Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas Newsletter Part 1

Bhur gcéad fáilte go dtí nuachtitir na Nollag 2011. I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff and students for all their hard work during the course of the past year and to wish staff, students and parent(s)/guardian(s) a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I would also like to thank the members of the Board of Management and the Parents’ Council for all their hard work on behalf of the school community in the past year.
The Board of Management
Mr. Anthony Roche has replaced Mr. Tadhg O’Corcora as a parents’ representative on the Board. The Board would like to express its thanks to Mr. O’Corcora for his contribution to Board matters over the past three years. It would also like to wish Mr. Roche well in his new role. The Board consists of eight members. Four are Trustee representatives; Mr. Gerry Forde (Chairperson), Mr. Jim Hurley, Mr. Tom Mc Loughlin and Miss Ann Walsh.  Two are teacher representatives; Mr. Sean Ahearne and Mrs Colleen Hayes.  Two are parent representatives; Ms. Anita Moloney and Mr. Anthony Roche. The Board has recently adopted a new Child Protection Policy (see
The Parents’ Council
A new Parents’ Council committee was elected at the A.G.M. in October. The elected officers are as follows; Mrs. Abina Moore (Chairperson), Mrs Adimbola Okegbile (Secretary), Mrs Dolores Ennis (Treasurer). The Council has kindly donated €2,000 towards the cost of First and Second Year Homework Clubs. The Council also hopes to sponsor a number of Gaeltacht scholarships for summer 2012. If any parent has a concern they would like discussed or an idea that they think could be of benefit to the school community, they are welcome to attend meetings or to bring the matter to the attention of a Council member.

Literacy and Numeracy
The Department of Education and Skills has identified literacy and numeracy levels in Ireland as key areas for improvement over the next three to five years. Every primary and secondary school is expected to devise a strategy to improve literacy and numeracy levels. Initiatives to promote literacy and numeracy areas have already begun in Coláiste Éamonn Rís. It is hoped to have weekly Maths and crossword competitions up and running in the New Year. A quiet room will be available at lunchtime on a designated day for students to retreat to for a quiet read.
Parents have a very important part to play in helping their sons improve their literacy and numeracy standards and thus will be an integral part of any plan going forward. The Parents’ Council were briefed on the matter on December 6th. All parents are asked to foster reading in the home. I will revisit this topic in the New Year.
Revised Code of Behaviour
A draft copy of a revised Code of Behaviour has been produced up and will be distributed to the various partners in the school community for consideration and comment before being formally adopted by the Board of Management.
Well done to all the Second Years who remained ‘booking free’ since the beginning of the school year. They were rewarded with a trip to the cinema on Friday last. Well done also to the students in Third Year Laurel for winning the reward trip to the cinema for being the best behaved class in Third Year. The competition for best behaved class in First Year was a extremely competitive affair cumulating in a three way tie so well done to U.C.C., U.C.D. and T.C.D. .Students in these classes were also rewarded with a trip to the cinema.
Child Protection
A new Child Protection Policy has been drafted and adopted by the Board of Management in keeping with the terms of Department of Education and Skills Circular 0065/2011. The Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools have been adopted as part of this child protection policy. A hard copy of the policy is available to any parent by request or can be viewed on the school’s website .  The person responsible for dealing with child protection concerns in the school is the Principal (DLP-Designated Liaison Person).  In the principal’s absence, this responsibility lies with the Deputy Principal (DDLP-Deputy Designate Liaison Person).
First Year 2012
The Board of Management offered 96 places in First Year 2012-13. The closing date for acceptance of offer letters was Friday 2nd December 2011. The demand for places greatly outstripped 96 and hence there is a substantial waiting list. The school’s Admissions Policy has been reviewed and updated by the Board of Management and can be viewed on the school’s website (

School Tours
The Transition Year tour to Iona College, New York, was a great success. We will be hosting our American friends in March in the New Year.
The First and Second Year Tour will be to the Delphi Adventure Centre in Galway from 22nd -24th February 2012.
Preparations are well underway for the TransitionYear Tour to China from 29th March- 6th April. Twenty students and three teachers will make the trip to Beijing for what should be a wonderful educational experience.
Third Years/Transition Years
All third year students and their parents are reminded to begin focusing their options for 2012-13. Important decisions have to be made re subject choice for Fifth Year or opting for T.Y. For those looking for more details re Admissions Policy/ T.Y., please consult the school’s Admissions Policy on the school website. Information Night on T.Y./Fifth Year will be held on Tuesday March 20th 2012.The current Transition Year students should also begin considering subject options for the next academic year.
Mock Exams
While the Department of Education and Skills waive Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate fees for medical card holders, the school will have to collect mock exam fees from all students to cover Mock Exams costs. The Leaving Certificate Mock Exams fee will be £100 this year and will be collected in early February 2012. The Junior Certificate Mock Exams fee will be £90 this year and will be collected in late January.
Well done to all the students who took part in this year’s musical production ‘Footloose’. The show was a great success. I would particularly like to thank Ms. Spellman and Ms. Kavanagh for   the countless hours of hard work they spent in organising and rehearsing for the show. 

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