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Aquinas Prospectus 2023

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Welcome... Year 8 Q & A

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Virtual Tour of Aquinas

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With One VoiceAQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:44 Page 3

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We hope that you enjoy reading this prospectusand that it gives you a real flavour of what life is like in our school.We are a welcoming, inclusive school whose aim is to provide opportunities for all our pupils, enablingthem to realise their true potential, academically, socially, spiritually and personally.We seek to foster a spirit of respect and understanding in each child in an environment which in turn issecure, supportive and caring; in which our pupils feel valued and esteemed.As a school of under 900 pupils divided into houses, we believe our size and structure, helps us todevelop as a close family community where students from different year groups are able to worktogether and support each other in many aspects of their learning, particularly in extra-curricular activity.We are a learning school where the learning experience is effective, enjoyable and empowering andwhere our students are encouraged and supported to aim high and to work hard. We provide manyopportunities outside normal class time to enrich the whole learning experience, enabling them to goout into the world as confident, mature young men and women, well prepared for all the challenges ofthe 21st century.We are committed to working in partnership with our parents, constantly aware of the value of theirsupport and the importance of their role. We have state of the art ICT facilities to support learning andsporting facilities second to none. We pride ourselves on the excellent staff-student relationships and onthe effectiveness of our Pastoral Care provision for students.As a Catholic school we work to build upon the values of family and home to foster a strong sense offaith in our pupils. Above all we are a school which recognises the uniqueness of each child, the wonderof each child and their potential for greatness. We certainly see it as a privilege to be entrusted with theeducation of all the boys and girls who come here.We strive to provide a truly Aquinas education; aneducation and experience that will support your child throughout their future lives.I thank you for taking the time to read through our prospectus. We hope it gives you a small insight intothe life of our school and some of the activities and opportunities that we provide for our pupils. As youvisit our school and meet our students, or in COVID times watch and read our online content, I am surethe young boys and girls you encounter will be role models of the values you hope for in your own child.I hope you will feel confident in choosing Aquinas for your child for the next seven years of theireducation.MMrr BBaarrrryy KKeellllyy PPrriinncciippaallWelcome• Fáilte Bonjour• Bienvenido2AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:46 Page 5

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Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School is a Catholic school open and welcoming to people of other faiths and none...Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School has as its Patron Saint, Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican friar who livedbetween 1225 and 1274 and who is acknowledged as one of the most influential philosophers and theologians inthe Scholastic tradition to have ever lived. A Doctor of the Church, Pope Leo XIII declared him in 1880 to be thePatron Saint of all Catholic universities, colleges and schools.In Aquinas we wish our pupils to share that love of learning with their patron St Thomas, but even moreimportantly, we wish them to share his love of God and holiness of life.As a Catholic school we believe in the importance of daily prayer both in the classroom and in the more formalsetting of our school chapel, where we celebrate the seasons and feast days of the Church year through liturgiesincluding Class and Year Group Masses on the First Fridays of the terms. These are celebrated by our full timeChaplain who is a priest of the diocese of Down and Connor. Our pupils are encouraged to play an active role inthe creation and celebration of these liturgies and a Sixth Form team of students help with the day to day runningof our purpose built Chaplaincy building. Indeed, our Eucharistic Ministers consist not only of staff members butalso of sixth formers nominated by their peers, prepared within school and instituted into their extraordinaryministry at the Opening of the Year Mass. All of this and more ensures that the practice of the Catholic faith is notseparated from the rest of daily life within the school community.Aquinas is a Catholic school that welcomes pupils of other Christian churches, world faiths and people of no faith.At the heart of our ethos is our motto from St John’s Gospel, chapter 8, verses 31 and 32: the Truth shall set youfree and we endeavour to live by these words of Christ through developing the God-given talents of all our pupils,and forming attitudes and values in our young people which are based on these words of scripture and the otherteachings and actions of Jesus Christ.We believe firmly in living by the two greatest Commandments to love the Lord your God with all your heart and withall your soul and with all your mind and your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22: 36 – 40). We teach our pupils aboutjustice, to act justly and to reach out to our suffering and marginalised brothers and sisters through our St. VincentDe Paul Society, which not only undertakes charitable work throughout the school year but which has a particularrole in our Catholics Caring campaign during the season of Advent and our Trocaire fundraising during Lent.In Aquinas we want our students from the youngest to the most senior to adopt a way of looking at the worldwhich is positive and which seeks to change the world for the better. This is not confined to the classroom; we bringour pupils out of school on Retreat at key moments in their academic career. These occur at the end of JuniorSchool in Year 10; during GCSE studies in Year 12 and, as their time in secondary education comes to an end, in Year14. These special days, held in local Retreat Centres in Belfast, both consolidate and celebrate their experience of anAquinas education, giving them as many opportunities as possible to grow as a community and encounter theperson of Jesus Christ, the Truth who shall set us free. Our aim will always be to give our young people as manyopportunities as possible to develop a personal relationship of faith with Him that is made manifest in the way theylive their lives both now and in the years to come.Faith in Action4AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:48 Page 7

