November 2013 Newsletter
Parent Teacher Meetings November 26th and 27th November: Senior Children (3rd Class to 6th class)
These meetings will be held for all parents of students from 3rd Class to 6th class on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th November. Teachers from these classes will be in contact with you next week to offer you a time slot (10 minutes) for the meeting for your child. Please make every effort to attend these meetings as they are a very important way for us as teachers to let you know how your child is doing in school, academically and socially.
Lunches: The school lunches have now begun. We have a few comments to make about the process so far-
First of all for those Muslim families who are concerned about Halal, I have received a certificate from the company Carambola which certifies that that what they say is halal is in fact halal. Any parent who wishes may view this certificate in the office. But for absolute clarity, I would like you to know that the plain chicken is halal. At this time the other chicken, 'chicken tikka' and 'chicken with stuffing’ are not in fact halal. The turkey is not halal. Obviously the other choices, egg, cheese tuna etc. are fine.
Secondly, this school lunch is designed for second break. It is the same size for infants as for senior children. As a parent you may wish to send in something extra, particularly for the senior children. Your child will tell you if they need more or not. What we do not want is that parents send in a complete second lunch. Part of the reason for the free lunches is to ensure that children are not eating too much. Apparently, one out of four children in primary schools is overweight or obese. These meals are nutritiously balanced.
Lastly, your child will be issued with his/her own pin number in the next couple of days. The child may (with your permission) change the lunch as often as he/she wants on a weekly basis. Your child can alter the menu for the following week. Once the menu is received online before Saturday night, it will be processed for the following week. If you do not go in and change the menu, the menu stays the same as you ordered for last week. One way or another, the lunches will keep coming. It is simply up to you whether and how often you wish to change it.
As part of our process of rewriting our Anti-Bullying policy and involving the children and the parents in the process, we sent eight of our students (the Student Council reps from 3rd Class to 6th class) to an Anti-Bullying Ambassador training session in Skerries Educate Together National School this week. These ambassadors will highlight the issue of bullying and how to deal with it and will encourage children to come to them of they have a problem. The ambassadors are trained to know what to do and to contact the teacher or Colette or Tom when there is a problem. They(along with the staff) will be talking to the older children about cyber bullying, internet, mobile phone and X-Box/games where they might encounter nasty behaviour and what to do to stop it and to report it. The Anti-Bullying ambassadors have lots of ideas for school based initiatives to continue to make our school a Bully free zone and you will be hearing a lot more about these in the coming months. We will be discussing the antibullying policy with our Board and our PTA, looking for their input, before it is finalised but if you have a suggestion or submission to make, please send it in writing to Colette in the office or to Sinead as Chair of the PTA.
Adamstown Cricket Academy: Sunday Morning Training
Adamstown Cricket Academy cricket training will be run every Sunday till Christmas. Training will be held in Adamstown ETNS school and run by Adamstown Cricket Club coaches.
· 9.00-10.00am(Age 6-10)
· 10.00-11.00am(under 15)
Thank you to all the teachers and parents who are involved in providing after school Extra-Curricular Activities (ECAs). We have a gymnastics club, chess club, computer club and a Lego club at the moment. We are hoping to start a debating club for senior children and a reading/drama club for older children in the near future. These activities are provided free of charge by our teachers/ parents after school and we ask that you are very careful to collect your children on time after these clubs. All ECAS run from either 1:50 to 2:50 (for infants) or 2.50 to 3.50 pm so you must be here to collect your children at either 2:50pm or 3.50 pm.
New Building: Esker Lane
I am told by the Department of Education and Skills that plans are still underway for our new school in Esker Lane to be up and running by September 2014. The Department has gone out to tender and contracts are due to be signed with the successful company in the next four weeks. We are told that building will commence in December/ January and that the build take 36 weeks. It doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error!
Creative keyboards is a private company who wish to set up classes in our school every Thursday after school. The classes would be group lessons and the children would be taught how to play the keyboard which is now a recognised instrument for Junior Cert and Leaving Cert. They also wish to set up a music course for infants. A flyer with all the information will be sent out to all families early next week. There will a charge of €11 euro per lesson for these classes. The company provide the keyboards for the lessons. If you wish your child to enrol contact the key person whom will be named on the flyer.
Educate Together has asked us to publicise Deal Effect. It is a new daily deals website (similar to Group on, Living Social etc.) that will give 11% of all sales to a charity chosen by the purchaser. Educate Together is asking that you name them as the registered charity (there are 29 charities in total to choose from). This initiative could raise money for Educate Together (who really need it) and also save you money because every day there are new deals that you may wish to buy. For example if you purchase something for €100 Educate together will get €11. There is no obligation on anyone to buy from the site once you have signed on. If you already subscribe to a daily deal site or if you would like to, we recommend that you try this one. We are assured that the quality of the deals on the Deal effect site will be as good as those on other sites without being any more expensive, i.e. the 11% will not be a premium the consumer has to pay.
