St. Fergal’s College: Mission Statement
St. Fergal’s College is a co-educational school which aims to provide a quality education for all our students in a caring and respectful environment.
We enable students to develop fully a sense of their own unique worth by providing a broadly based curriculum which fosters intellectual, spiritual, moral, emotional and physical growth.
We are committed to promoting good relationships between students, staff, parents and our community.
We aim to create a safe, healthy, learning environment that nurtures self-discipline and encourages our students to take responsibility for their own learning.
We aim to educate our students not only for now, but also for life.
St Fergal’s College is a co-educational, multi-denominational, multi-cultural post primary school under the management of The Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB). The school ethos is Christian and each individual is respected regardless of religious persuasion and is guaranteed access to the educational facilities at the school.
The Board of Management
Under the Education Act 1998 the Board of Management is a legal entity with legal responsibilities and obligations. It is a sub-committee of the LOETB. It comprises: two elected Parent representatives; two elected Staff representatives; 3 members nominated by LOETB; 2 members nominated by the appropriate religious authorities
and any co-opted members agreed by the Board to a maximum of twelve members.
The teaching staff at the College is employed by Laois/Offaly Education Training Board and are paid by the Department of Education and Skills.
The Parents Council
Provision is made in the Education Act 1998 to establish a Parents Association: “membership of that association shall be open to all parents of students of that school”
The Parents Council, as the association is called in St Fergal’s College elects a Committee every year at the Annual General Meeting held in September for all parents of students attending the College.
The Parents Council works with the Principal, staff and Board of Management to build effective co-operation and partnership between home and school. On behalf of the Council the elected Committee advises the Board and the Principal on matters relating to the school eg school policies.
A new student council is elected every September. It is made up of elected representatives from every class who give their class a voice in matters of relevance to the whole student body. They are also consulted by the Principal on school policy and make an important contribution to the school community.
Classes are of mixed ability. Irish and Maths are blocked so that they may be divided into Higher and Ordinary levels at Christmas of First Year. Students exempt from Irish receive additional learning support when Irish is scheduled. Students experiencing serious difficulty with Irish and/or Maths may be encouraged to take the subject at Foundation level from after the mock exams in 3rd year.
Core Subjects: Irish; English; Maths; Science; History; Geography; CSPE
Optional Subjects: Art, Craft & Design; Business; French; Home Economics; Materials Technology (Wood); Metalwork; Music; Technical Graphics.
Religion, Physical Ed., S.P.H.E., Computer Studies are non-exam subjects taken by all students
Transition Year Program
This is a one-year optional program available to pupils immediately after Junior Cycle.
Irish; English; Mathematics; Art/Craft; Careers; Computer Studies; Construction studies; Design & Communications Graphics; Engineering; Enterprise Education; Environmental studies; Home Economics; Physical Education; Religion; Science; S.P.H.E; Work Experience.
Modules: First Aid, Self-defense, G.A.A. Coaching training, Golf, Dance , Cultural Studies, Outdoor Pursuits, etc. are also offered. (Both subjects and modules offered may change from year to year subject to the needs of the class and the resources available)
- Available places (Maximum 24)
- Record of behavior, attitude and level of maturity.
- Places are awarded in line with Transition year Policy 2017(see Policies)
- A second class may be formed if applications exceed 18 and resources allow.
Leaving Certificate Established
Core Subjects Irish; English;Mathematics
Optional Subjects Accounting; Agricultural Science; Art, Craft and Design; Biology; Business; Chemistry; Construction Studies; Design & Communications Graphics; Engineering; French; Geography, History; Home Economics; Music; Physics
Religion, Physical Ed., S.P.H.E., and Career Guidance are non-exam subjects taken by all students.
Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme
This programme is designed to prepare students for working life. Link modules, comprising Enterprise Education, Guidance and ab-initio language must be taken with two practical subjects from the list above.
Students may change their subject options by agreement with the Principal and providing there is space until September 30th of Fifth year.
Note: students may not take up Accountancy, Construction Studies, Design & Communications Graphics, Engineering, French, Home Economics, Music or any science subject if they have not studied the corresponding Junior Certificate subject (except in exceptional circumstances).
In the event of an excess of applications, available places will be offered to those students who have completed the relevant subject to Junior Certificate level or the relevant module in Transition Year (except French)
Leaving Certificate Applied
This is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate Programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. It emphasizes an independent and enterprising approach to learning and to life.
