Summer Term Athletics at Morton Stadium
Well done to all the children who traveled to Morton Stadium, Santry to represent the school in the Fingal Schools athletics competion
Easter Egg Competition April 2017
Well done to all the children who took part in our Easter Egg design competition. The winners are listed below
Road Safety Workshops
Seachtain na Gaeilge at CNS
Niall DeBurca brings his story telling magic to CNS
As part of the Seachtain na Gaeilge celebrations the whole school was treated to story telling sessions by the famous story teller Niall DeBurca. Children were treated to the stories as Gaeilge and through English. Many thanks to the PA for making this possible.
Castleknock National School is awarded the title of Digital School of Distinction by the Department of Education
The school is delighted to announce that following the inspection of our school ICT infrastructure, communication processes and computer aided learning techniques we have been awarded the title of digital school of distinction. This was awarded by the department of education earlier this month in recognition of the school’s use of ICT to aid the learning of our children.
“Castleknock NS meets all the criteria for Digital School of Distinction Status and I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending them for this prestigious DSoD award. I believe Castleknock NS, its teachers, students and community will continue to lead the way for other schools to follow.”
“Castleknock NS, a vertical, co-education school, strives to ensure that each student, regardless of his or her age, ability or intellectual challenge, leaves the school feeling self-assured using various technologies, having gained a consolidation of their general classroom work in many curricular areas and in particular, Maths, Gaeilge /Bua Na Cainte, Ceol, Literacy, Oral skills and English.”
Department of Education
The full report is available from the school on request
The Hour of Code at CNS
All children in the school recently participated in the now annual “Hour of Code” initiative. This was a great opportunity to introduce the skill of coding to our younger school children, while further developing the coding skills of our older children. Many thanks to Denise and the team from Guideworks Software who made this possible.
A busy term of sport at C.N.S.
The start of the 2016/17 school year at Castleknock National School has been very busy with the school participating in numerous different sporting events. These included a rugby blitz at Coolmine Rugby Club, FAI Schools soccer blitz in Blakestown, Cricket Blitz in Corduff and Fingal Athletics in Porterstown. Well down to all the children for participating. Below is a picture of the school soccer team and some athletics pictures.
Fourth Class feature on RTÉ’s News2day Programme
Fourth class have been busy learning about the environment while celebrating National Tree Day. RTÉ came to visit this week when they featured the class on their News2day TV programme. You can view fourth class on the news by clicking here
Class teachers for 2016/17 year
Our sponsored walk raised over €5000 towards new books for the school library. Well done everybody!
Our GAA coaches organised a “Fun Day” in St Brigids for all the classes which was enjoyed by all in the beautiful sunshine
Our Leprechaun Cup team unfortunately were narrowly beaten by St John Bosco this year. Well done to the team who were magnificent on the day
We had two very successful days in Santry in the field and track events. We won 5 medals in the field events and our 6th class boys won the boys relay cup. A massive achievement! Our 6th class girls came second in their relay race also. Congratulations to all who took part and won medals.
School Celebrates 100 Years since the Easter Rising
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising the school held a flag raising ceremony, while the Proclamation of independence was read out.
Department of Education Cuts and Schools in Castleknock
8th February 2016
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are writing as a group of primary school principals from the Castleknock area to make you aware of our concerns for all children in our schools arising from the Department of Education and Skills’ (DES) intention to implement the proposals outlined in the NCSE’s document “Delivering for Pupils with Special Educational Needs”. This document proposes changes to the provision of learning support teaching, language support teaching and Resource teaching allocations in primary schools. We are deeply concerned about the substantial negative implications this new model may have for all pupils in our schools.The DES is currently piloting this proposal.
A cut of 15% to resource hours was introduced in 2011. Now, allocation of support teachers will be based mainly on the school’s profile drawn from
a) the level of complex needs,
b) it’s social context (socio-demographics of the catchment area) and
c) recent Standardised test results.
