- For Junior Infants
- All siblings, including those who had not turned 4 by the end of March
- All children who had turned 4 by the end of March AND who were pre-enrolled by 31st January 2018
- All children who were pre-enrolled by 26th October 2017
- There are currently 28 names on the waiting list for a place in Junior Infants 2018/19.
- For other classes
- All children for whom applications were made for a place in 3rd, 4th or 6th class
- There are currently 104 names on the waiting lists for a place in a class other than mainstream Junior Infants, 3rd, 4th and 6th classes.
Thanks to families letting us know that their child(ren) will be leaving our school, we have had significant movement on the waiting lists for places in our school. At this stage, all of the following families have been offered places:
Caitriona visited each class on the last day of the school year. She thanked each class for their hard work this year, congratulated them on all of their learning and wished them a wonderful summer.
Then she dropped the bombshell that there is home learning for the two months of summer break!
We were delighted to see that most children kept an open mind about what it would be rather than bemoaning the idea immediately! And even more thrilled at their reaction to the details, offering each other ideas of what to do. This approach to life is what makes our pupils so special and we know they will continue to use the growth mindset throughout the summer break!
This is the Home Learning for all pupils this summer - parents and guardians might like to take on the challenge too! - wouldn't it make for a great summer to take on this challenge together as a family?!
1. Stay active - do exercise, keep moving, maintain a fit and healthy body!
Some ideas suggested here were Junior Parkrun (some of our staff members bring their children to Junior Parkrun so we might see you there!), horse-riding, trampolining, playing football, doing gymnastics, cycling your bike. I'm sure you can come up with more!
2. Keep reading - reading introduces you to new ideas and the experiences of other people and so broadens your mind and helps your brain to develop; it gives you new viewpoints on life to consider, think about and discuss. Many of our children are already signed up for Summer Stars, a free reading programme in local libraries.
3. Enjoy spending time with your family - do enjoyable activities together, have fun, make the most of having time that is not dictated to by schedules and routines, feel loved and free and happy together!
4. Remember some of what you do in numbers 1, 2 and 3 and tell us about them when we get back to school on 30th August.
We know that most families will have no problem fulfilling this home learning and will relish the opportunities the summer gives to spend time together and educate the children on areas of life that are of importance to your family. It is also a great opportunity to let your child do activities of particular interest to them. You might like to sit in this first week and create together a bucket list of summer activities you will aim for this summer.
We wish you all a super summer, full of activity, reading, family time and special memories!
Oh my goodness, the excitement is unreal! What a day for the history books for our school! There just may have been a few tears shed throughout the day as our Student Council absolutely smashed everyone's expectations, not only producing an amazing new crest for our school but by the way they conducted themselves throughout, by the presentation they created and by their unshakable confidence in presenting to the Board of Management and to our whole-school assemblies this morning. Adults are usually shaking in their boots making a presentation to a management board or to a room full of 100s of people. But our Student Council did both this morning and we were so very very proud of them! I might have spotted Board members and staff members passing around tissues before the Student Council had finished!
Check out the post about this historic moment on the Student's Council's page, where you can see a video of the moment the Board's decision was given!
This IS democracy in action.
This IS student voice.
This IS the creative process.
THIS is what Educate Together is about.
Massive, massive WELL DONE to all who worked on this for our school - all those who made submissions on the initial survey giving words and ideas that should be represented on our crest, all those who took those ideas and drafted crests and especially those who led and coordinated the whole process - the Student Council, the Crest Committee and the volunteer parents. Your names have gone into the history books for our school!
Student Council: Risiqat, Abdullah, Jack, Mais, Emily, Mila, Noon, Adam, Maks and Ruby
Crest committee: Shane, Martha, Laura B and Caitriona
Volunteer parents: Mike and Ceire
Today, Wednesday 20th June, children visited the classroom they will be working in next year. Where the teacher who will be working with them is already on staff, the children met their teacher also.
Teacher allocation is as follows:
Junior Infants: Orla Traynor and Laura Mannix
Senior Infants: Mary Treasa Barry, Sarah Cunningham and Sarah O'Tierney
1st Class: Martha Whelan and Ailish Gavin
2nd Class: Bobby Kelly and a new appointment
3rd Class: Claire Healy and a new appointment
4th Class: Eldon Hilliard and a new appointment
5th Class: Aoife Blood
6th Class: A new appointment
Class for Children with Autism: Leonie Jones
Support Teaching: Anita Collings, Deirdre O'Connor, Ruth Maxwell, Julie Ann Rooney, Trina O'Donnell and 2 new appointments
Additional Needs Assistant allocation is as follows:
Junior Infants: Linda Daly and Louise Maguire
1st Class and 6th Class: Dorothy Donnelly
2nd Class: Tara Rubotham
3rd Class: Emma Coyle
4th Class: Marie Murphy-Bohan
Class for Children with Autism: Romy Martin, Siobhan Naughton and a new appointment
Transitions are as follows:
Claire's Junior Infants class will be taught by Mary Treasa for Senior Infants.
