It’s really hard to believe that it’s that time of the year again! The days are shorter, it’s dark and cold, it’s hard to get the kids out of their beds and some of us might be grumpy form the lack of vitamin D, but on the other hand many of us are excited about upcoming Christmas and of course the school break and more family time! In this Newsletter we decided to boost you with positive vibrations and some ideas how to survive and squeeze all the good things from this winter season!
First of all we would like to say huge THANK YOU to those participating in the half term disco. We are also very grateful for all your generous contributions, on the day we’ve collected €376.51 and as per our previous newsletter this money been raised to pay for the training in the Maths Recovery programme for one of our teachers.
We are delighted to say that the Drop off scheme seem to be very successful, there are more parents who use it and enjoy it, we’ve more volunteers now, and our Coordinator Eliza is working hard to put the rota together each week and to find cover for parents who might have unexpected emergency situations like getting sick or having sick child at home. Thanks a mill to all parents involved – you make our mornings less stressful and easier! There are never too many parents to help with the drop off and at the moment your involvement would mean sacrificing 10 minutes two or three times every second week so don’t be shy and hop on board! Being a part of the community means that you give and receive, so even if you won’t be benefiting from the drop off scheme because you walk or cycle to school every day, please bear in mind that while you would sacrifice a few minutes of your time in the morning you and your child will benefit from other initiatives that other parents are getting involved in.
What is happening in our school in the near future?
We’ve asked our parents to donate some spare or unused decorations and soon our school will look very festive.
As you might already know, we have planned something very special for all our Families. We are very excited to say that our wonderful parents and teachers are working together to deliver the most spectacular and first in the history of our school Multicultural Concert!!! We’ve asked our parents for help and over the next few weeks each class will be learning to sing a song in a different language. Some of you have seen this info already under our posts on Facebook, but we want to reveal our brave volunteers supporting our rehearsals one more time, so there’s the list: Sandra kindly volunteered to teach children the Catalan song, Kasia is helping other class with Polish song, Biba offered her help with Croatian song, Sallyza with Malaysian, Emanuela with Italian and Diane with a song to be sung in Swahili. It’s the rehearsals time! Good luck to all!!! We are so grateful for your time and dedication ladies, and we know that you will make us proud!!! We would like to ask all parents/guardians to support your kids over the next few weeks and help them to learn the words of the song that their class will be performing on the 19th December. You might use that opportunity to talk to your child about the language that been chosen for their class, about country or countries where that language is used, about festivals celebrated in those countries and people’s beliefs. Where to find all the info? There’s no better source then Uncle Google J and we all know that our kids love computers! Help them type simple words in the browser and explore the website, mention staying safe while browsing websites, use Google Translator for words that they might struggle with. Consider reading together with your child, looking at the pictures and talking about them as a part of our December’s home work. Ps. Grownups might learn something new about our Community too!
The concert will take place on the 19th of December, our children will be divided into two groups. We have great pleasure to invite Junior Infants parents to watch their children performing at 11:30. Parents of Senior Infants, 1st and 2nd class are more than welcome to join us and see their children performing at 12:20.
Having the concert at school will be a great opportunity to catch up with other parents and teachers before the winter break, and what’s the better way to do it if not over a cuppa? We will provide hot beverages after both concerts. During that time parents will also have a chance to buy some tasty cakes at our Bake Sale!
We would like to ask ALL our parents to drop the cakes and leave them with us on Friday morning before the school (Friday, 19th of Dec). Should parents using the drop off scheme bring some cakes – our volunteers will be more than happy to collect them from you in the morning.
We have one more surprise for you, so stay patient and watch this space.
We are looking forward to seeing you all on our Big Day!!!!
This section will provide you with some useful tips how to survive winter and stay healthy and happy.
Have you ever wondered what can you do to protect your child from the endless selection of germs and viruses they’re exposed to every day? Unfortunately, in some ways, getting sick when you're a kid is simply part of the job description. We all enter this world with an inexperienced immune system. Slowly, children prime their immunity by battling an ongoing series of germs, viruses, and other organisms - which is why many paediatricians consider six to eight colds, bouts of flu, or ear infections per year normal. But there are healthy habits you can adopt that will give your child's immune system a boost.
