SCHOOL NEWS in Brief…..
31st August 2017
Phone: (01) 4961722
From the Principal’s desk:
Welcome back to you all! I hope you had a lovely, relaxing, fulfilling summer break! I have enjoyed hearing about some of the adventures had by you all already! We are delighted to welcome you all back to RMDS, especially our new Junior Infants who are settling in so well in these early days. We also give a special welcome to Molly (SI), Alec (R1), Harry (R3), Zoe (R3), Billy (R4), and Olivia (R5). We say farewell to Daniel (R6) and wish him well in his new school. We also welcome Rose Halpin-Duffy (Class teacher in Rang 1), Maria Dillon (Class teacher in Rang 4), Anna Shackleton (Class teacher in Rang 5) and last but not least, Mary Reynolds (SEN teacher in Rang 1 and Rang 2) who will be working with us until Louise Ormiston’s return in Term 2. As the school’s SNA resources were cut last year the Board continues to employ an additional classroom assistant to support the learning of all the students in the school. Ann Maguire will be staying on with us in this capacity. We shall be sharing a SEN post with Scoil Caitríona, Baggot Street and Ballinteer ETNS for the coming year - Amal Perera is our shared teacher.
We wish Paul Fairbrother well in his first year as Deputy Principal of RMDS.
Planning for the new school year is well underway and following the first Board of Management meeting of the new school year, our further priorities will be outlined.
We had some major refurbishment work completed over the summer. The four senior classrooms had floors and furniture replaced – a huge undertaking but now all eight mainstream classrooms are refurbished to a great standard. Painting was done throughout the school, railings repaired and replaced and other maintenance work carried out. The floor in the GP room was sanded revealing what looks like a brand new floor! Power washing of the yard and roof terrace has brightened up the play areas. We are certainly ready for the new year ahead! We were enabled to do this work through the generosity of your Voluntary Contributions.
As always at this time of the year it is important to promote positive behaviour and respect for each other. All the classes will spend time at the beginning of the year exploring these issues as part of the SPHE and the Core Curriculum programme. There will be a particular focus on playing well together, including everyone and reminding each other of our Code of Behaviour and the Anti-Bullying policy. Below are some 'rules' that help keep everyone safe and happy in school. We will be going through them in the classes with the children over the next few weeks and would appreciate if you would talk about them at home with your child/children as well.
The Educate Together homework journal (for children from Rang 1 upwards) contains lots of useful information as well as reminders about our ethos and how we do things here in RMDS. It is also a useful point of contact for incidental communication between parents and the school.
Class meeting dates are included in this newsletter. We look forward to meeting you all at these meetings, which we regard as an integral part of the partnership between parents and the school staff. Copies of the mandatory school policies are on the website. Hard copies can be obtained from Mary or Eleanor in the office.
RMDS News in Brief will continue to be sent every Thursday by email. All newsletters are also available on the school website www.rmds.ie so please check regularly.
Please go to the school website (www.rmds.ie) and return classroom requisites and school tours payments via the Easy Payment system asap. Click on the Contact cloud and scroll down to Online Payments. Thanks to all those who have paid already. Junior Infants and all new pupils have already paid this bill in full. Any queries, contact the office. Voluntary contributions can also be paid online.
The gate is opened in time for all pupils to be in their classrooms for 8.30 a.m. Please ensure pupils are in their classes punctually each morning so that they can settle in and get organised for the day. Pupils who arrive into class after 8.40 am will be marked late. We must account for all absences. For short absences, a phone call or email on the morning is fine. Otherwise an email or a note should be sent in advance where possible.
In the interests of everyone’s safety and security, all parents entering the school via the front door during the school day must report to the office first. We would also ask that all parents leave via the back gate following drop off in the morning – please do not use the front door.
The Extra-Curricular Activities Programme begins on Monday, 18th September. The timetable and forms will be included in next week’s newsletter.
