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You are here Three Year Plan 2010 - 2013 How can we improve? Suggestions from our parents.

   

I would not change anything as it suits me as it is now. Everything in the school is very good, everything is up to date. Keep up the great work. No need to change anything. In my opinion the school works very well. I have no suggestions as everything is fine. Don't change what's working well. No need for any change yet. I am very pleased wit the excellent work done by all in the school. The school has an excellent name for itself locally and beyond. Well done!!

It is good to see many parents are happy with things as they are. However, we know we can always improve. Thank you though! If you have suggestions in the future please let us know as we are glad to receive them.
   

Car parking should be made bigger and monitored by the Gardaí. Incorrect parking should be penalised. Maybe take down registration numbers and hand to the Gardaí - it seems to be the same people parking there every day. Cones are stopping cars parking in driveway but people still park outside on the double yellow lines. Need better policing system to stop people double parking. Involve parents in policing. A proper drop off point for children.

See letter 15 dated March 7th 2013 for school's response (pdf file).
   

Lunch break needs to be longer as some children always say that there is not enough time to eat. Lunch break is long enough but need more time in classroom to eat. Students to be given more time to eat at breaks, particularly in the early stages of Junior Infants.

Healthy eating is a great idea but strict enforcement is needed to avoid pupil confusion as to what is allowed/not allowed. Agree a list of foods not to be included in lunch boxes - there is some discrepancy between classes at the moment. Continue to enforce & encourage healthy eating in children.

I have seen schools where students are provided with lunches - perhaps this could be looked into. Apply for the government funded school lunches.

Use the Food Dudes programme from An Bord Bia. What about looking at the possibility of a visit to the school by Food Dudes to encourage & teach healthy eating.

Introduce a vegetable garden where children grow their own fruit & vegetables.

The school has adjusted the class bell change to give more time to eat lunches at lunch time. Teachers will also give pupils more time to eat before little break.

Parents are encouraged to give food easy to eat e.g. don't give children oranges as they take too long to peel, perhaps cut the crust off some sandwiches as some children spend a long time chewing these! The size of the lunch should also be realistic as many children say they have had enough to eat even though not all the food has been eaten.

Following consideration by the school's Board of Management during April 2013 the following are considered unsuitable for healthy lunches and are forbidden in the school:
Chewing gum
Crisps
All fizzy drinks including 'energy' drinks & sugary drinks
All chocolate, including chocolate biscuits, bars, muffins, chocolate spreads including Nutella, chocolate chip buns, chocolate corners attached to yoghurts
Marshmallows, sweets, jellies, Winders, lollipops, etc
Cereal bars, fruit shots
Biscuits, buns, cake
Croissants, doughnuts and other very high fat foods
Sausages & sausage rolls
Peanuts (allergy problems)

The school applied for school lunches funded by the Department of Family & Social Affairs in 2007 but at that stage funding had dried up. However, when the government announced additional funding at the end of 2012 the school re-applied. We were refused but are currently trying to persuade the Department to include us in the scheme. We will keep you updated on this.

The school successfully took part in the Food Dudes Programme during October 2013. Third and Fourth classes are currently investigating whether participation in the programme has changed our eating habits as part of their project for the Primary Science Fair 2014.

The school has made eight raised beds using the top soil from the building of the extension to enable pupils to grow flowers, vegetables etc over the coming years. The raised beds will be ready after midterm. (Please let us know if you would like to be involved).

   

'WOW' is a great idea and should run all year, perhaps expand it to another day per week also. Why not try to walk every day during the Easter to Summer term when the weather is good?

Pupils who didn't take part on the launch day shouldn't really have received the day free from homework!

The Green Schools Committee has examined this proposal and has expanded our' WOW' to everyday for the month of May. Currently we are promoting the 'WOW' programme.
   

Could Chess & Draughts be organised for pupils in the younger classes?

The Chess Club has started to take pupils from second class. If you are able to help run the club please contact the principal - you don't need to be a good chess player but you will need to know the rules.

Draughts Club for Senior Infants will run again on Thursdays from 1.30pm - 2.30pm during the second term.

   

Even more communication between teacher and parents of junior infants. Some things are not known unless the teacher is specifically asked. More contact with teacher throughout the year.

Information leaflet on what to expect for your child for the year - sometimes it is difficult to gauge what is expected from your child.

A note home in homework journal where necessary especially important for working parents who are not at the school every day.

Some parents may not have access to the school's excellent website so regular notes are essential.

