Return to School (Friday, 27th August)

Céad Míle Fáilte!
A big Ballylinan welcome back to all our pupils and their families. A special welcome to all our pupils starting ‘big’ school for the first time! In this school we have an exceptionally friendly, warm and welcoming environment that we treasure. Our sincere wish is that your child learns and thrives here.

Covid Protocols
Government guidelines require us to return with the same protocols in place as before the summer. We all hope that as vaccine levels continue to increase, we will be able to return to ‘normal’ at some stage. For now, we must remain cautious.

Sanitising will be required. While we have lots of sanitiser available, it is very helpful for your child to have a little bottle to hand.

Interaction will be limited within classrooms and rooms will have little or no interaction with other rooms during the day.

Face coverings will be worn by school staff in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Guidelines state that face coverings for children are not required. If you wish your child to wear one and s/he can manage successfully, they are welcome to do so.

What if my Child is Unwell?
If your child has any of the common symptoms of Covid-19 (temperature, new cough, changed sense of taste or smell, shortness of breath) isolate your child and call your doctor.

If your child has any other symptoms (such as sore throat, headache, runny or stuffy nose, feeling sick, diarrhoea) call your doctor and do not send your child to school.

We have had exceptional cooperation from parents and this contributed to the fact that we needed no intervention from Public Health last year. There is no guarantee that it will be the same this year, so we continue to rely on your cooperation. We really appreciate it. If you have any queries at all, please contact the school and we will be only too glad to help.

You will be required to complete a Return to School Declaration on the Aladdin app when your child is returning from an absence (not after a weekend).

Arriving in the Mornings
Please note that Junior Infants should arrive between 9:30 and 9:45 on Friday, 27th August only. From then on, arrival is as for others as follows:)

Pupils may arrive at any time between 9 and 9:15 and they will go straight to their classrooms through designated entrances, all at the rear of the building:
Athy End: Ms. Twomey, Mrs. Donnelly, Mrs. Sukprasert and Ms. Lacey
Ballylinan End: Ms. Goff, Ms. Cunningham, Mrs. Moriarty and Ms. Hogan
Middle Door: Ms. Murphy, Mr. Curry

It is preferable that the children can make their way without you; it will reduce the risk of adults coming into contact. While such contact would be casual and outdoors, we strongly recommend that adults use face masks if they have to leave their car. If your child is able to get out of the car with their belongings unaided, please use the drop off area. This means drop and go. Please do not delay or get out of your car for any reason. Drop and go!

Departing in the Afternoons
Your child will exit from the door by which they entered in the morning. Infants finish at 2 p.m. (except Junior Infants for first two weeks) and all other classes at 3 p.m.

Those making their way home independently will walk to the front via the Athy end.

If your child is in 4th – 6th Class, please wait at your car. Your child will exit by the same door they entered and make their way to your car. There will continue to be extra space for cars to the rear at the Athy end.

If your child is in 1st – 3rd Class, you may wait in a physically distanced manner on the courts to the rear of the school. Your child will exit and make their way to you.

It is strongly recommended that you wear a mask. Although we have a large area at the rear of the school, make sure not to congregate in close proximity to others. Please do not approach the doors, the teachers will send your child to you. We ask for your patience, particularly for the first few days while we get used to these arrangements.

We can’t change these arrangements if it is very wet, do have a coat to hand!

Once your child has brought their books to school, schoolbags will not not be needed as often as usual. Details to follow.

Newsletter 22nd June

Covid Update
We have almost reached the end of an extraordinary year. School has been so different for us all with our procedures and practices having been turned upside down. I want to thank parents in particular for being vigilant in relation to the virus. Because of your care and cooperation with our procedures, we have managed so far without the need for engagement with public health and further disruption to an already disrupted year. Thank you all so much. The advice from the Department of Education is that we are to continue in September as we finished this year, i.e. sanitising, mask wearing for adults, children being in class ‘bubbles’ etc. We all fervently hope that we will be able to return to ‘normal’ at some stage during the coming year if we can continue our progress in containing the virus.

Booklists, Classes etc.
This year’s school reports are available on Aladdin. Booklists for next year are listed on the school homepage .

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 length may be worn. We recommend practical footwear, preferably in a dark colour.

If you have not already ordered, please do so immediately.

Ms. Cotter retires this week after 42 years in Ballylinan. We celebrated with a picnic for the whole school yesterday. Presentations are being made on behalf of the Board of Management, pupils, the Parents Association and her colleagues. The Claire Cotter Library has been developed in the school and was opened this week. On behalf of us all we thank Ms. Cotter for her decades of service to the community in Ballylinan and we wish her a long and happy retirement. Our virtual Zim Day has been a great success. If you wish to make a donation you’re welcome to do so.

Staff News
Mrs. Hurley has been appointed to the role of Deputy Principal when Ms. Cotter retires. The Board of Management has appointed Mr. Danny Curry to take up Ms. Cotter’s teaching duties.

