6 October 2011

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I would like to thank you all for the wonderful support you have given to me throughout this first month in my role as Principal. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and your children, a process that will continue during the year.

Do Not Consume Drinking Water Notice
Further to the Do Not Consume Drinking Water Notice issued to our school 23/09/11 and communicated to you by letter last Monday, I have received an update from Colin Gallagher/Senior Executive Engineer/Water Services Department Fingal County Council and the HSE;

We received the results of our re-sampling and although all the samples were within limits for nickel, unfortunately two of the samples taken exceeded the parametric limit for Copper. Following consultation with the HSE this morning, we are instructing that the do not consume notice remains in place until the source of the copper exceedances is rectified. Colin Gallagher/Senior Executive Engineer/Water Services Department Fingal County Council

It is the intention of the Board of Management to take this matter up with appropriate authorities and to install drinking water stations in the school. Please continue to provide adequate drinking water for your child particularly on days where pupils have PE classes. Your support in this matter is very much appreciated.

Pupils New to School
A very warm welcome to Je’Hvarno Ewen in 3rd class, Callum Dunne in Senior Infants and Saanvi Vanteddiy in Junior Infants who have all joined our school this month.

Welcome Sam Maguire to Swords Educate Together!
We are excited and delighted that the Sam Maguire Cup will be visiting our school this Friday. Weather permitting we hope to hold an outdoor reception for Sam in the Lower Yard. Our GAA teams are asked to wear their school jerseys. All other children are invited to wear Blue on Friday and parents dropping children off are welcome to stay until 8.45am to greet the cup. Many thanks to our GAA coach Padraig for his part is bringing Sam to SETNS!

NOTE: Please do not take photographs of the children, school photographs will be posted on our website www.swordseducatetogether.ie

September has been a very active month!
So far this year many of our school day activities are already underway for our senior classes. Cycling Skills training, GAA coaching, GAA matches and Cricket coaching. Sincere thanks to all our professional coaches and most especially to our teachers who give of their time voluntarily.

Cycling Week
Sixth class are now in week five of the six week course in cycling safety. Pupils are thoroughly enjoying and learning greatly from this course. We would like to thank the Cycling Safety and Skills School and Sam for their continued support in providing this valuable training for pupils.

GAA Fixtures
Our GAA teams have all experienced some success in their fixtures during September and we are very proud of the way in which they have represented Swords Educate Together National School. Thank you, Siobhán and all our teachers involved in coaching these teams. At the time of going to print our senior boys team were still awaiting news as to whether they will qualify for a place in the quarter finals!

Senior classes are very excited to have cricket coaches, Reynard and Albert, commence coaching sessions. Albert is currently resting from his usual role playing on the Irish International Cricket Team.

Friday Running Club
The Friday Running Club will recommence this Friday at 12 noon and we look forward to many pupils from Senior Infants to 6th classes getting involved in this activity. Clodagh and Yvonne already have quite a number of parents recruited to run the club, though they would welcome even more helpers. Remember you must wear runners to run!

All children from 3rd to 6th classes will have the opportunity to sing in a Choir conducted by Bronagh in Terms 1 and 2 this year. A smaller Performance Choir will be selected from these classes in Term 3.

The PTA annual Welcome Evening and AGM took place on Thursday September 22nd. This event was a great opportunity to meet you and I would like to thank Lisa and the Committee for the invitation to address the meeting. Congratulations to those elected to the PTA committee.

PTA After School and Religion Classes
The PTA after school and Religion classes have resumed this month. I have been pleased to support the PTA by assigning rooms for classes and making general arrangements within the school.

Traffic Management
Traffic Management continues to be a matter of concern for all in the school community. The Board of Management will communicate guidelines for safe pick-up and drop-off of pupils based on observations of practices since September. As ever, adults are urged to exercise extreme caution in coming to and leaving school in the interest of the health and safety of all our children.

Junior Infant evening
Thank you to the Junior Infant parents and guardians who turned out in fantastic numbers to attend this information evening on Tuesday 27th September 2011 at 7pm. Deirdre and Sarah gave a comprehensive overview of the infant curriculum and how best to support junior infant pupils as they embark on new experiences in school. Thank you to the PTA for providing refreshments and a friendly face for parents as they had availed of this opportunity to get know each other and their child’s teacher.

Yard/Playground Operation Free Flow
Pupils are very excited with the introduction this week, on a trial basis, of Yard/Playground Operation Free Flow. Under this system children from all classes are allowed to move freely between the upper and lower yards at break times. Over the coming weeks we hope to have yard games painted on both yards and this should help to make both areas attractive playground spaces for children. Grass and Playground Equipment areas remain “off limits” at break times as we endeavour to give the grass a chance to grow and continue to familiarise children with safe use of the equipment during PE classes and at other times under the supervision of class teachers.

An information meeting with be held this evening for parents of 6th class pupils regarding arrangements for this years’ Gaeltacht trip to Cólaiste na Rosann in Donegal. Deirdre, Eibh and Bronagh will attend this meeting along with from Joe Devenny from Cólaiste na Rosann.

Green Flag
Bronagh, Marie and the school’s Green Team are attending a workshop in Blanchardstown Library today. Hopefully, they will get plenty of ideas as to how we can develop our green approach in school. Reminder: this week is Recycling in the Workplace Week. Check out the following website for great ideas www.recyclemore.ie

Rainbows Programme
The Rainbows Programme will be starting after mid-term break. Thank you Alice!

Fire Drill
We had a Fire Drill exercise on September 15th and this has been followed up with a Critical Incident meeting this week. Times for evacuating the building were recorded and I’m delighted to report that pupils and teachers moved very efficiently to designated Fire Assembly areas.

We have had weekly junior and senior class assemblies in the school hall this month and they have been lovely occasions for classes to share aspects of the Learn Together Programme and to award Gold Cards to pupils deserving of special praise in a particular week.

As you can imagine, having moved into our new school building there are snags and already some of these have been addressed e.g. push door plates have been replaced, some plumbing matters have been resolved. The Board of Management continues to pursue completion of snag lists with relevant parties.

Hopefully, the school year calendar sent to all families last week proves useful to you in highlighting all holidays and closures.

National Fundraising Day for Educate Together 28th October
We are delighted to support the National Fundraising Day for Educate Together on October 28th by organising a children’s Halloween Parade in school. This event will involve a voluntary coin collection, proceeds of which will be used to support Educate Together.

Finally I would like to say a word of thanks to the pupils for the respect and kindness shown to each other and to their teachers for their commitment and dedication to ensuring that pupils have every opportunity to learn in a supportive and positive environment.

Yours sincerely,


Fiona Rushe

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