All posts by Fintan

Parent Newsletter Thursday June 21st and 2018/19 Calendar

Parent Newsletter  Thursday June 21st

School Calendar  for 2018/19. Please see overleaf the school calendar for 2018/19. School reopens on Thursday August 30th. Parents are reminded about the importance of coinciding  family-holidays with  the school calendar.  You will also see on the calendar the dates for our Human Rights Fortnight, STEM Week, Feile na Gaeilge, Community Week and Get Active Week, plus the dates for the two ten-week cycles of  Autumn and Spring/Summer After School Clubs.

Next  Year’s  Teachers? The children will be informed as to  who will be teaching them next yeat at 11.45 on Friday June 29th, and  simultaneous to this  a document will be posted on the website for parents to see. We look forward to a great year in the school over 2018/19.

6th Class  Graduation  The graduation ceremony for this  year’s two sixth classes will take place at 10.30am on Tuesday June 26th ( 10.30am to 11.30am followed by light refreshments). Parents and siblings are invited to this ceremony.

Parent Association: The Parent Association  are facilitiating a Pyjama Day in the school on Thursday June 28th. This is a normal school day, but the children can wear Pyjamas ( over their normal clothing).  The family may  make a  financial contribution  to the Parent Association ( the PA will distribute a special envelope, the donation can be put in that envelope and on Thursday morning the teachers will collect and  send those envelopes down to the PA in the school office). This is an opportunity for parents to make a contribution to the financial fundraising of the Parent Association, who in turn contirbute 4000euro to the school annually  to  part-fund our  Get Active Week, Arts Week,  Feile na Gaeilge and Human Rights Month which benefits all of the children in the school.

School Self Evaluation  A full report on  the School’s Self Evaluation has been prepared and will be brought to the Board of Management for their final meeting of the 2017/18 school year next week. This will be available to parents  in the SSE folder in the school foyer as is customary and on the school website.  In summary , the SSE reports outlines progress made in the school over the 2017/18 in key areas of Literacy, Numeracy and Addressing Disadvantage, as well as spelling out targets for 2018/19.  For 2018/19 the school is focusing on two specific aspects of improvement, based on our School Improvement Plan 2016- 2021:

  • Critical Thinking ( the analytic skills , the language skills,  the comprehension skills and  communication skills associated with thinking critically in the fields of Literacy, STEM, Arts,  Ethics and SESE subject areas) This will be enabled by the schools participation in the DES’s School Excellence Fund
  • Arts Education ( improvement of the teaching/learning in specific aspects of Arts education; visual arts, music, drama and dance) This will be enabled by the school’s participation in the Creative Ireland; Creative Schools

And finally………..

We sincerely hope that your children have had a very successful and happy  2017/18 school year  in Balbriggan Educate Together. There have been many ‘highs’ throughout the year culminating in our Celebration of  Teaching and Learning Day recently.  I wish to thank the  vast vast majority of parents who support the school in our endeavour and we look forward to a great 2018/19 school year, your support and positivity is gratefully received.   Yours Sincerely, Fintan ( Principal)

Calendar for 2018/19 School Year:

Thursday 30th August :School opens for children 8.40am (Normal full school day 8.40am to 1.20pm SI or 2.20pm 1st to 6th, Junior Infants 8.40am to 11.30am until Monday 10th September when it reverts to normal day 8.40am to 1.20pm)

Autumn Club Registration :Tuesday  September 25th  7.30pm ( Clubs from weeks beginning  Monday October 1st to Monday December 10th )

Human Rights Fortnight: Monday 15th October to Friday 26th October

Monday October 29th to Friday November 2nd:School Closed  Mid Term Holiday

STEM Week :Monday 26th November to Friday 30th November

Winter Concerts:Wednesday 19th December

Friday December 21st: 12noon  school closes, reopens Monday  January 7th 8.40am

Parent teacher meetings:2.30pm to 4.30pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12th, 13th and 14th February

Monday February 18th to Friday February 22nd: School closed Mid term Holiday

Spring/Summer Clubs Cycle: Registration Tuesday March 12th 7.30pm. Clubs from weeks beginning Monday March 18th to Monday June 3rd

Feile na Gaeilge: Monday March 11th to Friday March 15th

Monday March 18th:Public holiday

Friday  12th April 12noon:School closed for Spring Holiday. Reopens Monday 29th April 8.40am

Monday May 6th: Public holiday

Community Week : Monday May 13th to Friday May 17th

Monday June 3rd and Tuesday June 4th: School closed, short mid-term holiday

Get Active Week:Monday June 10th to Friday June 14th ( including Sports day on Wednesday June  12th)

6th Class graduation:Tuesday June 25th

Friday June 28th:12 noon  school closes  for summer holiday



Get Active Week and Sports Day

Parent  Newsletter Wednesday June 6th  Get Active Week Special

Get Active Week 2018  is here!

