Newsletter 24th October

First Communion 2023
First Communion will take place on Saturday 13th May at 11 o’clock. First confession will be on Tuesday 24th January at 7:30 p.m. There will be a meeting for parents in mid-November in the school, details to follow once confirmed by Arles parish.

Confirmation 2023
Confirmation will be on Saturday 25th March at 11 o’clock. Ceremony of light will be on Tuesday, 7th February at 7:30 p.m.

Cumann na mBunscol
Well done to our boys and girls teams who will compete in the Roinn 2 Shield semi-finals tomorrow (Tuesday 25th) at the Laois Centre of Excellence. Girls v. The Rock at 10 a.m. and Boys v. Emo at 12 o’clock. Go n-éirí libh go léir!

School Rules
We are reviewing our school rules with the aim of making them simpler while keeping them positive. Here are the ones we have been working on:
1. We are kind and helpful
2. We are honest
3. We are gentle
4. We work hard
5. We listen
6. We look after property
If you would like to comment please do so at . Thank you.

Online Presence
We are also reviewing our online presence with a view to better communicate what goes on in the life of the school. If you would like to comment or make suggestions, please do so at . Thanks again.

Meeting for Parents
Thanks to those who attended last week’s meeting. The next step will be the AGM of the Parents Association which will take place in November, details to follow.

Amber Flag
This year we will be engaging in activities as we work towards an Amber Flag. The Amber Flag initiative recognises the efforts of schools, community groups and clubs to create healthy, inclusive environments that support mental well-being. Details to follow throughout the year.

Christmas Carol Service
We are planning to hold a carol service this year (on Wednesday, 14th December) in Ballylinan church for the first time since 2019. We all know what happened in the meantime! Our infant classes will hold a nativity play in the school around that time, details to follow.

Halloween Hike
We will combine fun for the children with some fundraising on Friday morning. Fingers crossed that the rain stays away. We will hike in our costumes from the school to the village and back again. As our voluntary collection has been paused since the start of the pandemic, we are asking you to sponsor your child/ren. We are sending home one card per family and appreciate any contribution that you can make. Please return as soon as possible. We do aim to return to voluntary contributions in electronic format at some stage. Thank you all again for your support.

Halloween Break
Teachers are required to undertake inservice on the revised primary language curriculum. This will take place this Friday afternoon (28th October). School will finish for all pupils at 12:30 (12:15 for infants) on the day. School reopens on Monday, 7th November.

Newsletter 13th October

Football News
At school (Cumann na mBunscol) level our teams are doing well this year so far. Our boys have won four out of five and our girls two out of four with some very good football being played! The groups this season are as follows:

Buachaillí (Roinn 2A)
Scoil Mhuire, Abbeyleix

Cailíní (Roinn 2A)
Scoil Mhuire, Abbeyleix

Child Safeguarding
The schools’ child safeguarding and anti-bullying policies are available on the school website (click Policies and Procedures at the top of the page). The Board of Management welcomes comments and suggestions for improvement. If you wish to comment, please ring the school or email . Thank you.

Parents Meeting
We have a great tradition of supportive parents in Ballylinan. Interested parents are invited to a meeting to form a working group of people who are willing to support the work of the school in the coming months and years. The meeting will take place in the school on Thursday week, 20th October at 8 p.m. We will outline planned activities that can involve your support and discuss things that we could work on together. Our Parents Association had to take a back seat during Covid and we will resume its activities at subsequent meetings. All are welcome.

Parenting Courses
Please click for info: Parenting When Separated  and Parenting Early Years. Note that some of these courses may have started but will still accept attendees. Contact details can also be used to find out about subsequent or follow-up courses. Parenting is a difficult job, we all need a hand or some advice at times!

Parent-Teacher Meetings
These will take place next month; details to follow.

School Attendance
If your child is absent for a total of 20 days or more in a school year, we are legally required to report this to Tusla. You may see an alert on the Aladdin app. If many of these days are Covid or illness-related or you have provided a reasonable explanation, there is no need to be concerned. If you have any queries, please contact the school. Thank you.

Allergies / Epipens / Asthma
If your child has an allergy and we have an epipen here in the school please contact us immediately to check that it is in date. If we are not aware, please let us know immediately. Please also ensure that we are aware if your child uses an inhaler for asthma and that we have been informed if there are any particular concerns in relation to your child’s asthma. 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 all.

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 of the Halloween break. School will finish for all pupils at 12:30 (12:15 for infants) on that day. There is likely to be another inservice in the afternoon of Monday, 14th November. Confirmation to follow.

Halloween Hike
As in previous years we will be dressing up for Halloween, this year on the morning of Friday October 28th. Like last year we plan to ‘hike’ from the school down to the village and will be issuing sponsorship cards soon. Details to follow.

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.

A reminder that 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.