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.


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.





“ Be in your line at ten to nine”

The first fifteen minutes each morning are busy times in class. Often books are exchanged and homework checked as children and teachers prepare for the day ahead. To minimize early morning disruptions please try to have your child at school in time.

We know that some children feel really anxious when they have to enter the classroom late  and if this is a regular occurence it can undermine their confidence and create a lot of  anxiety problems in the morning.

Parents are asked to encourage independence by allowing their child enter  each morning with their line. It is not necessary to accompany them to the classroom door.

Absence from School

If a child is unwell they should stay at home and we understand that some children are more prone to illnesses especially in their first year in school. However we ask you to inform the class teacher as to the reason for your child’s absence on their return to school. We are obliged to state  absence reasons when making out attendance reports each term  Our school app  and website have forms that can be filled and sent from your phone or you can simply write a note.

If a pupil has missed 15 days the school will inform you by text. At 20 days we are required to inform the National Welfare Board even if the absences are due to illness.

If a child misses 20 days of school , that’s nearly a month  out of 10 those  odd days really  add up and your child’s progress does suffer,

We discourage parents from taking children on extended family holidays  during the school term except in exceptional circumstances. We are not allowed under law to give permission to  a parent take a child out of school for a holiday. If a parent wishes to do so , they need to state this intention in writing.

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Birthdays are important days in children’s lives and teachers usually mark theses occasions in class with a badge, sticker, birthday hat etc.  However parents are asked NEVER to give  out invitations in the classroom or anywhere on the school grounds  ( or ask their child to do so)  Too often in the past , this practice has hurt other pupils who feel excluded. Please do not ask a teacher to make an exception for your child as a refusal can sometimes offend. Similarly  to avoid hurt for other children if a group of children  are attending a party they should never be collected together from the classroom door or school grounds.

In accordance with our NUT FREE POLICY  birthday cakes  may not  be shared in school.

We appreciate your co-operation in implementing this policy.


School Sports

What a great day! We had perfect weather,  not too warm and not too sunny.  Everyone was in great spirits leaving school at 10 a.m. and the first race got underway at 10.30. Each section had 6 classes and  each class five different races. We had egg and spoon, boy’s and a girl’s  sprint,  a sack race  and a three legged race . Winners won points for their team and  the team with the most points won the section .  Everyone arrived back in school at 1pm and were so tired they just sat down in the yard during break. _MG_0062 _MG_0067 _MG_0144

Check out the 156 photos on our flickr page that Nora took .


Senior School Basketball Blitz

It’s been a great week for Sport on our school. and today  our winning streak continued when teams from Dublin 15  schools arrived in the Sports Hall for an exciting basketball blitz.  Our team played really well and won a thrilling final . Check out the photos in our photo section or on  our flickr page … Saint Brigids National School.

Tomorrow is our school sports day in Russell Park. We hope to leave school at 10am approx and return around 12.30.

Children should wear sunscreen if it is a sunny day and bring plenty to drink bottle.

Parents are very welcome to join us but  for safety reasons please do not take your child home from Russell Park unless you have  good reason. Children will walk up and back with their teacher.

Let’s hope we all have a great safe day. martyrdom-clipart-sp


Our Approach

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Our Ethos

We promote the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil- intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and with other people. The school models and promotes a philosophy of life, inspired by belief in God and in the life of Jesus Christ. St. Brigid’s provides Religious education for pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and promotes the formation of the pupils in the Catholic Faith.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/2″][trx_image url=”2614″ align=”none” shape=”square” icon=”inherit” width=”90%” bottom=”5px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Our Mission

St. Brigid’s National School, Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock is a Catholic primary school for the education of children from the parish of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, Castleknock. It is committed to the aims and principles of the revised curriculum (1999) and the Education Act(2001). St. Brigid’s N.S., in partnership with parents and community, seeks to enable pupils to discover and develop their talents and aptitudes in an environment permeated by Catholic values, so that they will be able to participate actively and responsibly in society and in the future.

More specifically, our mission aims to enable each child

To live a full life as a child and to realise his/her potential as a unique individual with his/her own particular aptitudes and talents
To enhance his/her self-esteem so that they will become sensitive, caring and responsible members of the community and society
To develop to the best of his/her ability in all aspects of school life and to respect the right of other children to do the same
To prepare for further education and life-long learning

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St. Brigid’s N.S. seeks to provide

A secure, happy and purposeful environment that allows children to enjoy quality learning experiences designed to engage and challenge them
A welcoming environment for all – respectful of diversity of race, culture, religion, gender and ability
A supportive environment for all children with special needs through learning support and resource teaching.
We value our relationship with parents and the community and we are committed to working in partnership with all involved in the education process so as to ensure that the best interests of each child is provided for.