We are making our offers for Junior Infants (2014) shortly. If you have younger children make sure that you get their names down quickly as our waiting lists are getting longer every year and your child is not guaranteed a place if you haven’t registered in time. If you have a child for Junior Infants next September, contact Suzanne immediately if you have not already done so.
We hope that our families who celebrated Diwali/Deepawali this week had a wonderful time and that you continue to spread light, joy and happiness among your family, friends and community
The school community would like to wish our Hindu and Sikh families every happiness for Diwali and may you continue to spread light, happiness and joy among your families friends and community
October 2013 Newsletter
· Second Level schools
At this time of year every year we like to remind all our parents that it is never too early to be thinking of a second level school for your child. Find out where your local secondary schools are and check their websites for enrolment rules and criteria. Schools have different criteria and you need to be aware of these before you apply. We would also advise you to make a personal visit to the school and see it for yourself. It is always helpful to talk to other parents who have children at second level and see what their experience has been and make sure to get your child’s name down as early as allowed by individual schools. At the moment while we are located in Adamstown, Esker children have priority in Adamstown Community College. When we move to our permanent school this will no longer be the case. Our current 5th and 6th classes have priority there.
Children in our current 6th class are eligible to apply at the moment. Enrolment for younger classes is not yet open. This school will be run jointly by the VEC (now called Dublin Dun Laoire Education Training Board) and Educate Together and our Board of Management have made representations to the VEC advocating for our inclusion on a priority list for that school when we no longer have priority in Adamstown. We have been told that that decision will be made when the new school has its Board of Management in place which is not yet the case. Tom Costelloe, our Deputy Principal and HSCL, is happy to help families in relation to transfer to second level school. We plan to host a parent’s evening in February to discuss the whole issue of transfer to second level, what factors you as parents should consider and also to give practical advice about enrolment. I am also sending out a list of second level schools in the area for your attention. There is further information available on the Department of Education website which gives details of all post primary schools. In the meantime if you want to discuss this further or need any advice please contact myself or Tom.
The AGM of our PTA is taking place next Friday morning at 9:30am in the school hall. We are delighted that Sinead Harrington and Marta Starczewska are going forward for re-election for another year. We owe them a debt of gratitude for the work they have done on behalf of all the parents and children in the school over the past number of years. I would also like to thank Doris, Aoife, Saima, Farzana, Bolanle, Royaha and Ita who regularly helped out on numerous initiatives, toy and treat sales etc. I’m sure there are others also: forgive me if I left anyone out. The committee put in a great amount of work last year on your behalf and to wish them well in their endeavours for the coming school year. The PTA regularly update their page on their website so don’t forget to keep informed of their events and other local items of interest.
Thanks to those parents who support our Parksafe programme outside the school. Please remember no U turns, no double parking, no parking at CIE stop or in schools’ car parks. Always drive and park safely for the sake of all the children in the school. The PTA have also mentioned this initiative in their note. Safety is paramount. Please make sure to act
· Eid Mubarak to all our families who are celebrating Eid al-Adha tomorrow. The school community wishes you and your family happiness on EID
Esker ETNS: Newsletter September 2013
Don’t forget: Payment of €95 per child for materials, insurance, book rental, Educate Together fee, photocopying etc. is now due. Please make your payment immediately to your child’s class teacher if you have not already done so. Thank you to those parents who have already sent their fee.
I would like to warmly welcome you and your children back to another year in Esker Educate Together National School. Your children have all grown during the summer months and all are now facing into the challenge of a new year with a new teacher and we wish them all the best for the next school year. They are all delighted and excited to be back with their friends. This is our last year in Adamstown as we expect to be in our beautiful new premises in September 2014. We can’t wait! There are a couple of important announcements that need to be made at the beginning of the school year to remind us all of safe and healthy practices for our children.
Safe practices at the school gate
We are very anxious to keep all the children and their parents safe at the school gate. Over the last number of years and last year in particular we have devised rules that were designed by the parents and the school Board of Management in consultation with South Dublin County Council and the Gardaí to make sure that safe practices are used by all. We have 370 children, 250 families to keep safe. Your co-operation is very much needed and appreciated.
· No parking in the corridor/lane marked out by cones. This is set aside for the three school buses which transport the vast majority of our children to the school. All parents are expected to co-operate with our caretaker and teachers on this very important rule.
· No double parking. You must park legally, not at an angle and no double parking. Travel up the road until you find a safe place to park. There is plenty of room around the corner if you can’t find a parking space at the school gate. If your children are small walk them down the path and through the school gate.