If this proposal is implemented as written, the current resource baseline allocation of 0.2 SEN teachers per class will be replaced by an allocation of 0.5 of a teacher per school of 200 children. We feel that this model is greatly flawed and will lead to serious cuts that will affect every child in our school. Using the socio economic profile and standardised test score results as a basis for allocating SEN resources is a narrow basis and will potentially militate against our pupils who will not receive resources based on needs but on school address. Needless to say, as the demands on the class teacher increase, the learning opportunities for all pupils in every class will be compromised.
As the responsibility for teaching pupils with identified learning needs will now be the responsibility of the class teacher, the task of delivering a full curriculum to all children in the class will become an impossible task.
The potential disadvantages of full implementation to our schools are:
· There will be a significant reduction in the number of pupils offered Learning, Language and Resource Teaching Supports.
· It militates against schools that allocate significant resources to early intervention strategies.
· The Standardised testing data used from 1st-6th classes will only be used to identify the children who are failing but not those who are underachieving.
· The responsibility of meeting the needs of struggling pupils will now be the full responsibility of the class teacher in classes of 30 and with a wider range of needs.
· No discretion for the school to meet the needs of any children encountering short-term learning difficulties.
We have made the politicians aware of our concerns and we would appreciate if you would continue this conversation when local politicians canvass your vote over the next few weeks.
Denis Courtney. St. Brigid’s N.S.
Aedín Ní Thuathail Castleknock ETNS
Sandra Moloney Castleknock National School
Mary McGarry Scoil Thomais
Pairic Clerkin St. Patrick’s N.S
DETAILS OF MEETING WITH WITH LOCAL POLITICIANS TO OUTLINE THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF THE PROPOSED NCSE MODEL FOR SUPPORTING SEN STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS
In order to address our concerns the following commitments are sought from all parties represented here today
We are demanding that the planned introduction of the revised model for allocation of SEN teaching resources to schools be suspended and that the concerns of our school be taken on board by all political parties.
We want a guarantee that for 2016/17 school year and subsequent years – all school will retain at minimum their existing SEN staffing to allow schools to continue to meet the needs of SEN and non-SEN pupils.
We demand that any alternative model to the present system will ringfence the current SEN teacher allocation as a baseline, and not remove valuable teaching resources from our schools or seek to negatively rebalance SEN supports across the primary school system. Furthermore we expect that a commitment be given to expand upon this allocation.
We want an acknowledgement from all parties here present that that the current attempt by the DES to develop an educational profile for each school based on limited criteria such as standardised test results, and socio economic factors is not appropriate – the complexity of school profile cannot be measured in such a narrow manner. An educational profile based on test results and family economic circumstances should not form any basis for the allocation of teacher support for SEN pupils in our school – To implement such a system would ensure that future SEN provision for our children would be based on narrow range of data to the detriment of the SEN and non-SEN pupils enrolled in the school at any given time.
We seek a commitment from all parties that they will campaign on the basis that SEN provision is a right for all children based on individual special educational needs (the continuum of SEN – pupils who require – much support – intermittent support – to the very able/gifted children who need support). Again I make the point that SEN teaching support should be based on need not on home or school address or perceived school profile. The provision of SEN supports for schools needs to be fair and equitable across all school sizes regardless of where a school is located. Furthermore issues of educational disadvantage should not be mixed up with the provision of supports for SEN pupils. These issues should be dealt with separately from SEN provision.
We are calling for the proper resourcing of the National Educational Psychological Service so that children in all schools who need the services of the Psychological Service can access appropriate assessment, advice and referral within a reasonable timeframe. The staffing of the NEPS service needs to be expanded so that schools can have an allocated psychologist who can support the school and teachers and pupils in a wholesome manner.
Finally – we are seeking a written commitment from each politician here represent ed here today, on behalf of their party, that they reject the proposals in their present format contained in the NCSE Policy Advice Paper: Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Schools was published in May 2013. We are seeking your support in our call for the suspension of the proposed model of Teacher Allocation for SEN. Additionally we want a guarantee from each politician present that your party will support a well resourced, needs based and equitable system for the future allocation of SEN resources to our schools.