We are committed to nurturing the Catholic faith through religious education, preparation for the sacraments and through the ethos of the school. The ethos will be demonstrated through respect shown for each person in the school – pupils, members of the staff, parents and visitors.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1433623964357{background-color: #ededed !important;}”][trx_image url=”2613″ align=”none” shape=”square” icon=”inherit”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][trx_quote]

” Learning, Striving, Achieving..Together ”


Administering Medicines

The aims of this document are:

·         To create a caring community with the support of pupils, teachers, parents and non-teaching staff
·         To promote an environment where everyone feels safe and secure.
·         To set out a procedure for administering medication by staff members under the authorisation of the Board of Management.
·         To inform fully the school community of procedures for administering medication to pupils with recognised health problems.
·         To clarify the responsibility of parents, BOM, principal, teachers, staff and children regarding the giving of medicines.
·         To encourage adherence to an agreed set of principles

Underlying Principles:

·         Parents have the prime responsibility for their child’s health.
·         Medicines should only be administered in school when essential and cannot be given at an alternative time: i.e. that it would be detrimental to a child’s health if the medicine were not administered during the school day.
·         Medicines will not be administered, even in an emergency, without the prior written permission of the child’s parents which has been updated annually.
·         Medicines should always be provided in the original container as dispensed by the pharmacist and include the prescriber’s instructions.
·         Medicines will not be stored or administered without prior written permission from the B.O.M.
·         Parents should keep children at home when they are unwell.

Children with Long term Health Problems:

When enrolling a child in St. Brigid’s National School, the Board of Management requires parents/guardians to fill out an application form, part of which seeks details of any health problems affecting the child.
Where a child is in need of medication during school hours, the parents must outline clearly in writing when medicines must be administered, what can/cannot be done in a particular emergency situation with particular reference to what may cause a risk to a child.
The parents will give written permission for the administration of the prescribed medication and will sign an indemnity letter.

Parents should collect medicines and store them at home during holidays


Conditions that apply

Medical  information will be kept in the pupil’s file throughout the child’s time at school.
When a child’s medical condition necessitates ongoing monitoring and may involve the administration of emergency medicines the following practice will prevail:
Teachers will receive professional training on the illness, symptoms, and the administration of medicines
The “twinned” teacher will also be familiar with the child, the condition and receive professional training.
All staff will be made aware of the child and his/her condition and how medicines should be administered.
The child’s photograph will be included on a notice-board in the staff room and on the relevant yard notebook to assist instant recognition and children will wear high vis armbands in the yard,
Specialist medicines will be stored in the child’s classroom in an easily identified box with child’s name clearly printed on the outside, which will also hold administration  instructions, emergency phone numbers, G.P.’s phone number
In emergency situations qualified medical assistance will be secured at the earliest opportunity.
A record of administration will be kept

The Board of Management will:

  • give specific authorisation in writing to members of staff who are willing to administer medication.
  • require an indemnity from parents in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of medicines
  • Provide training /instruction for teachers on the administration of specialist medicines
  • Arrange for the safe storage of medication e.g. a secure First Aid box, special kits etc. will be provided in the appropriate classrooms.
  • inform the school’s insurers accordingly
  • review the policy every 12 months.

The Principal will be responsible for
·         putting this policy into practice
·         making the school community aware of the policy
·         ensuring that all staff are aware of children with acute conditions
·         Arrange for the administration of medicines, allocation of child to “twinned teacher” in the event of the authorised teacher being absent

Role of the Teacher:

No teacher will be obliged to either administer medicines or to supervise children taking them.

The teacher will:

·         not administer  medicines without the specific authorisation of the BOM.
·         Make all staff aware of the child and his/her condition and how medicines should be administered.
·         Inform parents if their child has received/refused medication at school to avoid repeat dose at home or at wrong time interval.
·         Keep written records each time medicines are given( Kept in the Principal’s office unless other arrangements are in place.
·         Inform parents if prescribed medicines could not be administered
·         Seek direction from parents when risk to the child is suspected
·         Ensure that emergency medicines are readily accessible yet out of children’s reach

It will be the parent’s responsibility to

  • request the BOM in writing to authorise a member(s) of staff to administer medicine at the time of admission to the school.
  • Meet with class teacher and the principal and inform them in writing, at the beginning of each year, of the child’s medical condition, symptoms and appropriate treatment and how to minimise risk to the child
  • give permission for their child to be taken to the hospital/doctor in the case of a medical emergency, at the teacher’s or principal’s discretion.
  • Update and renew the request for administration of medicine at the beginning of each school year to the Board of Management.
  • Write a letter requesting changes in dosage or time of administration
  • Inform teachers/staff/parents who may take the child for extra-curricular activities, educational visits, tours etc. of the child’s needs
  • Ensure that, as far as is possible, all the medical and nutritional needs of the child are attended to before presenting the child for school
  • Contact the teacher to ensure that the child’s medication is brought on school trips.
  • Supply the medication and check that it is in date, dispose of out-of-date medicines and store medicines over holiday periods
  • Ensure that medicines are clearly labelled with child’s name, parents’ phone numbers, name and dose of medicine and frequency of administration,
  • Check each morning that the authorised teacher is in school,  and if not to speak to the authorised neighbouring teacher.

Parents will be required to give permission for their child to be photographed for the purpose of informing the staff and auxiliary staff about each child’s medical needs. These photographs will be used in yard duty notebooks and on staff notice-boards to assist in the process of identifying children who may require emergency medicine.

Children will

·         Know where their medicines are stored
·         As they get older and more mature it may become appropriate that children take more responsibility for the administration of their own medicines i.e. self-administered when possible, under the supervision of an authorised adult.