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A chairde,
We are more than halfway through the school year and time has flown. We have had a very successful year so far and hope that this continues as the weather improves.
There are a few things that I would like to bring to the attention of the parents. The first is internet safety. Next week is Friendship and Internet Safety Week in our school and all classes will be doing lessons on it. During our preparations for this week it has come to my attention that a lot of children are online unsupervised at home on devices. It is essential that children are supervised online so they can use this resource safely and properly.
The second is the Parents Talk that the Parents Association have organised on Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing. I would love to see as many parents as possible attend as it gives all parents a chance to learn, reflect and help our children develop in terms of mental health which we feel is something that children are finding difficult in our modern times.
Le gach ghuí

School Closure:
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.

Parental Talk:
The Parent Association have organised an information seminar for all parents on the topic of ‘Support your Child with Mental Health and Wellbeing’. This will be facilitated by Edel from the National Parents Council and will centre on boosting your child’s self- esteem and resilience.  It will be discussing the importance of open communication with your child, the importance of quality family time and for parents to ask what’s going on in your child’s life.  This talk is free of charge and will take place in the school hall on Tuesday the 5th of March at 7:30 p.m. and the parent association will be providing tea and coffee.

Safe Internet Use:
We feel that it is essential that children use the internet safely. During the past week it has come to my attention that a large percentage of children in the school are online on phones/tablets/playstation/x-boxes and laptops unsupervised. It is imperative that children are all supervised when online. A parent being present makes sure the child accesses appropriate content, sends appropriate messages and has someone to talk to if they feel unsafe.
Recently in the media there have been a lot of discussions about MOMO. This has created a lot of concern in the media and amongst parents and this is why children should not be online unsupervised. It is important that parents talk to their children about using the internet safely and be conscious that not all children use the internet.
For information on MOMO please see https://nationalonlinesafety.com/resources/platform-guides/momo-online-safety-guide-for-parents/
For advice about how to teach your child to be internet safe please see www.webwise.ie.
www.nationalonlinesafety.com also gives lots of practical information to parents about using the internet safely.

Friendship Week
Next week has been designated Friendship week in our school. During this time children will be doing lessons about bullying and being a good friend.
All classes will also be doing specific lessons about internet safety and cyber bullying. I would encourage all parents to speak to their children about internet safety and having a trusted adult to talk to about anything they might see or hear online.

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.

Green School News:
On the 15th of February we held our Biodiversity Day. The pupils had a talk about pollution in our oceans, with interactive slides and hand-on activities.  The children looked at a variety of objects that are unfortunately found on our coastline, all too often and examined how long it takes for these objects to decompose in our waters.  Of course some never decompose and are polluting our waters and killing fish life.
All the children and staff of the school wore green that day, symbolizing our natural world around us.
At the end of the day, we had a whole school assembly on what we learned during the day.  In conclusion, the whole-school community sang our ‘Biodiversity Song’, which was written by third and fourth classes and the accompanying music.  An informed and fun day had by all!
Our application for the Fifth Flag will be submitted at the end of March.  So hoping all our dedicated work pays off!

Green –School Coordinator, Kathleen O’Reilly

Seachtain na Gaeilge:
The period of the 11th to the 22nd of March 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. We will be having a whole school assembly at the end of the period to celebrate our native tongue and nationality. 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 Tuesdays from 3-4p.m.  All pupils are welcome from these classes.  The first matches in the North Leitrim/South Donegal Cup will be taking place next Wednesday the 6th of March away to Bundoran. Further matches include the 15th of March away to Manorhamilton and the 29th of March away to Creevy NS. The finals have been pencilled in for the 10th April.  Good luck to all the children.

Sports Hall Athletics 2019:
48 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 20th 2019 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 the 21st of March. They will be accompanied by Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Britton.   We wish them well on the day.

School Nurse:
The school nurse will be visiting the school on the 26th to the 29th of March for all Junior Infants and new enrolments to the school.

Upcoming Events:
Cara Run
The Sixth Class are taking part in the Cara run on Friday the 8th of March.

Science Week
This will take place in the first week in April.

Something Fishy
5th Class will be doing a workshop on the Marine Life and aquaculture.

Retreat in Mullaghmore
6th Class will be taking part in a retreat before their Confirmation.

James Mc Dowell will be coaching the senior classes on Mondays for the next six weeks.
Liam Feely will be coaching the junior classes on Wednesday for the next two weeks.  After that GAA training will be provided to the junior classes on Fridays starting on 22nd of March.  Please wear track suits on appropriate days.

The next Pre- Confirmation Mass is in St.  Aidan’s Church, Kinlough this Sunday 3rd March 2019.

Ash Wednesday:
Wednesday March 6th is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent and on that day Fr. Keogan will visit the school and distribute ashes to pupils and staff.

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.”
We would encourage all children to donate some money weekly to this worthy charity during the Lenten period.

Community Games Art:
The Kinlough/Tullaghan/Rossinver Community Games Art Competition takes place at the Kinlough Community Centre Saturday 9th March from 3-6 p.m. Participants must draw/paint their own choice of any Community Games activity.  They must bring their own paper, pencils, colours etc. Entry fee €4.   For further information please contact Onora at 086 7522209.

Pupil Council News:
Thank you to all the children who gave us ideas and put them in the idea box, we will be looking through them soon.  We are now collecting money for the Bóthar Charity and we would like to encourage the children to bring in money to fundraise for an animal and give it to a family in need.

Best Kept Classroom for February 2019:
The winners in the “Best Kept Classrooms” competition for the month of February were:
Junior Award:
Junior Infants – Mrs Mc Sharry
Senior Award:
Sixth Class – Mr Gallagher
Well done to the pupils and teachers involved.

School website and e-mail address
The school’s email address is now fmastersns@gmail.com and please keep an eye on the school website for up to date news and pictures.

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