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(A) Aims of Traveller Education

Our school aims are the same for all children. Each child is valued for himself / herself and provided with opportunities to develop at his/her own rate and to his/her fullest potential. Education for the Traveller children in our school will seek to provide them with attitudes, skills and knowledge that will help them to understand the world in which they live and the interdependence of groups and communities. They will be helped to recognise and value aspects of Traveller culture and the culture of the settled community, within a context that emphasises that which is particular to each and that which is common to both. They will be helped to develop the skills necessary in order to function in life. We aim to nurture a sense of personal identity and self-esteem, which is of vital importance to learning.

(B) Enrolment
Our school welcomes all children who wish to enrol here regardless of colour, creed, culture or race. The school makes allowances for the enrolment of pupils during the school year who have had a bona fide change of residence. As children of some travelling families attending our school fit into this category we extend to them the same rights of enrolment as are available to children of the settled community. Traveller children enrolling in our school are assigned to classes appropriate to their age and or educational development.

(C) Placement and Integration
On enrolment traveller children are placed and fully integrated into appropriate mainstream classes. They have full access to all areas of the curriculum within those classes.

(D) Curriculum
The curriculum seeks to promote the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, moral and spiritual development of all children including Traveller children. It provides each Traveller child with the kind and variety of opportunities, stimulation and fulfilment, which will enable him/her to develop at his/her own rate and to his/her fullest capacity.
As educators we are aware of the cultural diversity which exists in Irish society today and therefore which exists within our classrooms. In acknowledging this curricular content extends to include cultural diversity. This is done in a way that does not cause embarrassment to any individual. We heighten all children’s awareness to the contribution which ethnic groups have made to the history and culture of a country.
The general curriculum of our school, in it’s planning recognises the need for children of the settled community to be aware of and learn about Traveller culture thus leading to true integration.
Attitudes of tolerance and equality of opportunity for all, and respect for diversity of cultures are fostered.

Some children tend to be selective to some areas of the curriculum i.e. wishing to opt out of certain subjects and because of this class teachers are aware that extra stimuli may be needed in order to involve the Traveller child fully in the education system.
Children have their web page on the school web site on the Internet.
Children attend the Support Teacher if necessary on a withdrawal basis and suitable timetables are drawn up in consultation with class teachers.

(E) Interculturalism
Intercultural education encourages mutual respect and understanding among all pupils, regardless of religious, ethnic, linguistic or cultural background. It helps children to discover the factors that unite and differentiate mankind and to appreciate the richness and diversity of cultures that exist in the world
Our school respects the personal identity and background of all pupils and treats everyone with equality and respect.

Cultural difference is a key factor taken into consideration in drawing up this policy. Everybody has a culture. Culture can be defined as the combination of customs, traditions, symbols, values, forms of communication by which we can belong to a community. Culture is dynamic, complex, changing and not static. The Traveller culture lies in the values, meanings and identity that Traveller communities share. Traveller culture is distinct and different. It is impossible to wipe out a culture, the values a people have, the ways of evaluating, of communicating with and understanding others. Change cannot be imposed from outside, if it comes it must be from within. Travellers are a community whose culture has deep historical roots within Irish society. Traveller children enjoy a full and integrated education with us.

(F) Discipline
The Code of Discipline contained within our School Plan applies to all children. It is given to all parents on enrolment of their children. The school ensures that all parents, including parents of Traveller children are informed, understand and accept the Code of Discipline. Teachers also ensure that children know the standard of behaviour expected of them and the sanctions and rewards, which are applied.
Attention is paid to ensure that Traveller children are not subjected to taunts or bullying, either verbal or physical, because of their culture.

(G) Experiences to Date Which Have Proven Successful
Traveller children have greatly contributed to the success of our school football, hurling, camogie, basketball and rounders teams. Each year Traveller children have fully participated in our school concerts and in many instances played lead roles.
Traveller children have participated as part of the school’s entry in Slógadh competitions.
Our school employed a Traveller as a classroom assistant. This proved to be very successful and is something we would be willing to repeat.
In 2002 Traveller children compiled a project called “Ireland’s Last Nomadic People” which won the ‘SPIN A WEB’ competition. This project is now part of our school’s website. This project was selected in the Top 100 for the eLearning Awards in 2004.