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Scoil Diarmada Newsletter November 2019

Parent/Teacher Meetings:  Wednesday, 20th and Thursday 21st November for senior infants to sixth class. Junior Infant parent teacher meetings will take place in January. Please remember this meeting is ten minutes long and a knock at your appointed time policy is in place. Your appointment will be sent out next week.


Starting on Monday, Scoil Diarmada will be involved in Tusla’s ‘Everyday Counts Initiative’. Information on this is attached to this email. Congratulations to the children who have had full attendance from September to Halloween. At the moment we have an attendance rate of 94.5%. As you are aware, it is essential that parents send in a note to the class teacher explaining absenteeism. Any child who exceeds 20 days absenteeism will be reported to the school attendance officer. In order for you as parents to be aware of your child’s attendance an automatic text is sent from our school administration system if your child has missed an accumulative of 5, 10, 15 and 18 days. If your child has missed a substantial time from school you may be invited to discuss the matter with the relevant class teacher and school principal.


Message from the Board of Management.

Parents and Guardians we need your help and assistance to ensure the smooth running of the school office.  It has been brought to the attention of school management that Mary our secretary is inundated with phone calls from parents requesting messages to be given to their children.  While we understand that family emergencies do arise from time to time, it is not feasible to expect Mary to be able to pass on messages to lots of children every day as she has her own work that needs to be completed for the smooth and efficient running of the school.  To avoid unnecessary disturbance in the running of the office please make sure your child knows how they are going home, if they have a medical appointment and need to be collected early please send a note to the attention of the class teacher and if your child has training or matches please do your best to make sure gum shields and gear is in the bag. 

Many thanks for your co-operation in this matter,


Outgoing Board of Management:  Many thanks to our outgoing Board of Management whose commitment and dedication over the last four years was second to none. 


Maths Week 13th-20th October:  This year we were fortunate to have fine weather during our Maths week and many classes got to enjoy a Maths Trail around and about the school.  Estimating, measuring, recording and calculating were some of the skills being implemented throughout the week.  Photos of the week will be available on our website soon.


Sacramental Preparation for Parents:   As a parish initiative and in conjunction with preparations already begun in school, Fr. Aidan has kindly arranged a course for parents of children who will be receiving the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation in 2020.  This is a very positive and enjoyable experience as it helps you as parents develop your child’s faith through the medium of art and play.  There are 3 nights left and we would gently encourage parents to attend if at all possible.  Make this a year of blessing for you and your child.


Debating:  Ms. Harris held 2 rounds of debating and public speaking before Halloween for 5th and 6th classes.  She was delighted to see 15 students attend and this made her task very difficult in selecting a team for this year’s School Debating Festival.  We can only have 3 speakers on a team at one time, but we decided to work as a group of 10 to help form our debate.  On Wednesday 6th November, we travelled to Crookstown N.S. to oppose the motion ‘Homework is a waste of time for primary school students’.  Our team was captained by Kimora Kelly with Oisín O’Neill and Ciara Fata also speaking on the day.  We lost by an extremely small margin but came away with heads held high after a tremendous performance.  Special thanks to Brendan O’Neill for helping with travel.  We look forward to our next debate in December.


Aladdin E-payments  An email was sent to all families yesterday (Thursday the 7th) about our new E-Payment system which we hope you will find useful.   We envisage that this system will be used for the payments of larger sums of money, for example school tours.  We will not be setting up payments under €5.


School Charges: There is a small amount of money outstanding in relation to school charges (that covers essential equipment for school – art and crafts, photocopying for your child, school journal and 24 insurance).  A reminder email has being sent to each family with monies outstanding and this can be paid on our Aladdin e-payments. Please ensure any outstanding balances are paid by Friday, 15th November.


Keyboard Lessons:.  If your child is interested in learning keyboard please contact Úna Sinnott.  She will be in school from approx. 1.30 every Wednesday.


Christmas Cards:  Templates of the Christmas cards were sent home before the Halloween break.  Please ensure that your child’s template is returned to the class teacher by Friday, 8th November.  Late templates cannot be accepted due to the printer’s deadline.  There is no need to forward money to class teacher at this point.


Headlice:  It is very important for everyone to check their child’s hair as there is an outbreak of head lice in the school. Even if you have already treated your child’s hair, please check again and if required follow the instructions on the pack.


Shoebox Christmas Appeal:  Last year we were overwhelmed by the very generous response of the community of Scoil Diarmada to our Shoebox Christmas Appeal. Information leaflets were circulated before the Halloween break to all children.  While originally the date of the 8th of November was given to us for collection, due to the high interest in the shoe boxes we have been granted an extension until Wednesday the 13th of November. Our student council will be collecting the shoeboxes on a daily basis from the classrooms.


Green Schools:

Our Senior Green Schools Team had a workshop on Monday 4th with Susan Adams Education for Sustainability. The Workshop gave the team ideas to put a plan in place to help our school become plastic free which means avoiding the use of single use plastics. The team were great ambassadors for their school and found the workshop very informative and have lots of ideas to work on in the future.


Ger Brick: Ger spoke with our 5th and 6th class students about internet safety at the end of October. We would ask parents’ to be watchful of their children’s internet activity and to remember to have parental blocks in place for wifi and mobile data connections on smart devices. With the best will in the world, our children can inadvertently end up on sites that were never intended for younger people. Ger was also stressing the importance of caution towards apps like Snapchat, House Party and Tick Toc


Basketball Girls & Boys Training with Ms. Kaye and Mr. Kirk will take place on Tuesdays from 2.40-3.40.


Many thanks:  to all who donated to our Halloween Dress Up Day.  An amazing €465 was raised for the Playground Project.


The 20K Drop:  On Saturday 21st March 2020 in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel at 8p.m., the Parents’ Association of Scoil Diarmada in association with Pallas Marketing will host the 20K Drop as seen on T.V.  We are very excited about this project as we hope to raise the balance for the finances required to construct our school playground.  We would be delighted if any local businesses would like to support this worthwhile project.  It will be a fantastic and unique asset for our school.  More details will follow but please mark this date in your calendar.


Lost Property:  There is a lot of property in the school that is nameless.  Please check your child’s property (school jumpers, jackets, lunch boxes) and make sure that they are all labelled.

Second hand tracksuit bottoms/trousers:  If you have any of these at home that your child has outgrown we would be very happy to take them off your hands.


Contact Numbers:  If your contact number/email has changed please contact the school.


Upcoming Events

Summer Show:  We are happy to announce that in May 2020 the children of Scoil Diarmada will take part in a Summer Performance.  This show will take place instead of a Christmas Concert.  It promises to be a great night of entertainment.  More details will follow nearer the time.


Parish Choir Carol Service:  Our school choir, most capably led by Ms Kaye will participate in the parish carol service on Friday, 13th December.  The children will be able to wear festive clothing on the night. Please return consent forms by Monday. As part of our festive celebrations, the children will partake in a whole school carol service during school time for the children of the whole school, and of course, a special visitor will be arriving.


20 K Drop Saturday 21st March 2020

Confirmation Date: 24th April 2020

First Communion Date: May 9th 2020.

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