Abbeyleix South National School

Scoil Náisiúnta Mainistir Laoise Theas

General Information

DAY TO DAY INFORMATION FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS

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School Rules

The school rules are drawn up in accordance with the rules and directives of the Department of education and Skills, and Education Act of 1998.

School Hours

The Abbeyleix South National School opens to receive pupils at 9.00 a.m. when official supervision of pupils begins. No pupil should be left on his / her own before the arrival of a staff member. The Board of Management will not be responsible for pupils who arrive before 9.00 a.m.

9.20am School begins for all pupils
11.00am – 11.10am Break
12.55pm – 1.25pm Lunch
2.00pm School finishes for the Infant classes. Parents are requested to come to the school door to collect their children.
3.00pm School finishes for all other pupils (1st to 6th Class)

Please note: The Junior Infant pupils go home at the earlier time of 12.30 p.m. for their first two weeks of school.

Pupils are requested, for their own safety, to walk with the teachers on duty to the new school avenue where they then get their transport or else walk with their collector to the church avenue.

During school hours no pupil may leave the school for any purpose without the permission of the Principal and must be accompanied by an adult. Breaking this rule will be considered a serious offence.

Labelling

Please label all of your children’s belongings.

Parking

Parking Rules:

Mornings: Please, park on the Church Avenue if you wish to walk your child to their   classroom.

Please don’t leave your car unattended on the school avenue.

Turn at the far end of the avenue only, where is says “Turning Point”. Please do not attempt to turn your car anywhere else.

Do not park blocking the Turning Point or obstructing it in any way.

Drive slowly at all times on the avenue.

Be vigilant when driving out from the church avenue gate. Be aware of people driving in from the road. Be courteous.

The Curriculum

Our School Curriculum Includes:

  • Languages (English and Irish)
  • Maths
  • S.E.S.E. (Social, Environmental and Scientific Education) History, Geography and Science
  • The Arts Education  (Visual Arts, Music and Drama
  • P.E. (Physical Education)
  • S.P.H.E. (Social, Personal, Health Education)
  • R.E. (Religious Education)
  • I.T. (Information Technology) Laptops (1st – 6th class)

Book Rental

A Book Rental Scheme is in operation from First to Sixth Class in certain subject areas. This is a voluntary scheme. An ordering sheet for Book Rental accompanies the Book Lists which are distributed in early June. All books are ordered before school closes for the summer vacation.

Reading (Infant Classes)

Ability to read is the foundation for all future progress in our school system. Regular reading and flashcards with your infant pupil is extremely important. Infants are gradually introduced to homework assignments. A weekly homework sheet will be sent home each Monday clearly stating the homework which needs to be completed each day

Religious Education

This is a Church of Ireland School. We welcome children from different faith backgrounds. General class teaching is sensitive, inclusive and based upon the Christian understanding of human dignity informed by the life and teaching of the Church of Ireland.

Syllabus: “Follow Me”.

Homework

We ask that parents establish a good homework routine with their children. Set aside a quiet regular time and ensure that homework is completed fully and neatly. When completed, a parent should sign the Homework Sheet (Junior & Senior Infants) / Homework Diary (1st – 6th class). Please inform the class teacher if a child has a continual homework problem. A separate Homework Policy is in use.

Homework is set on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only.

Suggested Homework Time:

  • Infants        10-20 mins
  • 1st Class     20-30 mins
  • 2nd Class   30-40 mins
  • 3rd Class    40-50 mins
  • 4th Class    50-60 mins
  • 5th Class     1 hour plus
  • 6th Class     1 hour plus

Please contact your child’s teacher if these suggested times are regularly exceeded.

Attendance

Each child, to whom the School Attendance Act applies (that is, those between the ages of 6 and 15) is obliged by law to attend school every day on which the school is in operation unless there is a reasonable excuse for not attending. The school authorities are obliged to notify Tusla if a pupil is absent for a cumulative total of 20 school days or more during the school year. The school may also notify the officer, if in the opinion of the principal, a pupil is not attending regularly.

Please send a note to the class teacher on any morning you expect to have your child taken out of school early.

  • If your child is absent for any reason, you must notify us.
  • “Explanation of Absence” Slips must be handed into the school to explain any absences. If you require extra slips, please call into the office.

Illness/Absence from School

Children who are sick should not be sent to school. Please inform the school on the first day of absence and ensure a written note is sent in with your child on their return to school. Please let us know if your child has an infectious disease as soon as possible. This applies especially to Gastric Disorders and Chicken Pox. Children who have contracted Chicken Pox should not be sent back to school until there are no more moist sores or crusts.

A child with a temperature or a child who has vomited through the night or early in the morning should not be in school.

Administration of Medicine

It is school policy to send home children who become ill during the school day. It is preferable that children are kept at home if they are feeling ill.

