Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope that you are all keeping safe and well. November has been a very challenging month for the whole school community in many ways. I hope that as parents you are able to take time to look after yourselves, along with your children.
November has been another busy month in Esker ETNS. The children are working hard in Science, project work, literacy, numeracy and much more. Here is an update of events in the school in November and important information for parents / guardians.
PTA Appeal – Abolish Direct Provision Christmas Gift Appeal
The PTA have launched their first charity fundraiser of the year. This is our PTA’s first ever event as a new committee. We are so excited to see all the wonderful donations for Abolish Direct Provision Campaign. Lots of toys, art supplies, clothing, winter wear, stationary and more has been donated by children. A massive thank you on behalf of the PTA. These donations will make some children very happy!
Student voice – Letter writing competition
Catherine, our deputy principal promotes literacy in the school. She launched a formal letter writing competition last month. The winner would get their letter read out to the chairperson of the BOM. Catherine received over 150 letters of a very high quality. After much deliberation, the committee decided that Julia in 5th Green was the worthy winner. She wrote a letter to Ciara Mc Mackin (chairperson) asking for the BOM to support biodiversity in the school. Her letter was so persuasive that the BOM pledged €200 to Julia to spend on wild flowers, bug motels and other projects to attract wildlife to the grounds. Well done Julia!
Hockey and Cricket
Heidi has organised Hockey and Cricket clubs to come to the school to teach 3rd to 6th class. These new sports are a welcomed addition to PE classes. Children have experienced new sport and are learning fundamental skills. Huge thank you to all involved.
Science show – The Really Rubbish show
We were very lucky to welcome a scientist to our school on Tuesday 30th November for a Really Rubbish Science show. 4th and 5th class agreed that it was in fact a super show displaying the science behind rubbish and waste.
Learn Together Weekly assemblies
We hold weekly online assemblies to maintain a sense of connection between classes. We hold Junior or Senior Learn together assemblies each week. One class is nominated to showcase what they have learned in the Learn Together curriculum that month. There are four strands in the Learn Together curriculum that focus on Moral and Spiritual development, ethics and the environment, belief systems and Equality and Justice. Please check out these performances on our website https://www.eskeretns.ie/learn-together-assemblies
Parent Teacher Meetings – 3rd – 6th Class
The senior class parent teacher meetings are being held this week online 29th November – 2nd December. If you have not booked your appointment with your child’s teacher, please contact them directly to arrange or contact Linda at email@example.com. It is important that you meet with your child’s teacher for this oral progress report.
Linda has started Parents Plus online with parents from our school and Lucan East. Parents Plus is a wonderful course that supports parents to support their child in a positive way that promotes high self-esteem, confidence and self-regulation. She will be running a second course in the New Year. It is important that you sign up with Linda when places are advertised, as places are limited.
Despite our doors being closed, Linda finds a way to keep parents connected. Online craft classes take place on zoom once a week. Crafts are provided and a fun relaxed class helps you distress and make friends.
If there is something that you would like to discuss with Linda, HSCL regarding any family matters that you feel we should know or could help you with, you can contact her at 086 026 1061.
Positive post cards
We recently ran a positive postcard competition in the school. The children were invited to draw images or affirmations that made them feel happy. Each week class teachers will secretly choose a child that has made an effort that week or has been kind to others or has done their best. Look out for positive postcards arriving home. Make sure to celebrate these achievements with your child!
Anti bullying - Meeting with PTA, students, BOM
We have been working hard on reviewing our Anti bulling policy to ensure that robust procedures are in place to protect children. The Board of Management (BOM) have completed the annual review. I have met with all students from 2nd – 6th to explain the policy and procedure they can follow. I met with the PTA this month to get feedback on the policy and ideas on how we can promote a positive school culture for friendship in the school. The ratified policy is available on our website for all parents to view.
We will be organising online safety classes for students 5th & 6th and for parents. We look forward to seeing you online for that one!
Green school committee
The green school are in their second year of working on our 5th Green Flag for Biodiversity. Huge work has been done on identifying trees, new wildlife and composting.
