November has been a very busy month in Carlow Educate Together. The busiest week was STEAM week where children took part in loads of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths activities. There was a little element of competition too where the classes were pitted against each other to win a pizza party! Gillian's Junior Infants won the prize this year. Some of the highlights included buddying up with other classes for Science experiments. We also had a maths video competition. Here are two of the entries:
Gary's class also adopted some chicks for a few weeks and there was great excitement when they hatched! We also had visits from Carlow School of Music and Pauric Brennan made a virtual school tour. 4th class also had a live science experiment with the New York Hall of Science. The children had great fun at the end of the week with the great paper aeroplane challenge, which was won by 4th Class.
Next month, we are counting down to the winter break. While Christmas will be at the forefront of most people's minds, we are sensitive that not everybody in our school celebrates the festival. While children will be learning about Christmas and Christianity, in Educate Together schools, this is taught similarly to all belief systems. We do not impose religious values on to the children; we discuss them and learn about them. If you are interested in learning about other festivals around this time of year, children will touch on Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Yule and, perhaps, Diwali will be revised again (as it is a festival of lights.)December is the only month of the school year where we try to fundraise money. This year, we are focusing on playground equipment mainly. Our Parents' Council will be in touch soon with some initiatives that I hope you will support, including a beautiful 2018 school calendar, which will make a lovely stocking filler. We will also be having our annual winter concert with one evening and one day show and tickets will be on sale from next week.
At this time of year, please also remember that this can be a difficult time for some families who may be grieving or may be experiencing financial difficulty. We have some funds to help any families out so please do not be shy if you need food, accommodation or even some financial aid for school equipment. You can contact me or Siobhan in the strictest confidence and Nicola, our home school liaison teacher, will call you.
Until next time, please keep happy, safe and learning.
Things you need to know
Our winter concert will take place on the last week of term. There will be an evening show on Wednesday 20th December and a day show on Thursday 21st December. Tickets will be on sale from next week at €5 per seat. Initially, there will be a maximum of 2 tickets per family for the first week or so and then we will sell the rest on a first come first served basis. Contact Siobhán in the office to buy your tickets as there are limited places in the hall.
If you don't celebrate Christmas...
All Educate Together schools are equality-based and do everything they can to ensure that no child is an outsider when it comes to their background, culture or faith. While it might seem that everybody is celebrating Christmas, there are a significant number of families who do not. Sometimes, there is a perception that children are being forced to celebrate Christmas because so many children come into school wearing Christmas hats and jumpers and so on. The children are also learning songs associated with Christmas. In our school, December is also the month that we learn about Christianity. However, it is very important to note that no child in the school is taught that they should celebrate Christmas. All lessons about Christmas are taught in the third person, i.e. Christians believe that long ago... Many children will talk about their own traditions in their own homes and we encourage this for all faiths and none. We purposely have a Winter Concert rather than a Christmas Concert because it is important that all children are included in our concerts. While many children may attend the concert in Christmas outfits, there is no pressure for you to do the same. All songs chosen for the concert are secular in nature and cover different faiths. In this school, we certainly acknowledge and learn about Christmas but we make sure that we do not exclude anyone by doing so. We also ensure that any family that does celebrate Christmas is equally respected and we celebrate with them as much as we do for all of our families. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, Carlow Educate Together welcomes you and if there's something we are doing that is inadvertently disrespectful, please let us know and we will ensure to do our best to help.
Funky Jumper Day - 15th December
The Parents' Council are organising a Funky Jumper Day on the 15th December to raise money for families in need at this time of the year. To join in, children and adults can come to school wearing their funkiest jumper - the funkier the better! - and they can donate €2 or whatever you can afford. All money will be donated to local charities working with families in need.
New Board of Management Appointee
The Board of Management are pleased to announce the appointment of Brendan Duke as the new chairperson of the school. Thomas has stepped down from this position to take on further studies but will remain on the Board as Patron Nominee. The Board will also be announcing a new Community Representative in January who will replace Sharon Murphy who has resigned due to relocation. We also want to congratulate Andrea Dalton on her recent appointment on Carlow County Council.
