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December Newsletter

Muff NS Newsletter December 2021

Parent/Teacher Meetings:   Many thanks to all parents for their cooperation with regard to the meetings this year. The feedback has been very positive. If you wish to contact your child’s teacher at any stage during the school year, please write a note in the journal for them or contact the school office.

Covid Information:  Last week, masks were introduced for pupils from 3rd to 6th. Again thank you for your cooperation with this matter.

Enrolment: Enrolment for Junior Infants next year, will take place from January 6th and run for three weeks. The updated Admissions Notice will be available to view on the website from this week.    You can download enrolment forms from the website or collect them from the school office.

Parents Association:   Many thanks to all those who supported the P.A. in their recent events. They have organised a Church Gate Collection for the evening of the 18th of December in Muff Church where the Muff Children’s Church Choir will be participating.

Sacramental Classes:   Our Giving Mass took place on Saturday night. The next Preparation Masses will be in the New Year. Our 2nd class will have their First Holy Communion on Saturday May 14th at 11:00 am and our 6th class will have their Confirmation on Sunday March 27th

Sport:   Benny will be finishing up with our Infants and 3rd class in the coming weeks. Our cycling for 4th – 6th classes has been hugely popular and the classes will be completing their courses over the next fortnight.

A big congratulations to all our Cross Country Athletes who will finish their running program on Wednesday. Their effort and attitude has been fantastic.

Christmas:   As the big day gets closer, we will be participating in a number of festive activities with the students. Once again we will be watching our online pantomime produced by the West Midland Theatre Group. There will be a visit from Santa organised by the PA on the last day on top of all the usual class pursuits.

School Calendar:   Please note that the school will close for a half day at 12:30 this Friday December the 10th. This is to allow for training of staff in the Primary Language Curriculum. Below are a list of school closures for the remainder of the school year. Please note that some days may be subject to change.

Staff training day – School closing at 12:30 Friday December 10th

Christmas Holidays – Finish Wednesday December 22nd 12:30 – Re-open Thursday Jan 6th 2022

February Mid-Term – Closed Thursday 24th and Friday February 25th

St. Patrick’s Day – Closed Thursday March 17th & Friday March 18th

Easter Holidays – Finish April 8th – Re-open Monday April 25th

May Bank Holiday – Closed Monday May 2nd

June Bank Holiday – Closed Friday June 3rd & Monday June 6th

Summer Holidays – Finish Friday June 24th 2022.

 

 

November Newsletter

Muff NS Newsletter November 2021

Parent/Teacher Meetings:   We had been very much hoping that we could have these meetings face to face this year. Unfortunately, the advice given to us is that these should be held remotely again. Therefore we will be having ours once again by phone starting next week. Parents will receive a date and time for their phone call along with some information on how the call will proceed.

Covid Information:   As we head into the winter, the school is required to continue to adhere to all the protocols as laid out by the HSE and the Department of Education. We have been very fortunate in our school thus far with regard to the impact that Covid has had. This is in large part down to the whole school community following the various directions-wearing of masks when required, staying off when symptomatic, washing hands etc. One piece of information that parents should be aware of is that ventilation in the rooms is an integral part of our mitigation measures and that windows and doors are kept open throughout the day. The heat is also on of course but it may be worthwhile wearing a vest/t-shirt under the school uniform.  Children should remain at home if they have any symptoms e.g. coughing, temperature etc.  For the remainder of the winter, every child should come to school wearing a coat.

Parents Association:   The Parents Association has organised a number of activities for the coming months:

  • There will be a clothes collection in the school on Monday and Tuesday the 22nd and 23rd of November. Parents will be able to leave bags of clothes at a designated area at the front of the old school which we will then bring up to the hall. There will be more information on this closer to the time.
  • Christmas Cards – These should be returning to the school shortly and families can decide how many, if any, packs of cards they wish to purchase.
  • The PA Facebook page will have some useful information for parents on it and will be updated with news of events.
  • All parents are invited to all meetings that the PA will have over the coming year.

Sacramental Classes:   As you are aware of at this stage, Communion and Confirmation dates have been set for the coming year. Our 2nd class will have their First Holy Communion on Saturday May 14th at 11:00 am and our 6th class will have their Confirmation on Sunday March 27th. In the meantime Fr. Gerry has emailed to all families the list of Preparation Masses for the pupils. The next one for 2nd class is on Saturday November 13th at 7:30 in Muff Church while the next one for Confirmation is on Saturday November 20th at 7:30 in Muff Church.

