Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome back, I hope you had a good summer and that you are looking forward to the new school year ahead.  We extend a warm welcome to all new pupils and families to the school, especially the new junior infant classes who are settling in well with their teachers Kate and Eileen.

We are delighted to have finally opened the doors to our new building and all classes have enjoyed their first full week back in school. Thank you all so much for your patience and understanding during our settling in time. The staff of the school are thrilled with the new facilities and the new opportunities that this building provides for the learning experiences of our pupils. We had a very late handover and the teachers and pupils have enjoyed a back to the 70s classroom experience with very basic equipment and technology. They have managed this surprisingly well and we will be ‘back to the future’ this week when projectors, laptops and copiers and school telephone will be installed ready for use! Deepest thanks to all of the staff for their hard work and extended hours to help open the school for our pupils on the first day.

We welcome new teachers Denise Delaney, Louise Nelson, Fiona Duggan (shared with St Coen’s NS), Paul Lowen, Leanne Perry, Isolda Creamer (job share) and SNAs Gillian Delahaunt, Hilary MacGowan and Sophia Cussen.

As with any new building there are snags, if you notice anything please let Fran know, there is a snag list form available for completion in the office. Additionally if this is an area that you would be interested in getting involved in please let us know, Donna Connolly is managing the snag list and would love your input.

As we settle into our new surroundings and become familiar with the building we can begin to plan how we will use the school to the full benefit of our pupils, for their learning and their development. These plans will as always be determined and guided by our school’s strong ethos and our deep commitment to child centeredness, integration, inclusion and parental involvement and participation.

As with any transition there are changes that we are all getting used to and in time these will become familiar and more comfortable as we settle into our new location and environment. If your child is experiencing a difficulty or an upset or if you are simply unsure of a school routine please do talk with your child’s class teacher or approach me personally. We are here to help and we are the people best placed to answer your queries and to support your child in school. You can support by remaining positive about the school in the presence of your child, this is really important to them and helps strengthen the relationship between home and school. There are many areas that you as parents can get involved in, currently the school library project is up and running and needs volunteers to help cover and catalogue school rental books and library books, please contact Paula Ryan or Jessica Moss for further detail. The term of the outgoing PTA committee finishes shortly and a new committee will be elected at the AGM on Wednesday 5 October at 7.30pm, this is your opportunity to get directly involved in your child’s school, as every parent is automatically a member of the PTA, nominations to the PTA committee are open to everyone. Details for this election will be circulated by the BoM/PTA shortly. If you are interested in getting involved please do contact me or the outgoing Chairperson Yvonne Garrigan.

We were disappointed that we couldn’t host an open event before the start of term this simply couldn’t happen with the late handover of the building. We are delighted to invite all within our community to the school for a welcome on Sunday 2 October between 2 and 4pm, please let me know if you would like to help out. There will be a formal opening event of the new school building later in the year.

Kind regards,

Sinéad, Principal sinead@wicklowetns.com

Some Updates and Notes

Class Welcome Meetings

Class welcome meetings will give you an opportunity to learn more about the class routines and homework procedures. All meetings will be held in your child’s classroom, commencing at 9am and should end by 9.30am. These meetings will commence the week beginning 26 September; we strongly encourage you to attend these meetings. Confirmed dates will be circulated shortly.

Contact details

If your contact details have changed please send them into the school office ASAP i.e. mobile number, telephone number, address, minder etc. It is essential that we have emergency contact details for all children in the school.

Medical details

If your child’s medical information has changed a new medical form must be completed, forms are available from the school office. If you require school staff to administer medication to your child throughout the school day an indemnity form must be completed annually, also available from the school office. The onus is on parents / guardians to check that medication held in school is in date.

Healthy Eating

As the school encourages healthy eating we ask that children do not bring fizzy drinks, chewing gum or crisps to school. Pupils can bring in a small treat on a Friday if they wish.

Allergies

Please be aware that some children in the school have a severe allergic reaction to nuts and strawberries please bear this in mind when you are preparing your child’s lunch. We encourage all children to eat their own lunch (no sharing/swapping), tidy away their own lunch waste into their lunch bag and regularly wash their hands. Please remind your child(ren) of these practices at home.

