Care & Support

Children learn best when they are relaxed, happy and cared for. In Devenish College the care and support of pupils is the responsibility of all staff. We also have a team of dedicated staff with specific responsibilities to look after the care, welfare and progress of all children.

Initially the most important member of staff for a year 8 student is his or her Form teacher. It is anticipated that they will remain as your child’s form teacher for five years. Pupils will meet with their Form Teacher for registration and Personal Development classes. Form Teachers are supported in their role by Heads of Year. The head of Year 8 is Mrs Saunderson. The Form teacher and Head of year are key contacts for parents.

In year 8, pupils are mentored by trained mentors from our year 14 students. These senior students are assigned a year 8 form class and attend form registration weekly. They are able to support and ‘buddy’ our new students for their first year.

In June each year prospective year 8 students are invited to Devenish College for an ‘Induction’ day where they will meet their Form teacher and class mates. They will see their form room and meet their senior mentors. This is followed up with a ‘Team building’ day held in September.

Heads of Year hold regular focused and topical assemblies with their Year group. This team is led by the Care and Support Vice-Principal, Mrs Morton. The teams meet regularly and work closely together ensuring all students are making good progress. Attendance, achievements, behaviour and personal development are monitored and reviewed. Parents are regularly updated by members of this team.

The Personal Development (PD) of students is a high priority in Devenish College. Students have a PD class weekly with their Form teacher. These are vibrant and contemporary lessons that are regularly reviewed by the Head of year and Form teachers. Topics for year 8 include managing change, health and the whole person, ME- Anything is possible, ME-responsibility, ME-respecting opinions, road safety, study skills, decision -making, and developing friendships and relationships.

Achievement Awards

Each pupil is allocated to a House - Crom, Tully, Caldwell or Necarne.

When a student achieves success in school they are rewarded with Achievement Points. Academic achievement in class is recognised by staff and pupils are awarded points in their school planner. These can be turned into prizes awarded by the Principal. These points are collated along with points awarded for a full range of achievements including sport, after school activities, personal effort, choir and school band, member of school council, taking part in the pantomime, and helpfulness. These points are all allocated to their House. A running total is kept and communicated through monthly House assemblies. At the end of the academic year the leading House is presented with the House Cup and a House Trip.

Positive Behaviour

At Devenish College high standards of behaviour are a basic expectation.

Students, parents and teachers all have a role in ensuring a positive experience and this involves working together in partnership. The detail of this approach can be found in the Positive Behaviour Management Policy which is available on request.

Students become familiar with the requirements of positive behaviour through discussion in their form class and a copy of the College rules is in each student's school planner.

Positive behaviour is promoted within the school by:-

  • Giving praise and encouragement for improved or exceptional work

  • Awarding achievement points and prizes

  • Recognition of achievement in assembly

  • Prize night

  • Individual department awards

  • Displays of pupil work

  • Pride in wearing Devenish College uniform

  • Dynamic and varied curriculum

  • School council

Anti-bullying and E-Safety

Devenish College maintains a very strong stance on bullying and we challenge these patterns of behaviour at the earliest opportunity. Our Anti-Bullying Policy is available on the College website or by request. E-Safety has become an important area for both students and parents. How to stay safe on-line is a focus in our ICT classes and we also consider the positive and negative effects of using social media in Personal Development. This is supported by the PSNI.

Safeguarding and Child Protection

Any concerns about students which teachers become aware of will be referred to Mrs Morton, the Designated Teacher for Child Protection. In consultation with the Principal, we will ensure that the safety and well being of your child is paramount. The Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy is available on request and a summary leaflet will be sent home in the summer term before arrival.

Counselling Support

We have a school Counsellor available to all students through Familyworks. She is available one day per week. Some students may, at certain times, benefit from this opportunity to work through difficulties with a trained counsellor. Referrals can be made via a member of staff or by the student themselves. There is also a ‘drop-in’ service. Further information, if required, can be obtained from the Vice Principal.

Drugs and Alcohol Policy

This policy deals with substances taken into the body which will change the normal functioning pattern and includes alcohol, illegal drugs e.g. ecstasy, prescription drugs (except for their appropriate medicinal use) and solvents.

The College will not condone the use of any of the above nor their supply and will address any concerns swiftly and robustly with utmost seriousness. Through our Personal Development programme we promote a healthy and caring environment which is committed to the well-being and safety of all.

The Student Council – a student voice

We value the views of all students and recognise the importance of student voice in the development of the College. The Student Council of Devenish College is an extremely important body and consists of a group of students who are elected from each Form Group to represent the views of all students. The College Council meet regularly to discuss and address issues raised by the students and/or the leadership of the college. They are actively involved in the consultation process relating to College policies and the overall strategic development of the College.