Junior Infant Class Meeting – 25th September 2017

  • Class teacher: Therese Coogan
  • Learning Support/ Resource: Amal Pererra
  • Mainstream resource teacher: Paul Fairbrother
  • Classroom Assistant: Ann Maguire


Welcome to another new school year! The following is an outline of the Junior Infant programme for this year.  Thank you for taking the time to attend this class meeting and feel free to ask any further questions you may have.  The main aim for the year is that each child will settle well into school life, have a positive attitude to learning and to school while developing his/her potential.


  • The school code of behaviour and anti-bullying policy are available on the school website and from the school office.
  • An atmosphere of mutual respect, tolerance and sharing is fostered.
  • The children were consulted and involved in the creation of the rules and when sanctions are necessary, they are clearly explained to the child.
  • Sticker charts are used to reward positive behaviour individually in Junior Infants. A group points system may also established in the classroom to encourage team work. We focus on the positive and generally the children are very well behaved.
  • Some need an occasional reminder and others need a more individualised approach. A firm but fair approach is used.


  • 30am is school opening time. The gate is opened a few minutes before so that everyone can be in the classroom from 8.30am.
  • We start our Theme based activities, which are part of the Aistear framework as soon as we come in so it is crucial that the children are there from 8.30.
  • It can be distressing for children to arrive late so try to arrive within the times.
  • School finishes at 1.10pm and prompt collection is expected every day.


  • If your child is absent, please advise the school that morning by telephone and in writing on your child’s return.
  • Any issues or concerns can be discussed with me in person briefly in the early morning and by appointment outside teaching time.


  • Prevention is the key. Good manners, politeness, mutual respect and a sense of taking roles of responsibility are promoted in the school.
  • Pupils are taught a network of who to tell.
  • The policy may be viewed online.

Lunches and Playtime

  • RMDS encourages a healthy eating lunch policy throughout the school. Crisps, sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks are not allowed.  However children may bring in a treat to celebrate certain occasions and advance notice to parents is given.
  • Label/discuss with your child which is first break lunch, and which is second. The largest lunch is eaten first.
  • The no nut policy cannot be stressed enough.
  • Children play in the yard downstairs for 10 minutes at 10.30am and play on the roof terrace for 25 minutes at 12.20pm.

Special Education Needs and RMDS

  • In RMDS, we are committed to all children in the school, including those with special needs, which may or may not include children who have challenging behaviour.
  • Please bear in mind, there are different categories of special needs (e.g. emotional, behavioural, physical, speech and language). Some needs are not always obvious to other parents and children.
  • The important thing to note is each child is measured against him/herself. We deal with each child on an individual basis and cater for their needs in the classroom and in the yard.

General Curriculum:

Ø English

  • The emphasis on the English curriculum is very much on oral language and communication. It consists of oral language activities such as retelling a story, saying rhymes, riddles, poetry and vocabulary development.
  • Reading Homework: Read the reading book to your child using the enclosed notes in each book for homework. There are no words for your child to read at first, but there is a story to discuss. The children will have one book per week. Later books with words will be introduced.
  • In school, we work with large format books with similar activities and with the reading process modelled by teacher. The whole process is centred around reading for enjoyment and pleasure.
  • Phonics: The Letterland phonics programme will be used in Junior Infants. This is a system where the children learn the sounds of the various letters through characters such as Annie Apple etc.    Children will learn the letter name, character name, letter sound, associated songs and enjoy the stories. Children will also learn how to  air trace and then, write the letter. Please visit http://www.letterland.com/?country=Ireland to familiarise yourself with these characters.
  • As the year progresses, children will begin to blend the sounds together into words.

Ø Gaeilge

  • It is important to encourage your child to use Irish at home. Children at this age take delight in ‘teaching’ you what they have learned.  Useful phrases include:
    “Dia duit” (Hello), “Dia’s Muire dhuit” (Hello to you), “Go raibh maith agat” (Thank you), “Slan leat” (Goodbye).
  • The teaching of Gaeilge is entirely language based and taught through rhymes, songs, poems and drama. The emphasis is on fun and using what we know when we can.

