Mr Chris Gueret
Chaplaincy Services at Ratoath College
A Listening Support Service
The Chaplaincy service in Ratoath College is student-based. It follows through to home and family life regarding matters such as illness, bereavement, and loss. Students are offered a safe, supportive, and confidential space to share their problems. This service is empathetic and non-judgemental.
Students are offered practical advice to cope with stress and anxiety. The Chaplain works closely with students to help increase their confidence and build their self-esteem. Students are taught skills to help them reduce their anxiety levels, cope better with negative thoughts and feelings, respond to anger in a healthier manner, and dedicate more time to self-care.
Encouraging Students to Care for their Wellbeing
The mental, emotional, and physical health of every student is of the utmost
importance to us here in Ratoath College. The Chaplain plays an important role
in working with colleagues to help plan, organise and implement a programme of
events in the school that promote and enhance student welfare. Students
participate in workshops, talks, and events that encourage them to use skills
such as self-care, open communication, regular exercise, healthy eating, caring
for others and creative forms of self-expression, which are all required to
sustain positive mental health.
Examples of workshops that our Chaplain has developed to support student wellbeing:
- Reducing Stress
- Coping with Anxiety
- Developing Self-Care Practices
- Improving our Wellbeing
- Introduction to Mindfulness Practice
- Guided Meditation
- Health and Nutrition
Students participate in activities that help promote and encourage mindfulness practice in their lives. From crafting, creative colouring to contemplation through meditation, this is a space to connect with one’s inner zen and to enjoy a retreat from the busy world.
Rainbows is a peer support programme for young people experiencing grief and loss resulting from bereavement, parental separation, parental relationship breakdown or divorce. Attending the programme provides participants with an opportunity to meet with other young people of a similar age. Rainbows supports a young person to engage with their own individual grief. It provides a safe setting to explore and share feelings and thoughts with trained listeners. A young person’s grief and loss is acknowledged in Rainbows. Their self-esteem, trust, confidence, and resilience are supported. Rainbows provides a model of coping and support to participants in the programme.
Mr. Chris Gueret is the Rainbows Programme Coordinator in Ratoath College.
The team of facilitators are:
- Ms Louise Canty
- Ms Kerry Lynn Martin
- Ms Kelly Jackson
- Mr Joseph Jordan
We are delighted to offer the Rainbows Programmes from January 2023.
Opportunities for Prayer and Reflection
School life can be busy at times. It is important for students to take time out of study and reflect on the moments that matter most in their lives. The Chaplain is responsible for organising prayer services and school retreats for students in Ratoath College.
Some of the events on offer that cater for the religious and spiritual needs of students include:
- Shine Your Light and Let the Whole World See: Retreat and Prayer Service of Welcome for 1st Years
- In November We Remember: Memorial Service for Loved Ones who have Passed
- Giving the Gift of Ourselves: Christmas Carol Service
- Never Give Up: Mock Exam Class Prayer Service
- Making a Positive Change: Ash Wednesday prayers and distribution of ashes
- Our Lenten Journey: TY Pilgrim Walk in the Botanical Gardens
- Treasure the Memories: Graduation Services
Helping to Foster a Culture of Mutual Respect
Our Chaplain works to raise greater awareness among students on the issue of bullying and its impact on the victim. Through a series of school developed workshops, students are encouraged to report bullying to trusted adults/teachers to help keep victims safe. Students learn how they can be more proactive in helping to maintain a culture of mutual respect in Ratoath College.
Aims and Objectives of Anti-Bullying Workshops:
- Understanding the difference between bullying and non-bullying behaviours.
- Identifying different types of bullying.
- Learning safe ways of acting when bullying occurs.
- Exploring ways that bystanders can help stop bullying behaviour.
- Advantages of reporting an incident of bullying.
- Knowing what happens in Ratoath College when bullying is reported.
- Looking at how we can make our class a bully-free zone.
Ratoath College is an open and inclusive school. This means that the faith and beliefs that reflect the culture of our diverse student body are both welcomed and respected in our school. Our community is also open to those questioning or searching on their faith journey. All faiths and none are fully embraced and respected in school life.
The Work of Social Justice
In Ratoath College, we aim to raise awareness of issues of social justice affecting the lives of human beings in the world today. Students take part in talks, workshops and events that encourage them to act as ambassadors of justice and peace.
Some of the initiatives that the Chaplain will work with students on include:
- Fundraising and collections for charity
- Raising awareness of social injustices in our world
- Empowering students to use their active citizenship skills to help bring about positive change
- Befriending projects
- Intergenerational outreach