November

'Tis the Season

Every year in Carlow Educate Together, we put on a Winter Show and it's a chance for families to come together to watch our pupils showing off their talents in music, dance and spoken word. Every class puts on a short performance. Over the last few years, we've been growing and improving our equipment and thanks to fundraising efforts we now have a stage and a very good sound system. This year, we have agreed to put on an evening show as it has been requested and the staff have kindly offered to give their time, which I am sure you all will appreciate. We will be selling tickets for our concerts from Monday, 5th December from 8:45am at the hatch outside Siobhán's office. You will have received an email about this. Apart from the concert, our new Parents' Group are busy organising some festive treats. They will be hosting a Christmas jumper disco on 16th December. More details will follow by email but we are asking children to bring in non-perishable food to support the Carlow Lions' Club. Parents are also looking for raffle prizes so please contact Kathy for more information.

As you know, in Educate Together schools, we learn about different belief systems. December is the month in Carlow Educate Together where we study the belief system of Christianity. (In November, we studied Islam) This means that children will be learning about rituals that Christians believe, including Christmas. However, as with all other belief systems, we teach it so children learn about the belief system without any faith formation. Children are obviously welcome, as with any faith, of describing what happens in their own homes so we can learn from each other and, naturally, they are given exactly the same respect as any child of any belief background would. Our school will also visit the Catholic Catherdal and Church of Ireland chapel to learn about these buildings, their history and purpose. We are always looking for speakers from different faith groups and none so if you know somebody or would like to talk to the children yourself, please let me know and we'd love to see you. In our 8 years, we have welcomed visitors from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Baha'i and non-faith backgrounds.

December is going to be a busy time in many of our families' households. While it is a very happy time in many families, Christmas can also be a difficult time. If there are any families in our school that require any help, please make yourself known to us. We can provide food hampers to families in need. Please contact the office in full confidence and we will arrange for Nicola, our Home School Liasion Officer to help you out. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the final month of term before the winter break and that you keep happy, safe and learning!

Latest News

STEAM Week

Our 1st STEAM week took place this month with lots of activities where children got the chance to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. Congratulations to Teresa's class who won the STEAM Week Challenge. Their class will be receiving a special Pizza Party. Loads of photos are available on our Facebook Page of all the events.

Autumnfest

On behalf of the parents committee I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all the parents who took time out to help and be part of our autumn festival today, to the staff for their help and participation and especially to all our amazing children who looked so fantastic and imaginative, behaved impeccably as always and most importantly showed us how to have really great fun! Kathy

Book Fair

The parents committee would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported our recent book fair, as a result we had a grand total of €585 to spend on new books for our school library! Here is a selection of the most requested and popular books we purchased. It's going to be a busy library week, make sure to bring back your current rentals this week so you can choose a new book!

Cookery Class

There will be a cookery class for parents on Tuesday 6th December at 10am. Chef Yousef will be teaching how to make an authentic chicken curry from scratch and will show us how to use fresh spices properly and their health benefits etc.. if you are interested contact Kathy 085 8136400

Enrollments for 2017 and Beyond

As you know, enrollments in Carlow Educate Together work on a first come first served basis. This means that we do not operate a siblings' policy. If you have a child in the school, it does not automatically entitle other family members of a place in the school. The best thing to do is to pre-enrol any children in your family as early as possible. We already have 107 children looking for places for September 2017 and over 50 for September 2018. As we can only take a certain number of children into each class, please make sure to contact the office as soon as possible if you think one of your children is not enrolled.

Personnel

The last couple of months have been busy in terms of personnel in the school as we received two new positions in October. We were delighted to offer Susanne a permanent position in the school. We also welcome Margaret in a temporary position until the end of this year. We have also had a number of substitute teachers working in support positions and you may have heard the names Ashleigh, Yvonne, Aidan and others. We will be welcoming Edel back to our school after the winter break. Susanne is going to continue teaching 4th class for the rest of the year and Edel will take on a support role when she returns.

Regular Updates

Breakfast Club

Our Breakfast Club is now open for all children from 8:30am Monday to Friday. Come and join Simon for a slice of toast, juice and a chat before starting the day.

Cake Fridays

Join the Parents’ Group for their weekly Cake Fridays in the Parent Room after drop off.

Homework Club

The homework club is running well with nearly 20 pupils taking part. To sign up, contact the office and Marita will give you a call.

