Bad weather Policy

St. Fergal’s National School


Snow and Severe Weather as Critical Incidents


Policy Statement





This Policy Statement has been prepared in light of the school’s experience during the snowfalls of 2010 and following a review with staff and parents in January 2011.  The statement is presented in the context of the school’s Critical Incident Policy.  It is also forms part of the school’s Health and Safety Policy.




In all instances, it is our aim to ensure that St. Fergal’s National School will remain open for business and that teaching and learning will not be unduly affected by adverse weather.  That notwithstanding, we will be mindful of health and safety considerations for staff, pupils and families who must make their way to and from the school.


The following are situations where the Board of Management must consider closing the school.


·         Heating system out of order

·         Water supply cut more that one day

·         Impassable roads

·         Sufficient staff cannot arrive

·         Damage to school building/grounds that poses a Health and Safety risk to pupils and staff.


In all other situations, the school will remain open.

If weather conditions are severe, e.g. heavy snow, floods or storm force winds, staff should make their way to work as it is safe to do so.  In such conditions, it is expected that local staff will walk to school and that those more distant will take public transport or drive when it is safe to do so.  Staff members who do not arrive at work when the school is open will be considered to have taken a day’s leave (Force Majeure, EPV, or unpaid leave.)


In such conditions, it is expected that parents will make the decision to bring their child to school when it is safe to do so.  Absences occurring during severe weather episodes will be recorded as such.  Should weather conditions deteriorate significantly during the school day:


·         Staff members who have a distance to travel home will be facilitated to leave as early as possible.

·         Children may be collected early by their parents, or by an adult nominated by the parent.  The class teacher will note in the Day Book who has collected each child who leaves early.

In any case the school will remain open until 2.30p.m or until the last child has been collected from the school.


Deciding to close the school:


The decision to close the school will be made at the earliest possible opportunity so that parents can be informed in time.  In most instances, it is not possible to make this decision until morning.  The Principal will make contact with Bray School Project, and St. Kilian’s School regarding any decision to be made.  The decision to close will be made by the Chairperson and the Principal and will be based on any combination of the following:


·         Heating system out of order

·         Water supply cut for more than one day

·         Impassable roads

·         Sufficient staff cannot arrive

·         Damage to school building/grounds that poses a Health and Safety risk to pupils and staff.

·         Advice from Garda, Roads Authority or emergency services.




The following methods of communication will be used as the most effective means for contacting parents:


·         Text a parent

·         School Website

·         The local radio may also be used.


Clearing Entrances of Snow and Ice:


The Caretaker will be responsible for access to the school premises.  The school has supplies of Ice-melt or similar.  The school also has yard brushes and snow shovels for path-clearing.  A Parent Volunteer Group has been formed to assist the Caretaker and other staff in path clearing.  This group will be contacted by text message should the need arise for path clearing.


The following priority will be followed for clearing paths:


1.       Main Entrance to both buildings

The school yard will not be cleared and the gates to the yards will remain shut.  Normal access and egress will not take place through the school yard.  However, the area around all exits doors will be cleared in case of emergency evacuation.

Preparing for Winter, including Snow and Ice.

  1. Ensure all staff are aware of the Policy statement
  2. Boiler service in Term 1
  3. Check any exposed pipes and insulate
  4. Order supplies of ice melt or similar, as required
  5. Check supplies of yard brushes and snow shovels and replace if required
  6. Ensure Text a parent lists are up to date
  7. Circulate all parents with snow information
  8. Request Parent Volunteers for snow clearing
  9. Maintain Volunteer Text a parent list
  10. Investigate arrangement with local radio.

Information sites

The Critical incident Team and Severe Weather

The duties and responsibilities of the members of the Critical Incident Management Team are as follows.  Responsibilities that may not naturally arise are in italics.

The Chairperson of Board of Management will be kept informed of all developments

The Principal and Deputy Principal will normally be responsible for:

Care of and communication with staff

Organising the supervision of pupils

Liaising with ancillary staff

Liaising with the Parents Association

Liaising with external support agencies, the emergency services, the Board of Management and the Department of Education and Science.

Drawing up a letter informing all parents of the critical incident and the school’s response, reporting incidents to the Health and Safety Authority, and/ or communicating with the media, as appropriate.

Health and Safety Representative will normally be responsible for:


·         Assessing the Health and Safety issue.