Ban of Nuts in the School - some clarification
Our school has a complete nut ban throughout the school due to a number of our students and teachers with nut allergies. Some of these allergies are airborne, so simply inhaling trace particles of nut dust will trigger a reaction. Our students and teachers move throughout the school during the day, so it is not safe to consume nuts in ANY area of the school. There is some confusion over the labelling of products, and what is safe to bring in lunchboxes. If a product lists a nut as an ingredient – hazelnut, praline, pecan, almond, peanut etc. it MUST NOT be brought into school. If a product says may contain nuts, it CAN be brought into school, but nut allergy sufferers would not eat these products. We appreciate your co-operation to keep all our students safe.
Our Breakfast Club is open for all children from 8:30am Monday to Friday. Come and join Clare and some 6th class helpers for a slice of toast, juice and a chat before starting the day. There's no need to sign up - simply show up in the morning,
Cake Fridays and Knitting Club
Join the Parents’ Group for their weekly Cake Fridays and Knitting Club in the Parent Room after drop off.
The homework club is running well with nearly 20 pupils taking part. To sign up, contact the office and we will give you a call.
Attendance and Lateness
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.
We’re always thrilled to have parents and families volunteering in the school. We had over 150 parents in school last year and we’d love to see more of you.
Upcoming Dates For Your Diary
- 15th Funky Jumper Day
- 20th-21st: Winter Concerts
- 22nd: Winter Break (half day)
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
Upcoming Tusla Services
Teen Parent Support Programme Carlow, Kilkenny, & Tipperary South
The TPSP delivers services to teenage parents 19 years of age and under in Carlow, Kilkenny and Tipperary South. Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Based in the Kilkenny Road Community Childcare & Family Centre, Carlow and The Drum, McDonagh Centre, Kilkenny. Out of hours services can be agreed by prior arrangement.
Our parenting services include: Antenatal & Postnatal classes: 1-1 Positive Parenting: Support with Co-Parenting: Advice, Information & Advocacy.
Co-ordinator: Bernie 0851101511: email@example.com:
Project Worker: Jean 0851101510: firstname.lastname@example.org:
Project Worker: Claire 0851689215: email@example.com:
Alternatively you can contact us via St. Catherine’s C.S.C. on 059 9138700
MEITHEAL: The Meitheal practice model is part of the wider programme of work of Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS) service provision for Children and Families under Tusla. Meitheal focuses on better outcomes for Children through improving access for Children and Families at all levels of need within their
Contact: Kerina Foran Child &Family Support Network Coordinator under PPFS for Carlow.
St. Dympna’s Hospital, Athy Road, Carlow 086-0224552. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlow Regional Youth Services
“We work to empower young people to achieve their potential through quality youth work”
We provide a wide range of services and opportunities through community based youth work programmes, drop in, specialised one-to-one services for young people at risk, leadership training, etc.
· 8-12 year olds- Afterschool /Homework Support, Junior Youth Group programme, Summer Camp
· 12-18 year olds- Drop in facility, Planned Youth Work Programmes, Youth Participation Programmes, Youth Leadership Training, Specialist Support Services, etc
· 18-23 year olds – Volunteer Training, Youth Work Accredited Training, Some services for vulnerable young adults in their social time
Follaine counselling services provides a confidential and early intervention for young people from 13-18 years to help them come to terms with problems in their lives
Montgomery House, Athy Road Carlow Office: 059 913 0476
Follaine: 085-2780307 www.carlowys.ie
Health Promotion & Improvement, Health & Wellbeing Division HSE, provides
· Health information and resources on a variety of topics such as healthy eating, physical activity,
Smoking, cessation, breastfeeding, pregnancy, sexual health – talking to your child, alcohol, mental
health, child safety and immunisation.
· Most of the publications can be ordered online at www.healthpromotion.ie. Or contact your local Health Promotion Office in Kilkenny at 056 7734869 to place an order or make an enquiry.
Also see www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven for more information.