Homework sheets are used in Junior Infants, similar to the way in which a homework journal is used. A homework sheet is given to each child every Monday, outlining all the homework for that week. A detailed explanation of how to do the homework is given. Content of homework may vary according to the needs of each pupil. Parents are informed of any curricular areas in which their child may need attention through the means of this sheet. General class/school information is also written on homework sheet e.g. reminding pupils of library times. The teacher may leave a comment on this sheet if an issue arises and parents can respond. Teachers also note achievements through the means of homework sheet/homework folder. If an issue arises the teacher will arrange a meeting with the parents where necessary. Parents are also welcome to arrange a meeting with the teacher regarding any concerns about their child. Junior infants' teachers understand the importance of communication between teachers and parents and always encourage it.

This whole area of communication will be considered again by the teachers during meetings after school over the coming weeks. A more consistent use of the Homework Journal outside of infants perhaps could be one answer.

A leaflet on what is to be expected in each class level sounds like a very good idea but will take a little time to compile.

Note has been taken of the fact that not all parents have broadband Internet access.

   

Increase the amount of Book Rental money to get more workbooks for children to write in. A lot of time is spent writing sums out first. Allow parents the option to purchase workbooks rather than subject studnets to copying out excessive amounts of homework.

We have reduced the cost of Book Rental last year and are very conscious of the need to try to do the same again this year. The Book Rental Scheme was reviewed during April and the use/overuse of workbooks assessed.
   

Teachers on yard duty need to be more aware of the quieter children and ensure everyone is included. Perhaps a 'buddy' system may work in some classes.

 

As some classes are confined to classrooms for breaks during wet days perhaps alternate break times so children can use hall to play.

I would like teachers to make sure that kids are wearing coats when they are going outside on windy days.

Currently the class teacher will speak to the teacher on yard supervision when any issue arises and teachers are very mindful about including everyone. However, an internal communications system (email) has just been established in the school so every teacher can pass on information to colleagues who may be on yard supervision. This enables the teacher to include the child's photo with the message. Perhaps the 'Buddy' system currently started between Junior Infants and Sixth should be extended to include all new pupils to the school also.

The alternate break suggestion will be looked at though it will impact on the availability of the hall for PE and have implications for literacy and numeracy times.

The issue of coats is worth looking at. Teachers will certainly continue to remind pupils to wear their coats during cold weather but they often cannot understand how so many pupils come to school on cold and wet days without any coat at all. The few who do come with coats do their best to pretend they have none when teachers tell the class to wear their coats! Are primary school pupils now copying secondary school pupils who won't wear a coat because it is considered not to be 'cool'?

   

Introduce P.A.T. spelling scheme

The P.A.T. ( Phonological Awareness Training) scheme is already in the school. It teaches children to read, spell and write phonically regular single syllable words by making analogies. There are no lists of words to remember and no spellings to learn!

We also use the Jolly Phonics Programme. It is a systematic synthetic phonics programme designed to teach children to read and write. Children learn the 42 letter sounds of the English language, rather than the alphabet. They are then taken through the stages of blending and segmenting words to develop reading and writing skills.
There are two main approaches to teaching phonics: analytic and synthetic. Both approaches require the learner to develop the ability to hear and discriminate sounds in spoken words. Jolly Phonics is a scheme which comes under the Synthetic phonics method.
The Jolly Phonics characters Inky Mouse, Snake and Bee are used throughout the materials. They often reflect the different speeds at which children learn to read and write. Inky Mouse teaches Snake and Bee the letter sounds and reading techniques. Snake picks up the literacy skills quickly, while Bee has more difficulty, but eventually understands.

Speak to your child's teacher if you wish to know more about either programme.

   
More use of Irish throughout the day. Definitely! It is the top suggestion by our teachers. Review will take place on 5th December 2013.
   

Just less! More homework for some pupils. Too much homework for younger classes. Perhaps alternate English and Maths on different days in the Infant classes. Allocate extra homework on Mondays so that families can plan use of time.

Maybe less textbook homework with more emphasis on activity and investigation.

If homework is not done or completed parent should be rang. Parents should be told of their responsibility in making sure their child/children arrive to school on time, have homework completed and wear full school uniform.

A reward system for a pupil completing all their homework. Maybe give a daily star which at the end of the week means they go into a draw for a small prize e.g. a homework pass for one subject for one night of the following week or to win a small item that can be used in school eg. rubber, ruler, pens etc

The issue of Homework is foremost in teachers' minds also. A serious review on the amount, type and content will happen before the end of the school year.

It is important to inform the teacher how long it takes your child to complete homework so adjustments can be made.

Perhaps a text message may be sent to parents of pupils who fail to complete homework. This will be easier to do next term as we are changing our provider for text messages and Virtual Learning Environment as our current provider is unable to meet our needs.

