September

A Busy September!

Welcome to our first newsletter of the school year. This is our 11th year in existence and we now have almost 340 pupils and over 30 staff. We were also delighted to welcome over 50 new Junior Infants and they have settled in really nicely and we're very proud of them. It's great to welcome a number of new staff and congratulations are due to Róisín and Alaisia on the births of their second children and we're looking forward to welcoming Vicky's first child in the coming days.

It's been a very busy September in the school with lots of fun to be had and we share all of our news on our website and Facebook page. We'll share a few photographs later in the newsletter for a flavour. At this time of writing, there's lots still to happen in September. Firstly, we'll be welcoming Ger Brick to the school on Wednesday (26th) evening for an Internet Safety Talk. This will be followed by our AGM. If you're interested in getting involved at any level, please come along and Rachel and the team will be delighted to hear from you. Junior Infants will be having a Teddy Bears' Picnic on Thursday (27th) so we can't wait for that. Our Book Fair is also arriving earlier than usual on the 26th and 27th September so we also look forward to that.

We've loads of plans for the rest of the year so please make sure to read this newsletter for important news. I hope you enjoy the rest of the newsletter and until next time, keep happy, safe and learning.

Things you need to know...

Parking

We are continually trying to make the best of the traffic situation we inherited when the school was built. We are still trying to convince the powers that be to provide some extra space for parking and thank you for all the ideas so far. The best we have gotten is a commitment to build a zebra crossing at the Athy Road roundabout for those that wish to walk to school. Extra signage is also to be placed on the Athy Road to warn people not to overtake if there is a queue. However, the best thing you can do as a parent if you are on 2:30pm pickup is not to arrive too early. Children do not get out of class until 2:30pm so there will be no movement of cars until at least a minute or two after that. We have noticed that for this year, there appears to be ample parking in the basketball courts if you arrive before 2:30pm. We cannot police how cars use our site so we can only urge anyone that arrives before 2:30pm that if they see cars are backed up to the zebra crossing, they go to the basketball courts. We can clear the traffic if everyone plays by the rules in less than 10 minutes so you won't be waiting too long to pick up your kids. The gardaí have notified us that they will come to the school and move traffic on the site from time to time but it would help us greatly if we could use the system as best we can. In the meantime, it would also help greatly if you could contact the council directly to complain about the danger of the traffic situation.

Homework

This year all homework is issued on Google Classroom. All pupils have been given a log in email address and password. If your computer has a camera, you can also use the log in code. You can access Google Classroom through the app on your phone or you can go to the Log In menu on our school web site or you can log in directly by going to http://clever.com/in/cetns

We tend to give homework from Tuesday to Thursday. On Mondays we ask for families to do something together and here are a few ideas.

  1. One Moment Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6eFFCi12v8
  2. Mindful Colouring in Silence
  3. Family Walk
  4. Play a Board Game

Twice a term we offer project-style homework and the first will take place in November.

It is also possible to opt out of all homework in school. Simply email the class teacher. To make things as easy as possible in terms of administration, pupils that opt out of homework will be considered opted out for all homework. However, those that are opted out of homework and receive specialised support (e.g. Reading Recovery, etc.) should make sure to do any of the work needed at home as these programmes cannot be completed only in school.

Book Money

The 30th September is the deadline for paying for books or for contacting the school to arrange a payment scheme for the year. Anyone who did this has received a special thank you present. The reason for this incentive is so the school can budget for the year. If you are unable to pay for books, you will have already been reminded to contact the school before Friday. Please do so so your child will receive the gift. If you have forgotten to do so, please ensure to contact the school asap.

Irish Language Opportunities for Families

Our new Home School Community Liaison Teacher, Lorraine, has started in our school. We are delighted to have her! Lorraine has taught Irish in secondary school and is a great resource for our school to have. In light of this we are setting up a help group, “Ciorcal Gaeilge” (Irish Circle) for parents who want to practice or improve their Irish. We hope that this will help you support your child as they learn the Irish language. We hope the group will also really help parents who have no knowledge or experience of the language. We are offering a drop in service that will operate from the Parents’ Room on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1.45- 2.30, starting from Tuesday 2nd October. During this time you can ask for help with specific difficulties in relation to your child’s Irish homework while at the same time learn or improve any Irish you may have yourself. Lorraine will also focus on the basics your child learns in class, such as greetings, questions, colours, numbers etc. We are conducting a short survey to help us set up this scheme and see where the needs of our parents lie in relation to Irish. Please fill in the form as soon as you can: https://goo.gl/forms/JfiWiE65h9ve4Rnl2

Collecting Children from other families

if you are collecting a child other than your own at any time, please make sure to speak to Siobhan first. If it is a case that you are picking up someone else's child at the end of the day, please let the class teacher know that you are doing so.

