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Fortnightly Bulletin 1st October 2020

Dear Parents / Guardians,

We hope all is well with you this fortnight. Our news is as follows:

National Tree Day: Today is National Tree Day. All classes will be learning about trees today. Ms. Kelly and her Green Schools Committee have asked all classes to study one tree per week over the next four weeks; the oak tree, the horse-chestnut tree, the sycamore tree and the beech tree. The children will work on recognition of the leaves, fruits etc. of each of these trees. You can get ideas on how to support us at home by visiting www.treeday.ie.

Maths Week: Maths Week will take place from Monday 12th to Friday 16th 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.

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.

Junior Infant Photographs for newspaper: The ‘Leinster Leader’ have confirmed that they will be sending their photographer to our school at 10.45am next Friday 9th October to take Junior Infants class photographs for the ‘First Day at School 2020’ supplement in the newspaper. Please contact the school if you do not wish your daughter to be included in the photographs. It is our school policy (for Child Protection reasons) not to provide the names of the children for newspapers.

School Photographs: ‘County Photos’ (school photographers) have been booked to take individual / family photos of all of the children in the school and group photos of all the Junior Infants and 3rd class girls on Thursday 15th October. Details of this will be provided to parents in advance of the date. All photos will be taken in compliance with our Covid Plan.

Coats: Please ensure your child comes to school wearing a coat.

Ventilation in classrooms: As you will be aware, good ventilation is being cited as one of the keys elements in reducing the risk of the spread of Covid-19 in crowded indoor settings. We have been informed by the HSE and the Department of Education and Skills that we are to leave windows, and where possible, internal classroom doors open to facilitate good ventilation of our classrooms. As the weather gets colder over the next few weeks and months, classrooms will be cold, even with the heating on all day. All pupils will be allowed to bring a fleece / hoodie in their bag (and store it there). When they feel cold in class, they will be permitted to put this hoodie on over their uniform jumper. Coats will not be worn in the classroom and will only be put on when the children are going outside. Children should be able to put on and take off this hoodie / fleece independently and it should be clearly labelled with your child’s name. As we haven’t really entered into the very cold period yet, I would advise that children hold off on wearing this extra external layer until we do, and instead wear an extra vest / internal layer on colder days over the next couple of weeks. Full uniform should be worn by all children – the fleece / hoodie is not a substitute for the uniform jumper.

24-hour Pupil Personal Accident Insurance: Please be advised that all medical costs associated with an accident involving your child, whether at school or at home is covered by this insurance. It is 24 hour, 7 days a week cover. If you have to take your child to A & E as a result of any accident, the cost will be fully covered. Please just phone the office to let us know and we will send you out the form with the policy number to be completed and returned to Allianz, who will process your claim.

Caretaker: Camillus Donoghue will be leaving us tomorrow, having spent the past fourteen months acting as caretaker for our school. On behalf of the entire staff I wish to thank him sincerely for his incredibly hard work in keeping the exterior of our school looking so well and in helping me prepare for the reopening of our school. He has been an asset to our school and will be greatly missed. We look forward to welcoming Nigel Martin back in his role as caretaker from Monday.

Potential loss of teacher: At the moment it looks likely that we are to lose a teacher from 23rd October, due to our enrolment numbers having been impacted negatively as a direct result of Covid-19 and the delay to the development of the housing estates in the town. Ironically we actually have more children on the roll this year than last year. Our chairperson, Anne Connolly and I have been working hard to lobby our local political representatives and I have been in direct contact with the office of the Minister for Education, in an attempt to appeal and reverse this potential loss. If we are unsuccessful in our appeal, we are left in the impossible position of either losing a classroom teacher or a special education teacher; either scenario having a serious impact on all of our pupils. I am hoping that in the midst of a pandemic we will not be left in such a difficult position. I will keep you updated on the progress of our appeal and may be asking for your assistance in the coming weeks in lobbying for our school, should the need arise.

Attendance / Punctuality: This year our top priority is everyone’s health. While it is accepted that there is a direct link between school attendance and pupil progress, we must make exceptions this year. We thank you all for erring on the side of caution – keeping children home who are unwell, getting GP advice when symptoms are on the Covid-19 list and observing all of the guidelines around isolation etc. It will mean attendance figures will be low. However, if we manage to keep the school open and keep each other well we are doing the right thing. Our attendance initiative will be put on pause for this year and we will not be awarding Attendance Certificates as we usually do, but please do keep up punctuality. Please keep letting us know the reasons for all absences by recording them on the Aladdin app (let us know if you need any assistance with this). The school is obliged by law to inform Tusla when a pupil is absent for a total of 20 school days in one school year. Please note that if absences are Covid-related this will be indicated to Tusla. Thank you again for following the protocols. I am so proud of how we, as a school community, have been dealing with the new normal and how successful our first month back at school has been. Well done everyone!

Dates for the diary: All dates for the diary this term are available to view on the Aladdin Connect app under ‘Calendar’.
Kind regards,

Maria Rogerson

Message from the Green Schools Committee

We are continuing our work on Green School issues and are working towards our next Green Flag; Global Citizenship – Travel. We are continuing composting and recycling each day. We will continue walking / cycling / scooting on Wednesdays. We will also continue to collect batteries and mobile phones for recycling.
We encourage caring for our environment. It is Tree Day today and we would encourage you to visit our local woods; Killinthomas Woods and look up activities on www.treeday.ie that you would like to work on with your child.
Keep up the great work on caring for the environment.

Thank you,
The Green Schools Committee

Bunscoil Bhríde Parents Association Newsletter

The Parents Association would like to say how fantastic the students are after adapting to this new way of learning in these precarious times.
We would like to thank all the staff at Bunscoil Bhride for all the tremendous work that has gone into adapting the school to ensure the students can learn in a class environment once again. Thank you so much.
It is coming to that time of year again – Christmas!!! Our Christmas card order needs to be placed next week to make the printing deadlines.
A template of your child’s card and an order form will be sent home with your child next week. Your child’s masterpiece can be created in the class or at home. We would ask that the order form is filled in completely, stating how many packs of cards you want for friends and family. Please place the exact payment in a sealed envelope with the card and the order form. A 12 pack of cards is €10.
All Parents Association meetings will be postponed until further notice.
If you would like to be involved or just to get more information please email the Parents Association on pabunscoilbhride@gmail.com