September/October 2017 Newsletter
I hope that your children are well settled into the new school year. Please note the following information in our newsletter.
Classes and Teachers for 2017/18
Junior Infants Ms Curtin & Ms Carty
Senior Infants Ms D Dolan/Ms K Barrett
First Class Ms Whyte/Mr Geraghty & Ms Carey/Ms Dooley
Second Class Ms Power & Ms Fox
Third Class Mrs Gallagher and Ms Connaughton
Fourth Class Mrs Barrett and Ms Blade
Fifth Class Mr Dolan & Ms Cahalan
Sixth Class Mr Ronaldson & Ms Greene
Special Education Team
Ms K Dooley/Mr Ward
Mrs Mc Cann
Ms O’ Rourke
Ms Colohan/Ms Larkin
Ms E Dolan
Special Needs Assistants
Ms Helena Divilly Sweeney/Ms Catherina Concannon
Ms Siobhan Carty
Ms Sarah Loughnane/Ms Carmel O’ Riordan
Ms Patricia Rooney
Mrs Fran Lyons
School Secretary: Ms Ann Haynes
School Caretaker: Mr Joesph Murphy
Our Student Council is made up of eight representatives from our four senior classes. The pupils on this year’s Student Council are as follows:
Sixth Class: Roisin Grealy, Jack Finn, Niamh Costello, Eoin Connell
Fifth Class:, Daria Nowosad, Dean Kelly, Abaigh Hardiman, Samuel Godswill
Congratulations to all!
Mrs Barrett will have responsibility for organising and chairing monthly meetings with the Student Council.
Official Opening Time
The official opening time for the reception of pupils is 9.20a.m. The Board of Management cannot accept responsibility for pupils who arrive on the school grounds early.
Access to the School
Please note that we have a security system in operation on all of our exit doors. Only staff members are permitted to open these doors using the access code. We kindly request in the interest of health and safety that parents/guardians refrain from entering the school until these doors have been opened.
For health and safety reasons, all visitors to the school must enter at reception and sign in and out, using the visitors’ book at the secretary’s office. This includes all parents/guardians who come to the school during school hours to collect pupils for appointments, to drop off lunches or to collect pupils if they are sick. We kindly request that you do not go directly to your child’s classroom. Thank you.
Collecting Your Child
Please ensure that your child knows from which gate they are being collected after school.
Pupils leaving school early
When it is necessary for a pupil to leave school early, the teacher must be informed in writing in advance. Parents/guardians are asked to call to the secretary’s office from where your child can be collected. Please do not go directly to your child’s classroom. Any person collecting a child on behalf of the parent will be permitted to take the child only if the parent contacts the school beforehand.
The back entrance, beside the church, where parents can park safely, is available when dropping off and collecting pupils. Please adhere to the one way system and drive slowly around the church, keeping to the left side. It is very unsafe to reverse in this area while the children are exiting from the school.
Junior and Senior Infants
Junior and Senior Infants are collected directly from the child’s classroom.
Those travelling by bus will be collected from the classrooms by the Deputy Principal, Mr Lohan and he will accompany them off the school premises.
The school should be informed of any change in arrangements.
Please note: Pupils should not climb over or sit on the perimeter wall.
The main gate and entrance is for staff use only, unless parents are collecting/dropping off pupils outside of the official opening times. In these
instances pupils must be accompanied to the door by parents/guardians.
Travelling to and from school
Please encourage your child to exercise care, be of good behaviour and be courteous to the driver and classmates while on the bus. Seat belts must be worn and children must remain seated at all times– please advise your child accordingly.
The health and safety of our pupils is our priority at all times.
We ask you to please adhere to the following procedures when dropping off and collecting pupils:
• Please do not park in the bus bay. This area is for buses only. It enables those travelling on the bus to be collected safely. Your full co-operation in this regard is expected please.
• We ask you to refrain from making u-turns, as this is an extremely dangerous manouvre.
• We have requested that the local Gardaí assist us with the implementation of the above safety procedures.
• Please remind your child to use the Pedestrian Crossing and the Lollipop Lady to cross the road safely. The ramps are not to be used as a pedestrian crossing.
• There is parking on the Creagh Church side of the school, which we would ask you to consider using, particularly for those coming from the Athlone side.
• Pupils living near the school might consider walking/cycling in an effort to reduce the volume of traffic. Ensure that helmets are worn when cycling and that you exercise extreme care.
• Please be mindful of local residents and do not block their access to their residents. Local residents are entitled to move freely in and out of their homes and we thank you for your full co-operation in this regard.