Mobile Phones

Pupils who carry a mobile phone to and from school must have a mobile phone licence, these are available from Fran in the school office.

School Books and Sundry Payments

If you haven’t already done so please pay outstanding sundries or book rental fees. All book rental books are being distributed to the children at the moment.

School Insurance

Part of your sundry payment is used to purchase insurance cover from O’Driscoll O’Neill Insurers. This insurance provides 24 hour cover for minor incidents and injuries that may occur and are not covered by any other insurances you may have. Details are available from Fran in the office.

Swimming

Swimming at Coral Leisure has commenced for both 6th classes for ten sessions. We continue to walk to the pool and parents are asked to collect their children at 2.40 promptly from the pool. It is very important that every child participates in swimming lessons. There may be children who are unable to swim because of medical difficulties. Parents of these children should contact the Principal immediately. On swimming days please make sure that your child has their swimming togs, hat and towel coming to school and dresses in clothes that are easy to manage.  T-shirts, long/denim type shorts are not allowed in the pool. Please remember no hat – no swim!

  • Swimming for term 2 will be for 3rd and 5th class (29 January-6 April)
  • Swimming for term 3 will be for both 2ND classes from 27th April – 29th June.

Please note both 4th classes will also swim in Term 3 but on Wednesdays (26 April-28 June) at 11am – during the school day.

Car parking

We ask that you continue to observe the guidelines set out for the safe use of the set down facilities. Thank you for your continued support in this area, if you have any concerns or suggestions please email the school at info@wicklowetns.com Please be aware that when the Department of Education and Skills provides a new school building parking for parents is never included. Our current practices are subject to review and any changes will be communicated as necessary.

School Buses there are a limited number of discretionary places available on the Rathnew bus route for a pick up at Highfield Court (opposite Kidzone) if you would be interested in a place for your child please register on the Bus Eireann website as soon as possible.

Dogs

Dogs are not allowed on school grounds with the exception of assistive dogs

Homework club

Homework club has commenced this week and Afterschool Care 1.30-2.30 for infants starts the week of 19 September, please contact Val on 086 1777244 directly for information on places.

Breakfast club and after school club

Breakfast club and after school club many thanks to those of you who completed the survey circulated to parents prior to the summer holidays, as some of you may have missed this and for all new parents this short survey will be reissued in the coming weeks. Once the feedback from these is collated we can establish the demand for this service at our school.

Wicklow ETNS Extra-Curricular Activities Rollout 2016-2017

Thank you to everyone who engaged with myself (Lisa Jervis) and Roisin Byrne over the course of the summer months to provide information on extra-curricular activities they would like to run in our school & those who shared contact information for external facilitators/clubs who were also interested. We have worked closely with internal and external facilitators over the summer and look forward to rolling out our new Extra-Curricular Activities program in early November. Prior to our November rollout, we will be holding a registration evening mid October, where you will have the opportunity to meet the facilitators, find out more about the extra-curricular activities and register and pay for the activities of your choice. Our aim is to provide activities, by age group, that our children would like to attend, and to ensure we achieve that, we are asking all parents/guardians to complete a short survey (see link below) choosing the activities your child/children would be most interested in attending. There is a cost associated with all of these activities.

Click here to access the activities survey.

Extra-Curricular Activities for Junior & Senior Infants will run from 1.30 to 2.20 and extra-curricular activities for 1st to 6th class will run from 2.30 to 3.30.   Looking forward to your survey responses!    Lisa & Roisin

Dental Forms

Dental Forms will be going home in bags this week for 2nd , 4th  and 6th classes. Please return to class teacher asap.

Childminding Requests

  1. I am looking for a childminder for three children (4th, 2nd and 1st class) to mind them from 2.30 –  3.30 on Fridays only. If any parent who lives close to the school can help, please let me know by email yhrofman@gmail.com or text 086 8386864
  2. Afterschool childcare sought for two children, in fourth and first class (girl and boy). Approx 2 -3 hours per day, Mon – Fri. Contact: Deirdre on 0876242795