Enrolment 2019

Application to Enrol in Junior Infant Classes 2019

Parents who wish to have a child enrolled in junior infant classes in St. Brigid’s N.S. for September 2019 are asked to hand in;

1       Child’s PPS Number

2       Child’s birth certificate,

3       Two recent utility bills with current address  (Electric, Gas, Land-line phone, cable) and

4       Any relevant reports (Medical, psychological etc)

to the school enquiries office by January 25th 2019.  Places will then be allocated in accordance with the school Enrolment Policy.

If you haven’t filled in the online form yet you can do so here

Further information is available from the school office at (01) 8214040 or by reading our Enrolment Policy here 

Our Enrolment Policy

The Board of Management of St. Brigid’s N.S. has set out its policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 and the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 as commenced. The Board trusts that by so doing, parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. Furthermore, the Principal teacher will be happy to clarify any matters arising. The Board of Management of the school, in accordance with school policy, makes decisions in relation to applications for enrolment.

St. Brigid’s N.S. is a primary, co-educational, Roman Catholic school serving the parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock. The school is under the patronage of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. The school has a total of 48 teachers which comprises 32 class teachers, 14 special education teachers an Administrative Principal and Administrative Deputy Principal. St. Brigid’s N.S. operates under the Rules for National Schools and the Department of Education and Skills (DES) guidelines.

School Ethos and Mission Statement

St. Brigid’s N.S. has a Catholic ethos, which aims to facilitate the holistic development of all its pupils to the best of their ability. The Board of Management, staff, parents and school community work in partnership, to develop moral, Christian values and to meet the needs of all its students.

Here, pupils learn to appreciate their individuality as well as that of others. St. Brigid’s N.S. encourages all students to grow and cultivate

What Underpins our Policy:

  • The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin is patron of St. Brigid’s N.S. The Board of Management reserves their right to promote and uphold a Catholic ethos under Section 7(3) of the Equal Status Actwhile recognising, respecting and welcoming the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions and ways of life in society.
  • The school follows the curriculum guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Skills which may be amended from time to time in accordance with Section 9 and 30 of theEducation Act 1998. All children are expected to participate in all aspects of the curriculum. The school provides Religious Education for Catholic pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • The School adheres to Circular 0009/2017 and any subsequent circulars concerning the standardisation of the school year.  Parents are informed of school closures at the commencement of each school term.
  • The Board of Management of St. Brigid’s N.S. has formally adopted and implemented Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary School, 2017 which is based on Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017. Our Child Safeguarding Statement is available to be read in reception or on the school website and app.
  • Pupils enrolled in St. Brigid’s N.S.  are required to co-operate with and support the school Code of Behaviouras well as other policies. A copy of the school Code of Behaviour is available on the website, app or in Reception. Parents are responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) co-operate with the policies in an age appropriate manner. Parents who accept a place for their child in St. Brigid’s N.S. will be required to sign an undertaking on the school application form to support the implementation of school Code of Behaviour and other policies.
  • The BOM reserves the right to determine the number of classes at each level and the maximum number of children in each class.

Aims and Objectives of the Policy:

  1. To ensure the efficient management of the school through prudent distribution of pupil numbers through the classes
  2. To fulfill the requirements of the Education Act, 1998, the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 and the Education Welfare Act (2000)

Enrolment Criterion

St. Brigid’s N.S. accepts children from the parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock. If, in any one year, the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, the following categories will be used, in descending order of priority, to select children for enrolment

CATEGORY 1:

  • Children who are resident in the parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock on the date of enrolment along with
  • Siblings of current pupils of the school and
  • Children of present staff members of the school.

Places will be allocated to children in this category in order of date of birth, starting with the oldest pupils.

CATEGORY 2:

  • Children who are resident outside the parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock on the date of enrolment. Places will be allocated in this group (in order of date of birth starting with the oldest children) if vacancies exist when Category 1 children have been accommodated.

The Board will not consider an application for enrolment in a new Junior Infant class any child who is currently in a junior infant class in another primary school.  