Upcoming Dates For Your Diary

September

  • 26th - 27th: Book Fair
  • Wednesday 26th - Internet Safety Talk and Parents' AGM 6:30pm
  • Thursday 27th - Junior Infants Teddy Bears' Picnic

October

  • 26th - possible date for Autumnfest
  • 29th - Mid Term Break Begins

Regular Updates

Breakfast Club

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,

School Lunches

Please let the school know if you would like your child to receive a free school lunch. All children are entitled to the lunch. Please allow up to 5 days before orders are processed.

Cake Fridays and Knitting Club

Join the Parents’ Group for their weekly Cake Fridays and Knitting Club 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 we will give you a call.

School Office Hours

Please note the school office is closed between 10:30-10:45 and 12:20-12:50.

If you need to collect your child during school opening hours please try to collect them when the office is attended.

If the office is unattended please ring the bell and wait for a member of the school staff to collect your child.

In the interest of security parents are not allowed on yard during break times.

Injuries

Injuries can happen and often do. We do our very best to help when a child gets hurt. We try to inform families of any injuries but we want to make a balance so we're not ringing parents for every little thing. We will contact parents as quickly as possible after an injury involving bleeding or the head. For more minor bumps, bruises and grazes, we tend to only let parents know if we see them. Anything more serious, we are in touch. We also have a First Aid team. For very serious injuries we may have to call an ambulance and if we cannot contact you, we may have to call a taxi to bring your child to a doctor. Have a look at our website for our policy on injuries.

Communication with Staff

Carlow Educate Together's motto is that everyone has a right to be happy, be safe and be able to learn. This includes our staff. They are all lovely people. Please ensure that you are always polite to them. For further information on our dignity at work policy, please see our website.

Attendance and Lateness

We are monitoring attendance carefully this year.

Attendance per month is

September: 93%

Overall: 93% | Target: 95%

  • Already we have 2 pupils that have missed 10 days of school or more. While we understand some parents may have returned late to school after the holidays, it is deeply important that children come to school every day.
  • We will be monitoring lateness in more detail in October. Please ensure to arrive in school within good time so your child is in his/her classroom by 8:50am.

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.

Lost Clothes

Please make sure all clothing has your child's name on it. We will keep clothes for a couple of weeks in our lost and found area. However, after this time, clothes will be sent to charity shops. Please do not bring clothes into the school to be given to charity shops.

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 150 parents in school last year and we’d love to see more of you.

Nut Allergy

We have three pupils and a staff member 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.

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

A note from Flourish Tutoring...

Dear parents,

In the 2016/2017 school year, we trialled a pilot tutoring program for students, called Flourish Tutoring. It is run by Lovius Educational Consultancy who have many years of international experience in supporting students to achieve their best at school - and enjoy it! The pilot program was trialled with 24 students from different classes. All of the students involved showed improvement and their feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

In 2017/18, Flourish Tutoring was opened up to the whole school community and there were almost 40 students involved in weekly small groups, as well as over a hundred parents attending workshops throughout the year.

This year, Flourish Tutoring is starting on October 8th with new groups from Junior Infants to 6th Class, as well as a Study Skills group for secondary school students. (Parenting workshops will also start from then as well - Check the noticeboard for details.)

The Flourish Tutoring program targets the following skills:

Working memory - able to recall information AND how to use it effectively

Auditory processing - how well a child understands spoken instructions

Fine motor skills - helping to improve handwriting and other fine tasks

Attention - ability to filter out what’s not important and focus on what is

Self esteem - identifying strengths and feeling confident in them and understanding of weaknesses

Managing anxiety - understanding anxiety triggers and how we can all take control and make room for feelings without them controlling us

All of these skills assist the children in their learning and socialising, here at school and

at home.

Students follow their own individualised program and work in groups of six. We hold the groups on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, after school, here at CETNS. The cost for tutoring is €15 per student, per week. If parents prefer private tutoring, that is available at a cost of €25 per student, per week.

The tutor, Juliette Dowling is happy to meet, no obligation, with parents here at school or at your home, to answer any questions. You can also find out more about the Flourish Tutoring program by visiting the website: www.loviused.com/flourish-tutoring

You can contact Juliette to ask a question, plan a meeting or put your child’s name down for the program on … phone: 085 850 2403 or email: info.loviused@gmail.com