Wholeschool Portal | Home 11 December 2018

35 Melmount Road
Co. Tyrone
BT82 9EF
Tel 028 7188 0315
Fax 028 7138 1399


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Year 11 Induction Booklet




1.   Principal's Address

2.   Contact Details

3.   School Rules

4.   Uniform

5.   Pastoral Care

6.   Code of Child Protection

7.   Examinations

8.   Homework Guidelines

9.   Careers and Guidance Support

10.        Additional Information




Dear Parent,


In Holy Cross College, we believe that the greatest and most enduring gift we can offer our students is that of education. All of our work is focused on attaining the best possible educational outcomes for the young people we teach.


Your child has now moved into Key Stage 4 which is a crucial point in their educational journey. Choices have been made and courses set. It is essential that the two year programme leading to final external assessment in June 2014 begins well. We need your full support to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved for your child at the end of key stage 4.


Mr Early Vice Principal KS4, Mrs Patricia Devine Head of KS4, Mr Damien McWilliams Head of Year 11, Form Teachers and Subject Teachers will all work hard to support your child both academically and pastorally.


I thank you for your support to date and look forward to working with you over the next phase of your son /daughter’s education.


Mrs Maria Doherty








Holy Cross College

35, Melmount Road,


BT82 9EF


Tel. 028 7188 0315

Email: info@holycrosscollege.strabane.ni.sch.uk


Principal:  Mrs Maria Doherty

Vice Principal: Mr Michael Early

Vice-Principal: Mrs Clare Bradley

Head of Key Stage 4: Mrs Patricia Devine




·       Students must arrive each morning by 8.40am.


·       Registration takes place from 8.45am to 9.00am with the Form Teacher.  Year Group assembly takes place once per week.


·       A parent should phone to explain an absence otherwise a truancy call will be sent.


·       The Student Planner should be used to write notes to Form Teachers and Class Teachers.


·       Student may not leave the school building during the day unless he/she has a note and signs out at the office.


·       Holy Cross College expects the highest standards of behaviour from all students.  A discipline referral system is in place to deal with those who do not adhere to school rules.


·       Mobile phones may NOT be switched on or used during the school day.  Student should not contact parents directly from school— this should be done by a teacher or member of the office staff.   A student who breaks these rules will have their phone confiscated and a parent will have to pick up the phone from the office.


·       It is strictly forbidden to take a photograph, make a video or record the voice of a pupil or member of staff on the school premises, or to pass these to another phone, computer or social networking site.


·       Students must show respect for each other and for all those in the school community.  They must refrain from physically, emotionally or verbally abusing others.  Bullying will be dealt with severely.


·       Students may NOT sell any goods within the confines of the college.


·       Students must respect college property; acts of vandalism may result in parents being billed for ensuing damage.


·       Litter should be placed in the many bins provided.


  • Dangerous objects such as fireworks, knives, laser pens, lighters etc… may not be brought into school.


  • No-one is permitted to smoke, take drugs, use substances, or consume alcohol in the college building, grounds, on buses or on school trips.


It is a condition of enrolment to Holy Cross College that parents and pupils agree to our Code of Conduct and to the interpretation placed upon it by the Principal of the college.  Pupils who contravene the Code of Conduct will be subject to school disciplinary procedures.





The college uniform is a visible sign of belonging to Holy Cross College.  It gives the students an opportunity to take pride in the college.


The correct uniform must be worn at all times including when on college trips and visits unless permission is given to do otherwise.


School Uniform


   The school uniform consists of:


·       Black blazer with school crest

·       White long sleeved shirt (winter)

·       White polo shirt with crest / white blouse (summer)

·       Grey trousers ( girls: boot cut plain front)

·       Grey knee length college skirt with two inverted pleats front and back.

·       Mid grey jumper is optional for all students

·       Black tie with fine single diagonal gold stripe

·       Black tights are compulsory for girls.

·       Flat heeled black shoes are compulsory for all students

·       Plain outside jacket for travelling in cold weather (optional) Coloured hoodies or sweatshirts are not allowed.

·       Shirts should be tucked in properly.

·       Outlandish hairstyles or colours are not permitted.

·       Outside coats must be removed when in the school building.




·       Small stud or sleeper earrings only are permitted

·       Watch

·       One silver or gold ring. One silver or gold chain

·       Facial jewellery is not permitted and will be confiscated.

