New Deputy Principal
Catherine was successfully appointed the New Deputy Principal. Catherine is a founding staff member of Esker ETNS and is well loved by children, staff and parents. She is our Special Educational Needs coordinator and keeps the children busy with whole school literacy initiatives. I am delighted that I will be working closely with Catherine over the coming years. I would like to wish Catherine a huge congratulations and the very best of luck in her new role.
As you know, student voice is a big part of Esker. Our student council consists of children from 3rd – 6th Class. A boy and girl from each class has been elected following a democratic vote. 6th class learned all about proportional representation and the importance of using your vote. The new committee will meet on Zoom at the end of the month. It is important for children to learn the process of getting your voice heard, and acting positively on causes that are important to you. Small changes can have big effects.
Green School Committee
We were awarded our 4th Green Flag in June for Transport. This was a result of two years of hard work in gathering evidence on how our children travel to school, carrying out transport audits, promoting initiatives for sustainable travel and monitoring results. We saw a HUGE shift in attitudes in children and parents regarding sustainable travel. Well done everyone! This was definitely a whole school effort. Our bike and scooter racks are full every day.
This year we begin our new journey towards our 5th Green Flag – Biodiversity. 5th Class will become our Biodiversity experts and will lead this process. Classes 1st – 6th will democratically elect Green school representatives who will monitor water, energy, transport and waste actions, to renew these flags.
Ventilation – staying warm
As you are aware the weather is getting colder and the windows and doors must remain open in order to provide adequate ventilation in the classrooms. I would like you to know that doors and windows are wide open during break times and morning drop off to air out spaces. When the children are in class, the windows are left open by 1inch and the door is ajar. This maintains a circulation, but allows the heaters to work and the temperature to rise. We have CO2 monitors in all of our classrooms, which are on Green. This tells us that circulation of fresh air is effective. It would still be advisable to put layers of clothes on your child. We invited Angela (Health and Safety of BOM) and Maureen (Chairperson of the PTA) to come and inspect the school.
Music Generation is a music group run by SDCC. Their aim is to promote all genres and types of music to children, using fully trained professional musicians. In previous years, the PTA have helped fund this programme for classes. Usually, Music Generation has provided singing lessons for children. Due to restrictions, we are unable to sing because of the production of droplets in a closed space. As a result, Music Generation is providing percussion classes to 3rd and 4th for 10 weeks. The children really enjoyed it yesterday. I am looking forward to their first performance.
Covid-19 reminders – morning drop off / collection / sickness / appointments etc.
I would like to extend a massive thank you all again for your continued support and cooperation with all of our protocols. I know as the weather gets worse, it will be more difficult not to use the car to bring/collect older children to school, but I ask you to continue to help us. Below is a quick reminder our Covid-19 protocols:
· JI – 2nd class and Special Educational Needs children – parents can come on the grounds to drop off point in the morning and collect from designated points at home time
· 3rd – 6th class – parents please DO NOT come on the grounds. Drop /collect your child at Castle Road.
· Please always wear masks properly if you are collecting children from lines.
· Please socially distance when talking with your friends.
· No parents in main entrance – please call school number (01 6241462) and we will come out to you
· Please keep sick children home
· Remind your child about the importance of handwashing / distancing
· If your child has an appointment you can collect them by calling the office on 01 6241462 – we will bring the child out to you. CHILDREN CANNOT RETURN TO SCHOOL AFTER AN APPOINTMENT.
· Please keep a child home if anyone in house is going for a Covid-19 test.
· Please keep a child home if someone in the house has Covid-19 symptoms.
· Please keep me informed if there is anything Covid related you think I need to know.
Thank you to all the parents who have informed me of anything to date. Please know that I will deal with your information in the strictest of confidence. I really do appreciate you support.
Infant curricular meetings
Every year we invite out infant parents to school, to explain the curriculum, homework and a day in the life of their infant. Our meetings took place on Wednesday 18th November on Zoom. It was great to see such a good virtual turn out. Many thanks to our teachers for facilitating this.
PTA AGM – new committee
The PTA are such an integral part of our school. They held their AGM on Friday the 13th November on Zoom. Maureen gave us a very comprehensive report on the PTA activity last year. There were lots of photos to help us remember “the good old days”. The committee elections were the final item on the agenda. I am delighted to inform you the PTA committee for 2020/21 is:
Chairperson – Maureen
Vice Chair – Saaba
Treasurer – Deepa
Secretary – Janice
Well done ladies! Thank you for your continued hard work, support and contribution to the wonderful spirit in the school.
Learn together assemblies – 5th Green / 2nd special guests
What makes Educate Together schools different from denomination schools is that we follow a Learn Together curriculum instead of religious instruction. We provide equality based education. We promote this in the school by holding weekly Learn Together assemblies. This is a great way for classes to connect and learn from each other.
We have senior and junior assemblies. They are held on Zoom this year. We also promote literacy, numeracy and other whole school initiatives. During these assemblies one class prepares a presentation for the rest of the school based on a topic they have studied from the Learn Together curriculum. They may be:
§ Belief systems
§ Ethics and the environment
§ Equality and Justice
§ Moral and Spiritual.
I look forward to our Friday assembly every week!
Parent teacher meetings – DES guidelines
We would normally have our parent teacher meetings in November for 3rd – 6th and JI – 2nd class in February. These are short 10 minute meetings with your class teacher, where an oral report is provided regarding the academic and social progress of your child. We were advised by the Department of Education to wait for guidance on this process this year. We have decided to hold all Parent teacher meetings in February. They will be on Zoom for a 10 minute session per child. We will send out details on Aladdin Connect nearer the time. In the meantime, if you have any concerns that you would like to discuss with your child’s class teacher, you can email (**name of teacher**)@eskeretns.ie.
Admissions – Junior Infants 2021
We opened our online admissions for Junior Infants 2021 on 8th of October. The closing date is today, 19th November. Places will be offered from 30th November, you will have until 14th December to accept the place. Any application received after this date will go on a waiting list.
We would normally hold a Winter Concert in December, so classes can perform winter songs and poems for all the parents. Unfortunately, due to restrictions, we are unable to accommodate our favourite event. Instead, there will be a Zoom concert for classes arranged. A note will be sent home nearer the time, informing you of the time and date. Parents and guardians will be invited during the day to log on.
Linda is our home school liaison teacher and is well known to many of you. Her main role is to support parents to support their children in in school. While she has had to move to the online space, she is still working really hard in getting parents involved in school life.
· Maths week was in October – there were lots of fun activities in school, including a Kahoot table quiz for 5th and 6th.
· She will be holding a school transfer talk for parents 4th – 5th class on 25th November on Zoom
· She will be sending CLOVER reading books to Junior infant parents and holding a meeting on 1st December on Zoom at 10am
· The Crafty Club House will start on Zoom on Wednesday 2nd December, where she will send out the crafts to work online together.
· Linda is focusing on Road Safety this month and has sent home ladybird / turtle high viz jackets to any cyclers. Please wear helmets and high viz when cycling (please send any photos of your child wearing them to email@example.com). Please wear seatbelts when in the car at all times.
We are staying apart and out of the school, but you can connect with each other online. It is a great way to meet friends, get to know teachers and learn more about the school.
It has been a very busy month so far, but an enjoyable one. Thank you to all of you, for your continued support in helping us to keep the school safe for everyone. It is important that we all work together to sustain the safety in Esker ETNS.
I want to assure you that your children are in good hands here. Your children are learning, they are happy and they are safe.
If you would like to get in touch with me for any reason, please e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates from Gemma about our school.