Uniform / School Tracksuit
Children should wear the complete school uniform at all times. Junior and Senior Infants wear the tracksuit every day while the school tracksuit should only be worn for P.E. for pupils in First-Sixth Classes. Black leggings and bicycle shorts are not permitted.
Absenteeism / Attendance
In the event of your child being absent please inform the class teacher in writing. Please use ‘absence notes’ at the back of the homework journal. Schools are obliged to monitor school attendance and to report, to the National Education Welfare Board, the name of any pupil who is absent for an aggregate of 20 days or more in a school year. This is a legal requirement on schools and one where there is no discretion.
Attendance at school is extremely important and we request that parents refrain from withdrawing pupils from school for family holidays.
The school website www.creaghns.com contains a lot of useful information e.g. news about recent and upcoming events, class pages, links to educational websites, booklets for parents, holiday schedule, monthly newsletter. A password is no longer required to access the Downloads section of our website.
Please note that all photographs, articles and video footage on our school website are the property of Creagh National School. No redistribution or transmission in any format is permitted.
The school uses the “text-a-parent” facility to communicate important messages to parents. Accordingly, it is very important that we have an up-to-date mobile number for you. If your details have changed please let the secretary know.
We are also preparing to compile a data base of email addresses. We will be in contact with you in relation to obtaining this information, which we hope will become one of our main ways of communicating with you.
Parents are always welcome to meet with staff in relation to their child. However, we kindly request that you phone in advance for an appointment. Such appointments can be made through the secretary (Ann). To facilitate supervision of pupils, these meetings are scheduled from 2.10p.m.
The school has a healthy eating policy. Please ensure to adhere to this policy. Please note also that a small number of children attending the school are allergic to nuts. In the interest of these children’s well-being, parents are asked not to include nuts in their child’s lunch.
Treats for Pupils
As some pupils have allergies to certain foods we kindly request that parents/guardians do not send treats into their child’s classroom on special occasions.
A reminder of our school’s policy that birthday invitations are not to be distributed through the school. Neither can the school provide telephone/address details of parents.
Please inform the school of any allergies which your child may have and any medication which they may require during school time. It is essential that our records in relation to this are kept updated.
We kindly remind all parents/guardians to check your child’s hair regularly for head lice. Head lice spreads rapidly unless treated, and regular checks are essential.
The school’s homework policy may be viewed on our website. Please inform the class teacher if your child is experiencing difficulty with any aspect of his/her homework. It is school policy to include Physical Activity as part of your child’s homework each evening.
Our thanks to one of our parents, Ms Mairead Cannon, who is organising our library once again this year. Any books which are in good condition and that you feel would be appropriate for our library will be gratefully received. We thank all of you who have donated books in the past.
Creagh Parents’ Association
We are very lucky to have a very active and supportive Parents’ Association. It is a great opportunity to meet other parents so we are hoping new members may join this year. Whatever level of support you can give will be greatly appreciated. A date for your diary: Friday February 2nd Fundraising Table Quiz in the Country Man at 8.30p.m.
Please note the following key personnel in relation to Child Protection:
Designated Liaison Person: Stephanie Keating
Deputy Designated Liaison Person: Noel Lohan
The Child Protection Policy is reviewed annually by the Board of Management. The most recent review took place in June 2107. A copy of this policy is available to download from our school website.
Code of Behaviour and Anti Bullying Policies
Please ensure that you read these policies which are available on our school website. If you ever have any concerns please contact the school as early as possible.
Policy Review and Development
Annual Policy Review: The annual review of the Child Protection Policy, the Anti Bullying Policy and the Code of Behaviour will take place.
Review and Update of the Health and Safety Policy & the SPHE Policy
New Policy Development:
• The new CCTV Policy was ratified in September by the BOM and is available to download from our school website.
• The new RSE Policy (Relationships and Sexuality Policy) will be ratified by the Board shortly.
• A new policy on Supporting Pupils with Special Educational Needs will be drafted this year.
You will be informed of other policies for review and development throughout the year. Parental input is an important part of the collaborative process when drafting new policies and reviewing policies.
The New Primary Language Curriculum with specific focus on Oral Language Development in both English and Irish commenced last year in Infants-2nd Classes as per DES guidelines. The strands of Reading and Writing will begin to be implemented this year from Infants to Second classes alongside the oral language strand.
New Model to Support Pupils with Special Educational Needs
Please refer to an information letter on our school website and do not hesitate to contact the school is you have any queries or concerns.
Beginning of Year Mass
We thank Fr Garvey for celebrating our Opening Year Mass with us last month.
