As part of our staff meeting yesterday evening, our homework policy has been reviewed and updated. We hope that you find it helpful as parents, as a guideline around homework. The experience of homework can be very different depending on the child, so this policy aims to clarify approaches, timeframes and what to do if an issue arises. Mr. Quinn will upload this policy to the school website along with the other school policies.
Supplementary readers are also given out in all classes. These help progress reading fluency in children. From second class upwards, the child will have a reader and also a reader with a workcard to finish per week. Children have a full week to complete this work, which is excellent for developing independent study skills and time management skills.
As part of our ongoing School Self Evaluation work, we are targeting Irish as an area for development throughout this year. While our standardised test scores in the Drumcondra Irish Test, (administered every year to 2nd, 4th and 6th classes) are very high and significantly above the national norms, over the coming months we will be looking at the area of teaching and learning around Irish in the school and targeting areas for improvement. As an initial part of this work, we have decided to work towards achieving the Gael Bratach (Irish Flag), under the auspices of Foras na Gaeilge. We have chosen areas within this to work on school-wide. This week Ms. Boland and Mr. G Quinn will be talking to the classes from second upwards about the setting up of a “Coiste” (committee), and we will be hoping that some children go forward to represent their class on the “Coiste”. We have a parent volunteer and a member of the Board of Management who will also work in this group. Already, Ms. Boland and Kathleen Nairn, SNA, have set up a beautiful noticeboard in the front foyer of the school, where our “Frása na Seachtaine” will be displayed and all classes in the school will be reinforcing this. 5th class have already put on a “Seó Faisean” for the school and there will be many more “Gaeilge” focused events over the coming 2 years throughout the school. We will keep parents updated. I have also made preliminary enquiries to the Education Centre about possibilities for classes for parents, so if this becomes possible, I will be informing you and hopefully this may generate some interest among parents.
We are also working on an ongoing basis over the last number of years on Literacy and Numeracy strategies and we will shortly update parents on the specific action plans we have been working on.
New Religious Education Curriculum
This new curriculum was formally launched in our Diocese on Monday evening. For the first time, we now have a comprehensive Religious Education curriculum for our schools. The corresponding programme, however, is being phased in, and to date is only introduced to infant classes this year. This programme is called “Grow in Love”. It is very colourful, complimented by highly interactive online resources and has a piece in the book to do at home, so parents can get involved with their children in R.E at home.
It is important to communicate to parents that this programme is different to the Alive-O, and is quite faith-based. There is also a stronger element of bible stories etc; within it. Parents who are not Catholic, and do not wish their child to participate in the programme are most welcome to opt-out, and children can do a different activity within the classroom during R.E time. If you are unsure whether you wish your child to opt in or out, you are very welcome to take a look at the programme and/or the curriculum and then make your decision. I have copies that I will gladly lend to parents. Also the curriculum document can be accessed online at www.primaryrecurriculum.ie . There is also a strand unit on other religious traditions, which is very welcome. If you have queries or concerns in relation to this, please make contact with the class teacher or Principal. Please do not assume that the class teachers know whether or not your child will participate unless you have brought it to their attention, as many parents of non-Catholic children still wish children to participate in the programme at school.
There are many other activities going on throughout the school in the form of athletics/running club, Cross Country Competitions, possible Try-a-Tri entry (if enough are interested), music groups, Music Generation, Mini-Sevens, Swimming, Gael Bratach, Green Flag Work (next flag is Global Citizenship and work will begin on this before Hallowe’en), Do This In Memory Committee, School Blog, Active School Flag Renewal, Healthy Eating Policy (update and information evening for parents coming shortly), Library Project and many more. I wish to thank all the parents and staff who are so actively involved in all these different areas and who are so generous with their time and talents. All of this makes our school a nice place to belong to.
Reminder that school will close for Hallowe’en Break at 3pm on Friday 23rd October and will re-open on Monday, November 2nd.
With Every Good Wish,