May & June 2022 Newsletter
Hello to all parents, guardians, children and members of the Esker ETNS school community!
Where has the year gone! It’s hard to believe we have reached the end of the term and the year, but so we have. Like all terms it has been a busy one with lots to report, but first one or two pieces of practical information.
School reopens for the children on Wednesday 31st August. Put it in your diary!
Class Reallocation Policy.
This term we have developed a policy governing our approach to reallocating children across the two classes at each level. From the academic year 2022-23, reallocation will be considered at the end of Senior Infants, Second Class and Fourth Class.
The reasoning behind this is to establish the best balance in terms of both educational and personal and social development as the children progress and needs change throughout their primary education.
If your child’s class is to be redistributed, teachers, SNAs, and children will be involved in the process, and every effort will be made to make the transition smooth and reduce any possible source of anxiety.
Please take the time to read the policy at this link https://www.eskeretns.ie/uploads/1/2/7/1/127165924/reallocating_classes_policy.pdf
Parents’ Open Day
There was lots going on in the school over the last couple of months, but for teachers and children alike, one of the most important and meaningful was the Parents’ Open Day. Prior to Covid, as many of you will remember, it was a common sight to see parents strolling down the corridor or popping into a classroom. Covid changed all of that, much to our regret and so it was with delight that we welcomed parents back into the school on 3rd and 9th June. And the delight was most keenly felt by the children, who were bursting with pride and excitement to welcome their parents into their classrooms. Many thanks to all of you who attended. We know it’s not possible for all parents to attend these events, but hopefully over the coming year you will be able to visit us on some occasion.
Green School’s Committee. -A message from Grace.
A big thank you to the Green School Committee. We had a great day of celebration last Friday June 17th where we raised our fifth Green School flag. This was awarded to us for all the work done raising awareness of biodiversity in our school, and for increasing biodiversity here on the grounds at Esker. We celebrated with ice-cream cones in the sunshine!
We had a special Biodiversity Week in May. What a busy week it was! Some classes had workshops with Mairead from Biodiversity in Schools and Fourth class spent some time Investigating Woodlands with Rob from an Taisce. The children learned so much and had lots of fun along the way. The Senior Classes buddied up with the Junior Classes and had nature walks and trails around the school grounds identifying lots of native trees and flowers. It was very nice to see the older children sharing their knowledge with the younger ones. We finished off the week with some quizzes. Paula had some tricky questions in there!! We learned about the importance of bees for biodiversity and we made bee baths to make sure the bees have plenty of places to have a drink. A special thank you to Barry who helped us with all the planting that happened during the year including trees, flowers and fruit and vegetables.
Spanish Club -A message from Carmen.
This last term we were very fortunate to be able to return to ECA’s (Extra curricular activities /after school clubs). 29 children from the two First Classes took part in Spanish Club. They had great fun learning Spanish language, doing Art through Spanish and learning Spanish songs. They learned “Soy una taza” and El baile del cuerpo” Ask them to sing them to you! Fantástico!
We are all looking forward to the Spanish Club performance in the last week of the year.
Espero que paséis un feliz Verano! (in other words, have a very happy summer!).
Student Voice (or listening to our students) is very important in Esker. This year we had regular meetings of the student council and their suggestions were listened to carefully. Two of their suggestions came to fruition this term.
A suggestion which was made by a number of children was to make yard time more interesting. So a Yard Improvement Committee of teachers and SNAs was put in place to put some of the children’s ideas into practice. (Many thanks to Jenny, Milena, Elaine, Ivana, Carol, Colm, Harriet and Catherine).
Jenny volunteered to train 4th Class students to be yard monitors for the Junior and Senior Infant Classes. They set up different zones and taught the younger students how to understand the rules of the games and play fairly. This was very successful and since then the children have been having great fun in the Chill Zone, Skipping zone, Penalty Shoot Out zone and Games zone.
Ivana and Elaine organised to have the basketball courts repainted and to have the yard painted with lots of fun games -Twister, Hopscotch, Long Jump, Target, Noughts and Crosses, Drop Zone, Switch and Alphabet Snake. A number of students from 3rd to 6th classes were trained how to play the new games and they in turn demonstrated the games to the rest of the children. This was a very successful initiated, deriving directly from the suggestions of the children, Student Voice in action!
A second target for the Student Council was to raise funds to buy a school mascot. In order to do this, the council ran a fundraiser on 6th May -Crazy Day. Children were encouraged to wear something crazy to school, and to make a small donation. All sorts of crazy combinations of costumes, hairstyles and footwear arrived to school that day, and the children had great fun showing off their creations. An afternoon at the Esker Movies was the prize for the craziest class, and the Student Council managed to raise over €500, with which they purchased our new school mascot, who arrived in time for Sports Day. Well done to all!
Healthy Eating and Less Waste
We are very lucky to have healthy lunches delivered to us daily in Esker. One concern raised by our Green School’s Reps was the amount of waste this was generating. Following consultation with staff, children and the lunch company Carambola, a decision was made to improve the healthy choices on offer and cut down on packaging. The result is that the children are eating more fruit and other healthy options, and less waste is being generated.
In order to continue this approach, we ask parents to remember to cancel the Carambola lunch order if your child will not be in school or does not want to eat the lunch they provide.
Parents Association -A message from Linda
The PTA have been very busy the last few months organising coffee mornings most weeks and taking all our class photos!! A few weeks ago, the beloved Book and Treat sale was back with a bang! There was a palpable air of excitement all through the school with children eager to buy some books for their brains and treats for their bellies! The PTA have organised a wonderful breakfast for our graduation class of 2022 and have some fantastic graduation gifts for all our graduands. The PTA are already coming up with more ideas for when we return to school in September. Keep an eye on Aladdin for the PTA AGM and come get involved!