The Green school committee launched a “No Idling “ campaign for parents. When you are sitting in your car with the engine on, your car emits fumes which the children are breathing in. Please help make our air cleaner by switching off your engine when your car in not in use. Small actions CAN have big changes.
Building extension – surveys
We have plans to extend our school in the coming years to provide adequate facilities for our specialised class. This is a long awaited and much needed project, but it will also take a long time to plan and build. Currently, we are in the pre planning phase of the project. That means that we have a design team appointed. Provisional plans have been drawn up, and we are at the pre planning stage of submission for planning permission. You may occasionally see vans or work men onsite on the school grounds – these are surveyors who are completing necessary pre planning work. These visits are planned and permission has been sought and granted. As yet, we have no news on the pre planning stage – as and when I get more information, I will let you know.
Traffic and parking remain a big issue and a safety concern for children. There are too many cars entering the main gate. The area within the school is not big enough to deal with the traffic. Please can you use Castle road and meet your child by foot on the grounds, where possible.
Please ensure that you:
Covid – 19 updates
Antigen testing was introduced this week. According to the new guidance, the following will apply.
Common and uncommon symptoms of Covid-19
I am asking all parents to please monitor your child’s health. If they have any symptoms at all and are in school, we have to request their immediate collection. These include but are not limited to:
We are now facing into our last few weeks before the end of this term. We are very proud of all of the hard work and commitment shown by the children. I would like to thank the wonderful staff of Esker for creating a happy, fun and interesting environment where each child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Thank you to the parents for supporting the charity appeal, supporting us with all the Covid-19 regulations and for supporting your child this term.
We are all in this together.
Stay safe and stay well
All the best
Dear Parents & Guardians,
October has been a very quick month because we have been so busy in school. The mid-term break is almost upon us. Here are some of the things we have been doing this month along with important information.
The PTA AGM was held on Friday 8thOctober. A huge thank you to our outgoing Chairperson - Maureen, Vice chairperson - Saaba, Treasurer - Deepa and Secretary - Janice. Thank you for your time, hard work and enthusiasm throughout a challenging year.
I am delighted to announce that we have a new committee that were elected at the AGM; Chairperson – Claudia, Vice Chairperson – Pippa, Treasurer – Brendan, Secretary – Nora. We are very excited to work closely with you all over the coming year.
Please ensure that you fill in any reasons for absences on Aladdin connect and keep all phone numbers up to date.
We held our first student council meeting on Monday 18th October on Zoom. This was a public meeting for all 3rd – 6th classes. Very good ideas came from the students. Here are a few, a school mascot, a pyjama fundraising day, making comics in the class, activities on the yard , bringing back the toy and treat sale and a school pet.
All ideas were well articulated and examined, looking at the pros and cons of each. We will keep you all updated on the progress of each suggestion. Student voice is very important and valued in Esker ETNS.
Green school Committee
New Green school representatives have been elected in every class. This is a very important and popular committee to join. Members are democratically elected by their classmates and need to work hard to ensure that their class is making an effort to save energy, reduce waste and not to waste water. The Golden boot is awarded every week to a junior and senior class for sustainable travel – walking, scooting, cycling or park and stride.
This year we are in our second year of working towards our fifth Green Flag for Biodiversity. The midterm is a good time of year to explore local plant & animal life / changes in season etc. Use your school holidays to explore the outdoors and to spot wildlife and nature in your garden or community.
World Food Day
October 16th marked World Food Day. 2nd Green and 6th Green both showcased during our weekly Learn Together (Zoom) assemblies). The children taught us the importance of valuing food, not wasting it and respecting it. Please check out their showcase on our website https://www.eskeretns.ie/learn-together-assemblies
Make sure that you only order food that your child likes from Carambola. We would like all of our children to participate in the Hot Meal programme but if your child brings in a lunch box to school, please cancel your Carambola lunch, to prevent food waste.
