General information for Parents/Guardians.
We are offering this guide to parents as a little practical aid in dealing with the education of their children at the very early stages. We will be happy if you dip into it from time to time and find something of value to you and your child.
Welcome to Dunboyne Junior Primary School. Let our new and exciting Journey Together Begin.
“Our aim is to be a centre of excellence for learning and teaching, Inclusive to all.”
Please be aware that for Health and Safety reasons there is no vehicle access to our school grounds. Parking is available in the church grounds or adjacent car park. We ask that all parents/guardians adhere.
School opens 9:20 a.m.
Small Break 11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.
Lunch Break 12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Finishing Times 2:00 p.m. (Infants)
3:00 p.m. (1st Class to 2nd Class)
1st and 2nd classes finish at 2.55 p.m. on Friday
Please be on time for school every day.
It is very important that your child is in their line with the rest of their classmates before your class teacher collects them at 9.20 a.m. Your child will be more relaxed starting his/her day on time.
Good attendance is a priority in our school. If you bring your child late, leave early, or your child is absent from school, you need to hand the teacher a note of explanation. The teacher has to take an attendance roll every day and put in a “Reason for absence”. Parents will be informed after 15-20 days have been missed.
Under the Education Welfare Act 2000, parents must let the school know if their child is absent and why. The school has to report the non-attendance of any pupil who misses 20 days or more in any school year, including sickness and hospitalizations, to the Education Welfare Board.
Pupils must wear their school uniform at all times, including the school tie. School tracksuits are only allowed on the timetabled P.E. days.
Please label your child’s clothes, especially jumpers, tracksuit tops and coats.
In very cold weather make sure your child has extra clothes under their uniforms e.g. T- shirt or vest.
Make sure your child brings a warm jacket and hat in very cold weather and a rain jacket in milder weather.
Please get your child shoes with Velcro straps. Young children cannot manage laces.
- Navy jumper
- Blue shirt
- Plain Navy Tie
- Grey trousers (elasticated) or grey skirt or pinafore with white/grey socks/tights
- Tracksuit (navy) with blue polo t-shirt.
If your child has an allergy, medical condition, problem with sight or hearing, or is being assessed by a health professional or has any specific needs, please make sure that your child’s teacher is informed.
If you have any medical reports on your child who may have an impact on their ability to learn, please share it with your child’s teacher.
We wish to care for him/her to the best of our ability.
If your child is unwell or sick please do not send them into school.
Every day is a healthy lunch day. Only healthy snacks will be allowed for small break e.g. fruit, vegetable snack, water, juice, bread, bread sticks, crackers etc. No chocolate, sweets, chewing gum, crisps, popcorn, lollipops, peanuts or fizzy drinks or cordials are allowed. There is filter taps in all the classrooms so bottles can be refilled.
Arriving on the first day
Be sure to arrive on time.
Children will be brought to their new classroom and introduced to their new teacher.
When you arrive, be as casual as you can. If you are relaxed, your child will be more relaxed.
Be sure to collect your child on time. Children can become very upset if they feel they are forgotten.
If you cannot collect your child on a particular day, tell them who you have organised to collect them that afternoon so that they don’t get upset.
If at any time the collecting routine is changed unexpectedly, contact the school, a phone call to the school can ease anxiety or send an email to school office.
We do not encourage the interruption of classes and ask that if you have appointments to try and arrange outside school hours where possible. Lunches, bags etc. can be dropped to office and we will deliver them to classroom.
Handling the upset child
Despite the best efforts of both teacher and parents, a small number of children will still become upset on their first day in a new school. If your child happens to be one of them don’t panic.
Patience can work wonders
Trust the teacher. They are experienced and resourceful and are used to coping with all kinds of starting-off problems.
Try not to show you are upset. Sometimes parents are more upset than the child and this can make your child anxious or distressed
Reassure your child that they will have great fun, make new friends, that you will be back for them, that you love them, that their teacher is lovely and that they will really enjoy it. Smile and look confident. Give them a hug and a kiss and say goodbye.
As Time Goes On
- Get your child into the habit of being on time and coming to school every day.
- Children need plenty of rest. Get your child into an early and set bedtime.
- Show and interest in the work your child brings home. Please support your child with any small bit of homework they may get.
- Children often “forget” to bring home messages so please check your child’s bag every night for messages/notes.
- Do not compare your child’s progress to their peers. Be patient and give plenty of praise for their efforts.
- If your phone number or address changes during the year, please give details to the office and class teacher. We need to have an up to date contact number for you should we need to contact you.
- At the early stages some parents meet the teacher regularly and this is a good thing. However, if there is something in particular that you would like to discuss you can arrange to meet your child’s teacher at a time when you both have a little peace and privacy.
Respect and Courtesy
Social skills are very important. We encourage good manners at all times, please and thank you, addressing the teachers properly, being courteous to fellow students and staff.
Children’s moral and social education is covered right through the school day e.g. kindness to others, sharing with them, saying we are sorry.
Do be kind and helpful
Do be gentle
Do work hard
Do be honest
Don’t hurt people’s feelings
Don’t waste your own or other people’s time
Don’t hurt anyone
In our school grounds we have fun by playing fairly and safely, where everyone is included. Bullying, fighting and general roughness is totally discouraged. Every child is entitled to play in a safe environment. A school policy on bullying is in operation. Children are supervised in the playground during breaks.
It is important to ask your child whom he/she played with at school to ensure he/she isn’t alone, also encourage mixing rather than be dependent on one friend.
