We are delighted to be able to continue to provide free, hot dinners every day from Ashdale catering. The children enjoy a variety of healthy options for lunch which you, the families can order and change online. The children are also encouraged to drink water, which is also provided.
Parents are asked to provide their children with healthy break-time snacks such as a little fruit.
Sweets and sugary snacks, as well as crisps and fizzy drinks are not allowed (and we all know why!!). We have changed our OWN behaviours as a staff and try to eat healthy and nutritious food for our own lunches too.
On Fridays, children may bring one small treat for their break time snack if they wish.
It is important to ensure the health and safety of all children as they leave the building at the end of school. The Junior and Senior Infants are to be collected from the big yard at 1.40pm.
Parents are asked to wait until their child is handed to them by their teacher before leaving. At the senior home time of 2.40pm, all remaining children exit the school through the main door. Parents are asked to stand back from the doors to facilitate the safe exiting of all children.
Parents are also asked to make sure to be on time to collect your child every day, as this can be distressing for children if their collector is late on an ongoing basis. In the interests of safety, children who are not collected on time are encouraged to return to the school.
Helpful Hints for Parents
What can I do to help my children to learn before they go to school?
Talking and listening
- talk to your children and encourage them to talk
- listen to them and respect what they have to say
- Stories, reading and books
- read and tell them stories, say nursery rhymes and poems, and encourage them to talk about what they hear
- encourage them to tell stories and to repeat rhymes and poems
- make sure there are books in the home (picture books, picture books with captions, simple story books, etc.), and encourage children to handle them, look through them and talk about them
Play and activities
- encourage children in make-believe play and play with them
- play games that involve physical activity with your children
- let them play with water, sand and other materials
- involve them in activities around the house, and encourage them to talk about the activities
- take them for walks and point out and name flowers, trees and other items that arouse their interest point out and talk about things in the urban environment such as signs, names, types of shops etc Music and art
- sing to them and with them, and encourage them to sing
- play music for them, get them to clap and dance to the rhythms, and talk to them about the music encourage them to draw pictures and to talk about them, and display their drawings and pictures in the home.
The following items would be very useful in supporting your child's learning at home:
- pencils, colouring pencils, crayons, paints
- sketch pad, paper
- colouring book
- magnetic alphabet
- alphabet poster, puzzle, book
- story books
- Fairy Tales
- safety scissors
- play dough
- library card
- shapes for matching and sorting
Making life manageable for your child in Junior Infants
- Children cannot be independent if they cannot manage the equipment you provide. Give some thought to the items your child needs to get through the school day.
- If your child cannot tie laces and needs to change shoes – perhaps for PE – shoes with a velcro fastener will enable him/her to cope.
- Ask yourself whether or not your child can manage his/her clothes by him/herself. Zips may be easier than buttons for example. Elasticated trousers can be easier than zips or buttons.
- All of the above, if given a little thought, can help your child feel capable of dealing with classroom routine. It also helps the teacher enormously. It is impossible for a teacher to tie and untie 30 pairs of runners!
The First Day
It is important that you establish a good routine early.
Check that all items – uniform, bag – are ready for the morning. Do this in a calm fashion and don’t have your child over-excited or anxious going to bed. Give plenty of time in the morning for dressing, washing and eating a good breakfast. It is important that your child arrives at school before class starts as children can find it very intimidating to walk into a class already in progress. On the big day, if you are feeling upset, don’t show it. Leave your child with the teacher, and tell him/her you will be back at the appropriate time to collect him/her. If your child is upset, trust the teacher. The teacher is very experienced and knows how to comfort an anxious child
When the child arrives in school s/he will meet many children.
There may be the familiar faces of friends from the neighbourhood as well as former classmates from pre-school. There will also be new faces. Due to the increased integration of children with special needs into mainstream schools, there may be children in the class with special needs. Likewise, there are likely to be children from other cultures in their new class. Ireland is becoming increasingly multi-cultural and your child is likely to meet children from other cultures during his/her primary school life. Your child will take some time to familiarise him/herself with all these new faces but, after a time, you will find that your child will soon make new friends.
Talk to them about what happened and allow them to respond in their own way.
If you ask “What did you learn today?” you will most likely be told, “Nothing!” Most of the work at infant level is activity based and children do not understand ‘learning’ in the same way that adults do. If, however, you ask “What happened?” “What did you do?” “Did you sing?” “Did you draw?”, you will have more success. Your child will be tired coming home from school and, occasionally, may sleep for an hour or so when they come home. It is important to set a routine of a quiet time together and early to bed. If you feel that your child is worried about something that is school related, talk to the teacher.