School Information

You can download our full information booklet here
Scoil Bhride Rathdowney Information Booklet (PDF 100k)

Class Times
Junior and Senior Infants: 9.00 – 1.40pm
First – Sixth classes 9.00 – 2.40pm

School commences at 9.00am so please be on time. It is important that children develop the habit of being punctual for school.

To ease Junior Infants into the school routine we have a policy where they go home at 12.00pm for the first two weeks and thereafter at 1.40pm. Children are supervised during break times.

There are two breaks during the day, a short one from 10.50 – 11.00am and a longer one from 12.30 – 1.00pm. Children are given an opportunity to eat their lunches in the classroom before each break.

Uniform
Blue v neck jumper/cardigan, blue trousers/skirt/ pinafore/blue shirt/blouse/school tie. P.E. uniform (Navy tracksuit and blue t-shirt) only to be worn on P.E. days. Uniform can be purchased from Fortunes. We encourage pupils to wear black shoes as part of their uniform.

We ask parents to ensure that all items of clothing are clearly labelled with your child’s name so that lost items can be returned.

Ways to help the school
1. We are very appreciative of the support which parents and pupils give to the school’s fund raising activities
2. Take an active part in the Parents Association
3. Remember –
When you give time to the school, you help your child!
When you give time to your child, you help the school!

Attendance
The Educational Welfare Act 2000 sets out duties of schools and parents to ensure children attend school regularly. In the event of a pupil being absent through illness or for any other reason,the class teacher should be informed by note on the pupil’s return to school. In accordance with regulations, the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) must be informed when a pupil is absent for 20 days or more in a school year. Parents will be informed when notification is being sent to the NEWB.

If it is anticipated that the absence will be of a lengthy duration, the class teacher should be informed as soon as possible. When it is necessary for a pupil to leave school early, a note must be sent to the class teacher. Parent/guardian should present written authorisation with a telephone number. Occasionally we have to contact parents during the school day. Parents are asked to make sure that the contact phone numbers are kept up to date.

Health and Safety - click here to read our Health and Safety procedure

Healthy Eating
We strongly urge you to follow our “healthy lunch” recommendations to keep to an absolute minimum, sweets, biscuits, crisps and other unhealthy foods. On starting school many children are too keyed up and distracted to eat a large lunch, so a small nutritious snack e.g. two sandwiches, milk or fruit juice, piece of cheese or fruit. We do not encourage swapping of lunch items. Please ensure that your child’s lunch box is clearly labelled with his/her name.
• Chewing gum, nuts and nut products, popcorn, sweets, sticky bars and fizzy drinks are not allowed
• In an effort to emphasise the value and importance of a healthy diet, the following may be included in their lunch box:
1) Sandwich, roll, soda bread, cheese or triangles
2) Fruit
3) Fruit juice, milk, water
We would also ask that children bring home all food wrapping in their lunch box.

Time Keeping
It is important that class interruptions are kept to a minimum. The main areas of concern are pupils arriving late for class and dropping off forgotten items. Please ensure that children are on time for school and forgotten lunches etc., can be given into the secretary’s office.

First Day
Please be positive with your child in preparing him/her for school and explain what will happen re: teacher, other children, breaks, sitting down and tidy up time. Please refer to the INTO publication “Your Child and Primary School” for helpful ideas on making your child’s transition to primary school as stress free as possible and also our page on Preparing for your Child’s first day.#

Standardised Testing
During your child’s in primary school they will complete standardised tests in English reading and maths from 1st to 6th class. Most primary schools have been using these tests for many years. An information leaflet ‘Your child and standardised testing’ is included with this booklet. It is also available to download from www.ncca.ie
Your child’s results in standardised maths and English tests will be given to you at the parent/teacher meetings.

Voluntary Contributions
Like many other schools, the Board of Management faces difficulties in financing the day to day running of the school. The government grant for running the school is not sufficient to meet the basic expenses of the school. The school must find this money from other sources. One such source is a voluntary contribution for each child in the school. This money goes directly towards your child’s education in purchasing much needed resources such as art supplies, photocopying paper etc. In 2012/2013 the voluntary contribution will be €35 per child subject to a maximum of €100 per family This can be paid in full in September or in two instalments of €20 in September and €15 in January. Your contribution is very much appreciated.

Home/School Contact
Please check your child’s homework journal and use the journal to send messages to the teacher. If you wish to meet with a teacher, please make an appointment and the teacher will be happy to facilitate you. Parent/Teacher meetings are organised each year, and you will have an opportunity to formally meet your child’s teacher.
Newsletters are issued to parents on a regular basis to update them on school events. Please keep an eye on your child’s lunch box and school bag as they may contain notes for parents.

Senior pupils are encouraged to contribute the school newsletter.

Text-a-parent service is used to notify parents by mobile phone of forthcoming school events and reminders.

Books
School books can be purchased from bookshops in Portlaoise, Roscrea, Thurles, Templemore or Kilkenny. Copies and pencils for Infants, First and Second class will be bought by the school and a bill will be given to parents in mid September. All other classes buy their copies as on their booklist.

We are very conscious of the cost of school books and for this reason the different book series in use are changed as rarely as possible. A book rental scheme is in operation in the school. This scheme lessens the burden on families and dramatically the cost of books. Care should be taken with all rented books. Books rented under the scheme should be returned at the end of each school year. Damaged or lost books must be replaced or paid for at the full price. Please contact the Principal or Deputy Principal if there is a problem with regard to the purchase of books.

Staff Meetings
Staff meetings and school planning meetings take place regularly throughout the school year. In 2012/2013 all staff meetings and planning meetings will take place outside of school hours.

Homework
Initially Junior Infants will not receive any homework but later in the year they may get some tasks to complete.

  • Homework is usually given each Monday – Thursday nights. Parents are asked to ensure their child completes the homework each night.
  • If a child has difficulty with homework, the parents should help the child to overcome the difficulty with further explanations or examples, but not by actually doing the homework for the child.
  • If you find that your child is spending too long on their homework or does not understand some aspect of it, ask them to stop and send a note to the class teacher explaining what aspects of the homework caused the child difficulty.
  • If homework is a stressful experience between parent and child, something is wrong! This leads to poor learning and defeats the whole purpose. Should this happen on a regular basis, please contact the class teacher.