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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Updates from Gemma about our school.