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5...the truth shall set you free...AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:49 Page 8

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Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School is a Catholic school community withinwhich both staff and students work in the pursuit of all aspects of spiritual,educational and personal excellence.To achieve this we have the following aims:To promote the spiritual welfare of every member of the school community.To foster to the highest possible degree the academic development of each student.To establish a creative and secure educational partnership between the school,our parents and the wider community.To provide a Pastoral Care System to meet the needs of all students throughouttheir school career.To seek to promote a sense of continuity, coherence and achievement in each student’seducational experience.To develop attitudes and opportunities through which our students may becomeresponsible members of society.To prepare our students for a rapidly changing adult world of work, leisure andresponsibility.To foster within the school community respect for the personal and intellectual integrityof each and every individual.We firmly believe that our pupils have a much better chance of reaching their full potential anddeveloping their many talents in a caring and supportive environment. We wish our pupils to lookforward to coming to school, where expectations are not only high but achievable for each individual.As well as the widest range of subjects, Aquinas has an extensive extra-curricular programme and apastoral care system which places your child at the heart of our school.••••••••Our Vision6The Mall at LunchtimeAQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:49 Page 9

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A community as one7AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:50 Page 10

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Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School is a community built on a foundation ofChristian values of care and respect for the individual. At the heart of thisschool community lies the individual child who benefits from and contributesto this community.The aims of the Pastoral Care System in Aquinas are:To help all students participate as fully as possible in the learning experiences in school.To contribute to the personal growth and development of each student.To help students relate positively and with respect for others, both within and outsidethe school community.In general, these aims will find expression in the good relationships established between all members ofthe school community. Each student in the school belongs to a tutor group. The tutor group meets withthe tutor for 15 minutes each morning and also for one form period per week.The tutor has primary responsibility for the pastoral and academic welfare of their students and is thusin an excellent position to liaise with each student’s subject teachers and with parents. They are the firstpoint of contact for parents.Each tutor group is also a member of a School House whose patrons are St Brigid, St Francis, St JohnPaul II, St Patrick and St Monica. The House system plays a major role in promoting the school’s positivebehaviour policy within the Pastoral Care system. Each House has a Head, a role fulfilled by a memberof the Central Leadership Team.Each year group has a Head of Year who leads the tutors in the year group. The Head of Year isresponsible for the overall well-being of the pupils, helping the tutors to meet all the needs of thepupils. The Head of Year organises the pastoral curriculum for the pupils, often bringing in outsideexpertise for assemblies when and where the need arises.Each Key Stage has a Central Leadership Team member linked to it. The link members support theHeads of Year in leading their tutors and pupils. Aquinas also has a Vice-Principal in charge of PastoralCare in the school.Aquinas has a school chaplain who celebrates mass every morning and is constantly available to dealwith any pastoral needs that might be brought to his attention. •••Pastoral CareSupporting each otherand those in need...8AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:51 Page 11

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In Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School we pride ourselves on our pastoral system. Every member of staff is part of this system. All members of staff are trained annually in Safeguarding and Child Protection. All members of staff are diligent in using the referralsystem in place. When pupils are referred they are treated with dignity and discretion.The school is blessed with a chaplaincy facility which is used for liturgical services but also as a meeting place for year 14 pupils toenjoy coffee breaks.There is a first class prefect system, with prefects assuming pastoral roles in anti-bullying, mental health and pupil voice among others. With the help of the prefects the school enjoys several pastoral theme days at Halloween, Christmas, Easter and in the summerterm, when the school organises special events such as activity days, anti-bullying days, mental health days and simple fun days wherepupils are encouraged to participate in sports, board games, quizzes, karaoke and talent competitions.There are year group excursions to places such as “Let’s go Hydro”, the cinema, bowling etc.There is a ‘buddy system’ where Year 14 pupils team up with year 8 pupils and become their mentor for the year.There is a school council where nominated pupils can voice their opinions on all aspects of school life.There is a Mental Health First Aid team available to pupils and staff.Aquinas also has a first class counselling system and a counsellor from “Familyworks” comes into school one day a week.Aquinas frequently brings in external expertise such as AWARE, IGNITE, REACH and SHARPH to help pupils deal withthe many added stresses they face, especially since the onset of the COVID pandemic.Aquinas has excellent relationships with external agencies such as the CPSS, EWS, CAMHs and social services.Most important of all are the excellent relationships enjoyed between staff, pupils and parents. This helps to keep AquinasDiocesan Grammar a tight knit community where everyone looks after one another. ••••••••••••9AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:52 Page 12