Ø Mathematics

  • Mathematics is very much language based at Junior Infant level. Activity work plays a huge part of maths classes. Find opportunities to talk about the maths in the children’s environment  as it is a proven method of consolidating learning in this area. Topics include:
  • Early Mathematical activities
  • Number
  • Shape and Space
  • Measures
  • Capacity
  • Time, Money, Data.

Ø E. and Art Education

  • E. takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays. Children will also engage in ten minutes of exercise daily.
  • Please ensure your child wears loose fitting gear and appropriate footwear for P.E.
  • Art will also take place on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Please ensure that children are wearing suitable clothing for art activities.

Music & Drama

  • Music focuses on songs, rhymes and percussion.
  • We use the Ceol programme in school and the emphasis on body percussion and solfa gives a good grounding in musical theory.
  • It also includes the beginning of theory, for example, notes going up and down, fast and slow.
  • Drama gives the children an opportunity to express themselves in the context of a poem, story, song or dance. Drama also includes a performance in December as part of the whole school concert.

Ø E.S.E.

  • This stands for Social, Environmental & Scientific Education.
  • This subject, in Infants, is integrated with Core Curriculum. S.E.S.E. has a significant focus on the environment and our interaction with it.


  • This stands for Social, Personal and Health Education.
  • In Infants, it has a strong link with core curriculum overlapping on topics such as family, relationships and myself. It also includes belonging and co-operating, taking care of our body, feelings and celebrations.

Core Curriculum

  • Core Curriculum is unique to Educate Together schools. It is integrated with topics from S.P.H.E. and covers themes such as myself, my family, my school, celebrations, festivals around the world, development education, and moral development.
  • Mindfulness occurs daily in all classes at RMDS. In short 1 – 2 minute sessions, children are encouraged to maintain silence and focus on their breathing.  It is used as a support to developing concentration, relaxation and awareness.


  • Homework will normally commence after Halloween. Homework Packs will be given out on Monday and collected on Friday.
  • Written homework should be completed in 15 minutes or less. Write a note on the top of the page if you need to tell me anything in relation to the H/W.
  • Your children should be able to understand tasks given for homework as they will be prepared and explained at school.
  • Reading will be an integral part of homework and should be completed each night from October onwards. If your child is having continued difficulty, do not hesitate to let me know.


  • The children’s copies and books are kept in the classroom and you can ask me to view your child’s work any morning if you wish.


  • Correct letter formation sheet for your reference at home will be sent in H/W Pack in October. Letters will be practised integrated with the Letterland programme

How parents can help?

  • Check that your child is using the correct pencil grip regularly throughout the year.
  • Follow this link for The Crayon Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwuLwaTeaOI
  • Check the letter formation sheet to check regularly that your child is forming letters to the best of his/her ability.
  • Good communication is key- Let me know if there are any issues big or small.


  • Junior Infant formal assessment takes place in the Spring Term.
  • The children will complete the Belfield Infants Assessment Profile which assesses fine and gross motor skills, visual and auditory discrimination and speech and language development as well as learning skills.
  • If you do not hear anything back from me you can assume that all is normal.

Parent/Teacher Meetings

  • Formal Parent/Teacher meetings will take place this year in
  • If you require another appointment during the year, do not hesitate to ask.

Show and Tell

On Friday your child can bring in something ‘interesting’ that they would like to talk to the class about.

Final Bits & Bobs

  • Remain Vigilant about the no nuts, nutella or peanut butter in lunches please.
  • Children are encouraged always to try their best. I encourage them to get involved in all activities and to make an effort to mix with others and include others in games and
  • Encourage the children to talk to me about any concerns and I will do my best to help them.
  • Please check your child’s school bag for occasional notes. Most notes are now emailed so please check email accounts and the RMDS website.
  • When birthdays arise, please ensure invitations are not handed out in the classroom.
  • Children may bring in home baked nut free goods.

P.S. Lost property – This is located in a box near the office and is emptied to the local charity shop once a month. Label all items for your child and check the lost property box promptly.

Thank you.  I look forward to working with you all over the coming year!

Therese Coogan

Junior Infants

Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School,
Ranelagh Road,
Dublin 6.
T: +353 1 496 1722