In accordance with The Education Act 1998, Education (Welfare) Act 2000, The Equal Status Act, 2000, the education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act 2004, other DES regulations and the Vocational Education Acts, and in keeping with our stated Mission, all children who apply to enrol may be accepted into our school.
First Year Enrolment
Applicants for 1st year must:
- Have reached their 12th birthday on the 1st of January in the calendar year following the student’s entry in to 1st year. (A copy of the long version of the applicant’s birth certificate must be supplied).
- Have completed 6th class (or the equivalent in another jurisdiction), except in exceptional circumstances
Enrolment for 1st year students takes place each year in term one. The Open Evening for Parents/guardians and their children and the closing date for receipt of applications to enrol is notified to all local National Schools and published in local papers. Students may be enrolled at the Open Evening or, alternatively, application forms are available from the School Office or may be downloaded from the website: www.stfergalscollege.com.
Assessment Reports must be made available with or, as soon as possible after enrolment to enable application to the DES for appropriate resources.
All completed applications and relevant documentation are date stamped and places are awarded on a first come basis. Successful applicants will be notified within 21 days of the closing date for applications.
Code of Behaviour
All students, and their parents/guardians, must agree to be bound by the school Code of Behaviour and accept the discipline procedures devised to promote this Code. The Code is supplied to all who enrol and a signed declaration must be returned when accepting a place in the College.
Should applications exceed available places students will be accepted as follows:
- Applicants who have siblings already attending the College.
- Applicants from the schools within our catchment area (see list: Appendix 1)
- Applicants who reside within our catchment (see map) but do not attend the listed schools.
- Applicants who have a family member working in the College
- “First come” basis.
Discussions take place between our support team and teachers from the primary schools of those who enrol in order to identify the learning needs of prospective pupils.
If the needs identified cannot be met within the schools own resources application will be made to the DES for additional supports and parents will be informed promptly. A student may not commence until the necessary supports are in place.
Classes are mixed ability.
Optional subjects have different class maximum sizes (listed below). Students are allocated following completion of the “taster” programme on a first come first served basis. Art, Woodwork, Metalwork, Music, Technical Graphics: 24 students.
Home Economics: 20 students. (Business and French may take up to 30 students)
Should the demand for a subject exceed the places available the following criteria will apply:
- Test results
- Aptitude and ability as observed by the teacher.
- Original choices submitted when accepting a place in the school.
All applications received after the closing date will be regarded a “late”. Students will be placed on a waiting list and will be dealt with on a case by case basis. The position on the waiting list is determined by the date of receipt of the completed application form and any relevant documentation.
Transfers from other Second Level Schools/ late applications.
An application to transfer is defined as one from a student who has previously enrolled in another school. A late application occurs when a student applies after the commencement of the autumn school term.
Applications to transfer into the school and late applications will be considered having regard to the overall well-being of existing pupils and the availability of physical space and resources. The reasons for transfer/late application must be clearly stated on the application form and a written reference/report supplied from the previous school. It is our policy to refuse transfers into 3rd and 6th year in the interests of continuity of education provision for the applicant, except in exceptional circumstances.
Successful applicants will be then complete an Enrolment form and return with the following documents:
- A copy of the student’s birth certificate.(long version)
- The two most recent reports from the student’s previous school.
- A Statement of Special Needs, if relevant.
- A signed declaration supporting the school Code of Behaviour and discipline procedures.
The College also reserves the right to request a confidential, verbal reference from the authorities in previous school (s).
Places in optional subject classes cannot be guaranteed as they are governed by differing maximum class sizes as listed below and are offered on a first come first served basis. (Agricultural Science, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Construction Studies, Design & Communications Graphics, Engineering, Music, Physics: 24 students. Home Economics: 20 students)
The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse an application in exceptional circumstances, which might include:
- An established prior record of poor behaviour. Note: any statutory appeals procedures, in accordance with the Education Act 1998 or the Education for Persons with Special Needs Act 2004, must be completed before an application will be considered.
- Lack of adequate resources to cater for particular needs.
Refusal to admit a student may be appealed to the Board of Management in the first instance and then to the Laois & Offaly Education & Training Board (LOETB) and finally to the Department of Education and Skills.
- Application Form
- List of “feeder” schools
- Code of Behaviour
- Declaration form
This amended policy was ratified at the Board of Management meeting held on November 30th 2015