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November 2012 Newsletter

posted Nov 21, 2012, 6:16 AM by Simon Lewis   [ updated Feb 27, 2013, 1:48 AM ]
Welcome to our November newsletter. I'm sure the countdown to the winter holidays has already begun and in this issue we'll be sharing all the news from this month and for December. By popular request, the school will be hosting its first Winter concert. Thanks to our Parents' Council, we are succeeding with doing good in our community with our Primary Pledge. We have already surpassed our target of 100 toys and a big thank you should go out to all families for their generosity. The Holy Angels Pre-School will benefit greatly from this drive. The classrooms are also getting into the festive spirit and you'll notice a number of displays for Divali, which took place this week. I'm sure it won't be long before the Christmas decorations are out! I hope you enjoy reading our monthly newsletter and until the next time, keep happy, safe and learning! Simon.

Parents' Council AGM
The Parents' Council will be hosting their AGM on Monday, 26th November. Notifications went out last week so we're looking forward to seeing you. The speakers on the night will include Simon Lewis, principal who will be talking about the plans for the new school building, the work of parents in the school and the plans for the rest of the year. Marie Scully will also be speaking about the role of the Home School Liaison Teacher. The election of new members to the council will also take place on the night, which kicks off at 7:30pm.

A huge thank you to our Parents' Council for organising our wonderful Autumn Festival event with Halloween, Divali, Eid and Samhain activities. Thanks to all the parents who attended and helped out. It was a brilliant day and we hope you enjoyed it. 

Christmas Concert
As we have outgrown the shopping centre Christmas Carols, we are hosting our first Winter Concert. The concert will take place during school over two days. As this is our first concert in the school, we will not be charging an entrance price. We will host a small raffle at the concert and all attendees will get a free ticket courtesy of our Parents. As usual, there are some great prizes.

Parent Training: Technology and Internet Safety
As part of our work with DEIS and the VEC, we are offering free classes for parents. These classes will show parents how to use technology and offer some advice on Internet safety. With the tragic events that have happened in the last few months, it is highly recommended that parents educate themselves about technology. If you haven't signed up and wish to do so, please come to the office to sign up as soon as possible.

Student Council News
The Student Council have met this year to discuss a number of issues. We are delighted with this year's yard duty arrangements and children now have access to a number of games. We are also thrilled that we have the support of Marita, our School Completion Project Worker, who helps out at most of our yard times.

The student council is also working with the parent council this year regarding a number of projects.

Finally, thanks to the Student Council, there have been a number of proposals brought to the school regarding the Student of the Week prize. The students overwhelmingly voted in favour of keeping the scheme with a number of changes. These changes include everybody having a turn at being the student of the week and increasing the number of pupils receiving the award per mainstream class to two per week. They also requested a certificate as a prize. Well done to the Student Council for their great work!

Classroom News
Our Maths for Fun scheme is going strong and all classes should have a session before the winter break. Parents are invited to these sessions to join in the games in the classroom. Don't worry if you're not a fan of maths - we can promise you'll leave with a new perspective!

We are delighted to be working with 4 transition year students from Carlow VEC who are reading with 5th and 6th class. The students are working on a project based on the Roddy Doyle book, Wilderness.

Our school was visited by our friends from our Comenius Project earlier this month. Teachers from the UK and Germany came to see our classes and were involved in some cultural programmes. We had fantastic feedback from the event and the children even learned some new things about England and they also learned some German. We will be hanging the Irish, UK and German flags in the school entrance until December to celebrate the success of the project.

Michael's class were involved in the "I'm a Scientist, Get me out of Here!" project where real scientists pit themselves against each other to answer as many science questions from children around Ireland. Check out Michael's blog for more information on how they got on.

Emer's class were involved in the Go Music Generation workshop where they visited Visual Theatre in town. They had a great time learning all about music and joined with other schools in town for a sing song.
A big thank you to Martin Curran who organised a fundraiser in October. With the support of Beat FM, the truck pull raised €280 for the school.

The school have reintroduced a voluntary contribution scheme to cover the deficit in Department of Education funding. The Department provide roughly 60-65% of every primary school's costs and the shortfall generally replies on the goodwill of the community. For example, our school costs ~€5489 per month based on 10 month school year and we receive only about €4,500 per month for the same period from the DES. Thankfully, the response to the weekly envelopes is going well. While this continues, we are in a position to buy extra resources for children.

As mentioned in Simon's introduction, the Parents' Council have hosted their first fundraising initiative with the Primary Pledge. Each child has been given a sponsorship card to fill in and the money raised by each child goes directly to their classroom teacher to buy resources for the classroom.

Educate Together, our patron body, are also having a Christmas raffle. They appreciate all your support.

Reading Scheme
Our reading scheme is running well and all children from Junior Infants to 4th class now have access to individualised readers to bring home and read. There are over 200 books in the scheme so there's plenty to keep your children going. We're hoping to expand our scheme to 5th and 6th class this year.

Educate Together National Forum
The Educate Together National Forum will take place in Dublin on 8th December. More information is available on the Educate Together web site.

Board of Management Report
  • Two Board members are meeting with Carlow County Council to discuss the upcoming school building.
  • The BOM approved the ratification of 3 policies pending changes. These are: Absences and Punctuality, Block Library Loan and Assessment.
Snow Days (Exceptional Closures)
Fingers crossed that we don't get any snow this year but if we do, the Board of Management reminds parents that two days have been allocated to make up for any lost time due to any exceptional closure. There are a number of guidelines around the closures, (see policy), but the two days will be taken from the first two days of the Easter break if needs be.

RSE Training Days
It is likely that the school will be receiving special training in RSE (Relationships and Sexual Education) in the second term. Parents will also be able to receive training. This will probably involve a shortened day during the term.

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
  • Other Members: Debbie Gibney, Ruth Curtis, Susan Murray