Science Week:   This week is Science Week in the school and the children will have a number of experiments demonstrated to them and of course will be participating in a number of experiments themselves.

Literacy:   Reading and writing are obviously two of the core components of the curriculum. It is central to our daily teaching and we would encourage all of you as parents to engage daily with your child in this area at some stage of the day, whether it be their homework, reading to them at night, visits to the library etc. The Covid Learning and Support Scheme is being rolled out in all schools currently. As part of that Ms. Farrelly will be doing some work with pupils in Junior Classes over the coming weeks. We hope that this will further boost literacy among our pupils who have been impacted by school closures over the course of the pandemic.

Sport:   Cycling which was unfortunately postponed last week will now commence this Wednesday with our 4th – 6th classes.

Benny is currently doing GAA coaching with our Infants and 3rd class.

We completed our cross country trials this week and it was great to see so many children taking part. The School’s County Competition is due to take place at the end of the month. There will be training for those who are going each Thursday from 3:05 to 3:35 on the school grounds.

Bulbs for Bees:   Many thanks for the parents who brought to our attention the Bulbs for Bees Initiative organised by An Gaisce. We have planted a huge amount of bulbs and hope that they will all flower and provide some great colour in the Spring.

School Website:   The school website, www.laraghmuffns.com, has all the latest information from the school on it. It also has pictures of the various activities that the children have been doing such as art and recently, Halloween.

School Calendar:   Please note that the school will close for a half day at 12:30 on Friday December the 10th. This is to allow for training of staff in the Primary Language Curriculum. Below are a list of school closures for the remainder of the school year. Please note that some days may be subject to change.

Christmas Holidays – Finish Wednesday December 22nd 12:30 – Re-open Thursday Jan 6th 2022

February Mid-Term – Closed Thursday 24th and Friday February 25th

St. Patrick’s Day – Closed Thursday March 17th & Friday March 18th

Easter Holidays – Finish April 8th – Re-open Monday April 25th

May Bank Holiday – Closed Monday May 2nd

June Bank Holiday – Closed Friday June 3rd & Monday June 6th

Summer Holidays – Finish Friday June 24th 2022.

Bulbs for Bees – An Gaisce

GOAL Jersey Day 2021

October Newsletter

Muff NS Newsletter October 2021

Health Guidelines:   As many of you already know, the guidelines from the HSE changed last week with regard to the decision of what to do when there is a confirmed case of Covid in the school. From now on confirmed close contacts of children at school can come to school as long as they show no symptoms. If they are a confirmed close contact to a confirmed case at home, they still have to isolate as per HSE instructions.

The single most important prevention is that if your child has any symptoms or is feeling unwell they do not come to school. The list of symptoms and current guidelines as they pertain to school are all available on the school website.

In school, we are continuing to follow the interventions required such as good ventilation, class bubbles and pods, sanitising etc. Hopefully these will allow us to have as normal a winter as possible in terms of how we teach and how the children interact.

In terms of education of children, it is pretty clear and makes sense that the group most impacted has been the Junior Classes. We are working hard to minimise the effect time missed at Montessori and in school has had on them. Areas where we are working on include maturity, interacting appropriately with their peers and the ability to understand how a classroom must work for it to be successful for all the pupils in it. These are in some ways more important than the academic side of literacy and numeracy because without these, reaching our goals as educators is very challenging. This is particularly the case with the high numbers of pupils that we have in these classes. It is important that we all continue to encourage this building of resilience to enable them to thrive. In the meantime, the “Lift off to Literacy” Programme will continue with First Class on an individual basis through the Learning Support Department.

Parent/Teacher Meetings:   These are scheduled to take place in November. We are awaiting further guidance to see if they can take place face to face or, like last year, have to be done over the phone. As soon as we know, we will let you know. In the meantime, if there is a concern that you have, please contact the class teacher.

Parents Association:   We were delighted to have our annual Parents Association AGM last Wednesday. A new committee was elected and is made up of the following:

Chairperson – Joanne Barry

Assistant Chairperson – Denise Clarke

Secretary – Arlene McMahon

Assistant Secretary – Malaika Mallard

Treasurer – Claire Smith

Assistant Treasurer – Karen Smith

The next meeting of the PA will be on Wednesday October the 13th at 7pm in the school hall. It is important to say that all parents are automatic members of the association. You are very much encouraged to go to the next meeting where plans for the coming year will be made.