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To enable our new students to adjust to their new school experience the tutorial programme aims to:Promote a sense of security and establish a feeling of belonging.Develop the skills of social interaction and a positive self image.Establish a caring community within the Tutor Group.Lay the foundations for study skills.Encourage each student to review their progress.Provide excellent careers advice for the studentsPromote a Catholic ethosWe understand the emotional and intellectual challenges that the transition from Primary toGrammar school poses for our Year Eight students. And so it is for this reason that the Tutors and YearHead, with the support of the staff as a whole, aim to help the new students adapt with ease.Practical guidance is offered on how to cope with the demands of new subjects, to organise booksand personal equipment, to adjust to different types of homework, and to find a comfortable niche inAquinas life.Year 8 parents are invited to a Mass of Welcome and Induction Evening at the end of September. Thepurpose of this is to provide advice and support, to give them a flavour of the different experiencestheir children are enjoying in the school and to allow them to meet the Year 8 Tutors in an informalsetting. Year 8 pupils also have two Study Skills mornings during which they have a variety of differentworkshops, talks and activities, all aimed at improving the pupils’ understanding of how to learn andwork successfully.This programme now extends to Years 11, 12, 13 and 14 students to help them understand and meetthe demands of their new courses, subjects and careers options. These Induction Evenings are alsopreceded by a meeting with parents to inform them not only of the rigours of the coursesundertaken but also of any curricular, career or pastoral changes which may affect their young people. The Tutorial Programme followed by the students is intended to address relevant personal, social andacademic issues in their formative years. Such areas are dealt with and discussed in a safe and trustingenvironment and include: friendships and social interaction, attitudes to bullying, cyberbullying, internetsafety, study skills, careers, RSE, mental health, resilience and health education. The weekly tutorialperiod is also an ideal time and forum for class and individual concerns to be raised. The Tutor playsthe key role in helping the students to absorb the ethos of Aquinas where high standards ofbehaviour, honesty and application are encouraged and respected.•••••••Guidance10AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:53 Page 13

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The curriculum on offer in Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School comprisesall the learning experiences within the school and includes, not only knowledgeand skills, but the development of attitudes, beliefs and values which come fromthe positive relationships within the school community.Our curriculum is pupil-centred, striving for academic excellence in GCSE, AS and A-Level publicexaminations within a balanced and diverse programme, while at the same time enabling each pupil torealise his/her full potential by developing all their interests and talents.Key Stage 3In Years 8, 9 and 10 pupils study the following subjects in line with the Northern Ireland curriculum:EnglishMathematicsScience,Technology and DesignLanguages - Two languages from the choice of French, Spanish or IrishHistory, Geography, Food and NutritionICTPhysical Education,Art and Design, MusicReligious EducationPersonal and Social Education, Citizenship and EmployabilityCareers Awareness and DramaKey Stage 4For GCSE all pupils study the core subjects of:EnglishMathematicsScienceReligious StudiesA choice of LanguageOptional ChoicesFurther Mathematics, Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Design and Technology, Drama,French, Geography, History, Food and Nutr ition, Irish, Digital Technology Moving Image Arts,Learning for Life and Work, Music, PE, Physics, Science (Double Award), Spanish.Extra-CurricularAstronomy GCSE is offered after school as an extracurricular subject•••••••••••••••Curriculum Key Stage 3 and 412AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:45 Page 15

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...enabling each studentto realise their full potential...13AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:46 Page 16

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...ensuring the the needs andaspirations of every pupil...Curriculum AS and A2 (A Level)14AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:47 Page 17

