School Newsletter September 2014

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Welcome back everyone to a new school year!!   I hope you all had a lovely summer wherever you may have been.

This school year we welcome back Ms O’Brien and Ms Larkin following maternity leave. We also welcome back Ms Hayes who is replacing Mr. Reilly while he is on career break.  We would like to welcome Nikki O’Riordan who has joined us for a year as an SNA. We offer our deepest sympathies to Ms Basquel on the death of her sister during the summer, to Ms O’Halloran (SNA) on the death of her brother, to Sr. Veronica on the death of her sister and to Rose (our tea lady) on the death of her nephew.

We would like to welcome all our new Junior Infants to the school and I hope you saw some of them on the RTE News as they commenced their first day in school! We also wish our past pupils from 6th class all the best as they commence secondary school and we congratulate all our past pupils for the wonderful results achieved in the Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations.

Congregating in School Yard:

We would ask that once children have been admitted to school that you please leave the school premises.  This is for insurance purposes and Groups of parents standing in the playground during tuition time can be a distraction to children in their classrooms.  If you bring your child to school we ask you to escort your child to their class and then leave the school grounds.  If you are collecting your child from school we ask you to leave the school grounds once you have done so.  We appreciate your co-operation in this matter.

SCHOOL CLOSURES:

Please note that the school opens at 8.50am and finishes at 2.30pm (1.30pm for Infants).

School Calendar 2014 – 2015
October Mid-term: October 27th – 31st October (Inclusive)
Christmas Holidays: 22nd December – 2nd January re-open Mon, 5th January 2015
February Mid-term: Thursday, February 19th & Friday, February 20th
St Patrick’s Day Tuesday, 17th March
Easter Holidays: 30th March to 10th April – re-open Monday 13th April
May Mid-Term: Monday, May 4th – 8th May (Inclusive)
June Public Holiday: Monday 1st June
Summer Holidays: Closing, Friday June 26th

School Uniform: 

As you are aware we have a policy regarding the school uniform and we would ask that you adhere to this. The school uniform and tracksuit can be purchased from Pat O’Farrell Schoolwear Ltd, Stillorgan Shopping Centre. The class teachers have already informed the children of their PE days, when they should wear their school tracksuit.  The school tie is also a part of our uniform and can be purchased in the school office for €5.00.  If you wish to purchase your own school jumper/cardigan you may do so.  ‘Sew on’ school crests are also available for €5.00 in the school office.

Child Protection Policy:

We would like to make you aware of our Child Protection Policy which is available to read on our website (www.divinewordns.ie).  A hard copy of the Policy is available in the school foyer.  The Designated Liaison person for Child Protection in the school is the Principal, Mr Williams and the Deputy Liaison person is Mrs Kernan.

National Education Welfare Board (NEWB):

As you know from previous newsletters it is important that you inform the class teacher in writing of any absences.  We, as a school, are also bound by law to report absences totalling 20 days or more to the NEWB.

If your child has to leave the school during the day please ensure that you sign him/her out in the school office.

Lost Property:

We have at least 3 large containers of lost property here in the school.  If you are missing any item please contact our school caretaker to retrieve it.  We would also ask that you label your child’s clothes, particularly jumpers, coats and tracksuit tops.

Text-A-Parent:

This year again we will be using our Text-A-Parent service to inform you of special events and closures.  The Board of Management will fund this service for the school year.  Forms indicating family name and mobile number for Junior Infants with no siblings have been sent home. Please ensure that any changes to your mobile numbers, emergency numbers or address are notified to the school office immediately.

Mobile Phones:

Our school policy on mobile phones is that they should be turned off once children enter the school grounds.  If a pupil is found using a mobile phone or the phone is in the “On” position it will be taken from them and we would ask that parents then collect it from the school office.  We welcome your continuous co-operation and support with this school policy.

Healthy Lunches:

Thank you once again for all your help and support with our Healthy Lunch Policy. Our school policy, as you are aware, deems fizzy drinks, chewing gum, crisps, cakes, biscuits and sweets as being unsuitable for consumption as school lunches.  We also have to exclude yogurts, yops and frubes as these can damage the classroom carpet if spilt.  We will however continue to provide treats from time to time and these will be allowed on Fridays and on special occasions.

We would also like to remind you that we provide a 5 minute fruit break each day so we would encourage you to put a piece of fruit in your child’s lunchbox.  Any unfinished lunches should also be brought home as the school does not have a Brown Bin facility.

Pupil Insurance:

Please note that the Allianz Pupil Personal Accident Insurance cover (€7) as on the List of Extra Requirements, now covers pupils for 24 hours.

Parents’ Association:

I would like to take this opportunity to wish our Chairperson, Hazel Mander, and all her team the best for this coming school year and to thank them for all the fundraising and help they have provided for the school over the past year. The PA’s main fundraiser this year will be a Sponsored Walk which will take place during the first week of October (weather permitting).  Sponsor cards have gone out.  We appreciate your support.

Traffic and Parking:

We would ask that you adhere to speed limits on all approaches to the school and ask not to obstruct residents’ driveways.  Our local community Garda, Niall Russell will be doing spot checks throughout the school year. Please note that bicycles are not to be used on our disability ramp at school entrance or in the school yard.

School Website:

Please visit our school website on www.divinewordns.ie for up-to-date information and details of all our P.A. activities.

Anti-Bullying Policy:

As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, our anti-bullying policy committee have done trojan work in developing and consulting on our new anti-bullying policy.  Part of our policy is to look at restorative practices in dealing with bullying issues.  The staff took part in training given by Margaret McGarrigle, a qualified practitioner in R.A., on September 15th.  On the night of September 15th there was also an information evening for parents on this approach to resolving issues.  I hope it was of benefit to you.  A special thanks to Mrs Kernan and our P.A. for organising this event.

Signing in/out

We would ask that if your child is leaving the school during the day that you would sign him/her out via the Secretary’s office. If he/she returns during the day, please also enter the time of return in the book.

Garda Band

On September 16th, the Garda Band visited and performed for the whole school in the glorious sunshine. Thanks to Hazel Mander, our Chairperson of the P.A., who organised this event for the children in the school.

Library Assistants

A big thank you to the parents who have been helping with our library classifications and ‘tidy up’. Your help is greatly appreciated.

I hope that your child has an enjoyable, interesting, educational and fun time in the Divine Word School.  If at any time you need to discuss your child’s progress or have any concerns please feel free to make an appointment with his/her teacher.

Yours sincerely

John Williams
Principal