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A chairde

I would like to welcome everyone back to school after a welcome break and lovely Christmas.  The year of 2018 ended with a flurry of excitement with the school concert a huge success.  The teachers and students put in a huge amount of effort and I’d like to thank them.  
I would also like to acknowledge the hard work the Parent Association put into organising the raffle and raising over €2,200.  We look forward to their future events this year and hope to get as much involvement from parents as possible.
Athbhliain faoi shéan is faoi mhaise daoibh.
John Britton

Catholic Schools Week:
Catholic Schools Week 2019 will take place from Sunday 27th January to Sunday 3rd February 2019 on the theme “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” . On Friday 1st February St. Brigid’s Day we will celebrate Grandparents Day and all grandparents are invited to attend a special prayer service at 10.30 a.m. in the school gym.  Afterwards there will be light refreshments and the grandparents will get to meet and chat with other grandparents from the community.  Perhaps some grandparents might like to volunteer to help with the making of St. Brigid’s crosses in the school on that day.

Enrolment for 2019/2020:
Parents wishing to enrol children for the 2019/2020 school year should do so on or before Friday 1st March.  If a child has special needs please let us know and submit all relevant documents and reports along with enrolment form.  Before a child is enrolled his/her parents must complete an enrolment form and submit his/her original birth certificate.   If a family is new to the school, the parents must meet with the Principal prior to enrolment.  Enrolment forms are available from the school.

Bishop Leo O’Reilly’s Retirement:
The Bishop for our diocese, Kilmore, Bishop Leo O’Reilly has retired as of the 31st of December 2018. He is the patron of our school and has been a great help to us here and especially with our Confirmation services.  We wish him all the best with his retirement.

Christmas Concerts:
The Christmas concerts were a huge success and I wish to thank all involved for a tremendous day.  For all those present I’m sure you’ll agree that the atmosphere in the hall that day was electric and filled us all with Christmas spirit. The effort that the teachers and students put in was amazing and everyone left that day with a huge grin on their faces.
I would also like to thank the Parent Association of Louise Mc Geever, Jules Tuttlebee, Edel Gallagher, Stuart Regan, Jackie Loughlin, Bridget Birney, Denise Simpson and Eloise Mc Ginty for all their hard work on the day.  Also the donations which were made by the parents were huge and in total the raffle raised €2,269.75 which is a massive amount. This money raised will be used to pay for the sound system, microphones and stage set up and dismantling as well as many other things.  A huge thank you to all.

A note from the Parent Association:
The Parent Association would like to thank all the parents and staff who kindly donated towards the hampers and thanks to everyone who bought tickets and made donations on the day of the concert.  Thanks also to our sponsors.  The total raised on the day was €2,269.95.

School Closure for Staff Development:
The school will be closed on Friday 8th March 2019 to facilitate a training day for the whole staff on the new Primary Language Curriculum.  This essential training will help the staff fully implement the new curriculum in English and Irish.

Open Day in Local Secondary Schools:
An open day for Sixth Class has been organised by the staff of Colaiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon for Thursday 24th January and an open day has been organized by the staff of Magh Ene College, Bundoran for Thursday 31st January 2019.  As has been the case in previous years, our Sixth Class pupils, together with their teacher, will attend these open days. Transport both to and from the schools has been organized by the secondary school staff.
Preparation for the Sacraments:
Preparation is on-going for the sacraments of First Eucharist, First Penance and Confirmation.  The next ‘Do This In Memory’ mass for Second Class pupils and their parents will be celebrated in Saint Aidan’s Church on Sunday 27th January at 11 a.m.  A special pre-Confirmation Mass will take place in Saint Aidan’s Church on Sunday 3rd February and Sunday 3rd March at 11 a.m.  The pupils of Second Class will be making their First Confessions in Saint Aidan’s Church Kinlough on Tuesday morning February 5th at 10 a.m.  They will be taken to the church by their teacher and a parent or guardian is asked to be in the church to support them on this very special day in their spiritual lives.

Athletics Training:
James Mc Dowell, PE coach will begin a series of six lessons next Monday for classes from Junior Infants to Second Class.   These will focus on athletics and the fundamental movements.  Classes will be asked to wear their PE uniform on Mondays.  
Liam Feely from Leitrim Sports Partnership will undertake a series of lessons in athletics on Fridays beginning this Friday for classes from Third to Sixth Class.
The school athletics team will be taking part in a local competition on the 7th February and the North Leitrim Finals will take place on the 20th of February.

Friends for Life:
Fourth Class will begin a school based positive mental health programme called ‘Friends for Life’ this term.   The World Health Organisation cites 'Friends for Life' as the only evidence-based programme effective at all levels of intervention for anxiety in children.  Parents have received a letter about an information evening to be held in the school on Thursday 17th January at 7.30 p.m. regarding the programme.

Credit Union Quiz:
The school will take part in the Credit Union Quiz for this region at the Mill Park Hotel at 3pm on the 3rd of February. The Senior Team consists of Roisin Williams, Meadhbh Mc Ginty, Jamie Gallagher and Conor Maxwell and the Junior Team is Clara Mc Neice, Clayton Simpson, Oscar Mc Ginty and Callum Gallagher. We wish them good luck and thank their teacher Michelle Daly.

Green Schools News:
We are busy preparing for our fifth green flag on the theme of biodiversity.  We had a Green – Schools Co-ordinator from Leitrim County Council visit our school in December, to have a look at our on-going work in all classes.  The junior and senior infant classes are currently taking part in the Great Plant Hunt, where they will look at and investigate six nature plant and animal species in our school grounds; this will further complement our work on the theme of biodiversity.  Our flag is due for renewal at the end of March, so hopefully all our hard work will pay off!
Kathleen O’Reilly – Green-School Co-ordinator  

We are at present reviewing our attendance policy and the amended policy will be on our website in due course. I would like to remind parents that if a child is absent for twenty days or more it is the statutory requirement on schools to inform the Child and Family Agency TUSLA of this fact who will issue parents with a letter to that effect.
If your child is absent for any reason please send a note in your child’s homework journal to explain the absence.

Student Council:
We had our first meeting of the New Year.  We want the pupils in the school to be able to voice their opinions so we have put an idea box in the school corridor.  We are going to be helping to organise the upcoming Grandparents Day by decorating the hall and baking goodies.

Mobile Phones:
Mobile phones or any other electronic devices are not allowed in school at Four Masters National School.  If for some reason a child needs to bring in a phone it must be accompanied with a note from a parent/guardian explaining why it is necessary for the phone to be brought in.  Phone must then be left in the office.  If a phone is brought in without permission it will be confiscated until a parent / guardian collects it.

Opening and Closing Times at Four Masters N.S.:
The school opens to receive pupils at 9.20 am.  No responsibility is accepted for children coming before the time.  Children on the school yard are unsupervised until the official school bell rings and the doors are open at 9.20 a.m.   It is important that parents are aware that no arrangement exists for the supervision of their children who arrive at the school, whether by school bus or otherwise, before the official opening time.  The same rule applies if children remain on school grounds after official closing time.  In the case of children travelling by the school bus, the school cannot accept responsibility for escorting them from the bus to the school or from the school to the bus.  

Best Kept Class for December 2018:  
The winners in the “Best Kept Classrooms” competition for the month of December were:
Junior Award: First & Second Class – Mrs Gaffney
Senior Award:  Third Class – Mrs Rooney

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