The class have settled in very well and are getting used to any new routines and rules specific to our classroom This is a guide to the main areas of work and general classroom routines for the year.
The aim is to have a caring classroom, with a strong emphasis on respect towards others in the school community. In order for the class to be a pleasant working environment for everyone certain rules need to be in place.
Classroom Rules are
Most children are well behaved most of the time but some need occasional or regular reminders, while others need a more individualised approach. All of these are provided for within the policies of the school.
While encourage and reward positive behaviour, the children must also learn to deal with the consequences of negative behaviour
We do our best to make sure all the children are happy and feel safe and secure in school. Please let me know if you have any concerns in this area as the sooner I know about these the sooner we can work on any problems together.
Please send in a note, call the secretary’s office or send an email if your child is absent. This is an important part of their attendance record.
8.30am is school start time. It is very important your child is in on time as it starts the day well for everybody.
Playtime/ Healthy Eating Policy
Please remember that we have a NO NUTS rule in school due to allergies. We also have a healthy eating policy in place.
Our class play in the yard at every small break and they go to Linear Park on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.
Special Education Needs and RMDS
You will be aware that the enrolment policy of RMDS provides for equality of access and participation in the school. There are different areas of special needs, emotional disturbance and/or behavioural problems, speech and language, among many others.
Pencil is always used in second class. Please encourage them to use the tripod grip when writing, to form letters correctly when doing homework and to take care with their handwriting.
Homework is given every night, Monday – Thursday, and should take no more than 25 minutes. The children should have a sturdy homework folder to help them organise the books, sheets and copies they need each day going home. I would really appreciate it if you could check and sign homework when completed.
Reading should be heard each night, and the reading diary completed. A little reading done regularly is what develops the habit so it’s important to make it an everyday event at home. Their success in reading has a positive influence on other aspects of the curriculum. Discussing the events of the story, character roles, likely outcomes and the illustrations will promote greater word recognition and develop language and higher order thinging skills.
Second class is participating in the aquatics strand of the P.E curriculum in primary schools. The class have started swimming lessons in Rathmines swimming pool. Please ensure that your child is wearing their swimwear under their clothes when coming to school each Thursday. They need to a bag, towel, togs, goggles and a swim hat. Your child should have a warm hat for after swimming as they will have wet hair.
Reminder: if your child is ill and not participating in the swimming lesson please bring them in at approx 10.20am.
We have 10 minutes PE every day so the children should always be dressed for exercise and games.
Individual parent/teacher meetings will be held in November. However if you would like to discuss any matter with me before then please ring the office or jot a note in your child’s journal to arrange an appointment with me at a suitable time.
Some areas of particular importance for your child’s class are as follows:
In Mathematics the first class curriculum is revised and built upon. Number, Money and Time continue to be important areas this year. Terms like” borrowing” and “paying back” are no longer used as subtraction using “renaming” is taught early in the year. I will stick an explanatory note into each of the homework copies when we start this.
The hearing of Reading is essential to reinforce your child’s ability to read and also increases confidence as well as fluency. There is silent reading every day for 10-15 minutes and children can use the class library or bring a book from home. Your co-operation in hearing your child’s reading is essential to their progress in this area. Your role is to focus on sharing the story in a quiet place and making it an enjoyable time.
The Oxford reading Tree guidelines do not recommend racing from one book to the next. This interferes with the core objectives of increasing comprehension and building on higher order thinking skills, such as making a judgement or analysing a character.
Writing, both clearly and expressively for different audiences and purposes and in a variety of different genres will be continue in 2nd class and good penmanship will be encouraged also.
In Gaeilge we will work on both oral and aural lessons, continuing to use the communicative approach.. We use Irish informally throughout the day in school. For eg I ask them “Cé atá as láthair inniu?” instead of “who is absent today?” and they reply in Irish. In 2nd class we will be moving on to formal reading and writing in Irish and this will eventually become part of their weekly homework.
We will be focussing on several world faiths in Core Curriculum, including Judaism and the Bahai faith while continuing to explore the themes of Myself and Others, the Environment, as well as Development Education where we hope to look at how other children of their own age and live around the world.
The SPHE programme includes looking at self-identity, how to take care of our bodies, our local and school communities and the important topic of decision making, to name a few areas.
We will continue to practice mindfulness The aim of this practice is to give children the tools to calm themselves and to increase focus and concentration.
Drama is a subject area which is easily integrated into other subject areas and we do so on a daily basis, whether it be with an Irish story or a story from the past. We also have a formal drama lesson which takes place here in the Seomra Spraoi.
The Music programme covers the strand units of listening and responding to music, which includes singing, playing the ocarina, and composing,
In the area of the Visual Arts I plan to give the class opportunities to express themselves through drawing, painting, modelling with clay, construction as well as giving them the chance to look at and respond to each others art and that of famous artists.
Forest Schools will be led by our qualified Forest school leader, Caroline Carroll. They will be going to the Iveagh Gardens and the children will walk there and back . It’s something that the class can really look forward to in the New Year.
Paul Fairbrother will spend one afternoon per week working with our class as Resource teacher this year. His role will vary throughout the year but for the moment he will be working closely with me. Currently we are focussing on Gaeilge.
Assessment. Assessment happens on an on-going basis in class, both formally and informally and The formal Drumcondra tests in English Reading and Maths will take place in May 2018.
To finish I would like to say how much I’m looking forward to the year ahead and you can rest assured that I will do my utmost to make second class a happy and positive experience for your children!
Thanks for all your support so far.