Newsletter 22nd September

Sports Activities
In another return to normality, we are glad that basketball (for 3rd & 4th Classes), rugby and swimming have resumed and we plan that all classes will get some sessions during the year. This year’s Cumann na mBunscol competitions are ongoing (although postponed this week due to the ploughing). We aim to resume football coaching after Halloween. Swimming has already begun for 2nd Class. Your child’s teacher will let you know in advance when swimming will be, so that you can be prepared as regards gear and also costs – each class will have six sessions each at €9 per session. If you wish, view our proposed swimming timetable.

Smart Devices
A reminder that phones, tablets etc. are not necessary for children during the day. In exceptional circumstances if they need to be brought, they must be turned off and handed to the class teacher in the morning.

It’s a good time to ensure that your child’s name is on all clothing. We can have some difficulty identifying jumpers/tracksuit tops in the playground. Please check now! We have plenty of lost property; please ask at the office.

Primary Language Curriculum Inservice
Teachers are required to undertake inservice on the revised primary language curriculum. This will take place on Friday, 28th October, the day before the Halloween break. School will finish for all pupils at 12:30 (12:15 for infants) on that day.

Road Safety
Please continue to remind your children to be extra careful when walking or cycling home in the afternoons. Thank you.

Please remember when parking to the rear of the school at the Athy end to reverse into your space. This ensures you don’t have to reverse out where there could be children walking. Please continue to take care, thank you.

Covid Reminder
Public health advice remains that your child should not attend school if they are unwell or have Covid symptoms. If you are unsure, please contact us. Thank you for your cooperation.

Our school is one of the nominated charities in Tesco Portlaoise to which you can donate a ‘blue token’. If you or anyone you know is shopping there, please do consider us! Thank you very much.

Ploughing Traffic

As no doubt you are aware, the National and World Ploughing Championships will take place in Ratheniska next week. Garda Traffic Management advises us that there will be a noticeable increase in traffic through Ballylinan, though they do not expect as big an increase as on some other routes. Consequently, the plan is for our school to open and close at the usual times.

However please note that there are likely to be delays on the mornings of Tuesday 20th, Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd. We will be understanding and ask that you be patient; there is no need to rush to avoid being late.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as always.

Newsletter 31st August

Starting and Finishing Times
Welcome back to all our pupils and their families and in particular to our new pupils.
School starts in the mornings at 9:15 p.m.
(Junior Infants will start at 9:30 a.m. for the first two weeks.)
School finishes each day at 3 p.m. and 2 p.m. for Junior & Senior Infants.
(Junior Infants will finish at 12:30 p.m. for the first two weeks.)

Please note that the Board of Management provides supervision for pupils who have to wait in lines (at the rear of the school) for up to ten minutes before the school starting time, but not before then.

A reminder to parents that the junior playground is open for parking before 3 p.m. to facilitate collection. Please remember that the drop-off area is only for that purpose in the mornings; no parking in that area is allowed. Thank you for your cooperation.

School Uniform Reminder
Green jumper/cardigan, white shirt, grey trousers/skirt/pinafore.
School tracksuit is available through the school and is to be worn with a white polo shirt on P.E. days only. Replacement navy legs (plain only) may be purchased in any shop. In warm weather, plain navy shorts of an appropriate (knee) length may be worn. Grey, tailored knee-length shorts with the main uniform are also acceptable. Football shorts etc. are not acceptable. Please ensure your pupil’s name is on his/her jumper. We recommend practical footwear, preferably in a dark colour.
Click here for examples.

School Tracksuits
Tracksuits ordered during the summer are now due for collection. Tracksuits will be given as payments are received through Aladdin. If you have any queries please contact the school. PE days will be notified by the class teachers in due course. Thank you.

Book Rental/School Contribution (Costs)
Thanks to everyone who has paid. Through the book rental scheme we try hard to keep costs as low as possible. The school contribution pays for the services provided for your children such as materials for art/science, assessment tests, photocopying, 24 hour personal accident insurance, etc. As we have to pay many of these costs in advance we appreciate prompt payment. If you wish to discuss payment please contact the school in confidence. Thank you.

Book Grant
Families who qualify for the “Back to School Clothing Allowance” are also eligible for the book grant. Please let us know if this concerns you.

Healthy Lunches
We encourage the eating of healthy lunches. Please do not send sweets, crisps (and similar snacks), chocolate, fizzy or energy drinks to school please. We also ask you to be careful about the quantity of food as children may feel they need to finish everything but that is not always the case.

Nut Allergies
A number of children in the school have an allergic reaction to nuts. Since this condition can be life threatening, all teachers are asking for your help in minimising the risk to these children by:
1. Avoiding giving children nuts in school lunches;
2. Avoiding giving peanut butter sandwiches, other spreads containing nuts such as Nutella and other products labelled “may contain nut traces” in school lunches;
3. Asking children not to share their lunches.

Due to the severity of the problem, it is important that all parents carry out the suggested measures and reduce the risk of allergic reaction to these children.

Thank you very much for your co-operation.

School Calendar 2022/23

We await updated guidance from the Department of Education but for now the advice remains the same; please ensure that your child does not attend school if they are unwell or have Covid symptoms. We all fervently hope that we will have less disruption this year.

Homework will resume for pupils over the coming weeks.

The Coming Year
There is a special, happy atmosphere in our school that pupils, parents and school staff have all developed and nurtured over the years. Thank you as parents and guardians for playing your part and we really appreciate your continued support during the coming year.