Kilberry National School
Athy, Co. Kildare
Information Booklet for Parents
Principal: Ms. Louise Browne
Deputy Principal: Mrs. Martina Prendergast
Tel: 059 8638448 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Scoil Cill Bhearraigh
A Message from the Principal
As Principal of Kilberry National School, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our school. Here in Kilberry, we aim to develop the full potential of each child and to celebrate their uniqueness and individuality. My colleagues and I derive great personal and professional fulfilment from the role we play in the lives of young people whose education is entrusted to us.
We recognise that parents are the primary educators of their children and we look forward to the opportunity to build on that foundation as we journey together in educating your child.
In our school, we operate a policy of kindness and respect for others. Our school motto is ‘Kind Hands, Kind Feet, Kind Words’ and all children are reminded of these simple words to help promote positive behaviour in the classroom and on the playground.
I look forward to meeting and welcoming all our new pupils in August, and I wish you and your child many happy years ahead in our wonderful school.
Le gach dea ghuí,
Kilberry NS is a mixed school with boys and girls from Junior Infants to sixth class. We have four mainstream classes and two support teachers (including the principal). All of our work and our social interactions in Kilberry NS are rooted in our Catholic ethos which respects and appreciates the uniqueness and the potential of each individual. We strongly believe in the holistic development of each child, fostering their growth as responsible well-rounded members of society. Our pupils are afforded the opportunity to be involved in a broad range of curricular and extra-curricular activities.
Along with their academic progress your child will have the opportunity to develop a sense of citizenship and respect for the environment through becoming actively involved in our Green Schools programme. We foster wellbeing and personal development through engaging in a broad range of activities including music, creative arts, drama and a very broad range of sports and fitness programmes. We are an Active School and believe that active children are happy children, and happy children are more likely to be positive and open to learning. In the senior cycle, your child will develop many skills and talents in our Junior Entrepreneur Programme. They will also be involved in Science Projects, in helping to organise school events, in debating and in many, many other activities. Underpinning all of this is our Catholic ethos which fosters the development of respect, trust, forgiveness and hope. We strive to ensure that strong personal relations are established between all the partners involved in your child’s school experience. We look forward to your full support and co-operation in this regard.
School begins at 9am and finishes at 1.40pm for Infants and 2.40pm for pupils from 1st-6th class
The school uniform consists of navy trousers/pinafore/skirt, wine v-necked jumper and blue checked shirt with navy tie. The school uniform and tracksuit is available from Shaws department store, Athy. Tracksuit may be worn on designated PE days only. It is very important that your child wears the correct school tracksuit including the correct tracksuit bottoms. Plain navy bottoms are not permitted. Please mark your child’s name clearly on the label of the tracksuit top and school jumper.
Our staff and Board of Management update and review all school curricular and administrative policies on a regular basis. These policies are available from the school office if you would like to view them.
Health and Hygiene
Children should not be sent to school if they are not well enough to take part in normal activities. This is especially important in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic. In the case of infectious illness e.g. coronavirus, chickenpox, slapped cheek etc we will notify you immediately. If your child contracts any infectious illness we would appreciate it if you could do likewise. The HSE will notify parents through the school regarding vision and hearing screening and immunizations for your child.
As part of our Social, Personal and Health Education programme we encourage regular washing of hands, particularly around eating time and after toilet use. Unfortunately, germs and viruses spread very quickly in a classroom environment so it is vital that the children are encouraged to use a tissue when blowing their nose and to cover their mouth and turn away when coughing. We also encourage you to wipe down homework folders each evening after homework is completed before returning it to your child’s school bag.
Following the introduction of the Educational Welfare Act, the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) was set up. This organisation is now known as Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. The role of Tusla is, among other things, to monitor and promote attendance in schools. Each school is assigned a Welfare Officer who checks on attendance in local areas. Under Section 21 of the Act, every school is obliged to inform Tusla when a child is absent for 20 days for any reason. We are also obliged to indicate a reason for each day of absence. You can record details of your child’s absence via the Aladdin App or send in a written note to the class teacher. If a note is not received we have to describe the absence as unexplained. Children are expected to be present for the full day, until 1.40pm for Infants, and 2.40pm for all other classes. We will write to parents when their child’s absences reach 15 days cumulatively to alert them that they are approaching the reporting threshold.
If a child has to leave school early or is absent for part of the day, prior notice with a valid reason for such absence must be given to the teacher. In an emergency situation a phone call to the office will suffice.
Meeting your child’s teacher
Parents are always welcome in the School and the staff are available to meet with you to discuss any concerns you may have. While teachers are generally happy to facilitate parents with a quick chat at the end of the school day, for more serious issues it is always best to make an appointment. Meeting teachers in the morning without an appointment is simply not possible as teachers use this time to prepare for the day ahead.
If your child is being picked up by another adult, it is important to let your child’s teacher know this in advance and provide the name of the adult who will be collecting them.
Entering and exiting the school yard
The side gate will open at 8.50am in the morning to admit pupils into the school yard. For safety and child protection reasons, parents are not permitted on the school yard. The school accepts no responsibility until 8.50am We ask parents to ensure that you supervise your child in the school carpark. Please use the school carpark for drop off in the morning and collection in the afternoon. Please do not park illegally in front of school gates. (For new arrangements due to Covid-19, please see our Covid Response Plan)
In line with child safeguarding and health and safety policies adults are not permitted to enter the school building without being accompanied by a member of staff.
If your child is late for school in the morning please ring the bell at the main door. If your child is late you must accompany them until a member of staff takes them into the building. School begins at 9:00am so we urge all parents to have their children in school on time.
Kilberry NS uses Aladdin Connect to communicate with parents. You will receive notes and messages from the school through Aladdin Connect. You can also view your child’s attendance and their school report using Connect. The school will contact you to assist you with registration and your personal log in details for using the app.
Bradbury’s provide lunches to the school. Your child can avail of this lunch free of charge. We are delighted that we have now rolled out hot lunches to our pupils in 1st-6th class. You also have the option of sending in your own packed lunch if preferred.
We operate a Healthy Eating Policy in Kilberry. Studies have shown that healthy food improves children’s concentration and learning. Sweets, crisps, fruit winders, chewing gum and fizzy drinks are not allowed in school. We also discourage chocolate biscuits/buns. We do not allow pupils to share lunches as we have a number of pupils with various allergies. We ask that no foods containing nuts are included in your child’s lunch. If your child has signed up for the school lunches, they are expected to take them.
Joining the school Parents’ Council is a wonderful way to get involved in our school community, and to use your skills and talents to benefit your own children and indeed all the children of our school.
Our Parent’s Council is always looking for new members. If you are in a position to volunteer or if there is anything you would like to ask, or suggest regarding activities or events we could run, then we would love to hear from you! You can contact us through the school office.