The school has been buzzing with maths week. Carmen organised maths stations and trails with the junior classes, Linda sent home Maths packs for 2nd class families to play at home and Tania organised Maths trails, the family challenge and a Kahoot Quiz for 5th and 6th. Check out more activities on our website https://www.eskeretns.ie/maths-week.html
Space week & STEM
Katie organised Space week in the school during the week of 4th – 8th of October. Classes were able to ask questions to astronauts, watch videos about life in space and explore the solar system. This all feeds into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The SFI Primary Science award is based on the continuous work and evidence of this typ of learning. Huge thank you to Katie, Niamh and all of the class teachers for promoting STEM in our school and an even bigger thank you to all of the children for your hard work. I would encourage you to look at the work that has taken place in all classes on our website https://www.eskeretns.ie/science.html
Craft classes for parents
Linda, our HSCL teacher has organised free Zoom craft classes for parents with Martina. All participating parents received the craft materials free of charge and I believe lots of beautiful creations are taking shape.
Linda will be running Parents Plus classes for parents. This is a free positive parenting class for our parents that focuses on building your childs’ confidence and self-esteem. Classes will be held on Zoom in conjunction with our friends in Lucan East.
Our newly formed gardening club have transformed our overgrown Fairy Garden. They arrive every Thursday regardless of the weather. Thank you for the beautiful new raised beds, they are a very welcomed addition. We are most grateful for your time and skills!
We all know that Children LOVE Reading – The Clover project runs in Junior Infants every year to promote literacy as early as possible. Free books will be given to children after the mid term break to help with literacy in the home. We are most grateful to South Dublin Libraries, who fund this very important initiative.
Junior Curriculum Evening
On Thursday 4th November at 7pm, we will host a curricular evening for all Junior and Senior Infant parents. This will give you and update of the curriculum your child is following in school and how best you can support them at home. We look forward to seeing you all online!
Outstanding Materials Money
We ask all of our families to pay €100 per child per year for materials money. This money helps us pay for: insurance, educate together membership, online subscriptions, art supplies, stationary, photocopying and texting etc. If you have not already done so, please could you pay a contribution on Aladdin Connect. You can pay in instalments of €25 euro to break down the cost. If you having difficulty paying, please contact Linda on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange something with you. We do appreciate your help with this matter.
We are delighted to announce that we will re start swimming lessons for classes 2nd – 5th this year. Swimming is a very important life skill for all children to learn and is part of the physical education curriculum. 5th class will begin lessons after the mid term break. Please make sure that you have completed the permission on Aladdin and paid the €40 before they begin. We are asking parents to pay for the lessons and the school will pay for the transport. If you need to talk to Linda about cost, please contact her on 086 0261061.
Mid Term break and Dress up day
Our school will close on Friday 22nd of October for the mid term break. Children are allowed to dress up in either fancy dress or clothes that they might wear for a celebration. We will hold a little parade in the morning.
Reminding all families about the importance of safety during this time and to avoid fireworks or sparklers without an adult. Costumes can be highly flammable. Garda Ciara and Tom came to school to speak to all 5th and 6th class this week about the importance of safety.
Reminding you all about our safety measures in the school. While restrictions lift in our society, please remember that our school is full of unvaccinated children. Please continue to wear masks and to keep your child at home if they display and Covid-19 symptoms. JI – 2nd class can be dropped and collected on the grounds but we ask that all 3rd – 6th class children walk off site and meet you on Castle road. Thank you for your continued support.
Wishing you all a wonderful mid term break. School will reopen on Monday 1st November. I hope that all of the children enjoy a well-earned rest.
Be safe and well,
With September behind us, the children are well and truly settled into their new class groupings with their new teachers. The classes are buzzing with lots of learning. Here are a few things that have taken place in September or may be coming up in the months ahead.
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Friday 8th October at 11.30am by Zoom. We are sadly losing three of our amazing members this year; Maureen (chairperson), Sabaa (vice chair) and Deepa (Secretary).
Elections will be held for new members at this meeting. If you are interested in joining and indeed leading this much needed committee, please come and along and put your name forward. All new and existing parents are most welcome. We value our PTA so much and are so grateful for the wonderful work they have done for the school over the years. The children have benefited first hand from the fundraisers and PTA presence within the school.
I am sure you will all join me in thanking Maureen, Sabaa, Deepa and Janice for their time, support and hard work over the years.