Sports and Outdoor Education
Staying fit and active, and introducing children to different outdoor activities is an important aspect of education in primary school. This term Fourth Class were particularly lucky as they participated in both swimming lessons and also a series of Outdoor Education lessons with Susan.
Teachers and pupils alike were delighted to be able to return to one of the year’s most popular events, Sports Day, on 17th June. It was wonderful to see so many parents in attendance, to watch, to cheer on and even to take part!
Some of the most popular after school activities which have seen a return this year are sports clubs, and this term has been a busy one for our Esker athletes. Very many thanks to Heidi for taking on the task of organising the many sporting activities that took place over the last couple of months.
Sports Activities -A message from Heidi.
We took part in the Cumann na mBunscol GAA football competition this year. It was our first year ever taking part. We entered a boys and a girls team. As part of this, we ran an after school GAA club to get ready for the matches. The children then played the competition matches against local schools. The boys played their matches in Griffeen Park and in Lucan Sarsfields. The girls played theirs in Newcastle. There was a huge development in GAA skills during the course of the matches, considering some children had never played the sport before outside of school. The children played so well and had great fun. It was a fantastic start to our CNMB GAA football future. Thanks to Heidi, Laura, Colm, Ivana, Mary and Milena for running the after school club. Thanks to the 5th and 6th class staff for helping with everything on match days and for sourcing boots etc.
Alan, from Lucan Sarsfields, came in to the school to teach Gaelic football to 1st and 2nd classes. This ran for 6 weeks during PE time.
We had cricket coaches, Anne and Naomi, come to the school this year. This was funded by Cricket Ireland and SDCC. We ran a cricket after school club with the help of Paula and Heidi too. We took part in the SDCC School’s 10 a side pairs cricket. We had two teams involved. Congratulations to all of the children who participated and represented the school to an excellent standard. Our 6th class team got through to the finals which was a huge achievement.
We had a table cricket team too. This sport is a mixture of Table Tennis and Cricket. Naomi from Cricket Ireland gave us a few lessons to start us off and then Ivana and Mary put the children through their paces for our matches in Lucan East ETNS. The children played really well and were awarded medals. They had a great day our and again represented their school to an extremely high standard.
Maryanne and Barbara from Weston Hockey Club, Lucan, took the senior classes for hockey from January to March. These lessons were provided by Hockey Ireland under the “Tricks for Sticks” initiative. Some of the children showed natural flair for this sport and Weston Hockey Club is always open to new members as are all the clubs mentioned above.
We participated in the CNMB Athletics schools competition held in Santry this year. Deirdre and Daniel trained the children in advance of this. We had children participating in Sprints, Relays, 600m, Shot Putt, Long Jump and High Jump. Everyone recorded their own personal best that day. The children represented the school to a very high standard. We came 6th in the long jump final, and won medals in the U14 girls Sprints and the U14 boys Long Jump. Everyone had a great day.
The corridors have been ringing with the sound of music of late! Music Generation, who have worked with 3rd and 4th class this term, ended the year with a very impressive percussion performance. 2nd and 5th class, ably led by musicians from the Ruaille Buaille Children’s Arts Festival provided us with another musical afternoon of rhythm and song, and Infant classes were entertained by a delightful and thought-provoking drama performed by the Ruaille Buaille players which explored the theme of sharing and cooperation. The drama illustrated to the children the importance of taking turns and being patient when they play together. The actors held a Q & A session at the end of the drama and were subjected to a very in- depth interrogation by some of our infants. (Why are you wearing those socks? Why are you wearing those gloves? Why are you wearing those funny clothes? Why are you sitting on those chairs? Why did you build a boat? Why are you playing that guitar?) All questions were given full and satisfactory answers.
Another very welcome return, sorely missed over the last two years was that most exciting of days in the school calendar -The School Tour. Our classes headed off to a wide variety of destinations, including:
Goodbye to the class of 2022
This term we had to bid a fond farewell to our two Sixth Classes. Graduation took place on Friday 24th, and it was a splendid occasion.
The Class of 2022 were treated royally on the day. They started with breakfast courtesy of the PTA. There then followed a wonderful ceremony involving music and song, slideshows, speeches, memories shared and a special guest appearance by our founding principal, Colette. The winner of the 2022 Croí na Scoile (Heart of the School) award was announced. Many congratulations to the worthy recipient, Vanessa Goralczyk. The day ended with further refreshments, provided by the PTA and delicious contributions by many parents.
Goodbye and Good luck to our departing graduates. We wish you all the best for the future and we hope you stay in touch.
And …Hello to the Class of 2030!
And just as we bade farewell to our graduating class, we had the pleasure of another very special day in the school calendar- the day the new Junior Infants come to visit. This happened on June 13th, and it was wonderful to meet our new arrivals. Our student council reps greeted the children and together with teachers and SNAs showed them the fun awaiting them in school, playing games, building tall towers and making them feel welcome. We very much look forward to getting to know these little people better when they start their school careers with us in September.
As you can see it’s been an eventful term and an eventful year. We have thoroughly enjoyed it and we thank all children, parents and guardians for their participation, co-operation and support. We wish you all a well-deserved rest, and look forward to seeing you back again on 29th August, refreshed and reinvigorated for another busy year in Esker!
Updates from Gemma about our school.