19 August 2018

Dear school community

I hope you are enjoying a lovely summer and that you are looking forward to the new school year ahead. We extend a warm welcome to all new pupils, families and staff to the school.

We welcome new teachers Emily Hand and Niamh Byrne, and welcome back Niamh Small.

We send very good wishes to teachers Damien, Katherine, Leanne & Aoibheann on career break, and all the best to Fiona Willis on her upcoming maternity leave. We also extend our congratulations and best wishes to Fran as she takes on her new role as secretary at Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School. Fran will be greatly missed and has made a huge contribution over the last 14 years in her role as secretary at our school. We look forward to celebrating and thanking Fran in an event later in September.

Lisa will continue her role in the office and will be supported in her work for the first few weeks of the new term by Deirdre Feeney-Lynch. The new post of secretary is currently being advertised and is available to view here for those who may be interested in applying.

The new term begins on Wednesday 28 August 2019.  School hours for Senior Infants are 8.50am – 1.30pm, and for 1st – 6th classes school finishes at 2.30pm.  Your child will have two breaks during the school day.

Please be reminded of the importance of punctuality for your child and their learning.

In the mornings, your child should wait in the school yard at the back of the building, through the side gates where children will line up and be escorted into their classroom by their teacher. As children enter 2nd class it is our experience that they begin to become more independent and we ask parents to support this by allowing their children to walk upstairs to their classrooms with their classmates and teacher.

On the first morning, new children to the school from Senior Infants to 6th Classes will be met by support teachers who will direct them to their appropriate line after which all parents are invited to refreshments in our main hall.  This will be organised by our Parents Association and is a great opportunity for you to meet with other parents.

At 1.30pm collection time, Junior Infant children will line up at the left-hand side gate (beside the front door) and Senior Infants will line up at the right-hand side gate. Junior and Senior Infant children will not be allowed out until the teacher can see the person collecting them there.

At 2.30pm collection time, 1st class exit at the main reception door and will not be allowed out until the teacher can see you the person collecting them there.  2nd class children exit from the middle doors at the front. 3rdclass exit the building from the left- hand side gates (at the outdoor classroom) and 4th, 5th and 6th classes exit from the right-hand side gate (nearest the Rocky Road)

The outdoor classroom is almost complete, there is still some landscaping work to be finished and once that is done we look forward to using it during school time, and at yard times. We look forward to an official opening of the new space later in the term.

You may be aware that 40 Schools Constructed by Western Building Systems are part of a school’s remediation programme, please be assured that Wicklow Educate Together NS is not one of those 40 schools as Western Building Systems did not build the school.

The first week of term is positive behaviour week in the school, we will be focusing on our class rules, positive behaviour in class, around the school building and on the yard

Kind regards

Sinéad, Principal sinead@wicklowetns.com

Some Updates and Notes

Aftercare – Our aftercare will reopen on Wednesday 28th August from 1.30pm – 6.00pm.

Homework club – Our homework club will start on Monday 2nd September from 2.30pm – 3.30pm Monday to Thursday for pupils from 1st – 6th Class.

Please see separate email re our new aftercare/homework club online booking and payments tool which will be sent out tomorrow.

School Closure for staff training The school will be closed for pupils on Monday 30 September in order to facilitate staff training in the new primary language curriculum. Our aftercare facility will be available on that day for any families who would like to avail of it.

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 sharp and should end by 9.30am. These meetings will commence the week beginning 10 September; we strongly encourage you to attend these meetings. Confirmed dates will be circulated shortly.

Parent Teacher Meetings will take place 21 & 28 November

Clothing All pupils need to wear comfortable clothes and footwear ready for yard play & Physical Education, please label all belongings

Contact details If your contact details have changed i.e. mobile number, telephone number, address, minder etc please amend them on the parent portal system for our approval. It is essential that we have emergency contact details for all children in the school and an email address

Additionally, some parents were contacted by text about their child’s PPS number can you please email this information to the info mailbox as soon as possible.

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. We ask that pupils bring home their own lunch waste. In support of reducing the amount of plastic throughout the school we ask that each child has a refillable bottle / container for their drink that they bring to school each day.

Allergies Please be aware that some children in the school have a severe allergic reaction to nuts and strawberries (this also includes strawberry yogurt and products containing Nutella). 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.

School Books and Sundry Payments Pupils should bring in all items listed on the booklist on the first day. If you haven’t already done so please ensure outstanding sundries or book rental fees are paid in advance of returning to school (online payment line was sent out last week) or on the first week back to school. All book rental books will be distributed to pupils when we return to school.

School Insurance part of your sundry payment is used to purchase insurance cover from Brady 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 the office.

Swimming at Coral Leisure will be for 5th classes this term on Thursdays during the school day starting on Thursday 5th September. Parents of pupils who are unable to swim because of medical difficulties 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!

Car parking We ask that you continue to observe the guidelines set out for the safe use of the set down facilities (attached). Thank you for your continued support in this area, the staff car park is strictly for staff use only.

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

PTA Update

WETNS Teddy Bear’s Picnic – our annual Teddy Bear’s Picnic will take place on Saturday 24th August 11am – 1pm in the Abbey Grounds, Wicklow Town. Looking forward to seeing you there on the day!

Coffee Morning Wednesday 28th August – We would like to invite all parents/guardians to our first coffee morning of the new school year, hosted by our Parents Association, in the main hall after drop off on Wednesday morning. This is a lovely opportunity to meet other parents in our school community. We will have a small toy corner for younger siblings.