School hours are as follows:
- Infants Classes: 8.40am to 1.30pm
- First & Second Class: 8.40am to 2.30pm
- Third & Fourth Class: 8.30am to 2.20pm
- Fifth & Sixth Class: 8.30am to 2.30pm
The school door is opened at 8.30am for 3rd to 6th Class and siblings. The school insurance company request that parents be reminded that children who are left outside the school before that time are not covered by insurance. In the case of any accident, neither the Board of Management nor the teaching staff can be held responsible. For that same reason, children must be collected promptly at the end of the school day. If someone different is collecting your child from school, you must inform the teacher. Special arrangements have been made in relation to classes, which are held after hours. Parents of children in the Junior and Senior Infants classroom should collect their children at 1.30pm sharp, as the teacher is rostered for other duties after 1.30pm.
In the interest of the safety of all of the children in the school, it is necessary to keep all entrances to the building locked during school hours. It is appreciated that this may cause some small inconvenience, but we believe you will agree that it is a small price to pay to try to ensure the safety and well-being of your children.
New locks were fitted to the doors some time ago which allows them to open from the inside although locked on the outside -therefore there is no danger should it be necessary to evacuate through the outer doors. The front door is also enabled to be opened by the school secretary from the office upstairs by pressing on the buzzer outside the front door.
Forgotten lunches/property may be delivered during break time or by making use of the intercom system. Please leave these with the secretary as classes may not be disturbed.
Children Leaving Early Or Being Absent
Children are not permitted to leave the school or be taken from the school without permission from a teacher. If a child has to leave early a note is to be given to the principal or to the appropriate class teacher. The Department of Education has instructed all schools, under the new education welfare act, to report any child who is absent for 20 days or more during the school year, to the School Education Welfare Officer. When your child has been absent for 20 days, the school will notify you. A note explaining reason of absence of any period must be given to the class teacher, as these now have to be kept on file for inspection. The Department of Education requires your co-operation in this matter.
Mobile phones are intrusive and distracting and pupils are not permitted to bring them to school. The school telephone is available for use by children in urgent emergency situations and parents/guardians are advised that they may also contact their children by telephoning during break times. However we do realise that a number of senior pupils travel home from school alone and that their parents request them to carry their mobile phone. For this reason a note must be given to the class teacher to confirm this. Mobile phones are to be switched off and placed in a box on the teacher table. The pupils may take their phones at 2.30pm. Only the pupils who need a mobile for the purpose of travelling home on their own after school are allowed to bring a mobile phone to school. It is the responsibility of the pupil to remember to collect their phones at the end of the school day. Mobile phones are not allowed to be brought on school tours.
We believe in a little homework well done and this is set on every day except Friday. If a child finds undue difficulty with any aspect of it or if he/she takes much longer than the time suggested below to complete it, parents are advised not to hesitate to discuss the problem with the class teacher. Parents are asked to try to find time to look at their child’s homework and sign the homework notebook when satisfied that all given homework has been completed to the best of his/her ability.
It is recommended that homework is done in a quiet place where there are no distractions. The following is a guide with regard to the time needed:
Junior Infants: 5 to 10 minutes
Senior Infants: 15 minutes
1st & 2nd class: 20 to 30 minutes
3rd & 4th class: 30 to 45 minutes
5th & 6th class: 40 to 60 minutes
Your child’s readiness for school will depend on maturity rather than age. Many 4 year olds are well able to cope while some five year olds have difficulty in adapting. However, we do recommend that children whose 4th birthday falls in June, July or August should consider waiting until they reach their 5th birthday. We try to make things easier for both parents and children by having the beginners come in to meet the teacher and see their classroom before the school closes for the summer holidays in June.
Useful Tips To Help With The First Days
Try to communicate a positive attitude to school by encouraging the child to look forward to the experience while remembering that school is much different from that which you might have experienced yourselves. Children are now encouraged to express their feelings in a classroom with a relaxed, informal atmosphere. As communication is a vital part of the school day, it is essential that this is encouraged through conversation rhymes, stories etc. On the first day let him/her take something familiar from home to bridge the gap between home and school. Have a short chat with the class teacher and emphasise to your child that you will collect him/her in a short while and then leave quickly and without fuss. Once you have left the classroom, do not turn back or stand outside the door. Don’t look in through the window as your child may see you and sense that you are worried. Some children are overawed by the situation and begin to cry. The teacher will tell you that children usually stop crying after their parents leave and she will quickly get them interested in some game or activity. Get to know the teacher as well as other parents and their children.
A special effort is made to ensure that a high standard of hygiene exists in the school. Water, liquid soap and electric dryers are provided in the cloakrooms. All children should wash and dry their hands before eating lunch in their classrooms. Under no circumstances should they loiter or eat food in the toilet areas or cloakrooms.
Health and Welfare
The teachers are required to inform the Health Service Executive if they have any concerns regarding the welfare of any child in their care.
Every effort is made to ensure that the school is a safe environment for all who attend or work here. The School Safety Statement sets out the policy of the Board of Management in this area.
Children should bring a packed lunch (crisps, sweets or junk foods are not allowed) to sustain energy need for concentration during the school day. A treat may be given on Fridays. A drink, some fruit, bread or a sandwich is most appropriate for the children in the Infant Classes but those in the higher classes will need a little more for the lunch break at 12.30pm/1pm. All classes have a fruit/vegetable snack each morning at 10.00am. A piece of fruit or some vegetables may be eaten at this time. Make sure that your child likes what is provided and that it is not still in the school bag at the end of the day. Please ensure that drinks are given in plastic containers with secure lids so that drinks do not spill in the bags and destroy your child’s books. Chewing gum is not permitted in the school and is confiscated from any child who is found to be eating it in the building. In an effort to cut down on the amount of waste produced pupils are asked to take home all food wrappers, plastic bottles etc.
To avoid disappointment and upset to children, we would very much appreciate it if you could distribute birthday invitations outside school. Birthday invitations may no longer be given out in school. We also ask parents not to bring in birthday cakes or treats etc. for the class.
Many children have similar coats that are often mislaid. It is important that name tags are put on these so they can be returned to the owners without any great difficulty. Since text books are expensive, it is a good idea to cover them with plain paper or contact. Every child should have a pencil case with a few well-sharpened pencils, an eraser and sharpener. Children from First class and upwards need a ruler, while those in 5th and 6th should have a set of mathematical instruments.
Addressing Parental Concerns
We try to ensure that both pupils and parents will benefit from involvement and association with St. Nicholas’ Parochial School. The homework notebook is recommended as a most satisfactory way of keeping in touch with the class teacher or in the case of the Infants classes, a note. If parents have any queries or worries they should not hesitate to make an appointment to see the teacher concerned or use the homework notebook for communication purposes.
The school recognises that the children are usually well behaved and to promote good behaviour it is necessary to reward instance of good behaviour. These rewards will include:
Informing parents/guardian of good behaviour.
Nights off homework
Special treats chosen by the child e.g. extra computer time and certificates.