Dear Parents / Guardians,
Welcome back to all the families in our school community. I would especially like to extend a very warm welcome to all our new pupils and their families. All school staff are looking forward to working with you to ensure our school can provide the best possible educational experience for our pupils.
New Model of Special Education
As I mentioned last year the way in which special education teaching resources are allocated to schools and distributed within schools has changed. Support for pupils now comes in a variety for different ways. We are running many different programmes in the school which involves pupils working in groups. These include, social groups, Literacy Lift Off, Guided Reading and Mata sa Rang among others. Sometimes additional teachers will join the class teacher in class to work with groups while other times groups of children will move to other teaching spaces within the school depending on the type of support. Most children will be involved in one or more of these initiatives as the year progresses and most are already used to this process.
Standardised Testing will take place from 1st to 6th class on the weeks of 13th to 17th and 20th to 24th May. Please be aware that if your child misses these tests due to holidays we will be unable to administer the tests on their return as it is far too time consuming for the special education team and takes time from those children who need it most. Please remember that holidays should not be arranged during school terms.
PLC (Primary Language Curriculum)
The new Primary Language Curriculum is now being implemented from Junior Infants to 2nd class. As part of the role out of this new curriculum the Department of Education has sanctioned an extra day of in-service for staff to continue their professional development in this area. This will take place at some point during the school year. Please note that the school will be closed to pupils on that day. Parents will be given as much notice as possible.
Information for parents is available on the NCCA website at www.curriculumonline.ie. As part of the Department’s strategy to improve children’s literacy and numeracy skills, the National Adult Literacy Agency developed the website www.helpmykidlearn.ie. This provides some suggestions for enjoyable activities in which parents and their children can engage. Information for parents about resources to support literacy and numeracy in Irish is available from COGG, www.cogg.ie.
We are currently in consultation with the Diocesan office in relation to the drawdown of our Sports Capital Grant. We are also putting together the documentation which the Sports Capital Unit require before we can draw down the grant. When we have completed this process we will have a more clear idea of exactly how much money we have left to meet our fundraising target. We will be continuing to fundraise for this during the year and more information will follow in due course.
We are most fortunate to have a very active and efficient Parents Association. In order to ensure the continuation of this and to outline the activities and projects undertaken, you are invited to attend the AGM on Tuesday 2nd October at 7:30 pm. One parent from each family should attend. The Parents Association is vital for the smooth running of our school. In order for the P.A to be successful we are looking for at least one parent from Junior Infants to 6th class to join the Parents Association.
24 Hour personal / accident Insurance
The Board of Management in association with Allianz now require that parents take out this insurance for all children attending school. An outline of benefits under the policy is included with this newsletter, and the fee has been included on the booklist
Contribution for Art and Crafts etc.
The money requested on pupil’s book-lists covers all Art and Craft materials, photocopying, ink for printers and other materials used by the children. It is essential that all families /pupils contribute to this expense. We are acutely aware that family budgets are stretched so we are more than happy to accept this money in weekly installments. Many thanks to all who have paid this already.
Memorial Coffee Morning in aid of Milford Hospice Friday 14th September
Our now annual and hugely successful coffee morning will be held again this year on Friday 14th of September in the school hall. All proceeds from the day will go to Milford Hospice. The school will be open to all in the community to come and have a cup of tea/coffee and a treat between 9.30 am and 11.00 am on the morning. During the day all pupils will get a chance to come to the hall and select a treat. The cost to each pupil will be €1. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the day.
I am pleased to announce that our new school website: www.castleconnellns.ie is up and running. There are lots of areas within the site for you to browse at your convenience. From next Monday each class teacher will be able to keep you up to date on what is happening in their class if they so wish. You will find the class tabs if you go into the “News” section of the site. I will also put each newsletter under the “General News” section within “News”. There is a lovely “calendar” section also which I will put up events as they come up during the school year.
You can also keep up to date using our school facebook and twitter. There are links to both of these on the website.
Once again this year we will be providing coaching in the following team sports:
Hurling, Football, Camogie and Basketball. We also hope to access the support of the FAI for soccer coaching.
We hope to participate in the inter-school Basketball leagues again this year
We will be participating in East Limerick Cumann Na mBunscol Football and Hurling as well as the FAI schools five-a-side competition later in the school year.
We will also be participating in the Limerick City Sports as in other years.
Coaching for football will begin in October and coaching for girls and boys basketball is also planned for middle and senior classes. Your children will be advised of days, dates etc.
Chess will again be provided to some classes at lunch time by our student council.
We will be entering debating competitions as per last year.
School Choir will also return this year and we have already entered the Peace Proms again.
- Our official uniform is the formal navy trousers/ shirt / pinafore, white shirt, yellow / blue stripped tie and a navy jumper / cardigan.
The tracksuit is for P.E. days only. (P.E. days will be advised by class teachers when timetable are finalised. Congratulations to all for ensuring your children are beautifully turned out in the official uniform.
- The Board of Management cannot accept responsibility for pupils prior to 9.10a.m. Pupils should not be on the school grounds before this time. Pupils will be supervised by a staff member from 9:10a.m. onwards. As always we would ask parents from Senior Infants upwards not to wait in the yard with their children after 9:10a.m as the yards are too congested. The 9:20 am bell is to signal the start of teaching and learning. I have noticed that a lot of pupils are arriving after 9:20 am. Please give yourself enough time to get your children to school on time as they are missing out on valuable teaching time if they are late.
- Pupils should not walk or play in the school car parks at any time. This is extremely dangerous! We request parents collecting pupils at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. ensure that their children stay out of the car park and do not climb on the walls. In the mornings, please ensure your children enter the school grounds by the gates and on the foot paths provided.
- Dogs are not allowed on the school grounds unless they are for a specific disability.
- Absences: If your child is absent for a single day there is no need to ring the school on that day to let us know. You must however send in a note with the reason for absence on the day they return. For pupils 1st to 6th there is a note section in the journal. Infant parents must send in a written note. There is also the option of emailing email@example.com giving the dates and reason for absence. If we have not heard from you by the 3rd day of absence we will need to contact you as per our attendance policy.
School photographer: Wednesday 12th of September
Parents Association AGM: Tuesday 2nd of October at 7:30p.m
Parent /Teacher Meetings Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th January
First Communion: Saturday 4th May. Time 11.00 am
Confirmation Sunday 26th May. Time: 11.30 am