Two Months for the Price of One!
Welcome to our February/March newsletter. I decided to combine both months as we have had a number of breaks from school including a number of days due to the snow. All the time away did not stop the school being an extremely busy place and while the weather wasn't great, we still had time to do loads of interesting things. From Friendship Week to Multicultural Day to Seachtain na Gaeilge to a visit from an Easter Bunny, so much has happened it's hard to keep up. In between all these events, we introduced a pilot of a new way of looking at homework. Project Homework, as it's been named, aims to make homework relevant to the children's individual learning needs by completing projects based on what they are learning in school. Children are given a number of prompts to help them with their project and the teacher's job is to ensure that other aspects of the curriculum are covered by the children completing this work. Things like spelling, grammar, etc. are part of this. It was noticeable to see how many children brought in wonderful looking models and displays and there were others who made their projects on technology. We have received fantastic feedback in general. Some concerns that were noted centred around a parents' wish to know what the child was doing in school so they could help, and they believed that traditional homework would achieve this. To tackle this problem, teachers have agreed to summarise what is being learned in class in the core subjects, English, Irish and Maths. We have also provided everyone with access to two of the best websites for learning Maths and Irish at one's own pace. Over the next term, we will be tweaking and changing the program to make it challenging, enjoyable, user-friendly and relevant to all children. Apart from everything children will learn, it is important that they enjoy doing their homework. The worst thing is that we set children up to dread doing schoolwork at home. We'll be asking children's, families' and staff's opinions in the first couple of weeks back and will be improving our work on it over the coming months ahead. Until next time, keep happy, safe and learning.
Things you need to know...
The new Child Safeguarding Statement is now available on our website and at the entrance to the school. New guidelines have been in place since March 9th.
Please look out for a survey based on the homework we have been trialing in order to give your opinion on how we are giving out homework. We will be encouraging much of the research from 3rd class upwards using Google Classroom. Please download the app on your phone to see how we encourage and help children out while they are doing their homework.
Welcome Back Angela
A big welcome back to Angela who has returned from maternity leave. Also, a big congratulations to Clare on the birth of her baby boy and to Barbara on her recent marriage.
Although we won't have complete confirmation until mid-April, pending Board approval, it looks like we'll be back on Wednesday, 29th August 2018 for the new school year. Teachers will be allocated their class in May.
Dates in May
A heads up that there will be a day off school on May 25th for staff training. There will also be a half day towards the end of May for the second half of Child Protection Training for staff.
New App for Communication
Please download the Aladdin App to your Smartphone. This will allow you to receive instant messages from the school about upcoming events, closures, etc. It will also allow you to read your child's school reports and any documentation, as well as the ability to update your own contact information if you wish.
Our Breakfast Club is open for all children from 8:30am Monday to Friday. Come and join Gary and Laura 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,
Join the Parents’ Group for their weekly Cake Fridays 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 Erin or Vicky will give you a call.
Attendance and Lateness
We are monitoring attendance carefully this year.
Attendance this month is 93%. This is a slight improvement but we really need to get to 95% at least.
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 100 parents in school last year and we’d love to see more of you.
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
April / May
- April 9th: School reopens full day
- May 6th-10th: Mid Term Break
- May 24th: Open Day for new families
- May 25th: School Closed for Staff Training
- May 28th - 1st June: Active Week
- June 1st: Half Day for Staff Child Protection Training
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