·       Make up and nail varnish are not permitted. (students will be asked to remove same)

·       Badges or emblems which are not school-related are not permitted on school clothing.


PE Uniform


·       Black / gold top with school crest available from O’Neill’s

·       Black Track bottoms and / or shorts

·       Trainers

·       PE Bag




‘Care for all’ is one of the core aims of Holy Cross College. Pastoral Care is therefore central to life at this school.

Aims of Pastoral Care


·       To support the general aims of the school by encouraging and promoting attitudes of self awareness, self confidence, self esteem and self discipline.

·       T o encourage positive attitudes to learning.

·       To develop a sense of responsibility and care for others and themselves.

·       To promote interpersonal skills.

·       To enhance young people's ability to apply knowledge and understanding to their present and future lives.

·       To help pupils cope with demands of school.

·       To ensure the personal safety and wellbeing of each pupil.


Role of the Form Teacher


The Form teacher is responsible for the ‘primary care’ for the pupils when in school and will be the main contact between the college and parents.  The pupils will meet with their form teacher on a daily basis. Any issues or concerns can be identified and addressed immediately.  The form teacher will monitor pupil wellbeing and progress in school by checking attendance, homework, general appearance and demeanour.



Role of the Head of Year


The Head of Year will liaise with all staff in matters of academic and pastoral progress of the students in the Year.  They hold regular meetings with Form Teachers and Heads of School to discuss matters of academic and pastoral progress and/or whole school procedures and policies; they co-ordinate activities in which the Year group as a whole is involved, including weekly assemblies and will make referrals to the designated teacher for Child Protection and to the Guidance Team.

The Head of Year for Year 11 is Mr Damian McWilliams.


Role of Head of School


The Head of School represents the academic and pastoral needs of Key Stage 4 students as a member of the Senior Management Team.  She provides a point of liaison for the various teams of teachers associated with Key Stage 4, ensuring that they have a clear grasp of the school’s academic and pastoral policies and monitor their enactment so as to promote excellence of provision.  She facilitates and promotes individual, class and year groups’ academic and pastoral progress. 

The Head of School for Key Stage 4 is Mrs Patricia Devine.


Guidance support


One of the central aims of the College is “Care For All”. This is demonstrated very clearly in the provision of Guidance for our pupils.  The Guidance Team works closely with the pastoral team in providing support for all students, helping them deal with the challenges they may face at present, and the choices they make which will affect their present and future lives. At times, pupils can feel unhappy for a wide range of reasons. Stress, exam pressure, fall-outs with friends, bereavement, family separations are a few examples. We encourage pupils to talk to someone if they feel distressed. In school there are a range of support organizations. We also work closely with other support services outside school.

The Head of Guidance is Mrs Siobhan Quinn


On occasion, in order to provide effective guidance and careers support it may be necessary for the college to pass on personal details of students (DoB, address etc;) to other professional agencies.  If you do not want these details shared I would ask that you contact the school as soon as possible.



One of the college aims is “Care for All.”


Every child has the fundamental right to be safe from harm and to have proper care given to their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. 


It is the duty of all members of staff to protect children from physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and from neglect.


Any concerns a parent may have will be taken seriously and dealt with in a professional manner.


The staff of Holy Cross College complies with the requirements of the Department of Ediucaation for Northern Ireland.  We will refer any concerns about the well being of our student to the local Social Services Department.  We will cooperate fully with social services and other agencies.


How a parent can make a complaint


























Holy Cross College Safeguarding Team


Principal ............................................................................................................................ Mrs Maria Doherty

Designated teachers for Child Protection  ............................................... Mrs Clare Bradley, VP (KS3)

                                                                                                                                Mr Michael Early, VP (KS4 & Post-16)

Chairperson, the Board of Governors......................................................... Fr Michael Doherty

Designated Governor for Child Protection ........................... Mrs Mary Cunningham
















Holy Cross College aims to promote and reward positive behaviour for all students.


The behaviour, attitude and work rate of all students is monitored by Form Teachers, Head of Year and Head of School through the use of lesson monitor in the college.


Parents will be provided with regular feedback in the ‘Student Planner’ or in some cases by email.


Students who demonstrate exceptional behaviour, attitude and who work hard will be recognised throughout the school year during weekly assemblies and at the end of the Winter term with letters of Commendation and with the student annual report at the end of year 11. 


In addition the college will present a Badge for Outstanding Achievement to acknowledge and recognise excellence in all extra curricular activities including sport, art, music, drama and community endeavours.


