Good afternoon to all members of the Ballinteer ETNS community!
I hope that all of our pupils have had an enjoyable, engaging first month in school. The corridors and classrooms are so full of colour and life as the children’s art and project work has been mounted on the walls. Example of this work can be found on the website on the ‘My Child’s Class’ page.
Green Schools Committee & Walk to School Week (2nd to 6th October)
The Green Schools committee was recently elected and they had their first meeting today. They will be starting a new theme of Energy, while also keeping an eye on our previous theme of Litter and Waste. They have asked me to share the message below:
Wednesday 4th October is National WOW Day (Walk on Wednesday). On this day, we would encourage as many families as possible to walk to school. For those who live further away, how about trying Park and Stride!
Next week will be the first week of Term 1 after-school activities. In total, we have 12 activities taking place this term for pupils from 1st to 6th class. The timetable is as follows:
Monday: Active Sports
Tuesday: Harry Potter Club, Arts and Crafts, Playground Games, GAA
Wednesday: Puzzle Club, Soccer, Drama
Thursday: Lego Club, Running, STEM
Friday: Catch Dance Academy
New Primary Mathematics Curriculum
As you may know, a new Primary Mathematics Curriculum was recently launched. More information can be found in this press release. The new curriculum replaces the 1999 Mathematics curriculum and it reflects the changes in what we know about how children learn this important subject. As stated in the press release,
“Much of ‘what’ children will learn in mathematics remains unchanged, but the curriculum places a greater emphasis on enhancing ‘how’ children learn best. The new curriculum provides an emphasis on creativity, playful approaches to learning, problem-solving, and experiences shaped by children”.
Today, Órla and I attended a seminar for school leaders on the roll-out of the new curriculum in 2024. Between November and June, there will be a one-day school closure to allow the provision of in-service training for the teaching staff. Our school’s date has not yet been provided; I will communicate this to the school community as soon as it is available.
The new curriculum places a really high value on ‘playful learning’ and pupils’ use of hands-on activities to grasp new concepts. Such activities or equipment might include dice, counters, Dienes blocks, Cuisenaire rods, practice clocks, mini-whiteboards for rough work, etc. Thanks to the support of our parent body for PTA-run fundraisers in 2022-2023, we were able to spend over €1,400 on such resources last year! We are grateful to the volunteers of the PTA who made this possible because the equipment is put to excellent use in every single classroom and SET room in the school.
The school recently set up our 10 new iPads which were purchased with the support of the PTA. These devices will be used throughout the school for in-class projects, Special Education Teaching (SET) and small-group in-class support.
Admissions – September 2024
As outlined in an email to all members of the school community earlier this week, applications for pre-enrolment to Junior Infants and our autism class for September 2024 will open on Sunday, 1st October. Full details can be found on the Enrolment page of our website. Please note that the closing date for applications is Sunday, 5th November 2023; all applications received after this date will be treated as late applications in line with our Admissions Policy.
Thank you to the parents who have volunteered to help our CoderDojo coordinator Justin. I understand there will be a team meeting in October and the sessions for children will commence in November. The school will communicate with families when applications are open.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Paul O’Dwyer, Principal