Teachers are not permitted to administer medicine to any pupils unless the pupil is on long term medication. A letter must be written by the Parents to the Board of Management who will grant this request.

The following forms are available in the office:

  • “Request for Administration of Medication – Information and Consent” form.
  • “Administration of Medicines in Schools – Indemnity”.

Illness/Emergency

In the event of an accident / child becoming ill, every possible effort will be made to contact the pupil’s parents or the person delegated to take responsibility for the pupil. A Personal Accident Insurance Scheme which covers pupils for school activities has been put in place by the Board of Management.

The school will not accept responsibility for any medical expenses incurred.

Head Lice

  •   Please check your child’s hair regularly for head lice.
  •   Girls with long hair must have their hair tied back.
  •    If your child has head lice, please inform the class teacher and ensure that     your  child  has been treated in order to get rid of the head lice.
  •    A text will go out to parents if head lice are detected in the classroom.

Communicating with Parents

The school places a high value on communicating with parents and has a number of strategies in place to ensure that the best possible contact is maintained with parents.

  • Parent/Teacher Communication Books go home on a weekly basis
  • Please remember that the Homework Diary (1st – 6th classes)/ Homework Sheet (Infant classes) is a useful form of communication
  • Teachers are always available by appointment to meet with parents
  • Parent / Teacher meetings take place each year, in November, to review your child’s progress, attainment, application and any other matter relevant to your child’s progress at school
  •  Teachers sometimes request parents to meet with them when it is judged that such meetings are in the pupils’ best interest
  • A formal written report is furnished by the school on each pupil at the end of the school year
  • If you have a new mobile number at any stage make sure to inform the school.

Letters to Parents

Information for parents is sent home, by note, with the eldest child of each family. Every effort is made not to send memos on Fridays.

Texting Service

The School endeavours to maintain good communication with parents / guardians at all times.  A texting service was introduced in an attempt to enhance communication and also as a means of reducing the cost of mailing correspondence to parents/guardians.  A certain amount of written correspondence will always be sent to parents/guardians but some of the more routine short messages will be sent by text.

School Calendar

A school calendar is issued each June. Parents are informed as soon as possible if amendments to the calendar are necessary.

Supervision/Yard Duty

Each teacher has designated days on which she supervises both lunch breaks and goes to the school avenue at 3.00pm to supervise the pupils who travel by bus and car.

On wet days the pupils must remain in their classrooms. It is the duty of each class teacher to supervise her own pupils. It must be accepted that each teacher may leave the classroom during lunchtime to go to the kitchen to get her lunch or to go to the toilet.

Wellingtons / Waterproof Shoes

All children must bring in a spare pair of wellingtons or water proof shoes to wear when the grass is wet.

Lunches

Children in Abbeyleix South National School have the opportunity to eat on two occasions each day in school. We ask you to send your child to school with a realistic lunch each day. We promote a healthy school lunch policy.

Packed Lunches…

Lunch is an important meal for school going children. It should provide one third of

their recommended daily allowance of nutrients without being high in fat, sugar or        salt. It should also provide dietary fibre (roughage).

We ask you to encourage a healthy lunch right from the start. Also, please, only

give your child something you feel he/she can easily manage to eat. The following

guide is designed to help you provide quick, appetising, and nutritious lunches for

your children.

Bread & Alternatives

·        Bread or rolls, preferably wholemeal

·        Rice – wholegrain

·        Pasta – wholegrain

·        Tortilla wrap

·        Pitta bread

Meats & Meat Alternatives

·        Lean meat

·        Chicken/turkey

·        Tinned fish e.g. tuna/salmon

·        Hard boiled egg (chopped or mashed)

Fruit & Vegetables

Apples, Banana, Peach, Plum, Pineapple cubes, Mandarins, Orange segments, Grapes, Fruit Salad, Dried fruit, Tomato, Cucumber, Lettuce, Sweetcorn, Carrot sticks, Celery.

Drinks

·        Water

·        Milk

·        Milk drinks

·        Smoothies

*Fizzy drinks are not permitted

*Please ensure that your child’s drink is in a non-spill container

Stay Safe Programme

Since its introduction in the early 1990’s, the school has taught the Stay Safe Programme. This happens each year in the Spring Term.

Medical Examinations

The H.S.E. operates a school’s programme which includes:

Junior Infants: A vaccination for each pupil, against the childhood illnesses Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Meningitis C. No examination ever takes place without prior written consent of parents.

Senior Infants: A basic medical examination for each pupil, to include an eyesight and hearing test.

Procedures for Solving Parent/Teacher Difficulties

It is in the interest of pupils, parents and Teachers that good relations should exist between home and school. The teachers are willing to discuss any problems which may arise from time to time. With mutual respect and goodwill, most problems can be resolved readily. This is the accepted procedure:

Stage 1

Ÿ        A Parent should meet with the Class Teacher with a view to resolving the problem.

