Ms. Paula Dunne – Psychologist, NEPS (National Educational Psychological Service)

When you travel to a large number of schools you develop an instinct for summing up the ethos and climate of a school quickly. Later, your experience of the school usually supports this instinct. There are “clues” you pick up on as well. In Holy Family Community School, the impression is immediately positive; relaxed but professional.

As I have come to know the school through its staff and students over the last few years, I have been able to identify some of the components of that first positive impression. The courtesy and friendliness of the reception staff is the first thing to strike you when you enter the school. The friendly smiles and “Hi’s” of the staff you pass in the corridors also give you a clue. The way in which management are always ready to give you time to discuss something and the friendly interest they display in your views are also other clues!

But, in addition, there are the very important things (though all the components are important, of course), such as the professional conduct of the staff with whom I have come in contact. Efficiency is always welcome because it makes everyone’s job easier and working with the Learning Support/Resource Department has been a breeze! The consistency of their professionalism and their undoubted dedication to the students has made working with them a real pleasure.

Other staff, Yearheads, Subject teachers, Guidance Counsellors, Chaplain have always impressed with their commitment to the welfare and best interests of their students. The students I have met have had a range of difficulties but I have never been in any doubt that their teachers were giving them the best support they could get.

In many respects, a school is as good as its leaders, and Holy Family Community School is blessed in this regard.

We wish to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the National Educational Psychological Service to our school over many years and a special thanks to Ms. Paula Dunne. Many of our students, especially those with learning and/or behavioural difficulties, have benefited greatly from this reliable service.