After School Sporting Activities
We are very grateful to those that give voluntarily of their time to coach our pupils after school. Please find details below of the proposed sporting activities for the coming school year for pupils in 3rd-6th Classes:
• Girls’ Football with Ms A Dooley 3-4p.m. every Tuesday.
• Hurling with Mr Ward and Mr Geraghty 3-4p.m. every Wednesday
• Camogie with Ms Cahalan 3-4p.m. every Thursday.
• Boys’ Football with Mr Ronaldson 3-4p.m. every Friday.
We encourage our pupils to get involved in team sports. Apart from the benefits of physical activity, it is also a great opportunity to make new friends.
Other After School Activities
Art Classes Mondays (3rd Class 3p.m.-4.30p.m.)Thursdays (4th/5th Classes 3-4.30p.m.) Please contact Ms Blade directly for further details.
Homework Club: Monday to Thursday 3p.m.-4p.m. (Please contact Ms Moran/Mr Dolan or Ms Connaughton directly for further details)
Lost and Found
It is extremely important that you label all of your child’s belongings. The school cannot be responsible for items that are mislaid by children. There is a large amount of items, including jumpers, jackets, sports gear, in our “Lost and Found” which will be donated to charity on Friday October 27th if they remain unclaimed.
Important School dates for Your Diary
First Holy Communion: Saturday May 12th 2018 @ 11a.m. in St Michael’s Church, Ballinasloe.
Confirmation: Saturday May 26th 2018 @ 11a.m. in St Michael’s Church, Ballinasloe.
These two events are among the most important celebrations in our school year. We wish all of those involved in the preparation for these sacraments the very best over the coming year.
Parent/Teacher Meetings will take place at the start of Term 2 (January/Early February 2018) for all classes. Notification of dates will issue in December.
Improvements to School Building and Environment
Replacement of Perimeter Fence
The Board of Management will fund the replacement of the perimeter fence around the basketball court. This work will be carried out over the midterm break.
The Department of Education and Skills will fund roof repairs and upgrade under the “Summer Works Scheme”. This work will commence at the end of October.
Upgrade of CCTV & Lighting Systems
Unfortunately vandalism has resulted in damage to our school. Additional lighting and an upgrade to the school’s CCTV system have been advised and this is currently being addressed. Any vandalism to our school is reported to the Gardaí and they in turn are following up on all of our concerns.
We offer our sympathy to all families recently bereaved. You are remembered in our thoughts and prayers.
• To teaching staff member, Ms Whyte on the birth of her son.
• To teaching staff member Ms Carey on the birth of her daughter.
• To all of our Past Pupils on their Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate Results. We wish them well for the future.
• We congratulate all of our pupils on their many successes in a range of events and activities.
Cross Country Event: We congratulate all of our pupils who represented Creagh NS in the recent cross country individual and team events. Well done to the 5th/6th class boys’ and girls’ teams who came first and to the 3rd/4th class boys’ team who came third. We congratulate Aoibheann Fitzpatrick, Josh Mc Carthy, Aaron Hogan Cameron Keighery, Adam Doran, Leah Clarke, Clodagh Killeen and Eva Ruane on their outstanding performances in their individual races.
Connacht Minor Schools Swimming Competition: We wish all of our swimmers, Maia Donnellan, Matilda Kelly, Kayla Mc Keon, Sarah Dolan, Sheenagh Hanrahan, Emily Gillespie, Evan Mc Keon, Liam Martin and Leon Mc Keon the very best of luck on Sunday October 22nd in the Connacht Minor Swimming Schools Competition
Sean Meade Tournament: Unfortunately due to the very heavy rainfall we had to postpone the Sean Meade Tournament last week.
County Final Victory for Padraig Pearses
We congratulate Padraig Pearses Senior Hurling Team on their wonderful county final success. Special congratulations to all of our past pupils who were on the team on this marvellous achievement.
Liam Mc Carthy Cup Visits Creagh NS
We were delighted to welcome Conor Caulfield, Davy Glennon and Jason Flynn, members of the Galway Minor and Senior All Ireland Hurling teams to Creagh NS with the Liam Mc Carthy and Irish Press Cups. We thank Ballinasloe GAA for organising this memorable and historic visit of the All Ireland champions to our school.
Mid Term Break School will close at 3p.m. on Friday October 27th for the Mid Term Break and re-open on Monday November 6th.
Your child’s welfare is extremely important to us. If you have any concerns in relation to your child, it is important that you make contact with the school as early as possible. I look forward to working with you for the benefit of your child during the coming school year.
Le dea ghuí,
Stephanie Keating, Principal