Category: Parents Association

PA message 2020

Hello everyone
It is hard to believe that we are 7 weeks back at school and swiftly approaching mid-term. We are so grateful to the school for all that they are doing to keep our children safe during these strange times.
At the PA, we wanted to wait and give everyone some time to settle back and get used to the new routine before we took to planning what we can do for the year ahead.
We are trying to adapt also to the public health measures and what that means for our usual PA activities and we’ve been putting our thinking caps on as to how we can continue to provide support to the school during this time. We welcome all thoughts and ideas from everyone.

In essence we have 3 main aims for this year as a PA
1) Staying Safe: To do everything we can as parents to support the school in the implementation of the public health guidelines and keeping our children safe and happy.

2) Staying Connected: To keep parents connected to each other even though we are not physically seeing each other as much or have the same regular points of contact such as coffee mornings etc.

3) Fund-raising: To find new ways to fund-raise within the limitations of public health guidelines and with the understanding of the economic impact that the pandemic is having personally on families.

Staying Safe:
Thank you to everyone for the huge compliance in wearing masks on school grounds, observing 2 metre distances and maintaining the one-way system of entry and exit.

School Entrances
Could we ask all parents / guardians NOT to park in the bus bay or the school gates. It is extremely dangerous with kids running in and out of school. It also stops the school buses from parking which is very unfair.

Pedestrian Crossing
Could we ask all students to cross the road at the pedestrian lights with Bernie? It may take an extra minute, but it may avoid an accident in the future.

No gathering
Please continue to avoid gathering in places inside or outside of school where the 2metres distance cannot be adhered to.

Staying Connected:
As a PA, we are so used to welcoming new parents via a coffee morning and this year more than ever must be a strange time to start in a new school. We extend a very big virtual welcome to all of the new parents/guardians who have joined the Good Shepherd this year.
Whatsapp Groups
One of the ways in which we can continue to stay connected to each other is via our Class Whatsapp groups. Please consider signing up to your class group if you are not already on it. You can ask the teacher who the parent rep is for your class and they will happily add you to the group. It is a great way to keep information flowing between parents and to welcome and get to know new parents. There are golden rules that guide the groups which we re-issue each year to keep the groups running
smoothly.
Gardening
If you have green fingers or are good with a spade, another way to stay connected is to volunteer for a special gardening project that the school are completing this year. This project will begin next term and will occur outside where social distancing can be maintained. It will involve some design, hands-on-work and an interest/knowledge of plants will be helpful. If there is anyone willing to give a few hours can they contact the school or please give your name to your PA class rep.

Enrolment Days 2021
An important date for many of you with smaller children is the enrolment date for the 2021 intake. The cut-off date of enrolment for Sept 2021 is Fri 23 October. No place can be guaranteed after this date (this includes siblings) so if you need to book a place make sure you contact the school.
Fund-raising:
Fund raising every year is a vital role for the PA, and collectively we have all helped raise money that has supported the school to purchase items and fund projects that ultimately our children have benefited from. Like with everything else, how we raise the funds has to change this year too. We also acknowledge that raising funds is more challenging when families have been affected
economically by the pandemic. We will try our best this year to raise what we can, through small and big initiatives and appreciate that any support from you, however small, will be welcome and vital for the school. We have a couple of initiatives that will run this side of Christmas and we will keep you updated via the whatsapp groups and the website.

If anyone has any fundraising suggestions, please feel free to share any ideas with us – we would be
only too happy to hear from you.

Pennies for projects/ playground
Something we can begin now and has worked well in other schools is the ‘Pennies for Playgrounds’ initiative. This would involve students setting up a jar at home – decorated however they like, in which the family would throw their coppers/small change between now and 18 June 2021. There will be a special prize for the jar with the largest amount of money. Collectively we can make small change work hard for our school. When we work together, we really can achieve a lot. Monies that were fund-raised last year helped to support the school’s wish to turn the old courtyard into a Sensory Garden. As most of us haven’t
been in the school this year, this may not have got the notice it deserves. Through enormous hard work on the schools’ part the Sensory Garden was created and it is now an integral part of the school day for students. We’ve included some photos below of the finished product and know that it is booked up and in use throughout the day. It is a wonderful addition to the school.

