Dear Parents / Guardians,
We hope all is well with you this fortnight. Our news is as follows:
- Friendship Week: Friendship Week is being celebrated in the school next week (Monday 7th to Friday 11th October). The emphasis for the week will be on creating and extending friendship, with the motto ‘to have a friend, you have to be a friend’. Children in all classes are being encouraged to make new friends within their classes, with lots of fun activities taking place. We will hold a ‘Coffee Morning’ (with no coffee involved!) for each class in the hall on Friday. The purpose of the ‘coffee morning’ is to give the children the opportunity to chat in their new groups of friends and to celebrate the end of Friendship Week. We would really appreciate it if you would support our Friendship Week, by helping your children to get out the cookery books at home and bake for their friends for Friday.
- Maths Week: Maths Week will take place from Monday 14th to Friday 18th October this year. In preparation for this, all pupils from 1st to 6th class will be registered with the online Maths site MangaHigh, which will enable them to prepare for the annual ‘MangaHigh Maths Ninja Challenge’. Children will shortly receive their login details and they can begin using the site, both at home and at school. It is a wonderful way of practising Mental Maths in a fun and enjoyable way.
- Swimming: All Fourth and Fifth Class pupils will begin their ten-week block of swimming lessons in Portarlington Swimming Pool today. We wish them the very best of luck and look forward to hearing of their progress.
- Creative Rathangan workshop: Ms. Gorman’s and Ms. Rowley’s Second Class will be taking part in a workshop entitled ‘Creative Rathangan’ on Thursday 17th October. The workshop will be facilitated by local artist Monica de Bath and local ecologist/historian, Michael Jacob. The children will be working in both Tannery Park and the library and will observe, imagine, draw, build and assemble a 3D Creature over the course of the day. We hope they enjoy this wonderful opportunity. Both of our Sixth Classes will take part in ‘Creative Rathangan’ on Thursday 7th November.
- Schools Excellence Fund: As some of you may be aware, we are engaged in the Schools Excellence Fund Project alongside St. Patrick’s B.N.S. and Ardscoil Rath Iomghāin. Details about the Schools Excellence Fund are contained in the Information Leaflet sent with this email and on our school website, under the ‘About Us’ tab.
- Ready, Set, Go Maths: Ms. Feeney is hoping to begin the Ready, Set, Go Maths Programme in her Junior Infants room shortly. I would like to sincerely thank the parents who have already put their names forward to work alongside Ms. Feeney in the classroom for the duration of the programme. Your time, effort and commitment to the school is hugely appreciated and will make the programme much more effective for the children in Junior Infants. We are looking for more parents who would be available to come into the school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings (or even one of these mornings) for a twenty-five minute slot, from 10.00am to 10.25am to play Maths games with the Junior Infant pupils in their classrooms. We would be extremely grateful if you were available and willing to help us out.
- Football: I am very pleased to announce that The Bunscoil Bhrīde U-11 football team are through to the Cumann na mBunscol Large Girls’ Schools semi-final and we are currently awaiting fixtures. Well done to the girls and their coaches, Ms. Feeney, Ms. Collum and Ms. Millane. Football training continues on Tuesdays from 2.40pm to 3.30pm from Third to Sixth Class. Gum shields are compulsory.
- Oral Language: The theme for the month of October is ‘Listening’. Communication and learning skills grow out of effective listening. Hearing and listening are not the same - listening is an active process of focusing on sound; hearing is passive reception of sound. Listening means focusing on some sounds and "tuning out" others. All classes will be focusing on this theme for the month and we would ask that you support us at home, by encouraging and modelling good listening, asking your child to follow oral instructions, playing auditory listening games and questioning your child often.
- Coats: Please ensure your child comes to school wearing a coat.
- School Attendance Strategy: Our whole school attendance for the month of September was 96%, which is very good – well done! I am eager to maintain and even improve upon this level of attendance at Bunscoil Bhríde and would urge you all to support me in this regard. Tūsla have launched the Education Welfare Services Every School Day Counts Campaign, which will run for the month of November. I have registered our school for this campaign and will provide you with further details closer to November. As you will be aware, we are required by Túsla to report in the event of a child being absent for 20 days or more. We are also required to maintain explanatory notes for all absences, including late arrivals and early departures from school. Please ensure you provide your daughter with a note in such circumstances. Our School Attendance Strategy is available to view on our website in the Policies section.
