Three members of the Irish Defence Force were welcomed to our school this week. Two sergeants, both called Sergeant Walsh and one lieutenant, Lietenant Finnegan, came to school to mark the begining of a year of commemoration of the Easter Rising of 1916. The members of the Aircorps from Baldonnell presented the school with the National Flag which will be flown over the school on March 15th next year. The presentation included a history of the national flag and the correct protocol for its use. Every primary school in the country will receive a similar visit from some members of the Defence Forces.
Sergeant Walsh and a representative from 6th Class read the Proclamation. This was followed by a rousing rendition of the National Anthem. There is a gallery of photos that will be uploaded shortly to show how we marked the occasion.
You will find newsletters for September 2015 in the news section of this website. There is one general one for the whole school and another for our new Junior Infant families. Please take time to read these newsletters to familiarise yourself with what is the most current information pertaining to the school and to your children. Remember that there is a 'google translate' option on the home page of our website should you require translation. Remember also Gemma, our Home School Community Liaison Teacher is always available to talk with you should you require further information or advice . Her home school phone number is 086-0261061
Newsletter September 2015
All newsletters go up on our website eskeretns.ie where they can be translated into many different languages at the press of a button
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome back to you all. We are all nicely settled back to school and its time now to give you some information about the next coming weeks and about other school protocols.
Ireland 2016: Centenary of the Easter Rising in 1916. Tuesday 15th September: Next year Ireland marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a key moment on Ireland’s path to independence. Ireland 2016 is an open invitation to everyone, of all ages, both here in Ireland and overseas, to join in a year of commemoration, conversation and exploration – through the arts, through historical research and exposition, through the Irish language, through education and children’s events – from which a new and more expansive sense of Irish identity can emerge. You will be hearing much more about this over the course of this school year. The first marking for us of the celebrations takes place here in the school on Tuesday 15th September when two uniformed members of the Irish Defence Forces (The Air Corps) will come to the school to present an Irish flag to the school community and to read the Proclamation of 1916. This same process is taking place in every primary and post primary school in the country. We are asking the children to wear green (or green, white and orange) on Tuesday if at all possible. More information on the centenary can be found on www.ireland.ie
Supervision: Please note that your children are supervised in the yard from 9:10 am, ten minutes before school starts. Please do not drop your children here before that time as they will be unsupervised. We take responsibility for your children from 9:10 only, when the side gate is opened.
New Junior Infants: From Monday 14th school day 9:20am to 2:00 pm: Our new Junior Infants will be accepted into the yard from 9:10 am with all the older children from Monday 14th September. They will be receiving their school lunches from that day and will also be beginning their long day on leaving school at 2:00pm for the rest of the school year. They will be very tired for the next couple of weeks but they will get used to it quite quickly. Curricular meetings for new Junior Infant parents will take place on October 7th at 7:30 in the evening during which class teachers will outline what goes on in school during the infant day and how you can help with your child’s education, homework etc. Very important meeting- put it in your diary.
Road Safety: 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 430 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 responsibility to all children, not just to our own. Be sensible and be courteous at all times to other parents who are also driving the children to school. Try using the Castle Road entrance. It is much freer in the morning and in the afternoons.
School enrolments: New LCES system: We no longer have a first-come-first-served policy. Our new common enrolment policy is available for you to read on our website. Going forward, enrolments are only taken for the next school year. Enrolments for 2016 only will be taken in the school office after October 1st. If you have a child that you wish to start school in September 2016, come to the school any Wednesday morning after October 1st between 10:00 and 12;00 to sign a pre-enrolment form. Pre-enrolments are accepted for the first round of offers from October 1st until 15th January. There is no advantage to come into the school immediately on October 1st but do not miss the January deadline for the first round.
Absences & Punctuality: If you child is absent for any reason please can you send a note in the following day letting us know the reason. We encourage you to take any family holidays during the school breaks and not during term time. If a child is absent 20 days or more we are required by law to inform TUSLA, the child and family agency and educational welfare services.
Birthdays, celebrations and invitations: Here at Esker ETNS we have a heathy eating policy. We always encourage healthy food in school. We ask that you do not send in birthday cakes to school. There are certain children with allergies, other children who do not eat certain items for religious reasons and it is too difficult for the class teacher to organise distribution of cake or sweets during an already packed school day. The class teacher will make sure that your child has a special day and that their birthday is appropriately celebrated without extra sweets, cakes etc. from home. If you are having a party for your child, please could you give the invitations directly to the parents outside rather than bringing them into the class to avoid upsetting children who have not been invited.
