BlogLetters to ParentsNews

Letter to Parents 28 June 2016

Dear Parents,

The school will close for Summer Holidays on Thursday, June 30th 2016 at 12 noon. It will re-open for all students on Thursday September 1st at 08.50. Normal school closing times will apply on September 1st (13.30 Senior Infants and 14.30 for the remainder of the school with the exception of First Class who will finish at 13.30 on September 1st and 2nd as they are often overwhelmed by the longer day.

At this stage of the year we bid farewell to our 6th classes as they transfer to secondary school. It is amazing how quickly their 8 years in Johnstown have passed and to witness how they have developed and matured in their time with us. 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 also say farewell to Ms. Ryan, Mr. Gibson, Ms. Judge, Mrs. Stuart and Sandra Bowen. We thank them for their work and contribution to the life of the school and wish them well in the future.

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE 2016-2017

Term 1: Thursday 1st September 2016 – Thursday 22nd December 2016 (both dates inclusive)
Closures –all dates inclusive
October/November: Monday 31st October – Friday, 4th November Mid-Term Break Closed
December: Thursday 22nd Christmas Holidays Closing at 12 noon

Term 2: Monday 9th January 2017 – Friday 7th April 2017 (both dates inclusive)
February: *Monday 20th – Friday 24th Mid-Term Break Closed
March: Friday 17th St. Patrick’s Day Closed
March/April: *Friday 7th April Easter Holidays Closing at 12 noon

Term 3: Monday 24th April 2017– Friday June 30th 2017 (both dates inclusive)
May: Monday 1st Public Holiday Closed
June: Monday 5th Public Holiday Closed
Friday 30th Summer Holidays Closing at 12 noon
*Please note that this calendar may be subject to change as part of contingency arrangements where unforeseen prolonged school closures occur.

Dates for Communion and Confirmation are as follows:

Communion: Saturday May 20th 11 a.m.
Confirmation: Friday March 31st 11 a.m.

This school term has been an extremely busy one with children engaged in a wide array of academic and non-academic activities. The annual Arts Week was a fantastic success with children exposed to a wide range of artistic pursuits. Sports days, with the emphasis on participation and enjoyment rather than the traditional style sports, were a welcome distraction from the classroom when weather permitted. Our athletes competed in the Dublin Primary Athletics in Santry and did us proud. Classes were also busy going on school tours which is a good experience for them and provides an alternative learning experience. The School Garden won the Tidy Schools in the Community Competition (organised by Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council), which is fitting recognition for the brilliant garden(s) and habitats that have been created in the school grounds. Open Garden Day was another occasion which affords the boys the opportunity to teach others about what actually happens in the Garden. The new style assembly with class performance, Student of the Week and Gentleman of the Week is proving to be very successful and having a positive influence on all children. The school was also well represented in Hurling, Gaelic, Soccer, Athletics and Chess. The boys in second class received their First Communion and were exceptionally generous in contributing to the “Coin Collection” for the Grief Clinic in Temple Street Hospital where the final donation was €2,690. Well done to everyone for their generosity. No term would be complete without a school concert and another great night’s entertainment was provided on-stage by one of our fifth classes. We have been extremely lucky this year with the number of concerts staged. We also thank the boys in the school choir for their hard work and outstanding performances throughout the year. Without the dedication of school staff none of the above would happen. Children also participated in a consultation with the Department of Youth and Family Affairs on after school care for children and for those who participated in advising how Easter 2016 should be celebrated an invitation to Áras and Uachtaráin was fitting. Our sincere thanks to everyone who gives so willingly of their time, expertise, energy and experience in providing such an extensive range of activities for the children to participate in and enjoy.

Books 2016 -2017
Book orders remain open on-line until midnight on July 27th. Any new books will be in the classrooms when the children return on September 1st. Booklists are available on the school website if you are not ordering through the school. As previously explained books/ stationary are only part of the booklists. It would be appreciated if book rental could be paid prior to the start of the new school year to facilitate the distribution of books used in the rental scheme on the first day of term.

School Reports
School reports were issued on Thursday, June 17th. Acknowledgement slips should be returned so we know you have received the report.

National Educational Welfare Board/Tusla
Congratulations to the 25 boys who have not missed a day during the entire school year. 28 children missed a single day, 30 missed 2 days while 41 missed 3 days. On the other side of the scale, 25 children missed 20 days or more, which is sizable amount of days. Under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, the Board of Management is legally required to prepare and submit an annual attendance report to the National Education Welfare Board/Tusla. Under legislation we are also obliged to inform NEWB/Tusla of pupils who have been absent for 20 or more days. If this applies we will inform you by letter in advance.

Bullying Questionnaire
The School bullying questionnaire was given to pupils from 2nd to 6th class recently. 86% of children surveyed reported that they had NOT been bullied this year. This is an increase of 11% on last year’s figure which is good news. Verbal and physical bullying were the most commonly cited forms of bullying. Cyber bullying also featured in a small number of cases. While the majority of pupils who experienced bullying reported it 11 boys did not tell anyone despite constant reminders to tell. In almost 60% of cases where bullying occurred it was reported to have stopped. Ongoing work on bullying and countering it will continue in the new school year.

Parents’ Association
We thank the Parents’ Association for their dedicated work during the year and for their continued support for so many school activities and events. We also thank the parent body for their assistance and support for the school.

Healthy Lunch Policy
The ratified Healthy Lunch policy is now available on the website and we ask for your fullest cooperation with it. With the increase in the number of children with nut allergies it is intended to make the school “nut free” from September.

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 8.55 – 9.30 starting Monday 5th September. We thank the volunteers who are on duty in the tracksuit room every Monday.

The Parents’ Association have organised the annual uniform swap. Children are allowed wear their ordinary clothes to school while uniform items being donated are washed prior to being handed in. The uniform swap will take place on June 29th in the Girls’ School Hall from 8.45-9.30a.m.

Flower Pots
Please save any small flower pots or bedding trays you may acquire over the summer and we will gladly accept them in September.

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 me 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
Principal