Admission\Enrolment Procedures:

A: In December before the year of school entry, The Board of Management will communicate enrolment arrangements, giving closing dates for enrolment applications, through:

  • Parish Newsletter from Our Lady Mother of the Church Parish
  • Announcements at Masses in Our Lady Mother of the Church Parish
  • Present Parent Bodies
  • School Web Site/App

B:Parents who wish to register an interest in enrolling their child in St. Brigid’s National School should add the child’s name and contact details to a New Entrants List on the school website and app. This list will be active up to the end of the first week in January.  

When the online form has been submitted parents/guardians  will receive a reference number which they should note.

Please remember this list does not infer any priority for enrolment purposes. 

If parents or guardians have any difficulty with the online form they are advised to give their details in person at the school office.

It is parents’ responsibility to ensure that all details given are correct.

C: In January of the year of enrolment, parents/guardians of children on this list, along with all other interested parents, are invited by letter to confirm that they wish to have their child enrolled in St. Brigid’s N.S.

They should submit by the given date in late January;

  1. The PPSN for their child – requirement of Department of Education & Skills Database (It is a condition of enrolment that relevant pupil information is transferred to the DES Pupil Online Database (POD) when enrolled.)
  2. An original long form of Birth Certificate for their child
  3. Two Utility Bills (Electricity, Water, Gas, Land-line Telephone and Internet)from the past three months as proof of present address.  Mobile phone bills or bank statements cannot be accepted.
  4. Any relevant reports such as medical /psychological/speech & language reports

Children must have reached the age of 4 years by the last day in September of that year for enrolment to Junior Infant classes.

Proof of Address:

Proof of residency may be checked in order to determine eligibility for enrolment. Incorrect information submitted in relation to any aspects of the enrolment application invalidates the application. The BOM reserves the right to withdraw an offer of enrolment on the basis of false or misleading information provided. The completion of an application form or the placement of a child’s name on a waiting list does not confer a right to a place in the school. Places are allocated according to the enrolment criteria. 

D: Offers of places will be sent to parents by mid February. Places must be accepted not later than 14 days after the offer of a place has been notified – a place will be forfeited if a letter of acceptance is not received in this time frame.

The primary curriculum is designed to be an eight-year cycle. Enrolment into Junior Infant classes may take place up to the 30th September each year. Pupils will not be accepted into Junior Infant classes after that date except on transfer from another school

Parents have the right to appeal any enrolment decision to the board and this should be done in writing. Under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, any parent or guardian can appeal a school’s refusal to enroll his/her child.

Evaluation:

The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of all aspects of the Policy and amend the Policy as required.

This enrolment policy was reviewed and updated by the Board of Management of St. Brigid’s N.S. in November 2018.

Appendix 1: Special Needs

St. Brigid’s N.S welcomes children with special needs. The school will not refuse a child on the basis of ethnicity, special education needs, disability, traveller status, refugee status, political beliefs, family or social circumstances, provided the necessary supports are in place in the school and subject to the criteria of the policy.

In relation to applications for enrolment of children with special needs, the Board of Management may request a copy of the child’s medical and \or psychological report. Where such a report is not available, the Board of Management may request that the appropriate professional assess the child immediately. The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and care needs of the child relevant to his/her special needs and to profile the support services required.

Following receipt of the report, the board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board of Management deems the further resources are required, it will request the Department of Education and Science, to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in psychological or medical reports. Such resources may include for example the provision of any or a combination of the following:

  • Visiting teacher service
  • Resource teacher for special needs
  • Special needs assistant
  • Specialized equipment or furniture
  • Transport service

The school will meet the parents/guardians of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the schools suitability or capability in meeting those needs. The school supports the principles of

  • Inclusiveness, in particular with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need
  • Equality of access and participation in the school
  • Respect for diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

The Board of Management of St. Brigid’s N.S., in its Enrolment Policy, respects the rights of the existing school community and the children already enrolled. Consequently, the Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class, bearing in mind:

  • Available class space
  • Educational Needs of the children
  • Presence of children with special needs
  • Department of Education and Science class size directives
  • Time of school year

It may be necessary for the Board of Management of St. Brigid’s N.S. to decide to defer enrolment of a child, pending:

  • The receipt of an assessment report and\or
  • The provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Science to meet the needs specified in the psychological and\or medical reports.v

Appendix 2: Religious Education

St. Brigid’s N.S. is a Catholic school and the underlying ethos of the school is a Catholic ethos. A crucial element of the promotion of this ethos is the teaching of the religion in class. While we welcome children of all religions and none to our school, we cannot provide supervision outside the classroom for children who do not wish to participate in religion classes.

