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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 2012

December Newsletter 2012

We're celebrating 10 years of St Patrick's NS and here to update you on recent successes and events organised by your Parents' Association. We wish you all a lovely summer break!

Failte to all the families that were new to St Patrick's NS, this year. We are your Parents' Association Committee, here to support the Staff, Management, and students at St Patrick's. For ten years now, we have grown, along with the school and we've been here to give help and support. We have been fortunate in having great committees over the years that have helped, not just financially, but with practical help for important events and occasions. When you are celebrating memorable events such as Graduation, First Communion, Confirmation, etc, we are often in the background providing helping hands, setting the scene, or just offering a nice cup of coffee. When your child gets to bring home brilliant books from the School Library, we have probably helped contribute towards those. When your child gets to learn from their Teacher using the latest hi-tech White-boards, we have also helped to have that available for them. We regularly meet and liaise with the Management of St Patrick's and are always looking to support the school in their best endeavours. Hopefully, this Newsletter will inform and update you on the PA's most recent worthwhile activities. We are very grateful for all the help and support we regularly receive from parents, teachers and friends of St Patrick's. Thank You!

10 YEARS OF ST PATRICK'S NS

Brian Lenihan turning the sod for the start of construction on our new school, back in 2005. Prior to this, St Patrick's was in temporary accommodation at St Mochta's NS.

It is bittersweet to look back to the date when our local TD, Brian Lenihan turned the first sod on the land where St Patrick's now stands. This was a long awaited day. Along with other local TDs, Brian played no small part in helping us achieve funding for our wonderful school building. From our first efforts to get St Patrick's NS established, many years ago, right up to gaining our great new pedestrian entrance, Brian was always available and ready to help where possible. No doubt, he would have been a welcome presence at our celebrations this year, so it was with great sadness that we learned of his death in June 2011. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

SEACHTAIN NA GAEILGE
The school's celebrations of St Patrick's ten years coincided with Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Week) and the national St Patrick's Festival.

Almost 200 pupils got to showcase their talents in a fabulous concert in the school hall on 14th March. An audience of some 300 parents and friends was entertained on that evening. Great efforts on the part of the teachers and students made this a really enjoyable and successful event, along with all the festivities of Seachtain na Gaeilge. This has all taken place in the spirit of the school's motto 'Mol an Oige agus tiocfaidh si (Praise Youth and they will succeed). Fr John celebrated Mass in St Patrick's on 15th March in recognition of the school's first ten years. Congratulations to the management and staff of St Patrick's NS on a wonderful celebration of a wonderful anniversary!

SPONSORED WALK
For our most recent sponsored walk, we changed the usual format. For the first time, we held this annual event during school time. The whole school took part in a walk around Tir na nOg (the main park in Carpenterstown). Thanks to the fantastic co-operation of the School Teachers and a great committee, this went off really well. As we managed to include the whole school, the funds raised were the best to date! We had some treats for the children on their return to school and everyone seemed to enjoy the fun atmosphere!

The PA would like to extend many thanks to the Teaching Staff on this occasion, whose help in co-coordinating the event was invaluable. Well done to all the children too!
The face painters and the nail bar technicians were run off their feet. A huge queue was building to visit Santa and families were chatting, browsing the stalls and enjoying some refreshments at the Coffee & Cake stall. Meanwhile, outside at the Beat the Goalie competition Mr Thynne was very bravely manning the goals!

Inevitably, it seemed there were a few hiccups (apologies to all who had a long queue for Santa) but, overall, the day went really well and, before we knew it, it was all over and it was time to clean up and pack things away again.

The PA really wants to express a huge thank you to all involved for making the Christmas Fair such a success. It is the main fundraiser for the PA and the money raised is vital to the school. Equally as important is that it is a wonderful social occasion for the school body as a whole. So, to all who were on the Christmas Fair Committee, all School Staff & Teachers, all who donated items, helped set-up, provided sponsorship, bought raffle tickets, baked, helped clean up, and everyone who turned up, a big THANK YOU!

CHRISTMAS FAIR 2012 SUCCESS!
While the rest of us were shaking the last of the summer sand from our flip flops, the Christmas Fair committee was already meeting to plan the big event! A very motivated group of volunteers met in September to get plans started and then met almost weekly to keep things on track for the Fair day. You would be amazed at the amount of organisation that goes into the event every year.

Aoibhinn & David Richmond with their Mum, Clodagh visiting Santa's Grotto at Christmas Fair 2012
PHOTO COURTESY OF CASTLEKNOCK GAZETTE.