Finally, this is the time of year when headlice can become a plague! Remember anyone can pick up headlice. They are most common amongst young children as they often put heads together during play allowing the lice walk from one head to the next. Headlice do not reflect standards of hygiene. They are just as willing to live in clean or dirty hair. It is important that parents check their children’s hair regularly. This way lice can be found before they have a chance to breed. They can then be treated stopping them being passed round the family…or from family to family! The way to check someone’s head is called “detection combing”. This should be done regularly and in the case of a confirmed infection in one family member, the other members of the household should carry out “detection combing” twice weekly for one week. Please let the school know if you detect a case of headlice so that we can alert parents to check their own child’s hair. Everyone has a part to play!
I look forward to working with you all over the next year. As always, your ideas, suggestions and feedback are always welcome.
Our Rules for Behaving Well
Drop off: Please wait quietly at the back gate in the morning. The school gate is opened in time for children to be in their classes for 8.30 a.m. No responsibility can be taken for children left before the gate opens.
Collection: Junior and Senior Infants are dismissed at 1.10 p.m. will be handed over to their parents/ minders by the teacher at the school door. All other classes are dismissed into the school yard, where they should be met by parents/ minders, punctually, at 2.10 p.m. No responsibility can be taken for children not collected promptly at the normal closing times. If you have arranged for someone else to collect your children please let the office know. We cannot release children without prior knowledge.
Walking: The inside of the school is a walking zone at all times. At drop off and collection times, everyone is asked to WALK in the yard too – no running and no scooting. In particular, toddlers waiting with parents or minders should not be allowed to run around as the yard gets very busy and congested at school closing time.
Climbing: No one should climb on the walls in the yard or up behind the grassy pit, including toddlers waiting for older siblings, at any time.
Left hand: Please hold the stair rail with your LEFT HAND at all times. Younger siblings should follow the same rule, for safety reasons. Take care and open the swing doors gently – once again using the LEFT HAND RULE – open on the left.
Clothing for School: Children in all classes should wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes all the time, as every day involves some movement and physical activity. Clothes should also be suitable for arts activities. All removable clothing and footwear should be labelled. Make up should not be worn to school. Low cut tops, string vests and t- shirts with offensive or violent slogans should not be worn to school.
Clothing for PE: In order to take part in PE, children must be wearing suitable clothing and footwear i.e. tracksuit and runners. Rang 1, Rang 3, Rang 4, Rang 5 and Rang 6 go to Mountpleasant Lawn Tennis Club for their main P.E. lesson. We have the use of this facility on condition that the children wear white soled, non-marking runners or light white soled plimsolls (available from the shoe shop in the Swan Centre and major chain stores). Children should not wear jewellery unless they are able to remove it themselves prior to their PE class. Long hair should be tied back.
Never Leave the School: Children should never leave the school without permission from the teaching staff.
Language: Bad language (curses and swear words) or derogatory language (words like dork, nerd, crap, losers etc) is not acceptable at any time.
Scooters and Skateboards: Scooters and skateboards should be carried or wheeled to and from the school gates. ‘Parking’ is available at the bottom of the stairwells!
Mobile Phones: We prefer that children do not bring mobile phones to school. If they need to have a mobile with them, it should be switched off and placed in the schoolbag before they come into the school yard and not taken out until they leave the school premises in the evening. Children who do not comply will get one warning and then have phones confiscated. Parents may collect confiscated phones from the teacher or the office.
Road Safety: Jackie, our school warden will see the children safely across the road at The Hill. Parents who wish to accompany their children should park legally, before crossing with the traffic warden. Children on scooters should have lights and helmets. Pedestrians coming from Ranelagh are also reminded that it is safer to stay on the footpath around the front and west (infant gate) sides of the school rather than going up the lane on the east (extension) side.
Safe driving: Please do not drive around the school in the morning or the afternoon. At infant collection times (1.10 p.m.), please do not park on the double yellow lines by the infant gate.
Pets: Dogs may not be brought into the school yard. If you are leaving dogs on leads at the school railings, please leave them outside the yellow zig zag lines at the gate.
