Cloonloo National School
Call Us: 071 966 3684

September Newsletter 2018

18th  September 2018


Dear Parents/ Guardians,



We would like to welcome all children back to the school after the summer holidays and a very special word of welcome to the new Junior Infant.  This newsletter contains valuable information on matters relating to the running of the school, programmes we offer and the wellbeing, safety and good conduct of all our children.  Please take the time to read it and encourage your child/ren to realise the importance and necessity of co-operation, rules and good behaviour at all times.



Staff Changes

Ms. Surlis is taking extended leave until November.  Ms. Jordan will continue as acting principal and has returned to the Junior Room.  Mr. Hardiman has taken over the Senior Room. Ms. O’Donnell returns in the role of Special Education Teacher (S.E.T.)  Joining her as S.E.T. is Ms. Colleary.



Building Update       

The school has obtained planning permission for the S.E.N. room and we are now proceeding to the eTendering stage.



Policy Documents

Policy documents are available on the school website including the Code of Behaviour, the Supervision Policy, the Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment.




School Hours

Thank you to all the parents who have adhered to the schools new Supervision Policy which was drawn up and ratified by the BOM based on health and safety and Child Protection guidelines.    The key points of the Supervision Policy include:


Official school hours are as follows: 9.20am – 3.00pm.

Break 11.00 am – 11.10am

Lunch 12.30pm – 1.00pm (12.30 – 12.40: Eat lunch, 12.40 – 1.00: Playtime)

For Junior Infants, classes end at 2.00pm.


Children who are on the school grounds before 9.20a.m. in the morning or who remain after 3.00pm in the afternoon are the responsibility of their parents/guardians. Before and/or after school supervision is not provided by the school.


Parents of Junior  Infants should meet their children at the school gate at 2.00pm.  All other children should be collected from the school gate.


Late comers must be accompanied to the school door where only the child/ren will be granted access to the school building.  Children who are departing early must be collected from the school door.  Late arrivals and early departures are recorded by the class teachers.


In the interest of safety for all children, please park responsibly outside the school both in the morning and the afternoon at home time.


Some parents have enquired about the possibility of changing the opening time from 9.20 am to an early time such as 9.00 a.m.  I will bring this to the attention of the BOM at the next meeting. If the BOM agrees, it will need to go to a parental vote –  to keep the exiting times or change to new times.



Education Welfare Act 2000 (Passed into law July 2002)

Essentially the Education Welfare Act is about promoting school attendance. The act places many statutory obligations on schools and parents. One such obligation requires the school to keep a record of each pupil’s attendances at school and the reasons for any failure to attend.


Duties of School Principal under the act:

The Education Welfare Officer must be informed in writing by the Principal where:

  1. A student is suspended for 6 days or more.
  2. A student is absent for an aggregate of 20 school days or more during the school year.
  3. A student is struck off from the school register
  4. Where the student is not attending regularly.


Duties of Parents under the act:

Under the act parents must let the school know in writing, in person or by phone why their child is absent.  Parents should use the School Homework Diary to communicate reasons for any absences from school.  The Principal must submit an annual report on the level of attendances at the school to the Education Welfare Officer.

We try to encourage school attendance by awarding prizes to children with  full attendance at the end of each term.



Child Safeguarding Statement

Our schools Child Safeguarding Statement was drawn up in  accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements.


The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement


A full copy of the Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment are available on the school website.



Code of Behaviour

The school has four core School Rules and four Yard Rules:


School Rules:

  1. I come to school every day, on time and prepared.
  2. I have respect for people and for property.
  3. I do my best in class and allow others to do the same.
  4. I behave in a proper manner around the school.


Yard Rules:

I stay in my own yard.

I keep my hands and feet to myself.

I play safely and fairly.

I line up quietly as soon as the bell goes.


Please take the time to revise these rules with your child/ren.

The school uses a variety of methods to promote good behaviour e.g. Dojo points, prizes, stickers, trophies, Golden Time etc.


