Newsletter 16th June

For the first time in many weeks, we have been notified of a case of Covid. This is an opportune time to thank you all for your excellent cooperation with public health measures during the past couple of years. We know that it was difficult at times for all concerned and we appreciate in particular those parents who informed us of cases. It is unclear how the next school year will be affected but for now,  public health advice remains that – tested or not – if your child has symptoms, s/he should not attend school. Thank you all again.

6th Class Graduation
This will take place next Wednesday, 22nd June at 7:30 p.m. in the school. More details to follow.

School Reports
This year’s school reports are available on Aladdin. Regarding standardised test results, as in previous years it is important to note that the test is not an examination and it is unfair to make direct comparisons. Teachers gather information about your child’s learning all the time and this is part of the process. It is an indication of your child’s achievement in English (reading) and Maths.

Booklists 2022/23
Click on the class links below to view booklists (PDF format):

Junior Infants  (Ms. Twomey)

Senior Infants  (Mrs. Donnelly)

1st Class    (Ms. Goff)

2nd Class   (Ms. Cunningham)

3rd Class   (Mrs. Moriarty)
3rd Class   (Mr. Curry)

4th Class   (Ms. Hogan)

5th Class   (Mrs. Sukprasert)
5th Class   (Mr. Sweeney)

6th Class   (Mr. Sweeney)
6th Class   (Ms. Lacey)

Newsletter 31st May

IMPORTANT:  Morning Arrangements
Please read the following carefully, as for some of our parents this will be the first time that our normal morning arrangements will be in effect:

Starting on Wednesday, 8th June – after the coming long weekend – we are glad to be able to revert to our usual (pre-Covid) arrangements as follows:

School starts at 9:15 a.m. which is unchanged. However, children who arrive early (i.e. before that time) will line up in designated areas in the yard to the rear of the school. If it is very wet, children will be brought into the hall. Please note that the Board of Management does not accept responsibility for children who arrive more than ten minutes before the school starting time as they will be unsupervised.

As usual, please remember that the drop-off zone in the mornings is only designed for you to drop and go. If you need to get out of your car at all or if you need to wait for any reason, please use the designated parking spaces.

As some parents may now choose to arrive a little later, it’s possible that traffic will be more grouped together at times and we ask for your patience and understanding particularly for the first day or two as the renewed arrangements settle in.

Thank you for your cooperation as always, we really appreciate it.

Incoming Junior Infants
Our new pupils (with their parents) visited us on the afternoon of Wednesday, 25th May. We were happy to meet them and look forward to seeing them after the summer (or at our summer camp, see below).

SNA Appointment
The Board of Management has appointed Ms. Andrea Woods to the position of SNA in the school, replacing Mary Kehoe who retired during the year. Mrs. Kehoe worked in the school for 20 years and we will all miss her greatly. We thank her for her dedication to the pupils in her care and wish her many years of health and happiness to come.

Superstars Summer Camp
We’re delighted that our camp is making a return this year. It will take place in the school from 27th June – 1st July for incoming Junior Infants upwards. If you wish to book, please contact the school. Thank you.

Calendar 22/23
After the summer, school will reopen for all pupils on Wednesday, 31st August.

Upcoming Closures
Please note that inservice required by the Department of Education will take place this Friday afternoon (3rd June) so school will finish at 12:15 for infants and 12:30 for all other pupils. School will be closed as planned next Monday and Tuesday, 6th & 7th June.

Newsletter 19th May

Well done to those pupils in 2nd and 6th Classes who made their First Communion and Confirmation recently. Thanks to the teachers who helped in the preparation and on the day. We hope that you had a lovely family celebration too.

Incoming Junior Infants
Our new pupils (with their parents) will be visiting us on the afternoon of Wednesday, 25th May. Thankfully it looks like Covid will not disrupt us as it has done for the past two years!

2022 Home-Based Summer Programme
A home-based programme continues to be available for students with complex needs (the school is not in a position to provide a school-based programme). Please contact the school if you think your child may be eligible and we can provide the necessary documentation and endeavour to put you in touch with a teacher who is available to carry out the programme.
Click for more information.

Superstars Summer Camp
Our camp is making a return this year! It will take place in the school this year 27th June – 1st July for incoming Junior Infants upwards. More details to follow.

School Tours
Our school tours are also – thankfully – making a return this year. Payments (via instalments if preferred) may be made via Aladdin.

Uniform Matters
Between now and the end of June, shorts are acceptable as part of the school uniform as long as they are plain navy and of an appropriate (knee) length. Grey, tailored knee-length shorts with the main uniform are also acceptable. Football shorts etc. are not acceptable.

Thank you all for your support as always.

Newsletter 11th May

Internet Safety Talk
An internet safety talk was held today (11th May) for pupils in 4th-6th classes. The topics covered were: being responsible on the internet, cyber-bullying, stranger danger, digital footprint, social media and excessive internet usage. We really encourage you to talk to your children about what they covered. It’s an area that we all need to be familiar with.

