November 6th, 2009

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope everyone had a happy Halloween Break, packed with lots of fun and, hopefully, more treats than tricks. The children are settled back, healthy and refreshed by their time off. They are a pleasure to welcome to the school every morning and to teach every day. So, so often, we speak about the courtesy, politeness and good manners of our pupils. This was picked up on and written about in our Whole School Evaluation in 2008. Our WSE Report is available on the Department’s website: www.education.ie. With the arrival of winter, please ensure that they are suitably dressed for the colder winter weather. Younger children need to have their names written on all their items of clothing because they are often unable to identify them when lost. Our ‘Lost and Found’ box in the foyer fills up regularly and its contents donated to local charities.

Friday Running Club: By now you will be aware of the popularity and success of our Friday Running Club. This is organized and run by Lisa Donaldson, supported by a group of volunteer Parents. I congratulate everyone involved and heartily welcome such Parental involvement. I would also like to wish Lisa well as the newly elected PTA Chairperson. No doubt, you will be hearing from Lisa in the near future.

Coming up: GAA Blitz, Nov. 11th – Nov. 25th every Wednesday 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. This is for 3rd to 6th class pupils only. Congratulations to our GAA team who came in joint 2nd place in Cumann na mBunscoil league.

School Website: I invite you and your children to visit our school website: www.swordseducatetogether.ie. Lisa Donaldson and Eoghan (Junior Infants) have been developing our website and it now has a Kids Corner, with lots of opportunity for fun and learning. There are also some interesting photos taken for Halloween on Friday, October 23rd. On taking over the position of Chairperson of the PTA, Lisa has had to step back from our website. Paul Gosker, Rachel Gosker’s Dad, has kindly taken over this very important role. I would like to sincerely thank Lisa for her time and commitment to maintaining our website and for working so closely with Sarah and Eoghan. Equally, thank you Paul for getting involved.

National Fostering Week is running from 6th – 13th Nov. ’09. If you are interested in fostering or would like more information, please contact the local HSE fostering service at Ph: 01 8708000.

A Special Thanks! I would be so remiss of me (indeed of any of us) not to sincerely thank Linda Quearney for the years of service, dedication and leadership she has given to Swords Educate Together, not just as PTA member and Chairperson, but in so many other ways also. You will know that Linda has succeeded Sophia Byrne as Parent Nominee on the Board of Management, where I know she will continue to deliver quality service to the school and all its partners. Thank you Linda for years of magnificent service to date and I truly look forward to working with you on the Board of Management.

Educate Together Programme: The ETP focus for next week will be on the Ethics and Environment Strand: Air and Water Pollution. This past week the children learned about Guru Nanak (Sikhism).

Green Team News: The Green Team is delighted to report that the latest survey of lunchboxes shows that 68% are without wrappings. That is an increase of 3% on our last survey. Congratulations! We encourage parents/guardians to use airtight containers or recyclable wrappings, such as paper or tissue. Further tips on household recycling can be obtained on www.recyclemore.ie

Important: I would ask all Parents/Guardians of children attending After School Classes or Activities to make direct contact with the class/activity coordinator/facilitator. You will have been provided with these contact details. The school office is not in a position to respond to queries regarding After School Activities and Parents/Guardians are asked not to contact Catriona in this regard. Many thanks!

Thank You! I am always cheered up when I come onto the yard in the morning and see the children lined-up for 8:30 a.m. Punctuality is a life-skill, first taught in the home and reinforced consistently throughout the school day. The children are familiar with the phrase, ‘If you are in your line, you are on time. If you are at the gate, you are late’. I place a premium on punctuality and the integrity of the school day, for Staff and Children alike. Your on-going cooperation and support in this regard is necessary and greatly appreciated by all school staff. Many thanks!

Diary Dates

Monday/Tuesday, November 9th and 10th: Voluntary Contribution Collection.

Tuesday, November 10th: Athletics in Balheary at 11: 30 a.m. (Rescheduled).

Friday, November 13th: Rainbows begins.

Tuesday, November 17th: Mobile Farm visits Swords E.T.

Tuesday/Wednesday, November 24th and 25th: Book Fair

Thursday, November 26th: Staff Meeting

Thursday, November 26th: Open Evening for New Junior Infant Parents: Sept. 2010.

Thursday, December 3rd: Parent Teacher Meetings. Infant children will go home at 11:30 a.m. – all other classes at 11:45 a.m. and meetings will commence at 12:30 p.m. sharp. Due to the number of meetings involved punctuality is most important on the day. Parents/Guardians arriving after the arranged time will need to re-arrange another meeting with the class teacher.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone. And, thank you!

Sincerely,

Gerard, Príomhoide

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