Rule number one - eat well
Serve more fruits and vegetables. Carrots, green beans, oranges, strawberries, they all contain such immunity-boosting phytonutrients as vitamin C and carotenoids. Phytonutrients may increase the body's production of infection-fighting white blood cells and interferon, an antibody that coats cell surfaces, blocking out viruses. Phytonutrients have health-promoting properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and liver-health-promoting activities can also protect against such chronic diseases as cancer and heart disease in adulthood. Try to get your child to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day.
Healthy lunchbox treats. Luckily winter is orange season. So fill kids' lunchboxes with freshly cut orange pieces, a rich source of vitamin C. Mandarins are in season now too and they are a less-messy lunchbox option. Also pop in some kiwi fruit and some raw peas and celery sticks too.
Include extra veggies at dinner time. Over cooking vegetables zaps their essential nutrients and vitamin C. So cook them as quickly as possible. Try microwaving or lightly steaming small bite-size florets of broccoli and cauliflower until just tender and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Cheese sauce works wonders here too. Combine some butter, flour, low-fat milk and cheese in a pan to make the sauce. Then drizzle it over cooked vegies and the kids will gobble it up.
Make them soup. Soups are a great way to give kids a winter health boost. Flu-fighting antioxidants such as beta-carotene (found in carrots) and lycopene (in tomatoes and red pepper) actually increase with cooking. Blitzing these and other vegetables into wintery soups can encourage kids to eat ingredients they would normally steer clear of. Even unpopular pulses like chickpeas can be added to soups. If you're nervous your children won't eat soup, try serving it with crunchy croutons. The kids will head straight for the croutons. And before you know it the bowl will be empty.
One-pot wonders. Winter stews and casseroles are a fantastic way to add a wide variety of veggies to kids' meals. Try cooking them a chilli con carne recipe, but leave out the hot ingredients (such as chilli powder, tabasco and cayenne) and add extra veggies like carrot, eggplant and green pepper. The flavour will still be delicious and you can easily modify each serve to suit different family members. Also, top their meals with fresh garnishes including diced tomatoes, avocado, cheese and crushed-up corn chips (for a treat). They are a magic wand that make entire dinners disappear.
Fish pie heaven. Vitamin D is plentiful from sunlight in the summer but you may need to top up levels nutritionally in the darker months. Vitamin D is found in oily fish, dairy products and eggs. To give kids a dose of Vitamin D at dinner, combine all these ingredients into a fish pie. Add extra veggies to the mash by mixing through cauliflower, parsnip and turnips too.
Rule number two - laugh
Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and closeness. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you and your family from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use! Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Rule number three - have some fun
With our school holidays just around the corner we thought we'd share some suggestions and tips on how to keep the whole family entertained over the well earned break!
A trip to the City Centre. Christmas Market @ St Stephen's Green & Family Fun Fair @ Wolfe Tone Square Just two of many very exciting things to visit - one of which is the first ever traditional Christmas Market in the City Centre but get in there quick as they finish up on the 22nd of December! More info on www.dublinatchristmas.ie
Pantomime. This is a long time tradition with a lot of families - you can find an extensive list of Panto's on around Dublin and indeed the whole country on www.schooldays.ie
If your child has never been to such a show the site also has some very helpful tips for preparing them beforehand.
Our wonderful local theatre, The Civic Theatre in Tallaght will be showing Sleeping Beauty from December 22nd - January 4th. More info on www.civictheatre.ie
The National Concert Hall. A beautiful venue to visit - there are two classic family performances on this month!
The Christmas Concert Featuring The Snowman (19th - 21st December)
The Wizard of OZ (27th of December - 3rd of January)
More info on www.nch.ie
Movies. Some super family movies have been released of late and there's more to come over the festive season. There's no shortage of cinemas around with IMC in the Square, Vue @ Liffey Valley, Movies @ Dundrum Shopping Centre - or why not make a day of it and get the Luas into the City Centre to visit The Savoy Cinema on O'Connell Street for a very special cinematic experience. Choices include Paddington, Penguins of Madagascar, Nativity 3 or indeed Frozen which is being re-released in selected cinemas for Christmas!
