Dear Parents / Guardians,
We hope all is well with you this fortnight. Our news is as follows:
- Retirements of Ann Kenna and Linda Kelly: It is with personal regret, but warm wishes that I announce the retirements of both Linda Kelly and Ann Kenna, both of which will take place in the summer.
Ann Kenna has acted as a Special Needs Assistant here at the school since 1999 and over the course of those 22 years, she has assisted and supported countless children, both with and without special educational needs. She has shown a passion and dedication to her profession that has inspired us all. Her warmth, kindness and caring nature have endeared her to all of the children in whose classes she has worked through the years, and all will have fond memories of that kindness in action. Ann has been a trusted and valued team member here in the school and the staff and I will greatly miss her friendship, her wit and good humour, her wonderful leadership in administering our book rental scheme and locating all manner of lost items, as well as her ability get the best out of all of the children with additional needs with whom she has worked.
Ms. Kelly has taught in Bunscoil Bhríde since 1997, is a valued and well-loved member of our staff, an amazing and inspiring teacher and a hard-working member of our in-school management team. I would like to thank her for her hard work and dedication to the development of the intellectual, social, moral and spiritual education of the children of Rathangan and for her wonderful leadership and involvement with numerous school initiatives, the one she will be most widely remembered for, being the Green Schools Committee. Linda introduced the Green Schools Initiative to our school over twenty years ago and since then she has led us in achieving nine green flags and has made sure respect and care for the environment is a prominent feature of the ethos here at our school. I also want to sincerely thank her for the kindness, support and encouragement she has always shown to each and every one of her colleagues. She has acted as a mentor to all of us.
Indeed, the generosity of spirit, warmth and kindness of both ladies has contributed in no small part to the warm, caring, happy ethos we are so proud of here at Bunscoil Bhríde.
They will be greatly missed by teachers and pupils alike and I know I speak for the entire staff when I say that they will both be a massive loss to our school on both a personal and professional level. I would like to extend both ladies every good wish for a long, enjoyable and fulfilling retirement. Fr. Bill will celebrate a retirement mass for Linda and Ann in the church on Tuesday 29th June and we invite you all to watch it online.
THIRD Active School Flag: Wonderful news – we have just learnt that our most recent application for the Active School Flag has been successful and we are to receive our THIRD Active School Flag. The application process is a rigorous ordeal, during which each school must demonstrate their commitment to promoting physical activity in the school. I would like to congratulate and thank our wonderful Active Schools Committee, led by Ms. Ruttledge and Ms. Ryan. They have been instrumental in ensuring that physical activity is strongly promoted in our school. Well done to all of the staff, who have worked to support and implement all of the actions of the Active Schools Committee and well done to all of our pupils whose enthusiastic, active engagement have been leading to increased fitness levels right throughout the school and an appreciation of the importance of physical activity. We hope to proudly raise our Active School Flag on the last day of Active Schools Week – Friday 11th June and look forward to a celebration of this wonderful achievement on that day.
- Bank Holiday Closure: The school will close on Friday 4th June and on Monday 7th June for the June Bank Holiday weekend.
- Active Schools Week: All classes have been very active this week and have been having tremendous fun in the process. We have had two of our Sports Days already, with the remaining two scheduled to take place next week. Each class had been engaged in a daily active challenge, set by different staff members and we’ve also been getting our steps up by running laps of the large yard. I want to thank Ms. Ruttledge, Ms. Ryan and Mr. O’Sullivan for all of the work they have put in, to ensure a jam-packed, super-efficiently-organised, Covid-compliant, fun-filled Active Schools Week for us all. I have to say, the buzz of excitement about the place is really heart-warming and it’s been wonderful to see the enjoyment on the faces of all of the children. Well done to all staff members, who have all been getting involved in keeping us all active and ensuring we live up to our Active School status.
- Class Fun Days: We are all very excited about our Class Fun Days, which are all taking place over the next three-week period. Details of your daughter’s Fun Day will be sent to you via Aladdin Permissions (for all classes leaving the school grounds) tomorrow. We ask that you grant permission for your daughter to take part in the Fun Day via the Permissions tab on the Aladdin app. Photos of the Fun Days will be available to view on our school website, www.bunscoilbhride.ie .
- Sixth Class Retreat: Bishop Denis is hosting a virtual Retreat for sixth class pupils on Friday 18th June. All sixth class pupils in the diocese will be invited to take part.
- Junior Infant Immunisations: Junior Infant pupils will receive their MMR and 4-in-1 vaccinations in the school on Monday 28th June. Please see letter from the HSE going home with all Junior Infant children today for more information.
- Sixth Class Graduation: Graduation Mass for our Sixth Class girls will take place at 10am on Friday 25th June in Rathangan Church. While we would love to be able to welcome the 6th class parents to this special occasion, unfortunately this will not be possible this year. The Mass will be livestreamed and we invite all parents / family members to tune in. We will have a special treat for the girls back at the school afterwards and will present them with their graduation certificates and hoodies. They have been a great group of pupils, who have been excellent ambassadors for our school. Covid has presented these sixth class girls with a particular challenge – the restrictions have meant that they were denied the typical rites of passages and many fun activities that sixth classes before them have enjoyed, but never once have they complained. They have risen effortlessly to each and every challenge presented to them. They have emanated our school ethos and have displayed kindness to the younger members of our school community. We are very proud to have had the pleasure of teaching this group of girls over the past eight years and we wish them the very best of luck as they transition to secondary school.
