Thursday Note 24th Nov 2022

November 24th, 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are well this week. Our news is as follows

  • On Monday last we had Maureen Griffin (forensic psychologist) visit the school to facilitate a workshop for 3rd/4th class pupils and 5th/6th class pupils on keeping safe online. Maureen spoke with the pupils re the benefits of the internet but also some of the challenges that our pupils may face. The pupils were excellent and very engaged with the presentation and it was quite interactive. Maureen had the following advice for parents of St Tolas pupils
  1. The majority of pupils indicated that they are able to download an app to their device with no code/password required from parents. As the Digital Age of consent in Ireland is 16, parental involvement is central to ensuring the app is age appropriate. Maureen recommended that all families should activate Family Link or Family Sharing to control App download and use and as an extra security for our pupils. I have attached guides explaining how to activate both Family Link and Family Sharing.
  2. The majority of pupils indicated they know someone else’s password including Mam or Dad’s. Knowing other people’s passwords may expose our pupils to age-inappropriate content unless controls are activated. Pupils sharing their own passwords with friends etc can leave them vulnerable too.
  3. Many pupils indicated they have access to devices in their bedrooms and are using them in some cases late into the night. This is having an adverse impact on sleep. Maureen would recommend that devices are not left in bedrooms at night and restrict media use for at least an hour before bed.
  4. A number of pupils indicated they have muted chats in games as they did not know the person. It is great to see our pupils doing this.  It is recommended that pupils stick to a “known friends” list when they are playing online and they should know the people they play with online in real life. 
  5. The majority of pupils indicated they have seen adult content online (e.g. gambling ads in free games). It is vital that parents activate parental controls and use a safe searching option.
  6. Some pupils in both sessions indicated they have played games rated 16/18plus. All games have a PEGI rating system and as parents you can check Common Sense Media to help you understand the content of games and their age appropriateness. Here is the link https://www.commonsensemedia.org/
  • Tomorrow is the last day to order Christmas annuals. They cost €2.20 and can be paid for via Aladdin or in the school office.
  • Our Parents’ Association have organised a cake sale for tomorrow at 1p.m. here in the school. Donations of cakes/buns/biscuits can be made tomorrow morning. Please label your tin/container so we can return it to you after the cake sale.
  • The Parents’ Association are holding their A.G.M here in the school next Tuesday evening at 7.30p.m. All parents/guardians are welcome to attend.
  • Wolfe Tones GAA have provided a coach to come into schools in Shannon to focus on fundamental movement skills and some skills development. Our coach is Caiman Deegan and he will be here on Wednesdays to work with Juniors-3rd classes for a half hour per class.
  • Finally we will be doing some Christmas performances this year after not being able to do so for the past two years. Juniors -3rd classes will do a class performance. 4th-6th classes will perform some of the song and dance routines they are learning as part of Peace Proms. As Peace Proms is taking place in January we would not have the time to rehearse an additional performance for these classes. We hope that parents/guardians can attend this year and we will have dates for you next week.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, School Principal