Appendix 3: Data Protection 

In line with our data protection policy, the enrolment form filled out by applicants is strictly confidential and used by the school for the child’s benefit.

Information sought on this form will include

  • Pupil’s name, age, date of birth and address and PPS number
  • Parents\Guardians names, contactable phone numbers, addresses and email addresses
  • Contact details of reliable people who may be contacted in the event of Parents\guardians not being reached in an emergency
  • Details of medical conditions which the school should be aware of
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Language spoken at home
  • Previous schools attended and reason for transfer if applicable
  • Other information which the Board of Management deems relevant to the welfare of the child

A Birth Certificate must be presented at this time.

Expression of Interest Form Information

Please complete the  online expression of interest form if you want to put your child’s name down on any of our intake lists . There are several years available. Please ensure you pick the right one! This form does not  guarantee a place nor infer any priority.

Once you complete the form you will see an acknowledgement page giving your child’s reference number. We recommend you print this page and keep it for your records.

You will be contacted by the school in the January of the year your child is due to start. Please read our policy and the criterion we apply when offering places.

If your child is already attending a primary school and wishes to transfer to our school, please contact the school secretary after reading the transfer policy. We do not offer an online application form for transfer pupils.

Continue to expression of interest  form here

Information for Parents on the Primary Online Database

Information for Parents on the New Primary Online Database (POD)

Why has the Department introduced POD?

There are already databases in place covering pre-primary, post-primary, PLC and third level education, and the lack of individualised information on primary school pupils presents a very significant data gap for monitoring the progress of pupils from primary to secondary level. Therefore the Department has developed an electronic individualised database of primary school pupils, called the Primary Online Database (POD).

The purpose of POD is to monitor the progress of children through the education system in order to ensure that everyone can meet his or her educational potential, and also to ensure that every child of compulsory school age is in receipt of an education. POD data will underpin grant payments and teacher allocations to schools, based on verified data.

Is it compulsory to include my child on POD?

All pupils must have a record on POD in order to be counted for school’s capitation payment and teacher allocation purposes.

Does the school need my consent to put my child’s details on POD?

The Department has consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to the collection of individual pupil information for the Primary Online Database. As both religion and ethnic and cultural background are considered sensitive personal data categories under Data Protection legislation, it is necessary for each individual pupil’s parent/guardian to identify their own religion and ethnic or cultural background, and to consent for this information to be transferred to the Department of Education and Skills. All other information held on POD is deemed to be non-sensitive personal data and therefore does not require written permission from parents for the information to be transferred to the Department.

Are schools/the Department of Education allowed ask for my child’s PPSN?

Schools, as the provider of a public service, are allowed to ask for a pupil’s PPSN as long as there is a valid purpose for collecting it. The Department has consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner and they have stated that PPSN can now be collected by primary schools with the purpose being it is a requirement of the Primary Online Database to validate pupil identity. PPSN is already collected for the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme and by post-primary schools.

The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, Section 262 allows for the collection of the PPSN by schools and the Department of Education and Skills, and the Department is on the Department of Social Protection’s Register of PPSN users.

Why do you need my child’s PPSN?

The PPSN is a unique identifier, so this is the best means of ensuring that there are no duplicate records in the system i.e. that two schools do not have the same child on their roll, and that every child of compulsory school age is receiving an education. It also allows the pupil’s educational history to be maintained accurately as he or she changes school.

Who will have access to my child’s details?

POD will be accessed by schools through the Esinet portal, a secure network managed and controlled by the Department. It may only be accessed through password controlled accounts. Only schools and a small number of Department staff will have access to an account. No agency or other Government Department will have access to the Primary Online Database. POD application roles have been developed which limit school staff to viewing and maintaining their own pupil records. Access within the Department to POD data is limited to the POD team, which currently consists of fewer than 15 people.

How secure is POD?

