Wednesday 21st June 2018 - Email to all families: Newsletter 21st June 2018 - visit to new classrooms, progress on our permanent building and Citywest ETNS is leading the way towards inclusivity
End-of-year reports were posted last Friday and should be arriving early this week. End-of-year reports are a celebration of the year that has passed and a record of your child's progress at this moment in time. Celebrate the good news with your child and make a plan together to address any concerns the report may raise.
Its timely to remind ourselves of a few notes in relation to reports...
1. Each child is an individual, with their own strengths, challenges and experiences. Each child deserves the dignity of being allowed to keep their own story for themselves. While there may be elements of the end-of-year reports for your child that you are either proud of or dissatisfied with, it is not appropriate to share the report with those outside of your immediate family and particularly not with other families who have children the same age. The report reflects the progress and experiences your child has had this year; that is all.
Reports are sent in advance of the end of the school year so that parents and guardians can have an opportunity to question perceived discrepancies so if there is something on the report that you believe to misrepresent your child, get in touch with us and we will talk it through together.
2. There can often be a misconception in relation to marks on the end-of-year report and it can be useful to clarify that. The marks 1 to 5 represent a spectrum. The expectation is a 3. A mark of 3 means that your child is doing just fine, doing just as expected, and is bang on track. We would expect approximately 60% (or 3 out of every 5) of children to be awarded a mark of 3 in any given area. Only those children performing above the expectation would receive a 4 and very few (approx 5% or 1-2 per class) would receive a 5. Similarly, only those children performing below the expectation would receive a 2 and very few (approx 5% or 1-2 per class) would receive a 1.
These marks are not a measure of how your child is performing in relation to their ability. It is a mark of how they are performing in relation to the expectations of the curriculum.
3. This year we have taken part in a research project to standardise the next set of standardised tests for schools. This is an important piece of work and will support the assessment and learning of children for years to come. We are pleased to support the broader educational experience in Ireland in this way.
Because of this, standardised test results for children in 1st, 3rd and 5th classes will not be available until the autumn. Standardised test results for children in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes are given on the end-of-year report, as per Department of Education requirements.
4. Where we are aware that a child's parents/guardians live in separate homes and we have addresses for both homes, we posted an end-of-year report to each home. If you have moved home during the last year and did not let us know of your new address or where a parent lives at a different address to the child, please inform us of that second address so that we can send a copy of your child's report to you. Legal guardians are entitled to information about their child's educational progress, whether they have custody and/or access or not and we endeavour to keep all guardians informed.
I hope you enjoy reading the reports. I will be in touch again later in the week with a newsletter and book lists for the coming school year - I know that these are being distributed later than usual this year. However, let me reassure you that we have similarly extended the expected pay date for school expenses to late August. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
Have a great week.
You don't have to be an expert to talk about mental health!
Wear a green ribbon to show your support and let others know that you are ready to start a conversation about mental health.
See Change, the National Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership, are rolling out a month-long national Green Ribbon Campaign to encourage people in Ireland to end mental health stigma in May 2018.
You can pick up your green ribbon for free in our school foyer.
Show support by:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are pleased to announce the beginning of 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.
This year, Junior Infants will have an opportunity to visit a Gurdwara - a Sikh place of worship. The trip is planned for Thursday 24th May. As part of this visit, your child will be provided with a scarf to cover his/her head and will also have an opportunity to taste foods with significance in the Sikh faith. The foods will consist of Karhaa Prashaad (a sweet semolina confectionary) as well as some vegetarian foods. Please ensure that your child is aware of any dietary limitations that they may have, ahead of this visit.
In order for this trip to be safe and successful, we need your help. We need parent volunteers to accompany the group. If you are available to help out between 10.30 and 1.00 next Thursday, please complete the form below.
Thanking you for your continued support.
Claire, Orla and Laura, Junior Infants Teachers
Aoife, Learn Together Coordinator
Monday 30th April 2018: Email to all families - IMPORTANT: School car park CLOSED other than arrival and dismissal times
I write to let you know that from tomorrow, Tuesday 1st May, we will be closing the school gates during the school day
Over the last fortnight, we have had growing concern in relation to antisocial behaviour happening on our school campus. While it had been witnessed after school hours only, it was witnessed during the school day today. Again, I wish to be clear that these people did not try to gain entry to the building and did not show an interest in any child or person from the school community.
However, our priority is the safety of the children and we must take measures to keep any risk as far away from them as possible.
We continue to work alongside Gardai, Citywest and Saggart CNS, Kidorama Academy Childcare, Care and Cuddles Childcare, our landlord, security monitoring company and key-holding security company to increase security on site on a medium- and long-term basis, in addition to short-term measures. A security guard is on site each afternoon at the moment and we are in daily contact with Gardai. Again, there has been no indication that any child is at risk - these are adults not associated with our school coming onto our campus without permission and interacting with one another while there.
Gates will be opened for arrival and dismissal times only. If you need to come to the school outside of those times, you will need to park elsewhere and walk onto the campus.
While on campus, please be vigilant for suspicious activity and report immediately. Please remember to take a description of person, vehicle and activity.
We thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation.
Dear Parents & Guardians,
On Thursday 3rd of May we are delighted to be hosting a Star Wars themed disco for all our children during the school day! Everyone is invited to dress up as their favourite Star Wars character - as always fancy dress is optional.