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AS and A2 (A Level)The following subjects are offered at AS and A2 level::Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Digital Technology,Technology and Design, English Literature, French,Further Mathematics, Geography, History, Irish, Mathematics, Moving Image Arts, Music, Nutrition and Food Science,Physical Education, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish,Theatre Studies.Through our membership of the South Belfast Area Learning Community, and our commitment to the Entitlement Framework, we can alsooffer our students:Travel and Tourism and Health and Social Care.Students may take 3 or 4 of the above subjects at AS Level and may then proceed to A2 with 3 or 4 subjects.EnrichmentAll students have classes in Religious Studies, Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) as well as Personal and SocialEducation. Students participate in an enrichment programme which includes:Yoga, STEM Ambassador Award, Chain of Life, Basketball,Soccer, Gaelic Football, defibrillator training and Classic Films. Sixth Formers are also encouraged to engage in the Community LinkProgramme which involves links with local schools, care homes and charities.Preparation for Higher Education and EmploymentThe transition from school to university life is an important one. For that reason we supportour students and families with a special University and College Admissions Service (UCAS)evening where univer sity admissions officers are in attendance to give guidance through theapplication process. Even at subject department level, our students avail of the links whichAquinas has developed with universities and employers by attending lectures or invitinglecturers into the classroom.The CEIAG Department helps organise one week of work experience for Year 13 students.This is another important aspect of Sixth Form life because it enables each student to gain afirst-hand insight into the world of wor k. In addition to this, Sixth Form pupils receive regularLabour Market information updates throughout their time in Aquinas.Further CEIAG is given in Year 14, where students are offered the opportunity to experience trial interviews and receive feedback fromprofessionals in their chosen areas of interest.This, too, gives good preparation towards Higher Education and Employment.Generally, all Year 13 and Year 14 students receive CEIAG with the aim of helping them identify their own skills, attitudes and aptitudeswhich they will need in university and later employment. Our students are guided carefully through the process involved in applying toUCAS and the Central Applications Office, Ireland (CAO) for university admission.The school acts as a centre for university aptitude tests.Finally, students will receive advice and help should they wish to take a gap year, enter employment or pursue a vocational route in FurtherEducation.Independent LearningOur Sixth Form pupils are given many opportunities to learn outside the classroom through fieldtrips, lectures, exchange visits and trips to theatresandart galleries.They receive opportunities to lead activities through their role as prefects and mentors for younger pupils leading, for example, the StudentCouncil where pupil representatives from each Form Class express their views.In essence, Aquinas tries to give the Sixth Form some autonomy as young adults having access to privileges such as coffee facilities, designated study areas,ICT facilities and the library. Mentoring is provided, if needed, to support pupils as they establish themselves as independent learners.Overall, in Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School we aim to ensure that the needs and aspir ations of every pupil in the Sixth Form are met through well-planned and managed learning with a strong pastoral system in which CEIAG is firmly embedded.Snapshot of University Applicationsfor One AcademicYear%England & Wales 41QUB 35Ulster University 15GapYear 9Further Education 7Scotland 6Deloitte BrightStart 2CAO 5Notre Dame (USA 115AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:47 Page 18

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We are confident there is something for everyone to join and enjoy.We aim to provide ongoing opportunities for our students to maximise theirvaried talents and gifts, be they cultural, intellectual or physical.There are many sports in which our students can participate.We recognise that continuedachievement and progress in physical performance enhances the student’s self image and gives a clearunderstanding of the importance of regular exercise in everyday life. In addition, Sixth Formers areoffered an extensive range of Community Link and Enrichment activities including: sport; local PrimarySchools; fund raising; STEM Ambassador Programme; John Paul II Award; Duke of Edinburgh’s Awardand defibrillator training.The musical experiences offered to our students are many and varied.Tuition in a wide range ofmusical instruments is offered and support provided by peripatetic music tutors.We have severalaccomplished choral ensembles and instrumental groups which currently include: orchestra, guitarensemble, jazz band, junior recorder group, brass and a traditional group. Many of our students succeedat the highest level, studying music at third level, attending specialist conservatoires in Glasgow,Manchester and London.In the Creative & Expressive arena, our annual Shakespeare Festival continues to be a great success.Aquinas continues to go from strength to strength in its own productions of dramatic and musicalperformances.These draw widely on the talent and dedication of students from all year groups andprovide exciting entertainment and fond memories for all involved. Students have enjoyed workingalongside the Art and Design teachers in creating scenery and props for the musical and theatricalproductions.As a school, we are in no doubt that our extr a-curricular programme develops strong relationshipsbetween students and teachers, the wider community and other schools. It contributes in a major wayto developing pupils and students who are self-confident and articulate.They understand theimportance of team work and are sensitive to the needs of others. In all of this, they are striving torealise their full potential.Extra-Curricular16AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:48 Page 19

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...maximising talents and gifts...17AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:49 Page 20

