Autumn Term Newsletter 2022
Welcome back to school! We are so happy to see everyone again and welcome the new children to our school.
We welcome our new children; Sarah, Rowan and Senan in Junior Infants. We also welcome Filip in 1st class, Anne in 2nd class and Teal in 5th class.
We celebrate harvest each year at Holy Trinity. This year we hope to resume the tradition of harvest soup where the 5th & 6th class prepare a soup for the whole school. On Friday 23rd September everyone is asked to contribute one vegetable and to bring a named spoon and bowl to eat the soup. Any leftover vegetables will be used to decorate the church for the Harvest Festival. More details to follow.
Harvest Church Service
The Harvest Service will take place in Holy Trinity church on Sunday 25th September at 4pm.Our new Bishop Michael will attend. The children are performing a song at this service and some will be asked to read and help at the service. I ask that as many as possible attend as all children will be performing on the day. There will be tea afterwards in the school hall, contributions of sandwiches, biscuits and cakes are welcome.
Benchmark Trail Brochure
A little while ago we had a visit from the Ordnance Survey looking for a height above sea level benchmark. The senior room teacher, Meriel Donaghy, and children were interested. We knew very little about these benchmarks, or “crows’ feet” as they are also known as, and we were intrigued, especially as we had one “hiding” on our old school building. With help and funding from Burren Beo Trust, the senior room created a trail of Westport benchmarks for everyone to use. It was a great project as the children did it all.... looking at old maps to locate the benchmarks, finding the benchmarks in the town, the writing, the photos and the drawings.
The Senior Room have been awarded a “highly commended” award from the Burren Beo Trust for the brochure they have created. We will formally launch the Crows’ Feet Trail on 6th Oct at 2pm in the Town Hall. All are welcome to attend.
School Charter of Rights and Responsibilities
We have a School Charter of Rights and Responsibilities. This Charter was written collaboratively by teachers and pupils and was inspired by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We have spoken about this at assembly and in our classrooms. Please read this with your child and sign the Charter, as it underpins our aim to strive for best learning experiences for our children. The Charter will be attached to your child’s homework diary.
We have a healthy eating policy so please do not give your child fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolate bars or crisps for lunch. We ask that each child has a lunchbox and takes home his/her own lunchtime waste. Everyone is responsible for their own waste. We are aiming to reduce plastic and tin foil waste in lunch boxes.
We operate a book rental scheme. All textbooks are rented for a small fee. Workbooks and copies have to be paid for in full. A bill will be sent to you in the next few weeks.
Thank you to all who have named their child’s pencils etc. Reminder, please provide your child with a named scissors and pritt stick. Thank you to those who have already done this. Senior room students will need a 30cm ruler. Also, children from 1st to 6th will need their own headphones whenever they work on iPads. Headphones may be left in school in a named plastic bag. Finally, don’t forget a raincoat; we will always endeavour to get outside for break times.
Homework is given throughout the school. This is work to reinforce what is done in school. Homework is recorded in your child’s Homework Journal. Please sign the journal to record that homework is complete and please, please sign your child’s reading card so that your teacher knows that books are read. This applies to all children from Junior Room to Senior Room. Please note the length of time that your child should spend on homework:
Junior and Senior Infants 20 minutes
1st and 2nd Classes 25 minutes
3rd and 4th Classes 35 minutes
5th and 6th Classes 45 minutes
Swimming, Irish Dancing, Drama, Ukulele, French and PE
Dancing will recommence on Thursdays at a cost of €3 a week. Please note children remove shoes for dancing. Please ensure your child is wearing velcro shoes, or please ensure they can tie their own shoelaces!
Drama will recommence on Wednesdays at €2 a week. A bill will be sent at the end of term.
Swimming: The Senior Room will do swimming lessons for 6 weeks this term. A bill has already been sent for this.
Ukulele: The Middle and Senior Rooms are invited to ukulele lessons after school with Catherine McGlinchey. Please let school know if you would like to attend and I will let you know when the lessons will commence.
French: The Senior Room will learn French during school time in the summer term. This is a Department of Education initiative and we are very happy to take part.
PE: Junior Room have PE on Tuesdays, Middle Room on Thursdays and Senior Room on Fridays.
Forest School will continue this year. This will feature regular sessions in woodland rather than a one-off visit. Classes will make weekly visits to Westport House grounds over a certain timeframe of 4 to 6 weeks providing children with the opportunity to experience the curriculum outdoors. Parents will be given notice of “Forest Days” and children will need to come to school with appropriate clothing and footwear. More details to follow.
Walk to School and WoW Days
It is National Walk to school week from 19th to 21st September. Next Wednesday is a WoW day (Walk on Wednesdays!). Please see attached a park and stride permit which allows you to park at certain locations and then walk to school.
The story so far..... Plans for our new school are progressing well. At the moment, a design team is in the process of being appointed. We look forward to collaboration with the architect so that we have input in the design of our new school.
School Opening Time
School opens at 9.05am. Lessons commence at 9.25am. Please aim to have your child in class no later than 9.15 to allow time to settle in and prepare for the day. Junior and Senior Infant collection is at 1.45pm. Please collect infants promptly at 1.45pm. This ensures First Class have their teacher to themselves for the last hour of the day. School ends at 2.45pm for other classes.