2nd October, 2017.
The number of children on the school roll on 30th of September each year determines the capitation grant to be paid to the school and also the number of teachers for the following school year. We have 112 pupils in the school presently which is two below the required number to retain five class teachers. This means that from the start of the 2018/19 school year we will have four class teachers. In late June three families unexpectedly moved to various parts of Meath which resulted in our numbers falling below the 114 figure. It is also unfortunate that very few new families are moving into the Rathfeigh area with little or no new buildings being built.
We have an excellent school which has a lot to offer the pupils already in the school and to pupils potentially coming to our school. We will continue to focus on providing a rounded education for all the pupils in a happy, safe and respectful environment where the children reach their potential academically and get the chance to shine in sport, drama, music and other areas of personal development. The results in the annual standardised tests in English and Maths are significiantly better than the national norms and this was reflected in the Whole School Evaluation by the Inspector in June 2014. We have the Literacy Lift Off Reading Programme which has been a tremendous success and we have just introduced the Maths Lift Off Programme to First Class pupils. We also have the ‘Friends for Life ‘ positive mental health programme in Third Class that promotes resilience and reduces anxiety in children. These are just a few of the strong selling points for our school which most local schools don’t have. Despite this we know we have to promote the school even more and this strong promotion of the school will begin immediately.
In terms of extra-curricular activities we are lucky that the children can partake in a number of activities after school in the school hall ( Irish Dancing, Speech and Drama,Gymnastics and Basketball) as well as the school teams in Gaelic Football (13-a-side/7-a-side) and Rounders. Our Girls Rounders’ Team were champions of Meath in 2015 and both our teams (boys and girls) are participating in the quarter finals this week. We also reached the All-Ireland Credit Union Final last year. This was an amazing achievement for a small rural school in which 3000 schools participated.
Accord facilitators will be delivering the RSE programme to Sixth class pupils on Wednesday October 18th. This programme compliments the Social, Personal and Health Education Curriculum. Please return the consent form as soon as possible. Our RSE Policy can be viewed on the schools website. A hard copy can be obtained from the office.
Vision and Hearing Screening
Junior Infants and any new children to Senior Infants will have Vision and Hearing Screening in the next few weeks. Children were given a consent form today. Please complete and return the form to the school tomorrow. We will confirm the date as soon as we receive it from the HSE.
Anti-Bullying/Friendship Week This week is Anti-Bullying/Friendship Week in our school. This week will be aimed at sending a clear and positive message that bullying is neither acceptable or inevitable in our school and re-inforce the message that if you are bullied then you must ‘tell’. We will have an
assembly this Friday at which children will talk about their posters and discuss what they have learned during the week.
National Tree Day October 5th This Thursday is National Tree Day. To celebrate this all classes from Third to Sixth will be visiting Balrath Wood this Thursday. We will be identifying the various trees and getting leaves as we enjoy a leisurely walk around the wood. Third and Fourth class will be leaving the school at 9.45a.m. and returning at 11.00a.m. Fifth and Sixth class will be leaving the school at 11.15a.m. and returning at 12.30p.m. We will need help with lifts. If you are unable to give your child a lift please make arrangements with another parent/guardian. Juniors to Second class will be identifying and gathering leaves at the back of the school as well as partaking in a tree planting ceremony. The children need to wear wellingtons/boots and rain gear on Thursday.
Meath County Council Children’s Book Festival
Third and Fourth classes will be visiting The Solstice Theatre in Navan on October 12th to take part in a workshop by Irish Storyteller Niall de Búrca. This event is free but we will have to charge €5.00 per child for the bus.
On October 16th, 5th and 6th classes will be visiting The Solstice for a workshop with Dave Rudden. The bus will cost €5.00 per child.
Student Council We have just set up a Student Council in our school in order to give the children a greater ‘voice’ on issues/events in the school. Last Friday the pupils in 5th and 6th class gave presentations individually on why they should be on the Student Council. We will have four children on the council i.e. boy and girl in 5th class and boy and girl in 6th class. The pupils on the first Student Council are from 5th class Conor Mc Manus and Beth Shanley and from 6th class Josh Grendon and Isabella Mulvaney. A big congratulations to them all. This council will now meet fortnightly with myself and Mrs Mc Auley and we will keep everyone informed of developments.
Boys and Girls Rounders
The Boys’ and Girls’ Rounders’ teams are once again in the quarter finals. Our Boys’ team defeated Oristown last week and they will now play Wilknstown in the quarter final in Skryne this Friday at 12.00p.m. We will be leaving the school at 11.45a.m.
The Girls team defeated Cortown last week. They will now play Baconstown in the quarter final this Wednesday in Skryne at 12.00p.m. We will be leaving the school at 11.45a.m.
Sixth Class Golf in Royal Tara The pupils in 6th class will be visiting Royal Tara Golf Club for four golf sessions (two before Halloween and two after Halloween). We think the children will enjoy experiencing another different game whilst also learning about the very important etiquette of golf. The Parents’ Association have kindly agreed to paying half of the cost resulting in the children having to pay €10.00 each for four lessons.
Playground Games We are trying to make playground time for the younger children more interesting. Over the next few weeks we hope to put a sandpit on the Junior Infant yard. We are also looking for parents/guardians to donate tractors, tricycles etc which can be used at break time. If you
have any please send them in as soon as possible.
Credit Union starts this Friday in the school. If you would like your child to join the Tara and District Credit Union please collect a form from the office. A staff member from the Credit Union will come to the school every Friday morning to take lodgements.