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January 2013 Newsletter

posted Jan 31, 2013, 3:58 AM by Simon Lewis
Happy New Year from everyone at Carlow Educate Together. 2013 has already been a busy month in the school with loads of different things going on. All the classes have been busy with different projects and we've been getting fit with the Parent Council's, Fit for Life programme. Also, some of our teachers are stepping things up at lunch time with some exercises. This year, our school are teaming up with Merck Sharpe and Dohme who will be running some wellness programmes around the town. They'll be starting off with a competition, followed by a stepping programme, where your children will be challenged to make 15,000 steps everyday. MSD will also be helping us out with our Sports Day later in the year. On top of all that, the school is getting close to publishing our Healthy Eating Guidelines. Of course, you don't need to wait for them to be published - we highly encourage you to make sure your child's lunchbox is as healthy as possible. If anyone has any ideas about encouraging Healthy Eating, I'd love to hear. One idea we might try is to share lunchbox ideas on our Facebook page.

With Parent Teacher Meeting coming up next week, make sure you get your note to say what time your meeting is at. January 31st was the final day for confirming meeting times and I hope you were happy with our online booking form. I'm looking forward to meeting some of you during the meetings so until then, keep happy, safe and learning! Simon.

Anti Bullying Forum
As many of you have heard, the Anti-Bullying Forum published its report this week. Our school submitted some recommendations and it was good to see that some of them appear in the report. One example is that the Forum need to update the definition of what bullying is. Simon also spoke on KCLR 96FM about the impact of cyber-bullying and how this is a societal problem and needs to be tackled together by everyone in communities.

Say 'Hi' to Vacca - An Assistant Dog
One of our children in Derek's class is getting a new dog soon. He is a very special dog called Vacca, known as a training dog. Vacca will be dropping Jake into school and picking him up with Jake's mum. Vacca is fully trained and is well used to children. However, it's probably not a good idea for lots of children to surround him as it might frighten him. Can you please talk to your children about Vacca and ask them to be kind to him when he comes to the school. For more information on dogs like Vacca, please check out this web site:

Parents' Council 
The Parents' Council ran a fantastic Fit 4 Life programme in the school this month. Unfortunately the rain forced the event inside but it was an excellent day enjoyed by everyone. The Parents Council hope to run the event regularly in the school. Keep an eye out on more events organised by the Parents Council.

Parent Teacher Meetings
Thanks to all the parents who signed up for their parent teacher meetings online. This makes the process much easier to allocate times for meetings that suit parents. Anyone who hasn't signed up for Parent Teacher Meetings will be allocated a time automatically. If for any reason, your time doesn't suit, please speak to the class teacher to organise another time. Meetings last no longer than 10 minutes and your child's progress will be discussed. Please feel free to ask any questions and should you need a follow-up meeting, this will also be facilitated by the class teacher. Parent Teacher Meetings will take place on Monday and Tuesday, 11th and 12th February.

Mid-Term Break 
Mid-Term Break will only be 2 days this year and will take place on 14th and 15th February.

Emergency Services Visit
Children will be getting visits from very special people in our community this month. On 1st February, an ambulance will be coming and children will have the opportunity to see inside one. We'll also be getting a visit from the fire brigade, thanks to the Parents' Council. Finally, we'll be welcoming our local garda, Ralph, to the school and he'll be talking to the boys and girls.

1st and 2nd class are taking part in swimming lessons for the next few weeks. If your child is not swimming, they will generally be going to the swimming pool to watch lessons. Swimming is part of the national curriculum and all children should have the opportunity to take part. As there is a cost involved with swimming lessons, please talk to Simon in confidence if you need some financial assistance with paying for the lessons.

Being Sick
With the milder weather this winter, there seems to be a lot of bugs going around. While we don't encourage absences from school, if your child is ill, please don't send them to school. If your child has a cold or feels sick in the morning, please err on the side of caution as some of the bugs going around are long lasting. 

School Lunches
Please excuse the delay in the change-around with school lunches. We will have the new orders sorted within the next week.

Classroom News
Senior Infants give 5th and 6th Class a surprise

Today Senior Infants gave 5th and 6th class a lovely surprise. Due to the recent cold weather the plasticine in Adrian’s class became too hard to use. Emer’s class the plasticine for Senior Infants by rolling it and rolling it until it became soft. To say thank you Adrian’s class took beautiful photos of the snowmen they made and used them to make thank you cards for 5th and 6th. Emer’s class was delighted to have such charming visitors!

First Class have been getting creative!


Second Class
Ronan made a special gift for Junior Infants! Second class are collecting shoe boxes for art, if you have any spare we would love to turn them into art!

5th and 6th Class
Emer B's class are blogging their thought's on their very own blog:

Derek's Class

In honour of Australia day (January 26th) and the fact that nowadays we all have some sort of link to the country, Derek’s Class have been looking at all things Australian this month. The boys discussed Australia the place, the people, the weather and some Aussie ‘Classics’ including learning and acting that famous Rolf Harris Song – ‘Tie me Kangaroo down Sport’. The highlight of the month’s events has to have been watching the boys get to grips with Australia’s, and probably the world’s most difficult instrument – the digeridoo!

And finally...
After School Clubs
Check out the after school clubs going on in our school. There's Arts and Crafts, Guitar, Typing Ninjas, Religion, Sugar Craft and Yoga. You can find out full details in the school. If you'd like to run an after school club in our school, please come in with a written proposal and we'll be happy to consider. All classes are approved by the school but are run by the individuals concerned and are not connected to the day to day running of the school.

Reminder: Your Child's School Insurance: Did You Know?
Did you know that the €7 you pay for insurance for your child covers any injury, etc. outside of school as well as inside school? Your child is insured 24 hours per day under the scheme. If you need to apply for refunds for any accident, you can drop into the office and we'll print you a claim form.

Parents' Council
The following parents form the Parents' Council:
  • Chair: Mary Broderick
  • Vice-Chair: Denice Conway-Harkin
  • Secretary: Fintan Gilligan
  • Vice-Secretary: Denise Gilligan
  • Treasurer: Ian Pelly
You can contact the Parents' Council via email at: or via the school phone. The Parents' Council works in conjunction with the school and are happy to help you out with any ideas you might have with further parental involvement in the school. The Parents' Council, however, is not a complaints' vehicle and any complaints should be dealt with according to the school's policies.

Social Media
It's easy to keep in touch with Carlow Educate Together. There's our web site: and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.