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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 2017 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 in organising the raffle and raising over €2,000.  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 2018 will take place from Sunday 28th January to Sunday 4th February 2018 on the theme ‘Catholic Schools: Families of Faith’. On Thursday 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 2018/2019
Parents wishing to enrol children for the 2018/2019 school year should do so on or before Wednesday 14th February 2018.  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

Christmas Concert:
A sincere thanks to all who helped to make our Christmas Concert such a wonderful success from the Infant Nativity play through to the First Class  and Second Class performance of ‘Tea Towels and Tinsel’, the Third and Fourth Class musical ‘Silent Night’ and Fifth and Sixth classes mixture of music and poetry.  As you can imagine a lot of work and effort went into the performances from the teachers and students and I would like to thank them for it.  A sincere thank you to the members of the Parent Association Committee who organized and ran the raffle and collected money on the day of the concert.  The money raised will be used to cover the cost of staging the concert and for extracurricular activities in the school.  Congratulations to Natasha O’Hara who won the Nathan Carter tickets and overnight accommodation in Castlebar.

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 €2,050.  

School Closure for Staff Development:
The school will be closed on Tuesday the 30th of January 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 Tuesday 23rd January 2018 and an open day has been organized by the staff of Magh Ene College, Bundoran for Thursday 25th January 2018.  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 11th February at 11 a.m.  A special pre-Confirmation Mass will take place in Saint Aidan’s Church on Sunday 4th February and Sunday 4th 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 6th 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.

Literacy in First Class:
A Literacy Lift Off and Paired Reading programme involving Sixth Class students will soon take place in First Class.  This will involve a team of class and special education teachers splitting the class into groups and giving intensive instruction and guidance at their own level in reading, phonics, spelling and writing.  Some students will work with Sixth Class on a paired reading programme.  The parents involved will be receiving a letter about this shortly.

Athletics Training:
James Mc Dowell, PE coach will begin a series of six lessons next Monday for classes from Second to Sixth.  These will focus on athletics and the fundamental movements.  Classes will be asked to wear their PE uniform on Mondays.  All Junior PE classes will return to normal and Mrs. Mc Gurrin’s class will have PE on Wednesday.

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 will receive a letter about an information evening regarding the programme in the coming weeks.

Influenza Information:
Please see our school website for information for parents on the flu vaccine.  If a child is showing signs of the flu please keep them off school and they shouldn’t return for five days.  This is in the interest of keeping the students and pupils at our school healthy.

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 device 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 National School:
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 2017:  
The winners in the “Best Kept Classrooms” competition for the month of December were:
Junior Award:  Mrs Gaffney - Senior Infants
Senior Award:  Ms Fallon - Sixth Class

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