Email: info@stpatricksns.ie Phone: 01 824 9930 Fax: 01 824 9928

Address: Diswellstown Road, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

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Parents' Association - Newsletters

December Newsletter 2007

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Hello again everybody! We're about half way through the school year, and what a busy year it has been so far for the PA. Thank you to everybody who has supported our events. We kicked off the year with our Annual Sponsored Walk, which was a lovely day in the Phoenix Park, and raised much needed funds for St Patrick's. The Advent season also got off to a great start with our first ever Christmas Fair on 2nd December. This proved to be very popular with children and adults alike, and raised approximately €10,000, which will be put to very good use purchasing school equipment. We look forward to your continued support for our up-coming events in 2008!

Overall, we're a group of Mums and Dads here to help and support St Patrick's. To this end, fund-raising is one of our main occupations in the PA for St Patrick's. The Department of Education & Science only provides basic minimal requirements for our school. In order to equip our school with some "extras", such as library books, science, and gym equipment, for example, we must cover these costs ourselves. We appreciate the contributions that parents make year after year and this is why we are constantly trying to be innovative in our fund-raising methods. Where possible, we like to provide good family fun and enjoyment whilst, hopefully, raising much needed funds at the same time!

We also arrange informational evenings for parents on topics such as Parenting, Bullying, RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education), etc. We plan to have a First Aid course available in 2008 and a Coffee Morning event with a Multi-cultural theme. We hope that all our events help parents and children feel involved in the wider school community. We also organise and fund events such as the Receptions after First Holy Communion Ceremonies, which have proved so enjoyable for communicants' families. We're proud to be able to provide funding for the little surprises that Santa's helpers bring to cheer each child in the school around this time every year.

All parents/guardians are members of the PA and, even if you are not a committee member, your input is welcomed and appreciated. This is why our Annual General Meeting is so important. We have places for 22 committee members and this is your opportunity to volunteer or bring yourself up to date with current school matters and hear exactly where your funds are spent. Look out for notice of the AGM around September/October 2008.

WHERE OUR FUNDS WERE SPENT In the last 15 months, the PA has supplied funds for the following purposes:

  • Library books & Reading support €7,900
  • TVs & DVD / Video Combis €5,100
  • Music resources €4,300
  • New classroom kit-out €3,100
  • I.C.T. (Information & Communications Technology) €3,000
  • Science supplies & resources €2,700
  • PE equipment, trophies & medals €2,200
  • Geography support €2,000
  • Irish (Gaeilge) support €1,900
  • Artist in Residency Art supplies €1,650
  • History support €1,000
  • Drama support €1,000

We recently sponsored prizes for a poster competition on SAFETY whilst cycling and scootering near the school grounds. The winning designs (judged by our Lollipop Ladies!) will be posted up en route to the school to highlight awareness of safety on the footpaths. We gave prizes of Book Tokens, and Fingal County Council sponsored the main prize of a Bicycle!

image Table Quiz
image Fashion Show
image Golf Classic

www.stpatricksns.ie is benefitting from a make-over. Look out for the school's new-look site soon.

At our last AGM, Kieran O'Neill (PA representative) gave a report on the situation regarding the urgent need for another Post Primary School in Castleknock.

The Castleknock Schools' Action Group (which contains representatives of St Patrick's PA) has continued to lobby for a new school to address the crisis of school places at second level for our children. They have met the public representatives in the Dublin 15 area to brief them on our proposal for a new Post Primary School, highlighting the Primary School numbers and the transition dates from Primary to Post Primary Schools. We asked for their help in addressing the school site issue. We believe that all the councillors we met understand the severity, and support the urgent resolution of this problem. We understand that Fingal County Council (on behalf of the Department of Education & Science) has met with land-owners and an agreement is in place to allow the Department survey a site. The location of the site is not clear but is within the current Castleknock Community College catchment area. The Department of Education & Science usually announces approval of new schools once per year (in January); we hope that sufficient progress is made to move to the next stage.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kieran for his dedication and hard work on this.

In June this year we had a trial event, whereby we organised a School Book and Uniform Re-Sale. In line with the school's efforts to be as environmentally friendly as possible, we hoped to prevent good condition school uniforms and books going to waste. Unwanted but good condition school uniforms and books were donated by parents and re-sold at low prices. In the process, we raised €205 towards the LauraLynn Children's Hospice Foundation. The PA would welcome feed-back on this from parents, regarding whether you would consider this to be a worthwhile annual event.

image We wish all the children of St Patrick's NS, and their families, a very Happy Christmas! image

PHOTOS Many thanks to Brian Farrell for the photos included in this Newsletter and the fabulous photos on display at the school, taken recently at the Christmas Fair.

In the new year, there will be a box placed in the School Reception for parents to use, should they wish to contact the PA, or make suggestions. You can also contact us via e-mail: pafeedback@gmail.com. Please note that this is strictly for PA contact, NOT the school.


Sincere thanks to all volunteers who continue to help us with our events; it just would not be the same without you. Thanks also to all the local businesses and parents who sponsored us in recent events, your help is invaluable. We also thank our inspirational teachers, and all the school staff members, for their continued dedication, not least our Principal, Pairic Clerkin and our Deputy Principal, Mary Power, great examples of "Mol an Aige agus tiocfaidh sa (Praise Youth and they will succeed).

The PA would like to take this opportunity, at this time of year, to send good wishes to all the families of children at St Patrick's. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we wish you peace and happiness and look forward to your continued support in the New Year.