Responsibilities of Board of Management

  • Provide a comfortable, safe environment.
  • Ratify the code of behaviour
  • Support the Principal and staff in implementing the code.


Responsibilities of Principal

  • Promote a positive climate in the school.
  • Ensure that the code of behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner and arrange for review of the Code, as required.


Responsibilities of Teachers

  • Support and implement the school’s code of behaviour.
  • Create a safe working environment for each pupil and affirm good work.
  • Be courteous, consistent and fair.
  • Keep opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum.
  • Deal appropriately with misbehaviour.
  • Keep a record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour.
  • Provide support for colleagues.
  • Communicate with parents when necessary and provide reports on matters of mutual concern.


Standards of behaviour expected of pupils within the school

  • Do one’s best in class.
  • Attend school regularly and not miss days without good reason.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Do not leave the school grounds during the day without permission.
  • Respect all school property.
  • Wear the school uniform.
  • Show respect for yourself and others.
  • Avoid swearing, fighting and name calling.
  • Listen to messages given and do as requested.
  • Participate in school activities.
  • Be willing to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict.
  • Keep the school tidy and litter-free.
  • Complete all homework given.




Responsibilities of Parents/Guardians

Schools need the support of parents with regard to good behaviour and discipline. Parents can help their children in the following ways:

  • You should provide your child with positive models of behaviour.
  • Children need boundaries and rules about behaviour. Talk to your child about school rules. They help make the school a safe place where everyone can learn and nobody feels left out or threatened.
  • Ensure that your child attends school regularly and on time.
  • Be interested in, support and encourage your child’s school work.
  • Co-operate with teachers in instances where your child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others.
  • Ensure the school has up to date contact information for parents / guardians
  • Ensure an ordered, structured day for your child with regular meal times and bed times.
  • Check your child has all their needs for class i.e. books, copies pens, pencils, rubber, ruler, etc.
  • Share information with the school in relation to any problems which may affect your child’s progress / behaviour.
  • Behave in a respectful manner.
  • Ensure homework is fully complete and homework journal is signed.


A full version of the Code of Behaviour is available on the school website.



Mobile Phones

Pupils must not bring mobile phones to school or to school related off site activities.  The only exception to this is in an emergency or with the prior approval of the Principal.


Pupils who ignore this policy and bring a mobile to school, whether they use it or not, will be required to hand over their phone to a member of staff and parents will be asked to collect it from the school office.




Homework is given on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but not on Fridays with certain exceptions:

  • If homework has been neglected during the week.
  • In senior classes some project work may be undertaken at the weekend.


Occasionally, at the discretion of the class teacher or the principal, children are given “homework off” as a treat, a reward or as acknowledgement of some special occasion.


Homework should not take any more than 20-30 minutes for children in the Junior Room and 30-40 minutes for children in the Senior Room.  If homework is taking longer than this please write a note in your child’s journal and inform the relevant teacher.  They will then arrange to speak to you about it.

Homework fosters independence, self-reliance, self-esteem, co-operation, responsibility and life-long learning.  It is an essential part of primary education as it re-enforces what children learn in school. It provides a link between teacher and parent and encourages parental involvement in their child’s education.


Usually homework contains a balance of reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks.  This balance is not always possible and can vary from day to day.  However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work.   Homework will regularly contain reading, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be learned by heard, drawing/colouring, collecting items and finished work started in class.  Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework.  Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring this work is done well.


Pupils should:

  • enter homework accurately in homework diary.
  • ensure they take home relevant books and copies.
  • complete homework assignments to the best of their ability.
  • present written work neatly.


