February

A Fast February

While February is the shortest month of the year, with the mid-term break, it felt a lot shorter this year. Despite this, we had a fun-filled month with loads of activities, including one of my favourite times of the year, Friendship Week. This year as part of Friendship Week, we decided to try out the International Day of Play, where schools were challenged to allow the children have a completely unstructured day of play. It was just fantastic to see the children making up their own games and interacting with each other in a different way. It was also interesting to see how some children found it difficult to know what to do in terms of free play - a lesson for us all maybe? Not surprisingly, it was the infants that took to the day most naturally. The school was delighted to welcome loads of parents into the school throughout the week. We were particularly proud to welcome the Carlow LGBT+ Network into the school for a coffee morning and information meeting. We also launched our second Project Homework of the year and we look forward to seeing the results of this. Junior classes will be working on stories every night and the Senior classes are being challenged to make a paper-free presentation on one of their hobbies. In March we will be focusing on Seachtain na Gaeilge so I'd remind any parents that they are welcome to join Lorraine in the parents room every Tuesday and Thursday for informal Irish language classes. We are so lucky to be able to provide this service completely free of charge and it would be a terrible shame for it not to be used. You'll already see that our focus on Gaeilge this year is bearing interesting fruits with videos on our YouTube channel and lots of interesting projects. Until next month, keep happy, safe and learning.

Things you need to know...

Absences (Change in Policy)

The Board of Management approved a change to our absence policy. If your child has missed 20 days or more of school, you now must provide a medical certificate to explain any further absences. Please remember to use our Aladdin App to explain any absences. An automated text messages goes out to families when they have missed 10, 15 and 20 days. Please do not worry about these messages if you have explained absences. After 20 days, whatever the reason, we must report to the welfare board of the numbers of children that have missed 20 or more days of school.

The Momo Challenge

Some parents might remember the "Bloody Mary" chainmail that was around back in our day and the Momo challenge appears to be the latest in a series of things to cause panic in parents. However, whether this is a hoax or not does not stop the key message being passed to parents all the time about children's Internet usage. It is extremely important to ensure that you monitor your children's Internet usage. Earlier in the year, we brought Ger Brick to the school at considerable expense. Ger is an Internet Safety expert. To me, he is the best of the best. It was very poorly attended but the shock waves that emanated from his talk spread far and wide and many of you have asked if we can organise another talk. We will work on this for next year if we can. In the meantime, I'd advise looking at this advice regarding the Momo challenge: https://2j39y52a62gm1afygb3g1xbu-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MOMO-Online-Safety-Guide-for-Parents-FEB-2019.jpg

Welcome Back

A big welcome back to Róisín to 3rd class. We're delighted to welcome Róisín back to school and a big thank you to Seán and Jenna for all their work with 3rd class this year.

Podcast

Students from 4th, 5th and 6th class worked together to create our first school podcast. It's up on SoundCloud and you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/simon-89636596/february-2019-podcast

Upcoming Dates For Your Diary

March:

  • Bank Holiday: 18th March - School Closed


Regular Updates

Breakfast Club

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,

Reminder: 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 help with their child's Irish homework or just to practice or improve their Irish. We are offering a drop in service that will operate from the Parents’ Room on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1.45- 2.30

Cake Fridays

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

Homework Club

If you wish to join the homework club, please contact Clare (clare@carloweducatetogether.ie).

Attendance and Lateness

We are monitoring attendance carefully this year.

Attendance this month is 93.5%. This is a big improvement on this time last year. However, we need to be aiming for a 95% average.

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.

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.

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.

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