Health and Safety
- Fingal County Council employs two traffic wardens to escort pupils safely across Strand Road and Lower Carrickhill Road in the morning and again at 2.30p.m.. Please remind children to obey the traffic wardens and advise them to cross the road only where the traffic wardens operate.
- Parents dropping off, or, collecting children should not park on the yellow lines in front of the school. Children should use the pedestrian gates opposite the Post Office and beside the traffic lights when entering and leaving the school grounds. Great care must be excercised when using the vehicular entrance beside the church. Parking in the school grounds is limited to staff only. There is adequate parking in the church car park for parents.
- Parents should advise their children regularly not to engage in conversation with strangers and never to go anywhere with strangers.
- In the interest of safety pupils are not permitted to leave the school unaccompanied during school hours. Pupils must be collected by Parents/Guardians in the school.
- Parents are asked to make the teachers aware of any medical conditions or allergies from which the child may be suffering.
- Children may store textbooks/copies in classrooms so as to reduce the weight of school bags.
- Parents are reminded to notify the school of any change of home/work/mobile phone numbers immediately.
Cuts and bruises receive attention in the school. Temporary dressings are applied which will serve until the child gets home. Parents should always attend to them when the child returns from school. In the case of serious accidents every effort will be made to contact the parents by phone. In the event of a parent/guardian not being contactable an ambulance will be called.
Children Who Feel Unwell In School
When the Principal or teacher feels that a child is not well enough to concentrate on work as a result of becoming sick or as a result of an accident, the parents of the child will be contacted and arrangements made for the child to be taken home. Parents are requested on the application form to designate a person to whom the child may be entrusted in the event of the parents not being available. An up-to-date register of parents’ home/work telephone numbers together with the phone numbers of neighbours/friends is kept in the office.
- Pupils wear school uniforms on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays unless timetabled for P.E. or taking part in a school ooganised sports event.
- Pupils may wear school tracksuits on Fridays, on school tours and on the days the school closes for holidays.
- Pupils will wear school tracksuits and polo shirts on P.E. days.
- The school uniform implementation policy includes inspections, the keeping of records, praise and encouragement.
- On School Sports Days pupils may wear the sports gear of their choice.
Grey Pinafore Skirt/Grey Trousers
Grey V-Necked Pullover
Grey V-Necked Pullover
Grey Tracksuit with Amber Piping and Amber School Crest
School Polo Shirt
Amber Polo Shirt with Black School Crest
Uniform, School Tracksuit and Polo Shirt available from:
O’Farrell School & Sports, 104 Kingsford Cross, Portmarnock. Tel. No. 846-3512
Tracksuits tops, jumpers and jackets etc. should be clearly marked for easy identification. The school cannot accept responsibility for the loss of items of clothing.
There is a lost property box in the caretaker’s room. At the end of the school year unclaimed coats, hats, uniforms are recycled.
- Regular attendance is essential if a child is to do well at school so he/she should not be kept at home without a very good reason. However a child who is unwell should not be sent to school. If for some exceptional reason the parent/guardian wishes the child to remain indoors during break time on a day when children go to the playground – a note requesting same has to be specifically signed and dated.
- St. Marnock’s School opens to receive pupils at 8.45a.m.. Arrival in class after 9a.m. can be disruptive. In the case of a pupil being absent for a school day or more than a school day a “Notification of Student Absence Form” must be completed and presented to the child’s class teacher on the day that he/she returns to school following the absence. Forms are issued at the beginning of the year and additional copies will be available in the office. Written explanations of pupil absences must be retained in the school in accordance with Section 21 of the Education Welfare Act. The school is required to inform the Education Welfare Officer where the aggregate number of days in which a child is absent from school during the school year reaches 20.
Home School Links
- Parents have an opportunity to meet with teachers informally when delivering children to school in the morning or when collecting them in the afternoon.
- Formal Parent/Teacher meetings are arranged in February for Infant Classes and in November for all other classes. Parents receive advance notice of the dates and appointment times are issued.
- The parents of incoming Junior Infants are invited to an information meeting in the school in June.
- School reports are issued in June in accordance with Department of Education & Skills requirements.
- Parents and teachers of children in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes may utilise Homework Journals as a means of communication.
- Circulars and Newsletters are issued regulars to keep the school community informed of school activities.
- Parents are welcome to visit the school to discuss matters relevant to their children’s education with teachers. A suitable time should be chosen which is mutually convenient and if the meeting has to take place during school hours it should be borne in mind that class work should not be disrupted for an extended period and that supervision of the teacher’s class has to be arranged for the duration of the meeting.
- Parents should always approach the school to discuss any matter which they perceive to be adversely affecting the educational progress of their own children. If, at any time, a parent has a grievance against the school the matter should be brought to the attention of the Teacher and/or the Principal with a view to resolving it. If the matter is not resolved at this stage it should be brought to the attention of the Chairman of the Board of Management.
The school provides an appropriate education for all the pupils suited to their ages, aptitudes and abilities. The school sets out to provide an education which will enable the child to live a full life as a child while at the same time providing the child with the skills necessary to avail of further education. These skills will include, over the eight year Primary School Cycle, competence in reading, writing and mathematics since these are the elements on which so much else depends.