Adult Classes and Parental Involvement: There are plenty of activities happening in the school that we would love you to take part in. English lessons are starting on Tuesday 22nd of September. We have an Art class for adults coming soon also. We will be recruiting parents of the younger children to take part in the C.L.O.V.E.R project (children learn on very early reading). We will teach you the joy of reading and how to get the most out of books. We will provide books to you and be bringing parents into the class in small groups. This is a great way to meet each other and to support your child’s learning. Maths for Fun and other parental involvement initiatives will be coming up during the school year and Gemma will be looking for your support. Contact Gemma at 0860261061 for further information.
Chronic Health Issues and Change of Personal details
If your child has a chronic health issue please ensure that the class teacher is aware of it. If you change address or phone number please can you let Suzanne in the office know as soon possible.
PTA: The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is very active in the school, and meets once a month. They take charge of fundraisers to buy equipment for the school and different charities. They support the school in many other ways, organising tea and coffee for parent meetings, organising fun activities and visitors for the school, organising some of our extra-curricular activities and much more. Aoife Linnane is our chairperson. They will be having their Annual General Meeting shortly. Look out for further information. They are always looking for new members!
‘No make-up’ rule and appropriate dress: You are aware that as an Educate Together school that we do not have a uniform. However, we do have a policy that children do not wear make-up. We have noticed over the past number of years that some senior children come to school wearing mascara and lipstick. We, as a staff, consider that this is inappropriate for children. All pupils of primary school age are still children. Please inform your children that they are not allowed wear make-up to school and that they will be asked to remove it if they do. Furthermore, it has come to our attention that some children come to school wearing clothes that we feel are inappropriate for primary school children. Please ensure that what your child wears to school is appropriate. We expect our parents to ensure that this is the case.
Many thanks for reading this long letter. I look forward to talking with you further. Look out for further monthly newsletter from myself and best wishes for the new school year,
Esker Educate Together National School
Junior Infant Information.
We hope that your little one is enjoying being part of Esker ETNS and has settled in nicely these past couple of weeks. I have certainly seen a significant difference in the classes since day one, and it is fantastic to hear them singing, working together and playing nicely. Here is some information that may help you for the coming year:
Drop off / collection to and from school.
Drop off - Starting on Monday 14th of September your child will start the day by lining up in the yard with the rest of the children at 9.10am. Please walk your child to the left hand side of the yard. The lines start with J.I Green, then J.I Red there are signs on the fence. There will always be a member of staff in the yard from 9.10am.
Collection – Your child will start their full day on Monday 14th September. Class finishes at 2.00pm. It is important that you are there are there on time to collect your child. If for any reason you think that you will be delayed, please contact the school office on 01 624 1462. Please can you line up outside your child’s class, against the wall to keep the corridor clear and the teacher will give your child to you. Any school notes etc. will be in their bag so remember to check daily.
The senior infants will also be finished at this time, so there will be an increased amount of traffic and people in the building from Monday. We ask that you either walk, or park appropriately outside, or you can access our school from the Castle Road, and there is far more parking here than in the school grounds. This entrance is beside the wooded area.
If there is someone else collecting your child in the afternoon please let the class teacher know in the morning.
Change of Personal details
If you change address or phone number please can you let Suzanne in the office know as soon possible.
If there are any changes in your child’s health please let us know also.
From Monday 14th September your child will receive their Carambola lunch & morning snack, this is plenty for your child. You no longer need to send in extra lunch unless your child has a specific dietary requirement. Your child will have two lunch breaks: little break at 11am and big break at 1pm. Talk to them about eating something small at little break and the rest at big break If you would like to change their lunch you can go online and use your PIN number. The school is unable to change this for you. Your child will receive their own water bottle, this is to last the year. Please can you fill up the water bottle at home, and we can refill in school if necessary. The children can only put water in these bottles.
Meeting with teacher / principal
If you have any concerns or questions please feel free to come to the class teacher Colette (principal) or Tom (deputy principal), or Gemma (home school liaison teacher), If you think you may require a bit of time to discuss an issue, please schedule a meeting in advance so the teacher can give you their undivided attention. Parent teacher meetings will be in February 2016.
Absences & Punctuality
If you child is absent for any reason please can you send a note in the following day letting us know the reason. We encourage you to take any family holidays during the school breaks and not during term time. Junior Infants is a very important time for the children, it is when they learn the foundations for reading, writing, maths and social skills. Being on time to school every day makes such a huge difference for infants. If they are late into class and an activity has already started it can make them very anxious and upset. This is also the case if they are picked up late at the end of the day. If a child is absent 20 days or more we are required by law to inform TUSLA, the child and family agency and educational welfare services.
