St Clares Primary School

Education is for Life

Archive for August, 2017

Annual Report 2016/17

I would like to thank all our staff, pupils, parents, Board of Management, Parent Association and the local community for their support and cooperation over the past year.

Pupil’s reports were issued by e mail on Monday June 19th, written reports were available from Wednesday 21st .The reports inform our parents of their child’s educational development across all subject areas and report on the years behaviour and attendance from the class teachers perspective. We advise parents to use this report to inform themselves of the child’s strengths and areas of concern as our reports are intended to give a clear and honest appraisal of each pupil with a view to planning the future progress of each pupil individually.

Literacy and numeracy standards remain a high priority in the school and our reports try to indicate to parents the level of achievement reached. We use standardised National tests which give STEN scores or Reading /spelling ages .The STEN is a  rating  1 to 10, 10 being the best indicating your child is in the top 10% for their class in Ireland while 1 would indicate your child being in the lowest 10% for their age or class in the country.

The Bury, Junior Infant Test has a maximum score of 60. Some classes use literacy or Maths tests both scored out of 100. Senior Infants also have a MIST( Middle Infant Screening Test) test

Other subject area are reported using standard of achievement, participation /enjoyment levels and individual talent. P.E. takes sportsmanship into account, S.P.H.E. takes practical application of healthy eating and bullying awareness into account.

This year we allocated blocks of time to each of the SESE subject areas Science ( October ) , History ( January ) and Geography    ( May ). We had a really impressive and successful Science Day and History Museum Day in all the classes. All classes were taken on educational trips throughout the year .Through these outings the children get a real experience of Science, Maths, History and Geography.

Our Learning Support and special needs support team continue to plan and deliver individualised support for many pupils using both withdrawal and in classroom methods. Teamwork is a key feature in terms of the support delivered. Ongoing professional development by our teachers plays a huge role is ensuring all pupils get a high quality of teaching

Our school garden goes from strength to strength with the assistance of Chris Warbuton ( Parent 4th). This summer we hope to add  a number of features to add to its potential as an outdoor learning space.

Our choirs performed at all our church occasions. At Christmas this year we put a special focus on music as all classes learned the carols and Christmas favourites performing in the local community at Arus Brefni , The Health Board offices , Supervalue  and the farmers market. Singing is an important part of our culture and all our children can sing a good repertoire in either English or irish and most importantly love to sing and enjoy music.

All classes from 1stto 6th were again taken to swimming lessons. We are keen to continue with our target that every child leaves this school able to swim at a reasonably competent level. Many of our school tours in the senior classes are now water based which are now really popular with the majority of our children.

6th class this year were given the option of a week in the Gaeltacht. The idea is intended to foster a love of our language which is the focus of the school in relation to the teaching of Irish.

We participated in many art events including Sligo Feis Art Credit Union art and Manorhamilton Show competitions .We also hosted an exhibition of school art in the Sculpture Centre this year in February. The school public areas , hall and corridiors , have ever changing eye-catching art displays

The school has participated and promoted a wide range of activities both during and after school this year. Soccer, Gaelic football, hurling, Chess , dance, Cycling,  athletics, art, drama, rugby, tennis and table tennis were all made available to our pupils. Both girls and boys from 2nd to 6th  ( A total of 84 pupils) participated in football including the school Friday Football League and the 15 a side North Leitrim / South Donegal League . We took part in a number of athletic events including cross country and Indoor athletics. All our classes from 1st to 6th took part in the 3km /5km Kidz on the run which took place in the beautiful Milltown Woods this year . We had teams in the FAI 5 a side schools event including the Connacht Finals.

Our Chess players participated in events in Ballinasloe, Longford , Malahide and Sligo and these included National and international events .The Chess Club / Chess for Learning Programme finishes this year. Each child from Senior Infants to  to 6th class can now play chess . 2 pupils Susan Aji and Gemma Mullholland represented Ireland in the European Chess Championships this summer .

The school grounds, building and all weather pitch have been made available for all those promoting activities for children and is provided free of charge by the school so that activities can be accessed at a reasonable rate for our parents. Activities this year have included sports, drama , dance ,Tai Chi  traditional music, chess and piano. Our measure of success outside the academic areas is participation.

We strongly encourage parents to get their children involved in activities in the community outside of school time For children involvement in an activity with their peers is essential for social reasons, thus we promote involvement in clubs and activities in the community.

Our school ethos encourages and values child participation over winning and we count successes in numbers participating rather and overall enjoyment rather than in trophies won. The real benefits for school, child or  parent is the fun and enjoyment experienced, the friends made, the skills learned and the health benefits attached.

We are a Catholic school and we cater for children of all faiths and none and approximately 20 % of our pupils are non-Catholic. We make provision for non-Catholic children during religion time or during catholic events. Religion teaching is timetabled before or after the 12:30 break or last 30 minutes in the evening so parents, if they so wish can remove their child from the school for this period . Otherwise alternate activity during religion time in the classroom is facilitated and parents are welcome to send in an activity for the religion time. The teachers teach the Catholic Grow in Love programme and Fr. Oliver, Sr.Kathleen and parent volunteer teams do most of the work preparing the Catholic children for the sacraments outside of school time . Sr. Kathleen who assisted in the parish Be My Witness and the Do this in Memory of Me preparation programmes is retiring this year and we would like to thank her for the work she has done over many years and wish her the best in her retirement . We had mass during school time on 3 occasions to mark the beginning and end of the school year and also on Dec.8th

We had a very enjoyable End of year Dragons Den event with 6th class. Throughout the year the class took part in a savings scheme organised by the pupils themselves. In the Den the oral skills and practical maths ability were combined to great effect. Their end of year debate ‘Primary School Days are the best days of your Life’ was also a great reflection of the confidence and abilities promoted through the school.