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18We have high expectations for ourstudents and we firmly believe in the establishmentof a secure educational partnership between the school,parents and the wider community.We want our students to become effective citizens of the 21st century.We provide many opportunities for them to learn about the world beyond school.Thefollowing are some of the opportunities available.Links with schools in Belfast, France, South of Ireland, China and USA.Visits to our partner schools in Barcelona and Lille.Pope John Paul II AwardBar Mock TrialCEAIG and Work experience schemesWork shadowingCommunity Link programmesEnvironmental awareness projectsYoung EnterpriseVideo conference linksSt Vincent De Paul Society awarenessand fund-raising groupsFaith in ActionDuke of Edinburgh Award schemeThe Ulster ProjectLego LeagueSchools Grand PrixSoroptimist Public SpeakingBelfast Speech and Drama festivalCinemagicAstronomyParticipation in competions which range from Young Innovatorsto sporting tournaments and art competitions.•••••••••••••••••••••...and hLille visitation as part of theFrench ExchangeFlorida Exchange, Giant’s Causeway visitWish you were here...At home andaround the world...AQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:50 Page 21

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19...and here......and here...d here...Duke of Edinburgh'sAward ExpeditionRome PilgrimageYear 9 Fieldtrip to the Glens of AntrimtAQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:52 Page 22

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20Enjoyment in EducationAQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:54 Page 23

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Christmas Carols in Church of the Good ShepherdAquinas Diocesan Grammar School,518 Ravenhill Road,Belfast BT6 0BYTel: 02890 643939 Fax: 02890 693728E-mail: www.aquinasgrammar.comPrincipal : Mr. Barry KellyChairman of the Board of Governors:Mr. Terry McDaidAQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 18:57 Page 24

