Mission Statement

MISSION STATEMENT:

We endeavour to create a caring, Catholic and child-centred environment, promoting tolerance, co-operation, courtesy and respect, catering for children of all abilities and backgrounds.

We aim to provide a broad and diverse education both curricular and extra-curricular, which develops the child’s self-confidence, happiness and security through the work of a united team of staff, management and parents.

Letter to parents 22 October 2014

22nd October 2014

Dear Parents,

The school will be closed next week for mid-term. It will re-open on Monday, November 3rd at 9.00p.m. Normal school closing times apply on Friday.

Apologies for the lack of heating at the moment. A safety valve on the boiler has failed and a replacement is unavailable in the country. One has been ordered but the engineers indicate that it may well be next week before it arrives. Hopefully, the next day or two will not be too cold and an extra layer of clothing may help.

Congratulations to the fifth class boys who won the local Gaelic Football Competition organised by Cuala. We thank Mrs. Walsh, Ms. Nestor and Ms. Ryan for their assistance in mentoring the boys.

The enrolment process for Junior Infants for September 2015 will commence early in November.

Applications for Junior Infants will end on November 7th and first round offers will be made after that. Last year a number of parents who already had children attending the school forgot to put down the names of younger brothers. As places had been allocated they ended up with their children on a waiting list. In one case a child was only accepted in late August following a cancellation. Please ensure that application has been made for younger brothers before the cut-off date November 7th.

Sponsored Walk – our thanks to everyone who supported the Annual Sponsored Walk in aid of School Sports. To date €6,954.90 has been collected which is a fantastic sum. There are a number of cards outstanding and it would be fantastic if these could be returned as soon as possible so that receipts can issue after mid-term.

Dates for First Communion, Confession and Confirmation together with associated ceremonies are on the front page of the website under Sacraments.
Communion and Confirmation Dates 2014-2015
Communion Saturday May 23rd 11a.m.
Confession Thursday March 26th 7.30p.m.
Enrolment Mass Sunday Nov. 30th 10a.m.
Confirmation Friday March 6th 11a.m.
Service of Light Tuesday February 10th 7.30p.m.
Commitment Mass Sunday November 16th 11.15a.m.

The meeting to arrange the Annual Christmas Fair will be held on Tuesday, 4th November at 7.30p.m. In the Boys’ School Hall. The fair is a very important event in the School Calendar and we would appeal, in particular, to parents who are new to the school to become involved and help out.

The October Cake Sale takes place on Friday. This event is always eagerly awaited by the children who enjoy participating. Hopefully, everyone will be busy baking for Friday.

Apart for large wheelie bins from the apartments being set alight in the upper yard last year we are fortunate to have escaped with little trouble over the years at Halloween. We would advise children to avoid the School and Church areas over the break. We would ask parents to keep a mindful eye on the School and report any suspicious activity to the Gardaí. Finally, we trust that  everyone has a safe and enjoyable mid-term break.

Yours sincerely,
Neil Cadogan.

Letter to parents 24 Sept 2014

24th September 2014

Dear Parents,

At this stage everyone is well settled into the new school term. We extend a very special ‘fáilte’ to all the new pupils who have joined the school.  We trust that they will spend many happy, beneficial and rewarding years with us.

Now that everyone has moved up a class the work gets a little bit harder and we expect more from each child.  Basically, we want each child to do his very best at all times, make an honest effort in everything he does, treat everyone with respect and behave properly at all times so that everyone can benefit from each day they spend in our school.

The Holiday Schedule for 2014/2015 is on the school website.  If you require a hard copy please complete the form at end of this note and return to the school secretary.

SUMMER WORKS

Work eventually got underway on the repairs to the drainage system and we thank everyone for their co-operation while the work is in progress.  It is intended that all the work will be completed within a short time.

SCHOOL SELF EVALUATION (SSE)

Work on SSE continues this year.  The main focus will be on Numeracy with continued emphasis on Oral Language and Comprehension also coming under the spotlight.  A school self-evaluation report will be issued at the end of the school year to all parents/guardians.

SCHOOL GARDEN

The School Garden yielded very good results this year and classes are busily engaged in harvesting the crops they planted.

Vegetables planted in 2014 include peas, carrots, leeks, chard, celeriac, gourd, corn, radishes and onions.