Appeals for volunteers to help out on the various stalls went out and people were very generous at coming forward to offer their time. Donations of toys, books, bottles and unwanted gifts began to flood in - once again the St Patrick's parents were hugely supportive of the Christmas fair. Sponsorship from the local business community was slow at first, and it was tough going approaching shops and businesses for support. But then, as the date approached, we were truly overwhelmed by the generosity of some local businesses - especially in the current economic climate.

Finally, the preparations for the Fair day began on Friday evening when construction of Santa's Grotto began. Early Saturday morning, a team of volunteers set to work ensuring that all the stalls got set up and looked great. Meanwhile, another team of helpers was busy sorting out all of the donations, cleaning toys, sorting books, etc.

Sunday morning dawned - no snow this year - was that good or bad?! People started arriving with amazing home-baking for the Cupcake Competition. The security team was in place. The Grotto team got ready for Santa's arrival. On came the Christmas music and the Wheel of Fortune ladies had a few trial spins of the brand new wheel! Many thanks to Derek Duff for his wonderful design and carpentry talent on the 'wheels' and Santa's Grotto, not just this year, but our previous years too!

The Friday choir and Choral Scholars gave a very festive start to the Fair, conducted by Ms Meade. Many proud parents enjoyed the wonderful singing. It was lovely to see Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles coming along to support St Patrick's at this seasonal event.

Eileen Maddock, Liz Nagle, Gina Brady & Sophie Brady helping out at the Christmas Fair 2012

PHOTO COURTESY OF CASTLEKNOCK GAZETTE

 

 

SCHOOL UNIFORM
This was our first year with a new uniform supplier - 'Savvy Schools'. In response to feedback from parents, we set out to source better quality fabrics at reasonable prices. The introduction of this new supplier meant that prices came down as there was now competition for this market. Most parents also availed of Savvy School's offer of a free high-quality Polo-Shirt at the 2011 launch. Our new supplier has also been most generous in supporting St Patrick's with commission. Savvy Schools is committed to acting on feedback from parents, and improving service, quality and prices. We would like to hear from you on any/all aspects of this service, going forward. This summer, Savvy Schools will be located in Centrepoint SC in Woodview Grove, just off the Clonsilla Road. Parents may make individual appointments for fittings. Please check the web-site or phone Geraldine for further details.

You may contact Savvy Schools at tel: 086 7308525 info@savvyschools.ie www.savvyschools.ie

SUPPORT OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS
A short ten years ago, St Patrick's National School came into existence and thanks to very generous contributions from the parent body (through fundraising) our children have access to a school which is superbly well equipped.

One of the functions of the Parent's Association is fundraising and through organised events like the Christmas Fair, Sponsored Walk, Family Quiz, Fashion Show, Bag Packing and Golf Classic. The parent body is responsible for donating an amazing €250,000 over the last ten years, which has helped to provide valuable resources for our school. This fantastic sum of money was raised thanks to you!

With your help, we have been able to provide the following:
Subject Resources (Maths, English, Science, History, Irish, Geography, PE, Drama, Library Books, Musical Instruments) €145,000
White Boards in every classroom € 25,000
Contribution to construction of New Pathway €10,000
Computers / Laptops €8,000
Parent Talks (Anti-Bullying, RSE, Internet Safety etc) €7,000
Receptions (Graduations, First Communion, Confirmation) €5,500
Art Projects €5,000
Purchase of Confirmation Robes € 4,500

The PA would like to say a huge Thank You for your very generous support over the last ten years. We look forward to your continued support in the future.

FAMILY FUN QUIZ
One of our most enjoyable events to organise this year was the Family Fun Quiz, held on Sunday 25th March. This was not a fund-raiser, but aimed at having a social outing, with something for all the family. We were delighted to see that it appealed to many families, yet again. In the format of a table quiz, so all the family could participate, the school teachers helped set a wide variety of questions to test skill of both young and not quite so young! We had good fun with some novelty questions and a tricky music round. This seemed to go down well with many families, especially when there were prizes at stake! If you haven't already been to one of these events, maybe keep it in mind for the next one!

FUN & FUNDS
This year, we had an idea to spread the fund-raising net a bit wider than we have previously, by bag packing at Tesco, Roselawn. We had some wonderful Mums and Dads helping Tesco customers with their bag-packing and adding some cheer to their day. Some children accompanied their parents and helped us have a great event. The spirit and camaraderie were fantastic. Customers were very kind and many were happy to support a local primary school. The funds raised made this a very worthwhile event. Despite a lower than average turn-out of volunteers, we managed to raise approximately €2,500 over three days. These funds shall partly help purchase stocks of new books for the school this year. Well done and many thanks to everyone involved!