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AQ INSERT 2023 Layout 1 04 01 2023 19 12 Page 1 LEARNING SUPPORT AND INCLUSION POLICY STATEMENT Aquinas Diocesan Grammar Schoo lis a Catholic School Community within which both staff and pupils work in the pursuit of all aspects of spiritual educational and personal excellence To achieve this within the area of Learning Support and Inclusion Aquinas Grammar School has the following aims and objectives AIMS To create high quality learning conditions that foster to the highest possible extent the academic potential of each pupil To adapt the curriculum for all students by acknowledging the neurodiversity within the school population and by employing a range of differentiated teaching styles to meet additional needs within the classroom To enable all staff at Aquinas to holistically meet individual pupil needs by developing whole staff awareness and training in the inclusion of additional needs in the classroom and wider school community To foster within each pupil self belief and self confidence to enhance personal self esteem and wellbeing THE EARLY IDENTIFICATION OF NEED The strategy of identifying learning needs in all Year groups has always been a policy of academic life in Aquinas Pupils undertake four major assessment points in the year Halloween Data Tracking 1 Christmas Data Tracking 2 February Data Tracking 3 and June Data Tracking 4 Careful analysis particularly of Data Tracking 1 2 and 3 is carried out by Year Heads and the Central Leadership Team Any patterns of possible underachievement or barriers to learning are addressed using strategies agreed by pupil parent and teacher partnership INCLUSION As a school community we are delighted to recognise the SENDO legislation which came into effect in September 2005 We believe absolutely in the philosophy and practice of a truly Inclusive school Aquinas is a school of high academic standards and it is our belief that all young people who are able to meet these standards should have the opportunity to attend our school and neurodiversity reflected in the programmes of work within each department To create a proactive learning support team guided by the Learning Support Coordinator and supported by learning mentors and classroom assistants To oversee the implementation of Pupil Learning Plans across the curriculum To holistically support pupils with additional needs by collaborating with the school s Pastoral Care system when monitoring and evaluating the progress of individual pupils To employ a variety of appropriate learning support strategies across the curriculum in class support small group teaching withdrawal advice to teachers parents and pupils To integrate pupil and parental voice when determining additional learning support provision and resources To promote partnership with external agencies and the Education Authority when planning for inclusion To seek liaison with feeder primary schools other secondary schools and further and higher education for the sharing of good practice within inclusion The following Documents are available to Parents on request 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Curriculum Policy Child Protection Policy Internet Use Policy Learning for Life and Work Programme Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy Communication Literacy Policy Numeracy Policy Pastoral Care Policies General Complaints Procedure Year 10 and Year 12 Option Booklets which include a list of external qualifications for which courses of study are provided Appeals against Internal Assessment ENROLMENTS YEARS 13 T0 14 SCHOOL YEAR PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING CHILD ABUSE Year 13 Year14 Child makes a disclosure to a member of staff or a member of staff has concerns about a child either as a result of one observation or many observations over a period of time The member of staff does not investigate but MUST ACT PROMPTLY The member of staff refers matter to one of the designated teachers discusses issue with the designated teacher and makes full notes Designated teachers Deputy Designated Teacher meets with Principal in case of Principal s absence Vice Principal to plan a course of action and ensures that a written report is made Principal Designated Teacher makes a referral using the UNOCINI FORM to Social Services and Care Unit Copies of proforma to EA Designated Officer Indicate that it is a Child Protection issue in an envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL If there is any doubt about whether to take further action advice is available from EA Designated Officer Social Services When seeking advice no names are given It is simply an enquiry Other action record advice given monitor review Details of how to obtain additional information such as Department of Education circulars may be obtained by contacting the school office Parents who have any concerns about their child s safety are encouraged to make contact by writing or phone to the child s tutor or an appropriate member of the pastoral team LEAVERS DESTINATIONS 2021 2022 107 students were accepted into Higher Education 52 to universities in Northern Ireland 50 to universities in Britain 1 to Teacher Training College 3 to universities in the Republic of Ireland 1 to university in the USA 2020 21 113 118 Chairperson to the Board of Governors Mr TerryMcDaid Principal Mr Barry Kelly The School is within the area of Education Authority Belfast Region 40 Academy Street Belfast BT1 2NQ Tel 028 9056 4000 Information which the Education Authority is obliged to make available to parents may be obtained at the above address 3 went to Further Education 1 went straight to employment CHILD PROTECTION POLICY OBJECTIVES To identify pupils with additional learning needs at Aquinas To recognise a continuum of learning and medical needs and to support these needs accordingly To promote inclusive attitudes towards additional needs INFORMATION 2021 22 2022 23 118 110 119 109 Website Address www aquinasgrammar com School email Address info aquinas belfast ni sch uk APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS 2020 2022 PERFORMANCE IN PUBLIC EXAMINATIONS Grade A 2018 2019 Achieving 5 GCSEs at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 7 GCSEs at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 3 A Levels at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 2 A Levels at Grades A C or equivalent School 100 99 1 84 3 100 N I Average 96 1 90 5 79 5 99 6 2019 2020 Achieving 5 GCSEs at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 7 GCSEs at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 3 A Levels at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 2 A Levels at Grades A C or equivalent School 100 100 97 3 100 N I Average N A N A N A N A 2020 2021 Achieving 5 GCSEs at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 7 GCSEs at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 3 A Levels at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 2 A Levels at Grades A C or equivalent School 100 100 97 3 100 N I Average N A N A N A N A 2021 2022 Achieving 5 GCSEs at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 7 GCSEs at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 3 A Levels at Grades A C or equivalent Achieving 2 A Levels at Grades A C or equivalent School 100 100 95 99 1 N I Average N A N A N A N A This is the Northern Ireland Average for Grammar Schools only 2020 Grade B2 Grade C1 Grade C2 Grade D Other Total Ap Ad Ap Ad Ap Ad Ap Ad Ap Ad Ap Ad Ap Ad Adm 190 131 8 0 3 0 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 136 Total applied 357 with 150 admitted No academic criterion was used 2021 2022 Grade B1 164 130 16 0 10 0 3 0 2 0 12 0 150 0 0 130 NB Grades as after upgrades due to Special Circumstances and Special Provision ADMISSIONS CRITERIA FOR ENTRY OF PUPILS TO YEAR 8 IN SEPTEMBER 2023 Please note that some changes have been made to the admissions criteria from September 2018 It is essential therefore that only the current published criteria available on the Education Authority website and enclosed should be used in connection with our Admissions Criteria SCHOOL TRANSPORT Details regarding school transport arrangements bus routes times fares etc can be obtained from the School Office on our Open Morning or by contacting our School Secretary on Ph 028 9064 3939 SCHOOL ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION Aquinas does not charge a Capital Levy Fee The school Contribution of 130 per child and 100 for each additional child in the family is an annual contribution which gives the school greater financial flexibility Extra curricular activities and transport subsidies for such activities benefit particularly from such contributions Parents support in this way is greatly appreciated Pupil attendance for 2020 21 was 93 7