Soft Fruits include strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blueberries, and an excellent crop of gooseberries. We had a good crop of apples and pears but sadly the greater part and an excellent crop of plums “vanished”. We are not grateful to whoever took them!!!  Birds attacked the wheat but we have much of the grain, so we look forward to making the flour and bread again this year.

We would be grateful for any small glass containers to hold jam and also clean plastic plant pots.

NEW STUDENT COUNCIL

The class representatives have been elected and the Student Council 2014/2015

Comprises: Mr. Clancy VI Mrs. Mulholland VI
Patrick Scully Nathan Downey Wildes
Seán Mc Grath Daniel Hughes
Mrs. Walsh V Mr. Kelly V
Callum Henderson Dan Coffey
Stephen Dillane Maginn Eimhin Boylan
Ms. Nestor IV Ms. Gillic IV
Orlando Cooney Louis Mullen
Colin Ashe Seán Byrne
Ms. O’Hara/Ms. Cruise III Mrs. Sheehan III
Evan Mitchell Conor Smith
Jack Porter Harry Baily

Ms. Nestor and Ms. Collins will liaise with the Student Council this year.

SPONSORED WALK OCTOBER 9TH

For well over 30 years we have held our walk at the Start of the School Year which enables us to fund sports during the year.  All classes avail of coaching, while younger classes avail of the services of a fully qualified P.E. teacher.  Unfortunately, our sports account is again overdrawn this year so we will have to cut our cloth accordingly to our measure.  We attach the Income/Expenditure on Sports during the year.  The Sponsored Walk will take place on October 9th.  For children in junior classes it is a short stroll near the school.  We are also thankful to the many teachers and parents who give so freely of their time and energy in providing opportunities for the children to participate in the wide range of sporting activities that are made available to the children.

 €
Income 2013/2014 9148.61
   
   
Deficit  2012/2013 1,160.00
Cumann na mBunscol 220.00
FAI 100.00
Basketball Coaching 750.00
Self-defence/Gymnastics Rang VI 225.00
Premier Presentations 357.00
P.E. Teacher 3914.00
Coaching Services 2440.00
Athletics 390.00
Transport 440.00
Referees 250.00
Sport for All 280.00
Catering 120.00
Adventure Bounce 170.00
Helmets 500.00
TOTAL 11,316.00
   
Expenditure over income €2,168.00

We take this opportunities of thanking Mr. Willie Braine who has spent many years of coaching Gaelic Football and Hurling with the children in the school. Sadly for us Willie is leaving to take up another appointment and while we wish him every success in his new role, he will be sadly missed by everyone.

OPENING AND CLOSING TIMES OF SCHOOL

In accordance with terms of our insurance policy, the school opens to receive pupils at 9.00 a.m. each morning. Pupils cannot be admitted before 9.00a.m. regardless of weather. No responsibility is accepted for pupils who arrive before that time. It is important that children are on time and in their line to enter the school with their class.   Teachers collect the children from the yard and we encourage all children to come in unaccompanied in order to foster independence and to reduce the chaos at the school doors and in the corridors in the mornings.  Classes end each day at 2.40 p.m. unless notified otherwise, 1.40 p.m. for Infants.

Parents should make their own arrangements to have children collected from school. The schools cannot accept responsibility for looking after children outside of these times.

CAR PARK

We once again appeal to parents not to drive into the Staff Car­ Park off Woodley Road under any circumstances, as this poses a tremendous risk to children who walk to school.  Motorists are requested to park carefully on approach roads to the school and show consideration for local residents.  Over the years there have been reports from local residents who have been unable to access/egress their own homes.  At times there has been severe congestion in the cul-de-sac on Auburn Road and this area is probably best avoided given that the apartments are now occupied and extra traffic has been generated there.  We also need to keep space clear at all times for emergency vehicles to enter should the need arise.  As many children as possible should be encouraged to walk to school with due attention to Road Safety.  School wardens are on duty to ensure children can cross roads safety.

SCHOOL NOTES & CIRCULARS

Our main method of communicating with parents has been through notes and circulars sent home with the children.  Many of these notes unfortunately, go unnoticed and unheeded. In an effort to improve communication for the most part notes will issue from the Boys’ school on WEDNESDAYS.  As part of the continuing Green School Initiative we continue to reduce our ‘paper output’ by putting as many notices as possible on the website www.olgc.ie. and emailing them to you also.