· No U-turns at or near the school gate. When you have safely dropped your children to school, drive to the top of the street and turn at the little circle at the top of the road or better still turn left at the top and left again out of Adamstown. Both practices are considered safe by South Dublin County Council and the Gardaí. This will help to keep traffic moving quickly and safely. Under no circumstances are U turns allowed anywhere on the road outside the school.
· No parking at the Dublin Bus stop.
· The car park is reserved for teachers and other school staff. Parents are asked not to park in the school car park unless they are visiting the school on official Board of Management or Parent Teacher Association business or at a prearranged meeting.
· Change of address/Phone number: Please make sure to inform Suzanne in the school office and your child’s class teacher if you have changed your phone number or your address. It is particularly important that we have one correct phone number for our text-a-parent information service. This is used to inform parents of important and sometimes urgent information.
Talk to your child regularly about safe practices on the bus. Remember that the children are not the responsibility of the school until they come through the school gates. Your child must have a ticket from Bus Eireann to be able to use the bus. If you haven’t got one yet you need to contact Bus Eireann immediately. Please treat this as urgent if you haven’t yet dealt with this.
Healthy Lunch Policy
Please remember the importance of sending your children into school with a healthy lunch. We believe that a healthy eating pattern encouraged at an early age will benefit the pupils of the school in the immediate future and will stay with them in their teenage and adult lives. In order to achieve this we ask for the co-operation of all pupils, parents and teachers. A healthy lunchbox includes a piece of food from the first three shelves of the food pyramid below (beginning at the bottom). The guidelines here are for daily intake, not just for school lunches. An example of a healthy lunch might be: a sandwich, a yogurt, some pieces of fruit and a drink of milk, juice or indeed water. Among the items which are not permitted in school are: fizzy drinks, bars, crisps, and other salted products, popcorn, sweets, and other sugary products.
The school lunches have now begun. We have a few comments to make about the process so far-
First of all for those Muslim families who are concerned about Halal, I have received a certificate from the company Carambola which certifies that that what they say is halal is in fact halal. Any parent who wishes may view this certificate in the office. But for absolute clarity, I would like you to know that the plain chicken is halal. To date the other chicken, 'chicken tikka' and 'chicken with stuffing' are not in fact halal. The turkey is not halal. Obviously the other choices, egg, cheese tuna etc are fine.
Secondly, this school lunch is designed for second break. It is the same size for infants as for Senior children. As a parent you may wish to send in something extra, particularly for the senior children. Your child will tell you if they need more or not. What we do not want is that parents send in a complete second lunch. Part of the reason for the free lunches is to ensure that children are not eating too much. Apparently, one out of four children in primary schools is overweight or obese.
Lastly. your child will be issued with his/her own pin number in the next couple of days. The child may (with your permission) change the lunch as often as he/she wants on a weekly basis. Your child can alter the menu for the following week. Once the menu is received online before Saturday night, it will be processed for the following week. If you do not go in and change the menu. The menu stays the same as you ordered for last week. One way or another, the lunches will keep coming. It is simply up to you whether and how often you wish to change it.
You will have all heard by now that Esker Educate Together has been included in the Free Healthy School Lunches scheme along with 100 other schools newly added to the list. We are delighted with the news and we know that it will be a great help to you as parents to have excellent quality school lunches provided for your children every school day of the year. As a school we have the freedom to choose which company will actually be the provider and the Board of Management has chosen the Carambola Kidz company. This is a very reputable company and is the preferred school lunch provider of the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN).
We invite you to look at their website www,carambola.ie and see for yourself the many reasons why we chose this company. There are three very good reasons. We have been assured that they are very reliable, that is the lunches will be here every day, rain , hail or snow. Secondly, they have a very wide range of choice so that your children need never get bored. Lastly and most importantly, their meals are prepared with the best nutritional advice ensuring that your children receive a healthy and balanced lunch every day.
The first day of delivery for school lunches will be Monday 4th November and every school day from that day forward. Make sure that you get your child's menu in to the class teacher immediately to ensure that they get their lunch next week.
When the system is up and running, you will be given a password so that you can change the menu for your child as often as you like. Further information about this will be forthcoming.
My favourite photo from last year, one of many from the Wizard of Oz celebration of literature. Two cowardly lions are ready to take on the world!!!Welcome back to school after a long and glorious summer. The school office is officially open from Monday 26th August for any queries or new applications. Teachers and auxiliary staff are working from Tuesday the 27th August and we expect to see all our pupils turn up for school at 9:10 am on Thursday the 29th August. This time next year we will be preparing to enter our new premises in Esker Lane. Having seen and studied the plans the Board of Management is very excited about our new school building as we are sure that all of you will be when you get the chance to examine the plans in some detail. See you on the 29th !