   

Could they be done as an extra activity after school perhaps by parents or grandparents?

Certainly worth investigating as there seems to be a renewed interest in hand crafts.

   
A report to let you know how your child is doing at some stage between PT meeting and end of year. I know teacher is always available even before school but I don't like to bother the teachers if there is no reason. Perhaps a more consistent use of the homework journal will address this issue. Teachers are always available to meet with parents either before or after school so that class time is not lost. The school's Parent Portal is now available.
   
It's great that pupils are supervised before school in the mornings but could this be a play/exercise supervised time? Unfortunately the school is unable at present to provide the additional level of supervision required for play/exercise before school. We are also conscious that pupils come ready for class and not wanting to rest and have drinks before the start of work!
   
Would it be possible to increase Maths time even more? We have increased the time allocated to Maths a few years ago even before the recommendations made by the Department of Education and Skills. This time is ring-fenced with very few if any interruptions. It is very difficult to add to this time without other subjects suffering greatly. However, time for Numeracy is constantly under review as our standard in Maths is now very good and we don't want it to fall.
   

I would like nets on the soccer goals and on the basketball hoops.

This will be looked at when we have finished our extension and we allocate play areas again.
   

I know it requires a lot of work and time but I think the discipline of learning out lines and participating as a group and enjoyment as a community are highly beneficial. Christmas play is the highlight of the school year and is something I remember from my own school days.

We know just how much everyone enjoys our concerts and how children benefit from them. The decision to alternate them between senior and junior is so that the standards in numeracy and literacy don't suffer as concerts certainly do take a significant time. The decision to try a summer concert this year followed the unfortunate heavy snowfall during the last Christmas Concert. We will review the programme following this year's very successful summer concert.

   

A kids board in the library for recommended reads. A small paragraph about a book they read and think others in their class would enjoy. Rate books with stars perhaps.

Our library co-ordinator will certainly look at any suggestion which will encourage active participation in the library and in reading.
   

Try to change the timetable for more PE during the week. All classes to have two PE classes per week. 20 minutes a day of sport, games or other activity. Investigate the 'Active School Flag' initiative.

Athletics for primary children perhaps by taking part in the Bree Sports.

The whole area of exercise and lifestyle will be examined. The 'Active School Flag' was also recommended by many of the staff and will be followed up on. The time tabling of additional PE is a good suggestion - but it does mean that some other area will suffer! Perhaps the Active Schools Flag programme and some additional PE time will cater for this.

We don't currently take part in the Bree Sports as it happens at a time when Rackard League hurling & camogie and the FAI 5-aside soccer tournaments take place.

   

Pupils to visit the many free museums in Dublin - I know the pupils think they would enjoy Tayto Park more for example but these museums are extraordinary and free. Even if it was voted on. Also places like Newgrange / Knowth are national treasures. I would like children to be taken to the cinema or theatre. I think it would be good for children to be taken to the theatre or somewhere their parents are unlikely to bring them.

School tours will be looked at especially as many are very costly due to high transport costs.

 

 

   

Check that no child is left out of Pupil of the Week Award - important that teachers liaise with previous teacher to ensure this cannot happen. It can have a very damming effect of child's confidence is anyone is inadvertently left out. It is a wonderfully effective motivator it just needs to be given out fairly.

 

Done
Water is too cold in swimming pool. Pool has been informed - please let us know if this is still an issue.

Possible after school programme for children in junior & senior infants who have siblings in higher classes allowing them to stay until 2.30pm. Introduce another language like French, Polish or Latin as an after school activity.

The Board will consider applications from interested parties for the use of its building. Perhaps there is an opening for such activities.

I don't agree with the children being moved around for Maths and English especially junior infants - it is too early.

We review how we give support to all pupils yearly and will look carefully at how we support those in junior infants.
Children to wear correct and full uniform. Perhaps teacher should do a quick check every morning at roll call , if uniform is not correct parent should be rang and told that full uniform should be worn every day. It is probably a good idea to do a 'blitz' so to speak on school uniforms again as we do from time to time. We are conscious that it is not as easy for primary school parents to have clear dry uniforms all days especially if you have boys who play soccer in school but at least the change should only be the school tracksuit on these occasions.
Children arriving late should be sent to the office and parent rang. Perhaps the small number of pupils arriving late could be addressed sensitively through the HSCL as it is the parents responsibility to ensure that pupils are on time.
  It would be a good idea for each holiday children get off school to do some entertainment in school grounds for a few days so children won't be bored sitting at home. The summer camps, GAA & soccer camps, tennis club etc should cater for these times. Personnel to run the entertainment and insurance etc make them difficult to organise.