Laura M's Junior Infants class will be taught by Sarah OT for Senior Infants.
Orla's Junior Infants class will be taught by Sarah C for Senior Infants.
Martha's 1st Class will be taught by Bobby for 2nd Class.
Tadhg's 2nd Class will be taught by Claire for 3rd Class.
Julie Ann's 3rd Class will be taught by Eldon for 4th Class.
Laura B's 1st Class, Bobby's 2nd Class and Eldon's 3rd Class will all have new appointments for the new school year - these will be confirmed in July.
Children currently in the three Senior Infants classes will be amalgamated into two 1st Classes; parents will have received an email letting them know who their child's teacher will be for 1st Class.
This is the very first year in the history of our school in which we were able to have every class visit their new room! In previous years, we had a number of classes looking in windows of vacant units with the promise that it would eventually become their classroom! It was wonderful to see every child visit their room and we are looking forward to a peaceful summer with no building work taking place!
You may recall that our Board of Management was invited to the Department of Education (DES) offices back in June 2016 to view plans for our permanent building and were given the expectation at that stage that we would have occupied that building by now. It has been a long road from there to here and our Board of Management has been working consistently with our Patron, Educate Together, who in turn have been working tirelessly with DES, on the issue of permanent premises for us. It has seemed hopeless at times and there has been much frustration along the way.
We have always been glad of the very high standard of temporary accommodation we have and we will always be thankful to DES and to our landlord, DDLETB, for that. We have lots of space in a warm, comfortable building with generous-sized classrooms and all amenities we could ask for.
Yet, we still yearn for our own space, a building and campus purpose-built for our needs, with basketball courts, play areas and some grass!
It has been with growing excitement that we have received the most recent updates via Educate Together and we were thrilled to see it officially in writing on DES website that our building status has officially moved to Stage 3 (Tender Stage).
We are again in motion and moving in the right direction and we are absolutely thrilled! While we have no definite time-frame, we are hopeful that we could be moving into our permanent accommodation at some stage during the 2019/20 school year. We will, of course, keep you informed of further developments as we get them.
We had a great week of exercise and activity this week in school. Activities included:
- Dancing into school in the mornings
- Circuit training for the Senior Classes
-Musical statues for the Infant Classes
- Parent-sharing sessions
- Dance Blast in the yard
- Gymnastics and Breakdancing demonstrations
- Active Morning Meetings
- Drop everything and dance in the classrooms
Thank you to all for making the week such a success. A special thank you to our active agents, our student council and our wonderful staff for promoting and encouraging activity and exercise across the school.
A special thank you to our parents that volunteered their time to come in to school and share their sporting passions with the children.
Check out Bobby's 2nd class dancing into school...
Here's a little snapshot of the week.
Enjoy, Ruth & Anita (Active School Week Organisers)
Did you know that four out of five children in the Republic of Ireland are still not getting enough exercise, posing serious risks to their health and wellbeing?
The recommended amount of physical activity for school-aged children is at least 60 minutes per day. Is your child getting enough physical activity?
The benefits of physical activity for physical and mental health are huge.
Check out this link for great ideas on how to get active and stay active.
We are encouraging all children to wear tracksuits / shorts this week to school. Share the following “Active Home Learning Menu” with your child and plan for plenty of activity this week!
- Walk to School (if at all possible)
- Go on a family walk of 20 mins duration. Raining? No problem...wear a coat with a hood.
- Take a family bike ride to the park and have a picnic. Don’t forget to wear your helmet!
- Wash the car and have your child help you! Lots of active water fun!
-Take the stairs in shopping centres instead of the escalator.
- Play hide and seek or musical chairs
-Create a dance to a piece of music that is at least 3mins long.
- Create a new team game that involves physical movement.
- Visit the playground or a play centre with climbing frames.
- Teach your child about the importance of exercise
It’s promising to be a great week of activity!
Keep active, keep moving,
Ruth and Anita (Active School Week Organisers)
The 2018 Annual General Meeting for Educate Together took place on Saturday 19th May. Two members of our school community attended the event - Caitriona, our principal, who attended in her role as Educate Together Director, and Stephen, parent and member of our Board of Management.
