INFO FOR PARENTS

Introduction

St Catherine’s is a small Church of Ireland national school which has been in existence for over 110 years. We see ourselves as a friendly school with a family atmosphere based on respectful and kind behaviour, and mutual trust between parents, children and staff. Currently the school has 8 full-time class teachers, 4 SETs (Special Educationa Teachers) and 5 special needs assistants. The Principal is  Karen Jordan.

Timetable

School starts at 8:40 a.m. and finishes at 2:20 p.m. for all pupils except Junior and Senior Infants, who go home at 1:20 p.m. (12:20 for the first week in September for Junior Infants).

Uniform

There is no school uniform, but the children are expected to be suitably dressed for work and play.

These clothes should ;

  • be appropriate to an environment shared by children of primary school age.
  • allow pupils to work and play actively and safely in the classroom, school yard and the many local amenities
  • allow children to participate fully in physical and hands activities
  • not cause offence to other members of the school community with their slogans

In the interest of health and safety we would ask you to take note of the following:

  • Stud earrings and watches are the only jewellery permitted to be worn.
  • We would ask that shoes with Velcro be worn until children can tie their own laces.
  • No shoes with a high heel or flipflops should be worn
  • Sandals should be secured to the foot by a strap.
  • Wellies may be worn during inclement weather but a pair of shoes suitable for indoor use must be brought in.
  • All long hair, regardless of gender, must be tied back. Long fringes should be kept off the face with clips or a hair band.

Fees

A Book Rental Scheme is in operation. All books are supplied by the school and are expected to be returned in good condition at the end of the year.  The Board of Management produce a yearly budget and epayment requests are sent to all families every September to cover the cost of  Classroom Materials and Field Trips along with a Voluntary Donation.  Payments should be made through the Aladdin epayments system.

Donations

We ask families to make a voluntary donation annually. This donation go to help cover the cost of additional educational materials, heating, lighting, swimming, orchestra, gymnastics etc.

Code of Behaviour

A copy of the school Code of Behaviour is issued to all parents and is published on our website.  We expect full parental support and co-operation in this area. There is a formal complaints policy which is also issued to all parents when their children start at the school.

Parent-Teacher Communication

A formal parent-teacher meeting is held once a year. At other times, parents are welcome to arrange an appointment if they would like to discuss a child’s progress, or any difficulties they may have. School reports are issued at the end of each academic year on the school’s Aladdin system.

Extra Classes and Special Projects

The school has an active Green Committee and we have recently been awarded our 7th Green Flag by An Taisce. Children all take an active part in “green” duties e.g. litter duty, energy monitoring (turning off lights!), etc. At some stage during the year all students in 1st & 2nd classes attend swimming lessons as part of their PE programme. These lessons take place during the school day. We also have an orchestral studies programme and all children from 1st Class up learn either recorder or violin; flute and clarinet have recently been introduced, and we are hoping to introduce other instruments soon. (Due to Covid restrictions our Orchestra Programme has had to be curtailed) We have a connection with Kevin’s Hurling & Camogie Club  and Templeogue Synge Street Football Club and basic hurling and football skills are taught by coaches from the clubs to all classes for a couple of months each year. From time to time extra teachers may be employed on a short-term basis, e.g. a gymnastics expert, a cookery teacher etc. The school is involved in charitable fund-raising activities. We also organise occasional “special days”, e.g., Intercultural Day, Maths Day, etc., in which parents are invited to become involved.

Extra-Curricular Activities

These vary from time to time according to demand and are organised by the Parents’ Association. Currently on offer are Spanish, football, chess, arts and crafts, yoga and hurling. These activities are organised by the Parents’ Association and take place after school. A charge to cover running costs is applied; however parents on low incomes can apply to the Principal in confidence for a grant to cover the expense.

Lunches

Please see our Healthy Eating policy. We encourage a ‘naked lunch’ initiative, where children have a sectioned lunchbox and a refillable beaker to limit single use plastic waste.

Fund-raising

A number of fund-raising events are held during the year which we ask parents to support. The main events are a Christmas Fair, usually around the start of December, and a school concert in June.

Religious Services

A carol service is held at Christmastime in Christchurch Cathedral and we also hold short assemblies once a month in our local chuch. Parents are welcome to attend these monthly assemblies lead by the children from different classes.  All children are expected to take part in these unless their parents object on religious grounds; such an objection must be discussed beforehand with the school principal. We teach the “Follow Me” religion programme; children whose parents do not wish them to attend religious education are normally assigned other work by the class teacher during the religion lesson, but it is not possible to have them removed from the classroom.

Absences

Children should not be absent from school for any reason other than illness. Under the terms of the Educational Welfare Law, all children who are absent from school for 20 days or more in any one academic year, or whose attendance record gives any cause for concern, must be reported to the Educational Welfare Officer who will contact the parents to discuss the matter. Parents are required to use the Aladdin Connect app to log all absences.  While Covid restrictions are in place we also ask that parents submit a Declaration to Return to School form on Aladdin after all absences BEFORE students return to school.

Tours and Visits

Class teachers take their classes on trips from time to time, to such places of interest as museums, art galleries, the Ark, the concert hall, theatres etc. We also invite music, theatre and other educational groups to bring performances and workshops to the school occasionally. We frequently rely on parents to help supervise on these trips.  All parents must be Garda Vetted to assist in this way.

Parents' Association

The school has an excellent Parents’ Association which organises many worthwhile activities. These include extra-curricular classes, fund-raising, social events for both parents and children, road safety campaigns etc. All parents and guardians are welcome to become involved. Parents are also very welcome to volunteer to help with hearing reading and other classroom activities, but they must apply for (and get!) garda vetting.

CONTACT US

Donore Avenue, Dublin 8

Phone: 01 4542679

E-mail: info@stcatherinesns.net

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