Newsletter 29th April 2021

Important Dates

Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th May – The school will be closed for the May Bank Holiday. The school will reopen on Wednesday 5th May.

Thursday 3rd, Friday 4th & Monday 7th June – The school will be closed for the June Bank Holiday.  The school will reopen on Tuesday 8th June.

Message from Mary Dee – Dear School Community, it is with great sadness that I retired due to illness from my position as Deputy Principal in Wicklow Educate Together N.S. this year.  I joined the school in 2005 and I can honestly say that the intervening years have been the happiest and most fulfilling of my career.

It has truly been an honour to work with the children who came through the school doors, get to know them, see personalities develop and watch with pride as they graduate and move on confidently to the next stage of their lives.  They have taught me as many lessons as I have taught them! I have received and witnessed so much kindness from the children and have been so impressed by their talents, humour, determination and courage.  Many a bleak winter’s morning has been lit up by a bright smile, a joke or a piece of news.

As teacher, as a member of the Board of Management, as Deputy Principal and Acting Principal, I have worked with many of you on the Board of Management and the Parent Council.  I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have volunteered and given your time and support so generously for the benefit of the school over many years.

I have been so fortunate to work with wonderful school leaders during my time in WETNS.  Mary Feerick Byrne was an inspirational school leader and principal.  Sinéad is ably carrying on the tradition of a strong, progressive school leader with an awe-inspiring work ethic.

Wicklow Educate Together N.S. is a truly wonderful place to work, due in great part to the wonderful staff, their team spirit and the truly inspiring atmosphere which this creates.  I have always referred to my co-workers as ‘my school family’ and will greatly miss the interaction with such a wonderful group of people.

I want to send each one of you in the school community my best wishes for the future. Rather than saying goodbye, I prefer to say Au Revoir, Wiedersehen or Arrivederci – Until We Meet Again.

Message from Isobel O’Duffy  – Writing from my more leisurely retired life, I’m thinking of the whole community of Wicklow Educate Together  – children, the parents, the staff, members of the Board of Management –  and a smile comes to my face.  I worked in the school for the last 10 years of my working life and it was such a positive experience.  I worked with two marvellous principals who, together with the rest of the school community, have grown the school from a tiny seed to a towering tree providing nurture and shelter for the children.  For the first few years, I worked as the EAL (English as an Additional Language) teacher and subsequently worked as a Special Education Teacher.  Over the course of my decade with the school I worked at all class levels and I can safely say that the quality of teaching and SNA care is excellent.  I found the staff team quite amazing to work with – dedicated, hard working, creative and fun teachers and SNAs working in teams with a high level of collaboration, cooperation and innovation. I felt lucky to work with such a strong team of colleagues, not least my jobshare partners of more recent years who were fabulous to work with.   The school genuinely achieves its goal of “educating together” as there is a wonderful diversity throughout the community and I always found it a truly inclusive school.  I miss the children, the hubbub of school life and the “craic” in the staff room.   I wish everybody in the school the very best and look on my retirement, not as goodbye, but “see you”.   Go n-Eirí libh.

Communication – Reminder to please direct all communication with the school to [email protected]owetns.com or contact the school office on 0404 62786. We would ask that you do not relay messages to the staff supervising at the gates or the set down area as this is a very busy time for the staff who are supervising. If you wish to discuss a matter via telephone please email this request to info. Please be aware that visibility to [email protected] mailbox is restricted to Sinéad Watson and Lisa Jervis.

Punctuality – The school is open for pupils 8.40-9.00am.  These twenty minutes give ample time and physical space for all 420 pupils to arrive to school on time.  We would ask that you please ensure your child/children arrive to school on time. Our experience is that pupils who arrive on time for school have a more rewarding learning experience and benefit from the early morning routine, including social interaction with their peers. Lateness disturbs the learning of others and a child can miss fundamental concepts, particularly in subjects such as math’s, which are frequently taught first thing in the morning.

Safe Driving – We would ask all parents/guardians to please drive with care on the school grounds and please be mindful of the 10km speed limit.  As you enter and exit the school please also be aware that many children are leaving on foot/scooter and bikes and we have a large number of families crossing at the traffic lights so extra care when driving is very important.

School Transport – The closing date for applications for school transport for September 2021 is Friday 30th April 2021. See link below for details. https://www.buseireann.ie/inner.php?id=522

Return to Education Declaration – A return to education declaration must be completed on Aladdin if your child is absent from school for any reason or leaves early due to illness. This declaration will be visible in Aladdin from 3pm on the day your child is absent or leaves early and must be completed prior to your child returning to school.  This is a standard Aladdin form being utilised in schools as part of the Covid Protocol.  We would ask that you please complete this form promptly as non completion creates additional work in our very busy office contacting individual families.

Leaving the School – If your child or children are leaving the school at the end of this school year, we would appreciate if you could email [email protected] or call the school office as soon as possible to confirm that your child is leaving and their final date in WETNS.  This will allow us time to plan for September 2021.

Clothing – with the changeable weather please remember to have your child suitably dressed.  Children will continue to be outside twice as much as possible.  Even on what seems to be a nice day, it can be very cold in the yard so a jacket would be very beneficial to have in your child’s bag throughout the season.  Please remember to label all clothing.

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.

Nut Free School – Reminder that we are a nut free school.  Please be mindful of this when preparing lunches. Please ensure no nuts or nut products are included as we have some severe allergies at the school.

Dogs – We would like to remind parents that dogs are not permitted on the premises at any time

Message from the Ombudsman for Children – Dear Friends, The Ombudsman for Children needs your help to hear from all children under the age of 18 in Ireland.

The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, works to make sure that children (everyone under 18) have their rights respected in Ireland.  One part of his job is to listen to what children think.  You can get more information about Niall and the work of the Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) at www.oco.ie.

All children under 18 living in Ireland have 42 rights under the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child.  In 2022, the Irish government has to report to the UN on how it is working to make sure children enjoy all of their rights. You can find more information about your rights at www.oco.ie/itsyourright

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (18 experts from all over the world) wants to hear from children in Ireland about their life and rights.

We want to support children in Ireland to tell the Committee what they think about what is good, what is not so good and what would make life better for children in Ireland. That is why we are asking you to fill in this survey.  We are not asking for your name or address or any other information that would tell us or anyone else who you are or what you think.

As a child, your opinions and ideas really matter and we hope you will share them with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.  You also need to agree to take part so don’t forget to tick the box below and ask a parent or guardian to do the same!

If you are the parent/guardian of a child under 18, it would be great if you could ask your child/children to fill in the survey themselves, or by supporting them to tell us what they think by reading the questions to them and entering their answers if needed.  You also need to give your consent for your child to take part. If you have more than one child under 18, a separate survey should be filled in by each child.

Link to survey: bit.ly/3vdxGxf

The survey will stay open until Friday 7th May.

Thank you for your help.

If you have any questions about the survey you can email [email protected].

Arabic Email to be sent by school FAQ and Info Have Your Say Social Pack Irish Polish 

Please keep up to date with information from Wicklow Educate Together NS which is available through weekly newsletter, texts to parents, school wide notices & school website wicklowetns.com. Wicklow Educate Together N.S. are not on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media. For any queries, questions or feedback please email [email protected] or call the school office Lisa or Alma (0404 62786). Please contact Sinead school principal for any further clarification or information [email protected].