Our Educational Support Service (ESS) is provided to seven Primary and Post Primary schools in Monaghan Town: St Louis Infant School, St Louis Girls N.S., The Model School, Collegiate School, St Macartan’s College, St Louis Secondary School and Coláiste Oiriall.

The service is delivered by our Education Support Officer (ESO) with a base in Monaghan Education Centre and reporting to the Director and our Education Support Steering Committee.

The Role of our ESO is to:

  • liaise with school management and teachers of all schools involved in the project,
  • establish and maintain a working partnership with relevant personnel in the schools and in other agencies,
  • take referrals from schools, parents/guardians and other agencies and provide support on a one-to-one basis to students identified as at risk of non-attendance and early school leaving,
  • initiate and implement programmes based on the needs of students, parents/guardians and families, eg. School Induction Programmes, Anti-Bullying Programmes,
  • network with existing service providers, especially Tusla, and employ the early intervention and prevention model in dealing with issues around student and family health and well-being.

We have been exploring ways in which the role of ESS might be evolved, adapted, or re-purposed during the period of school closure occasioned by the current Covid-19 pandemic. Given that in-school and one-to-one contact has necessarily been curtailed, we want to reach out and support our students and their families in whatever ways we can.

It is envisaged that our website will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ where students of all ages and their parents/guardians, (including teachers), might access a range of resources and advice. A cursory glance at the different sections will indicate the wide-ranging scope of our endeavour. In addition to academic support, we also include resources around issues of mental health and well-being which may prove helpful during this unprecedented and difficult time

In terms of our academic supports at second level, the focus is on the Leaving Certificate, where resources are provided in the majority of subject areas. It must be emphasised that these subject resources are intended as an additional resource to assist students with their home study. They are not intended as a substitute or replacement for the ongoing work students are engaged in under the close guidance and supervision of their teachers. Therefore, students should follow the direction of their individual subject teachers and use the resources as a supplement where appropriate. In addition, at post-primary level, separate sections are included covering study skills, (including coping with exam anxiety), and general well-being. (The site is being updated on an on-going basis and, in time, further resources will be added – for example, Junior Cycle subject material.)

At primary level, in addition to resources to help with various subjects, an extensive range of educational websites are listed which provide creative and fun-filled ways of passing the time – eg., games and quizzes. The well-being section features age-appropriate exercises focusing on positive mental health. As with second level, a specific section provides help and ideas for parents supporting students with special educational needs, SEN.

This section is intended to assist adults working from home who are also faced with the additional demands of managing home-schooling. In addition to resources provided in other sections, eg. Primary, the particular emphasis here is on suggesting practical ways of organising the day to establish structure and routine, especially for those who are tasked with engaging young children. A well-being for adults section features resources which focus on coping with anxiety around the pandemic and general life-skills to help us stay positive as we grapple with the current reality.

A further support section provides a list of emergency helplines and an inventory of Voluntary, Community and Statutory organisations at both local and national level and their contact details.

The contact details of our ESO are as follows:

Pascal Smyth,

Education Support Officer,

Monaghan Education Centre,

Phone: 047 74004

Mobile: 087 4074821

Email: pascalsmyth@metc.ie

Website: www.metc.ie

 

Knockaconny,

Armagh Road,

Monaghan,

Co. Monaghan.

H18 E890

 

 

Please feel free to contact the ESO with any questions or queries in respect of the service. In addition, any suggestions you may have which would enhance our provision would be most welcome. We would also appreciate an alert if you find any errors or links that are not working properly. Email address above.

We are conscious that not all potential users of our online web resource have adequate broadband services and/or devices to access the internet. The ‘digital divide’ is an unfortunate reality in this part of the country. In this regard, we would be keen to explore, with any interested parties, ways in which these inadequacies might be overcome. Email address above.