Proclamation Day and Raising of the Flag
Along with all schools in the country, Esker ETNS will commemorate the Easter Rising and the first reading of the Proclamation on Easter Monday 1916, tomorrow 15th March, 2016, almost one hundred years later.
Tomorrow, our school will ceremoniously raise the Irish National Flag, the green white and orange tricolour. The 1916 Proclamation of an Irish Republic will also be read out at this ceremony. The Proclamation is regarded as the seminal document in the Irish Revolutionary period which began in 1916 and led, ultimately, to the birth of an independent Irish State. Earlier in this school year, we had a visit from members of the Irish Air Corps who presented our school with the National Flag and a copy of the original Proclamation.
The children in the school have also worked on a new Proclamation, a Proclamation for a New Generation. A copy of this Proclamation, which articulates the dreams and hopes of our children for their future, will be sent home to each household after Easter.
At 10:40 am on Tuesday, the school children and staff will assemble at the front of the school. Extracts from the 1916 Proclamation will be read by two of our children. The Proclamation for a New Generation will also be read by senior children from the school pupils’ council. The National Fag will be raised at 11:00am followed by a rendering by school community of the Irish National Anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann.
Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language week)
As we are also celebrating Seachtain na Gaeilge this week, ceilis and ceolchoirms (Irish dancing and concerts) will form part of our full day of celebration tomorrow Tuesday. 6th Class Green has prepared a drama about the events of Easter Week a hundred years ago and will perform this for the school on Tuesday morning.
We invite all the children to wear green or green, white and orange to mark this very special day in Irish schools across the country.
School closes early (12:20pm) on Wednesday 16th March for the Easter Holidays. School re-opens after the holidays on Monday 4th April.
There will be no school lunches on Wednesday this week as we are closing early. Please send in a small lunch for your child.
Tuesday and Wednesday, 8th and 9th March, were very exciting days in the school. The pupils council under the direction of Seona and Liz organised a Charity Junior Fun day (Tuesday) and a football tournament for the Senior school on Wednesday. Both days led to great excitement in the schools. On Wednesday afternoon, the whole school turned out to witness a match between the All-Stars Red and Green teams. The best boy and girl player from each class (Red or Green ) from 3rd to 6th were selected to play in the All Star Final. These talented All-Star players played Red vs Green in the junior Yard supported by the whole school. The first half ended in a draw but the second half finished with a total of three goals, 2 to the reds and 1 to the greens. Congratualtions to all particiapnts and to the organisers who mangaed to raise a whopping €750 for Cancer research.
Venue Esker ETNS
Date of Meeting 21-01-2016
Minutes taken by Catherine Hare
Apologies (initials) Marie Reilly
Present Peggy Masterson, Colette Kavanagh, Zydrunas Polgrimas, Shandana Durrani, Jacky Zhang, Sandra Russe, Catherine Hare
Time Meeting Opened 7.30 pm Closed 9.30pm
Minutes of previous meeting - Peggy
Minutes proposed, adopted and signed
Proposed by Sandra Russe
Seconded by Jacky Zhang
Matters arising - Peggy
Percentage for Art: Peggy reported that she will be attending a meeting on Tuesday 26th January. Leah Burke has been nominated as staff representative for the project. A more comprehensive report will be given at the next meeting
Correspondence - Colette/Peggy
Received from Educate Together National Office. Notification of EGM on Jan 23rd 2016 to discuss their financial situation caused by reduced state funding and withdrawal of funding by Atlantic Philanthropy. Schools may asked to donate a minimum of 1000 euro to help with the National office’s current situation. Decision to be made at the EGM.
Each member school has been requested to send a representative to the EGM. Colette volunteered to attend on behalf of the school and was nominated by the board to do so.