Summer Arrangements
Remember that school closes this Friday, 25th June for the summer holidays (12:15 for Infants and 12:30 for all others). We reopen for all pupils on Friday, 27th August. See our 2021/22 Calendar.

End of Year
As we approach the end of another year I would like to thank all those who help to keep the school running so well including those who volunteer their time and efforts in many ways, members of the Board of Management and the Parents Association. In particular I want to thank all of the staff in the school for helping to keep you and your children safe by following our Covid procedures. I hope that during the summer you all find some time for yourselves to rest and relax.

John Threadgold

News Update 18th June

All pupils should bring in their bags next week; there may be stuff to bring home on various days.

Weather permitting we will be having a picnic on Monday as part of our celebrations to mark Ms. Cotter’s retirement. Your child should bring their lunch (hopefully to eat outside) and a small treat.

Virtual Zim Day
This is a cause close to Ms. Cotter’s heart and we encourage you to make any donation you can. Click to learn more. You’re welcome to share on social media.

Thank you all.

Newsletter 10th June

Virus Update
Thank you for your continuing cooperation with public health measures. We are almost at the end of a very difficult school year for everybody. We expect that some measures will remain in place in September, but we may not know what they will be until nearer the time.

Tracksuit Orders
School tracksuit orders are now being taken online. Orders must be placed by Friday June 18th. There is no payment required at this point.  Place your order.

School Reports
Reports will be made available as we approach the end of the school year. The Department of Education required that standardised tests be carried out as normal and this has been done recently. Given the extraordinary disruption during this and last year, it will not be too surprising if the children’s test scores have fallen a little. Your child’s teacher may be in contact with you if they think there is a particular concern, but if schools can have a more normal year in the coming year, we expect that any ground lost can be recovered over time.

2021 Home Based Summer Programme
This programme is aimed at all students in special schools and special classes as well as students in mainstream classes in primary schools who are accessing the highest level of the continuum of support (Student Support Plus/for a few). This includes students with Autism, Down syndrome, sensory impairments, and other disabilities who were identified for the supplementary programme earlier this year.

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.

More information.

6th Class Graduation
This will take place on the evening of 23rd June with Covid restrictions applying. Details will be issued to parents of 6th Classes next week.

Cúl Camp
Please note this will take place in Ballylinan GAA Club from 19th – 23rd July. Register here.

Our condolences to Mrs. Donnelly on the recent death of her father, Jimmy Farrell. May he rest in peace.

Newsletter 26th May

Covid Update
Vaccinations are progressing well which is great news. Unfortunately the pandemic is not over and the risk of transmission and disruption in the school community remains. There are currently three primary schools in the Carlow area with classrooms closed because of the virus. Please continue to follow public health guidelines at all times. Thank you all.

Bishop Denis Nulty has requested that in line with public health advice, there be no Communion or Confirmation ceremonies held this school year. While not unexpected, it still disappointing news. Arles Parish will monitor the situation with a view to organising these ceremonies as soon as is practicable, perhaps holding Confirmation in late summer and Communion before Halloween. This is a tentative plan and of course it is subject to change.

Reducing Anxiety in Children aged 4-14 Years
Free Zoom Webinar for Parents

Laois Education Centre in partnership with the Triple P Parenting Programme are delivering a Fear-Less webinar which will offer Parents of children 4 – 14 years of age tips and strategies to help their children manage their anxiety and provide practical evidence-based tips for parents and carers in these uncertain times.

Parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic is a unique challenge for all parents, caregivers and families. Children and parents are anxious, and families are under pressure like never before. Being a parent to a child/teenager who is experiencing anxiety can be tough.

Tuesday 29th June 2021
Facilitator: Deirdre Dowling, Triple P Practitioner
Click to Register

Supporting Transitions from Primary School to Post-Primary School
This information webinar in collaboration with the National Parents Council will explore some of the key elements in preparing your child for post-primary school. For first time parents, the session will give you an understanding of what secondary school is like. We’ll look at ways in which parents can support their child through this time bearing in mind that going to First Year also coincides with adolescence for a young person.

The session will also give a brief overview of the Junior Cert and provide some website links where parents can keep on top of developments as their child moves forward. Furthermore, we will briefly look at the structure of parent/teacher meetings, home school communication and people your child might meet in post primary school.

Wednesday 2nd June 2021
7.30 – 9pm
Facilitator: Helen Mortimer, National Parents Council
Click to Register

As some of you already know, Ms. Claire Cotter (Deputy Principal) will be retiring at the end of June after 42 years in Ballylinan. Her huge contribution to the life of the school will be recognised in the coming weeks. The Board of Management has appointed Mrs. Aileen Hurley to take up the position of Deputy Principal when Ms. Cotter retires.

Please remind your child to take care if they are walking on the footpath from the school to the church. This can be very busy and it is all too easy for a child to step onto the road into the path of a car. Please take care. Thank you for your support as always.