Data recorded on POD is stored securely in the Department’s database. This database is hosted on the Department’s servers which are located in the Revenue Commissioner’s data-centre. Access to the servers is protected by both Revenue and Government Networks firewalls. Staff of the Revenue Commissioners do not have access to the data in the database. Data from POD is not stored in a cloud-based system.

Schools have responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all pupil data which they hold. They may only access the data of students currently enrolled in their schools on the POD system.

Who will the data be shared with?

The Department proposes in the future to share some of the personal data stored on POD with other State bodies. These are:

 Central Statistics Office, under the Statistics Acts to assist with the compilation of national statistics.

 The National Council for Special Education, under the Education Welfare Act, in order to assist in supporting resource allocation in relation to pupils with special educational needs.

 The Child and Family Agency, under the Education Welfare Act, to ensure that each child of compulsory school age is in receipt of an education.

 To meet the Department’s business needs in regard to the allocation of resources to schools, the Department will share a limited amount of each pupil’s personal data, including a child’s PPS number with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform PPSN validation service, or directly with the Department of Social Protection Client Identity Database area, in order to validate the identity of each pupil and ensure that the correct resource allocation is granted to each school. The legal basis for this sharing of data is set out in the Social Welfare Acts.

The Department will put in place a memorandum of understanding with each of these bodies, which includes information n the purpose and legal basis for which the body requires the data, how it will be stored securely, and for how long it will be retained.

How long will information on my child be retained for?

Identifiable pupil data will be retained until the pupil’s 19th birthday, so when your child has reached his or her 19th birthday his/her records will be anonymised and their personal details – PPSN, name, address – deleted. The anonymised records will then be used for statistical and longitudinal analysis.

Why are you asking for information about my child’s religion and ethnic/cultural background?

The question about ethnic and cultural background has been developed in a process of consultation with the CSO and is based on the question that was asked in the 2011 Census of Population will be used in the 2016 Census of Population. The question give people the opportunity to identify themselves according to their ethnic and cultural background, if they choose to do so.

Information about a pupil’s religion and ethnic/cultural background will be as defined by his or her parents. These questions are optional, so you can choose to select ‘No Consent’ in reply to them, if you wish. The same applies to the question about religion, which is also optional.

Collecting this information allows the Department to gather information about the diversity of our school population. The Data Protection Commissioner has advised that the most equitable way to collect this type of sensitive information is to give all pupils an opportunity to identify their own ethnic and cultural background and consent to the information being passed to the Department, rather than targeting a particular ethnic or cultural group in the data collection. This data will be a useful aid in ensuring that education departments devise policies that help ensure that all children in the education system can reach their potential.

Pupils’ religion is requested for statistical purposes only.

What should I do if I don’t want my child’s details to be put on POD?

A minority of parents object to having their children’s details on POD. They must submit their objections in writing so that the school can have an accurate record of the number of pupils. Please note that this objection should be sent to the school.

In the case where parents or guardians object in this manner, a partial record of their child will be created on POD; that is, an unidentifiable record.

Please note that verbal objections to a pupil’s data being placed on POD will not suffice, as schools are required by the Department to maintain written records of objections.

How can I find out what information about my child is recorded on POD?

Under the Freedom of Information Act (2014) and the Data Protection Act, parents/guardians are entitled to view a copy of any information held about any child(ren) they are responsible for. If a parent/guardian requests a copy of information held on POD about a child, the Department will request:

 Confirmation of the child’s identity (copy of passport/birth certificate or other identification)

 Confirmation of the parent/guardian’s identity (copy of passport/birth certificate or other identification)

Requests for POD data should be submitted in writing to the Statistics Section, along with copies of the relevant documentation.

Where can I get more information about POD?

A Helpdesk has been set up and the POD team are there to assist you with any queries you may have about the new database. The Helpdesk can be contacted by phone, at 01 8892311, or by email at pod@education.gov.ie.

Transferring from another School

Policy on Transferring from another school to St. Brigid’s N.S.

Parents who wish to transfer a child from another primary school to St. Brigid’s N.S. during the school year must make a formal application in writing to the Board of Management for consideration. Children may transfer into Junior Infants after September 30th of any given year and into other classes at the beginning of each half-term except in the case of an emergency transfer or an unexpected change of address to the school catchment area.