The aims of Get Active Week are: To provide the children with multiple opportunities to  learn the value and fun of physical activity, to encourage them to find their own preferences and likes  for what kind of physical activities  they might enjoy and undertake independently, to learn about wellbeing-through-sport, healthy eating,  health-and-safety-in-sport, water-safety and develop  team-skills

Here’s some highlights of the week ( where off-campus trips are involved, a more detailed note will be sent home in advance)

Wednesday 13th

Sports Day for All

Venue: The Soccer Pitch at Bremore Castle

All school day. All parents and extended family welcome.


The ‘races’ aspect of the day will be:

10.15 to 11.15 for  Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st and 2nd

11.30 to 12.30 for 3rd, 4th, 5th and  6th.


The children will also be undertaking further sports activities in the caged AllWeather pitch at the same venue, but  access to this area is exclusively teachers and children.

 Junior and Senior Infants The JI and SI classes have a bumper–week ahead  with  a visit to the wonderful DP Gymnasitcs venue  for some top-class Gymnastics instruction, and a further trip to Slieve Gullion ( County Armagh) for a day of  adventure and mythology in this  awesome place. In-school the children will also enjoy a multisport  Olympics competition, a parachute game. Tennis, relay racing, rugby, majorettes ( SI only)  and hurling
1st and 2nd   A visit to the DP Gym for  some gymanstics coaching. Plus in-school introduction to Musical Theatre, Irish Dancing, Badminton with Paddy , Orienteering, Relay races, Unihockey, a multisport Olympics,  Ultimate Frisbee, majorettes, Hurling, Yoga ( 2nd only)  and Circuits ( 2nd only) and Tug-O-War
 3rd   Off campus, the children will be doing an adventure sports morning in Malahide Castle and Swimming  and Water safety . In-school they’ll have  tennis, tabletennis, circuits, GAA, Yoga,  Unihockey, Jiu-Jutsu, Irish dancing .


4th Off campus, there’s a GAA Blitz and Cricket. In-school there’s circuits, tabletennis, orienteering, rugby, badminton with paddy, tennis, unihockey, karate, Jujutsu, and  Basketball
5th and 6th Off-campus, theres a GAA Blitz and Cricket and FlagFootball. In school, there’s  BodyWeight, Rugby, TableTennis, Mindfulness,  Orienteering, Badminton with paddy, a EROS2018 competition, Circuits and Taekwondo.


  • there’ll also be the play-offs and Finals of the lunctime basketball competition that has been running all term ,there’s also rumours of a Teachers V Students basketball showdown

Also   here’s a Family Quiz to get everybody in the mood for the week:       ( please return this page to the school on or before  9.00am on Monday June 11th ) . Family cinema-ticket for the winner.

Child’s Name: _______________________________________________Class?____________

Question 1   Michael D Higgins , President of Ireland, is also a former Chairman of which League of Ireland soccer club?   _______________________________________________

Question 2  Which country does the Martial Art of  Taekwondo originate  from? _____________

Question 3  Which country does Jiu-Jutsu originate from?   _______________________________

Question 4  Who are Dublin’s opponents in the Leinster Senior Football championship on Sunday June  10th in Croke Park?  _______________________________________________________

Question 5   Our brilliant Girl’s Under 13 team won the Cumann na mBunscoil  All Dublin Sprint  relay in the Morton Stadium , name the 5 girls ( first names only) _____________________________________________________________________________

Question 6  What nationality is men’s Tennis champion Rafael  Nadal? _____________________

Question 7  Name the three other countries in England’s World Cup ( Russia 2018) group?  _______

_______________________________________. And will you be cheering for England?  ________

Question 8  The Parent Association’s Fun Run fundraiser for Parents/Families takes place at the Millfield Shoppping Centre on Sunday July 16th at 1pm ?  What distance?   ________________

Question 9  Who is the international Badminton Coach who will be coaching the children over Get Active Week ?   ( first name only) ___________________________________________________

Question 10   Which teacher in the school plays basketball for  the Renegades?   ____________

Tie breaker: How much money has the school spent on this year’s Get Active Week ?  ________

Parent Newsletter Tuesday May 22nd

Parent Newsletter  Tuesday May 22nd

School Closures: parents are reminded that the school is closed from  12noon on both  Thursday 31st May and Friday 1st June for the staff to undertake DES-directed training on Child Protection. We regret any inconvenience caused by this.