Despite Covid restrictions, Linda is working hard this year in getting parents together and involved this year. Some of the events she has planned so far are:
6th class Children – Second Level Transfer
For all our 6th class children – please make sure that you enrol your child into a second level school in October 2021. It is very important that all applications are sent in on time to the school of your choice, in order to secure a school place. If you need help in this area, please contact our HSCL teacher Linda on 0860261061.
Enrolments for Junior Infants 2022
If you have a younger child starting in Junior Infants in 2022, please note that you can apply from Wednesday 6th October. You apply online to the LCES system here
The window to apply closes on 24th of November – please apply on time. Late applications will be placed on a waiting list and you may not get the school of your choice. Contact the office on 01 6241462 if you have any questions regarding enrolments.
SFI Primary Science Award
I am absolutely thrilled to inform you that Esker ETNS was awarded the Discovery Primary Science and Maths SFI Plaque! for the 6th year in a row. A special thank you to Katie, Niamh and Karen and to all of the teachers for promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in the classroom and integrating it throughout the curriculum. Huge work goes into to gathering all the evidence and preparing a website to present to the SFI Committee for assessment.
This year, we not only met the criteria to receive this award but exceeded expectations. Please read the committees comments below and join me in congratulating teachers and children for their hard work in 2020 / 21
Esker was lucky enough to be accepted into the Schools Hot lunch scheme. Hot lunches began this month for the whole school. A huge thank you to Carambola, who are providing two small snacks for little break and a hot lunch for big break. Food waste is composted and recycled. It is very important that we are not increasing the waste in the school.
If you wish to change the choice for your child, please do so BEFORE Friday at midnight for the following week. If you send a lunch in with your child, please cancel the hot lunch on www.carambola.ie so there is no food waste.
New Active Panels in every classroom
This year we replaced all of our old Smart boards that were tired and slow with new and improved Active Panels. A huge thank to you our BOM who supported this big purchase to help improve the teaching and learning in the school. A massive thank you to Carambola who kindly donated a large contribution towards these boards. I know that both teachers and children are delighted to the new additions to the classrooms and they have made a big difference already!
We are delighted that Music Generation is back with us for the academic year. Music Generation is a group of professional musicians who come and work with our children. Previously we worked on singing with our children. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the musicians are working on percussion skills. They are working with 1st and 2nd class this term.
In line with public health advice we would like to re start our swimming lessons this year for classes 2nd – 5th class. Swimming is on the physical education curriculum and it is an essential life skill for all children to have. I would strongly encourage all children to participate. Lessons will cost €40 for seven lessons – the school will provide the transport to and from the pool. Payments can be made on Aladdin. We hope to start with 5th class in November. Permissions for swimming will be sent on Aladdin tomorrow for 5th class. Please respond as soon as possible.
Half day – Wednesday 17th November
Due to staff training on the Primary Language Curriculum, the school will close early on Wednesday 17th November 2021. Please ensure that you collect your child on time. Again, I encourage you to use Castle Road to park as it will be very busy.
See Saw / Google Classroom
Senior Infants – 5th class use See Saw as a way of accessing their homework. 6th Class use Google classroom. At this point all children have been sent home their log in passwords on a green sheet of paper. Teacher have trained all the children how to log in and how to upload work and use the See Saw tools. Junior Infants will get their codes at a later date, when homework starts.
Covid-19 - changes to Public Health
From Monday 27th September 2021, the advice from Public Heath changed regarding contact tracing in educational settings. If your child is a close contact to a Covid-19 case in school, they will not have to restrict their movement, UNLESS THEY DISPLAY COVID-19 SYMPTOMS – e.g. cough, sore throat, headaches, severe tiredness, high temperature.
See HSE information here:
However, please note that if someone in your household has Covid-19 or is sick with Covid-19 like symptoms, your child MUST STAY AT HOME.
While restrictions are relaxing in society, we still have to remain vigilant in school as children are not vaccinated. We all have to work together in order to keep the school safe for all. Please get in touch with me at email@example.com if you have any queries.
Traffic management and being courteous to each other
I am very worried and concerned about the traffic on the grounds in the morning and at home time. I have noticed more cars on the grounds and some dangerous behaviours. Firstly, the most important thing is the safety of all of the children. Everyone is in the same position, everyone is under a time pressure and everyone would like all children to be safe.
