Home School Community Liaison (Previous)

Science for Fun Programme 2017

The HSCL Science for Fun programme got off to a unique start this year when we worked with all our first year students on a Space Week workshop. All our first year students enjoyed a space presentation from Mr Lohan in our school library which was organised by the Science Department in the school. Junior Minister Mr John Halligan attended the event and was welcomed by Ms Reilly, school Principal, with a Guard of Honour provided by our Students Council. Ms Reilly acknowledged Minister Halligan’s love of space and science and praised all he was doing to promote science in Ireland. She also praised the fantastic commitment of the science teachers Ms Hennessy, Ms Kelly, Ms Brennan and Mr Dwyer and librarian Hilary Cantwell who all put a lot of organisation into the day. She praised Mr Lohan whose presentation resulted from his visit to the NASA Space and Rocket Centre in Alabama USA after he had won a science teacher scholarship there. Minister Halligan gave an absorbing talk and answer session on space to our first years and mentioned that an Irish astronaut is nearly finished her training to become the first Irish person in space. He will also be attending a launch of the Arianne Space Rocket at the European Space Centre next month. Following the presentation by Mr Lohan, the Minister visited our newly refurbished state of the art science labs where the rockets were being “prepared” by the students. He then attended the “launch” by the students of the rockets which they had designed and prepared themselves in the labs. Students made rockets of various designs and competed with each other to see whose rocket would go the highest. Ms Reilly praised the conduct and commitment of our students on the day and acknowledged the help of the SNA’s. They really enjoyed the day and such was the interest that we are sure one of them may become the second Irish astronaut into space one day.

Pictures from Science for Fun Space Week:

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Maths for Fun Programme 2017

The Maths for Fun programme begins on October 12th with first year students and their parents. Watch here for updates and photos on how the programme is going.

Local Education Committee 2017

The LEC are finalising their current project on Well Being and Positive Living. It is hope to publish and launch the project before Christmas. Further updates will be posted here.

 One Book One Community Literacy Initiative 2016 – “Name Upon Name” by Sheila Wilkinson




The  Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr John Cummins, launched the ‘One Book, One Community’ Literacy Initiative on behalf of the Waterford Local Education Committee in St. Paul’s Community College school library last Thursday. The aim of ‘One Book, One Community’ is to encourage reading and enjoyment of books, to improve literacy and to promote books, reading and literacy in the family and community. For this initiative, sixth class and first year students in the five cluster schools, Presentation Primary, Presentation  Secondary,  St. Paul’s Boys’ National School ,  St. Paul’s Community College and St. Saviour’s Primary School  will get a copy of a book to be read over the next few weeks.  The book chosen this year is ‘Name Upon Name’ by Sheena Wilkinson.  This historical novel is set in 1916 and it links in with this year’s commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising and WW1, especially the Battle of the Somme.  It is the story of a family caught up in a war situation.  One cousin is in the British Army fighting in France, while another, Michael, is caught up in the action in Dublin in the 1916 Rebellion. Helen, the narrator, is the only one who can save Michael. Does she? We will have to read the book to find out!

The Local Education Committee comprising HSCL teachers, parents, Principals of the five cluster schools , SCP Coordinator, JCSP Librarian, Waterford Area Partnership and Waterford City Library met to discuss the key educational issues affecting students and community.  Following the Maths Initiative in 2013 and the Attendance initiative in 2014-15, it was decided that literacy would be highlighted this year.   Waterford Area Partnership has kindly sponsored the books, supplemented by the 5 schools and Waterford City Library.  In this way, approximately 300 books will find their way into families and communities.

And so to the young people reading the book.  Over the next few weeks they will have access to a stimulating resource pack, a fun quiz with prizes, parents and students will have an opportunity to visit the library and /or museum.   They will also get to meet the author when Sheena Wilkinson will come to Waterford in early March for ‘Name upon Name’ workshops and to chat with the students.

“Well done to all on the Local Education Committee on the launch of this initiative – Principals, teachers, parents, JCSP library, sponsors.  We hope when pupils and students  have finished reading   ‘Name upon Name’  that more people will be encouraged to join their local library and nurture and  develop a love of reading and books” said Mayor Cummins.  Thanks to Mayor Cummins for launching the project and to Mr Dermot Power who gave a very inspirational address on Waterford’s involvement in the 1916 Rising. Mayor Cummins offered some very sound advice on reading in his closing address –  remember ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’ so let’s get started!

St Paul’s Community College is also proud to be the only school in Ireland selected in a national competition to have 25 student representatives at the Somme 2016 commemorations in France during the Summer to commemorate the Battle of the Somme. More details on this will be released soon.