- Junior Infants Photograph: Our fabulous Junior Infants along with their teacher, Ms. Feeney are pictured in this week’s edition of the Leinster Leader – dated October 1st. We have purchased our copy and will be proudly displaying the photograph of our new entrants on the corridor of our school.
- Irish Dancing: All classes will begin a four-week block of Irish Dancing lessons with Carmel Somers beginning Friday 18th October and concluding on Friday 15th November. All pupils should wear their school tracksuit and runners on these four Fridays. I want to sincerely thank Carmel for giving so generously of her time again this year.
- Christmas Shoe-Box Appeal: The children received a leaflet today from ‘Team Hope’ detailing the Christmas Shoe-box Appeal. If you wish, you can put together a shoe-box which will benefit needy children around the world (this is optional). Shoe-boxes may be brought in to school on Friday 8th November only. They will be collected from the school on this day.
- Yards for Playtime: You may have spotted our lovely new playground markings on the entry yard to the school. I want to thank the Parents’ Association, whose organisation of the Fun Run last Year allowed for the purchase of these beautiful markings. Our Junior and Senior Infant pupils have been using this yard to play on during their break times. The remainder of our classes have been alternating between our large yard at the back of the school and the staff car-park yard for break times, which is the reason the staff have begun parking alongside the church. This is a temporary measure until the Department of Education and Skills fund the re-surface of the Newtown Yard, which is in very poor condition. The Board of Management applied to have this yard resurfaced under the Summer Works Scheme in 2016 and we are still awaiting assessment of our application.
- Thursday 3rd October: Beginning of 10-week block of swimming for Fourth and Fifth Class
- Maths Week: 14th – 18th October
- Friendship Week at Bunscoil Bhríde: 7th – 11th October
- Friendship ‘Coffee Morning’: Friday 11th October
- Halloween Spooky Walk: Wednesday 23rd October
- Mid-term Break: School will be closed from Monday 28th October to Friday 1st November inclusive
- Science Week: 11th – 15th November
- PT Meetings: Parent-Teacher Meetings will take place this year on Tuesday 12th and Thursday 14th November. Parents will be given the opportunity to book their appointment slot with their child(ren)’s teacher(s)closer to this time. I will give you all advance notice of the time the link will go live, allowing you to book your time. Please continue to read the Fortnightly Bulletins for further updates. If you have any concerns regarding your child, please phone the office to arrange a meeting time with your child’s teacher prior to this date.
- Carol Service: Our annual Carol Service will take place in Rathangan Church on Tuesday 17th December at 7.30pm.
- Concerts: All classes will put on a drama for the parents and the school community this year. The concerts will take place in the school hall at 7.30pm on each of the following nights:
Tuesday 3rd December
Ms. Gorman’s Second Class
Ms. Rowley’s Second and Third Class
Ms. Ruttledge’s Fifth Class
Thursday 5th December
Ms. Feeney’s Junior Infants
Ms. De Faoite’s and Ms. Coughlan’s Sixth Class
March (date to be confirmed)
Ms. Kelly’s Senior Infants and First Class
Ms. Ryan’s Fourth Class
Ms. Collum’s Fourth and Fifth Class
March (date to be confirmed)
Ms. Beary’s and Ms. Smeaton’s Senior Infants
Ms. Millane’s First Class
Mr. O’Sullivan’s Third Class
- Parents’ Association: Please see the attached newsletter from the Parents’ Association. Your daughter will also have received today a consent form related to the production of a Bunscoil Bhrīde 2020 Calendar; a fundraising initiative by our PA. Please read and return to the school tomorrow.
- Crime Prevention Meeting: All members of the community are invited to attend a Crime Prevention Talk in Rathangan Community Centre next Monday, 7th October, at 8 PM. The event is hosted jointly by the Lullymore, Barnaran, Drumsru and Cappanargid (LBDC) Community Alert Group (consisting of townlands in both Clane Maynooth and Kildare Newbridge MDs) and the Rathangan Community Alert Body (RCAB). Sergeant George Doherty, Crime Prevention Sergeant for Kildare, and other members of An Garda Síochána will be in attendance and making presentations on Crime Prevention. Local crime issues will be raised, including the topic of anti-social behaviour at Rathangan playground, which some of you may be aware of.