Sixth Class take part in the Kids Marathon
Sixth class recently took part in the Kids Marathon. Afterwards they met with the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and the Mayor of Fingal David O’Connor
Fifth class recently attended the “Fighting Words” English workshop in Drumcondra
Knit and Natter
A big ‘Well done!’ to the pupils & the parents & grandparents who created a selection of beautiful knitted Christmas decorations for sale at the Christmas Fair.
The Hour of Code at CNS
The now annual Hour of Code initiative at CNS was a great success. The children had great fun while learning the basics of computer programming. Many thanks to Denise Airlie and her team of 14 computer programmers from Guideworks who visited the school, teaching this valuable skill to all classes in the school.
School Christmas Plays
Internet Safety Talk
During October we had Internet Safety sessions at Castleknock National School. The key messages sharing during these sessions were:
Keep Safe: Keep safe your personal information— all of it! Never give your real name, address, phone number, the name of your school, or a picture of yourself to anyone online.
Keep Away: Keep away from Internet strangers— no matter what they tell you, because you have no way of knowing who they really are. Don’t talk with them online, and never meet them face-to-face
Keep Telling: Keep telling your parents or a trusted adult about everything you see on the Internet. Always tell them when something makes you uncomfortable
During the sessions the kids were wonderfully enthusiastic about the internet, they had really positive stories about how they use the internet for everything from homework to movies to games. While mostly we had really positive feedback – some areas of concern did emerge that I would like to share with you along with some recommendations:
|A lot of younger children from 1st through 4th class have Facebook accounts||· The legal age for FB is 13
· Huge potential for youngsters to be exposed to inappropriate adult themes
· Potential for bullying & contact from strangers
|Don’t allow children under 13 to have FB accounts
When FB receives a report of an underage child, they shut down the child’s page. Look up “Report an Underage Child” on FB.
|Snapchat||Many children in the school have Snapchat||· The legal age for Snapchat is 13
· This app has incredible potential for bullying due to the “anonymity” aspect.
· Children often feel a false sense of security that anything that they send is deleted – it is still stored on Snapchat’s servers and identifiable to them …
|Not recommended for kids of primary school age
Parents can flag underage users by sending an email to email@example.com.
|Sharing of other children’s photos / sharing photos publically||· The legal age for Instagram is 13
· Some kids had photos of them shared without their permission
· Some kids had shared photos publically and then had inappropriate contact from strangers
|Not recommended for kids of primary school age. If they are using the app, check your child’s privacy settings on Instagram to make sure they are only sharing with selected friends.|
|Gaming||Some youngsters recounted stories of being contacted by strangers through online gaming i.e.
|· Kids don’t often recognise that sharing personal identifiable information about yourself can be dangerous, when we checked in class many children didn’t think that where they went to school etc. was personal information||Make sure that your kids can only play against other kids who are known to them.
Check privacy settings
|Cyber bullying||Kids generally underestimated the impact of what they say and do on the internet. “I was only messing”||· Cyber-bullying can be more harrowing for victims, as anything written can be re-read over and over again – also the knowledge that it may be on public view makes this worse.||Regularly check your children’s devices so that you can pick up on any issues very early and deal with them quickly.|
|Tablets / Smartphones||A lot of youngsters are accessing the internet on tablets / smart phones in their rooms etc. away from family areas||· If there is an issue of bullying – kids will often hide it away but keep re-reading and re-reading the offensive material
· There is more potential for kids to access inappropriate material unintentionally, i.e. on YouTube. Suggestions can very quickly lead away from an initial innocent search to something less appropriate
|It is safer when kids access the internet in common areas of your home.
It is easier to detect if there is any issues / bullying going on.
Check the parental controls on any devices so kids are playing safely on the internet
Top 10 tips for keeping kids safe online
- Keep the computer in a common room in the house and position the monitor so it’s available for public viewing.
- Establish rules for using the Internet and teach your children important safety guidelines.
- Understand social networking. Teach your kids that people online are not always who they say they are. Popular social networking sites are a favorite hunting ground for predators. Teach your children how to use the privacy settings and to keep identifying information off their blogs.