Ÿ        If not resolved, then the Parents should meet with the Principal.

Ÿ        The Principal discusses the matter with the Class Teacher with a view to resolving the problem.

Stage 2

Ÿ        If not resolved, then the Parents should meet with the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

Ÿ        The Chairperson of the Board of Management should bring the precise nature of the written complaint to the notice of the Teacher and seek to resolve the matter within 5 days of receipt of the written complaint.

Stage 3

1. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the chairperson should, subject to the general   authorisation of the board and except in those cases where the chairperson deems the particular authorisation of the board to be required:

·        Supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint; and

·        Arrange a meeting with the teacher and, where applicable, the principal teacher with a view to resolving the complaint.  Such a meeting should take place within 10 days of receipt of the written complaint.

Stage 4

1.     If the complaint is still not resolved the chairperson should make a formal report to the board within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3(b).

2.     If the board considers that the complaint is not substantiated the teacher and the complainant should be so informed with three days of the board meeting.

3.     If the board considers that the complaint is substantiated or that it warrants further investigation it proceeds as follows:

a)     The teacher should be informed that the investigation is proceeding to the next stage.

b)    The teacher should be supplied with a copy of any written evidence in support of the complaint.

c)     The teacher should be requested to supply a written statement to the board in response to the complaint.

d)    The teacher should be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation of case to the board.  The teacher would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting.

e)     The board may arrange a meeting with the complainant if it considers such to be required.  The complainant would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting.

f)      The meeting of the Board of Management referred to in (d) and (e) will take place within 10 days of the meeting referred to in (b).

Stage 5

1)    When the Board has completed its investigation, the chairperson should convey the decision of the board in writing to the teacher and the complainant with five days of the meeting of the board.

2)    The decision of the board shall be final.

3)    The Complaints Procedure shall be reviewed after three years.

4)    CPSMA or INTO may withdraw from this agreement having given the other

party three months’ notice of intention to do so.

*  In this agreement “days” means school days.

School Policy Documents

Parents may view policy documents in the school on an appointment arrangement only.

Extra – Curricular Activities

Our Extra – Curricular Programmes include:

  •   Active School
  •   Green School
  •   Health Promoting School
  •   Discover Primary Science & Maths Award of Excellence
  •    Digital School of Excellence

We have a school committee set up for each of these programmes, including pupils, teachers and parents.  We continuously promote and encourage health and well-being in our school.

Sport

Sports available in our school include:

•         Badminton

•         Basketball

•         Tennis

•         Swimming (annually)

•         Yoga

•         Gymnastics (annually)

•         Cycling

•         Running

Gardening

•         Our Parents’ Association kindly bought a wonderful polytunnel for our school.

•         It provides an excellent way of teaching the pupils about the growth of plants     and vegetables / the seasons.

•         Each classroom has its own section in the polytunnel.

Laptops

1st – 6th class pupils use laptops during their allocated time each week.

French Lessons

French lessons with a native French Teacher, are available during the first and second term for 5th and 6th class pupils. The lessons take place each week after school hours (03.00 p.m. – 04.00 p.m.).

Baking

We are very lucky to have a lovely kitchen in our school which the pupils get to bake in regularly.

Important Dates / Events During the Year

Here are some of the main events which take place during the school year:

  •  Family Fun Run / Walk
  •  Parent’s Association AGM
  •  Harvest Festival Service
  •  Hallowe’en Disco
  •  Nativity Play
  •  Family Movie Night
  •  Ash Wednesday Service
  • Postal Bible Prizegiving
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Family Table Quiz
  • Friendship Week
  • Ascension Day Service
  •  Active School Week
  • Educational School Tours (Junior & Senior Tours)
  • Diocesan Children’s Festival Service
  • Sports Day
  • Annual Sale of Work for Charity
  •  Family Fun Day
  • End of Year Service

Voluntary Contribution

We receive grants from the Department of Education and Science which do not cover our running costs. We top up these grants with contributions from parents. We are very grateful for these contributions which help make it possible to run such a busy school.

Voluntary Contributions help to cover the costs of:

·        Maintenance of School Building

·        Increased Electricity and Heating Costs

·        Water

·        Grass Cutting

·        Insurance

·        CCTV Maintenance

·        Interactive Whiteboards

·        Laptops

·        Alarm Systems

·        Security Cameras

·        Increased Cleaning

·        Wireless Internet

·        Midland Micro Digital Communication

  •    Website   abbeyleixsouthns.ie
  •    E-mail   abbeyleixsouthns@gmail.com
  •    Facebook    Abbeyleix South National School