Very best wishes for 2011 to everyone in our school community. May the new year bring health and happiness – continue to watch out for one another!
Attendance: Remember to send a note to the teacher explaining all absences (including days that the school was open, but that your child couldn’t attend because of road conditions, buses not running, etc.) Attendance is monitored by the National Educational Welfare Board.
Lost & Found Clearout: Our overflowing Lost and Found cupboard/shelves will be emptied this Friday morning. Items without nametags will be given to a local charity shop. Parents: please check for missing items before Friday.
Code of Behaviour revisions
Staff, parents and pupils developed the Gorey Educate Together Code of Behaviour during the 2005-2006 school year. The Code forms part of our undertaking to create a teaching and learning atmosphere that is safe, effective, positive and respectful. Practices contained in the Code include: the use of encouragement & praise, Class Charters, school assemblies, the Stay Safe programme, Circle Time, classroom & playground timeouts, early communication with parents, referral to the principal and suspension.For the most part, there is a shared sense of responsibility regarding implementation of the Code. We are successful in nurturing and honouring the positive. Gorey Educate Together pupils, along with their families and teachers, have lots to be proud of! When required, we also make fair and reasonable judgements regarding the strategies and sanctions to be used when misbehaviour occurs.During the last school term our Board of Management considered ‘Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools,’ as issued by the National Educational Welfare Board. In particular, the Board has decided to accept in full the recommended principles and procedures regarding Suspensions and Expulsions.
Some of the key provisions include:¨ an end to ‘informal suspensions’ – where a child is sent home early as a sanction, that sanction would be recorded as a suspension; ¨ the authority of the Principal to suspend a pupil for up to three days – longer suspensions would be referred to our Board for approval; ¨ principles regarding ‘immediate suspensions’ (NB: as is already the case at this school, any physical fighting amongst older pupils would lead to children being sent home, and serious physical aggression involving younger pupils would usually lead to children being sent home); ¨ procedures regarding investigations and the rights of pupils & parents to respond or appeal. It remains the case that the Principal (or Board) would consider suspension (or expulsion) as a possible sanction for gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour only. Immediate suspension may apply in the circumstances outlined above (fighting, etc.) or where the Principal has a serious safety concern.
This school’s Code of Behaviour already provides for physical containment or restrain of pupils who pose a danger to themselves or others. During the last school term our teachers and special needs assistants attended a two-day training course on ‘Nonviolent Crisis Intervention.’ The course was funded by the Special Education Support Service and delivered by the Crisis Prevention Institute. Whereas the focus of the training was on preventative techniques, the course also covered – as measures of last resort – a number of non-harmful physical strategies. The Board of Management has decided to authorise the staff to use Nonviolent Crisis Intervention strategies, including – as measures of last resort – the physical techniques covered in the above training course.
Find out more: ¨ Our Code of Behaviour can be found on the school website. Copies are also available from the office. ¨ ‘Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools’ is available on the National Educational Welfare Board’s website, www.newb.ie Inspection copies are also available from the school office and from the PTA library. (See Chapters 10-12 regarding suspensions and expulsions.) ¨ General information on ‘Nonviolent Crisis Intervention’ can be found on the website of the Crisis Prevention Institute, www.crisisprevention.co.uk The Principal will be happy to answer queries regarding any of the above revisions to our Code of Behaviour.
Parents’ Library: Details can be found in the PTA section of the school website. Book categories include: parenting, child philosophy, the Educate Together ethos, relationships & sexuality, health, etc.
Flu information, including ‘swine flu’: See the Department of Education website, www.education.ie or the school notice boards for information regarding ‘Seasonal Influenza 2010-2011.’
Text-a-Parent: The system isn’t perfect. A few messages can go astray, depending on your network, etc. Also, the system crashes from time to time. Back-ups: try phoning another family, to see if they received a message; phone the school office and listen to the recorded message (hang up quickly though – otherwise the mailbox will fill and other families won’t be able to get through;) check the school website.
Gifts for teachers and other staff? This year we would like to say that we neither encourage nor expect gifts from children/families. We already feel supported and appreciated. For the child who still wants to give something at the end of the year – a simple card (homemade or bought) with his/her thoughtful message written inside would be most welcome.
Healthy Lunches The children need balanced, healthy lunches each day. (Look out for the overall sugar and fat levels!) They need to be able to open, close and/or peel the lunch by themselves. (Please choose suitable containers and practise at home.) They need to provide their own spoons. The children are asked not to share their lunches, and to take uneaten lunch home with them (so that parents are kept informed of their child’s eating.)Chewing gum, sticky sweets, fizzy drinks, high-sugar drinks, chips and crisps are not allowed. (If you need to agree a treat with your child, please choose one of the following: scone, plain bun/cake (no icing,) brack, plain biscuits, one small bar.) The children need to be able to talk about their food allergies. Nuts are not allowed in the infant classes.
Drivers: slow down near schools. Mind that child!