In line with our ‘WEDNESDAY NOTE’ which has operated well we intend to have notes posted for Wednesdays. A reminder can then be put in the homework notebook or in the case of very important notes, a text can be sent.

NOTES FROM PARENTS

Under the Education Welfare Act written explanation is required from parents/guardians in relation to all absences. Notes are required from parents in all cases of absence, late arrival by children or early release during the school day.  In the latter case children must be collected from the classrooms and returned there where it applies.  Parents must sign a ‘Release Book’ at the Secretary’s office when taking the child out during the school day. Please note that we are required by law to reportto the Education Welfare Officer when a child’s total absence exceeds 20 days.  Furthermore, if homework has not been done or completed Parents should provide a written explanation.

SCHOOL UNIFORM 

Complete school uniform (black shoes rather than runners) should be worn on all occasions.  Tracksuits with school polo shirt are allowed on P.E. days only.  All items of clothing should be clearly marked with child’s name.  So far this year compliance with uniform is extremely high in all classes – well done to everyone for their efforts here.  For safety reasons earrings/studs are not allowed. Wrist bands are not part of the uniform and are, therefore, not allowed – the only piece of jewellery allowed is a watch.

MOBILE PHONES / I PODS / NINTENDO DS

Children may not have mobile phones and/or IPods or Nintendo DS switched on during the school day.  Phones used during the day will be confiscated and will have to be collected by a parent.  Phones may only be used with a teacher’s permission during any school activity e.g. matches etc.  We would encourage the children to leave all electronic games at home.

HEALTHY LUNCHES

Healthy eating is always encouraged. The revised Healthy Lunch Policy was issued to everyone in June. Copy on website. Sandwiches, a piece of fruit or yoghurt are acceptable.  Crisps, chewing gum, fizzy drinks, popcorn are not allowed.  The E.U.  School Milk Scheme operates through the school and details have been issued.

APPOINTMENTS WITH TEACHING STAFF

Parents are always welcome to visit the school.  If a child appears to have any school-related problem, parents/guardians and teacher working together will usually sort it out.  Regular contact between the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the appropriate teacher(s) is important in the case of children with learning difficulties. If you wish to discuss school business with the Principal or class teacher, you are asked to telephone the school secretary (2851449) who will make an appointment.  This ensures that time can be allocated to your visit and disruption to classwork will be avoided.  You will be notified later of dates for formal Parent/Teacher meetings.

SECRETARY’S OFFICE 

Please note that in the interests of confidentiality and security access to the secretary’s office is restricted to staff only.

TRACKSUITS

The school tracksuit shop is open (9.05 – 9.35a.m. every Monday) during term time.  Tracksuits are not sold outside these hours, as it is run by parents on a voluntary basis.

We request your fullest co-operation with the above matters and look forward to working closely with you in enhancing your child’s education in the year ahead.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Cadogan

 

————————————————————————————

I wish to receive a hard copy of the annual calendar.           

 

Child’s Name:…………………………………………………………………………

Class :…………………………………………………………………………

Teacher  :…………………………………………………………………………

Parent’s Name:.…………………………………………………………………………

Letter to Parents 25 June 2014

25th June 2014

Dear Parents,

The school will close for summer holidays on Friday June 27th at 12.00. It will re-open on Friday August 29th at 9.00 a.m. Normal school closing times will apply on August 29th with the exception of the first classes who will finish at 1.40 for the first 3 days of the new school year as they are often overwhelmed by the longer day.

At this time of year we bid a fond farewell to our sixth class pupils. It is hard to credit how quickly their 8 years have passed but it is fantastic to see how they have grown, developed and matured in that time. We wish them every success in their new schools and we know that they leave us well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

Thankfully we have no retirements to announce this year. Mrs Fitzsimons and Ms Murphy will be going on career break. Ms Eilish Ryan (First Class) will leave us to take up a permanent position in another school. We thank her for her hard dedicated work with the boys throughout the year and her contribution to the life of the school. We wish her every success in her new posting. Ms. Cruise, Ms. Grall and Mrs. Cotterell will be returning, while

Mrs. Reilly will be going on maternity leave. We are glad to retain Ms. Nestor, Ms. Fiona Ryan (Third Class), Ms. Collins and Ms. Phillips.

Sadly we bid adieu to Mrs. Jacinta Robinson, Special Needs Assistant who has given exemplary and dedicated service to the school and the children over many years. We thank her for her hard work and dedication and trust that she will be successful in securing a position in another school shortly.