Cake Sale, 13 February
Cake Sale, 13 February

Dear Parents, Guardians, Relatives & Friends we would like to invite you to our annual Cake Sale which will take place on 13th February from 9.30-Noon. Teas and coffee served! We are looking forward to meeting you there.

Planned fundraising
The parents association enjoyed a busy time between September and December last year, supporting many events held at the school.  Our fundraising kicked off well with a fully supported Bag Pack in November so thank you to all who came out over that weekend.  Between that and the clothes recycling after mid-term, we’ve banked over 3k already this year.
Parents supported the Open Day in the school back in October and delighted in being able to talk to perspective parents about our school and all the hard work that is carried out by students and staff alike.  In addition, parents supported the accelerated reading programme’s introduction by helping to sort and catalogue books.  This has been a great addition to the school and we were delighted to help in some way.
The WhatsApp groups that began only last year, have now become a regular form of communication – with essential information about PA activities being shared as well as parents supporting each other with homework queries and lost uniforms.  We’ll continue to use the WhatsApp forum as a way to tell you about upcoming events and to keep us all connected.
This year we’re turning out attention to cakes!  By far the most fun of all of our events – The Bake Sale, will happen on the 6th February this year so get out your baking tins and join us in a collective sugar rush.  It’s a great event to be involved in – whether you’re baking at home, volunteering on the day or helping in the run up to it.
The ever-popular Table Quiz will happen on March 6th so put the date in the diary and start swotting up on Disney characters, solving riddles and general knowledge.  Last year was great fun and we are hoping for even more attendees this year.  If you’re looking for team members, use your WhatsApp groups to buddy up and please let as many of your friends and neighbours know.
We will have another Bag Pack on the 26th to the 29th March.  Every volunteer for this one counts as we have 36 2hour slots to fill over the 4 days and it is such an important fundraiser for the school.
As always, we are all part of the parents association by virtue of the fact that our children attend Good Shepherd.  We look forward to seeing you at any of the events or coffee mornings to come to this term.
School year comes to a close
School year comes to a close

As the school year comes to a close, most of us parents are wondering where it went to!  And the Parents Association are wondering the same.  It seems like only yesterday we were organizing the first bag pack of the year and here we are, with loads of events under our belt and a whopping year for fund-raising.

We’ve continued to host our regular coffee mornings for parents in the parents’ room which gives everyone a chance to connect with other parents and are especially helpful for new parents who join the school.  We introduced the class WhatsApp groups for the first time this year and this has been a great way for parents to connect and information to be shared.  Over the year, and often in the background, parents and guardians have volunteered hours of their time from keeping the library up to date, Maths4fun, the very successful Junior Entrepreneurship programme, sports days to making tea at the 6th class graduation.  These are as much an integral part of the parents’ association activities as the large events like the bake sale and bag packs.  Giving of your time is as important as the fund-raising that we achieve so to all those who regularly help out, we thank you.

And a big thank you to all of you as parents – to every time you bought a raffle ticket, or baked for the bake sale, or asked your friends and family for sponsorship for the school walk, or gave up a few hours to pack bags, or sent in a second-hand book, uniform or clothes for recycling  – To everyone who plays a part in supporting the school, our activities and our fundraising endeavours, we say a big THANK YOU.

And between us all, and supported by Chantelle’s super organisation skills and the teachers in the school, this year we have raised over €11,025.   What a phenomenal amount for a small school.  We’ve punched well above our weight and we can all be proud.

This money has already been invested into technology in the school.  The school has been able to buy ipads, a docking station to safely store, charge and transport them from class to class and a new sound system for the big hall.

We hope you all enjoy the summer and look forward to seeing everyone again at one of our coffee mornings in September.  Our main aim for next year is to support the development of the Sensory Garden in the courtyard which will be a fantastic resource for every child in the school.  So green fingered parents, be ready.

 

 

 

Last term sum up

It’s been a busy and productive year so far for the parents association in the Good Shepherd National School.  And we’re not done yet!  We’ve lots of events happening in the last term as we get ready to finish out the year and welcome the summer.