If your child is in 3rd – 6th (exception is children with Special educational needs) please drop and collect your child outside of the grounds, we are asking you to NOT drive into the grounds. If you have a junior child (JI – 2nd class) you can drive into the grounds.
Please do not drop children on the school grounds before 9.10am. There is no supervision at this time. Children should arrive after 9.10 – 9.30am. We may review these starting times after 22nd October based on Public Health advice.
Again, thank you for all of your help and support this term. It is great to have all of our children back working hard and having fun in school again. Reminding you that half term begins on Friday 22nd of October and we reopen on Monday 1st November.
Please make sure you are familiar with the starting and finishing times, along with drop off and collection points for children JI - 2nd class. Remember, if your child is 3rd - 6th class we ask that they come to school independently (walk, scoot, cycle, or drop off on Castle Road). We need to reduce the amount of people on the school grounds in order to ensure social distancing can be adhered to.
This plan will be reviewed regularly, depending on Public Heath advice.
Thank you for completing the return to school agreement and declaration. It is vitally important that we all play a part in keeping our children safe.
Many thanks for all of your support.
I hope that you are all keeping safe and well and that you have had a very enjoyable summer. We are now preparing to welcome you all back to school next week. Our first day is Tuesday 31st August.
There are three start times on the first day of school:
1. 9:10 - 9:30am - A slow staggered start for all current students - go straight to new classroom.
2. 9.45am - All new students to our school from Senior Infants - 6th class - meet us on the socially distanced spots outside the hall (see video)
3. 10.15am - All new Junior Infants - meet us on the socially distanced spots near the flag poles. Please remember that JI finish at 12.20pm until Friday 10th September (collection point is opposite the hall doors).
Please watch the video below for more details on drop off and collection times and for our Covid-19 safety measures in place.
I am really looking forward to seeing you all again.
Is mise le meas
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Our final term is upon us and we are now in our last week of school before the Summer Holidays. Where did the time go? It has been an extremely busy term. Lots of events took place successfully and lots of planning is taking place to ensure our safe return in August 2021.
I understand how difficult this year has been for everyone. All of our lives have been changed by this pandemic. I know some of our families have lost loved ones to Covid-19 and lives have been impacted significantly by the virus. We are all in it together.
As a community, we prioritised the children. We understand how their lives changed significantly and we worked together to reopen the school safely and to continue on with their daily routine with minimal disruption with their wellbeing at the heart of everything that we did. As the final term comes to a close, I would like to thank all our parents for supporting us and for cooperating with all of the new measures that we have to implement to ensure the safety for all. Huge thank you to all of our incredible staff at Esker who have worked tirelessly this year to ensure learning was continuous, of a high standard and was fun for all. A massive thank you to all of the children for their flexibility, understanding and hard work this year. I am so grateful to be part of such a strong community.
Here is a look at our events in June.
Sports day is such an important event for children. This year we were unable to invite parents or host a day where classes would mix. Instead, Liz and Linda organised a Sports Week. Every day introduced a new sporting challenge. There was great excitement in the yard as classes took part in the egg and spoon, sprint races, sponge races and group dances. Every day children had red faces as they were exercising so much. Lots of fun was had by all.
Our end of year reports were made available on Friday 18th June. Please make sure you log into your Aladdin app to view. These reports can be accessed any time by parents. Advice for parents from the NCCA regarding the standardised test scores was emailed to all parents.
Our class of 2021 graduated on Thursday 17th June. The whole day was a huge success with great excitement from both classes. The PTA organised an outdoor breakfast for both classes separately, with treats provided by the PTA and Carambola. Thank you!
We held a formal graduation ceremony in the hall for the children. They were delighted to be sitting in the hall, as it has been out of use this year, and to be able to throw their hats in the air at the end of the ceremony.
We finished off the day with an online Zoom Graduation with all parents present. It was a beautiful ceremony filled with tears, laughter and magnificent speeches from our students. A huge thank you to Komeera, Niamh, Paula, Jenny, Susan and Jenny who put in a massive amount of work to make it a success. Our 2021 Croí na Scoile (Heart of the school) award was presented to Haken Uysal, who won for” his kindness, his participation in school life, his sense of humour and how he listened to everyone and solved problems by never shouting”.
