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A chairde,

I would like to first extend my thanks for all the kind wishes and condolences I received from the staff, pupils, parents and wider community regarding the recent passing away of my father.   It was a tough time but it means so much to me to receive so much support.
The school has been such a busy place recently with Grandparents Day, Internet Safety Day, First Confessions, Friendship Week and Food Dudes taking place all during the month of February.  There has been a huge amount of work put in by all the staff and pupils and I would like to thank everyone for that.
The month of March will be equally busy with football season starting as well as the finals of the Leitrim Athletics, preparation for the sacraments and Coicís na Gaeilge.  
Le gach ghuí

Staff Training Day:
School will be closed on Friday the 9th of March to facilitate training in Child Protection for all class teachers.   There will be no school for children on this day.  This day is essential to train teachers up and to keep up to date with changes in the policies and procedures in terms of child protection in all primary schools in Ireland.

Weather Events:
Just a reminder to let everyone know what happens during a weather warning issued by Met Eireann for Leitrim in which case the Board of Management will send out a text as soon as possible to let parents know whether school will be open or closed.  At all times we would ask parents and teachers to exercise extreme caution and use common sense when travelling and only come to school when they deem it safe to do so.

Safe Internet Use:
We had Trish O’Sullivan from Lurtel in our school last week to give workshops on internet safety to all the classes from First Class and the feedback from teachers and pupils was excellent.  The parent’s session was postponed and has been re-scheduled for Wednesday the 14th of March at 7pm in the school hall.   It is so important that as many parents as possible attend this session.  The facilitator really knows her stuff and can be an invaluable source of information for all parents no matter how tech savvy they are.  The information session is free of charge and is being provided for by the Parent Association and is open to anyone in the local school community.  It gives parents a chance to educate themselves and have a conversation with their own children about how to use the internet safely.

Stay Safe:
This is a reminder to all parents that the Stay Safe programme will be taught to all children in Junior Infants, first, third and fifth classes during the whole school year.  This programme touches on lessons dealing with Feeling Safe and Unsafe, Friendship, Bullying, Touches, Secrets and Telling and Strangers.  I would encourage all parents to find out about the programme at: www.staysafe.ie/teachers/resources.htm.
It includes many interesting lessons and some specifically on cyber bullying.

Easter Egg Raffle:
After the success of the Easter Egg Raffle last year, that raised a lot of money that was used to purchase sports equipment and to pay for buses for school and sports trips, the school council have decided to have another Easter Egg Raffle this year.   Therefore I would ask parents if they could donate Easter Eggs to the school for the raffle.   Raffle tickets will be for sale for the two weeks prior to the Easter holidays.

Green School News:
Having successfully achieved four green flags to date, we are now on our fifth flag – ‘Biodiversity’.  The pupils of the Four Masters National School will get to know their school grounds and local environment, by investigating the plant and animal life there and looking at ways to improve our school grounds and make it a better place for our wildlife to flourish!
Green –School Coordinator, Kathleen O’Reilly

Food Dudes:
The Food Dudes programme is working very well, pupils are enjoying their fruit and vegetable portions and the rewards they receive for making their best effort to taste or eat the fruit and vegetables.  The Food Dudes programme will be completed on the 16th of March in the school.  Phase 2 extends the home element of the Food Dudes programme by encouraging children to bring their own fruit and vegetables to school every day in special Food Dude containers.  Classroom wall charts ae introduced in both the junior and senior classes to record progress and children receive Food Dudes certificates upon reaching goals.  The phase maintains fruit and vegetable consumption in the longer term.
Green –School Coordinator, Kathleen O’Reilly

Seachtain na Gaeilge:
The period March 5th – 16th is designated as “Seachtain na Gaeilge”, although it is in fact “Coicís na Gaeilge!”  Staff and pupils will be making a special effort to speak as much as possible in Irish and pupils will learn extra songs and poems in their native tongue and the Senior Classes will participate in Tráth na gCeist also.  Encourage your child in his/her efforts to use the “cúpla focal”.

Football Training:
Football Training for boys and girls from 4th, 5th and 6th classes will begin on Mondays from 3-4p.m.  All pupils are welcome from these classes.  Special thanks to Dympna Keegan and Annette Lipsett for coaching the girl’s team and Darragh Rooney for helping with the boys. The first matches in the North Leitrim/South Donegal Cup will be taking place next month with the finals pencilled in for May in Manorhamilton.

Sports Hall Athletics 2018:
Forty four pupils from Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth
classes competed in the North Leitrim section of the Sports Hall Athletics competition in the gym of Saint Clare’s Comprehensive School on February 13th 2018.  Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth boys and girls came in first place on the day.   All teams now advance to the County finals of the competition which will take place in
Ballinamore on 15th March 2018. They will be accompanied by Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Britton.   We wish them well on the day.

Upcoming Events:
In the last term of school we plan to have a couple of visits from experts in arts and music.   Ross Cochrane from Be Creative will be doing workshops in Junior and Senior Infants and Kieran Gallagher from Kakakadoom Samba Drumming will be doing workshops for all classes from 1st to 6th class in April.

Confirmation is taking place this year on Sunday the 22nd of April at 3pm this year. There will be a full day retreat organised on the 13thof March in Mullagmore for all students who will be undertaking the sacrament of Confirmation.

Lent and Bóthar:
Once again we will be asking pupils and staff to donate to the third World Charity called “Bóthar” which sends live animals to families in Africa.  The thinking behind the charity is that of the old proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish and you feed him for life.”
First Confessions:
The pupils of Second Class made their First Confessions in Saint Aidan’s Church Kinlough on Tuesday 13th February at 10 a.m.  The ceremony passed off brilliantly with
excellent reading and singing.  Huge thanks to the class teachers Mairéad Rooney and Lisa Daly who prepared them so well and Fr. Keogan, Fr. Woods and Fr. Maguire for leading the celebration.  First Eucharist will be
celebrated in Saint Aidan’s Church on Saturday 19th May at 11.00 a.m.

Community Games Art Winners:
Congratulations to the following children who were winners in the Community Games Art Competition:
Braidan Mc Coy, Frank Regan, Andrew Gill Fitch, Cora Mc Geever, Michael Mc Morrow, Joseph Williams, Zara Mc Laughlin, Nicole Clancy, Cealagh Mc Gloin, Zoe Warnock, Oscar Mc Ginty, Annabelle Moore, Shauna Reynolds, Aoife Gallagher, Ruairí Mc Gloin, Roisin Williams and Jessica Rooney.

Daffodil Day:
On the 23rd of March the Easter Egg Raffle will take place.  There will also be a small fundraising event for the Irish Cancer Society.  More details to follow.

Best Kept Classroom for February 2018:
The winners in the “Best Kept Classrooms” competition for the month of February were:
Junior Award:
First Class – Mrs Mc Gurrin
Senior Award:
Fourth Class – Ms Mitchell
Well done to the pupils and teachers involved.

Easter Holidays:
The school will close on Friday 23rd of March for Easter holidays and will reopen on April 9th.  The school will also be closed on 19th of March, 7th of May and 4th of June for bank holidays.  The summer holidays will begin on the 27th of June at 12:30 p.m.

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