The Board of Management will accept transfers into the school subject to the terms of Circular 24/02, and to the following:

  •  that the child has already been enrolled in another school or is receiving home tuition under the DES/NEWB Túsla/Child and Family Agency approved guidelines
  • that the child is transferring to an age-appropriate class and
  • that there is a space in a class at that level for the child wishing to transfer
  • that the child is leaving with the goodwill of his/her previous school.

Where the Board of Management is unable to offer a child seeking a transfer a place in the school, the child will be placed on a waiting list. The child’s position on the waiting list is determined by the following criteria:

  1. Children of school-going age who have come to live in the catchment area and who do not have a place in any school.
  2. Siblings of children currently and previously enrolled in St. Brigid’s N.S.
  3. Children who live in the catchment area and who do not have a school place in the Dublin 15 area.
  4. Children who live in the catchment area and who are attending one of the schools in the Dublin 15 area.
  5. All other applicants.

In the event of the number of children in category (1) exceeding the number of places available in a given class, when a place becomes available, the Board of Management will implement a cut-off, whereby children will be offered a place according to their date of application. The same criteria will be adopted in relation to pools (2), (3), and (4) respectively, until all places are filled. All unsuccessful applicants will remain on the waiting list, in accordance with the above criteria for places that may become available at a later date. All unsuccessful applicants have a right of appeal under Section 29 Department Of Education. Places must be accepted in writing not later than 14 days after dispatch of B.O.M. enrolment letter.

This policy was approved by the Board of Management on January 30th 2017

Curriculum

Children are natural learners and have an inbuilt curiosity and an eagerness to know more about the world around them. Our aim is to ensure that your child’s experience of school will be such that he/she will come to value learning and will develop the ability to learn independently. However, children will only learn when they are ready and when their interest is aroused. Because they come to us so young we must guard against putting pressure on them to learn what they are not yet ready for. Demanding too much can switch a child off completely but at the same time we must cultivate readiness for learning so that they can get moving as soon as possible.

In the junior infant class, specific goals are prioritised, namely those of settling in, relating to others, making friends, feeling happy and gradually getting used to the routine of school. In terms of learning, the emphasis is on getting children ready for learning by

  • Developing their oral language and expression.
  • Developing physical coordination especially of hand and fingers. We engage the children in activities to strengthen and improve their gross motor and fine motor skills.
  • Extending the children’s concentration span and getting them to listen attentively to teacher and to each other.
  • Getting each child to accept the general order which is necessary for the class to work well.
  • Co-operating with the teacher and each other and learning to work and share with each other.
  • Performing tasks by themselves and thereby helping them become independent learners.

 

Aistear: Learning through play.

Aistear is a new framework that was developed to support the implementation of the curriculum using the methodology children know best …play . Aistear is divided into 4 themes .

  1. Communicating,
  2. Wellbeing,
  3. Identity and Belonging
  4. Exploring and Thinking.

 

Different Types of Play:

Creative Play

Language Games

Pretend Play

Games with Rules

Physical Play

Playing is children’s work and through it they learn social skills and to build relationships, they learn creativity, how to read , write and count. They learn how to think and plan. How to problem solve, they learn to use language and they develop their muscles and fine motor skills through physical play .

 Readiness for Learning

Oral Language

Language acquisition is a developmental process. It begins from birth and continues throughout the primary school and beyond. Your child comes to school with considerable verbal facility. This is achieved not in any formal learning or teaching situation but in the day-to-day social context of the home, and its most important characteristic is the engagement of the child in a stimulating and challenging way. Language, therefore, is a central factor in the expansion of the child’s conceptual framework and body of knowledge.

 

Therefore, it is important that your child’s ability to talk is as advanced as possible. It is through speech that the child communicates his/her thoughts and feelings, his/her needs, desires and wonder. If he/she cannot express these in words he/she will tend to remain silent and will often withdraw from the learning activity of the class. That is why a lot of attention is given to language development in the early year’s classroom.

