Wellbeing and Care

Student wellbeing is present when students realise their abilities, take care of their physical wellbeing, can cope with the normal stresses of life and have a sense of purpose and belonging to a wider community.

NCCA Guidelines for Wellbeing 2018 

Pastoral care underlies all relationships within the school community. We aim to create a safe and happy environment which enriches the lives of the students. From the moment a student is enrolled, there are specific teachers on the staff whose roles are to ensure that students’ wellbeing is supported throughout their time in St. Joseph’s.

A specific teacher liaises with primary schools to enable a smooth transition to secondary school. Another organises a two-day Orientation programme for all First Years, to help them make the adjustment from primary to secondary school.

Year Heads monitor two class groups in conjunction with the Chaplain, Guidance Counsellors, Deputy Principal and Principal. Regular assemblies are held in each group.

The student support team is an important part of the pastoral care system in the school. The remit of the team is to provide a range of supports that cater for the learning, social, emotional and behavioural needs of the students. Members of the team include the Deputy Principal, Year Head, Chaplain, Guidance Counsellors and a member of the SEN team.

The Chaplaincy service and Guidance Counsellors work collaboratively to help students who may encounter difficulties with their lives. The primary role of the Chaplaincy service is to be a faith presence in the school. The School Chaplain works closely with the management team and staff, responding to students’ needs, and has specific responsibility for their spiritual and pastoral development. Throughout the school year, significant religious events are celebrated and liturgies occur at relevant times.

The Guidance department strongly believe that young people learn more effectively and have better academic outcomes if they are happy in their work, believe in themselves and feel acknowledged and supported in their schools. The wellbeing of our young people is critical to their success in education and life. A whole school guidance approach prepares students to develop wellbeing and positive mental health, where emotional wellbeing may be understood as an educational end in and of itself. A whole school approach involves all members of the school community engaging in a collaborative process to change and improve specific areas of school life that impact on wellbeing. A whole school approach produces a wide range of benefits for students, including improved behaviour, increased inclusion, improved learning, greater social cohesion, increased social capital and improvements on mental health.

The Guidance Counsellors also help students with career orientation, organise aptitude/psychometric testing, ‘Open Day’ visits to third level colleges, careers talks, careers fairs, mock interviews and arrange for relevant guest speakers to visit the school.
The SEN team works as part of the whole school approach to students with special educational needs. Student wellbeing is an integral part of the work of the SEN department. In the creation of an inclusive, supportive, learning environment for all students which enables them to develop coping mechanisms and build resilience for the present and into the future.
Our S.P.H.E. (Social, Personal & Health Education) and Learning to Learn programmes provides valuable insights and information to junior cycle students.

During these unprecedented times, the health and safety of all students’ will be paramount, students will feel secure that their wellbeing is supported and that every effort will be made to safeguard and protect the positive inclusive atmosphere that has always been the hallmark of life in St. Joseph’s Secondary School Castlebar.

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Please enter your details for our virtual Open/Enrolment Evening. Ensure email address is entered correctly. Register any question/query you wish the senior management team to address on the evening.