- Favourite Colours Day: On behalf of our sixth class pupils I would like to thank you all most sincerely for your incredibly generous support of our ‘Favourite Colours Day’ fundraiser last Friday. We were absolutely blown away by the generosity of all of our families, with a whopping €781 raised. This money will be used to fund our sixth class graduation hoodies, which will bear the school crest and names of all members of the class of 2021.
- Book Rental Scheme Book Collection: All book rental books will be collected from children on Friday 25th June. Please ensure your child’s book rental books are in good condition and ready for inspection on that day. There should be no marks on these books as they are the property of the school. Charges will be imposed in the case of damage to books / missing books.
- Library Books: All books should be returned to our school library by Friday 18th. Charges will be imposed in the case of damaged / missing books.
- Standardised Tests: Results of the Drumcondra Primary Reading Test, the Drumcondra Primary Mathematics Test and the Drumcondra Spelling Test (for first to fifth classes only) for all classes from first class to sixth class will be released to parents on Thursday 10th June. As per message sent to parents of children in these classes, I wish to remind you all of the importance of not sharing or discussing specific results with the children.
- End-of-Year Reports: End-of-year reports will be released to parents on the Aladdin app on Tuesday 15th June.
- Sixth Class Education Passport: The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) has developed a suite of materials to support the reporting and transfer of pupil information from primary to post-primary schools. The materials are presented under the umbrella title of “Education Passport” and are available at www.ncca.ie/transfer. Schools are required to use the NCCA Education Passport materials to support the reporting and transfer of pupil information at the end of sixth class. The Education Passport will be sent to the relevant post-primary school following confirmation of enrolment. Parents of children in sixth class have today received the ‘My Child’s Profile’ sheet for completion by parents/guardians and the ‘My Profile’ sheet for completion by pupils. We ask that you and your child fill these out and return them to the school by Friday 11th June. They will be sent, along with your daughter’s end-of-year report to her secondary school.
- Outdoor Classroom: We are eagerly awaiting delivery of the benches for our outdoor classroom, which we hope to have in place before the end of this school year. The outdoor classroom will be positioned in our school garden to the rear of the school. All classes have been planting in our raised beds in the garden and we look forward to harvesting a wonderful crop of fruit and vegetables in the coming weeks.
- Running Track: A running track around the perimeter of our large yard to the rear of the school will be instated in the summer. All classes have been building fitness by doing laps of the yard and we are very excited at the prospect of being able to continue this practice right throughout the year on our state-of-the-art running track.
- Summer Works: The exterior of our school will be painted in the summer. We will be retaining the same colour, but look forward to a cleaner, fresher finish.
- Board of Management: The Board has had a busy year and worked very productively. I would like to sincerely thank all members of the Board who work quietly behind the scenes in a voluntary capacity for the school. Their generosity of time and dedication to the school cannot be overstated and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.
- Thank you: As this is our final Fortnightly Bulletin of the year, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the teachers and staff of Bunscoil Bhríde for all their dedication and hard-work throughout what has been probably one of the most challenging years we have experienced as a staff. We have all pulled together and everybody has gone the extra mile to ensure our school has remained as safe as possible in the midst of a global pandemic. In this context, we have still succeeded in completing another busy, productive and exciting year for the school. We are really blessed to have such a fantastic staff.
I would also like to thank our Parents’ Association, in particular Elizabeth Lawless, Debbie Fallon and Evelyn Kelly who, despite being unable to physically meet up this year, have secured a fundraising stream for the school by instating a clothes bank in aid of the school in the grounds of the church. The committee members have shown such generosity of time and energy and are a true credit to the school.
I would also like to sincerely thank each and every one of you; our parents. You have all shown such support and cooperation in helping us to successfully implement our Covid Plan. You have been generous and flexible throughout this challenging school year, and your positivity, your words of thanks and your encouragement have bolstered the staff and I, and for that we are extremely grateful.
Finally, I would like to thank all the pupils of our school, who have made my job as Principal a pleasure and who make Bunscoil Bhríde the wonderful school that it is. We are so very fortunate to have the most wonderful whole-school community.
- Next year: The school will re-open on Tuesday 31st August. As we have yet to receive direction from the Department of Education and Skills in relation to Covid procedures that may be required in schools during the next school year, we do not yet know if we will be required to continue to operate staggered start and finish times and staggered breaks. We are therefore not yet in a position to confirm start or finish times for September. I will be in contact with all parents as soon as I receive instruction in this regard from the Department.
- Summer Holidays: The school will close on Wednesday 30th June. To facilitate parents collecting children from the boys’ school, classes will finish at the following times: Cohort 1 – 11.35am, Cohort 2 – 11.45am. I would like to wish you all a very enjoyable and restful summer holiday and I look forward to meeting and working with you all in September.