This will be a fundraising event with all funds raised going towards cameras for our school. We aim to buy a digital camera for every classroom so that the children can use them to record their learning and to create presentations using their digital literacy skills.
We kindly request a €3 donation per child or €5 per family if you have more than one child attending the school. Your child’s teacher will collect the money from the children on arrival at their classroom on the day of the disco.
As always we are extremely grateful for your support!
Citywest ETNS Parents’ Association
Monday 16th April 2018 - Email to all families: Newsletter 16th April 2018 - be vigilant about safety, 2018/19 school calendar, closed on 25th May 2018
Stay vigilant about safety
Many thanks to those parents who have reported suspicious activity on our campus on Friday and today. Unfortunately, we have had staff members intimidated and threatened on their way out of the campus by these individuals. Please be assured that no-one has been physically harmed, no-one other than our own community has attempted to gain entry to the school and no child has been targeted. Naturally, the Gardai have been informed and are monitoring the situation. We have also asked our security company to increase vigilance.
For your safety and that of others:
Making up for time lost during Storm Emma
The Board of Management considered measures required to make up for curriculum time lost when the school was closed for 4 days due to Storm Emma. The Board considered a variety of measures, including those suggested by school staff, and took into consideration a letter from the Student Council suggesting measures to pull back curriculum time. The following measures have been decided on:
Second-level school coming to Citywest
We were delighted to read the announcement on Friday that the Department of Education will open a second-level school in Citywest in 2020. Massive thanks to the dedicated group of parents who have been working tirelessly for over a decade for Educate Together schools in this area. They have put in tremendous work and, on behalf of the current and future families of the area, I thank them. Their legacy to the children of Citywest will be long and strong!
While it is fantastic to know that there will be second-level provision for this area, the work is far from over. Next is the decision on the patronage for the school - will it be a faith-based school, an equality-based school or something else? I know that a lot of families would love for their child(ren) to continue their education under the ethos of Educate Together. If that is important to you, please consider becoming active in the 2nd-level campaign group. Unlike in previous years, joining the second-level group at this stage comes with a time limit. The group will not be needed forever. There is no more than one year's work left. All help will be welcome, whether its in the form of skills, passion or time.
School Calendar for 2018/19
The Board of Management have ratified the school calendar for the coming school year.
Please find the calendar attached. School will reopen on Thursday 30th August 2018. We will take a full week's mid-term in February next year rather than in May.
School closure for Referendum
We have been notified that our school is to be used as a polling station on Friday 25th May 2018. Therefore, we are not permitted to open the school on that day. The school will be closed and no activities will take place in the building that day other than voting.
On our website
Monday 9th April 2018 - email to all families: Welcome back - swimming starts and we celebrate Autism Awareness Week
Welcome back to a new school term!
We are very excited to have arrived at the summer term. It is always a fun term!
Autism Awareness Week
First to be celebrated this week is Autism Awareness Week. Activities in class will start tomorrow. Please ask your child all about it!
Swimming starts this Friday for all children in 1st to 5th classes. Please note that payment is now overdue. A reminder was sent earlier today to those with amounts outstanding, including the payment link.
Please set an alarm or reminder for every Friday to remind you and your child to pack and bring a swim gear bag to school. Last year, Nicola spent a ridiculous amount of time calling parents about forgotten swim gear. Please show her the courtesy of remembering to send the gear!
After-school activities started back today. Please see the school website for more information - http://www.citywestetns.ie/after-school-classes.html. Limited spaces are still available for certain classes, and don't forget to let us know if your child is no longer attending a class.
Read on our website
Pyjama and Movie Day
To celebrate the end of term tomorrow and to bring together a number of ideas put forward by pupils in our school via the suggestion box, our Student Council are organising a Pyjama and Movie Day tomorrow.
Everyone is invited to wear pyjamas to school (while, of course, making sure to be warm enough for weather, including for outdoor play time!) and bring a teddy to school.
Our Student Council are suggesting a donation of 2 euro per family, which they will use to purchase chess sets and skipping ropes for play times.
End of term
School will finish at the usual time tomorrow afternoon and will remain closed for two weeks for Spring break. The school will reopen on Monday 9th April and we look forward to seeing everyone then for the third and final term of the school year.
Today is the last day for our three Spanish student teachers, who have been working in our school since January. We will also be shortly saying Goodbye to teacher Stephen as Aoife Hegarty returns from leave after the break. Many thanks to Stephen for all of his work in our school this year.
Thanks so much to those who have paid for swimming already. Gentle reminder that swimming is to be paid for before we return from spring break. If paying would be a difficulty for you, please contact me in confidence. (Please note that swimming is for children in 1st to 5th classes only.)
Read on our website
Have a great spring break! See you in April!
Dear Parents/ Guardians,
As part of our Learn Together and SPHE learning this month, 5th Class will be taking a trip to South Dublin County Council. There, we will meet the mayor and learn a little about local government and democracy.
The plan is that we will get the Luas to the Council offices in Tallaght. The price of a return ticket on the Luas is €1.80. We would be grateful if you could send in this amount over the next few days, in advance of the trip, so that we can buy the tickets in advance, for convenience. If, for any reason, you would have difficulty in paying this, please contact Caitríona in confidence.
As always, we need parent volunteers to ensure that our trip is a safe and enjoyable one. If you would be available to come along next Thursday (22nd) between 10.20 and 1.00, please fill in the form below.
Class teacher Principal