Sacramental Classes:   The Enrolment Mass for our First Holy Communion students in 2nd class takes place in Muff Church on this Saturday evening at 7:30pm. The following Saturday October 16th we have the Enrolment Mass for our Confirmation students in 6th class in Muff at 7:30pm again.

Well done to last year’s 6th class who made their Confirmation in a simple ceremony on Sunday.

Sport:   Another area of school life that has been negatively impacted has been sport. We are awaiting word on Cumann Na mBunscol with regard to organised activities. We are delighted to have Benny back doing GAA coaching. He will get to coach all the classes at some stage this year. We also had Jon Watt from Virginia RFC doing Tag Rugby with our Senior Classes. After Halloween we will be beginning Cycling Activity and Safety Programmes for our 4th, 5th and 6th classes.

GOAL Jersey Day:   The annual GOAL Jersey Day takes place this Friday October 8th. Children bring in €2 which goes to the charity and they can wear a sports jersey/t-shirt of their choice with their tracksuit bottoms.

Homework:   Children will be receiving written work for the first time this week. We would stress again how important it is that homework does not become a stress at home. It does provide parents a window into what is being done at school. For further information, please look up our Homework Policy on the school website.

Board of Management:   The Board of Management met last week as it does regularly throughout the school year. The Board is responsible for the overall running of the school under Chairperson, Ciara Reilly. At the end of each meeting, an agreed report of what was discussed is put on the school’s website. This incredibly important role is fulfilled by members voluntarily.

Child Protection:   One of the most important aspects of the Board’s role is to ensure that all Child Protection Procedures are adhered to. Last week the Board carried out its annual review of these procedures. The school’s Child Safeguarding Statement is also on the website and available from the school office.

A crucial aspect in this area, and part of the SPHE curriculum, is the teaching of the Stay Safe Programme, which we will be beginning this month.

Green Flag:   This week our school is getting its 4th Green Flag to do with School Transport. This is the result of the hard work of our school’s Green School Committee under the stewardship of Ms. McNally. The Virtual Ceremony takes place on Wednesday and we look forward to hoisting up our new flag.

Supervision in the Morning:   The school car park has worked out well this year, particularly in the afternoon and for that, we sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding. We would remind you that supervision on the school yard takes place from 9:05 in the morning. Children should avoid being at the school gate before this time.  Please park in the carpark opposite the school rather than along the road, and walk your child to the gate.

Gaeilge:   We have been doing a number of activities in school over recent weeks in the area of spoken Irish. We encourage the children to speak Irish as part of their daily chat with us. We would encourage you to ask your child to try out their cúpla focail at home.

Pencil Cases: Many pupils have pencil cases with a huge amount of colours/pencils etc.  Pupils only need a couple of pencils, a rubber, a pencil sharpener, a ruler and between 6-10 colours–either crayons or colouring pencils.  When they bring in a large amount of items they tend to go astray.

School Calendar: Please find below a list of school closures for the rest of the year. Please note that some of these dates are subject to change

Halloween Break – Closed Monday October 25th – Friday October 29th inclusive

Christmas Holidays – Finish Wednesday December 22nd 12:30 – Re-open Thursday Jan 6th 2022

February Mid-Term – Closed Thursday 24th and Friday February 25th

St. Patrick’s Day – Closed Thursday March 17th & Friday March 18th

Easter Holidays – Finish April 8th – Re-open Monday April 25th

May Bank Holiday – Closed Monday May 2nd

June Bank Holiday – Closed Friday June 3rd & Monday June 6th

Summer Holidays – Finish Friday June 24th 2022.

 

Symptoms of Covid 19

Symptoms of Covid 19

Important Information for parent about changes to contact tracing – 27th Sept 2021

Information for parents about the changes to contact tracing

Parents Association AGM

The Parents Association will be hosting their AGM in the school hall in a-Covid Compliant manner-on Wednesday 29th September at 7pm.  This is the 1st AGM in 2 years, so we are especially asking all those new parents who have joined the school in the last 2 years to please play an active role in the Parents Association.  The Parents Association plays an essential part in our school life and gives an important voice to all parents.  Once you have a child enrolled in the school, you are automatically a member of the P.A.  What we would like is to have active members.  Looking forward to seeing you there.

