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September 2018 Information Note

Muff N.S. 2018/2019

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We hope that you had an enjoyable summer and we look forward to another school year. Over the coming days, we would ask you to ensure that the children get to bed at a reasonable hour as they get back into the routine of the school year. We especially welcome our new pupils in Junior Infants.  They will finish at 12:30 each day up to next Thursday. From next Friday September 7th they will go home at 2:00 as normal.


Below we have laid out the information that we feel will aid you as the year progresses.  Communication between class teacher and parent is an important aspect of school life. If at any stage you wish to meet one of the staff, please make an appointment in writing with the teacher concerned or contact the office and we will accommodate you.


We would also like to welcome back to the staff Ms Tara Quinn and wish her all the best for the coming year.  Ms Rachel Marron will be working as a substitute for Ms Farrelly for the coming weeks.

Start of School Day:  School begins at 9:20 and children should be on the premises at this time. It is important that students develop the habit of being punctual for school. Arriving 5-10 minutes late regularly is very disruptive for the class and in particular for the pupil who is late. Equally, we would ask parents not to drop off their children at an inappropriately early time. Supervision is provided from 9:10 or when the school bus arrives-whichever is earlier.  For infant children we would encourage parents to drop them at the school gate to encourage independence. When picking up infants, the teacher will walk them down to the church doors where they can be collected. Junior Infants will go home at 12:30 for the first week.

Safety at the School Gate:  Safety is of paramount importance when it comes to our pupils, parents and staff. We would ask all to continue to adhere to the school car park policy. No vehicles other than those of staff members and the school bus should enter the grounds of the school at any time from 9:00 – 3:10. Vehicles should not block or park at the school gate when dropping off/picking up pupils. It is important to discuss with your child how to walk to and from the school. I would ask parents to drive with extreme caution and at a crawling speed when in or around the school gate and car park. We discuss with the pupils how to arrive/leave the school. We would ask you to do the same. At all times, we would ask drivers to be patient and aware of pupils. It is important that this matter is discussed with any persons responsible for picking up your child. We appreciate your continued cooperation with this matter.

School Building: We have been granted full planning permission to build our school extension of one extra classroom.  We are now getting ready for tender.  The process has unfortunately been much slower than we would have liked, so for the moment we have converted the school hall into a classroom.

Uniform: Pupils are expected to wear their full school uniform every day and the school tracksuit and runners on P.E. days and swimming days. P.E is on each Wednesday. It is essential that all pupils have their names on all items of their uniform. Each year the school collects a large amount of unclaimed school uniforms. Tracksuit order forms are enclosed should you wish to order same.  Please return completed form to office by Thursday September 7th.

P.E: G.A.A. coaching will take place late on in the term. Swimming will commence for children from 1st to 6th class later in the year. There will be no swimming for the infant classes.

Football: Gaelic Football for 3rd – 6th class boys will commence next Tuesday in Kingscourt football field from 3.30 to 4.30.  Girls will begin in a couple of weeks.

Attendance: Full attendance at school is of great educational benefit to the children. Last year we had 4 pupils who went through the school year and did not miss a day. We also had another 9 who only missed one day. This was an outstanding achievement.  In the case of an absence, a written note must be given to the school explaining the reason for the absence so the school has a written record. The roll is taken first thing each morning.  If a child has a dental appointment etc., and will miss the roll call, the teacher needs to be notified the day before.  The school is obliged by law to report any student who misses 20 days to TUSLA, the Child and Family Protection Agency. We are also obliged to report any pupils about whom we have concerns regarding attendance or for whom we have unsatisfactory or no explanations of their absence.  Regular absences of a day here and a day there have a significant impact on a pupil’s progress.  It is also important to stress that when a child is clearly sick, they should not be sent to school for obvious reasons.

Personal Property: Pupils should have their names printed on all their belongings; books, etc. Please ensure that pupils have the necessary equipment for class; pencils, rubbers etc. When students are missing these items, it can be frustrating for all concerned. These items were all laid out in the book lists.

Lunches: Our school has a healthy lunch policy. We are all well aware of the obesity problem at present in this country. Healthy eating habits start young and children should not have sweets, bars, crisps, fizzy drinks etc. We would discourage yogurts as they can cause a considerable mess. We would like to commend the large majority of parents who adhere to this. We would also ask parents, as part of our Green Policy, to refrain from using tin-foil and to use lunch boxes instead.

Book Rental:  A reminder to parents that the book scheme cost for this coming year is €20.   Over the summer a large number of additional textbooks were bought for the expanded rental scheme. A large thank you to all parents who have paid for this scheme so far. Our stock is increasing and we are able to fund replacement books also. For example in 6th class, parents only had to purchase 1 book. We would ask pupils to take good care of these books.

Contacting School: Gillian works in the office four days a week.  She is not in the office on Tuesdays.  Please be aware of this when contacting the school.

Homework:  Children are given homework each night from Monday to Thursday. It is very important that it is fully completed each night. Our Homework Policy on our website gives time guidelines for each class. We recommend that pupils do their homework in a comfortable quiet space as soon as possible.  Parents should check and sign it each night.   If there is a reason why homework is not complete, a short written note from a parent should be given to the teacher. If there is any difficulty with homework such as taking longer than the recommended time, please let the teacher know immediately.

Reading:   Reading is a hugely important aspect of school life.  We would strongly recommend that every child has their reading heard out loud at home each evening by an adult.  This helps, among other things, their fluency and comprehension.

Party Invitations:   We would like to remind parents that no invitations for parties are allowed to be given out on school premises before, during or after school.

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 per pupil depending on the type of cover you want. Insurance is optional. If you require this insurance, please complete sign and date the enclosed note and return with payment to the office by Wednesday September 19th.

Religion:  Confirmation takes place on Sunday May 12th 2019 with First Holy Communion taking place on Saturday May 25th 2019.  There will be a Mass for sacramental pupils on Saturday October 13th at 7:30 in Muff Church.

Calendar:   Below is a calendar for the coming year. Please note that some dates may be subject to change:

School re-opens – Friday August 31st    (Junior Infants will finish at 12:30 for the first week) Halloween Break – Closed Monday October 29th  –  Friday November 2nd inclusive

Christmas Holidays – Finish Friday December 21st  – Reopen Monday January 7th  2019

February Mid Term – Closed Thursday 21st and Friday February 22nd

St. Patrick’s Day – Closed Friday March 15th and Monday March 18th

Easter Holidays – Closed Monday April 15th  – Reopen Monday April 29th

May Bank Holiday – Closed Monday May 6th

June Bank Holiday – Closed Friday May 31st and Monday June 3rd

Summer Holidays – Finish Thursday June 27th 2019.

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