Principal’s Letter

Dear Parents

I welcome you all to another school year, especially those of you who are parents of the school for the first time. I hope that the 2019/20 school year will be every bit as successful as last year, and that our pupils will continue to flourish and experience a wide range of activities.

I welcome our new P.P, Father Aidan Murphy to the Parish, I am sure that the long-established links between school, home and Parish will continue to flourish. To this end, monthly events will begin after the P4 Enrollment Mass in December for those pupils making their First Communion.

I am sure you are well aware of the financial constraints placed upon us, and all involved in the education sector, but I and the entire staff of St Mary’s, recognise that we are extremely fortunate in the quality of relationships and support we enjoy from our families and community, for this we thank you.

During this year, we will run a number of non-uniform days for different worthy causes, but our main fundraising event is our “Annual Fancy Dress, Sponsored Walk” at Halloween, which raises vital school funds. This year it will take place on Friday, 25th of October.

We strongly believe in promoting mutual understanding between different people and cultures, to this end we run a number of projects across the school.

  1. Connecting Classes through Global Learning: last year we hosted a group of Nepalese Principals and teachers on a week-long trip to Northern Ireland, along with 9 other school from across Northern Ireland. This included organising training for all involved and promoting our area through visits to local sites of significance culturally and socially.
  2. ERASMUS+ KA2: school partnership project: Our involvement in our ERASMUS+ KA2, School Partnership Project continues. Our established partner schools are: Scoil Eoin Pol, Loch an luir , Donegal,

Begonazpi Ikastola, Bilbao, Spain, Ecole Sainte Famile, Amiens, France and Monothesio Nipiagogio, Neou Zygou, Greece. This year our project will focus on music.

  1. Shared Education: Our Foundation and KS1 Stage classes will continue to work with Dun Dealgan National School, on a Peace Initiative Funding Programme, “Shared Education”, promoting mutual understanding here in Ireland.
  2. Local Study: “The Goat Project”- Our P5 pupils will have opportunity this term to work on a local history project with, Dromintee Primary School and Mulranney National School, Mayo. This will focus on the historical links between the communities through the trading of goats. Local artists from both communities along with IT Professionals will work with pupils for all 3 schools when Mulranney staff, pupils and parents visit us in October.
  3. E Twinning: Our Nursery Class are embarking on their first ever “E-twinning Project” with a school in Norway and  we wish them all the best in their new adventure.

Second language acquisition: We recognise the importance of being exposed to a second language from a young age and we will continue to promote second language acquisition through: celebrating events, such as “European International Languages Day” on Sept. 26th and through hosting pupils from our partner schools in France and Spain, as well as through weekly Mandarin lessons for our P4-P7 with Mr Wan Li.

I remind you that packed lunches should follow the guidelines in the school’s Healthy Eating Policy.  Crisps, nuts, fizzy juice, Nutella and kiwi are not permitted, we ask that you respect this as we have a number of children with allergies.  Pupils receive a monthly Dinner Menu, this is also posted to the school website for your reference.

We promote independence in our pupils and we thank you for your cooperation and support in this. A reminder of the procedures in place to promote independence are given below:

  1. Children dropped off by car or who have walked to school with a parent/guardian are to make their own way into school from the main gate.
  2. Dinner money/any other monies to be submitted in an envelope by the child to his/her class teacher (envelopes available from Office)
  3. Pupils to have and be responsible for their own essential items i.e. rubbers, pencils sharpeners, pencil case, lunch boxes and items of clothing. Please label items with indelible ink!
  4. Wallets for younger pupils are issued to keep school books separate from lunch boxes, KS2 pupils are  to back homework text books in a protective backing.

In addition we ask:

  1. That books are returned to the school, if lost or defaced they are to be paid for.
  2. Homework/weekly tests to be signed.
  3.  Pupils should not return to classrooms to collect “forgotten”, homework/other materials/clothing, after they have left the classroom for the day.
  4. Pupils should have a light rain-coat, with hood, with them at all times, to allow for outdoor play and activities.

We recommend the following times are spent on completion of homework:

Primary One 15-20 mins
Primary Two 15-20 mins
Primary Three 20-30 mins
Primary Four 30-40 mins
Primary Five 30-40 mins
Primary Six 40-60 mins
Primary Seven 40-60 mins outside of “Transfer” preparation

Parent /teacher meetings will occur on the week beginning Monday 21st October, before the Halloween break.

However, if you have any concerns about your child’s progress feel free to contact myself or Miss Paula Mulkerns. Please do not approach class teachers without first making an appointment.

I remind you that all visitors to the school, should enter through the Main Entrance and first report to the office before picking up children from classrooms or yards.

St. Mary’s is a Catholic School, a community of faith which values the whole development of all our pupils and to this end, we intend to continue with activities to help promote better health, spirituality and the well-being of our pupils through a wide range of school based and after school activities. Whilst to this end we will be continuing with many well established programmes, we will also introduce a number of significant new programmes to our “Extended School Activities”, involving parents as well as pupils, details of these will follow in due course.

Yours sincerely

Peter McDonnell