No School tours--- except for 6th class!
We have all been disappointed this year at having to miss one of the highlights of the school year -The School Tour. Unfortunately, due to Covid concerns these trips haven’t been possible. An exception was made for the two Sixth Classes however, given that this would be their last chance to enjoy a school tour with all their classmates from Esker ETNS. We went to great lengths to ensure compliance with Covid regulations and managed to arrange a wonderful day to remember on May 31st. The class of 2021 went to an outdoor adventure centre -Squirrel Scramble in Bray Co.Wicklow -where they participated in archery, team building games, abseiling and tree -climbing. It was one of the highlights of the year for all, and left the children with great memories of their final year in Esker.
To make up for no school tour…
Magician / Ruaille Buaille / Drumming workshops
We were determined to make up for missing out on school tours. Instead, we brought the fun to Esker. Infants enjoyed a fantastic display of magic and mayhem with Joe the Magician, and all were delighted to leave the show with a “Minion” dollar bill.
Ruaille Buaille brought live music and fun to the school hall for 5th Green. The children were delighted to welcome an honoured guest to the proceedings, Lord Mayor of Lucan, Ed O Brien.
The two second classes completed their percussion workshops with the talented team of musicians from Music Generation, and Fergal O Connor provided drumming work shops for all the other classes. The children showed natural rhythm and really enjoyed the sessions. Not quite a school tour but great fun all the same!
New Junior Infants / Parent Meeting
Our Zoom meeting for all the parents of children who will be joining Esker ETNS took place at the end of May. We are always excited to welcome new families to our thriving school community. We were delighted that the meeting was so well attended with parents who demonstrated real interest and enthusiasm for everything their children will be experiencing next year. We also had the great pleasure of welcoming our new Junior Infants who arrived in small groups to visit their new school and meet their new teachers .It’s such a big step for them and we were delighted to share in their excitement and enthusiasm!
Writing Wall of Fame
The “Writing Wall of Fame” is an initiative which we run to encourage children to enjoy the process of writing. Children are invited to write something in their own time for which they can earn points for their class. Samples of their work are displayed on the “Writing Wall of Fame”, and at the end of each term, one lucky class who is deemed to have made a really good effort wins a Pizza and Ice-cream party. This term was an exception and we had three prize winners because of the huge level of involvement from so many classes throughout the school. Well done to everyone who participated and hearty congratulations to our three winning classes: In 3rd place - 4th Class Red; In 2nd place- Senior Infants Green (our first infant class to win) and in First place -2nd class Green. Many thanks to all who participated and we look forward to reading more of your wonderful writing next year.
As you know, all things environmental are close to our hearts here in Esker. So far we have succeeded in being awarded four Green Flags-Litter and Waste, Energy, Water Conservation and Travel. Currently our Green School’s Committee are leading us in our efforts to earn our fifth flag -Biodiversity. Biodiversity has been the topic of many projects and discussions this year, and this month a representative from Biodiversity in Schools came to visit and did a fascinating workshop with 4th and 5th classes. The children learnt how to map biodiversity on the school grounds and how to recognise and name native wildflowers and trees. They had fun playing biodiversity-themed games and finished the workshop with a scavenger hunt. All agreed it was a very informative and also a very fun day.
This year we have continued to prioritise listening to the voices of our students, and have adapted the format of our Student Council meetings to enable everyone to attend and participate over Zoom. The children have come up with a wide range of interesting suggestions, some of which we have been able to take on board and implement (e.g Crazy Hair Day, Hot lunches, Yard equipment) and some, sadly, we have not (half -day Friday, School Pet).
Different family – Same Love Art Competition
This year for the first time in Esker students participated in the Different Families, Same Love competition run by the INTO LGBT group. The competition celebrates all kinds of families and recognises that all families are different, and all families are unique. Our very own 2nd Class Green were highly commended in the Junior section of the competition, an amazing achievement for a first-time entrant! Well done to all involved. We can't wait to see what our students produce next year!
