Thursday Note 28th March 2019

March 28th, 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are well this week as it appears Spring has well and truly arrived. Our news this week is as follows

  • Thank you to all the parents/guardians who supported our bookfair this week. Thank you to all the staff members who helped out at the bookfair and to Ms. Riordan who co-ordinated the event. As a result of the books purchased the school will receive over €1000 worth of books to add to our Accelerated Reader library and to our guided reading library.

  • Congratulations to Maneet in 6th class who represented St. Tolas in the Clare Spelling Bee competition yesterday in Cloughleigh N.S. in Ennis. Maneet did fantastic and stayed in almost until the final round spelling many difficult words correctly.  Well done!
  • A Communion preparation Mass will take place this Sunday in Mary Immaculate Church at 11a.m. Pupils in 2nd class making their Communion need to wear their school uniform to this Mass.
  • Easter camp-A flyer went home this week for any pupils who would like to attend the Easter Camp which will be on for four days over the Easter Break from Tuesday 23th to Friday 26th April here in school.
  • Wolfe Tonnes GAA Easter Camp will be on from Tuesday 16th to Thursday 18th April. Flyer going home this week with pupils.
  • Dr. Maureen Griffin (forensic psychologist) visited the school on Tuesday last. She facilitated a workshop on Keeping Safe Online for pupils in 3rd/4th classes and 5th/6th classes. She also hosted a workshop for parents on Tuesday evening last which was very informative. Maureen has expertise in the area of online safety and she has worked with offenders in prisons all over Ireland as well as providing training for Gardai and other police services. She has also visited over 700 schools in Ireland as she is passionate about giving children and their families the tools to keep safe while online. Following on from her visit to St. Tolas she would like to highlight to all parents the following tips for keeping your child safe while online
  • Ensure that your child accesses any online device – phones, tablets, games consoles etc in a shared family space and not on their own in a bedroom
  • Talk to their child about what they are doing online. Ensure that they only accept friend requests from people they know in real life and check that it is their friend in real life before accepting the friend request. Unfortunately, a lot of people on the internet are not who they say they are.
  • Monitor the time spent online and gaming. Some pupils told us that they are spending 5 hours and more most evenings gaming and/ or online. The guidelines for safe limits for children of primary age is 2 hours. Above this and it impacts on children’s ability to concentrate and can impact on overall health. She also highlighted how so much time spent on devices is impacting on sleep for many of our children.
  • Maureen was very concerned that a number of pupils have their own Youtube channels and are uploading content to these. In her opinion this is a high risk activity for children of primary school age.
  • She was also concerned that many pupils are downloading apps themselves without parental input.

 So what can parents do. Maureen forwarded on some links that may be useful to you.

I hope these will be of help to you. Maureen has also produced a guide for parents on online safety and this is available from Laya Healthcare.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal