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 email@example.com 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.
Newsletter – February 2021
Dear Parents & Guardians,
It is hard to believe that we are in our fifth week of remote learning in lockdown two. With the mid-term break nearly upon us, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect of these five weeks and to celebrate our school community achievements during this very difficult time.
We acknowledge that the second time around this lockdown has been extremely difficult for children, parents and staff alike. I cannot stress enough, how important it is to look after the Health and Wellbeing of your children and of course to look after yourself. While the teachers have been focused on your children, Linda has been focussed on you these last few weeks. Despite the school building being closed, February has been a very busy month for us. I have said many times before that a building does not make a school, it is the people inside it. Our community is still knitted together and we are here to support you.
Parent Teacher Meetings:
Our Parent teacher meetings have been taking place this week by Zoom. We have had a very good attendance so far, thank you for taking the time to attend. It is vitally important that you meet with your child’s teacher to get feedback on their progress this year. If for any reason you were unable to attend, please contact your class teacher by e mail or Linda (ph 086 026 1061) and we can arrange a phone call at a later date.
When will school re-open?
As yet, we still have not received guidance from the Department of Education regarding a time frame for reopening of mainstream classes. We are however, opening for our special class in February. Children with additional needs in mainstream will continue to learn remotely with support from our SET teachers. This will be complimented by the In Person Supplementary Programme (similar to July provision). Families have already been contacted if your child is eligible. As soon as I received any details from the Department of Education regarding reopening of the school, I will be in touch.
See Saw & Google Classroom
I must commend all the children on their use of the online platforms used to provide remote learning. They really are working hard at becoming independent learnings. The teachers have noted a significant increase in engagement from their students. Teachers are also providing more work, guided lessons, videos and class zooms this time. Remote teaching takes a huge amount of planning and preparation. Our teachers are working incredibly hard at home. I am delighted to see that our children are too! Of course nothing replaces face to face teaching, but we are trying our best. We look forward to being together in the very near future.
Weekly Assemblies and Class Zooms
Research has shown that a sense of connection is vitally important for children during lockdown. Children need to see their peers and teacher, be it virtually and be part of their school, which represents normal in their lives. There has been a great response to the class Zooms. It is a great social outlet for all the children. We have had huge turn outs at our weekly Learn Together Assemblies which are held every Friday at 11am. We choose a theme each week from the Learn Together Curriculum to highlight. Susan sets an outdoor challenge to encourage the children to go outside and be with nature and we celebrate all the wonderful learning that takes place each week. This week we will be celebrating Chinese and Vietnamese New Year. See you there! Assemblies can be found on our website www.eskeretns.ie or on Twitter @Esker_ETNS.
Carambola food packages
Huge thank you to Carambola for offering food packages again in lieu of school lunches. A delivery of over 300 boxes was made in January. A second deliver will be made in February. I hope these packages have helped a little bit at home. If anyone is struggling at all, please get in touch with me by e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
HSE Health and Wellbeing Newsletter
Please see below the monthly newsletter from the HSE regarding your health and wellbeing https://spark.adobe.com/page/AKbH02yz6HeWh/ , it also gives you useful resources to use with your child. In February and March the HSE are running workshops free online Stress Control programme For information and timetable see stresscontrol.ie.
I know many of you have been in touch with Linda over the past month. Linda is our home school teacher and is your link to school. She is available on 0860261061 or email@example.com.
This month she has organised:
Our PTA is still active during lockdown and Maureen has organised a PTA coffee morning on Friday 12th at 10am on Zoom. Please see their Twitter page @Eskeretnspta1 for more details.
Mid Term Break
The school will be closed from 15th – 19th February inclusive. This means that there will be no remote learning. We encourage you and your children to take a well-earned rest, they have been working hard during the past five weeks. Enjoy some family walks, movies, meals, reading, outdoor challenges, drawing, baking, creating, making and sleep!
Tania has put up a link on See Saw for an art competition for all children. This is entirely optional. This competition is in aid of the Jack and Jill Foundation, which offers support and care to children with severe neurological development issues. It offers respite directly to parent and families. If you would like to take part all the details on how to enter and donate are on See Saw and our website www.eskeretns.ie
It is amazing how much is still going on in Esker despite the school being closed. Again, well done to every child, parent and staff member for keeping it all going. Every week that passes means it is one week closer to reopening. As soon as I have more details, I promise to let you all know.