To hear a podcast of Ger Lohan’s interview with Mary O’Neill on WLRFM radio please click the link below.


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Parents Computer Courses “2015/”2016

Mr. Gerard Lohan is the Home School Community Liaison Co-ordinator/teacher in St. Paul’s Community College. Mr. Lohan may be contacted in the school at any time and his main role is to support families and parents whose children are attending the school.

January 2016

Basic Computers and Internet course will start in mid January and is free for those parents/grandparents/guardians who need an introduction on how to use a computer/laptop and the Internet. If you are interested please text or call 085-2237323.

Other parents courses as follows:

1. Zumba Dancing (keep fit)
2. Basic First Year Math’s for Parents: Algebra/Geometry
3. Local History (short course)
4. Computers for Dad’s
5. Cake Decoration
6. Cooking on a Budget

Parents/Guardians who would like to volunteer to help out on the Maths4Fun and Science4Fun programmes in school please text 085-2237323 or contact the school office at 051-355816.

Use our School App to apply for any course or text Mr Lohan HSCL teacher@ 085-2237323  



 Archive Material

March 2011

One Book One Community Launch – “The Secret of Kells”

The One Book Project initiative to promote reading in schools and homes in the Ballybeg, Larchville and Lisduggan areas will be launched on Friday March 11th in St. Paul’s Boys National School Lisduggan. The literacy initiative is titled “One Book One Community” and is the work of the home school community liaison scheme’s Local Committee in conjunction with the Junior Certificate Schools Programme (secondary schools) including local HSCL teachers, parents, school library and Waterford City Library. The book chosen for the initiative is The Secret of Kells by author Eithne Massey, and based on the film of the same name which was nominated for Oscar Awards in 2009. Her Worship, Mary Roche, Mayor of Waterford will launch the initiative in the presence of invited students and guests in St. Paul’s BNS on Friday.

Two secondary schools : St Paul’s Community College and the Presentation Secondary School; and three primary schools : St Paul’s Boys National School, Presentation Primary School and St Saviour’s National School; are involved in the initiative. One Book One Community is an event that encourages people of the same community to read the same book at the same time. From now until the Summer our schools and community becomes one giant book club. Not only will students and pupils in each school read The Secret of Kells during the course of the initiative, their parents, friends, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, grannies and granddads are also encouraged to read about the heroic adventures of our early ancestors and celtic traditions, all based around the famous Book of Kells, which can be seen on display in Trinity College Dublin.

The project is primarily funded by the Department of Education and Skills, City of Waterford VEC and Waterford City Library. The schools are very indebted to Niamh Baldwin and Waterford City Library for sponsoring the books. Michael Moylan from Heritage Ireland is visiting students and pupils in first year and sixth classes in the participating schools this week to encourage their reading of the book, provide some historical background information and explore historical aspects around the book. Many activities and events are planned around One Book One Community including an inter-schools table quiz and a resource pack will be distributed to all schools involved.

Thanks must go to the dedicated parents on the Local Committee for their work and planned efforts in putting resource packs together and for their dedicated work on the Committee so far in preparing the project for its launch. The books are being distributed this week also and hopefully pupils, students and all in our community will be busy reading and bringing the joy of reading from the school into the home and wider community. Anyone who wishes to become involved please contact any of the schools, Waterford City Library or your local bookshop. The book is available in the book shops for the duration of the One Book One Community initiative and the DVD of the film “Secret of Kells” can be purchased in Tesco for €5.00.

September 2010

Parents interested in doing a course in digital photography, first aid, health and beauty, cooking, keep fit or yoga are asked to contact Mr Lohan. We hope to run the “Maths for Fun” programme with first years in November and the new “Science for Fun” programme with some second year classes. Parents interested in helping out on these programmes please contact the school. Any parents interested in joining the Parents Council in the school please contact Lynda O’Shea through the school office (051-355816).

The following is a letter from Mr Lohan to our First Year parents. The parent programmes mentioned are open to all parents of students in our school so please contact Mr Lohan if you are interested:

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian,
I hope your child is settling in well to St. Paul’s Community College. I am the Co-ordinator of the Home School Community Liaison Scheme in the school and as such am in a position to be able to offer support to you and your child throughout their time with us. As you may be aware I am part of the strong Pastoral Care system we operate in St. Paul’s but with a major focus towards supporting families and the home. I am available to meet with you most times of the day and I may also call to your home to meet with you should you wish.

During the next month I will be organising a Coffee/Information Morning for the parents of students in your child’s class. This will afford you the opportunity to meet with your child’s Tutor, Year Head, Pastoral Care Team, Librarian, Principal, Deputy Principal, representatives from the Parents Council and of course myself, on an informal basis. I will write to let you know the time and date of this meeting when plans have been finalised.

In the meantime I enclose a couple of important notices. The HSCL Scheme in the school offers free courses and classes to parents to support involvement around your child’s education. The programmes run where there is a minimum of eight parents interested in a particular course/class. The time scale is generally 1/2 hours per week over 6/8 weeks, depending on the type of course. Please have a look at the list of courses enclosed and I would encourage you to attend any you may be interested in. We have found that children generally perform better in school if their parents also take an active role in their education or attend these support programmes. Please fill out and return the enclosed Programme List as soon as possible should you be interested.

I also coordinate literacy and numeracy initiatives in the school which are targeted at first/second/third year students. I invite parents every year to become involved in these initiatives and volunteer to give a hand over the 4/6 week period they run. We ran a very successful literacy initiative called “One Book One Waterford” last year based around the Titanic story and the “One Book One Community” literacy initiative the year before around the explorer Tom Crean. We hope to do work on a new story this year. Also a maths initiative called “Maths for Fun” has been running over the past number of years with great help from parents (1 ½ hours over 4/6 weeks). So if you feel you would like to help out please return the attached form. Full training is given and no maths skills are required by parents.

At the moment and with the help of my colleagues in the Science Department, I am putting together a new programme called “Science for Fun” for students which we hope to begin in November. Again the participation and involvement of parents is highly recommended. The Department of Education and Skills are very keen to raise literacy, numeracy and science standards in secondary schools and encourage parents to play an active role. I would hope that the “Science for Fun” programme would support Junior Cert students with their study of the subject using a “fun” approach. If you would have any time to volunteer to this programme please return the attached form.

Just to finish please note that I am contactable through the school office for appointment. The office number is 051-355816. My school e-mail is info@stpaulswaterford.ie If you are in the school you are always welcome to drop in to my office near reception for a chat. If you are living locally I also hope to make some home visits in the near future just to see how your child is settling in to the school. Otherwise I hope you can make it to the Coffee/Information Morning which I will let you know about. Please visit our school website at www.stpaulswaterford.ie to keep up with our school news and happenings.

Parents Programme List 2010/2011

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian,

Please tick as many of the courses/classes below you might be interested in doing. They generally run for 6 to 8 weeks. Date and times of most programmes will be arranged after consultation with interested participants. Thank You. G. Lohan

1. Beginners Digital Photography: using Digital Camera + Computer. Editing photos on the Computer and Printing. Great photo skills for the home.

2. Family Communication and Self Esteem: Planned to start 30th September, 9.30am – 12.00pm, in conjunction with the HSE. Popular Course. Places limited so early booking advisable. Practical help to cope with demanding kids and teenagers.

3. Beginners Irish: Help your child with Irish homework and learn the native tongue at the same time!

4. Cook it! Programme: This is a six week fun nutrition education programme which aims to provide practical information on healthy eating and improve skills by showing participants ways to provide healthy, nutritious, low cost meals and snacks for their families. Run in conjunction with the HSE. Participants will be trained to deliver the programme themselves if they so wish.

5. First Aid: Emphasis on First Aid in the home.

6. Beginners Keep Fit: Helps you cope with the stresses of home and kids as well as looking after your body and health.

7. Please mention below any course which you or other parents may be interested in and is not mentioned above. We may be able to organise a course you may be interested in.

YOU MAY BRING A FRIEND OR RELATIVE TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON THESE PROGRAMMES (except the Family Communications and Self Esteem course due to limited space).

Parent Volunteers – Literacy and Numeracy Initiatives

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian,

Your participation and involvement in any of the educational initiatives is most welcome and encouraged. Please indicate below your willingness to volunteer. All help is welcome in running these programmes for our students (4 to 6 weeks for about 1 hour per week). Please tick relevant box(es). Thank You. G. Lohan

1.Maths for Fun Programme: Students engage in maths board games, tangrams, pentominoes, maths bingo and other games and activities in a fun way to reinforce maths skills and concepts. They are helped by parents and other school staff and the classes take place in our school library. Training is given to parents and tea/coffee is available each morning.