Developing Oral Language

Parental/Guardian involvement will help to develop a child’s oral language skills. You can talk to your child naturally and casually about things of interest that you or he/she may be doing at home. Remember that all the time he/she is absorbing the language he/she hears about him/her. It takes him/her a while to make it his/her own and use it for his/her own needs. You can help to develop your child’s oral language by:

 

  • Making time to listen when your child wants to tell you something that is important to him/her.
  • Answering his/her genuine questions with patience and in an adequate way.
  • Nurturing his/her sense of wonder and curiosity in the world around him/her.
  • Introducing him/her gently to the idea of questions and question words and the idea of How? Why? What? When? Where? etc. These demand more advanced language structures.

 Reading in the Early Year’s Classroom

The cornerstone of successful learning is the ability to read. However, learning to read is a gradual process and a lot of preparatory work must be done before a child is introduced to his/her first reader.

In junior infants, we deliberately do not rush or push children into reading. We get them ready for it over an extended period. Reading is something to be enjoyed and this is communicated to the children in the junior infant classroom. It should never start as a chore for the small child

 Parental/Guardian Involvement in Reading

You can help to foster a love of reading and an appreciation for books in your child by:

  • Having attractive colourful books in the home.
  • Looking at the pictures with him/her and talking to him/her about what they say, encouraging him/her to give descriptions and make predictions about the story.
  • Reading him/her a variety of stories from time to time. He/she will get to associate these wonderful tales with books and reading.
  • Conveying to your child that books are precious things and must be handled with care and put away safely.
  • Reciting nursery rhymes with him/her or playing taped nursery rhymes to him/her but take care not to push him/her into learning the rhymes before he/she is ready.
  • Singing the alphabet song with your child so that he/she at least has heard of the letters. If he/she knows what one looks like, all the better but don’t push your child into learning letter names and sounds.

 

Getting Ready for Writing

Making letters on paper is not easy for the small child. His/her hand and finger muscles are only gradually developing at this stage. He/she must learn to hold the pencil properly as failure to adopt the correct grip will impact upon his/her writing all the way up the school and becomes harder to correct as the child gets older.

 

Parental/Guardian Involvement in Developing Early Writing Skills:

You can help by working on your child’s hand/eye coordination through getting him/her to manipulate toys like:

  • Jigsaws, lego, threading beads
  • Plasticene and play dough to make his/her own shapes
  • A colouring book and thick crayons
  • Sheets of paper that he/she can cut up safely with a child’s scissors

In our school we use a multi sensory program called Handwriting Without Tears to teach handwriting at all levels. In Junior Infants we begin by teaching capital letter formation as the children find these easier to make correctly.   More information about this program can be found on the school website.

When your child begins to write, don’t worry if he/she begins spelling words incorrectly. As the children in junior infants learn their letters they will be encouraged to sound out and spell short words. If children have a go at spelling words this is fine – it is referred to as inventive spelling. And if your child is left-handed, do not discourage it. If that is his/her natural inclination, don’t attempt to change him/her.

 

Mathematical Learning in the Early Year’s Classroom:

In junior infants, mathematical concepts and skills are introduced to the children through focusing on the language that they use in understanding and talking about certain things in their daily experiences. For example,

  • He/she associates certain numbers with particular things familiar to him/her – two hands, five fingers, his/her house number, etc
  • Counting – one, two, three, etc
  • Colours – red, blue, green, etc
  • Prepositions (telling position) and their opposites: over/under, before/after, inside/outside
  • Matching/sorting – objects of the same colour/size/texture
  • Odd one out – difference in size, colour, shape

Understanding of these concepts comes very quickly for some children. For others it takes a long time. Be patient – you cannot force mathematical understanding on a child. However, the child gets to understand Maths best by handling and investigating and using real objects. This has been his/her natural method since he/she was a baby. At times this can be a nuisance but if it allows him to do the learning him/herself the final result is well worth it.

 

Parental/Guardian Involvement in Developing Mathematical Understanding

In the course of your ordinary daily routine in the home, in the shop, etc you should use suitable opportunities to casually introduce the Maths vocabulary referred to above. For example,

  • How many cakes are on the plate?
  • What colour is the traffic light?
  • Where is teddy?