Parents/Guardians should:

  • Encourage a positive attitude towards homework in all subjects from an early age.
  • Encourage children to work independently as far as possible. Resist over-helping.
  • Encourage children to organise themselves for homework. Have all books and materials to hand. The pupil should have the Homework Journal open to tick off work as it is completed.
  • Agree a suitable time for doing homework, taking into account of age, the need for playtime, relaxation and family time.
  • Providing a quiet place, suitable work surface, free from distractions, interruptions and T.V.
  • Encourage good presentation and neatness within a reasonable time.
  • Check that the child has all necessary books, homework journal, copies, pencils, mathematical equipment, dictionary, P.E. clothes, if needed for the next school day.
  • Communicate difficulties to the teacher using the homework journal.



Teachers should:

  • Set homework, review assignments and provide feedback to students.
  • Monitor homework to help identify pupils with special difficulties.


How often do teachers monitor homework?

Ideally, teachers check homework on a daily basis. Some items of homework (and class work) may be checked by children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process for children as it promotes responsibility and self-esteem.


What happens when Homework is not done?

When homework is not done regularly the teacher contacts parents with a view to resolving the situation. If the situation continues, then the matter is brought to the attention of the Principal who will contact the parent(s) and arrange a meeting to discuss how the matter can be resolved.



School Lunches

As a DEIS school we can apply for funding to avail of school lunches.  The money can only be used on school lunches. Carambola are the new school lunch providers this year.  It was decided to switch to a new provider after a parental vote last year.


We have four “Healthy Eating Days” or “Sweet Free Days” (Monday to Thursday) in our school.  In order to encourage healthy eating habits at a young age no sweets, chocolate, lollipops, biscuits, crisps or fizzy drinks etc are allowed.  On Fridays, a treat is allowed.    Chewing/bubble gum is not allowed at any time.


A water filter has been installed in the staff room and jugs of fresh filtered water are available to pupils in each classroom on a daily basis for drinking/refilling bottles.




We have a pupil in the school with a serious allergy to peanuts. In order to help us manage this life threatening allergy we ask you to help us make the school a peanut free zone. Please do not give your child peanuts as part of his/ her lunch, including peanut butter sandwiches.


In order for us to be mindful of children in the school who have allergies or food intolerances we ask that pupils do not share lunches or bring in treats etc. for sharing.


Pupils should wear the official school uniform which consists of a crested blue jumper, blue or white t-shirt/polo shirt and navy bottoms (skirt/pinafore/trousers).  Please put the child’s name on their items of clothing to prevent them being mislaid.

We are re-ordering school jumpers now for the school year. If any families need to order school jumpers, please fill out the attached order form and return to the school by Wednesday 26th September.  The cost of a school jumper is €20.00 and must be paid at the time of ordering. The school pays for the postage.

We also have a number of uniform jumpers, that parents have donated, looking for a good home!



Money Due

It would be greatly appreciated if any outstanding monies for book rentals could be sent in.  The fees are as follows:

€20.00 for book rental to a max of €40.00 per family

If paying by cheque, please make cheque payable to St. Ronan’s N.S.



Meeting Teachers / Appointments

If you need to speak with a teacher, please make an appointment to do so outside of teaching time. You can phone the school Tuesday to Thursday 10 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. to do this.  The school phone number is 071 9663684.



Text a Parent/ Contact Details

In the event that we must contact parents quickly we will send you a text message. Please indicate which mobile (just one) you wish to be contacted on. Please complete the attached form and return it to your child’s teacher by Wednesday, September 26th.  If your details have not changed then you do not need to complete the form. Please inform us immediately if this number or any of your contact details should change during the year (address, mobile, home or work number).


Communication via e-mail

In an effort to become more environmentally friendly and reduce our paper usage and costs we would like to encourage parents to opt to receive the school communication letters by e-mail. To achieve this, we need your e-mail address. Please forward your e-mail address to the school on the attached slip by Wednesday, September 26th.  It will still be necessary to send home the various attachments.

Allianz Pupil Personal Insurance

Please find attached an information page on Allianz Pupil Personal Insurance. The 24-hour cover costs just €9 per pupil or school activities only cover costs €6 per pupil. If you wish to avail of this insurance please complete an application form for each child and return it to the school, in a named envelope, with the relevant fee, by Wednesday, 26th September. If you want to pay by cheque, please make cheques payable to the school (Cloonloo N.S). Any application received after 26th  September will not be processed and will be returned to you.