Children learn in different ways. The curriculum recommends a variety of approaches and methodologies which will suit varying learning styles. It suggests different forms of classroom organisation, for example, whole class teaching, learning in groups and in pairs. When children experience success in learning it gives them a feeling of achievement, raises their confidence and self-esteem and fosters in them an enthusiasm for further learning. Pupils are provided with a variety of learning experiences which will enable them to develop their potential. The teacher will follow a programme which will develop the child’s confidence, concentration and language as a basis for learning the three R’s. The curriculum is geared towards children’s developmental needs – flexible enough to make sure that individual needs are catered for.
Research shows that more benefits accrue to children whose parents are interested and involved in their education. Learning will often be impeded where a child is frustrated or hostile, hungry or tired, unwell or unloved. It is widely accepted that factors to do with the home explain much of the difference in pupils achievements and that parents attitudes assume a crucial significance. The most precious present you can give to your child is your time.
In keeping with the revised Primary School Curriculum guidelines formal English reading will not be introduced in our Junior Infant class until the latter part of the school year. Greater emphasis will be placed on the development of oral language and pre-reading skills. Pupils will have access to a wide range of picture and story books. Our pre-reading programme will cover the development of vocabulary, working with concrete materials, games, stories read by teacher, stories on tape etc.
English, Gaeilge, Mathematics, Social, Personal and Health Education, Physical Education, Music, Social, Environmental and Scientific Education and Religious Education are taught in all classes.
Teachers will employ a variety of strategies to teach English reading. Learning to read is a social as well as an intellectual process. It has been proven that good readers receive vastly more parental support than poor readers. In the sphere of language, reading must include access to a wide variety of materials and in writing it will include the opportunity to try a number of forms. A shared reading programme which involves parents is operated in Junior Infant, Senior Infant, 1st and 2nd Classes.
The revised curriculum guidelines recommend that formal Irish reading should begin in second class and that the emphasis in Infant and First Classes should be on oral language and the acquisition of pre-reading skills.
A Social, Personal and Health Education programme incorporating the Stay Safe Programme will form part of the school curriculum. The school’s RSE Policy Statement is enclosed.
All classes are mixed ability. The curriculum takes into account that children learn in different ways and at different rates. We encourage children to be tolerant, to accept difference, to expand their circle of friends, to share, take turns, be team players and be co-operative. In this way we hope to help them to fulfil their potential and to be happy and emotionally balanced persons.
Shared Reading Programme
One way parents can help children to master the art of reading is an approach called Shared Reading. Shared Reading is done by a parent/adult with the child at home. The process is designed to improve reading accuracy and to develop a love of books and reading. The scheme will complement structured reading programmes already in use by teachers. Its success will very much depend on the support of parents. Books focus on events with which children identify. Stories have humorous illustrations which children enjoy. The text and illustrations are closely linked and the stories develop reading stamina. Parental involvement will enable children to enter a magic world of enchantment and wonder.
Our Shared Reading Programme operates in Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st and 2nd Classes. Children receive a book and a record card in a transparent plastic wallet. When the book has been read parents initial the record card, return both to the teacher and the child receives another book.
Some helpful tips for parents
- Find a time when you are both relaxed.
- Make sure that there are no distractions.
- Sit comfortably, making sure that you can both see the text and illustrations clearly.
- Talk about the book, the cover, the title, the author and the illustrations.
- Read the story or allow the child to read it for you.
- Play guessing games. Guess what the story might be about. Stop in the middle of the story and guess what might happen next. Guess what might happen after the story is over.
- Talk about the story, the best part, the funniest part, the saddest part, etc.
- Talk to the child about whether he/she liked the story or not.
- Sign the record card.
The school provides learning support for children who find it difficult to access the curriculum. Children who receive help must fulfil criteria laid down by the DES. Support may be provided in the child’s classroom or in a separate classroom. Following the administration of standardised tests children are identified who would benefit from support. Parental consent is required before children are withdrawn from classrooms for support.
Parents are asked to supplement state grants by making an annual financial contribution to the school. Apart from helping out with the running costs of the school a generous response from parents to our annual appeal enables us to provide better facilities which benefit all children.
- Pupils must have regard for the rights of others.
- Bullying is not allowed.
- A high standard of behaviour is expected from pupils at all times.
- The school building and furnishings must be treated with care.
- Pupils must walk quietly and in an orderly manner in school corridors.
- Pupils are not allowed to play dangerous games.
- Pupils are not allowed to leave the playground without getting the permission of a teacher on supervision duty.
- Punctuality and regular attendance is required from every pupil.
- Pupils must provide teachers with completed “Notification of Student Absence” forms upon returning to school following periods of absence.
- Pupils are required to wear the prescribed school uniform to school every day with the exception of Physical Education days and Fridays.
- On Physical Education days pupils are required to wear school uniform tracksuits to school.
- Pupils must wear runners when participating in Physical Education classes.
HSE – SCHOOL SCREENING PROGRAMME
Audiometry Screening (hearing):
Senior Infants, New Entrants, Parental & Teacher Concern.
Senior Infants, 6th Class, New Entrants, Parental & Teacher Concern.
4 & 1 Booster – Junior Infants, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) – Junior Infants Booster
2nd, 4th and 6th class – Routine Examinations – Baldoyle Health Centre
After School Activities
- Teachers provide coaching in Gaelic Football, Hurling, Camogie and Athletics for children in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes after school on a voluntary basis.
- Swimming lessons are organised by the Parents’ Association for children in Senior Infants to 6th class inclusive. Lessons take place in Portmarnock Sports and Leisure Centre on Mondays after school. A fee is charged to cover the costs of hiring the pool and employing the services of swimming coaches.
- Ballet, Speech and Drama and Irish Dancing classes are organised after school by external teachers.