2.Science for Fun Programme: This is new this year and a framework is being worked on. An element of the programme will be a module on “Rocket Science” where students will build and launch their own rocket while at the same time reinforcing junior cert science and maths skills e.g. around force, gravity, pressure, acceleration, resistance, trigonometry, etc. Other modules will be based around gasses, magnetism, electricity, microbiology, field work, etc. Parents will be trained and shown how to help out and may be able to use the skills they learn with other children in the home. A teacher will always be present.

3.“One Book One Waterford” Project: This is a literacy project running for the past two years with first year students. In order to plan and choose a book, produce resources, organise a quiz and outings, we need parents to become involved. Your involvement in this initiative is most welcome.

Maths For Fun Presentation Christmas
Class 2P with some of their parents after being presented with their Maths for Fun Certificates on December 18th

click here for General Information for First Year Parents
Click here for School Calendar to Christmas 2009

Local Committee Meeting

A meeting of the Local Committee took place on Wednesday 2nd December 2009 in our school library. The Committee aims to develop last years “One Book One Community” literacy project (which was based on the book “Tom Crean Ice Man”) on a city basis to encompass “One Book One Waterford”.The project was very successful last year and it is hoped to further improve literacy levels in the City amongst children and teenagers.

The Local Committee identifies and addresses issues in the community that affect children’s learning and life in the community. This involves co-operation and partnership with parents, pupils, community agencies, and the schools that participate in the Home School Community Liaison Scheme. The Local Committee schools serving the west of the city include St. Paul’s Community College, St Paul’s BNS, St. Saviours NS and the Presentation Primary and Post-Primary Schools. Pupils spend 85 per cent of their waking time up to the age of sixteen in the home and in the community; the remaining 15 per cent is spent in school. This fact underlines the significant role that parents play as the prime educators of their children. It also illustrates the significance of the community in their development and education. Underlying all activities of the Local Committee is the intention to deal with educational issues affecting children and parents; to build strong, effective school and community links; to promote positive attitudes towards the environment; and to recognise and value the contribution of local people.


Parent Programmes 2009-2010
Parents are invited to contact Mr Lohan if interested in pursuing any of the following programmes for parents:

1. Teenage Parenting Skills Programme
2. Computers for Beginners Course
3. First Aid / Defibrillator Training
4. Alcohol and Drugs Awareness for Parents
5. Introduction to First Year Maths

If you are willing to volunteer to become involved in any of the following in-school activities with students please contact Mr Lohan:

1. Paired Reading – Helping students who have difficulty with reading
2. Maths for Fun – Maths games for students
3. Home Literacy Programme – Helps students work on their reading and comprehension in the home and involves the parent.
4. Policy Making – Sitting on a committee as parent representative when school policy needs to be developed or reviewed e.g. Substance Abuse Policy, Bullying Policy, ICT Policy, etc.
5. Parents Council

Maths for Fun students receive Certificates. Included is our Librarian Hilary Cantwell as well as parents who helped run the course.
Maths for Fun students receive Certificates. Included is our Librarian Hilary Cantwell as well as parents who helped run the course.

Local Committee (2007/2008)

The Local Committee identifies issues impinging on children’s education in the community of pupils attending the five local cluster schools of St. Pauls Community College, St. Paul’s B.N.S., Presentation Secondary and Primary Schools and St. Saviour’s N.S

Local Committee Back L. to R. Mr Terence White (Principal Presentation Secondary School), Mr Anthony Condron (Principal St. Paul's Community College), Sandra Griffin (Parent), Marion Heeney (Assistant National Co-ordinator, HSCL Scheme), Joan Mc Carthy (HSCL), Maura O'Donoghue (HSCL), Helen O'Riordan (Principal St. Paul's B.N.S.) Front L. to R. Ger Lohan (HSCL, St. Paul's Community College), Michelle Cummins (Parent), Sharon Walsh (SCP, Waterford), Angela Kelly (Parent), Geraldine Guiry (HSCL) and Mary O'Gorman (Young Mothers Group, Waterford).
Local Committee
Back L. to R. Mr Terence White (Principal Presentation Secondary School), Mr Anthony Condron (Principal St. Paul’s Community College), Sandra Griffin (Parent), Marion Heeney (Assistant National Co-ordinator, HSCL Scheme), Joan Mc Carthy (HSCL), Maura O’Donoghue (HSCL), Helen O’Riordan (Principal St. Paul’s B.N.S.) Front L. to R. Ger Lohan (HSCL, St. Paul’s Community College), Michelle Cummins (Parent), Sharon Walsh (SCP, Waterford), Angela Kelly (Parent), Geraldine Guiry (HSCL) and Mary O’Gorman (Young Mothers Group, Waterford).

Click here for information on the Home School Community Liaison Scheme