All posts by Parents Association

Online Safety Stars!

Back in March, Fintan gave a very well-attended talk to parents on Children’s Wellbeing in Balbriggan Educate Together. During the question and answer session at the end, many parents spoke about their children’s use of the internet at home or on mobile devices as something that could be detrimental to their wellbeing. Although the supervised internet usage within the protected environment of BETNS is completely secure, it was clear that older children needed some guidance on how to use the internet safely when they were alone and outside of school hours.
Samana Haider, a BETNS parent, very kindly volunteered to provide online safety training to fifth and sixth class students. Samana holds a CISSP certification, an internationally recognised qualification in online security skills. The tips that Samana passed on to the children were clear and simple, but even adults would benefit from following them.
Samana’s Top Ten Tips to Stay Safe and Secure Online:
Keep personal information private and do not share it online or in-game.
If someone makes you uncomfortable online log off and tell an adult.
Always think before you click send or post.
Create strong unique passwords and never share them.
Get permission before tagging and posting other people’s pictures.
Report cyber bullying immediately.
Never meet an online-only friend without taking a parent or guardian.
Follow age rules for social media sites and games.
Build safe profile pages and make sure that your settings are set to private.
Remember that online friends are not the same as real friends.
Samana got a great response from the children and teachers of fifth and sixth class. All the children got an Online Safety Star certificate to take home after completing their training. Well done everyone and many thanks to Samana! For more information on the ISC2 safe and secure programme, visit

Why Do We Have a Food Festival?

A few years ago, the Parents Association decided to have a Festival of Food.   It coincided with Féile na Gaeilge and we wanted to celebrate the wonderful, rich diversity of modern Irish family life.  It was a huge success.  This is what the first Festival looked like.

It has gone from strength to strength ever since.  Like all good ideas, it is very simple.  Parents bring along a favourite dish from their own home – it can be sweet or savory, it can be a main course or a dessert.  Everyone shares something special from their own home.  It is always a lovely day in the life of the school.

This is what last year’s Festival looked like. Even our Cambodian visitors joined in the fun!

This year’s Festival of Food will take place on Friday, April 7th from morning drop-off until around 11am.  Bring along a dish from your home. Don’t go to too much trouble or expense – bring the amount you would make for your own family.   Most of all, come along and join in the fun and chat.


Winter Craft Fair

The Parents Association will be holding its very popular Winter Food and Craft Fair in Flemington Community Centre on Sunday November 27th from 1pm to 4pm.  It is always a wonderful afternoon with a lovely atmosphere.  There will be plenty of food and gift items on sale as well as a raffle with terrific prizes.  This is an important fundraiser for the school and makes a very valuable contribution towards the activities for all the children in the school. 14141555_1792039717707979_4144422909599780259_nimg_20161105_151840


There will also be stalls from a number of charities that support local families – Irish Guide Dogs, Balbriggan Cancer Support and A Little Lifetime Foundation.

This is what our Craft Fair looked like in 2014.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Club Registration Night Tonight

We will have the registration for the After-School Clubs Programme on Tuesday night.  The Clubs are very popular with children and parents alike and we are lucky to have a school that offers such a great opportunity to the children.  This also means that there is great demand for some clubs and there will inevitably be queues, delays and some disappointment.  We appreciate that it can be difficult for parents to come out in the evening and it can be especially stressful for parents who have no choice but to bring small children with them.

A volunteer from the PA will give out tickets in advance to ensure, as best we can, the smooth movement of parents through the registration process.  We cannot unfortunately give out the time at which these tickets are handed out as it is reliant on parent volunteers being available to get to the school.  As we all know, the best laid plans that involve small children can and do go wrong.

To reduce the time spent queuing and registering, you may register only the children of your own family. Also, please make sure you have a back-up choice of clubs as some of them can fill very quickly.

All clubs must be paid for at the time of the registration. We cannot hold a place for you until you pay later. If you can, please bring exact change.  We cannot take debit or credit cards.

Please remember that the PA members on duty are parents just like yourselves and are giving up their time on a voluntary basis. We also have past pupils of the school volunteering and we ask that you give them the same courtesy you would expect for your own children.

The system we have put in place for the Club Registration has evolved over time to accommodate the needs of different parents and the resources of the PA. It has also come about, unfortunately, because of the poor behaviour of a tiny minority of parents.  We appreciate that it is not perfect. If you would like to see it changed, come along yourself to our meetings and volunteer.