In the meantime, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the school office at 01 6241462 if you need anything at all.
Be Safe, Be Well and See you all soon!
I hope that you and your families are all keeping safe and well. Firstly, I would like to thank all of the children for their hard work to date. The teachers have all noticed that there has been a significant improvement in engagement online since last March. Thank you to the children for uploading their work and to the parents for supporting their learning at home. It is not an easy task, but you are all doing so well. All we ask is that children try their best and they are. Well done! I know this cannot be easy, with the whole family engaging in online learning along with parents working from home. If you are struggling with anything regarding remote learning get in touch with your class or support teacher.
Unfortunately, it has been announced that schools will not open on 1st of February, as previously planned. This means that remote learning will continue until we receive official communication from the Department of Education regarding reopening dates. I will let you know, as soon as I know. The teachers will continue to upload lessons on Seesaw with guided instructions, daily videos, weekly class Zoom calls and weekly whole school assemblies. We ask that you encourage your child to engage, upload and check in with their teacher as much as they can.
By now, all families who applied for Carambola food packages have received them. A second round will be sent out, if the schools remain closed in February. Date will be confirmed.
I am aware that currently, things are difficult for many families. As as school community, we are here for you! Get in touch if you need anything at all at email@example.com.
Stay well and stay safe,
Dear Parents & Guardians,
An e mail was sent to you all yesterday regarding the announcement made from the Department of Education about the extension of the holidays. Esker ETNS will now reopen on Monday 11th January from 9.10 -9.30am.
This decision was made in an attempt to enhance safety measures in school. As we are now in Level 5 restrictions, please ensure that you and your child adheres to these measures:
Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that we are all working together in order to get the school reopened safely and sustainably.
If you have any queries or concerns, please e mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be in touch, if any further information is provided by the Department of Education.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Here's to a better year!
Be safe and mind each other!
As the holidays are nearly upon us, we take this time to reflect and look back over a very busy and challenging first term. I am incredibly proud and grateful to everyone to getting to this point. We began this term with a certain level of interpretation. No one was quite sure how the weeks would progress. With the dedication and hard work from staff, the equal hard work and cooperation from children and continued support from all the families, we have successfully completed our first term through a pandemic, with minimal disruption. Not only that, we got there smiling and having fun!!!
For that, we would all like to say a massive THANK YOU and well done to everyone!
Here is what has been happening in December in Esker ETNS.
Green School Committee – 5th Green Flag – Biodiversity
Our new Green School Committee working on our 5th Green Flag for Biodiversity have been elected. This year Paula and Grace are leading this very worthwhile initiative and are working with the committee. Students from 5th Green and 5th Red will lead this Flag and will educate the rest of the school on virtual assemblies. They will work alongside our PTA in the Fairy Garden and plan to plant flowers to attract bees and set up a bug motel. Our PTA Garden club found a happy hedgehog in our garden, so we are expecting many more friends to come.
Student council representatives will be democratically elected in all classes to monitor the work on Litter and Waste, Energy, Water and Transport, to maintain our current four Flags.
The Student council held their first virtual meeting on 27th November for all of the senior classes. The student council are in the capable hands of Catherine, this year. Student representatives introduced themselves to the school and explained how important the voice of our students is and how to get your ideas and thoughts heard. Student council will meet virtually once a month, but will communicate using shared documents online. We are so impressed with how the committee have adapted to the current challenges.
The student council are helping the PTA with the Covid-19 Hub Shoebox appeal.
The PTA are quite restricted this year in their fundraisers, as they cannot come into the school. However, they have not let this stop them from fundraising for our school and worthy causes.
Covid-19 Hub – Shoe box appeal
We were made aware of this HSE Covid-19 Hub though the work one of our parents. This hub facilitates the most vulnerable people in society who have nowhere to go during this pandemic. It helps people and families who may need to self-isolate or need to restrict movements, due to Covid. Once we heard about the work that is done here, we knew that we wanted to help. Thank you to Linda, the PTA and Student Council and of course to all of you generous families who have donated new clothes, new toys, sweets, books etc to families who need a little extra this season. We are overwhelmed at the amount that has come in from you all. We know that these items will be gratefully received and will bring a little joy in the lives of people who really deserve and need it. The PTA and Linda will meet next week to assemble the shoe boxes. THANK YOU!