Meet our Junior Infants

Information Note for Parents August 31st 2021

Welcome back to everybody after the summer which we hope was both restful and enjoyable.  Schools are reopening and will continue to operate in much the same way as they did in June.  There will be class bubbles, pods, hygiene measures, staggered departures and protocols around issues such as unwell children and visitors to the school.  Nevertheless, we are in a better position hopefully with the vaccination programme having such a strong uptake.  Above all we will be looking to continue to educate your child in a safe and happy environment where they can reach their potential.  In this note we try to give you as much information as we can in preparing your child for the day to day running of the school. Apologies for the delay in issue, but the school had a number of IT difficulties.

Sick Child:   It is absolutely imperative that if your child has a cough, has a high temperature, has difficulty breathing or has a loss of smell or taste, is suffering from fatigue or has bodily aches and pains that they do not come to school under any circumstances. Generally the rule is that children who are unwell should stay off school and medical advice be sought.  Children have been diagnosed with Covid with symptoms such as a headache or a sore throat.  This is hugely important part of keeping everyone safe and well and the school functioning properly.

If your child does develop symptoms while at school, there is a strict protocol in place. Your child will be brought to an isolation room by a member of staff and you will be called to pick up your child immediately. Please ensure that we have all your up to date contact details. In the event of a positive case we alert the HSE and the HSE takes over and manages the situation. This again is laid out clearly for all schools. All decisions made after that are made by the HSE with the school cooperating fully. The HSE is also very clear that confidentiality of the patient is extremely important and we would ask for parents’ understanding in this.

Arrival to and Departure from School:   We are asking parents again to maintain the guidelines that we had in place last year.  Children should not arrive on the yard before 9:05 when there will be supervision in place.  The key points are that when arriving, children should be accompanied by a parent/guardian. We would ask all adults to wear face coverings, maintain social distance and not congregate in groups. The children will be directed by staff to their class bubbles and subsequently to their classrooms. In the mornings, the bus needs to turn at the car park so we would ask parents to move from the car park in a timely fashion.

For the first week, Junior Infants will be collected a minute or two before 12:30.  When leaving at 2:00, Junior Infant and Senior Infant children will be brought down to the school gate. Again, parents should not wait at the gate but rather come over when they see their class coming down.

For the rest of the classes going home, it will be a staggered departure from 2:55 onwards. It will begin with 1st class at 2:55. When a parent picks up a child, they must walk them to their car. They cannot wait at the gate for siblings. Instead they must walk over and back for each individual child that they are picking up and only when the class arrives down the school gate. This will obviously take a few minutes with the last class out at about 3:05.

Children who travel on the bus will go straight to the bus. We again ask for your understanding in this matter. Cyclists wait at the gate until the majority of traffic has dispersed.

We would ask that all parents and guardians adhere to the car parking policy in the school.  We would remind you that nobody should park directly across from the school or in front of the school gate either in the morning or afternoon.  Neither should you park where the traffic cones are laid out.  We would ask all drivers to exercise extreme caution in and around the school gate and car park.

Uniforms:   Children should wear the full school uniform as usual. Common sense should be used in washing the uniform regularly. PE days are on Wednesday and we would ask children to wear a school tracksuit top and plain navy tracksuit bottoms. The top can be ordered via the school, and Gillian will send home an order form later this week. Please ensure that all items of clothing are clearly labelled.

With regard to shoes and runners, we would ask that pupils wear Velcro versions unless they know how to tie laces. Also ensure that children are able to manage their coats/jackets independently.

Books/School Rental:   Children are to bring their school books as per usual. They will not be swapping books around daily and we will have procedures in place before they take home new books etc. If you have not paid the school book rental yet for the year, we would ask you to do this in the coming weeks.

Stationary:   Children should have all their own stationary with them as again they will not be permitted to lend or borrow from others. All items should be clearly labelled. Children have been provided with their own basket in class to store their books.

Lunches:   Children can bring lunches in lunchboxes. It is very important that the boxes are washed daily. We would also ask that children are given a lunch that they can manage independently – items such as frubes and yogurts should be avoided. Children should have their own drink. We would remind you that we have a healthy eating policy in the school and that children should not have bars, sweets, fizzy drinks etc.  In keeping with our Green School policy, we ask parents not to use tinfoil, but to use reusable lunch boxes or containers.