Healthy Eating in School
We are a nut free school – no peanut butter, nut butter, nutella or actual nuts in the lunchboxes! We have two children in RMDS who are severely allergic to nuts.
As part of the SPHE programme, healthy lunches are promoted in the school. That means no crisps, fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolate or crisps etc. Everyone must have a lunch box to bring home food waste. This has the added advantage of letting parents see what is being eaten and what is left.
Children eat lunch at their desks in the classroom. Pupils are encouraged to sit while eating at a tidy place. This is an important time in the school day, particularly for the infants. It allows children to chat and talk to enjoy food breaks as a social activity. There is no food brought out to the yard.
Drinking water is available in all the classrooms and there is a drinking fountain in the yard. Children are encouraged to drink water during the day. It is a good idea for children to have a plastic bottle which they can refill.
These policies extend to Extra-Curricular Activities and to the School-Age Childcare service. Children returning to the school to take part in afterschool activities should not bring fast food, fizzy drinks etc. into the school with them.
Parent/ Teacher Communication
We will contact you with any concerns we might have regarding your child in school. Equally, we would encourage you to talk to us about your concerns, no matter how small. The class teacher should be the first port of call with any issues. The afternoon is more suitable for formal meetings and appointments can be arranged with Mary/Eleanor in the office. If it is difficult for you to visit the school, we can arrange to make phone contact at a suitable time.
The period between 8.30 a.m. and 8.45 a.m. is a useful point of contact for incidental matters and clarification. The homework journal or a note in the school bag is also useful. For more detailed or sensitive discussions, please arrange a meeting with the class teacher through the school office. This means both parties can sit down and discuss issues confidentially and in comfort.
Class Meetings will take place as follows:
JUNIOR INFANTS: Friday, 22nd September @ 8.45am
SENIOR INFANTS: Tuesday, 12th September @ 8.45am
RANG 1: Thursday, 14th September @ 8.45am
RANG 2: Wednesday, 13th September @ 8.45am
RANG 3: Thursday, 21st September @ 8.45am
RANG 4: Wednesday, 20th September @ 8.45am
RANG 5: Monday, 18th September @ 8.45am
RANG 6: Friday, 15th September @ 8.45am
All meetings will take place at 8.45 a.m. sharp in the Seomra Spraoi and will be finished by 9.40 a.m. There will be an opportunity for individual questions with the teachers after the meetings. Individual Education Planning (IEP) meetings for parents of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) will take place before the end of October – SEN teachers will contact you directly to make arrangements. Individual parent / teacher meetings will take place during the last two weeks of November.
RMDS Term Dates - 2017/18
|School opens @ 8.30am||Term 1||Wednesday||30th August|
|Closed||Public holiday||Monday||30th October|
|Closed||School holiday||Tuesday||31st October|
|Closed||School holiday||Wednesday||1st November|
|Closed||School holiday||Thursday||2nd November|
|Closed||School holiday||Friday||3rd November|
|School closes (midday)||Christmas||Friday||22nd December|
|School opens @ 8.30am||Term 2||Monday||8th January|
|Closed||School holiday||Monday||12th February|
|Closed||School holiday||Tuesday||13th February|
|Closed||School holiday||Wednesday||14th February|
|Closed||School holiday||Thursday||15th February|
|Closed||School holiday||Friday||16th February|
|Closed||Public holiday||Monday||19th March|
|School closes (midday)||Easter||Friday||23rd March|
|School opens @ 8.30am||Term 3||Monday||9th April|
|Closed||School holiday||Friday||4th May|
|Closed||Public Holiday||Monday||7th May|
|Closed||School holiday||Friday||1st June|
|Closed||Public Holiday||Monday||4th June|
|School closes (midday)||Summer||Friday||29th June|
*Unless changes are required as part of contingency arrangements to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures, in which case the school may reduce the length of the Easter break.
RMDS School Age Childcare
Information from Caroline Percival on 085-1156506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the school website - www.rmds.ie!