Funny hat day
The PTA have launched the “Funny Hat Day”, fundraiser which will be held on Friday 18th December. Children are welcome to make a hat or to wear a hat that they already own on this day. The PTA will be providing small spot prizes for the most creative hats, so be as creative as you like. They are asking that children bring in €2 towards this fundraiser, if they can.
All funds raised by the PTA goes back into supporting activities for the children in the school.
Virtual Winter Show case
We would normally host a Winter Concert in school in December. We are unable to do so this year, but the children would still like to showcase their amazing work. As you know with restrictions, we are unable to sing, we miss singing. Virtual concerts will be held on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th December and will last 30 minutes each. The times are as follows:
Thursday 17th December - Junior Infants & Senior Infants 10 am - 10:30 am
Friday 18th December - 3rd Class & 4th Class 11:15am - 11:45am
We will send out the Zoom codes by e mail on the morning of the assemblies. We look forward to seeing lots of friendly faces online.
The school Holidays begin on Tuesday 22nd of December. This is a half day. School will close early. Please see the staggered closing times below. We ask that you strictly adhere to the times and also the logistics plan.
School will reopen on Wednesday 6th January at from 9.10 – 9.30pm and closing time will be as normal.
Last day of school – Logistics Plan
Please see below for collection times on Tuesday 22nd December.
Where possible, we are asking all families, please DO NOT BRING YOUR CAR INTO THE SCHOOL GROUNDS – this will be an extremely busy day. Please park on Castle road, Lucan leisure centre or elsewhere and walk to collect your child. It is very important that YOU COLLECT YOUR CHILD ON TIME. We have allowed 10 minutes between each collection time. We are relying on you to BE ON TIME.
Junior Infants 12pm
Senior Infants 12.10pm
1st & 2nd Class 12.20pm
3rd – 6th Class 12.30pm
Please remember that parents from 3rd – 6th class should not be on the school grounds (unless your child has SEN). Please arrange a meeting point either on Castle road or outside the main entrance.
Linda has been very busy this term. Although she cannot do home visits or invite parents into school, she is working hard at keeping parents connected and to be part of your child’s education.
School Transfer talk
Linda hosted a school transfer talk on 25th November to parents of 4th – 5th class. She explained the new Admission policy and how to apply for a second level place for children. Please note, you apply for second level school when your child is in 6th class now.
Crafty Club house & Online cooking
Linda hosted her first virtual crafty clubhouse. She posted out hot chocolate and crafts to all participants. I heard it was a great success. Parents will be making tomato and basil pizza sauce this week. YUM!
Clover stands for Children Love Reading. This is a literacy initiative sponsored by South Dublin Libraries. They provide books to our new Junior infant children. Every junior infant child received a CLOVER pack. An online meeting was held on 1st December December, with parents, Linda, Gemma and Emma from Lucan library. We talked about the importance of reading to and with your child and the useful free services that are available to all families in Lucan. All library services and classes are free and best of all the library is open!
If your child suffers with a chronic health condition, it is very important that we have this information and medication (if necessary). Please contact the office on 01 6241462 to arrange a meeting with the class teacher and Grace (email@example.com).
We wish all of our families who celebrate Christmas, a very happy and peaceful time. To our families who do not celebrate, we wish you a safe and relaxing break with your family and a time for all the children to recharge their batteries. They have all worked incredibly hard this term and deserve a rest.
If you are travelling outside of Ireland, we ask that you restrict your movements for 14 days from date of arrival, regardless if you have taken a Covid-19 test in the airport. We ask you to follow all government guidelines, so we can remain a safe space when we return in the new year.
Again parents, I would like to thank you for putting your trust in us this year. We have worked so hard to maintain the safety standards in the school, while providing a fun, stimulating, child centred, safe and inclusive school for all. I appreciate all of your cooperation and look forward to seeing you all in the new year.