So please be on time J
Now that your child is in school they have to start doing some things for themselves. Encourage your child to be independent at home e.g. tidying up after themselves, putting on and taking their own coat, gloves*, jumper, and hats. Please practise opening packets of foods that they would have for lunch. This will make school life much easier for them. Please label any coats, jumpers, hats, scarves, mittens and bags that your child owns. *gloves are very tricky to put on for little ones so when buying winter wear we would encourage mittens for their little hands*
Your child’s daily learning
Take an interest in your child’s day at school. Ask them what they were doing today. Each month we will be learning about a new theme, we will communicate this theme each month with parents and suggest ways in which you can talk to your child at home to enhance their learning. This month our theme is ‘The Home’. Read to your child as often as possible in your native language and in English getting your child to develop a love of books and reading will have great benefits when it comes to their own reading later on. There will be a chance for you to come in to your child’s class during the year with Gemma. Please watch out for the CLOVER project.
Take every opportunity to get your child interested in maths and numbers and ask them to help you count things at home or when shopping, point out numbers in the environment e.g. number plates, house numbers etc.
Remember – Children learn best from play. PLAY PLAY PLAY as much as you can!
At every opportunity play outside or in the park. Encourage your child to use their imagination. Take time to meet each other and arrange play dates with class friends.
We are definitely going to have to do something about parking and traffic this school year. If you have any creative ideas about the parking situation I would love to hear from you. I am going to ask the Board of Management and the PTA to get involved in creating some plan that will improve the safety for and convenience for all. So if you put your suggestions in writing to me or to the BOM we will take all ideas in to consideration. In the meantime, I would like to see more people use the Castle Road entrance. it is much quieter and just as convenient. Of course, it would be better still for everybody if more children walked or cycled to school. (Don't forget to lock those bikes as we had a couple stole last year).
School Lunches (improved this year with an added two items for breakfast) are continuing for all children who sign up for them. Each child will have his/her own code and can select what items they wish from the extensive and healthy menu options. If you are new, ask your class teacher for information. The new Junior Infants lunches will begin on Monday 14th September, the same day that they begin their long day. 9:20 until 2:00 pm
Supervision of children in the morning. the side gate to the yard is opened at 9:10 each morning, ten minutes before school starts. The children are supervised in the yard from 9:10. There is no supervision for children before that time. Please take note of this very important arrangement. Your child should not be on the school premises before this time, unless you or another adult is accompanying them
Well, it was wonderful to get back to school and see all our old friends again. The children are in great form, delighted to see everyone, meet their new teacher and get back down to work. A very special welcome to our many new children, not only those in Junior Infants but in classes all the way up the school. I am making my way around all the classes to hear everyone's news and to welcome old and new children back to school. A very warm welcome also to our teachers from last year who are all back and ready to go. Two of our teachers from last year have taken a career break for the year. Grainne has gone to teach in Abu Dhabi and we wish her all the best of luck. Emma also has taken a career break to look after her growing family. A very special welcome to Etaoin our new permanent teacher in Senior Infants. Etaoin comes to us from Tyrellstown Educate Together and is very experienced teacher. We are delighted to have her with us. We also welcome Kate into our learning Support team- she is subbing for Deirdre who is on maternity leave until end of October.
A very big, warm welcome back to all our children. Here are a few arrangements that will help with the smooth running of our first day. All children from Senior Infants to 6th class (except new children) line up in the school yard as normal. Side gate opens at 9:10. All new children from Senior Infants to 6th class go through the front entrance and assemble in the hall with their parents where Tom Costelloe the Deputy Principal will meet and greet and arrange for the children to be brought to their classes. All new Junior Infants go straight to their class where their teachers will be there to meet with them. Front Door open at 9;15 am .
Parking is always an issue. There are very few parking spaces available within the school grounds. There are more spaces available at the back entrance of the school which is accessed from Castle Road, beside Gaelscoil Naomh Padraig. Cars can be safely left there while you bring your child in.
School re-opens for all children on Tuesday, September 1st 2015 at the usual time 9:20. New Junior infant children go home at 12;20 for the first two weeks of school. The school office will be open from Tuesday, 25th September 9:30-1 pm for any queries. Book lists available to download under parent section of this website
The whole school enjoyed performing a flashmob "Mr Blue Skies" to a bewildered audience including two government ministers, MS. Jan O'Sullivan and MS. Frances Fitzgerald. Have a look in our galley at the many wonderful photos taken on the day. Thanks to Maureen Fox who was our volunteer photographer as well as the many other hats she wore that day. Take a look-they are fantastic and cover every aspect of our day. You never know who you might see in the photos. We sent home a special edition of Esker Gazette newspaper which dealt exclusively with the opening day. This is available in the news section of our website and gives a potted history of the day, with some nice photos also.
You can view the edited highlights of our big day, official opening of our school on Wednesday 17th June. A longer version with speeches is currently being prepared but this two minute clip gives a great flavour of the day
Just copy or click on this link into google https://vimeo.com/131083838 (Always view in HD)
and put in the password EET2015 when requested.