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Rathlee NS Parents' Association Update

A new parents association committee was established in October 2022. We would like to express our thanks to the previous committee, especially Lorraine, Ericka, Diane and Fiona for all their hard work and solid foundations left for the new parents association committee to take over. We are all grateful for their dedication and hard work over the past 5 years, the funds they have raised and the fun events and occasions they have organised for the enjoyment of our kids and community.

Our first task as a new PA committee was to organise the Halloween Draw and pumpkin competition, we would like to thank all the students, parents and families for their contributions we received for the draw, and for the efforts put into the sale of the raffle tickets and the funds raised. A special thanks to the staff members and teachers who helped organise the logistics of the draw and prize distribution. We also held the annual Pumpkin carving competition and we were blown away by the talent and work that went into all of the entries. We were lucky to have our talented local artist, Christine Kilcullen come to the school to independently judge the pumpkins with 3 winners in each classroom. We didn’t envy the job Christine had to pick the winners!! We are also happy to share the sum of money raised from the Halloween Draw and pumpkin competition, €2316.10.

This leads us on to upcoming events, we have heard a rumour that we can expect a visit from the main man in the North Pole on the last day of school before the holidays and that he may bring a treat to all the Rathlee NS kids that are on the ‘nice list’…. Let’s hope the elves don’t cause too much trouble between now and then!!

In February, we will look forward to the Confirmation for our 5th and 6th Class which will take place in Easkey, the parents and families will be welcome back to the school for light refreshments after mass. And in May, the Communion will be held in Rathlee Church, with families welcome back to the school for light refreshments also. We will then prepare to say goodbye to our current 6th class as they move forward to their new adventures in secondary school in June with a small leaving gift for each student.

Our final event in the school year will be the annual 5/10K fun run…. Which is always a great success and a fun family event with incredible local support. We hope to continue with this!! We will be in touch later in 2023 with a finalised dates and a plea for volunteers!!

We would like to take this opportunity to share with you all the purpose and aim for all of our efforts and hard work. We have met with our principal, Ms Hughes and we have discussed and assigned the following projects/areas for funding.


· Sensory Equipment: We would like to thank Ms Hughes for her research and efforts put into this area, Ms Hughes has liaised with the National Council for Special Education, an Occupational Therapist and attended the IPPN conference to identify equipment regarding sensory equipment with the needs of our school and pupils in mind. As the number of our pupils with increased sensory needs increases, Ms Hughes has proposed we increase the functionality of the Aistear Room, it will also act as a sensory room and we will use Parents Association funding to purchase equipment to enhance this space.


· Accelerated Reader Programme: This programme is currently under introduction to the school and we thank all the teachers for the work they have done to implement this. It is designed to increase reading and the love of books for our students. Each book is assigned a level and once the book is read, the student will have a profile online, they will answer questions on the book they have read and will be awarded points, the idea being that they will ‘level up’ and progress to the next level book. Parents Association funding will go to the introduction and upkeep of this programme.


· Science Equipment: SFI (Science Foundation Ireland) has been running the ‘Discover Primary Science and Maths programme for a number of years to promote STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) in schools. Rathlee NS has received the award for taking part in this the past number of years. This programme has now been rebranded to ‘Curious Minds’, the aim being to develop the innate curiosity of children through a hands on, inquiry based approach to STEM learning. Parents Association funding will be used for science equipment to continue running this programme in the school and in turn, promoting the STEM subject for our pupils.


· Bus Funding: The Parents Association will contribute a % of funding towards the transport required for all school off-site activities such as the Kilglass Hallowe’en walk, football trips, swimming lessons, gymnastics, excursions etc.

We look forward to continuing on the work of the Parents Association with the support of the staff and student families.


Your Faithfully,

Co-Chairs and Committee Members

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