5 a side soccer 

5 a side soccer blitz between St. Brigids & castleknock national school. Very competitive matches. Great skill and sportsmanship shown by all players. 

         

Croke Park Finals 2015

We were so thrilled this year to have both our girls and our boys camogie and football teams playing in Croke Park. They girls had a fantastic victory. The boys didn’t win but had a great time nonetheless.

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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.

 

 

Punctuality

 

“ 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  months..so 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

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.