Letters to ParentsNews

Letter to Parents 19 September 2018

Dear Parents,

REMINDER
Thu 20 Sept 2018   Boys’ School Hall
7.15 p.m. Nomination of a parent (father) to Board of Mgmt, Boys’ School

7.30 p.m. A.G.M. Parents’ Association
We encourage as many as possible to attend.

At this stage everyone is well settled into the new school term after an exciting and exceptional summer. 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.  We welcome Ms McGreal who has returned to the school and Mr Naughton who has also joined the staff.

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

We have had a busy start to the new school year. Our 4th Classes have harvested their wheat which they will grind into flour and bake bread. Senior Infants have harvested their onions. Sweetcorn and kohlrabi are ready for harvesting while the pumpkins, Brussels sprouts and aubergines are still growing.

Sadly over the summer “very unwelcome visitors” helped themselves to our fine crop of gooseberries, unripe pumpkins and, more recently, apples. The garden is a fantastic amenity for the children, but unfortunately this year we won’t have gooseberry jam, we will be short on pumpkins and our plans to dry apples have been scuppered.

We have been very fortunate to be one of 3 primary schools in DL/Rathdown selected to have a tree nursery. The boys will be involved in gathering 1,000 seeds from various trees, planting and tending to them and they will later be planted by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. This is a project the boys will be able to connect with well into their adult lives.

40 children visited Microsoft DreamSpace on 10th September – 10 from each of our 5th and 6th Classes. Teachers and pupils were very impressed. Pupils were taught simple coding, their ideas about the influence of technology on our lives in the future were explored and they made videos relating to Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Children were extremely engaged with the project and excellently behaved. Thanks to Mrs Quinlan who arranged the trip and Mrs Sheehan who did a lot of the preparatory work with the boys.

Gaelic football training has resumed and our 4th and 5th Classes are participating in the Cuala League which runs until mid-term.

The O.W.L.S. programme, which raises nature awareness in young children through creating an awareness, education and enjoyment of nature through fun and a hands-on approach, will be undertaken by our two 3rd Classes. This programme ran very successfully last year so many interesting things are in store for the boys.

The Safe Cycling course is underway with our two 5th Classes who have also been very fortunate to have the Science in a Box programme being delivered in their classes during the year.

To kick-start the year we had a visit from the Garda Band on Friday that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone young and not so young. The Band have visited on a number of occasions and we are grateful that they teach the boys about the different sections of the band, the instruments and the fun the boys have with them. The boys in Junior Infants are to be praised for being so good on the day considering it was their first attendance at a whole school event and they remained attentive for the entire performance.

SAFEGUARDING STRATEGY AND RISK ASSESSMENT

The Child Safeguarding Strategy (C.S.S.) and Risk Assessment were ratified in March 2018. Therefore, the annual review will take place in early 2019. The C.S.S. and Risk Assessment together with the names of the Designated Liaison Person (DLP) Mr Neil Cadogan and the Deputy Designated Liaison Person (DDLP) Mrs Michelle Cotterell are displayed inside the main door of the school. They are also published on the website and hard copies are available from the school office. Child Safeguarding is on the agenda of every Board of Management and Staff Meeting.

Procedures are in place for the Garda Vetting of volunteers and helpers. Forms are available from the office and we thank those who have participated in the vetting process with us.

From a Child Safeguarding perspective, there is an issue with adults coming through the building during the day. We cannot allow unsupervised access so anyone coming into the building must report to the office from where your business can be attended to.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Due to the inappropriate use of social media re school issues, we would much prefer if people did not use social media to engage with others regarding school matters.  Email would be the preferred option as it is a safer and less spontaneous medium of communication.

Any concerns you may have regarding school issues should be raised through the appropriate channels – namely, the class teacher in the first instance, the Principal or if the matter still remains unresolved through the Chairperson, Board of Management.  In the strongest possible way we ask everyone to refrain from inappropriate use of social media relating to school matters. We appreciate your co-operation in this matter.

OPENING AND CLOSING TIMES OF SCHOOL

School doors open at 08.50. There is supervision on yard from 08.40 as we are committed to Child Safeguarding. Pupils line up in the yard from that time and will be escorted to their classes by their teachers. In trying to foster independence, children should come in unaccompanied as there is often serious congestion at the front door with people trying to enter as others are egressing. On wet mornings children will be admitted to the School Hall at 08.40 and will be collected by their teacher at 08.50. Again space is limited in the Hall so we ask that children come in unaccompanied and line up at their designated position.

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.  When all classes have entered the school in the morning, doors at the hall entrance and the “new wing” are closed.  Anyone arriving late should enter the school through the main door near the Secretary’s Office.

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.

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 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 school 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.

O.A.N. (Online absence note) – Absence notes can also be submitted through the Online Absence Note button that you can find on the homepage of the school website www.olgc.ie.  There you can click on the link for your child’s class.  The link will bring you to an online form that you can complete and submit.  Please note that we are required by law to report to 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.

In line with the Department of Education and Skills requirements, rolls are now marked electronically.  The cut off time for roll call is 10.00a.m.  Any pupil arriving after that time is automatically marked absent.

SCHOOL UNIFORM

Complete school uniform including (black shoes) 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 AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES

Children may not have mobile phones and/or other electronic devices switched on during the school day.  Phones used during the day will be confiscated and will have to be collected by a parent/guardian.  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. Our Healthy Lunch Policy is on the website. We would ask for your fullest co-operation in making sure this policy is implemented. With the large number of children presenting with allergies to nuts and nut related products, it is imperative that everyone eliminates nuts and nut related products from lunchboxes.

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 the 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 for you.  This ensures that time can be allocated to your visit and disruption to classwork will be avoided.  You will be notified later about formal Parent/Teacher meetings which will be in January. However, if there is something of concern it is better to flag it sooner rather than later. Parent Teacher meetings for Junior Infants will be held in November.

SECRETARY’S OFFICE

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

In an effort to reduce the school telephone bill, many of the calls are now made by mobile phone.

Please add the school mobile number 085-7775799 to your phone so you can recognize the number.

 TRACKSUITS

The school tracksuit shop is open (9.00 a.m. – 9.30 a.m. every Monday) during term time.  Tracksuits are not sold outside these hours, as the tracksuit shop is run by parents on a voluntary basis.

SCHOOL CALENDAR

The School Calendar issued in June.  It is also available on the school website if you scroll down on the homepage. It is also available on request from the office.

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

Yours sincerely,

Neil Cadogan

Principal