The AGM took place in Kildare Town ETNS. Kildare Town ETNS is a school that opened for the first time, also in temporary accommodation, on the same day as us in 2012. They were very lucky to secure their permanent building in 2015 and it was lovely to visit and see how a school that is the same age as our school has developed over time.
As a Director, Caitriona was not allowed to vote or speak on behalf of our school. However, our Board of Management did discuss in advance all motions put to the AGM and mandated Stephen with speaking and voting on our behalf. Unlike last year, when we had three delegates to make decisions for our school, Stephen was on his own this year and had to make decisions without consultation. This was a big responsibility and we are indebted to Stephen for giving up his Saturday and doing this for us.
Motions from member schools included topics such as enrolment caps, the principle of parental choice and diversity, enrolment policies, posts of responsibilities, teaching assistants for early childhood education, inadequate SNA support, capitation grants, communication within the Educate Together sector, school transport, parent nominees to Board of Management and increased workload for schools alongside a substitute teacher shortage.
There was one motion that was particularly wonderful. It was the motion put forward by our school, Citywest ETNS. Our motion read as follows:
"This AGM declares that Educate Together schools:
a) use the term "additional" rather than "special" in reference to children with additional needs.
b) use the title "Class for children with Autism" or "Class for Children with Additional Needs" rather than "Special Class" or "Special Needs Unit".
c) use the title "Additional Needs Assistant" rather than "Special Needs Assistant"."
We were inspired in this motion by Down Syndrome Ireland, who campaigned last year against use of the word "special" in this context, as well as by learning our staff and Board members have done in their studies, work and other life experiences.
Stephen had the responsibility of presenting this motion to the AGM and speaking in favour of the motion. He referenced the equality principle of ET schools, the Down Syndrome Ireland campaign and the leadership role Educate Together has had and continues to have in the Irish education context and our strong wish to continue to show leadership where it matters. Other members then had the opportunity to speak for or against the motion and Stephen took the right of reply. Stephen's speeches, on behalf of Citywest ETNS, came across as strongly child-centred and focussed on equality. He did us proud and the motion was passed.
From now on, Educate Together schools will no longer use the word "special" in this context in their day-to-day work in schools. Of course, it will take the Department of Education and other partners in education longer to change their terminology and we will need to continue to use it in the context of applying for supports and other formal communications.
But on principle and in day-to-day life, we will now be referring to those needs as "additional" rather than "special" and to our assistants as "Additional Needs Assistants (ANAs)" rather than "Special Needs Assistants (SNAs)".
This is a very proud time to be part of Citywest ETNS. We are leading the way to more inclusive practice in the Irish education context. Labels are important and carry a weight with them. We want that to be supportive rather than burdensome. Many thanks to our staff and Board of Management for their pro-active practice and leadership here. As Mahatma Gandhi said "Be the change you want to see in the world." We are that change. We are that world.
As you know by now, at Citywest ETNS, we operate a programme of educational experiences designed to increase our children’s understanding of, and appreciation for, a variety of belief systems. It is our hope that, during their time at Citywest ETNS, each child will have the opportunity to meet with a religious leader and/or visit the place of worship of each of the main world religions, as well as some non-theistic belief systems.
So far this year, different classes in our school have had visits to a synagogue, a Buddhist centre and a church, and have been visited by speakers from Atheist Ireland and the Humanist Association. These visits provide a real-life context for the learning that is already taking place at school. Learning about the beliefs and customs of various world religions encourages understanding and mutual respect of diversity in all aspects of life. There is no faith formation element to any of these visits. The focus is on information about the faith.
Unfortunately, we have yet to establish a strong relationship with a Hindu temple. While in the past, we have had a visit from a leader of the Hindu community, we would love to make a lasting connection with a temple that we could visit.
If you are a member of the Hindu faith, or if you know somebody who is, could you make an introduction for us? We would love to establish a relationship with a leader of the Hindu faith that is based in a local temple. That way, we will be able to arrange yearly visits to the temple for various class levels.
So if you do have a connection, please get in touch with Aoife, via the school office!
The student council raised €435 from their fundraiser before spring break. They were inspired by the school's 'Suggestion Boxes' to buy skipping ropes for a skipping zone in yard, 30 chess boards and Junior Scrabble board games for infant classes. There is still €62 left to spend and the council members will confer with their classes on how best the remaining monies.
The Student Council unpacking their purchases.
Happy with the results of their fundraising day!