Key Stage Four prize-giving takes place each September to recognise and reward the academic, extra curricular and pastoral achievements of our students through Key Stage 4.




All students in Key Stage 4 will participate in formal examinations appropriate to their academic ability and career demands.  Holy Cross College aims to ensure that all students have the opportunity to achieve at least 5 GCSE or equivalent qualifications.

The format of examinations has changed in recent years and our students now have the opportunity to access GCSE, BTEC and additional qualifications. 




Successful achievement in GCSE qualifications will require students to complete a combination of written examination, practical assessment, and controlled assessment. These now take place throughout year 11 and year 12 with all examinations contributing to the final result achieved by the student. 




Successful achievement in BTEC qualifications requires students to complete specific units of assessment throughout the course of year 11 and year 12.  In Holy Cross College, students have the opportunity to complete either a single award or a double award BTEC qualification - equivalent to either one or two GCSEs.  These qualifications do not have terminal examinations but are awarded on the basis of the work completed by the students.  This requires students to ensure their full commitment throughout year 11 and year 12 to ensure a successful outcome in this qualification.




Occupational Studies allows learners to learn for work, through work and about work, and it provides the potential for this learning to take place in out-of-school contexts. This hands-on approach is ideal for those who prefer to develop their skills in a more practical, occupational environment. Students have the opportunity to complete either a single award or a double award Occupational Studies qualification - equivalent to either one or two GCSEs.  These qualifications do not have terminal examinations but are awarded on the basis of the work completed by the students.  This requires students to ensure their full commitment throughout year 11 and 12 to achieve a successful outcome in this qualification.




The Certificate of Personal Effectiveness is a nationally recognised qualification outcome of the ASDAN programmes. The qualifications offer imaginative ways of accrediting young people's activities. They promote, and allow the college to record, a wide range of personal qualities, abilities and achievements of young people, as well as introducing them to new activities and challenges. Each activity completed gains ‘credits’ for students.  The more credits achieved, the better the level of qualification.  Level 1 is equivalent to GCSE Grade E/F, and Level 2 is equivalent to GCSE Grade B.





Whatever form of examination is being undertaken by your son/daughter, their preparation for that examination will need to be as thorough as possible.


Formal written examinations


Formal written examinations still form the basis for the examination of the majority of your child’s qualifications.  The revised format of GCSE examinations means that students will complete written examinations throughout their Key Stage 4.  Effective preparation for these examinations is essential.  Student must ensure that they attend class, complete homework and undertake appropriate revision as defined by their class teacher. Information to support your child in their revision is included at the end of this booklet.


A general timetable of assessment for your child is available on the school website.


The draft and finalised timetables for these examinations can be found on the examinations board websites:





Controlled Assessments


Controlled Assessments have replaced coursework opportunities for many subjects.  These assignments must be prepared and completed under supervised arrangements in school within a set time frame –there is no opportunity for these assessments to be redrafted at home. It is crucially important that pupils do not miss any lessons over the period of controlled assessment in the different subjects. Your co-operation as parents in insisting on full attendance will be greatly appreciated.

In the case where a pupil has a serious onset of illness/accident etc., and has been advised by a medical professional not to attend school, we as teachers will set up alternative arrangements to enable your son/daughter to complete the assessment at another time. Such arrangements will only be put in place on receipt of written medical or other evidence by the school.


Practical Examinations


A number of subjects include a practical element of assessment, for example art, languages, science, etc…  These practical examinations will be timetabled in school so that all students are given sufficient and appropriate opportunity to complete their required assignments.  It is essential that pupils attend for their timetabled practical examinations since there can be no guarantee that alternative arrangements can be made.



Homework allows students to practice the skills they learn during school. This helps the student retain the knowledge gained during the day rather than school being a pointless waste of time because nothing was learned or remembered.  


Pros for Doing Homework

·       Practice Makes Perfect - we can practice our school work and do well in the future!

·       You don't have to stay at school and do all the work

·       You can learn more than you did in class because you work at your own rate

·       Your teacher gives you a grade for doing it!

·       You learn how to look things up and how to learn, which helps in all areas of life

·       Homework gives children the chance to finish any un-finished work from school

·       It helps students prepare for tests and quizzes given in the future

·       Homework helps students to learn that particular subject in greater detail

In Holy Cross College, students will have homework to complete on a regular basis. There may be occasions when no formal homework has been given. Each student will be asked to complete a ‘Home Work’ timetable that will identify subjects to be studied when no formal homework has been allocated.  You will be provided with a copy of this timetable. 