Current School Practice re Smartphones  The school’s current practice with regard to children’s use of smartphones is as follows:

“The school acknowledges that the children carrying phones to/from school is important for many families with regard to the safety of their children. However, the school also asserts that  any use of smartphones during the school  day or on-campus  can, if misused, threaten the safety of other children. Bearing these opposing sentiments in mind the following compromise has served the  safety of children in the school well; children are allowed  to carry switched-on mobile phones to and from school with them each day. However, the phone must be switched off on reaching the school campus, and may only be switched on again on leaving the school campus at the end of the day.  The phone must never be switched on during the schol day and to do so is a serious breach of the school’s discipline policy and anti-bullying policy.  In cases of emergency children may contact parents , and parents may contact children , through the use of the school’s office phone 01 6904635. The school never requires or encourages the child to  use his/her own smart-devices in the school and the children’s use of the school-owned smart-devices is covered by the school’s Acceptable Usage Policy.  Outside of school- hours the responsible  governance  of the  child’s use of the  smartphone, and social media generally, is the responsibility of the parent.”

We welcome any input from our parents on this issue. Please do so in the form of a written statement , submitted to the school office, in envelope  titled  FAO the BOM,  whereupon it will be brought for discussion to the next meeting of the school’s Board of Management (  submissions before Monday June 25th)

Important dates for your Diary:

Standardised  Testing for 1st to 6th in Literacy/Numeracy:  ( today) Tuesday 22nd May and , tomorrow, Wednesday 23rd May, the results of which will be communicated to you in the end-of-year Pupil Progress Records

 Get Active Week : Monday  June 11th to Friday June 15th, including our annual Sports Day on Wednesday June 13th at the Bremore Castle  venue to which all parents are welcome ( details to  follow)

Friday June 8th  new ( Sept 2018)  Junior Infant Induction  session, 1pm to 2.15pm

Friday June 15th: End-of-year Pupil Progress reports to be sent home with each child ( any parent who does not wish this to be sent home with  the child may  drop in a stamped-addressed envelope to the school office in advance on June 15th. )

Tuesday June 26th  6th Class  Graduation

Thursday June 28th: (optional) The Parent Association  have  suggested  a Pyjama Day for the children ( involving a donation to the PA from any family doing so) and a Cake Sale as a fundraiser for the PA whose fundraising contributes immensely to the experience of every child in the school through part-funding annual events such as Get Active week, Arts Week, Feile na Gaeilge, Human Rights Month etc.  Your donation for this event will be gratefully received ( details from the PA to follow)

Friday June 29th 12noon the school closes for the Summer holidays

Monday July 2nd  to Friday July 13th,  10am to 1pm, Summer camps

Thursday August 30th School resumes for all the children.

General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR)

This is a  summary  of the school’s compliance with  GDPR from May 25th 2018 as legally obliged. Fintan ( Principal) is available to discuss any issues arising.  A copy of the school’s full-policy on GDPR is available on request and will be posted in due course to the school website Policy Section.

Summary:   The school is obliged to process and store data that is relevant to its obligations to the Department of  Education and Skills ( with regards to issues of proper governance) and in accordance with best-practice in order to facilitate the optimal teaching/learning of all children.The school undertakes to meet these obligations in a fair and reasonable manner and in open-ness and accountability to  the whole school community. To that end , the school gives a committment to parents  that the following set of data is generated, stored with optimal security, used only for the purposes stated and  shared exclusively according to statutory obligations and disposed of according to statutory obligations with due regard to the privacy of all:

1 The school’s Aladdin database  carries ‘registration’ information as shared with the school by pre-enroling and registering parents ( and all subsequent annual updates). This data is shared only with  the Department of Education according to their requisites for the POD system, the system whereby it  financially-resources   and  human-resources  the school. This databse is securely protected.

2 The school’s Aladdin database also hosts the Pupil Progress Reports for all children in the school and their results on standardised tests ( all of which have been shared with parents on an ongoing basis in hardcopy). Again, this database is securely protected.

3 The school keeps a hardcopy record of all documents that have been shared by parents to the school  with reagrd to issues of medical-supervision, assessment of special needs,  issues of child-safeguarding and  concerns around pupil welfare. These hardcopy documents are stored securely.

4 In their planning for the child’s optimal teaching and learning  the teachers will on an ongoing basis  record levels of support and  levels of  teacher-based assessment.  The important aspects of these are reported to the parents on the Pupil Progress Reports and are disposed of when no longer required for the optimal  teaching/learning of the child.  For children with specific  Special Needs  the child’s School Support Plan ( including his/her IEP) is devised and shared with the parents on an ongoing basis.

5  Any reports concerning children  made by the school to Tusla ,  the Gardai or  the National Council for Special Education  are stored securely in the school, and have been pre-shared with the parents concerned.

6 The school’s Board of  Management  keep  records of all correspondence to them by parents, teachers and   Principal and  also keep a record of  financial transactions  between the school  and parents. These records are  securely protected.  The school’s Board of Management  also governs the activities of the school’s Parent Association with regard to their limited  data processing.




