What A Year…. 2014/2015
I cannot believe that another year is coming to an end!
TEACHING & LEARNING – A HOLISTIC EDUCATION
It has been a very busy year from completing the school building in September & moving into new rooms to the final school play in June. The holistic education we offer here can make for a very busy school year. From our Celebration Day, Cumann na mBunscol Football league, Road Safety Week, Digital Schools video, Garda talks for 5th class, The Glove Collection for World Homeless Day, Netball League, Science Week, Barnardos Collection, Fire brigade visit, Aoine Bheo, Christmas Play, Christmas Fair & P/T meetings in the 1st term.
And that’s only the 1st term!! In term 2 we had Gymnastics, National children’s Choir, Service of Light, Confirmation, Catholic Schools Week, Positivity Week, Music in the Classroom, Imaginosity, The Ark trip, Bowling, Aoine Bheo, First Confession, Internet Safety Day, Grandparents Day, the Hour of Code day, Irish Aid Project, Green Schools Passport Challenge, Caring for our World Week, La Glas, Walk for Water, Trocaire campaign, World Book Day, Seachtain na Gaeilge and our bumper Easter Cake Sale.
The final term has seen the Cumann na mBunscol Hurling League, NCC Tallaght performance, NCC National Concert Hall performance, Netball Blitz in UCD, Aoine Bheo, Athletics, First Holy Communion, DSPCA visit, Tidy Schools competition & Awards, Irish Aid Award Regional & National Finals, Copper Trail, tours for every class, Sports Day, Glendalough Outdoor workshops, Active School & Wellbeing Week, Senior Play, Glencullens Got Talent, 6th class Graduation, Nepal Fundraiser and Poetry Recital.
Academically our school standardised test results have once again shown a marked improvement in both Maths & English across the school with 33% of our pupils over the 85th percentile. Our strategy for improving Listening & Vocabulary skills appears to have been successful according to the data on the end of year results. Hopefully this will be continued at home over the summer.
Awards & achievements to be celebrated include;
- Irish Aid Award of Distinction
- Tidy Schools Award for Pioneering for a Clean local Environment
- Discover Primary Science Award
- Write a Book Competition Award – Aoife Fitzsimons
- National Children’s Choir – 4 singing in the National Concert Hall
- Cumann na mBunscol Football Semi finals
- Cumann na mBunscol Hurling Semi finals
- Netball Ireland Primary Schools Blitz: 5th class winners
- Digital Schools of Distinction Video
- Mathletics County Top 10 Finisher: 4th class
- DLR Social Inclusion Art Competition winners 4th, 5th & 6th class
BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
Our Board as always have been very active this year, their last year in this 4 year term.
A huge amount of work went into bringing our dream of an 8 teacher school to fruition. And on 30th September this dream became a reality. Part of this extension included a grant for €15,000 for IT whereby we purchased 3 interactive whiteboards, 9 desktops and extended broadband. The Board added an additional €15,000 to this to upgrade IT in the rest of the school including 14 new laptops, 9 desktops, 2 interactive white boards & a new photocopier/printer. All of this embraces 21st century learning and offers your children the very best resources a school can have.
Our Board have also spent much of the year appealing to government ministers about our schools exclusion from the catchment area for the new local secondary school. This appeal is ongoing.
Some of the Boards work must remain confidential but certainly ongoing issues include building maintenance, special educational needs, split classes, policy ratification, finance, health & safety, professional development & child protection. The Board of Management is composed entirely of volunteers from the school & local community and their dedication to the education of each child is to be commended.
PARENTS AS PARTNERS
The Parents Association committee have worked tirelessly all year on many issues & events. One of their key areas is fundraising and this year an amazing amount of €12,777 was raised from a very wide variety of events. Thank you to all who contributed but thank you to those who organised each event. Other key areas the PA have worked on include Car Park Safety, application for Lollipop Lady, Food Tasting Day, swimming issues, extra-curricular activities, snow action plan and much more.
Sincere thanks to individual parents who have enhanced our students curriculum experiences with their talents & expertise. These included Ruth Fitzsimon, Norma Browne, Jennifer Webster, Francis O Neill, Emma Vard, Peter Keane and Jason Sinclair.
Our Gardening Committee have done exceptional this work this year in maintaining our beautiful school garden and preparing it for children to plant in. A particular thank you to Conor Byrne who has been an invaluable support to Denis with maintenance work around the school and Ian Maddision who has assisted us with much electrical work.
Thank you to all the mums who volunteered on our Credit Union Committee and to all the parents who came on the many school tours this year.
Our IT Committee have had a particularly busy year this year. Thanks to Chad Gilmer & Sarah O Malley, we have totally restructured and redesigned our school website. As you can see from the purchases made by the BOM, many evenings were spent by the committee setting up all the equipment & installing software. All of this was done completely voluntarily and I sincerely thank each one of you.
This year we say goodbye to our 6th class pupils as they begin their next adventure into secondary school. We have delighted in their personal growth over the last 8 years and we know they are now ready for their next life challenge. In particular we say goodbye to some families whose youngest child leaves us; the White, Cross, Maguire, Fitzsimon, Mulhall and Bosscher families. Thank you so much for all you have done in our school community over the years.
We also say farewell to Cal Gilmer in 2nd class who moves to his new school. And a sincere thank you to Ms. Dolan and Ms. Ní Ghradaigh who have offered exceptional teaching to your children this year. We wish them both every good wish in their future careers.
I must sincerely thank each of our staff for another fantastic year at St. Patrick’s NS. Their hard work and commitment to the development of each child is outstanding. The academic advances are apparent in many ways from improved standardised test scores to all our awards & achievements. I know however that these only skim the surface. As parents you know the true measure of your child’s academic growth under your teacher’s guidance this year!
But our ethos is not simply based on academics. The ethos and vision of our school is based on the holistic development of every child to reach his/her true potential. The kindness, empathy, intuitiveness and dedication to bringing out the very best in each child is what creates the unique values & culture of our school. I thank our staff most sincerely for this.
In my first year as Administrative principal and seventh year here at St. Patrick’s NS, there were a spectrum of challenges & achievements, celebrations & concerns. But it was the kindness, support and collegiality of my staff, my Board of Management, the PA committee and you the parents, that make every moment here at St. Patrick’s so special. I love working here. I love working and teaching your children. I believe the parents of St. Patrick’s NS embrace the challenge of school and home working closely together, recognising how this contributes so positively to your child’s education. I appreciate the kindness and courtesy you treated me and my staff this year and I look forward to another fruitful & productive year in September.
It is a privilege to work with your children and with you as partners in your child’s learning.
Have a wonderful Summer!
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