- Tell your children to keep their personal information protected. Children should never give their real name, address, phone number, the name of their school or a picture of themselves to anyone they meet online. NEVER let your children meet in person with anyone they’ve met on the Internet.
- Protect your children’s passwords and create generic names. Make sure your kids don’t have screen names or aliases that reveal their personal information, including their full name, age, gender, etc.
- Frequently check your computer’s Internet history and monitor your children’s email account. Let them know you’re checking these, why you’re doing it, and talk about potential online danger.
- Spend time with your children online. Have them show you their favorite sites.
- Teach your children cyber ethics. For example, hacking into someone’s computer is just as wrong as breaking into someone else’s home. You set rules, boundaries, and codes of acceptable behavior in the real world; do the same for the virtual world.
- Be computer savvy. Use antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall, and keep them current, but don’t rely on them as your only line of defense. (Check out Children of the Digital Age – A Guide for Parents on Facebook)
- Teach your children to tell a parent, teacher or trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable about anything they’ve seen on a computer.
For more tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance, go online to www.staysafeonline.org. or webwise.ie for explanations of popular apps. On Facebook, check for Children Of The Digital Age – A Guide For Parents which has great articles and demonstrations on how you can make the internet safer for kids.
On behalf of the Parents Association, we would like to express our gratitude to Jenny O’Connor for her time and expertise and urge parents to use these tips to promote online safety with their children
Dates for your Diary
Parent Teacher Meetings will take place for all classes, Senior Infants to Sixth Class on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th November. Lists to go up outside classrooms on November 18th.
School will close on both days at 1.45 p.m. and buses will run as normal but at the earlier time.
For pupils using the school bus service please note that school buses will not run on Met Éireann Status Red weather events. Please check on www.buseireann.iestatusred for further information.
G.A.A – All classes will have G.A.A. lessons this term and we will welcome the Sam Maguire cup to school next Monday.
The Carol Service will take place on Sunday 13th December.
Christmas Holidays – closing Tuesday 22nd December and re-opening on January 6th.
The Sam Maguire Cup visited CNS on Monday, 9th November. There was great excitement. Well done to all the pupils who wore their ‘Jerseys’ for the occasion and brought their flags. “Up the Dubs”
Third Class were lucky to be invited to plant a tree for Tree Day in Áras an Uachtaráin. We planted an oak tree with President Higgins. Then we were invited into his house for tea and cakes. After our tea the President’s wife took us on a tour of her “secret” garden. We had a wonderful day!
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of 1916 every school in Ireland is to receive an Irish Flag and a copy of the proclamation. The defense forces visited CNS on 30th September. We assembled in the GP room and sang the National Anthem. We were presented with our flag which we will raise on 15th March 2016
Visit to CNS by RTE’s News2day
To celebrate Tree Day on 8th October Éanna Ní Lamhna visited third class to talk about trees, especially the native trees which we have in our playground. RTE News2day came along and filmed us. We are so lucky to have so many beautiful trees growing round our school. Click here to watch the programme.
Next week the PA are hosting an Internet Safety talk for parents in CNS. Jenny O’Connor from Symantec will present the evening and she will follow up with internet safety workshops for all classes during the week.
Maths week takes place from 10th – 18th October. We look forward to lots of fun activities around the school. Sixth Class have been invited to attend “The Original Maths Magic Show with Andrew Jeffrey on 16th October.
Fifth Class Blog
Keep up to date with what’s happening in 5th Class. The blog is now online and available by clicking here
The Official Opening of the New School Computer Room
The school is delighted to announce the opening of our new computer room with 30 new computers. Many thanks to everyone who made this possible including John Ryan (Ms Ryan’s husband) at Lerham Group on Harcourt Street Dublin 2, the School Parents’ Association, Paul Condell, Ken White and Barry Doyle. Our children will benefit from having the latest in technology at their disposal which will no doubt aid their learning while at school here at CNS. Doing the opening honours are a group of children from Junior Infants including our youngest pupil cutting the ribbon.