Parents Page

General Information
  • Parents are welcome to come to discuss their child's progress/behaviour with the class teacher. An appointment must be made in advance with the school secretary on 021-4306909. It is important for your child that you have an active and helpful relationship with the school, regular communication with your child's class teacher, and participate and attend school activities.
  • It is school policy to inform parents where a pupil's behaviour leaves something to be desired.
  • Parents are asked to inspect homework and sign the homework journal every night.
  • Children are encouraged to use the School Savings Scheme. Savings are collected every Friday. Please send money to the class teacher in an envelope, clearly marked with your child's name, class and amount. 

Attendance

Under the Education Welfare Act (2000) you must make sure that your child attends school regularly.It is extremely important that all children come to school every day, to give them every opportunity to progress in their  education. All children should be sitting at their tables at 9:00 a.m. every morning, ready to begin work. The morning playtime in the Junior classes is very valuable to their development, and all children should be at school in time to take part every day.When your child is absent from school for any reason you must notify the school of the reasons for the absence. When the child returns to school, an absence note must be provided to the class teacher explaining the absence. If your child is absent for more than 3 consecutive days, a doctor's note must be provided to the school. The National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) is responsible for promoting and monitoring school attendance. The school must inform the NEWB when a pupil is absent for more than 20 days in a school year or when a pupil is not attending regularly. In cases of serious non-attendance an Education Welfare Officer will make all reasonable efforts to ensure regular school attendance. The NEWB has produced a leaflet for parents entitled Don't let your child miss out (on a good start in life!). It is available to download from www.newb.ie

Healthy Lunches

We are delighted to be able to continue to provide free healthy lunches to all of the children in St. Vincent's every day for the coming school year. The children enjoy a variety of healthy options for lunch including chicken or ham sandwiches, buttered rolls and fruit. The children are also encouraged to drink milk, which is also provided. Parents are asked to provide their children with healthy break-time snacks such as fruit, bread or cereal bars. Sweets and sugary snacks, as well as crisps and fizzy drinks are not allowed. On Fridays, children may bring one treat for their breaktime snack. 

Hometime Procedure

It is important to ensure the health and safety of all children as they leave the building at the end of school. The Junior and Senior Infants are to be collected from the big yard at 1.40pm. Parents are asked to wait until their child is handed to them by their teacher before leaving. At the senior home time of 2.40pm, all remaining children exit the school through the main door. Parents are asked to stand back from the doors to facilitate the safe exiting of all children. Parents are also asked to make sure to be on time to collect your child every day, as this can be distressing for children if their collector is late on an ongoing basis. In the interests of safety, children who are not collected on time are encouraged to return to the school. 

Helpful Hints for Parents

What can I do to help my children to learn before they go to school?

Talking and listening 

talk to your children and encourage them to talk
listen to them and respect what they have to say
talk to them about what happens in television programmes you watch with them

Stories, reading and books 

read and tell them stories, say nursery rhymes and poems, and encourage them to talk about what they hear
encourage them to tell stories and to repeat rhymes and poems
make sure there are books in the home (picture books, picture books with captions, simple story books, etc.), and encourage children to handle them, look through them and talk about them

Play and activities 

encourage children in make-believe play and play with them
play games that involve physical activity with your children
let them play with water, sand and other materials
involve them in activities around the kitchen, and encourage them to talk about the activities

The environment 

take them for walks and point out and name flowers, trees and other items that arouse their interest
point out and talk about things in the urban environment such as signs, names, types of shops, statues and monuments

Music and art 

sing to them and with them, and encourage them to sing
play singing games with them
play music for them, get them to clap and dance to the rhythms, and talk to them about the music
encourage them to draw pictures and to talk about them, and display their drawings and pictures in the home.

The following items would be very useful in supporting your child's learning at home:

  • pencils, colouring pencils, crayons, paints
  • sketch pad, paper
  • colouring book
  • magnetic alphabet
  • alphabet poster
  • alphabet puzzle
  • alphabet book
  • story books
  • Fairy Tales
  • number jigsaw
  • safety scissors
  • play dough
  • library card
  • shapes for matching and sorting

Your child and the school 

take an interest in your children's progress in school
talk to them about what happens in school
talk to them about what they are learning
help your children with their homework in an appropriate way


Stimulating children and widening their horizons 

read to your children, tell them stories, and encourage them to talk about the characters in the stories and what happens to them
bring your children on outings, to concerts, to plays (including those presented by local amateur groups), and become involved with them in different leisure activities


How can I support the implementation of the curriculum in school? 
Parents can make a big contribution to the education of their children in school. This is why they have been given a distinct role in supporting the implementation of the curriculum.

You could

visit the school to see your children's work on display
keep the school informed about relevant experiences, or difficulties the child may have
help the school to identify natural environments, buildings and other features of the locality that might be relevant in the curriculum
identify places and events of local historical interest
support Irish-language activities in school
lend items to the school that illustrate features of your own and your parents' life and experience, for example old photographs, or utensils and tools that are not used any more
help to involve other parents and members of the community, who are musicians and artists, in school activities
attend school and classroom events
offer to help with the organisation of the school sports day
offer to help with the organisation of book fairs and other language-related events.


