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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.


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