School Completion Programme
Le Chéile School Completion Project is based in Knocknaheeny and has worked in Terence MacSwiney Community College (TMS) since 1998. Le Chéile’s focus is on targeting and providing supports to young people identified to be at risk of leaving school early. A number of initiatives in the school are aimed at improving attendance and retention.
A very successful Breakfast Club runs from Monday to Friday from 8:10 until 8:50. This club is open to all the students in the school where they can have a breakfast of cereal, toast, juice and smoothies. Daily newspapers are provided and the radio is tuned to whichever station they like all of which helps create a relaxing atmosphere. Some students just come to hang out before classes begin. Among the benefits of the Breakfast Club is an improvement in attendance and punctuality as well as ensuring that the children start school with a healthy breakfast and a positive social interaction.
School Completion staff track and monitor the attendance of the whole school population. This helps identify where a pattern of non-attendance is developing and allowing appropriate remedial action to take place. Regular meetings to discuss attendance issues are held with the Education Welfare Officer, Home School Community Liaison Coordinator and the school principal. A twice-yearly attendance drive is run in partnership with the HSCL.
A Transfer Programme is in place in a number of TMS feeder schools to help incoming 1st Years manage the transition to secondary school. A number of sessions are delivered to 6th class students covering various aspects of second level school such as timetables, rules, and explaining the role of subject teacher, class teacher and Year Head etc.
An Academic Support Programme offers individual and small group in-class and out-of-class support to students. SPHE programmes targeted at particular needs can also form part of in-class support. Exam support is also offered to 3rd and 6th year students. This can range from help in structuring projects and assignments to showing them how to draw up a revision/study timetable.
A Traveller Mentoring Programme also operates in TMS. Its aim is to increase attendance among Traveller students, to encourage them to stay in school for the full day and to encourage them to participate more in class.
Two Lunchtime Clubs are run in the school. On Fridays, an indoor boys’ football club takes place in the hall, and on Thursdays, in conjunction with the Librarian, a Chess Club is held in the Library. On Wednesdays, a football session is run in conjunction with members of the teaching staff. The school’s Under 14 and Under 16 teams are drawn from these sessions.
A Fantasy Football League runs throughout the year which focuses on numeracy skills in a fun and interactive way.
As well as being available to attend / assist with various trips, events, tours etc. within the school during the year, School Completion staff are also heavily involved with the community and provide a link between the school and the wider environment often organising partnership projects between the local primary schools and TMS such as the very successful Paired Reading Programme