Rules and Guidelines for Using the Internet


When using the Internet, all users must comply with all copyright, libel, fraud, discrimination and obscenity laws.


Pupils are responsible for their good behaviour on the school network just as they are on and off the school premises.  While the use of ICT is a requirement of the Northern Ireland Curriculum, access to the Internet is a privilege and not a right and therefore should not be abused.  It is given to pupils who act in a considerate and responsible manner, and will be withdrawn if they fail to maintain acceptable standards of use.


  • No internet user is permitted to:
  • Retrieve, send, copy or display offensive messages or pictures;
  • Use obscene or racist language;
  • Harass, insult or attack others;
  • Damage computers, computer systems or computer networks;
  • Violate copyright laws;
  • Use another user’s password;
  • Trespass in another user’s folders, work or files;
  • Intentionally waste resources (such as on-line time and paper);
  • Use the network for unapproved commercial purposes.


Users should be aware that the school can and does track and record the sites visited and searches made on the Internet and e-mails sent and received to maintain system integrity and ensure users are using the system responsibly.












In Year 11 all pupils follow a common careers programme that has been developed by the Derg Mourne Learning Community. The programme focuses on three main areas:


  • Guiding pupils to increase their self awareness
  • Helping pupils’ knowledge of the world of work
  • Helping pupils develop career management plans

In order to do this, pupils will be working with their form teachers on a weekly basis, researching, discussing and using the internet to complete set tasks and begin to develop a Careers Portfolio.


Pupils will be able to access support from Mrs Quinn and members of the Guidance Team and will have the opportunity meet with the Careers Advisors   (Brenda Barr and Paddy Doherty)


In Year 12 this work continues with a focus on different qualification pathways, career decision making skills, work experience and application processes. In year 12 there are formal interviews with Careers Advisors.




Median average hourly pay (2010)


·         No qualifications: £6.93

·         Less than C grade GCSEs: £8.07

·         GCSE or equivalent: £8.68

·         A-levels or equivalent: £10

·         Higher education qualifications: £12.60

·         Degree: £16.10



Tips for parents


Supporting your child in setting themselves up for revision


  • Talk to your child about how you can support them and what they would find helpful.


  • Encourage your child to ‘get organised’ as quickly as possible, sorting their notes, including loose papers lurking at the bottom of their schoolbag and arranging their files and folders.


  • Help your child to plan their revision timetable.  In order to be effective this timetable must meet with the demands of your family and must also include time for pastimes and friends.  It will require negotiation and discussion to ensure that the most appropriate time is allocated for revision.


Supporting your child in doing the revision


  • Help your child in sticking to their revision plan, keeping to the start and finishing times that they have agreed.


  • Encourage them to set effective goals for each revision period, for example – ‘at the end of this two hours, I will be able to label a diagram on the heart and answer a question on how the heart works’.


  • Be flexible – if they want to go out to visit a friend on a revision night, agree when they will make up the time and encourage them to stick to the change of plans.


  • Keep up with regular ‘check-ins’ and don’t nag in between times.  Show an interest in how the revision is going, talk through any difficulties and be prepared to help them reschedule their planning as necessary.


  • Keep things in perspective – your child may not be doing things the way you would do them, or as often as you would like, but they are doing the best they can in the way that works for them at the stage they are at.


Further Information


My Revision Timetable:______________________________









Weekend study  times (to be filled in by you)

Saturday or Sunday

Take a day off!









































































































How to complete this timetable…

During the week:

1.     Fill in all the times when studying is not possible each evening: tea time, training, employment, favourite tv show (you can pick one programme that you can’t live without!). You may also allow 30mins time for social networking sites.

2.    Now look at the available times.  Select four revision slots (30mins each) every evening.

3.    Decide what subjects you need to fit in. Write in the subjects you will be revising each evening. Spread different subjects out.

4.    For the weekend, pick one day for resting and relaxation. On the other day you must try to schedule in 4 hours of revision (eg two hours in the morning and two in the evening or four hours eg: form 2:00pm-6:00pm. There should still be plenty of time for your friends/ shopping/ sport etc.

5.    Show the table to your parent so they can help you stick to the plan.  If you stick to your plan… you will be rewarded