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School Chaplain

Our Chaplaincy Service In Firhouse Community College

The aim of spiritual guidance is to help students lead fully human, faith filled and where applicable, Christian lives. The emphasis is on helping students to identify the  person they want to become  and to help them find the steps that will take them there.

Thechaplain is available to students and especially at key moments of the year the chaplain offers additional support  as follows:

Year round individual support, reflection, meditation.  Focus various secular and other faith celebration.

September– focus on supporting first years, new students and sixth year students. Coordinating First Year Coffee morning s with each Tutor group.

October and November -Halloween, Advent.

Christmas– 2ndyears prepare Drama for Whole school Nativity Service in local parish church.
December– preparation for Christmas including carol service, crib.
February– preparation for Lent, Remembrance Mass for school community
May–Sixth Graduation and Ramadan.

 

The Role of the Chaplain

‘The school Chaplain, as a faith presence, committed to the values of Christ, and on behalf of the Church and school communities, accompanies each person on the journey through life.

The position of the School Chaplain in a Designated Community College comes from provisions set out in the Deeds of Trust for Community Colleges.  Chaplaincy is an essential component in the structure of the school.  The Chaplain works collaboratively with all members of school staff

In Firhouse Community College the Chaplain provides a pastoral care service for all students, staff, past pupils and families.   The Chaplain accompanies members of the school community on their journey through life. He/She will also respond to the spiritual and religious needs of the students and the whole school community respecting the denominational, religious and personal convictions of all.

Pastoral Care

The Chaplain should strive to show the individual concern and love that God has for everybody. The Chaplain shows care for students struggling with a wide range of obstacles, including: self harm, family problems, confusing relationships, friendship issues, peer pressure, self-esteem issues, bullying, bereavement and separation, stress and anxiety.  The Chaplain is also present to share in their joyful experiences.

Pastoral Counselling

The Chaplain has the privilege of walking part of life’s journey with each student. Within a faith context, the Chaplain is present to students, staff and parents/guardians when they need to share their worries, concerns and troubles with someone in confidence.

The School Chaplain is a safe person for young people to connect with at school, providing a listening ear, caring presence, and message of hope.   This means that the Chaplain is always available to each student and is willing to sit and listen to what is going on for them at that point in their lives.   Where necessary, the Chaplain will liaise with parents and recognise when a student needs to be referred to professionals.

At Firhouse Community College, the Chaplain is available to students throughout the school week, both in classroom settings and at the Chaplain’s office.  Students can use the open-door policy of the Chaplain to drop in or make an appointment for a more suitable time.  In addition to dropping into the Chaplain’s room themselves, a student visit may arise when they are referred by Year Heads, Tutors, other teachers, or when a member of staff or parent/guardian is concerned about a particular a student.

The Chaplain supports students, staff and their families, where appropriate, in dealing with bereavement of family members and loved ones.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is followed in accordance with Child Protection Procedures, and CHILD PROTECTION concerns are reported directly to the   Designated Liaison Person.  Apart from this, all matters are dealt with in strict confidence.

Student Support Team

Student wellbeing issues are dealt with by  this Team, both individually and through the team’s  regular meetings.  The Chaplain is a member of the team where he/she can liaise with the Principal, Deputy Principals, Guidance Counsellor, School Counsellor, SEN Coordinator etc.

In consultation with families, in-school and/or externally sourced supports are put in place for students, where appropriate.

The Chaplain alongside school management and student support  members, plays an important role when the school community is faced with particularly difficult and challenging situations, as laid out in the school’s Critical Incident Policy.

Spiritual Guidance

The Chaplain animates the spiritual life of the school community and offers opportunities to develop a meaningful relationship with God.

The Chaplain cares for the young people’s spiritual needs also. While many young people have difficulty with organised religion, they recognise their need for God.  They have spirituality.  Prayers Hopes and Dreams are expressed in our prayer room. Mindfulness and mindful colouring is practiced.

Music is used widely used.  Spirit FM is recommended for listening to.  The Chaplain is in the privileged position to guide students and to explore various prayer methods which bring peace and fulfilment.  Working alongside the Religion Department within the school, the Chaplain ensures the school community has time to celebrate its identity in religious worship.

 

Liturgy and Sacraments

The Chaplain facilitates the Remembrance Mass in February each year. This includes organising school Masses (e.g. Opening of School Year, prayer services, Carol Service, and End of School services, Sixth Year Graduation, prayer services in accordance with the liturgical year, meditation etc.

 

In Firhouse community College the Chaplain highlights the liturgical seasons in all faiths, Chinese New Year, Yom Kippur, Diwali, Harvest festival Inter Faith Week 16-23RDOctober, and secular celebrations such as Halloween and Samhain, Christian- All Saints and All Souls and ,Reembrace day, Bodhi Day-  Buddhists, Advent, Human Rights day ,Rosh Hashanah ,Easter, Ramadan. The two Eids, Passover etc

The Chaplain, along with the RE teachers, provides each student with opportunities to learn new ways of talking to God. Prayer experiences are offered to help develop a relationship with God.

Social Outreach and Justice

Social Justice is well embedded in the ethos of the school in a cross curricular, organic way. The Chaplain supports this and promotes a spirit of concern for others within and beyond the school community. The chaplain supports students take part in fundraising work for charities to help those in need. Helping those in our own community through community service programmes is also an area that the Chaplain helps students become involved through her/his role as community care coordinator in the Transition year programme in e.g. working in day care centres, charity shops, community playgroups and creches.

The Chaplain will also raise awareness of social justice problems and moral issues in our locality and worldwide, for example, poverty, child labour, war, human rights, etc.

School/Parish/Home link/Community

Our school is in Mount Carmel’s Parish, Firhouse and many students come from Holy Rosary church, Bohernabreena Parish and Glenismole N,S.  The Chaplain seeks to strengthen the connection between school and the local community by encouraging students to become involved in their own local Church and Faith communities. With the Religion Team our Transition Year students link with three sixth class groups through a Friends and Faith Friends Programme,

The Chaplain represents the school community on the FAB committee Firhouse and Bohernabreena Local Committee.

 

The Chaplain provides a vital link between home and school, especially where a student is experiencing difficulties either at home or in school.  This can take the form of visiting or ringing parents, listening to their concerns, providing relevant help or referral, The Chaplain may also visit students during times of illness or long absenteeism from school.

Religious Education

As a teacher, the Chaplain is a member of the RE Department and is involved in the delivery of the R.E. National Curriculum along with other members of the Religious Education Team