The school landline will be changing. Our new building is in a different phone exchange, and we cannot simply transfer our number. While we have managed to retain our original number until now, the long-term costs make it prohibitive to continue. Therefore, please remove the old number, which will no longer be active by the end of the week. Our new number is 091 590627.
Don’t forget about the walking bus from Cappagh Park every Wednesday leaving the car park at 8.30. Also, Irish classes for parents continue continue from 19.00-20.00 every Wednesday.
Parent Professional Network
The Parent-Teacher Association has decided to coordinate a list of parents according to their professional skills nad services. It is thought that when parents are in need of a plumber, hairdresser, computer programmer or other skill, they might wish to support parents in our school community. Therefore, a parent professional database will be established. We’d ask parents to complete the form by the end of November to be included. If you’d like to be listed, please complete the online form at www.ketns.ie/parent-professional-database.
Artist in Residence
We are delighted to have Aoife Barrett working in the school this term. Aoife is a printmaker. Her time in our school is being supported by Galway City Council through the Arts Office. Working primarily with children in 1st to 3rd Class but also with the Infants, Aoife is leading the children in completing activities related to objects and their meaning. The residence will culminate in the establishment of a temporary museum in the school.
Knocknacarra Educate Together NS
School Plan Mid-Year Review – November 2018
In the past year three curriculum plans were written: Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), Digital Technology and Physical Education (PE). A review of the Plean Curaclam na Gaeilge is underway. In addition, the History, Geography and Science and Learn Together Curriculum Plans will be written by the end of June 2019.
The following policies have been reviewed by the Board of Management since the last review of the School Plan: Health and Safety, Data Management and the Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy. They will be reviewed again in the coming months. In addition, a new Child Safeguarding Statement and a revised Garda Vetting Policy were drafted.
In the last year, new policies have been drafted and ratified by the Board of Management including Assessment, Homework, Staff Allocation and Mobile Phones/Electronic Devices.
Before the end of the academic year, the following policies will be drafted and ratified: Staff Induction, Parental Involvement, Teacher Continuing Professional Development, In-School Management and Relationships and Sexuality Education.
Of particular note, it will be necessary to review the Enrolment (soon to be called Admissions) Policy in addition to several other policies written in the school as part of a three-year review cycle including Critical Incidents and Attendance.
Goal 1: To nurture the pupils by developing infrastructure including buildings, technology, and communication structures.
As you are aware, we moved into our new permanent premises at the beginning of this academic year. Work was carried out over the summer related to fire safety, enhanced insulation and painting. We are continuing to query some aspects of the remodel and intend to seek support from the Department of Education in order to replace some external doors. An agreement was reached for co-location with Galway Steiner School. The Department intends to remove the four pre-fab buildings at the side of the school, but we have not been given a timeline for this activity. Work has been completed to update the alarm system, improve wireless connectivity and install a phone system. Additional work will be completed to improve the yard as well as to develop the green field by purchasing goals. A committee of staff and parents will be formed to develop the PE and active learning facilities.
It took some time to get an internet connection and wifi capability throughout the school. Now that this has been established, a set of 30 refurbished laptops and a laptop charging trolley have been purchased. These will be set up and ready for use as soon as possible. A new interactive display was purchased. The lamp for one of the Smart Boards will need to be replaced. Once the laptops are being widely used, we hope to have a number of appropriate learning activities in place in line with the school Digital Technology Plan.
The school Facebook page, the website and the private parents’ Facebook group are all active. The website needs updating, which will take place soon. Four student committees have had their first meeting: Student Council, Green School Committee, Active School Committee and Creative Schools Committee. Representatives from 1st to 3rd Classes have been chosen, and all children will experience being a member of at least two of these committees during their time in our school. A new web portal has been created to help identify opportunities for volunteering in the school.
Goal 2: To create a school community which takes an active role in the wider community by creating opportunities for pupils, parents and the community to interact.
We anticipate finding it easier to organise end-of-term events now that we are in our new location. The next whole-school assembly and potluck will take place at the end of this term.
Irish classes for parents have been offered since last April. It has been proposed to organise more activities and classes for parents, coordinated by the Parent-Teacher Association.
A number of afterschool clubs have been offered in our new location, with basketball, draughts/chess, arts and crafts, Gaelic football, soccer skills, superhero training (dance and movement) and athletics. Participation has been good across all activities. A different range of activities will be offered in the second term. Also, the PTA continues to support visiting teachers to the school. This year a dance teacher will work in the school in January.
Matt is the lead teacher for our Green Flag programme. The process for securing our first flag formally began in October with the establishment of a Committee. The next step is the completion of an audit. The focus will be on waste management. We have received a small grant to participate in the Litter Less Campaign.
Goal 3: To create an atmosphere where pupils, staff, parents and the community feel safe, respected and valued and which develops a love of learning.
The PTA hosted sessions on anti-bullying and safe ICT use this past year. In addition to beginning the process towards achieving the Green Flag, it has been decided to prioritise working towards the Active School Flag. Vivienne is the lead teacher for this project. We also were successful in applying to be a pilot school for the inaugural Creative Schools project, and Eileen is acting as coordinator. Third Class are participating in a six-week Forest Schools project, and all the classes have visited Barna Woods at least once this term.
Goal 4: To support the patron body in setting up a secondary school to enable pupils to complete their education in the ethos of Educate Together.
The Galway Educate Together Second-Level Campaign was successful, and the school is scheduled to open in September 2019. Parents are welcome to sign-up for the new school’s newsletter at www.galwayetss.ie.