On the learning side the emphasis is on getting children ready for learning by:-
- Learning through play – is the most enjoyable and effective way
- Developing their oral language and expression
- Sharpening their senses, especially seeing, hearing and touching
- Developing physical coordination, including hands and fingers
- Extending their concentration and getting them to listen well
- Cooperating with teachers and other children
- Performing tasks by themselves
- Working with others and sharing with them
Children communicate their thoughts, feelings and needs, curiosity and desires through speech. If they cannot express these feelings and ideas in words they will tend to remain silent or get very cross and frustrated. They can pull away from class learning, which if not addressed can lead to negative feelings about school and education.
Children need to hear the words to understand them.
They need to understand the word to use it.
You can Help
- Speak with your child at every opportunity. At home, at the shops, on the street, park. Describe everything you see.
- Make time to listen when they want to tell you something that is important to them. Answer genuine questions with patience and in an age appropriate way.
- “MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO” Speak respectfully, quietly and kindly to your child and they will copy you and learn to speak in the same way.
- Say nursery rhymes and sing songs together. If a child learns to rhyme words they can hear the sounds in the words, which will help them to read.
- Give your child lots of time to use their imagination. Dress up, pretend play, dolls cars, blocks. Doctors, nurses, farmer, policeman etc. A lego block can be a phone, remote control, bar of chocolate etc.
- Help your child explore feelings and ideas through play.
Play with them.
Feelings & Emotions Words
When a child is upset, it is difficult for the parent and the child. It is a lot more difficult if a child does not have the words to let people know how they feel. Your child can get very upset, angry and frustrated, or may go the other way and refuse to speak. Most tantrums are caused by some frustration a child is feeling.
It is very important that your child can name how they feel.
You can help your child by naming their feelings when you see an opportunity. “Are you feeling angry because your sister won’t share?” “I can see that sleeping in the dark makes you feel afraid, nervous etc.” Try to teach your child an emotional vocabulary. It helps to control their feelings, make friends, keep friends and be happy.
Help your child to understand their feelings. Teach your child that it is okay to have our feelings but that we need to deal with them in appropriate ways.
Play “Make a Face” Tell your child you are going to make a face and they must guess what you are feeling. For example, If you make a happy or sad face and your child guesses it, say that’s right. Explain a time you may feel like that.
“Going to the park makes me feel happy” “I feel sad when it rains and I can’t go to the park” etc.
Read books to your child that shows characters experiencing different feelings e.g. sad, angry, happy, afraid, lonely, and confused. Stop at a page showing a characters expression and ask your child:
What do you think he/she is feeling?
Why is he/she feeling this way?
Have you ever felt that way?
What should he do?
Sometimes children express their feelings in an inappropriate way. They might cry when frustrated or throw toys or scream when angry. Try to teach your child different ways to express themselves appropriately and learn calming techniques.
- Ask for help
- Use your words “Say it, don’t do it”
- Say “I am mad” (instead of throwing toys)
- Tell an adult what’s wrong
- Take a big breath, count to five.
- Ask for a hug
- Try again
- Walk away
When in school, know the rule: silence, whisper, talk.
For safety in school, walk with care is the rule.
Make haste, don’t waste, be on time.
Respect others as you should, be kind, polite, and good.
Be fair, always care, remember to share.
Happy, sad, mad, curious, proud, frustrated, bored, angry, calm, lonely, afraid, worried, loving stubborn, uncomfortable, important, friendly, kind, patient, generous, safe, shy, annoyed, nervous, confident.
Getting ready to read
Learning to read is a gradual process. Lots of work must be done before a child is introduced to their first reader. We deliberately do not rush children into reading. Reading is something to be enjoyed. It should never feel pressured for a child.
Surround them with words
- Have colourful books in the home
- Teach your child to respect and care for books
- Read different types of stories. Fairy tales, adventure stories, funny stories, silly stories
- Look at the pictures with your child. You can tell a wonderful story from pictures
- Point at the words as you read them. Your child will learn that we read from left to right
- Teach your child how to turn a page
- Ask predictive questions. What do you think happens next? Etc
- Take your child to the library Read stories together. Share a love of books and words. Your child will have a favourite story and they will want you to read it over and over. That’s great. Gradually get them to tell you the story.
- When your child has a large bank of words, they will be ready to read.
Getting ready for writing
- Making letters on paper is not easy for small child. They must learn to hold the pencil properly and make regular shapes. Their finger muscles are only gradually developing at this stage. They must develop the ability to get the hand and eye working together. You can help train their muscles. Get them to manipulate toys like:
- Jigsaws, lego, beads to thread etc.
- Plasticene (Marla) to make their own shapes
- A colouring book and thick crayons
- Sheets of paper to cut up with safety scissors
If your child is naturally using their left hand. Do not stop them, do not try to change it. This is natural for them.
Maths for a small child has nothing to do with “Sums” or figures or tables or adding and subtracting. This will come much later. Maths is part of the language children use in understanding and talking about certain things in their experiences e.g.
- They associate certain numbers with particular things – two hands, four wheels, five fingers etc.
- Counting – one, two, three, four, five
- Colours – black, white, red, green, blue, etc.,
- Prepositions (telling positions) before/after, above/below, under/over, inside/outside etc.
- Matching/sorting – objects of the same colour/size/texture/shape
- Shapes – Circle, square, triangle, rectangle etc.
When parents and teachers work together children are the winners.
The attached document has some helpful information.