AGM
We held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 12th October 2011. As always, this is our opportunity to meet with and update the greater parent body. We get an opportunity to run through the work of the PA during the past year and outline our hopes/intentions for the coming year.

Many thanks to those parents who attended our AGM on this occasion and who contributed to a lively meeting. We presented our Accounts for the past year and were delighted to announce that we had contributed €22,500 to St Patrick's in the past year. Our chairperson, Olivier Santamaria, led the meeting and gave news of recent and upcoming events. Some parents requested feedback on the topic of the recent change of Enrolment Policy at CCC and LCC. We were happy to have an opportunity for parents to air opinions and discuss this.

The PA is always looking for enthusiastic new parent committee members, so if you would like to offer some of your time, we'd love to hear from you. We usually meet on the first Wednesday of the month. Our AGM is usually the time that most parents meet up and enquire about joining the PA, so perhaps some of you will give it some thought for next September?

AID TO PAKISTAN
The PA organised a COFFEE MORNING in aid of Pakistan flood victims. This was in response to a number of requests the PA received to support this cause. We were happy to facilitate this fund-raiser where we invited any parents or friends to drop in for refreshments and offer a donation. We managed to raise over €700 and this was split between Concern and the Red Cross (Red Crescent) - both active in helping the many displaced flood victims in Pakistan. Unfortunately, many families in Pakistan are still suffering the after-effects of this disaster today. We should not forget about them.

St Patrick's NS, both through the school and the Parents' Association, has generously helped many worthy causes over the years, e.g. LauraLynn Foundation, Haiti Appeal, St Vincent de Paul, etc. If any parents have an interest in supporting a worthy cause and would like help from the Parents' Association, please approach the PA at any time.

One of our most enjoyable events to organise this year was the Family Fun Quiz, held on Sunday 25th March. This was not a fund-raiser, but aimed at having a social outing, with something for all the family. We were delighted to see that it appealed to many families, yet again. In the format of a table quiz, so all the family could participate, the school teachers helped set a wide variety of questions to test skill of both young and not quite so young! We had good fun with some novelty questions and a tricky music round. This seemed to go down well with many families, especially when there were prizes at stake! If you haven't already been to one of these events, maybe keep it in mind for the next one!

SCHOOL BOOK SCHEME EXPANDED
From September 2012, St Patrick's NS will be providing a record number of school books to children free of charge. Currently, the school supplies History, Geography, Science and Music books for children's use. This has been funded through parents' support of the 'Extras' Payments, the Parents' Association, and grants from the Department of Education and Skills (DES). From September 2012, Religion books, Irish books and English readers will also be provided to the children free of charge. This will allow the school to broaden the range of books available at each class level as per current DES guidelines.

The expansion of the scheme will involve a significant financial investment. The PA is delighted to be able to assist the school in this regard. This will mean that there will be no increase in the 'Extras' Payment this year. We welcome parental feedback on this topic.

LAPTOPS and COMPUTERS for learning
This year, the PA was able to provide funds which helped towards the purchase of 32 Laptop Computers, which are currently in use by 5th and 6th Classes. We would hope to be able to replicate this with even more classes in the coming years, with support of our fund-raising events.
Photo shows Ms McCormack's 6th Class using their Computers, purchased with help from PA fund-raising.

 

PARENT COURSES
As always, the PA likes to offer the chance for parents to update themselves on various areas relating to children, family, education, technology, etc. We try to hold a variety of talks by respected speakers and experts in their field. This year we held some well attended courses on a number of topics: Transition from Primary to Post-Primary School, Internet Safety, Substance Abuse, and a well received Parenting talk: 'Happy Parent, Happy Child'. These events are entirely funded by the PA and we regularly get excellent feedback on these courses.

Make sure to check the School Newsletters for news of further upcoming courses during the year. We would also welcome new thoughts and suggestions on topics that would interest you for future courses.

NEW PARENT REPS
The Parent representative roles on the school's Board of Management were up for renewal this year. The Board holds positions for a Mother and a Father of children at St Patrick's. We are delighted to have Karen Kearney and Pat Lynch as our new Parent reps. We wish them well in their new roles. Many thanks to our out-going parents, Adrienne O'Sullivan and Paul Mason.

CONTACT THE PA
If you would like to contact the PA, we would love to hear from you. Please send us your suggestions, ideas, feedback via:
POST: c/o St Patrick's NS, Diswellstown, Dublin 15
HAND: Dedicated Post-Box at the School Reception
E-MAIL: stpatrickspa@yahoo.com
TELEPHONE / TEXT: 085 844 8064
WEB: www.stpatricksns.ie