Wednesday letter – 2nd September 2015

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Dear Parents and Friends,

I hope you all have had a relaxing and refreshing summer break. As a staff, we look forward to working closely with you as partners in the education of your child/children. We were overwhelmed by your generosity and thoughtfulness as always at the end of last year. Your good wishes, cards and gifts were MUCH appreciated by us all! Thank you! As before, we will endeavour to communicate with parents and friends via our weekly ‘Wednesday Letter’ and through our school website. I would draw your attention to several details and stress their importance to maintain the efficient running of our school.

General Reminders

  • Please ensure that your child wears FULL SCHOOL UNIFORM at all times. Each item of clothing, school bags and lunch boxes should be CLEARLY LABELLED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME.
  • The only jewellery permitted to be worn in school are watches and plain, small, stud earrings. All jewellery to be removed during sporting activities and PE lessons. These items remain the responsibility of the pupils. Stud earrings should be covered with plasters if they are unable to be removed. Plasters should be sent in for PE lessons if this is the case.
  • Make up and nail polish are not permitted to be worn in school. Any child found to be wearing makeup will be asked to remove it. Hair decoration should be simple and practical and long hair should be tied up. 
  • P4-7 pupils should bring a PE kit each week for PE lessons, which includes shorts/track suit bottoms, t-shirt/sweatshirt and trainers/plimsolls. They should also bring an Art Shirt which can remain in school.
  • Reception – P3 pupils should bring slip-on plimsolls to change into for PE in a named bag to be kept in school. They should also bring an Art Shirt which can remain in school.
  • Mobile Phones are NOT permitted in school. Exceptions can be made with regard to transport and medical conditions. Please contact the school should such a need arise.
  • All homework should be seen and signed by a parent or guardian.
  • If pupils are taken out of school during term time for any period of time, you will appreciate that it is difficult for teachers to plan work ahead. School cannot send work with children when they go on holiday during term time.
  • Parents must ensure that children arrive on time for the beginning of lessons at 9.10am and that they are collected promptly at the end of their school day (2pm and 3pm) if they do not travel on the bus.
  • Teachers are not on duty until 8.45am each morning when supervision begins.
  • Except in extreme circumstances, appointments (eg. doctor/dentist) for children should try to be made outside school hours so that pupils do not miss valuable teaching time. Regular attendance is essential if a child is to make progress. Rolls will be called both morning and afternoon and attendance will be monitored by the Educational Welfare Officer if your child’s attendance falls below 85%.
  • When absence is necessary, a brief note from the parent, WITH THE RELEVANT DATE(S) INSERTED, GIVING A REASON FOR THE ABSENCE should be brought to school on return. This will be retained in the child’s file. A note is necessary for computer attendance records, as required by the Educational Welfare Officer. I would also ask you to ring the school office in the morning to inform us of your child’s absence.
  • Children who have been ill/sick during the night should NOT be sent to school.
  • Places on a bus are provided by the NEELB. The school has no role in the allocation of seats. However, behaviour on the buses must be of the highest standard and those pupils who do not respect this, may have their place on the bus revoked. The school works closely with the NEELB and Ulsterbus to monitor behaviour and I would ask that parents continue to help to develop safe and sensible attitudes in their children.
  • Children should be well behaved and well-mannered in school. The staff will act in line with the school’s Positive Behaviour policy and will endeavour to keep parents informed about both good and inappropriate behaviour. Parents are asked to support the school’s endeavours in dealing with indiscipline.
  • Animals or pets should NOT be brought into the school grounds for Health and Safety reasons.

Water Bottles and Healthy Breaks

You are already aware that we implement a Healthy Break Policy. This encourages pupils to bring fresh water every day which they can drink during school to help them to concentrate and to keep them refreshed. A healthy break must be fruit, a bread product, milk or water. Our Break Club allows pupils to purchase items every day. We would appreciate your support in carrying this initiative forward on a daily basis.

Medical Information

Whilst data information sheets have been sent to Dawn, please notify the school office of any changes to your child’s medical information. If your child experiences any allergies to First Aid treatments, such as plasters, cotton wool, sterile dressing pads, baby wipes, vinegar (for wasp stings) and latex gloves, please also inform the school office. Unless we are informed, these items may be used if your child requires First-Aid treatment. Please remember that only prescribed medication may be administered to children during the school day and it should be brought to the school office where the necessary forms should be completed.

Monies

A school dinner will cost £2.50 per day. For Break Club, the following items are available; – wheaten/soda bread – 40p, toast – 25p, fruit pots (Thursday only) – 55p, apples & oranges – 20p, pears 25p  and all other fruits 30p. These prices are controlled by EA. Milk money is £1 per week. Kitchen staff are no longer allowed to prepare fruit (peeling/slicing apples etc) for children having packed lunches due to health and safety reasons. We would appreciate parents sending the exact money as change is not always available in school. Cheques should be made payable to the EA/ Education Authority and must have the cheque card number and the school name on the back of the cheque. Yellow envelopes have been provided to make this process easier.

Contacting the School

Any parent wishing to discuss their child’s progress is invited to do so. Please contact the office if you need to and Dawn will be able to make the appropriate arrangements with Mrs Smyth or class teachers

Swimming

Mrs Browne’s/Mr Bell’s P5/6 class will commence swimming on Monday 7th September 2015 for all of Term 1. Mrs Milligans P5’s/P7 pupils will go swimming during Term 3. The cost to each pupil will be £2.00 per week, plus £1 for a locker, which is returned. Parents of P5-7 pupils should complete the reply slip at the end of the letter and return it by Friday 4th September 2015.

223 Club

223 Club has already recommenced with Sharon. The cost is £1.50 per day. Places for P1-3 pupils are limited and must be booked by completing the booking slip each Monday, which should be placed inside the Yellow Envelope along with the correct money.

Permission Slips

During each year, our pupils go out of school on many occasions for various reasons in the local area eg. field trips, educational/curriculum visits, sporting activities, church events and services, Gunagh Park. It is necessary to obtain parents’ permission for such activities. Please complete the form at the end of this letter which will cover all such visits this school year and return it to the class teacher by Wednesday 9th September 2015.

Primary Records of Achievement (ROA)

Each pupil is presented with a Record of Achievement when he/she leaves primary school. The ROA provides a valuable summary of each pupil’s achievements and accomplishments both within and outside school, during the primary phase. Parents can help by making sure the school is provided with a copy of any certificates or successes outside school for Dawn to place in the ROA. Please note that this information is necessary for all pupils in Reception to P7.

Vouchers and Tokens

We will let you know of any items which the school may be collecting.

After School Clubs

Details of our after school provision will be issued in the coming weeks.

 

Diary Dates

Whilst the school term dates have already been issued, other events taking place in Term 1 are listed below. We will endeavour to keep to these dates (though they are subject to change) and will inform you at the earliest opportunity of any changes.

Community Announcements

Community announcements will be included in each ‘Wednesday Letter’, such as BB/GB, Scouts/Guides, Table Quizzes, Treasure Hunts etc. If you are involved in a local group and have an event that you would like publicised, please send the details to the school.

I do appreciate that this is quite a comprehensive news sheet, but as always, we appreciate your cooperation in all the matters outlined and thank you in anticipation of your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

L. Smyth

(Acting Principal)