If you require any additional information on Allianz Pupil Personal Insurance please log onto the website



Reading Eggs

The school has purchased licences for pupils from Infants to 6th class to engage in a number of stimulating on-line literacy activities.  Pupils have individual passwords so parents are encouraged to become involved in the activities at home.



National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy

“Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life” 2011-2020

This national strategy is aimed at improving literacy and numeracy among children and young people over the next years.  Traditionally we have thought about literacy as the skills of reading and writing, but today our understanding of literacy encompasses much more than that.  Literacy includes the capacity to read, understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, printed text, broadcast media and digital media.



Building Bridges to Understanding

This programme involves a whole school strategic approach to comprehension instruction where teachers model and scaffold a number of comprehension strategies for and with pupils in all classes.  The focus is on “reading for meaning” rather than “reading to finish”.




Numeracy is not limited to the ability to use numbers, to add, subtract, multiply and divide.  Numeracy encompasses the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and meet the demands of day-to-day living in complex social settings.  To have this ability, a young person needs to be able to think and communicate quantitatively, to make sense of data, to have a spatial awareness, to understand patterns and sequences and to recognise situations where mathematical reasoning can be applied to solve problems.


The Aistear programme continues to run in the Junior Room.  Aistear is an early childhood curriculum framework. It allows all children to grow and develop as competent and confident learners.  This is achieved by providing enjoyable and appropriately challenging learning experiences through constructive play.




The school continues to run S.P.H.E. programmes such as Walk Tall, Stay Safe and RSE.




As part of the music curriculum, tin whistle is taught from 1st class upwards.



Green- Schools Project

We will begin our “green” work this year towards our 5th flag – Biodiversity.



Centre for Talented Youth

The Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland (CTYI) provides specialised courses for young people (aged 6 to 12) with exceptional ability in verbal, numerical or abstract reasoning (performing in the 90th percentile or above in standardised school tests) .  I have application forms for their assessment tests.  If anyone is interested place write a note in your child’s diary  and I will put an application form in their diary for you to complete and return to the CTYI.



Share Your Talent

If any parent/grandparent is interested in sharing a talent, please contact the school office. We’d love to hear from you!



Triple P Positive Parenting Programme

Triple P is a FREE evidence based parenting programme that is commencing rollout in Sligo and Leitrim now for parents of children 2 -10 years.   For further information on events check Triple P on Parent Hub Facebook page – and to find out more or book a course contact Teresa on 071 9135076 or email




School calendar 2018 – 2019

Please find attached a copy of the provisional calendar for this school year. There will be one additional school closure during the year for in-service regarding the new Language Curriculum.   In an emergency we may have to close the school at short notice. Should this arise you will be informed by text message. Therefore, it is very important that we have your up to date mobile number.

School Calendar 2018 2019


Dates to Note:


26th September: Return of Text a Parent and e-mail addresses for communication letters. Return of Allianz Pupil Personal Insurance forms. Return of school jumper order forms.

15th October: School Photos – Memory Lane Photographers





Yours sincerely,

Michelle Jordan

Acting Principal







Please return by Wednesday 26th September


Text a Parent


Name: ________________   Mobile Number: _________________




E-mail for Communication Letters/Newsletters


Name: _______________     Email address: __________________________













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Why choose Cloonloo National School?

  • Low pupil-teacher ratio – 1:1 teaching
  • DEIS School – This means extra grant to the school to subsidise school activities, outing and cost of books etc
  • Heavily subsidised books – total book cost this year was €20 which included all books, copies, pencils, colours etc
  • Heavily subsidised school outings, tours
  • Heavily subsidised swimming classes for all children
  • Teachers very accessible and available to talk to
  • Uniform – Very practical. White or blue t-shirt, navy or black trousers/tracksuit bottoms