April Newsletter 2023
Welcome back to the last term of this academic year – it’s hard to believe there are less than 10 weeks left and we hope those weeks will be filled with plenty of fun, sun and happy days at school. As we move into the 3rd term we are conscious that for some children this will mean their final term in primary school. We hope 6th class will especially enjoy this term before they move on to their respective secondary schools in September.
Staff Planning Day
School will be closed on Tuesday 6th June for a Staff Planning Day.
The Student Council very ably organised the final day of term before the Easter holidays. Unfortunately the weather didn’t oblige and their Easter Egg hunt took place indoors. During the morning all children decorated Easter bunnies and also enjoyed a table quiz. Many thanks to all who helped out on the day.
Active School Week
National Active School Week takes place from 24-28 April (next week) and all schools are encouraged to participate. During the week we will be promoting the benefits of physical activity and all children will be participating in a range of activities every day. Children are to wear TRACKSUITS & RUNNERS (no uniform) all next week. Instead of written homework children will be required to complete physical activities.
Healthy Eating Policy
Please remind yourself of the school’s Healthy Eating Policy which is copied below. Children are not permitted to bring biscuits, chocolate, sweets, bars, chocolate spread, crisps and chewing gum etc. to school for snacks. Recently some children have had some of the above items in their lunch boxes and this is unfair to others who don’t have them.
Healthy Eating Policy
What people eat is known to be one of the key factors influencing long term health of school children and staff. The school day provides the opportunity for having at least one of the daily meals within the school. Food is often a feature of school celebrations. The curriculum provides an opportunity to learn and explore about food and healthy lifestyles. Through these guidelines Ballybay Central N.S. aims to help all those involved in our school community, e.g. children, staff and parents in developing positive and responsible attitudes to eating and to appreciate the contribution that good food makes to health.
- A healthy lunchbox includes a helping of food from the first four shelves of the food pyramid.
- Special occasions (as decided by teacher) are treat days. The school encourages non-food related treats.
- Some of the healthy snacks that we encourage include; wraps, pasta, sandwiches, bread sticks, rice cakes, crackers, plain standard yoghurts, sugar free jelly, fruit, vegetables, cheese, cream crackers, salted popcorn. Pre-packed cheese, chocolate spreads, chocolate/cheese dips, and chewy/sticky bars and sweets are not advisable at any time.
- Chewing gum, nuts, crisps and cereal bars are not permitted. Foods which have wrappers (i.e. tinfoil) are to be kept to a minimum and disposed of properly to reduce litter and protect our school environment.
- Healthier choices of drinks include milk and water. Yoghurt drinks are also a healthy option. Pure unsweetened juices or well diluted sugar free squashes (1:10) may be included but only as part of their lunch meal, to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Other drinks such as sweetened fruit juices, fruit drinks e.g. cartons of juice, squashes, fizzy drinks (including diet drinks and sparkling water) should be avoided due to their sugar and/or acid content, as these are also harmful to teeth.
(Always encourage your children to brush their teeth before going to school and going to bed with a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste).
- Nutrition and healthy eating will be included as part of the school curriculum.
Fresh Today Lunches
Please check Fresh Today for their new menus as communicated to you by email before Easter. There are some new food options for the summer term. All children who receive hot school lunches will receive a packed lunch (sandwich, snack & fruit) on swimming days from this week onwards. Children may eat some of their lunch before going swimming and have the rest on their return.
Swimming lessons for all pupils will take place on the following dates:
Thursday 20th April, 27h April, 4th May, 11th May, 18th May and 25th May. Children will leave school at 12.20pm and return to school by 2.30pm. P.E. clothes should be worn. A swimming hat is needed for the pool. Lunch will be eaten before we leave and when we return. Cost per pupil per lesson is €7 (€42 for 6 weeks). Full payment must be made in advance by cheque, draft or online. NO CASH WILL BE EXCEPTED.
- Online banking – IBAN IE20AIBK 9324 2601 2651 56
When using online banking please put your name on the reference line so we know it’s your payment.
Please note staff are not permitted to dry children so if your child is in Junior classes and need help to dry/dress you must organise a responsible person to do this (i.e. yourself, older sibling or another parent). Staff will ensure younger children are able to undress, (it is helpful if swimming togs are already on underneath clothes) put belongings in a locker and get to the pool area. This is all part of the experience and is promoting independence for younger children. For those attending to assist with drying and dressing you should be at the pool at 12.45. Junior and Senior Infants may go home from the pool if parents are there. Please let the teacher know if you will be taking your child home as their school bag will be taken on the bus. All other children will return to school on the bus.
Many thanks to the Parents’ Association committee for organising a wonderful evening with Wilma Simpson, JP Flowers, Monaghan. The evening was well attended and to date €2026 has been raised from ticket sales, donations and purchases on the night. Thank you to all who bought and sold tickets and donations. Some of this money will be used to support transport costs for swimming and tours.
Applications for school transport for the 2023-2024 school year are now being taken for new applicants. The closing date for all new applications is 28th April 2023. If your child is starting secondary school in September and will require school transport you must log into www.buseireann/schooltransport.ie to register. If your child is starting primary school in September or is already in primary school but not availing of school transport and would like to use it, you must apply before 28th April 2023.
Following the recent parent survey in order to ascertain satisfaction with the current school uniform over 80% of parents surveyed were either satisfied or very satisfied. This means that our current school uniform will not be undergoing any changes. With that in mind I wish to remind parents of the current school uniform:
- Grey trousers, skirts, pinafores
- Grey shirt
- Plain red jumper
- Grey and red tie
- Plain black shoes/runners (ankle boots)
All pupils must wear the correct school uniform. We pride ourselves on the uniform and comments are often made to us about how smart the children look. Some people have started wearing the incorrect shoes – e.g. coloured runners, runners with logos, brown boots etc. We don’t have a P.E. uniform and so children are free to wear their choice of runners and tracksuits on P.E. days. Other children have become very casual about not wearing ties. If ties are lost please purchase new ties in Crawfords. Children are and will be given opportunities to wear ‘casual clothes’ throughout the year. Your support is ensuring children are wearing the correct uniform is appreciated.
School Drop Off & Pick Up
As per email sent to all families before Easter can we remind you to be extra vigilant when dropping off and picking up children from the school gate? Some parents have started coming after 3.05 to collect and this has definitely made a difference at the gate in the afternoon. In order to ensure the safety of all children school staff will not just let children walk out the gate until they know where their car is and if it is safe to leave the school grounds. Parents of younger children should come to the gate to collect their children otherwise children will remain on the school premises until it is safe for them to leave.
A school trip has been organised to Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre for all pupils on Monday 22nd May. Parents will need to bring children to the adventure centre at Lough Muckno, Castleblayney that morning and collect from there in the afternoon. More details will be issued nearer the time. We plan on visiting Rossmore Forest Park for a fun day out in June.
FAI Soccer Tournament
Congratulations to Elizabeth L, Kyle, Ethan, Adam, Jake, Joshua, Levi and Seamus who represented the school at the FAI 5-a-side soccer tournament this week.
Dates For Your Diary
Thursday 20th April – Swimming lessons for all pupils commence for 6 weeks
Monday 24th –Friday 28th April - Active School Week
Monday 1st May - School Closed Bank Holiday
Monday 22nd May - Trip to Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre
Thursday 25th May - Last swimming lesson
Monday 5th June - School Closed Bank Holiday
Tuesday 6th June - School Closed Staff Planning Day (Primary Language Curriculum/New Primary Curriculum)
Wednesday 14th June - School Reports issued on Aladdin Connect
Wednesday 21st June - School Closes at 12.00 for Summer Holidays