 

Gaeilge

All children enjoy learning another language besides their own language. They have no difficulty in picking it up because it fascinates them as another code of communication. Children in junior infants enjoy learning Irish and love to show-off the new words, phrases, poems and rhymes that they learn. They are free of any hang-ups about Irish unless they become aware that the home attitude towards it is not good. So please be careful that anything you say does not give a negative attitude to your child.

We would like you to give every encouragement and help to your child in their efforts to acquire Irish. If they learn new words in school, encourage them to use them at home or to say the new poem/rhyme they have learned. Children are delighted to find out that their parents/guardians are into their new code and they may well assist you in increasing your own Irish vocabulary!

 

Other Areas of the Curriculum

In addition to the core subjects of English, Gaeilge and Maths, junior infant children will experience a wide range of subjects appropriate for their level. These include:

  • Social environmental and scientific studies
  • Social, personal and health education
  • Art
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Physical Education

Computer Education

Here at St. Brigid’s, we are very fortunate to have a fully equipped computer room, which junior infants, like other classes in the school will have an opportunity to use after the first few weeks. IBM has also supplied each Junior Infant classrrom with a young explorer Little Tikes computer station.

 Social Skills

Throughout junior infants, your child will develop his/her social skills through interacting with other children and teachers. The school yard is one area where some children may experience difficulties. While the junior infant teachers will keep a close eye to ensure that children are not left alone, it is important to ask your child whom he/she played with at school and to ensure he/she isn’t alone. Also you should encourage your child to mix rather than being dependent on one friend only.

Preparing for School

Preparing your child

Initially some children may find the experience of school quite daunting. To ensure that your child makes a smooth transition into school, it is important that he/she is as independent as possible – physically, emotionally and socially. If he/she can look after him/herself in these areas, he/she will feel secure and confident and settle in readily.

 

It would help us greatly if your child is able to:

  • Button and unbutton his/her coat and hang it up.
  • Open easily and without assistance his/her school bag, lunch box and drink container.
  • Use the toilet without help and manage his/her own pants and buttons. You should encourage personal hygiene and cleanliness so that your child knows to flush the toilet and wash his/her hands after use without having to be told.
  • Share toys and play things with others and take turns during activities.
  • Tidy up and put away his/her playthings.
  • If your child has had the experience of remaining contentedly in the home of a relative, friend or neighbour for a few hours, then separation from his/her parents/guardians when he/she starts school will not cause him/her any great anxiety.

 

The Big Day!

Your child’s first day at school is one that you will have prepared for, looked forward to (or indeed perhaps dreaded!) for some time. It is the day when your baby takes his/her first steps into the school system and we hope that your child’s first day at St. Brigid’s will be a day to remember.

Coming in

The date we return changes each year but you will be informed at the pre enrolment meeting what the date is for the coming September. When you arrive at the classroom, we would ask you to wait for the teacher to greet your child individually so that he/she receives the individual greeting and introduction to the classroom that each child deserves. Hopefully he/she will be absorbed in his/her new surroundings, so having assured him/her that you will be back to collect him/her, wish him/her goodbye and make your getaway without delay.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that different children react to their first experience of school in different ways. In spite of the best efforts of both teacher and parents/guardians, a small number of children will still become upset. It is important to trust the junior infant teacher as he/she is experienced and resourceful and is used to coping with all kinds of initial problems. So if your child happens to be one of those to get upset, don’t panic as patience, perseverance and very often distraction can work wonders!

Dealing with an upset child

If your child happens to be overwhelmed by his/her new surroundings, try not to show any outward signs of your own distress. Sometimes parents/guardians are more upset than the child and this can be the main cause of his/her anxiety. Try to be firm with your child from the start. Even if your child is upset, you must insist that he/she stay for a short time. When you have reassured him/her, leave as soon as possible. The teacher can distract and humour him/her more easily when you are not around.

School Routines

Starting school is an important milestone in the life of a child and indeed in the life of his/her parents/guardians. It is his/her first step into the wider world of the classroom and school and here at St. Brigid’s, we aim to make that first step as easy as possible. If a child’s first experience of school is one of happy involvement, a very good foundation will have been laid for fruitful school years ahead.

