Newsletter October 2014
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We have now nicely settled into our new building and are enjoying the lovely bright surroundings and our wonderful hall. We have been extremely busy making sure that everything is in place for the comfort and safety of all our staff and our children.
Mid-term next week: School Closed
I would like to remind you that our first half term is nearly at an end and mid- term break takes place next week. There is no school next week. School re-opens on Monday November 3rd.
Dress Up Friday October 24th
Children are invited to dress up on Friday. Many children like to dress up for the Irish festival of Halloween. Many other children, who do not celebrate Halloween, may like to dress up for the festival of Diwali, celebrated by our Sikh and Hindu families in the school which also takes place next week. Other children might like to dress up in their national costume, in their favourite clothes, in their favourite football team kit, as a princess, or whatever they like. Dress up is entirely optional.
There will be assembly to mark the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali on Friday. See overleaf for a further explanation of our assemblies.
Bicycle safety/Doctor Bike
We have brought Doctor Bike to our school to work with two classes, 6th class Red and Green. Doctor Bike, also known as Eoin Ryan, teaches cycling skills, promotes the safe use of bikes, and reminds the children of best practice on their bikes. He is working with the children over a period of 5 weeks, one hour long lesson a week. If your child is cycling to school, which we encourage, please ensure that they wear a bicycle helmet. Please also note that children’s bikes musty be locked when they are parked in the school. We cannot guarantee their safety and they are parked there at your own risk. We do not want any situation where a bike is stolen from our grounds.
I would particularly like to remind all parents of their responsibility for safe driving in and around the school, both at the main entrance and at the Castle Road entrance. Be mindful at all times that there are 405 children coming and going in this school. Please be extremely careful to ensure your own child’s safety and the safety of all the children in this school. Be careful also of the children who are attending other schools on Castle Road. As parents we have responsibity to all children
School enrolments: School office on Wednesday mornings between 10:00 and 11:00 am
Our enrolments for future years are filling up very fast. This year we had some very disappointed parents who couldn’t get a place in our junior infants. Our enrolment process will be changing in the new year to a common enrolment system between four local Educate Together schools (More information to follow at a later date). However, it is very important that if you have a younger child at home that you enrol him/her as soon as possible. It is already late for September 2015. You may come to Suzanne in the office on Wednesday mornings between 10; 00 and 11; 00 am when she deals with enrolments for future years.
The PTA held their AGM in the hall last week and it was very well attended. A new committee was elected. The officers are as follows:
Incoming Chairperson is Aoife Linnane, Vice Chair is Maureen Fox, Treasurer is Marta Starczewska and Secretary is Honor Byrne. Four other parents have agreed to go forward as ordinary committee members, along with two teachers from the school. Thanks to all of those parents who have put themselves forward for these positions and welcome to our PTA. I would like to thank Sinead Harrington, the outgoing chairperson for her hard work on your behalf and on behalf of the children in the school. The outgoing PTA presented her with a bouquet of flowers and a token as an expression of their thanks.
The Ethical Education Curriculum: The Learn Together Programme
I would like to draw your attention to the Learn Together Ethial Curriculum currently in use in all Educate Together schools in the country. You will have received an introductory booklet about Educate Together which details the four strands which are covered by your child’s teacher in this curriculum. You can find more detail on the programme on the Educate Together website or you can borrow a copy from the office if you wish to look at it further.
The four stands are
Moral and Spiritual; Equality and Justice; Belief Systems and Ethics and the Environment
As well as teachers dealing with these four stands in their classroom throughout the school year we also use our Friday assemblies to highlight certain aspects of the Learn Together curriculum, For example during the month of October we had held three whole school assemblies.
Assembly, 2nd October: Belief Systems: Eid ul adha.
We held a celebration of the Muslim festival of EID al-Adha. During this assembly, Muslim children from 6th class explained to the whole school how they celebrated the festival of EID al-Adha. 6th class Red then sang a song called Eid Mubarak which reminds us all how Muslims celebrate the festival and 6th class green added to the occasion by providing beautiful artwork, including mehndi patterns. Children spoke of wearing their best clothes, going to the mosque to pray, the slaughtering of the lamb, the giving and receiving of gifts and many other family celebrations. Colette read the story of Ibrahim and Ishmael to the children and explained that Eid Ul Adha also marks the end of the annual pilgrimage that Muslims make to Mecca, also known as the Hajj.
Assembly, 17th October: Ethics and the Environment: Every day is Earth day
This time it was the turn of Senior Infants red. The children learned in class about the importance of good citizenship and how everybody, even those as small as senior Infants are responsible for keeping their environment clean , picking up litter etc. The children prepared beautiful recycled masks and performed a very suitable song, Every day is Earth Day.
Assembly, 24th October Belief Systems: Diwali:
4th class Green are performing a Diwali assembly for us. Diwali is the Hindu and Sikh festival of light, also known as Deepavali. It marks the victory of King Rama over the demon King Ravana and the triumph of light over darkness. The children in 4th Green will tell the story of Rama and Sita. Children in the school will also mark Halloween at this assembly which takes place a week later on October 31st.