January 2016 Newsletter

St. Mary’s Primary School Parents Association

Newsletter – January 2016          

 

School Self Evaluation

Mr Flynn and Ms Clinton gave a very interesting and comprehensive presentation on School Self Evaluation at the Parents meeting on January 21. Copies are available at school reception.

Road Safety Measures

Road safety is a big concern for many parents.  The PA has been working on a variety of ways to tackle this issue with school, local councillors and GardaI.  There have been a number of very positive steps following various communications (resurfacing of Glen Abhainn footpath, overgrown hedges cut back, new road markings). Our latest request for a second lollipop person and other road safety measures (eg barriers) is currently being considered by the council.  We have arranged for the Road Safety Authority to give a Parents evening talk and a talk to children during school hours in end February.  We hope for a big turnout at the parents talk given the level of recent discussion on this topic. We will continue to progress all avenues listed above and update when available.  We are delighted that a Road Safety sub-committee was set up at our recent Parents meeting.  They will research, consider and implement alternative approaches to try and progress this important issue as quickly as possible.  Members include two PA committee members and four parents (Dave Broderick, Peter McDonnell, Paul Duggan, Angela Smith, Lorraine Deering and Nikole Gill-Farrell).

St Patrick’s Day

Theme for the school’s entry into the Enfield parade was discussed at last Parents meeting.  General agreement that it should be Ireland themed given the historical year but potential for a lot of entries to be 1916 based. PA suggestion of ‘Irish Heroes and Legends’ was approved.  Children can dress up as any Irish individual, past or present, real or fictional, whom they consider to be a Hero or a Legend!  Song to be used is Heroes by David Bowie. Full information with details, costume suggestions and song words will be sent out closer to date.

A Night of Stories

A Night of Stories will be held on Wednesday 17th February from 6.30 – 8.30pm. This is a fantastic night and was a huge success last year. We would encourage any parent who is available to volunteer to read stories on the night! The school really need parents to help.  All children attending must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.  PA will be giving out milk and cookies to the children on the night.

 

Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day will be held on Thursday February 4th at 11am for 5th class pupils. We are seeking a couple of volunteers for 1-2 hours to serve refreshments on this day.  Please email us at stmaryspaenfield@gmail.com if you can help out!

 

Book Fair

Book Fair week will be held week beginning February 8th. Class times will be advised by the school soon.  We are seeking volunteers to assist at selling days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and also on Wednesday Night that week.  Please email us at stmaryspaenfield@gmail.com if you can help out!

 

School Library

The design of the library is complete and construction is underway of fixed and moveable shelving systems. The PA have agreed to fund €5,000 of this cost which will be matched by the Board of Management. The next step is the purchase of books which will require more funding.  Some funds will be raised through the Book Fair and the Sponsored Readathon in February.

 

Meath Community Games

PA committee now have a liaison with the Meath Community Games and will be advising school of any events that are taking place. The next event is an Inter schools draughts competition for U10, U12 and U14. Likely to be held in February and dates will be advised when confirmed.

 

Post Primary School Update

Cliona O’Donovan gave a Post Primary school update at last Parents meeting. Keep an eye on their Facebook page “Enfield Post Primary School Community Group” for updates.

 

Coin Rounding

Further to the national coin rounding initiative, we will be helping you get rid of any of your 1c and 2c coins!  A box will be left in the school reception this week – Monday 25th to Friday 29th January – where any coins can be donated! All proceeds will go to charity. Thanks in advance!

 

School Website

Progress has been made on the website and will continue to be developed. PA has offered assistance if required. Meeting will be held in the coming weeks with school to progress further.

 

Christmas Fair Feedback and Update

Thanks again to all the volunteers and attendees at the Christmas Fair.  We are already planning for this year’s Fair!  If you received any unwanted gift sets or presents at Christmas (adult or children’s) please consider donating for prizes! We will happily take them off your hands now and store them until the Fair! Also please consider donating any small toys your child may get in party bags that are unwanted.  Thanks in advance!

 

Upcoming Talks for Your Diaries

Tuesday 26 January in Baconstown National School at 8pm

Mr John Lonergan, Former Governor of Mountjoy – “Parenting – The Challenges and Rewards”   

 

Thursday 25 February in St Mary’s School Hall at 8.30pm

Road Safety Authority Education Team – Road Safety

 

Thursday 3 March in St Mary’s School Hall at 8.30pm

National Parents Council – “Supporting Parents to Support their child’s Mental Health and Wellbeing”

 

Going forward, we will be inviting parents of children in Baconstown, Kill and Johnstownbridge schools to any talks arranged by the PA Committee

 

Use of Facebook Face

Use of PA Facebook (FB) page was discussed at recent Parents meeting.  Board wrote to PA Committee in December expressing concern at the recent use of this page. The PA committee were invited to meet with the BOM on January 21 to discuss these concerns.  

PA noted that the page was setup originally to enhance communication within the parent body and to be a positive forum for parents to share / engage with other parents.  The vast majority of posts are very positive about the school / teachers / activities and are a great way for parents to keep up to date with activities happening in the school.  Also, queries (eg time of specific event) are usually answered in a very quick timeframe which is of great assistance to parents.

It was agreed by both the BOM and PA that any parent with an issue concerning their child should firstly contact the class teacher as per the Complaints Procedure.

The issue is still under review and will be considered again at the next BOM meeting in February.

 

In the interim period, the PA would like to advise parents of the following guidelines:

  • Follow agreed FB Code of Conduct (see attached)
  • The FB Page should be used primarily as an information source
  • Posts should engage with parents on topics that are whole school related and not child / teacher specific
  • Parents should contact the PA committee if you wish a whole school related topic to be discussed at a Parents meeting (one meeting held per term)
  • Follow school’s Complaints Procedure if you have a specific issue concerning your child In summary: 1. Contact class teacher, 2. Contact Principal, 3. Contact Chairperson of BOM.  If you wish to read the full Complaints Procedure, please contact us on stmaryspaenfield@gmail.com and we will email you a copy.

 

If a post / comment is put on FB that is deemed to be unhelpful to page / school:

  • The post will be deleted
  • The member may be removed from the group
  • Page may move to an approval page (where all posts must be approved by PA Admin)

If you have any queries about these guidelines, please contact us on stmaryspaenfield@gmail.com

 

St. Mary’s Parents Association Facebook Page Code of Conduct

 

The St. Mary’s Parents Association Facebook Page is a closed group limited to parents or guardians of children who attend St. Mary’s Primary School in Enfield, Co. Meath.  All requests to join the page are subject to approval and it is expected that all members have an account that clearly identifies them by their real name. When your last child finishes school, it is expected that you remove yourself from the Group.

 

The Facebook page was set up to facilitate better communication between the PA committee and the wider parent body.  Items posted include notices of meeting, minutes of meetings, information that may be useful to parents and reminders of upcoming school events.  It allows the parenting community to keep up to date with activities through a medium preferred by many.  

 

All positive comments and constructive criticism related to PA events or activities are welcomed.  Parents are expected to communicate and demonstrate appropriate online behaviour by being responsible about what you post and respecting others opinions when discussing topics.  Posting photographs containing other people’s children without their prior consent is prohibited.

 

The Facebook page is not a forum for dealing with specific individual concerns with a teacher or the school; parents should deal with the school directly using the school complaints procedure in these circumstances.   

 

Offensive language or personal attacks on individuals or group of individuals will not be tolerated.  Additionally, the site should not be used for any sort of spam or to promote commercial goods, sites or services.  St. Mary’s PA committee reserves the right to delete comments/posts and/or to remove any user from this Group for breaches of this code of conduct.