Attendance Alerts
Due to the exceptional level of absences this year quite a few children have reached a total of 20 days or more, a level at which we are required to routinely report to Tusla. You may see an alert on the Aladdin app. If many of these days are Covid-related, there is no need to be concerned. If you have any queries, please contact the school. Thank you.

Standardised Tests
These take place at this time of year (as required by the Department of Education) for pupils in 1st-6th classes. It is important to note that they are not exams; they help us to track your child’s progress and to inform us how the children in our school are progressing generally. Teachers gather information about your child’s learning all the time and this is part of that process.

Uniform Matters
We’re all proud of our school and our uniform and we have been making an extra effort this week to ask the pupils to wear theirs. There has been a big improvement so well done and thank you all.

If you have a genuine reason why your child can’t wear their uniform on a particular day, just let their teacher know and we will be understanding if it is an exception.

Cumann na mBunscol
Well done to our boys and girls teams this year and it was great to be back in action and to have as many pupils take part as possible. Thanks also to the teachers for looking after the teams. The girls reached the shield final and got a chance to play in O’Moore Park as many Ballylinan players have done in the past and hopefully will do in the future. They lost to a strong team from Ballyfin on the day but they were a credit to themselves, their families and their school and hopefully there will be many more such enjoyable days to come!

Covid Update
We have finally ceased the requirement for you to complete a return to school declaration if your child has been absent; we think everyone knows by now that the public health advice remains that your child should not attend school or childcare if they have symptoms. It is an appropriate time to thank you all so much for your cooperation with public health advice over the past two years. Our parents were hugely cooperative in letting us know if your child had symptoms or if they tested positive. It was a great help in controlling the spread of the virus and we really appreciate it. Here’s hoping that things won’t be as difficult again as they have been at times. Thank you all once again for your care and attention.

Upcoming Closures
Please remember that school will be closed on Monday week, 23rd May. Note also that teachers are required to undertake inservice on the revised primary language curriculum and it will take place on Friday 3rd June (the beginning of the June Bank Holiday weekend). School will finish for all pupils at 12:30 (12:15 for infants) on that day. We will also be closed on Monday and Tuesday, 6th and 7th June.

Newsletter 5th April

Play Area
You may have noticed that we have are developing a play area for our younger pupils! We will give you more details shortly and plan to have an official opening soon after the Easter holidays.

Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P)
Is your child unusually anxious? Would you like some help or sound advice about parenting? There are courses available – free of charge – from Triple P. Some of the courses start tonight, click here to read the list.

Uniform Matters
It’s great to see our pupils in school and looking well in their uniforms:
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 length may be worn.
We recommend practical footwear, preferably in a dark colour.
The use of hair dye is not permitted during term time and we encourage pupils to tie up their hair. Earrings should be neat (no large loops etc.) and fake nails or nail extensions are not permitted.

Covid Update
I’m sure you are all familiar with the very high level of cases in the community and consequent disruption to your lives. This continues to be the case in school. We have had only one month (October) this year where pupil absences approached normality, other months have had – and continue to have – absences at between two and four times normal levels which is unprecedented. Under current public health guidelines, there is very little we can do but manage as best we can. We will continue to require you to complete a return to school declaration after your child has been absent, though we had hoped to cease this requirement by now. It’s a reminder that it’s still deemed important to mitigate the spread of the virus. Thank you all again for continuing to inform us of positive cases and for keeping your child at home if they have any symptoms. A reminder too that masks are still advised when travelling on buses; they are confined spaces and spread is much more likely in such settings.

Check out our Gaeilgeoirí na Seachtaine.

Cumann na mBunscol
The competitions have been progressing through the month of March. A big thank you to the teachers involved in coaching the children. It is expected that the football competitions will return to their normal schedules in September. Our boys started very well, winning their first two matches but unfortunately things tailed off a little after that. We were only too glad to be back in action though and to give as many pupils as possible a chance to play for their school, having been deprived of that for the past two years. Our girls have been making very good progress, having won four of their five matches. Because competitions are compressed into a short timeframe this year, they will play in the shield semi-final at the Laois Centre of Excellence in Portlaoise this Thursday 7th April at 11 o’clock. Go n-éirí libh a chailíní!

School Activities
Swimming, rugby and football are continuing for classes in turn. We are looking forward to the return of gymnastics in June this year for all classes. 4th Class are taking part in their cycle safety course, learning lots of ways to help them to be safer cyclists. Please remind your child of the importance of road safety on the way to and from school.

Closing for Easter
The school will close for the Easter holidays at 12:15 for Infants and 12:30 for all others this Friday, 8th April. We will re-open on Monday, 25th April. Other planned closures are detailed on the school website. Thank you all for your support as always and a Happy Easter to you all.