Principal’s Report - Colette
Principal’s Report presented and adopted. It included reports on
• Actual (421) and projected numbers for 2016-2017 school year
• Mother tongue week
• Mother tongue concert
• New language curriculum due to commence 2016-2017 for junior classes
• School Self Evaluation: The introduction of Guided reading from 2nd class to 6th class
• Music Generation Ready Steady Sing programme in two 4th classes funded by the PTA
• Preparations for Mary Poppins show for final term
• SEN applications for new JI for September 2016
Finance - Sandra and Colette
Certified accounts for 2014-2015 by L.V Hogan & Company Ltd were presented to the meeting by Sandra, treasurer
Proposed by Colette and seconded by Shandana
Change of bank being undertaken currently in order to facilitate access to internet banking.
Policy Development - Marie and Colette
Data protection policy: This policy is currently being updated to include particular reference to CCTV cameras. Colette to meet with Marie to work on this further. This will be circulated in advance of the next meeting.
Snag list - Colette
A final snag list has been compiled by Barry.
The builders have accepted responsibility for all the items on the list bar the supply of noticeboards for the SEN rooms. The DES Engineers have agreed to conduct an examination of the heating system before the contractors are paid.
Peggy congratulated Barry on his work in compiling the list.
Parent teacher meetings - Colette
Arrangements for parent teacher meetings for Junior Infants to Second class were outlined to the meeting. Meetings to take place 9th and 10th February Colette
Traffic Congestion - Peggy and Colette
Traffic congestion is an ongoing problem and a resolution will be sought as part of the strategic plan during the term of this board.
The turning circle outside the main entrance features a flat roundabout, not raised as per the original school plans. The raised roundabout was not built on the instruction of the DES as the concern was it would prevent large vehicles turning. Some parents disregard the existing roundabout which poses a danger.
The board would like a more substantial roundabout put in place in order to facilitate a safer flow of traffic at collection times. The builders say they are not liable to do this work as they had been instructed not to build a roundabout by the Department when the school was being built. They are prepared to put in place detachable poles around the roundabout. The board is also considering installing a line of these poles down the centre of the driveway to prevent drivers doing u-turns. The school would fund the purchase of these poles. Peggy offered to consult the RSA for advice as the cost of a privately commissioned traffic management report is prohibitive. The situation continues to be monitored and will be reviewed after the installation of the poles.
Date of next meeting Thursday 3rd March
Never, ever, park in the spaces reserved for Disabled drivers. There are children in the school who absolutely need and have the right to have these spaces available to them at all times. It is not good enough to say I am only parking there for a few minutes. These are the same times that all parents and children need to park. You must never park here unless you have been given permission by the BOM. Also please note that the carpark is reserved for staff. if you ned to park you must come in at The CAstle Park Entrance where there is more room for parents to park
Newsletter January/February 2016
Here is some information, letting you know some of the very exciting things that went on last month and some of those planned for this term
Mother Tongue Week: We had our most successful Mother tongue week ever in December. During this week, we emphasise the importance of the child’s home language-lots of different activities with Parental involvement. Parents came in and taught songs to groups. All the classes worked on a particular country, learning about that language and country and doing artwork to decorate the hall and the school, celebrating what a truly international community we are. Children were given passports and went around to see other classes, learn a couple of facts about the country they were doing and get their passports stamped. Parents came in to read to language groups in their home language.
Mother tongue concert. What a wonderful way to end our first term with a very successful Mother tongue concert. Thanks to Virginia and Zedd who taught the Lithuanian Da Gaideliai to Lithuanian speakers; Serena for her Christmas song, Mos Caciun mosul bun for the Romanian group; Karolina for the Polish song, Domowa Piosenka; Monserrat for Bata Mi for the children speak Yuroba and Shandana for Pakistani anthem in Urdu. There were even parents who performed themselves. Thanks to Sophie who gave a haunting rendition of an eighteenth century traditional Mandarin song about the beautiful jasmine flower, Mo Li Hua. Her performance with the Mandarin group brought tears to our eyes. This was wonderfully contrasted with a stirring performance by our new family, the Mastrominicos from Italy who performed a rousing Italian song Me so ‘mbriacato as well as preparing a group for an extremely lively traditional Italian dance, the Tarantella, which was greatly enjoyed by the dancers and audience alike. Class teachers also prepared the children with many different language performances also, including the Latvian chant Es bi j puka, O le le from the Congo, Hung chai may may from China. Adula, a traditional Ugandan chant, Ta San Nichloas ag teacht as Gaeilge, Frere Jacques in ten different languages, Jambo (Swahili) from Kenya, Padesneig from Poland and La Vague Noire from France. The two 4th classes did a wonderful Bollywood style dance Jai Ho which was a firm favourite with many of the audience. Second class did a great version of Hello to all the children of the world. Bell ringers and tin whistle players added to the merriment on the day.
