Welcome back to all our pupils, their families and to our staff. I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new pupils and their families. I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and is looking forward to a fun filled, busy school year.
Staffing arrangements for the year are as follows:
Principal and infant room teacher = Mrs. Warren
Acting deputy principal and senior room teacher = Ms. Maher
Special Education Teacher (SET)= Ms. O Carroll
Full time SNA and part time secretary = Carol Flannery
Mr. Dillon is taking a 1 year career break and will return as deputy principal and senior room teacher next year. Due to a reduction in our SNA hours allocation our part time SNA post has been lost and Orla O Mara is no longer with us. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her dedication during her time in Ballycar NS and wish her all the best in the next chapter of her career.
All teachers completed Continuing Professional Development courses over the summer holidays.
There will be a school Mass of Welcome on Friday 29th September at 1pm in our school halla. Parents and family members are very welcome to join us.
A copy of the school calendar for 2017/2018 is attached. SET parent- teacher meetings will take place 23rd-27th October. Class parent- teacher meetings will take place 20th-24th November. Exact times and dates will issue closer to the time. If you wish to speak to your child’s teacher at any time please do not hesitate to make an appointment.
We would like to welcome the new NEPS psychologist, Louise Fitzsimons and extend our best wishes to her predecessor Richard Egan.
School begins at 9am for all classes. It is important to be aware that there is no supervision of children prior to this so we ask that children are not dropped off too far in advance of this time. Junior Infant pupils finish at 12pm until Friday 15th September and at 1.40pm thereafter. School finishes at 1.40pm for senior infants and at 2.40pm for 1st-6th class. Drop off and collection times are very busy so we ask you to please remember the following safety guidelines. Pupils in the infant classroom should be accompanied to and from the main gate. Children are not permitted to walk through the car park at any time. If a parent wishes for their child to be collected by another person they must notify the class teacher of the alternative arrangement.
Ballycar NS follows Healthy Eating Guidelines. We ask parents to remember these guidelines when preparing school lunches.
Ballycar National School Healthy Eating Guidelines
Children are encouraged to eat and drink plenty of the following lists of food
Fruit (please cut choking hazards such as grapes in half), vegetables, bread, cheese, yogurts, chicken, lean meat, milk and water
Forbidden food and drink (at all times)
Crisps, fizzy drinks, nuts (in case of allergies), sweets, chocolate, cereal bars, cakes, buns, pastries, high sugar treat food and chewing gum.
Children are reminded to wear full school uniform at all times. Hoodies, training tops etc. may be worn over the uniform on the yard but must be removed in the classroom.
We are still accepting Book Rental and Requisites money. €45 for Junior Infants – 2nd Class and €60 for 3rd-6th Class. Payments can be made by cash or cheque (payable to Ballycar NS) and may be handed to your child’s class teacher or to the secretary. Receipts for payments will be issued.
We will be applying for our 2nd Green Flag this year. As part of this process we will establish a committee to oversee improvements in our energy consumption, reduction in our waste production and an awareness of keeping the school neat and tidy. Pupils are actively encouraged to separate waste into wet waste bins, recycling bins and compost bins. To keep our waste production and the associated costs to a minimum we are reminding children to bring home their lunch left overs and rubbish in their lunch boxes.
We are in the process of confirming various school events and will issue our full schedule of events for the school year shortly. We have applied to take part in events such as Junior Entreprenuers, Lernit Lego Workshop, I-Pads in the Classroom, Fit 4 Class Programme, Peace Proms, Zippy’s Friends Programme, Intel Mini Scientist, Heritage Council workshop as well as our usual various sporting competitions. We will also be applying for the Artist in Residence Scheme again this year.
The East Clare Primary Schools Competition takes place at 11 am on Thursday 14th September in Lees Road, Ennis. This is open to children born in 2010 and before i.e U8 and older. Those wishing to take part should complete the permission slip attached and return to your child’s teacher by Friday morning.
On Friday 6th October Alma from Agrikids will give an interactive presentation in each classroom on Farm Safety topics such as signage, animal behaviour, slurry safety, tractor and machinery safety. She will also relate stories from her series of books to the junior classes.
Board of Management meetings for the year are as follows: 18th September, 20th November, 15th January, 12th March and 15th May.
On Monday 11th September, forensic psychologist Dr. Maureen Griffin will give a presentation for parents at 8pm in the Temple Gate Hotel Ennis. It will cover topics such as social networking sites, social messaging, chatting apps, video streaming sites, mobile device safety and cyber-bullying. She will highlight potential dangers and offer practical advice on how to protect children online. This presentation is supported by Ennis Mental Health Association and MGMS Training Limited. Admission costs €5 and is payable on the night.
We hope to continue our fundraising efforts as in previous years. Our school lotto books will be sent home every Monday. Ticket stubs and money or unsold books must be returned by each Friday morning. Extra books are available from the school office. We will have a used clothing collection on Wednesday 25th October. Bags of clean unwanted clothes, shoes, bags etc. may be left into the cleaner’s cubbie. Please note that the company do not accept pillows, duvets or animal bedding. We will have further collections throughout the year. We will be doing our annual Sponsored Walk on Friday 27th October. Sponsorship cards and further details to follow. Children will also be designing and printing their very own Christmas cards. Parents will have the opportunity to order packs of their child’s cards while at the same time raising vital funds for our school.
This year we will be running some after school activities for children in 1st-6th class. These activities are free of charge and will vary from term to term. This term Mrs. Warren will be teaching the tin whistle from 2.45-3.45pm on Tuesday evenings and will commence on Tuesday 12th September. Children can purchase the correct tin whistle from the school at a cost of €7. Ms. Maher will be teaching multi-sports from 2.45-3.45pm on Thursday evenings and will commence on Thursday 14th September. Please fill out the attached permission slips and return to your child’s class teacher before Friday.
Thank you all for your continued support and co-operation.