SFI Discover Primary Science Website
Our 2020/21 SFI Discover Primary Science website is now live and can be found at https://www.eskeretns.ie/sfi-discover-science--maths-awards.html. Here you will find examples of all of the fantastic science, maths, engineering and technology that happens every day in Esker. We have been awarded a plaque for SFI Discover Primary Science in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, so we are hoping that this year we will get our 7th! A huge thank you to Niamh and Katie in particular who are the teachers that lead this initiative in our school.
Projects, Project, Projects
The children in Esker love working on projects and the teachers are always impressed with the interest that they demonstrate, their research skills and the standard of work they produce. This month, for example, Senior Infants observed and monitored the metamorphosis of caterpillars into chrysalises and then into butterflies, all of which were released safely back into the open air in our fairy garden..
4th class worked on projects about Ancient Rome and India and were fascinated by the culture and history they researched.
Fifth Red participated in a day of free creativity for children organised by Cruinniú na nÓg. They met (online) with an artist to discuss how to design a kite, constructed their own unique kites and then went out on a sunny afternoon to fly them. Their teacher Heidi described it as a wonderfully, joyful occasion, a great memory of fifth class for these children.
And finally, it is with great regret that we bid farewell to the Chairperson of the Esker ETNS PTA, Maureen Fox. Maureen joined the PTA when her daughter Thiana started in Junior Infants, and has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Esker School Community ever since. She has served as member, secretary and vice-chair of the PTA, and for the last three years has led the association as its Chairperson.
Over the years she has led or participated in the organisation of events too numerous to list. To mention just a few, she has run classes for parents and for children, helped out in numerous classroom activities, functioned as school photographer, worked on graphic designs for many important occasions, worked with the Parents’ Gardening Club to win the SDCC Community Award for our Fairy Garden two years in succession and led the organisation of many fun, child-centred fund raising events.
Maureen’s contribution to the school community has been invaluable. We in Esker are deeply appreciative to her for the time, effort and expertise she has lent to the school. It will be very difficult to fill her shoes, and she will be missed greatly.
Maureen on behalf of the children, staff and parents of Esker ETNS, may we extend to you our sincere and heartfelt thanks. We wish you the very best in the future, and we hope you will come back and visit us often.
To all the rest of our school community, children, parents, guardians and friends can I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy, safe and relaxing summer holiday. We look forward to welcoming you back for a new school year which we hope will be less challenging than the one just past! Enjoy, recharge and see you all soon.
Be safe and be well
I hope that you are all keeping safe and well.
We are into our final term of the academic year. What a year it has been! We have remained positive, worked hard to ensure the high standards of Education in Esker ETNS and ensured the safety of all of our children and staff during these challenging times.
May is a very busy time for us. We are preparing the end of year formalities and preparations are already underway for next year!
Last year there were no standardised tests, due to school closures. Standardised tests are a very good way for us identify areas of success and areas in need of further development for children. We will be testing literacy (Drumcondra test) and Numeracy (Sigma T). The scores will be reported on the end of year written report, which will be available from the 18th June.
Children should be encouraged to do their best and to try all of the questions, but it is important that they do not get stressed or anxious about these tests. We are very mindful that Covid-19 and school closures will be impact pupils’ scores.
Our Muslim families celebrated Eid on Thursday 13th/14th of May. We hope you had a lovely day celebrating.
Our PTA are still working hard in the background on the graduation for 6th class. They will be running another fundraiser in the third term. Maureen, the PTA chairperson sent a letter to parents advising you that she will be stepping down as chairperson as will Sabaa, our vice chairperson in September. She is encouraging you all to think about these worthwhile positions on the committee, maybe you would like to get involved? Huge thank you to our PTA committee this year for all the distant fundraising and support. You have been a rock of support, as always!
As ever, Linda has been working tirelessly to organise events for parents to keep you all connected with us in Esker. Look at some of the events that were held in May.
Plans are under way for our graduating class of 2021. The children will graduate in school, class by class. There will be an online evening graduation with their parents and the school community in June. We are adhering to all government guidelines, while ensuring that these children feel special and enjoy their achievement of completing their primary education. The PTA are organising a celebratory outdoor breakfast for the children.