Attendance and Lateness

We are monitoring attendance carefully this year.

Attendance per month is

September: 95% | October 93% | November 92%

Overall: 93.7% | Target: 95%

  • 22 pupils have missed 8 days of school or more (15% of school time)
  • 14 pupils have been more than 10 minutes late for school more than 10 times.

Please ensure that your child is in school on time. The school opens at 8:30am for breakfast club and 8:35am for morning supervision. Classes start at 8:50am and all children must be in school by then. There are a number of children coming to school after 9am and classes are well underway by then. Our attendance team will be in touch to talk to families of children where this is proving to be a persistent issue.

Second Level Campaign

Please register your interest if you’d like Carlow to have a second level Educate Together school. https://secure.jotformpro.com/form/52224353965962. The group also has a Facebook Page, which we’d recommend you to join.

Volunteer

We’re always thrilled to have parents and families volunteering in the school. We had over 100 parents in school last year and we’d love to see more of you.

Nut Allergy

We have two pupils in our school with nut allergies. It is vital that no nuts ever come into our school. We cannot police every lunchbox so we are relying on you to cooperate with our nut ban.

Upcoming Dates For Your Diary

December

  • 16th: Christmas Jumper Disco
  • 20th/21st: Winter Concerts
  • 22nd: School Closes for Winter Break (Half Day)

Social Media

You can find us on various social media platforms:

YouTube – Search for Carlow Educate Together

Facebook – http://facebook/com/carlowetns

Twitter – http://twitter.com/carlowetns

News from Around the Classes

Infants to 2nd Class

Angela's and Emer's class really enjoyed the science experiments in the hall. Thanks very much to all the scientists for coming in. What a great STEAM week we had!

Sen Infants had a busy day with all our Steam Week activities and our fun-filled hurling lesson with Leo.

We had super fun making human shapes in 1st class as part of STEAM week.

Second class and Gillian's senior and first class worked together to teach other about different aspects of science. We did experiments on static electricity, magnets, dancing raisins and even made hovercrafts fly!

Second class had great fun learning about magnets and doing different experiments.

Tricia's class had great fun on our SESE trail at Rancho Reilly's Pet Farm today. We did our school work, walked on beams, rode ponies, held snakes, petted rabbits, went on the barrel train, played in the sand, bounced on trampolines, swung on swings and slid down tube slides....all before big lunch!!! Thank you Rancho Reilly

3rd to 6th Class

As part of STEAM week we were honored to have a visit from current All Ireland champion uilleann piper Colm Broderick. Colm played for the students and told them about the uilleann pipes, how they are made and played.

Bouncing red and blue hard boiled eggs...tornado in a bottle...so much Science! To top it off we had the AMAZING Colm Broderick, #1 Uileann Pipe player in the WORLD playing for us in our classroom and answering all of our questions. What a week..we just don't want it to end. Now for the paper aeroplane race..watch out Teresa..Sinead's class are coming!

As part of our Learn Together curriculum, 4 the class visited Carlow Cathedral to learn about Catholicism from Father John Cummins, the parish priest. The children learned about the history of the building and got to ask lots of questions.

4th class walked to the County Council Offices to deliver letters to the planning section regarding the plans to knock down the Sugar Factory tower. The children have spent the last few months studying the site and its importance to the history of Carlow. They have also given some alternative plans for the site. Thanks to everyone in the council for their warm welcome.

Erin's class set up science stations for Roisin's class. They learned all about magnets and electricity and experimented with different objects to see if they float or sink. They used an outline of our feet to measure our height. It was great fun.

As part of STEAM week, 6th class visited the IT today. We observed experiments in the science labs and learned about acids and bases, indicators and catalysts, actions and reactions. After the tour of the labs we went to the Sports Centre and tested our sprinting speed as well as how high we can jump. This great day was capped off by a visit from Rob Heffernan when we returned to the school. Some of us got to hold an Olympic medal! A great end to a great day.

As part of STEAM week, we were delighted to welcome poet Dave Lordan to our school. Dave led two workshops with 5th and 6th class.

6th class took part in a Mystery Skype where they had to guess the location of another school somewhere in the world. Children from both schools got to ask each other a question each to deduce where in the world the other school was. Our 6th class correctly identified Uganda. It was very interesting to see how the children interacted with each other and how small the world really is these days. Thanks to Hassan Dabbagh for organising the meeting and we hope to try this out again with another school somewhere else in the world