7th May 2021
This week has made me realise how lucky I am to work with a dedicated and committed staff. We had a few absences combined with two classes going to forest school. All of which served to remind me how far the staff have been stretched this year as we all try to provide a safe space for the children to be themselves without worrying excessively about what is going on in the world around them.
We had a NAMER (National Assessment of Maths and English Reading) assessment in Rang a Dó and Rang a Sé this week. This is an assessment which the Department had scheduled for last year to help them understand how we as a country were doing. I spoke to a few children casually on yard, some of whom mentioned how they were worried about the upcoming assessments. These comments were from children who I thought wouldn’t be worried about tests, which made me worried about all the children and how they perceive these formal tests. As we approach the Drumcondra tests which we carry out annually in Rang 1-6 I would like us all to remove the pressure from the children. If we the adults become overly focused on them, it is natural for the children to do likewise. I would prefer them to feel good about themselves based on how kind and friendly they have been and are, how grateful they are for the things they have rather than using a number on a piece of paper or for that matter, on the number of likes on a post to feel that they are doing well.
I am excited about the talk the Parents' Association are organising later this month about how we as parents approach the power of the mobile phone. Full details are in the PA section later in the Newsletter.
The Summer Term is always a busy term and because we didn’t have a normal spring term we are noticing this even more. All the classes are busy working and we are reminded that we can’t get everything done that we would in a normal year. There’s a lot of work happening between now and the 30th June but we will continue to focus on the well being of the children rather than what page they are on in the textbooks. With that and the current recommendations in mind we are planning on celebrating the worldwide ‘Outdoor Classroom Day on the 20th May. We are just hoping that it isn’t quite as wet as it was on the last day we had tried to celebrate this event. We are also looking at ways to make our annual ‘Sports for All-day’ work with our current limitations on space. We have also been thinking ahead towards the graduation in Rang a Sé. We have received communication from the Department advising that graduation ceremonies will have to be changed. They are recommending that parents don’t attend. This means, the plan we had for last year’s sixth class to have an in person ceremony has had to be finally shelved. A committed team is working on incorporating our ideas into an alternative. We are now looking at what we can do for our current Rang a Sé, if you have any ideas please let me know.
As it was a short week this week we are saving the news from the classes for next week. Some of our reporters were not happy that their chance to report was being curtailed.
Information Evening May 18
The PA would like to invite all parents/guardians to an online information evening on May 18 @ 7pm on two important topics: children's smartphone usage & digital safety. Hope you'll join us!
We will have two speakers:
Ronan Munro, SC, is an advocate for changing the culture of smartphone usage among children in Ireland and has been involved in establishing a 'no smartphone voluntary code for parents' in some local primary schools.
Fiona Jennings, ISPCC Policy & Research Manager, will introduce the ISPCC's Digital Ready Hub, which aims to provide parents with resources and tools for guiding children safely through the online world.
If you would like to attend, please e-mail Oscar/Rachel at email@example.com
Seeking a new chair, or two. . .
We are coming to the end of our term as PA co-chairs and would love to talk to anyone who might be interested in taking on the role (s). It's a great way to get involved in the school community and also a lot of fun, with a brilliant committee and parent body to support you. Please get in touch if you'd like to find out more. Thanks!!
Rachel Sirr and Oscar Carolan
RMDS childcare welcomed Hugo Santos to the staff this week and he is already settling in. I was enjoying watching the game of sit down chasing that he had organised in the yard from the office window yesterday afternoon. We hope that he feels very welcome in his new position. He is ably supported by Eimear Rainsford whom we have been delighted to welcome back following Violeta Bernades’s departure and Jeanette Hood who has stepped up to a leadership role since Leanne Cunningham’s departure.
We are continuing to roll out the use of personal hand towels for all classes in an effort to reduce the amount of additional waste we were generating. Thank you for your participation and support with this initiative.
The Board of Management will be posting the CHY3 form which will allow us to claim back the tax on any donations that are above €250. Keep an eye out for it in the post next week and if you can return the chy forms via the school bags it will be much appreciated.
A report will also be included which details how the Board are managing the school’s finances.