1916 Centenary Programme
March 15th has been designated Proclamation Day for all schools in Ireland. On this day there will be a flag raising ceremony, children will sing the irish National Anthem and the actual proclamation (or part of it) will be read out. We will also be reading from our own schools “Proclamation for a New Generation” which we are working on at the moment. More information to follow
School Self Evaluation: School Planning and the Introduction of Guided reading
At the moment we are implementing vocabulary development in literacy and problem solving strategies in Numeracy. These initiatives are continuing. We have also decided to roll out Guided reading, which is a very specific way of teaching reading. Children are tested prior to grouping and then they are very tightly grouped according to their reading and comprehension levels. Classes from 2nd to 6th will be involved in this new initiative. Each class will have help from a member of the support staff twice a week to implement four groups using the 5 step classroom plan for guided reading. Involves a huge investment of personnel and funds. We have purchased about €10,000 worth of books to supplement our reading stocks. All children from 2nd to 6th have been individually tested and graded at levels appropriate to their instructional level.
Colette has sourced Ready Steady Sing programme for children in 4th class. It is a once a week high quality singing lessons, which are run by Jennifer a music teacher employed by Music Generation. Although the course is heavily subsidised by South Dublin County Council and the group U 2 , there is still a cost . The PTA has agreed to fund this cost for the school. We hoe to offer it to all fourth classes as they make their way through the school
Auditions for main parts and rehearsals have begun on a production of Mary Poppins for the end of the year. All children from 2nd to 6th are welcome to take part. Rehearsals take place on Friday afternoon during Golden Time.
After school clubs
Football, drama, art, keyboard, tin whistle, Irish dancing, chess, basketball lego are all currently taking part in the schools after school programme.
New Language Curriculum
The Department of Education and Skills are introducing a new language curriculum in all primary schools commencing next September. The new Primary Language Curriculum/Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile for English and Irish has been developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). This curriculum is for teachers of pupils of all abilities in the junior primary years, i.e. from junior infants to second class inclusive. it concerns language teaching in English and Irish.
School Year 2016/17
There will be an initial emphasis on the Oral Language/Teanga ó Bhéal strand. From September 2016, this strand will begin to be implemented for infants to second class.
School Year 2017/18
From September 2017 the Reading/Léitheoireacht and Writing/Scríbhneoireacht strands will begin to be implemented for infants to second class alongside the oral language strand.
School Year 2018/19
From September 2018, there will be full implementation of all strands for infants to second class.
School Year 2019/20
From September 2019, implementation of Primary Language Curriculum/Curaclam Teanga na Bunscoile for third to sixth class will begin.
Year 1 November 2015 to June 2016
Familiarisation with the curriculum and initial preparation for schools, introduction to and planning for teaching and learning using the learning outcomes and the progression continua of the oral language strand. Implementation will involve
a) a half-day information seminar for school Principals (facilitated by PDST), followed by a half-day school closure for in-school, whole-staff CPD through use of on-line supports.
b) and b) one subsequent full-day seminar for school Principals and one other teacher (facilitated by PDST),
followed by a second half day school closure for in-school, whole-staff CPD through use of on-line supports. Substitution for attendance at seminars, where required, will be provided.