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AQ INSERT 2023 Layout 1 04 01 2023 19 13 Page 4 Finally open lines communication among all stakeholders is vital SCHOOL UNIFORM Each pupil in Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School is expected to present a tidy appearance and wear the school uniform in accordance with the regulations both inside and outside school All items of uniform must be clearly marked with the owner s name Jewellery must be kept to a minimum only a wrist watch and one pair of small stud type earrings may be worn Make up and extreme hairstyles are not appropriate with school uniform and must not be worn All school uniforms available from Truly Fare and Pat Burns Co Uniform suppliers YEARS 8 12 BOYS GIRLS Navy blue blazer with school crest Plain Navy Aquinas Sixth Form skirt Plain at the front 1 pleat at the back knee length Trousers must be black and of a durable fabric Plain or pleated front style Regular or slimmer leg design skinny fit will not be permitted V necked navy blue jumper with school colours at neck Plain white shirt Sixth Form tie Navy tights or school socks Plain black lowheeled shoes Summer blouse which may be worn from the beginning of the summer term to Halloween We aim to meet the needs and aspirations of every pupil within the School The staff of Aquinas Grammar believes that effective pastoral care supports pupils spiritual moral physical emotional intellectual and social development during adolescence and through a carefully structured and school specific programme aims to help enhance academic achievement and prepare pupils for adult life All staff stress the importance of pupil entitlement and pupil needs and view it as essential that all pupils receive a well rounded holistic provision SIXTH FORM UNIFORM YEARS 13 14 BOYS Navy Blazer with school crest wool or polyester available Trousers must be black and of a durable fabric Plain or pleated front style Regular or slimmer leg design skinny fit will not be permitted V Necked grey jumper with school colours at neck Plain white shirt School tie Black socks Plain black leather shoes Training shoes or boots are not acceptable PASTORAL CARE POLICY Navy blue blazer with school crest Trousers must be black and of a durable fabric Plain or pleated front style Regular or slimmer leg design skinny fit will not be permitted V necked navy blue jumper with school colours at neck White shirt Sixth Form tie Black or dark grey socks Black leather shoes Training shoes or boots are not acceptable GIRLS Navy blue blazer with school crest Plain Navy Aquinas Sixth Form skirt Plain at the front 1 pleat at the back knee length Trousers must be black and of a durable fabric Plain or pleated front style Regular or slimmer leg design skinny fit will not be permitted V necked navy blue jumper with school colours at neck Plain white shirt Sixth Form tie Navy tights or school socks Plain black lowheeled shoes Summer blouse which may be worn from the beginning of the summer term to Halloween Please refer to School Uniform Policy accessible via the school website for detailed clarification on all aspects of the school uniform This policy sets out our practice in relation to the care of pupils It is in keeping with our Mission Statement and the promotion of an environment where pupils and staff can live our school motto Veritas Liberabit the truth shall set you free AIMS The Pastoral Care Policy aims to PE UNIFORMS Years 8 14 Promote the academic physical social moral and spiritual development of all pupils Provide a supportive caring school environment atmosphere and sense of belonging in which all pupils are confident that they are well known safe valued respected and have their progress regularly checked and reported on Identify the strengths talents and potential of all our pupils facilitating the fulfilment of these so that they emerge with a high self esteem and positive self image Identify the personal social spiritual and educational constraints which hinder the growth of our pupils and help them learn coping strategies to deal with these Offer sympathetic confidential and effective guidance mentoring and counselling to our pupils as and when required Empower our pupils with the basic skills experiences knowledge and attitudes that are required for work and leisure in today s society Prepare our pupils to become active confident and responsible citizens Strengthen the links between the School home and wider school community including partner schools Contribute towards the maintenance of positive behaviour and an orderly atmosphere in our school BOYS PE UNIFORM GIRLS PE UNIFORM School PE training jersey shorts and socks Compulsory School PE tracksuit bottoms half zip and crew sweat shirt Optional School PE training jersey shorts and socks Compulsory School PE tracksuit bottoms school black leggings half zip and crew sweat shirt Optional Pupils participating in school teams are encouraged to buy the school tracksuit bottoms and half zip crew sweat shirt PROMOTING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR POLICY All pupils must wear school PE kit for PE lessons Kit is available from O Neill s Super Store at the Kennedy Centre Please refer to School Uniform Policy accessible via the school website for detailed clarification on all aspects of the school uniform In Aquinas we aim to create a calm and caring community where teachers teach and pupils learn Each child will be encouraged to fulfil his her intellectual spiritual physical social and emotional potential Central to the creation of this environment is a commitment to Catholic values the recognition of the worth and value of each child and the cultivation of selfrespect so that the child may accept his her appropriate responsibilities and show respect for others We aim to establish a community wherein pupils teachers parents and support staff enjoy a sense of belonging and have an important role to play Our vision is based on respect and responsibility Between staff and pupils Among relevant staff School and home SANCTIONS POLICY Good behaviour keeps pupils safe reduces stress for teachers and contributes to a welcoming and caring environment in which both pupils and teachers can do their best work Promoting Positive behaviour policy aims to Reward pupils who behave in a respectful and responsible fashion Protect pupils from an environment of irresponsible or disrespectful behaviour Create a positive and effective learning environment within the classroom