an incident