So for this school year two early closings, one on Wednesday 27th January and the other to follow further training for myself and Catherine (Literacy post holder).
Monday 22nd February was a very important day for our Green School Committee in Esker ETNS. We had a visit from an inspector from An Taisce. For the past two years we have been working towards earning our second Green flag for Energy. This was a very long but rewarding task.
To earn this flag we had to prove that we could reduce the amount of energy that we use in the school. To do this we had to carry out an environmental review in October 2014 on the amount of energy that we use in the school. We then monitored this for 3 months. We had to come up with an action plan of how we were going to raise awareness and to change the attitudes of our pupils and staff to reduce the amount of energy that we used or wasted in the school. We then carried out another environmental review in October 2015 and monitored this for November and December. We did a direct comparison on these three months and found that we had used significantly less gas and electricity in the school compared to 2014, despite having more electrical appliances and more children in the school.
If you want to make the change you can do it. One person CAN make a difference. You just have to stay positive, stay focused and stay motivated. Our Green School motto is ‘Do what is right and turn off the light’. We want to reduce the amount of fossil fuels that we use to reduce the amount of CO2 entering our atmosphere and causing climate change. All of our children and teachers helped by making posters, projects, and debates on the issue.
The inspector was very impressed with the Green School committee. She interviewed them thoroughly along with our parent reps, Virginia and Farzana. The committee showed her all their work, our notice board and all the work that separate classes have done this year. She was very impressed and commented on their knowledge on the subject and their enthusiasm and motivation to make a difference to the environment.
I am so proud of our Green School committee. The inspector said that she will be writing her report this week and recommending that we receive our second green flag for energy. She also commented on how clean our school was and noticed that we are maintaining our first flag – litter and waste.
So now parents, it’s your turn. Ask your child for ways in which you can save energy in your home. Saving energy means saving money!!! Look out for our Green School action day which will be happening in March.
Congratulations again. A great big thank you to Gemma who organised and co-ordinated the very active and enthusiasitic committee, to the children, parents and teachers who made that improvements to enegry efficiency throughout the school.
This term our PTA and student council decided to choose Focus Ireland as our school charity. A BIG thank you to all of our school community for donating lots of toiletries, canned foods, new hats and gloves and even money to the appeal.
Last week, members from our PTA with the children from the student's council met up to make boxes for the homeless. Included in each box was shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tea or coffee and a little treat. We also made food bags for families. A representative from Focus Ireland will come to a school assembly this week to talk to the children and to accept the donations.
Homelessness is a very real and relevant issue today. It is affecting more and more families in our community, and it is important that we look after those in need when we can.
Colette read out a poem Homelessness by Krista Westford at assembly.
My home can be everywhere or nowhere
My daily meals consist of anything or nothing
My knick knacks and baubles are the clothes I wear
My money is only what others give to me
I am a being.
I am Human
I am homeless
If only people could see where I stand
And help me through this all.
Will this loneliness ever end?
Will I begin a new life?
Does anyone care that I'm here -I am real -I cannot be ignored
I a, a person
I am alive and ...
I am homeless
Many thanks again to all those involved again, it was a very successful initiative.
We really do a have a very generous school community!
Today, the 17th February 2016, marks the 2nd anniversary of our good friend and teacher Paul Kilgarriff, who died suddely in an accident two years ago while on holiday abroad. We marked the day with a minutes silence across the school at 12:00 noon. We decorated his memory tree and put in the front entrance along with his photo and other memories. Colette read out a memory written by Ingrid in 6th class at the time of his death. Her piece reminded us that Paul will always be remembered by those of us who knew and loved him and that he will continue to live in our hearts.
This is a picture of Paul dressed up as the Tin Man for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz production in March 2013.
After the minutes silence, Colette read a poem for everyone, one that she believes Paul would want us to hear today.
I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
The memory tree includes a book of our memories, some Coconut chocolate bars, flipflops and a Brazilian box to remind us of his travels. We put a dictionary there to to remind us of his love for learning and teaching.