This has been an extremely busy term with children involved in a wide range of activities both academic and non-academic. We are still delighted to have won the Tidy School in the Community Award 2014 – noteworthy recognition of the fantastic work being done to enhance and maintain the school environs. Open Garden Day was an outstanding success and an opportunity for parents, extended families and parishioners to get a guided tour of the grounds from children who are interested in what they are doing to impart their knowledge. Arts week was a major success with a wide range of popular and enjoyable events arranged. Sports days were organised and children enjoyed participating. The School was also well represented in football, soccer, athletics and chess competitions. We also had First Confession and Communion. Classes went on tours and boys enjoyed a day away from school which is also a very valuable learning experience. We were also well entertained by the fifth classes who staged a lovely concert that was really enjoyed by everyone. Without the dedication of the school staff none of the above would have happened. Our sincere thanks to the many people who give so willingly of their time, energy and experience in providing such a wide range of activities for the children to partake in and enjoy.

Adventure Playground

Our sincerest thanks to everyone on the staff who has worked so hard to arrange and run the various events that have taken place during the year to raise funds for the playground. We also thank the parent body for their generous support of the events.

To date we have raised €15,129.This is a fantastic amount and we will continue our efforts next year. Renewed thanks to everyone. If people have suggestions for fundraising please contact us.

SCHOOL CALENDAR 2014-2015

School Re-opens: Friday August 29th

October Mid-Term: 27th to 31st October

Christmas Holidays: Closing December 19th at 12 noon, reopening Monday, Jan. 5th 2015.

Mid-Term: Closing Monday February 16th – Friday 20th

Closed:  Monday March 16th 

Easter Holidays: Closing Friday 27th March at 12 noon – reopening Monday 13th April.

Mid-Term:  Closed Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Summer Holidays: Closing Tuesday 30th June 2015

*Please note this calendar may be subject to change as part of contingency arrangements where unforeseen prolonged school closures occur. We will post this calendar on the website as soon as it has been restored.

New Books

Thank you to the parents/Guardians who use EduBills.ie to order new books and pay pre-requisites. Ordering on-line has been an outstanding success as there is simply no way we could manage book money and attend to the myriad of ever-increasing school demands we encounter. Any outstanding items can be paid on-line at johnstown.edubills.ie  Access code – Johnstown (capital J). Books have been delivered and will be distributed.

School Reports

School reports were distributed on June 17th. They are very comprehensive and I thank the teachers for the time and effort they put into completing them. It is vital that advice given regarding summer work with children is followed so they benefit. It is also essential that the acknowledgement slip is returned so we know you have received your child’s report. National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) under the Education (Welfare) act 2000, the Board of Management is required to prepare and submit an annual attendance report to the NEWB. Under legislation we are obliged to inform the NEWB of pupils who have been absent for 20 days or more. If this applies, we will inform you in advance by letter.

We congratulate Jack Georgieff (6th Class) on achieving perfect attendance. In his 8 years in Johnstown, Jack has not missed a single day in school. That is a fantastic achievement. Well done Jack and we hope your attendance record in secondary school will match that of all your days in Johnstown. We also congratulate the 40 boys who will have had full attendance during the year.

Parents’ Association

We thank the Parents’ Association for their dedicated work during the year and further ongoing support and organisation of so many events and activities for the children. We acknowledge their generous sponsorship of Arts Week which allows it to take place. We also thank the many volunteers who helped on numerous occasions during the year. The AGM of the Parents Association will be held in mid-September. Further details will issue in the new school year.

School Uniforms

In preparation for the new school year please note that our school uniform from 1st class upwards comprises of grey shirt, tie, V-necked navy jumper, grey trousers, grey socks and black shoes.  School tracksuit and school polo shirts are allowed on P.E. days only.  All items of clothing should be clearly marked.  For the new school year, we will have to insist on proper uniform being worn by all pupils. School tracksuit shop will be open on Mondays from 9.05 – 9.30 starting Monday 1st September.

Finally the Staff and Board of Management join with us in thanking everybody for their assistance and support during the year. We trust that everyone has an enjoyable and accident free summer. We look forward to seeing you in the new school year.

Beir bua is beannacht.

Neil Cadogan

Scoil Mhuire na Dea – Chomhairle