·         Liaising with other members of Critical incident Management Team.

·         Assisting with reports of dangerous occurrences or accident for the Health and Safety Authority, as appropriate.


The School Secretary will normally be responsible for:


·         Ensuring that the Office is manned at all times

·         Liaising with other members of Critical incident Management Team


The Caretaker will normally be responsible for:


·         Controlling access to the school premises

·         Maintaining security procedures

·         Maintaining services such as heating, light, water and communication lines.

·         Liaising with other members of Critical Incident Management Team.


The Teaching Staff will normally be responsible for:


·         Supervising their own and colleagues’ classes

·         Assisting in identifying and supporting pupils at risk

·         Assisting in information gathering

·         Maintaining normal procedures


The Ancillary Staff will normally be responsible for:


·         Maintaining normal procedures

·         Assisting in indentifying and supporting students at risk


The Chairperson of the Parents’ Association will contribute by:


·          Representing parents’ concerns and wishes and regard to the school’s response to the critical incident.





Policy typed and awaiting ratification by the Board of Management 16/1/17




School Mission policy


Ethos Statement


St. Fergal’s School is a Catholic Primary School under the patronage of the Catholic Archbishop of

Dublin2.  The school models and promotes a philosophy inspired by belief in God, and the core values of

Life long learning, respect, inclusion, justice, truth and joy.

It aspires to be a positive place of openness and acceptance where children can feel safe and will be listened

 to, where we wish them to grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually through actively relating to

self, others, the earth and spirit.

These values find expression in our daily work, our processes for decision making, planning and

 Policy making, and in the implementation of all school polices, curricular, pastoral and organisational.

6 Week 4th Class UCD Science Program

Ms Connolly's 4th class have been very lucky. We were invited to the UCD science Department for a 6 week program.  

Every Tuesday we hop on the bus to UCD to take part in some very exciting experiments.  

The first week we got a tour of the whole building and did a cool whirlwind experiment using plastic bottles. Check out our pics... 


This week we learned how to make slime. We experimented with different materials to see which makes the best slime. Here are our pics... 


Sea life visit

2nd class visited a Discovery Primary Science Centre today. The children walked down and were fantastic! Thanks to our guide Dave who was a fountain of knowledge . We learned so much from him from clown fish to rays and toxic fish. Here are some photos! 


Check out our tadpoles below. Soon we will return them to our pond. 


Aistear in Senior Infants

Senior Infants had great fun in Aistear recently learning all about the Fire Station. We were very busy putting out fires, filling in incident forms and constructing fire engines! 


Ms Stewart's and Ms Thorpe's class are learning about space. They made a brilliant Space Station to explore our solar system.

Having fun in Aistear at the Fire Station and dressing up for St Patrick's day.


DPS Science Fair

As part of the Discover Primary Science, Third Class organised a science fair. All the classes had a chance to attend and try lots of experiments. Mr. Creamers class were responsible for showing off the bee bots, making lava lamps and making circuits. Ms. Clakes class were cleaning coins with various things, making string phones and using static electricity to move tin cans. Ms Roche's class worked on rocket launches, materials for a parachute, making white light, testing reaction speed and the smell test!! It was a very successful day enjoyed by all!! 



Visiting the 3rd Classes Science Fair

Well done  to the Children in Mr Creamer's, Ms Clarke's and Ms Roche's classes. We had great fun testing out the smell, rocket launching, circuit building and lava lamp stations among all the others that took place in the Junior building hall.  Look below to see some of the junior scientists in action!


World Book Day

Today was World Book Day. It was a great day. The children made a huge effort to dress up as various characters from their favourite books. There were lots of genres of books discussed such as story books, factual books, annuals and comics. We talked about the characters in stories and what some of our favourite stories were. Some of the older classes did paired reading with the younger classes and each class took part in DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) for some time. The younger classes had an assembly to show off all their costumes. Don't the children look wonderful!?!


These are children in Ms Roche's Third Class all dressed up in their costumes.

World Book Day 2017

Cats in their hats! 


The jo jo girl fan club! 


Blasts from the past. Cinderella,Little red guess who? And Elsa. 


Is their room on a broom for a Wimpy kid and lady like me? 


Guess who we want to be when we grow up? 


Who's the Minecraft character behind the dab? 


I 'm a dab hand at being a Ninja!