From Home to School 


From birth, children learn naturally and informally from their parents and from their environment. Parents are often anxious to see some results of formal learning soon after the child starts school. Children will start to read and write at their own pace. Just as they walk and talk at different ages - they also read and write when they are ready to do so themselves.


Help prepare your child for learning 


POSITIVE ATTITUDE It is important to create a positive attitude towards learning. If children have this positive attitude then they will try to become involved in the learning process.
CURIOSITY The natural inquisitiveness of children should be encouraged. It is central to the learning process. Children will be encouraged to ask more questions when they get positive and encouraging responses.
SELF CONFIDENCE If children are confident about their abilities and capabilities then they will be more willing to take on new challenges.
LISTENING Children should be encouraged to develop good listening skills. Instruction and directions are given continually at school so children need to be good listeners if they are to participate fully in school life.
INTERACTING WITH OTHERS Children need to learn how to be sociable, how to share and take turns. They also need to learn respect for others and to be aware of the feelings of others.
INDEPENDENCE In order to take part fully in school life children need to have developed a good level of independence.

The following will help you develop your child's management of new skills 


PLAY Children learn through play and should be given lots of opportunities to:
Act out roles - pretending they are someone else. Children love to pretend that they are nurses, doctors, mothers, fathers or shopkeepers and such opportunities enable them to use language.

Play with objects - sand, water, play-dough, jigsaws, boxes and bricks and other toys.
Engage in physical play - such as ball games, skipping, chasing games.
Social play is essential for good development. Not only do children learn many social and emotional skills through play with their peers, they also acquire a variety of linguistic skills.
Choose toys carefully. Children should have blocks to build, simple jig-saws or basic construction toys. Encourage them to build and make use of odds and ends such as paper-plates, used packets, cartons or egg boxes.
LANGUAGE The role of language in education is so important and cannot be overemphasised. Language is essential for developing reading and writing skills and is also a vital part of the social and emotional development of children. In developing your child's language skills encourage your child to: - Listen - Explain - Tell - Talk - Question - Retell
Listen attentively to your children. Encourage them to talk to you. Give them time to explain or describe events to you. Avoid interrupting, even if you know what they are going to say. When talking to your child, don't economise with words. Don't use baby talk. Time given to language development will be rewarded in the future educational development of your child.


Making life manageable for your child in Junior Infants 


Children cannot be independent if they cannot manage the equipment you provide. Give some thought to the items your child needs to get through the school day.
- If your child cannot tie laces and needs to change shoes - perhaps for PE - shoes with a velcro fastener will enable him/her to cope.
- Ask yourself whether or not your child can manage his/her clothes by him/herself. Zips may be easier than buttons for example. Elasticated trousers can be easier than zips or buttons.
All of the above, if given a little thought, can help your child feel capable of dealing with classroom routine. It also helps the teacher enormously. It is impossible for a teacher to tie and untie 30 pairs of runners!


The First Day
 


It is important that you establish a good routine early. Check that all items - uniform, bag - are ready for the morning. Do this in a calm fashion and don't have your child over-excited or anxious going to bed. Give plenty of time in the morning for dressing, washing and eating a good breakfast. It is important that your child arrives at school before class starts as children can find it very intimidating to walk into a class already in progress.
On the big day, if you are feeling upset, don't show it. Leave your child with the teacher, and tell him/her you will be back at the appropriate time to collect him/her. If your child is upset, trust the teacher. The teacher is very experienced and knows how to comfort an anxious child. Sometimes a small toy from home can be a comfort.

When the child arrives in school s/he will meet many children. There may be the familiar faces of friends from the neighbourhood as well as former classmates from pre-school. There will also be new faces. Due to the increased integration of children with special needs into mainstream schools, there may be children in the class with special needs. Likewise, there are likely to be children from other cultures in their new class. Ireland is becoming increasingly multi-cultural and your child is likely to meet children from other cultures during his/her primary school life. Your child will take some time to familiarise him/herself with all these new faces but, after a time, you will find that your child will soon make new friends.

It is important that you arrive on time to collect your child from school. Children will become upset if they see other children being collected and feel they are being left behind. It takes time for children to adapt to school life and routine. Don't expect too much too soon. Talk to them about what happened and allow them to respond in their own way. If you ask "What did you learn today?" you will most likely be told, "Nothing!" Most of the work at infant level is activity based and children do not understand 'learning' in the same way that adults do. If, however, you ask "What happened?" "What did you do?" "Did you sing?" "Did you draw?", you will have more success. Your child will be tired coming home from school and, occasionally, may sleep for an hour or so when they come home. It is important to set a routine of a quiet time together and early to bed. If you feel that your child is worried about something that is school related, talk to the teacher.

Source: www.into.ie INTO TIPS FOR PARENTS

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