For the first number of weeks, we are going to allow children time to eat all their lunch inside the class so as not to bring food onto the yard.

P.E.:  P.E. will take place each Wednesday for all classes. It will take place outside as much as possible. We are awaiting word on what, if any, out of school competitions will be going ahead this year.  Hopefully we will be able at some stage to return to these

important events in the lives of our children.

As part of P.E., we are hopeful to continue with our GAA coaching in the school.  Also in September we are delighted to resume our cycling safety programme with Mr Byrnes class.  This will run for 6 weeks and then Ms Marron’s class will get their go.  We will send a note out shortly with regard to the cost etc.

Yard:   Each class bubble will be given their own section on yard to play on. They will be required to stay in this section with their own bubble. The split 5th class will come together at this time. The 5th/6th class bubble will be the big pitch. There are times when this pitch can be quite wet. Therefore all 5th and 6th class students will be allowed to bring in a spare pair of socks to change into if the conditions are wet.

Teaching and Learning:   Pupils, parents and teachers put a huge amount of work in in the last year to try and catch up after two prolonged closures.  We will continue to focus on the important basics of the core subjects in the coming weeks.  There will no homework for the month of September again.  We found this very beneficial as teachers and we know that parents also found it very helpful.  We may be asking the children to read at home over the month.

Staffing:   We are delighted to welcome back Ms Marron who will be teaching the 4th/5th class for the year.

Junior Infants/Senior Infants – Ms McNally

1st & 2nd Class – Ms. Campbell

3rd – Ms. Swinburne

4th/5th – Ms. Marron

5th/6th: Mr. Byrne

 

Visiting the School/Communication:   The rule for all schools is that nobody can come to the school without having made an appointment with the office that is then approved by the principal.  Gillian will be in the office five days a week if you need to make a call. If you are coming to the school to pick up a child for an appointment for example, you will have to wait outside while your child is collected.

As part of remote learning it was very useful to parents and teachers alike to be able to contact each other via email.  Now though we would ask that all contact be made via the office or by a written note to the teacher.  You can obviously still email the school for general enquiries at muffschool@gmail.com. The other email addresses are no longer in use.

Sacraments:   First Holy Communion takes place this Saturday September 4th in Kingscourt Church at 1pm.  The will be more details given out during the week.  Like last year, it will be a simple but prayerful and memorable occasion.  Confirmation will take place for last year’s 6th class on Sunday October 3rd.

Insurance:  We are providing an opportunity for parents to avail of Pupil Personal Accident Insurance. We would highly recommend that you take this up as a number of families have found it beneficial over the years. The note attached explains what is involved. Price for the insurance is either €4.80 or €7.20 depending on what type of cover you want. It is optional. If you want this insurance, please complete, sign and date application form (a hard copy of which will be sent home with your child tomorrow) and pay via Aladdin or cash. (Preferably Aladdin Online Payments)

After School Club: The afterschool will re-open on Monday 30th August @ 2pm. All Covid-19 safety measures will remain the same as before the summer break. Due to these restrictions spaces will be limited. The after school will implement the same seating arrangements as the school to limit contact.  Parents/ caregivers are asked not to enter the after school. Children will be brought to the gate and pick up will be in accordance with the school system. If your child needs to be picked up early please call ahead and they will be brought to you. Masks must be worn at all times.  All snacks must be manageable for your child – no hot meals can be served until further notice.  No toys/games should be brought in from home.

The after school will run as per usual: Monday – Friday 2-6pm.   €5 per hr/ €15 per afternoon.

Please contact Caroline directly to book spaces 087-176-2628

School Calendar:   Please find a calendar of the school year below. Please note that some of these dates may be subject to change.

School re-opens – Monday August 30th (Junior Infants will finish at 12:30 for the first week)

Halloween Break – Closed Monday October 25th – Friday October 29th inclusive

Christmas Holidays – Finish Wednesday December 22nd 12:30 – Re-open Thursday Jan 6th 2022

February Mid-Term – Closed Thursday 24th and Friday February 25th

St. Patrick’s Day – Closed Thursday March 17th & Friday March 18th

Easter Holidays – Finish April 8th – Re-open Monday April 25th

May Bank Holiday – Closed Monday May 2nd

June Bank Holiday – Closed Friday June 3rd & Monday June 6th

Summer Holidays – Finish Friday June 24th 2022.

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