25th June 2015
As per the holiday schedule the school will close for Summer holidays on Tuesday, June 30th at 12.00 noon. It will re-open for all pupils on Tuesday, September 1st at 9.00a.m. Normal school closing times will apply on September 1st with the exception of first class who will go home at 1.40p.m. until Friday, September 4th as they are often overwhelmed by the longer day.
At this stage of the year we bid farewell to our 6th class pupils as they move on to their secondary schools. It is hard to imagine that 8 years have passed so quickly. It is wonderful, however, to see how they have grown, developed and matured over the years. We wish them every success in their new schools and we know that they leave us well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.
We will also bid adieu to Mrs. Máirín Ryan, Deputy Principal who retires at the end of August having been a diligent stalwart of Johnstown since 1978. We thank her for her excellent work with the children, her dedication, enthusiasm, commitment and enormous contribution to every aspect of the life of the school over those years. We wish her long life, health and happiness in her well-deserved retirement.
We also congratulate Mrs. Michelle Cotterell who will succeed Mrs. Ryan as Deputy Principal in the new school year and wish her every success in the new and challenging position.
Ms. Phillips will be leaving us and we thank her for her hard work and dedication during her time with us. We trust that she will be very happy in her new teaching post in Abu Dhabi.
Summer Term 2015
This has been an extremely busy term with children involved in a broad range of activities, both academic and non-academic. Winning the prize for Biodiversity in the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Tidy Schools Competition was noteworthy recognition of the fantastic work being done to enhance and maintain the school environs. Our Open Garden Day was an outstanding success and a tremendous opportunity for the boys who are so interested in gardening/nature to give parents, extended families and parishioners a first class tour of the school grounds and the numerous habitats that have been created. Sincerest thanks to everyone involved. Arts week was another major success with a wide range of interesting activities provided for the children. Sports days are also underway – the emphasis is on children participating and enjoying themselves rather than partaking in the traditional – style straight races. The school was also well represented in Gaelic Football, Hurling, Soccer, Athletics and Chess competitions. Boys in our second classes made their First Communion. We also compliment them on their very generous contribution of €575 to Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Money from the non-uniform day (€853) and Confirmation classes contribution of €340, has been divided between Daffodil Day and Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. Well done to everyone in their efforts to help others through their donations. The Garda Band and the school choir provided those of us fortunate enough to be at the concert with an amazing night’s entertainment of music and song. Thanks to everybody who participated, attended and sold tickets. Classes have also been on tour – a day away from the classroom which can also be a very valuable learning experience. It was also brilliant to have had 2 classes stage an end of year play – both of which provided some great entertainment and drew large crowds. Without the dedication of school staff none of the above would actually happen. 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.
Thanks to the gallant efforts of staff and parental support for the various ventures undertaken, the Adventure Playground is now a reality. It is fantastic to see the equipment being used and the actual benefit that children of all ages are deriving from it. No doubt, it will be well used and enjoyed for many years to come. Renewed thanks to everyone who helped the success of this venture.
School Calendar 2015-2016
Term 1 :
– School opens Tuesday 1st September
– Closing 23rd October – Open 2nd November ( 1 WEEK )
– Closing 22nd December ( Tuesday ) – Open 6th January ( Wednesday )
Term 2 :
– Closed February 18th and 19th (Thursday and Friday)
– Closing for Easter 16th March (Wednesday) – Open 4th April ( Monday ) (2 WEEKS and 2 DAYS)
Term 3 :
– Closing April 29th Open May 9th ( 1 WEEK )
– Close June 6th Public Holiday
Closing for Summer Holidays 30th June (Thursday)
This calendar is also on the website.
Owing to circumstances outside our control, booklists were late issuing this year. Each family has been texted their own unique link which they can use for payment purposes. Book orders remain open until July 22nd. New books will be delivered to the school for collection in late August. We will update you by text in August regarding collection times for anyone who wants to collect the books before the school reopens; otherwise the books will be in the classrooms on September 1st.
Booklists are also available on the school website www.olgc.ie if you are not ordering through the school.
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.
Congratulations to the 38 boys who have not missed a day of school this year. Overall attendance figures are at 96.1%. However, we have noticed a significant increase in the number of pupils who have missed 20 days or more. In certain cases there were extenuating circumstances. (NEWB) under the Education (welfare) act 2000, the Board of Management is required to prepare and submit an annual attendance report to the National Education Welfare Board 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.
A bullying questionnaire was administered recently to classes from 2nd to 6th. 73% of children reported they had NOT been bullied in the school. Where bullying had taken place 75% of respondents indicated that it has stopped. Verbal and/or physical bullying accounted for 70% of the type(s) of bullying encountered. Name calling, being excluded from games or property being interfered with were also cited. 75% of reported incidents occurred in the school yard.
60% of children reported the bullying at home. 23% reported it in school. A number of children had told a friend. 4 children had not told anyone. 1 child reported it to the bully and the bullying stopped. Ongoing work on bullying will continue in the new school year.
The visit from Chat Budi on Internet Safety was really worthwhile and the level of engagement by the children from 2nd to 6th classes was most impressive. The parents and children, who attended the evening session found it was highly informative and very well delivered. Based on information from the children responses to some of the questions worth exploring further:
- Have you ever been cyberbullied, or have you experienced cyberbullying?
|2nd – 3rd
|4th – 5th
- Have you ever spoken with a stranger online, or played against or with a stranger on-line?
|2nd – 3rd
|4th – 5th
7% of 2nd and 3rd classes, 23% of 4th and 5th classes, 6% of 6th class listed Call of Duty as one of their favourite games. Chat Budi advises that Call of Duty is rated 16-18 (depending on the version) by Entertainment Software Rating Board and Pan European Game Information.
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 on September 23rd at 8.00 p.m. A number of committee members will be “retiring” having completed their term of office, so there will be an opportunity to be involved. Further details will issue in the new school year.
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 7th September. We thank the volunteers who are on duty in the tracksuit room every Monday.
Over the holiday period it is best if children avoid the school/church environs for their own safety.
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.