The bag-packing event at Supervalu was well supported and we’d a full house at the Table Quiz with the top scoring round being the Disney questions!  We know our Elsa from our Anna.  The bake sale was so well supported by all the parents and children and with 69 raffle prizes nearly everyone was a winner ;).  Recycling clothes was a great way to clear out the wardrobes and raise money at the same time.  And every little bit helps as we raise money to support our students.

Regular coffee mornings have occurred with new parents having the chance to get to know other parents and be welcomed to our school.

There’s more excitement to come for the last term so we end on a high for the year.   We will have our second-hand uniform sale on 24/6/19 and a book sale on a date to be confirmed.  Sports Day and Maths 4 fun are both coming up with support from parent volunteers.  We need as many as possible for the Sports Day on 12/6/19 so if you’re free, put on the runners and join us in what is always a great fun day in the school.

Lastly this year, Good Shepherd School are off to the movies!!  We’ve been fortunate to be given a special screening of “The Secret Life of Pets 2” in the Omniplex Cinema in Rathmines, with all the ticket money being donated back to the school by the Cinema.  So keep an eye out for the notices going home and grab your tickets for a Sunday morning of popcorn and movies with the Good Shepherd.

Bake Sale
Bake Sale

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are happy to announce this year Bake Sale on 14th February from 9:30 until 12:30. Teas/ Coffees and raffle! All welcome!

December PA News
December PA News

To all new and existing members of the Parents Association (PA), i.e. every single parent/guardian in the school! We’re almost at Christmas already!
Just in case you haven’t heard, read on to find out what we got up to last year and what we have in the pipe line for the year ahead.
As you know, our goal is to be your voice and to collect ideas and suggestions to continue to better our school through our fundraising efforts. Our first meeting for this year was held on the 28th September.
We came up with some fundraising ideas and what we think is needed for this year
• Volunteers – For future events. We will be looking for volunteers on specific events, i.e., bag packing at SuperValu. If you could choose at least one thing to help out on this year that would be great!
• Website – we need your support so please keep checking the PA page for updates
• Your views/opinions – All general feedback and constructive ideas around the work carried out by your PA would be appreciated. We will collect and prioritise these and use them as a basis for our meetings.

We would like to congratulate everyone for last year’s efforts. Through our fundraising, from bag packing to carol singing to race night, we managed to raise enough money to enabled the school to purchase a touchscreen whiteboard which in turn helps all our children at the school.
There are a few things already completed this year and a few more lined up for after Christmas:
• Open Day (Sunday, 14th October)
We got to show off our school. We had great volunteers on the day as well as current pupils who did our school proud.
• Sponsored Walk (Friday, 12th October)
This is the schools biggest fundraising opportunity each year. A tremendous effort was made and even though it was brought forward due potential downpours, the pupils braved the windy weather and made it back to class after a lovely brisk walk.
• Bag Packing (x 2)
A great effort was made to fill all the spots and we had a very successful first bag packing event in SuperValu. A few slots remained unfilled so hopefully at the next bag packing, we’ll get all the time slots filled. This is a great opportunity for the school to get in some much needed funds. If you could consider giving just two hours of your time for this it would be great.
• Cake Sale (Sometime after Christmas break, date to be confirmed)
One of the children’s favourite PA events, and possible the parents/guardians as well . If your child brings in something for the sale they get no homework. We usually have a raffle and have some amazing parent-made masterpieces up for grabs.
• Second-Hand Uniform Sale (TBC)
This has worked so well the last few years. Because of requests from parents, we planned to do this twice this year. The first sale was in November and went really well. We have another one planned for around April. We’ll let you know date when it’s confirmed.
• Cloths Recycling Collection
Any unwanted cloths/bedlinen were collected over a three day period at the school and was then weighed and the school received money for each bag donated.
• Bingo (TBC)
We’re hoping this will be a great fundraising night. This is another great opportunity to meet other parents and win some prizes.
• Class Representatives What’s App groups
In order to keep you informed of what is happening within your child’s class this year, we’ve created individual class What’s App groups. This is run by a class representative (rep). The idea behind this is that each class rep can send reminders about class visits, trips, PA events, etc., for your child’s class.