Create a safe and supportive environment within the school in line with our Catholic ethos Provide clear procedures for staff to follow regarding Positive discipline Explain the roles and obligations of staff regarding positive discipline To provide support for staff to cope with the anxieties involved in positive discipline A promotion of positive behaviour policy should follow closely the five C s of positive discipline Clarity Compassion Consistency Consequences Communication Children need clear instruction and guidelines They need to be taught the boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour It is the responsibility of the adults in the school to provide clarity The promotion of positive behaviour policy aims to achieve this We must remember that we are working with children and that they like adults will make mistakes It is our responsibility to respect our students and treat them with compassion Teachers in the school should always deal with the behaviour and not the pupil Research indicates that one of the biggest factors in a breakdown in discipline is inconsistency A consistent approach to promoting positive behaviour creates security and certainty It aids a safe learning environment where high expectations of behaviour can be both set and met For students to accept any discipline process there must be consequences for falling short of the high expectations of behaviour clearly communicated There is much research to indicate that it is the certainty of the sanction not the severity that encourages pupils to continue to behave in a fashion that is consistent with respect for others in the school community Schools need a scale of sanctions for misbehaviour and lateness and alerts or warnings for poor attendance Effective sanctions are designed to promote positive behaviour and attendance rather than punish miscreants They are most useful when seen by everyone as a deterrent Advice on whole school behaviour and attendance policy DfES 0628 2003 Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School realises that consistency in application of sanctions influences their effectiveness The school s Sanctions policy is an opportunity to ensure a clearly understood hierarchy of sanctions accessible to all staff pupils and parents and consistently applied throughout the school day Aims of the Policy To ensure that staff act in the best interests of the child at all times To inform all staff teaching and Non Teaching of statutory requirements re suspected or alleged child abuse To provide all staff with definitions of abuse To provide guidelines for recognition of signs of suspected abuse To enable parents to make a complaint or report of child abuse if necessary To provide clear procedures for staff to follow in a case of suspected abuse To explain the roles and obligations of personnel involved in reporting suspected abuse To provide guidelines for the protection of staff dealing with pupils To provide support for staff to cope with the anxieties of initial reporting and the aftermath of involvement in suspected abuse To help create a protective and supportive environment for all pupils and staff BULLYING Bullying is the process by which an individual or individuals exhibit behaviour which interferes with another pupil s educational emotional spiritual or physical well being The Sanctions policy will help us to Protect pupils from an environment of irresponsible or disrespectful behaviour Create a positive and effective learning environment within the classroom Create a safe and supportive environment within the school in line with our Catholic ethos Provide clear procedures for staff to follow regarding indiscipline Explain the roles and obligations of staff regarding indiscipline To provide support for staff to cope with the anxieties involved in indiscipline The Sanctions Policy is a back up to the Promoting Positive Behaviour and Pastoral Care policies Aquinas Diocesan Grammar school firmly believes in the promotion of positive behaviour but also understands the need for sanctions when the promotion of positive behaviour has not been effective CHILD PROTECTION SAFEGUARDING POLICY Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School is a Catholic Co educational Grammar School In accordance with the aims of the school and in order to fulfil our statutory obligation under the Children Northern Ireland Order 1995 which requires schools to play their part in the prevention and reporting of child abuse this Policy aims to ensure protection for all our pupils The central thrust of the Children Northern Ireland Order 1995 is that the welfare of the child must be the paramount consideration and it is this essential principle which underpins the Policy which follows No pupil wants to be bullied No pupil asks to be bullied No pupil deserves to be bullied Bullying is premeditated and calculated to unnerve a pupil to create within him her feelings of insecurity Bullies rely on pupils being too frightened to tell on them Bullying is not something which pupils should have to put up with and cannot be excused as part of the rough and tumble of school life In Aquinas we seek to create a trusting caring secure and safe environment in which staff and pupils work in the pursuit of all aspects of spiritual educational and personal excellence Such an environment will provide pupils with opportunities to develop all their talents and realise their full potential Bullying is detrimental to the creation of this stable environment It is simply unacceptable in Aquinas and will be dealt with pro actively by teachers tutors year heads and the senior management of the school Pupils are encouraged to report all forms of bullying to their teacher tutor All incidents of bullying will be recorded in writing by the teacher tutor and referred to the Senior Management of the school Strategies employed to counter bullying will be related to the gravity of the situation and will be consistently applied A continuing process of education is equally applied in all instances of bullying Bullying is an important issue which is addressed within the Pastoral Care Programme in all year groups

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Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School,518 Ravenhill Road,Belfast BT6 0BYTel: 02890 643939 Fax: 02890 693728E-mail: www.aquinasgrammar.comPrincipal : Mr. Barry KellyChairman of the Board of Governors:Mr. Terry McDaidAQUINAS PROS 2022 NEW:Layout 1 13/01/2022 11:38 Page 1