Celebration of Teaching and Learning Day Friday May 4th

Balbriggan Educate Together NS

Celebration of Teaching and Learning  Day     Friday May 4th 2018

9.00am to 11.00am    Parents are invited to  stroll around the school to observe the following ‘stalls’ and to chat to the children about their  excellent work. It would take about  1hour to make your way around. Parents may also drop in to the Arts Hall to see a typical ‘Friday Assembly’ (  see ‘downstairs’ section)

What’s there to see?


Boys  Gaelic Football team Choir table Cross County Athletics  team
Girls Gaelic Football team Award-winning Global Goals special-project team Philosophy for Children table
Boys and Girls FAI Soccer Blitz team Human Rights Defenders team Different Families Same Love table
Cricket team Feile na Gaeilge 2017/18 table The Inclusive School NCCA  table
Pop in to staffroom for a tea/coffee/biscuit Maths Recovery 3rd Class: So far this year….
3rd Class: Sugar 3rd Class: The Angel of the North 3rd Class: Mental Maths Calculation Strategies
3rd Class:  STOP Animation 3rd Class:  Our visit to Dublinia 4th Class Ancient Civilisations: Egypt
4th Class  Science: CSI Investigation 4th Class: Gaeilge Comhra 4th Class Art apprecialtion: Pierre Mondrian
5th Class: Marathon Kids 5th Calss: Young Scientisit exhibit on Decomposition 5th Calss: World War 1 project
6th Class: Balbriggan Local Studies 6th Class;  Rights Compositions and Posters Elaine’s work as Home school Liaison  Teacher
1st class and 6th: Buddy Art and Dancing    



Board of Management table Green Team: 6th Green Flag Team !st Class Maths Games
Parent  Association table Writing Our Rights Book ( copies for sale 10euro) 1st calss  Science: Magnets
Student Council Table School Quiz team Typical Friday Assemblies in Arts Hall

6th/5th/4th 9.00 to 9.25

3rd/2nd  9.30 to 9.55

JI/SI/1st 10.00 to 10.25

Student Council: Gormanston Woods Intergenerational Project Arts Week 2017/18 1st Class; Ancient Egypt
1st Class: The story of Tom Crean 2nd class: The Titanic Chess Club table
2nd Class: LifeCycle of the Frog 2nd Class: 3D Construction Senior Infants: Science: Plantlife
Senior Infatns: Maths Games Senior Infants: The Science of Teeth Senior Infants: Literacy Stations
Senior Infants and 5th: Buddy  Reading Junior Infant classes: parents of JI children  may pop in, unobtrusively,  to observe ongoing teaching for 10mins  


There will be a book launch of Writing Our Rights Book by Clare Daly TD at 11.00am in Arts Hall  (invited guests only, unfortunately because of  limited spaces) and there will be a Raising the Flag: Our 6th Green Flag Ceremony outdoors, weather permitting,  at 11.45am; all welcome.

Parent Newsletter Thursday April 26th

Parent Newsletter   Thursday April 26th

1 Celebration of Teaching and Learning Day

Please see overleaf for a run down of our Celebration of Teaching and Learning Day. For  Health and Safety reasons (fire-regulations) we are obliged to limit our numbers to PARENTS-only, and cannot extend it beyond that,  apologies for this.

2  Student Council

Members of the  Student Council have observed parent-drivers  driving unsafely in the school campus threatening the safety of all  children and pedestrians. In particular they have noted  cars failing to pull into the parking bays and allowing children to alight from the car in the middle of the road. They have asked that drivers stop doing this as it will inevitably result in a serious accident.

3 Parent Association

Congratulations to our hardworking Parent Association who , this term alone, have conducted the  family photographs, International Food Fair and club-registration night and have a fund-raising bag-pack coming up. Thank you to  these volunteers who have conducted this work on behalf of ALL of the children/families in the school and please consider joining with this group and lending a hand ( consult the Balbriggan Educate Together Parent Association Facebook page ).

4    Writing Our Rights Book

Our Writing Our Rights Book containing children’s written work and teacher-prefaces conducted over our October 2017 Human Rights Month is almost on the shelves. It will be retailing on the Celebration of Teaching and Learning Day ( Friday May 4th) at a cost of 10euro (  which is the actual printing cost ). We are hoping that  many of our parents will buy it on the day ( or afterwards from the school-office) and help us to recoup some of the printing costs. It is a really excellent book and a great window into the work of the school in Human Rights Education.

5  2018/19 monies due

Many thanks to the parents who have already paid the 140euro@child for each child who will be returning to us for the 2018/19 school year. The school-office have already sent a text-link to help you to do this digitally and, alternatively, are always available to take cash payments. We ask that any family who have not paid yet do this as soon as possible.