Prevention of bullying and the promotion of wellness and positive mental health for pupils and staff continues to be a major challenge .We continue to believe that prevention and early effective intervention is the key to success in this area. Our No Blame policy in relation to Bullying is extremely important and we encourage all pupils, parents and staff to understand and respect this approach. Building resilience is also essential. We ran a very successful Social Media Awareness and Cyber Bullying information workshop for all staff, children and parents 3rd to 6th early in the school year.

First break has been firmly established in the school as fruit break.  This is a vital part of our Health promoting Schools policy in promoting healthy lifestyles. We ran the Food Dude programme this year as well introducing the pupils to new tastes and hopefully new ideas for parents for fruit break next year .

School Year for 2017/18  . The teachers and classes for next year are as follows. Please note these are provisional and may change in September if circumstances change.

Class Teachers

Junior Infs.  Ms. Roisin Jenkins.    Senior Infs.   Ms. Claire Gibbons .

1st Class Mr Padraig Ward.  2nd Class Mrs Fidelma Fox      

3rd Class Ms.Aisling Gordon  4th Class  Ms Claire Sheerin

5th Class   Ms Mc Dermott   6th  Class  Mr. Michael Dolan

Learning Support and Special Needs Support Team –

We have an ethos of inclusion in St. Clare’s, for all children including children with special educational needs. Guided by the special education teachers, we provide individual educational programmes for our S.N. pupils. Our highly qualified team of special education teachers provide in-class support in literacy and numeracy. We implement innovative team-teaching strategies which benefit all our pupils. Our teachers engage in continuous professional development and collaborate to produce successful outcomes for all our pupils.

Maeve Conlon ( Special needs Coordinator) ,Ms Irene Kerrigan , Ms. Stephanie Kelly. Assistants are Roisin Kelly  Geraldine Kivlehan and Tracy Stewart (Infant Day ).

Book Purchase SchemeThe school book scheme operates as in previous years.  All pupils pay €100 .This covers the costs throughout the year including all books, insurance, tests, art supplies and photocopying and school trips.

We are online at www.stclaresprimary.scoilnet.ie  and we have adopted the online school management Aladdin system for all communications both text and e mail. Our website and blog pages are regularly updated. Through these we communicate all policy information and general news, photos and information of interest for all staff, parents and pupils. E-mail and e payments are now the most popular means of communicating with the school and we encourage our parents to use both . Paper option is also available.

We reopen for pupils on Wednesday August 30th .New Infants will go home at 12 for the first 3 days. PLEASE NOTE that changes may be required as part of contingency arrangements to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures. Where contingency arrangements are required the BOM may reduce the length of the Easter break by remaining open up to Wednesday March 28th 2018 or may extend the school year until June 30th 2018.

We open for pupils on Wednesday 30 August. We will close from Monday 30 October to Fri.3rd November. At Christmas we close from Friday 22nd December, which will be the final day of the school term to Friday 5 January. We will re-open on Monday 8 January. At February mid-term the school will close on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February 2018. For Easter Break we will close on Friday 23rd March, which will be the final day of the school term. We will re-open on Monday 9 April. We close on Friday 22 June 2018.

As part of the summer Works Scheme the school hall and a number of classrooms were re roofed . The school was completely repainted internally this summer. Work will take place also this September on the pedestrian entrance and walkway from Mc Dermott terrace which we hope to have suitable for buggies etc. We also hope to develop the garden and waste ground area to extend the  play-space for our 230 pupils .

The 27 pupils from 6th class move on to St Clare’s Comprehensive . We wish them the best of luck. We reopen for pupils and welcome 29 new enrolments on Wednesday August 30th . All afterschool activities will commence on Monday September 4th with Registration on Thursday August 31st at 1pm .Early in the next school year we intend to review policies on homework, school tours and any other policy or procedures brought to our attention via the parent nominees on the board.

Our thanks to the Board of Management members who give of their time voluntarily for the benefit of the children parents and community . Kieran Ryan ( Chairperson ), Fr. Oliver Kelly ( Bishops Nominee),Sinead Connolly and  Liam Gilligan ( Parents) , Stephanie Kelly  ( Teacher),Ann Gilligan and Maria Lynch(Community) .

Our sincere thanks to all our parents who have been so supportive throughout the 2016/17 year, A special word of thanks to the Parents Association Committee members Declan Drohan , Greg Ruteksvi ,Chris Boyle , Denise O Reilly , Georgina Meehan  and Jackie Fox and also all of the class parent nominees. We look forward to another successful year working together in 2017/18.Mrs O Neill retires this year and we thank her for her contribution to the school over many years. We wish her a health and happiness in her retirement .

We welcome a new member of staff Aisling Gordon and welcome back Ms Claire Gibbons for another year .  We look forward to another successful year ahead for all pupils , staff parents and community .

Yours Sincerely,

_____________________________.

John Conlon (School Principal) August 28th , 2017.