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Kilcoskan National School, Kilcoskan, The Ward, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

KNS September Newsletter for Parents

KNS Newsletter September 2017
A Thuismitheoiri,
Failte ar ais ar scoil gach duine - we hope that everybody is very well settled back into the school routines again by now. Each month or bimonthly we issue a newsletter to keep everybody informed about goings on in our school and this is the first of the new school year. So, please take note of the information below.
Mr.CiarĂ¡n Caulfield, Priomhoide

·         Code of Behaviour – parents will note that in line with our new Code of Behaviour and following last year’s parental survey feedback, a behaviour report is now stamped into pupils’ journals daily. The full Code of Behaviour is available on the Principal’s Blog: www.kilcoskanbloggers.blogspot.ie and in hard copy by request from reception. Pupil behaviour is managed in line with the Code at all times throughout the school day.
·         Healthy Lunches: All new infant parents received a copy of our school’s Healthy Eating Policy – which was issued to all parents last year. This too is available at www.kilcoskanbloggers.blogspot.ie – please continue to abide by this policy to insure your child has a healthy lunch. Lunch waste is to be brought home.
·         KNS Active School Day: Noting that our June Sports Day had to be called off due to rain, as promised we have rescheduled an Autumn Active Day to take place in St.Margaret’s GAA Complex. The date is set for Friday 29th September. To avoid hassle for parents, weather permitting on the day, we will transport all pupils from Kilcoskan NS by bus to the complex at 10am. Pupils will stay at the complex for the day doing their events and activities.  We then ask parents to collect their children from St.Margarat’s GAA grounds – but at the usual home times. If the weather is bad, the event will be cancelled and due to other events coming up, we unfortunately won’t be able to reschedule. Of course, we will have the summer Sports Day in May / June 2018 too – when parents will be welcome to come as spectators and join in novelty events etc. too.
·         Harvest Fair: Back again this year on Friday 13th October. Harvest Fair is our annual celebration of all things to do with the harvest. We’ll have visiting speakers for our pupils, the conker competition and the Harvest Show. Parents will be welcome from 1pm. Pupils can dress on the Harvest theme for the day – more details will follow closer to the event.
·         KNS Garden Harvest: Last spring we planted lots of fruits and vegetables in our school garden. This week we dug up our leeks, beetroots, carrots and potatoes. The winners of our “KNS Potato Race” were 3rd & 4th class – which means they grew the biggest crop!
·         Our KNS After-School Extra Curricular Activities timetable for 1st to 6th class will issue later this month, to start in October.
·         KNS Whole School Educational Themes: Each month, like last year, we have a whole school theme which informs some of our pupils’ class lessons. We share our work on these themes at Friday assemblies in our Green Room / Seomra Glas every second Friday. The themes for the coming term are:

o   September: Friendship and back to school.
o   October: Harvest Fair and Halloween
o   November: Multiculturalism
o   December: Christmas

·         Halloween Dress-Up: All pupils are welcome to dress up for a Halloween themed school day on Friday October 27th, the last day before October midterm break. School will be closed from Monday 30th October – Friday 3rd November inclusive. Note also that school closes on Wednesday 18th October for all pupils at 1.40pm as per the School Calendar.
·         Application Enrolment: Please submit any applications for junior infants 2018 to reception. The current closing date for applications is November and places will be issued promptly thereafter.
·         Garden upgrades and Yard: There is now a fence around the garden and a managed system for its use daily by pupils – 5 children per day per mainstream class can choose to be in the garden for breaks. Outside of break times the garden is an educational facility. The garden now has a meadow zone, a developing biodiversity and composting zone, a fruit and vegetable zone, a herbaceous border (flower bed), the intercontinental plants zone and an infant play area.  Pupils continue to play in class specific yard-zones at break times.
·         Book Fair: During the week beginning Monday 25th September, to encourage our pupils to read for pleasure, we will host a book fair in the school. This means that display cabinets of new books will line the corridors outside our classrooms for that week and pupils can view the books daily. With parents’ permission pupils may then buy a book if they so choose. This event was agreed in consultation with our Parents Association. Of course, there will absolutely no pressure on any child to buy a book.
·         Hand towels: Some of our class pupil toilets have automatic hand dryers but to insure all pupils’ hands are fully dried after washing, we ask parents to provide their child with a small towel / face cloth that can stay in their bags daily. 
·         New homework systems from 1st – 6th class (mainstream classes): Infant pupils have tailored homework arrangements which have already been communicated to parents. The new homework system is as follows:
Nightly (as per class level 1st – 6th): English spellings to be learned and put into sentences, daily section of English in Practice practise book to be completed. Maths: daily section of Mental Maths practise book and some consolidation work on the current class maths topic at teacher’s discretion (eg. division / length etc.), English reading: nightly, Gaeilge: currently at teacher’s discretion - whole school formal system to be communicated after Halloween. There is no homework on Fridays.
·         New assessment systems: All pupils this year will have an assessment portfolio for literacy, numeracy and Gaeilge. Samples of work will be put in this monthly and kept in class for the year. In literacy and numeracy especially this year, we are focusing on self assessment – meaning that pupils will increasingly come to know the criteria for good work themselves. For literacy and numeracy, from infants to sixth class, such criteria are on display in classrooms.
·         PE days for wearing tracksuits: Tuesdays and Fridays as before. From next week our Gaelic Games Promotion Officer will facilitate GAA games sessions with teacher during PE lessons on Tuesdays.
·         Coffee Mornings to meet teachers: Before midterm break, it is our intention to host a coffee morning for each class level to provide parents with an opportunity to meet fellow parents and their child’s teacher in informal setting. We will communicate specific dates for these early next week.

·         Feet First Friday: Escorted walk to school (as before) from the Coolquay Lodge at 8.50am starting Friday 22nd September. If parents wish therefore, pupils may be brought to the Lodge car park before 8.50am on Fridays – parents will be welcome to walk too!

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