Following guidance regarding Covid-19 safety, there will be no school tours this year for children. We are making an exception for 6th class as it will be their final tour with us. This will be an outdoor event and all safety measures will be followed.
New Parent Evening
We will hold our new parent evening on Zoom on Thursday 27thMay. We are looking forward to welcoming our new junior infant families and indeed any new family who will join Esker ETNS.
New JI meet and greet
We are always so excited to meet our new incoming Junior Infants. We will be sending out invitations to our new infants in June, inviting them in to meet their new teachers in pods of 5 – again, parents will have to wait outside the school, but the children have proved that they are happy to do this. We know they will be great excitement.
As restrictions lift and our lives return to some normality, we are still encouraging all of our families to remain safe. We are following the same safety precautions in school:
If you would like to contact me to discuss anything, my e mail is firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact the office at 01 624 1462.
Dear Parents & Guardians,
March has been a busy month for us so far with the full reopening of our school. We are delighted to have most of our students back with us. Esker ETNS is back buzzing with excitement. There is lots of learning and fun happening within the classrooms and outdoors. As the weather improves, so comes hope and optimism that the most challenges days are behind us.
I want to commend all the children for their efforts in engaging with online learning since January. I would like to extend this to all of the adults who supported them through school closures, it was not an easy task. Thank you from all of us! I would like to thank the teachers and SNA’s who worked tirelessly to provide fun lessons, live Zooms and interesting learning for their classes. Thank you to Barry and Suzanne who have kept the school going throughout the closures.
School re opening
We have followed the phased reopening plan from the Department of Education since February. Our special class opened on 22nd February. Junior Infants – 2nd class opened on the 1st of March and 3rd – 6th class returned on the 15th of March. Now that we have reopened fully, it is so important that we can remain open. It is imperative that we all follow the same safety rules to ensure this can happen.
World Book Day
Despite the school being partially reopened, we celebrated World book day on Thursday 4th March. There was great excitement in the school when Catherine and Grace visited all the children to read and act out a story to the Junior Classes. We held a competition for the senior classes called the “Masked Reader” – We awarded National book tokens to the winners. At times when our activities are limited, reading is a wonderful hobby to encourage at home.
Seachtain na Gaelige.
We celebrated Irish week from 8th – 16th March. We promoted the use of speaking Irish informally with all of the children. Linda promoted this by providing a bosca duaise, (prize boxes) to each class An Dreoilín was played on yard for dancing, DJ an Lae brightened up our afternoons. A competition was held - Seanfhocal na Seachatine, Am scéalta, along with Tráth na gCeist (table quiz between classes) We finished off the week with a La Glas, to celebrate St. Patricks day. Check out our gallery for pictures of the day. The Esker Teacher band treated us to a rendition of Pegin Litir Mor. Lots of fun was had by all.
HSCL Parent Events
Despite being closed, Linda is committed to keeping all of our parents engaged in school life remotely.
Parents Plus: Linda will be starting Parents Plus classes in the third term. This is a positive parenting course that encourages self esteem and confidence in children. She will let you know when you can sign up for that.
Crafts Class: The first Cross stich class took place this week on Zoom. The class was hosted by the Sabaa. Linda provided all of the materials and a small snack to share together online. It is very important at a time like this to take time for yourself. The next craft class will take place on 15th April and will be hosted by Leah.
Irish for parents: Linda hosted a drop in Irish clinic for parents. We understand that it is difficult to support your child with the language when you do not speak it. There were some very useful tips in this class.
The school holidays will begin on Friday 26th March. The school will reopen on Monday 12th April.
On Friday 26th of March, there will be a half day. Closing times are as follows:
The school grounds is a drop off zone only. If there are no parking spaces available, you must keep driving, exit the grounds and re-enter to find a space. It is important that the traffic keeps moving. Please DRIVE SLOWLY on the grounds as children are everywhere.
Again, I would like to say thank you to all of our school community, the children, parents and staff for working together to re-open the school and for supporting all of our requests in order to keep the school a safe place to be. I am so grateful for the massive effort made by everyone.
Wishing you all a very safe and peaceful holiday from school. Wishing all of our families who celebrate it a Happy Easter. I hope you take the time to enjoy being with your family.