A period of 45 minutes should be enough to get both learning and written elements completed. If it is taking much longer or causing undue anxiety, please put a note in the journal or come in to discuss it with me. After a focused 45 minutes, write time is up and the journal can be signed. Homework will consist of learning both English and Gaeilge spellings (gaeilge after midterm) should be done by the “look, say, cover, write, check” method. The spelling activities given from My Spelling Workbook aim to slow the child down to look and explore the word. Spellings are checked in class regularly and a quick test will take place on Fridays. The children will have to write 3 sentences choosing three of the words from their weekly spelling. Reading will consist of three class novels throughout the year. Please check the homework journal regularly and sign it. Gaeilge reading will also take place later in the year as will gaeilge comprehension work.
An atmosphere of mutual respect and consideration for other classmates in class is what is aimed for in Rang 5. Positive behavior is encouraged through immediate praise, a reward sticker. 20 points earn the much sought after homework pass! The children worked together to set up a class charter and these rules are written in the cc copy.
It is important to acknowledge that most children are very well behaved most of the time. However, we must deal with the consequences of negative behavior. This pointed out when it occurs and if it persists, pupils will have to sit on their own for a while. If this continues parents are contacted through the journal or a phone call. If I see you on a regular basis, the note/phonecall stage isn’t reached as I can let you know very informally. We can work on this together.
We do our very best to make sure all the children in the class are happy and feel safe and secure in school, let me know if you have any concerns in this area, the sooner I know, the sooner we can work on any problems together.
Copies of our Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy are available in the office. It is also up on our website.
Children are expected to be in the classroom on time and if late/absent, they should have an explanatory note in journal or an e-mail the office.
The school begins at 8.30 and the children are meant to be in the classroom by then. This is an important time for children to settle in and chat to their classmates. It is equally, if not more important now at pre teen age as in junior infants. Therese, and myself are setting up games and coloring activities for children to play with together. Teaching starts promptly at 8.50 a.m. and it is unsettling for the class and the individual to arrive after this time.
4. Core Curriculum
A broad range of topics is covered all year but main ones include Islam, Hinduism and Humanism. A LGBT module is also covered in the third term.
As part of the Social Personal and Health Education programme Drugs education and Relationship and Sexuality education will be covered this year. Changes during puberty in both girls and boys is the main topic covered. The walk tall programme will also be used as a resource this year. The Stay Safe Programme will be revisited for the final time this year.
If you have any concerns re bullying of any kind, please chat to me. I would like to specifically mention Cyber Bullying; With increased availability of smart phones, ipads and laptops, comes increased vulnerability.Children then have more and more avenues for communication, but this also has potential pitfalls that we need to be aware of, such as;
A healthy eating policy is adhered to in RMDS with the addition of no birthday treats
No nuts policy.
Class plays on downstairs yard for first break dailys. For big lunch, On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Rang 5 go to the park and remain on downstairs yard the other days.
There are designated quiet areas for chatting. Skipping and gentle group games are appropriate for lunch time play.
As you are all aware, all staff of RMDS are committed to all children in the school, including those with additional needs. This is in line with the educate together ethos. I would like to draw your attention to this quote in particular; “fairness isn’t giving everybody the same thing, it’s giving everyone what the need.” Needs, sometimes especially in the senior classes, can also be totally unrelated to SEN and can be less obvious and children can see certain actions as “unfair”, while in actual fact, a specific need is being catered for. Please bear this in mind and remind your children of this. Some children can need an extra support or scaffolding.
9. Curricular Areas
English; The novels this year are “The Breadwinner”, “Under the Hawthorn tree” and TBC .These were reviewed and changed recently. The idea is in picking the first book from a triology is to give the child a platform to continue reading him/herself. We will also cover comprehension material and elements from other areas of the curriculum. Pupils’ own personal reading will also be encouraged through USR (uninterrupted silent reading). I will have a list of suggested reading compiled by the class to help everyone find a book that suits them.
Gaeilge: Try to use ‘cúpla focal’ every day. There is an increase in written work in Rang 5 but oral language is still emphasised. Please maintain a positive attitude towards Gaeilge. Bun Go Barr is the book used and a variety of listening activities are explored weekly. I also plan to cover a few modern songs through Gaeilge.
Maths:The class will be divided between myself and Mr. Fairbrother and Ms. Curran. The groups are of mixed ability. Over the year, every child will have the opportunity to work with each teacher. Long division is the main new topic this year. Reassure your child he/she is not expected to grasp this concept on day one. Revision of this topic at home throughout the year will benefit your child.
P.E. is on a Friday morning at 9.45am. Each child must wear white soled runners and suitable clothing for that day. Movement breaks are daily.
Art takes place on Wednesday afternoons.
Music; We are fortunate to have Ms. Coogan on board this year assisting us with getting ready for Cór na nóg.
Childrens’ copies are stored in their baskets. You are welcome to view them between 08.30 and 08.45.
In Rang 5 pupils are encouraged to use pens. Joined writing is also encouraged this year. We are revising the tricker letters and working on this as a class. Please find sample in your children’s journals for reference both at home and in school. Copy of script also available on school website.
It’s always more exciting when a parent comes in to give a presentation on their area of expertise. If you are available for trips, please let me know.
Parent/Teacher Contact: Individual parent/teacher meetings are in November. If there is a need to meet during the year, I will arrange a mutually convenient time before or after school hours. Incidental, less sensitive issues can be dealt with between 8.30am and 8.50 am.
Formal assessment takes place in early May in the form of the Drumcondra Maths and English papers. Weekly testing occurs on a Friday. Maths, English, Gaeilge are tested.SESE tests on occasion.
14. School trips
There will be at least one school trip per term. These will vary from trips to the Mosque this term to a trip to Baltinglass in the final term. You will receive an email before the class goes on a trip to inform you of location and dates.
Birthday invitations; Could you please ensure invitations are not handed out in the classroom. Also remind the children to keep the chat about parties to a minimum in the classroom to ensure children are not feeling left out.
15. Policy of Child protection
A reminder to you all that Rosemarie Stynes is the DLP (designated Liaison Person) and Paul Fairbrother is the deputy DLP.
There is a definite jump in the Rang 5 curriculum and it will take a while for each child to transition. We really do view fifth and sixth class as preparation for secondary school. It is useful to remind the children of this.
Thank you most sincerely for taking the time out to come to the meeting.
Rang 5 team; Anna Shackleton,Therese Curran, Paul Fairbrother & Christina Dowling