It is important, particularly during the first year that parents how we approach learning in the early years’ classroom, as some may expect too much in terms of academic achievement. We are also well aware that parents/guardians are keen to be involved in their children’s education and are willing to help in any way possible. Therefore, we have put together this information as a general guide for parents/guardians of junior infant children.

It deals briefly with the period before your child comes to school and his/her introductory stage in junior infants as well as including ideas for the home, which should stimulate your child’s interest and nurture his/her desire to know more.

We hope you will find it helpful and that your child’s experience of St. Brigid’s will be a happy and fulfilled one.

 

 School Routine for Junior Infants

Morning Times

School starts at 8.50am. Parents should accompany their child through the staff carpark and into the infant yard where they wait until the bell sounds. From mid September, junior infants will line up in the infant yard and their class teacher will walk them into the building in a line. Parents will be advised of this in advance. For safety reasons we ask parents not to congregate around the entrance to the Infant Building as the classes are going in.

Punctuality

Coming into school late can be very daunting and quite upsetting for children, particularly when they realise all the attention of their classmates is focused on them. It can also disrupt the school routine, as usually the reading books are swapped first thing in the morning. We ask parents/guardians to bear this in mind and aim to have children in school and in the line on time.

Packed Lunches

Children have two break times during their day at school. The first is a fifteen minute break at 10.30am and the second is a twenty five minute lunch break at 12.15pm. Junior infants will be allowed ten minutes eating-up time before each break. St. Brigid’s advocates a healthy lunch policy and we ask you to bear this in mind when preparing your child’s lunch. Crisps, popcorn, fizzy drinks, lollipops, sweets and chewing gum are not allowed in the school as stated in our Healthy Lunch Policy. Children may bring a treat on Fridays such as a small chocolate bar. All wrappers or cartons, etc contained will be brought home in the children’s lunch boxes. Also, we would ask that you give your child something you feel he/she can easily manage to eat as children can become upset if they do not finish their lunch.

Going Home:

The school day is a long day for the children so for the first two full weeks junior infants will go home at 12pm to help them make the adjustment to school. During their early weeks, they should have a small lunch and drink. After approximately two weeks the infant classes will finish school at 1.30pm and we ask you to be on time when collecting your child as children can become very upset if they see other children being collected and feel they are forgotten.

At hometime parents/guardians should come to the outside door of the classroom via the link corridor at the sports hall. Parents/guardians should wait in a line at this door. When the bell sounds the teacher will open the door. Please do not call children if you see them in the classroom as the teacher will call each child’s name when he/she sees the parent/guardian. Please inform your child’s teacher if there is any change in the collecting routine and also inform the class teacher if there are any special family arrangements we should be aware of.

After School

Children need plenty of rest after the effort and excitement of a day at school. You should ensure that your child gets to bed early and has a good night’s sleep.

Book List

The junior infant team will distribute a copy of the book list to each child in September, outlining the total cost of the books, copies and materials. The junior infant teachers buy the books, copies, pencils, etc for their class once all the money is received. We would appreciate if the money for Arts & Crafts and Photocopying, which will be outlined on the book list, be paid before the end of September. When purchasing a school bag please ensure it is large enough to take an A4 sized book. We prefer if children do not use wheelie bags as they can often unwittingly. injure another child as they wheel them.

Dress code

Junior Infants wear tracksuits and polo shirts . Velcro ties on runners are a good idea.

Personal belongings such as sweatshirts can easily get mixed up so please make sure your child’s name is clearly labelled on all items of his/her tracksuit, coat and lunchbox.

Birthday Party Invitations

We want to mention again that you must not distribute Birthday Party invitations inside your child’s classroom or on school grounds as this causes great upset to those children who do not receive an invitation. Similarly if you are collecting a group of children to take to a party please do so away from the classroom doors .

Please do not ask teachers to make an exception to this rule for your child as a refusal often upsets both parents and children.

Also as some children may have food allergies, we ask you not to send in Birthday cakes or treats as the teacher cannot distribute them.

Remixing Classes

It is school policy that at the end of first class the classes will be remixed before the children enter second. This is to enable us to address any issues that may arise during the first couple of years in school and to regroup the children in the best way possible.