More info on www.entertainment.ie/cinema
Ice Skating. A fun and often hilarious family activity - there are a number of venues around Dublin and the country including Dundrum on Ice @ Dundrum Shopping Centre & iSkate @ the RDS in Ballsbridge.
Arts & Crafts. mykidstime.com has a great list of fun arts and crafts projects or visit Rua Red in Tallaght which will be hosting a Christmas Workshop on the 22nd of December. More info on www.ruared.ie
Loads more tips and ideas can be found on the following websites:
Rule number four – exercise
Exercise as a family. Exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in adults, and regular activity can benefit kids in the same way. To get your children into a lifelong fitness habit, be a good role model. Exercise with them rather than just urge them to go and play. The recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day for kids still applies in winter!!!
Sometimes there's nothing better than wrapping up in your winter woolies and heading to the park for a nice stroll and a bit of fresh air. We are very fortunate to have so many wonderful parks nearby such as Rathcoole Park and Corkagh Park with its delightful Fairy Wood. A new park located between Saggart Abbey and Carrigmore estate is still in development but has just opened its playground which is super!
Give your child the option of playing with one, three, or five things that promote movement—think jump ropes, basketballs, footballs, bikes, scooters – don’t overwrap your child.
Hang with fit families. Children with friends who are active tend to have more physical activity in their lives.
Make it easy to get out. No kid likes getting bundled up like he's headed to the tundra, so keep it simple. Consider getting a moisture-wicking fabric like polypropylene instead of a cotton shirt, then add a fleece, a waterproof jacket, and gloves and you’re sorted for a wild time!!!!
As far as the best option is to spend your active time outdoors don’t lock yourself at home when the weather is bad! Consider going to places like Energyfun in Rathcoole, Spraoi in Long Mile Road, or Tallaght Adventure World, just a few steps from Lidl in Tallaght. At the time when you will enjoy your cuppa your child can train their physical and social skills among other children while playing, jumping, bouncing, and climbing.
Rule number five - Boost sleep time
Studies of adults show that sleep deprivation can make us more susceptible to illness by reducing natural killer cells, immune-system weapons that attack microbes and cancer cells. The same holds true for children. You can also improve your child's school performance with a good night's sleep. Kids of all ages—preschool through college—need to have energy, the ability to focus, concentrate, retain information, and be creative problem solvers. Success at school also requires kids to control impulses and manage emotions and behaviour to keep on track. All of these skills depend heavily on healthy, consistent sleep. Across all ages, signs of sleepiness turn up as behavioural and learning difficulties. Children who seem excessively sleepy during the day are more likely to experience problems with learning, attention, hyperactivity, and conduct than kids who aren't sleepy. Sleepiness causes problems with concentration and mood. In many cases, staying up too late is the reason. Many parents think their children go to bed early, but even 9:00 p.m. could be considered a late bedtime for a primary school child. As kids get older, sleepiness leads to slipping grades. Children aged five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep. At the same time, there is an increasing demand on their time from school (e.g., homework), sports and other extracurricular and social activities. In addition, school-aged children become more interested in TV, computers, the media and Internet as well as caffeine products – all of which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and disruptions to their sleep. In particular, watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with bedtime resistance, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety around sleep and sleeping fewer hours.
Sleep Tips for School-aged Children:
· Teach your child about healthy sleep habits.
· Continue to emphasize need for regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine.
· Make child's bedroom conducive to sleep – dark, cool and quiet.
· Keep TV and computers out of the bedroom.
· Avoid caffeine - kids get most of their caffeine from sodas, it's also found in tea, chocolate, coffee ice cream or frozen yogurt, as well as pain relievers and other over-the-counter medicines.
· Reading a book before going to bed is a good way to calm the mind and to help your child become sleepy, so you he/she is able to rest peacefully.
We hope that you find our Newsletter interesting. Your feedback is important for us, let us know what you think by emailing us, leaving your comment on PA facebook profile or under the electronic version of this Newsletter that you could also find on our school’s website.