The Parents Association are still working away, supporting the school. On account of Covid protocols their work in the school is somewhat restricted.
Year End Newsletter
from the St. Brigid’s Parents’ Association (PA), June 2021
In a school year which has had its shaky moments, there’s a huge sense of relief and achievement
that we’ve arrived safely at the end! Our St. Brigid’s community has managed the uncertainty and
disruption really well and the children have adapted to a whole new routine like superstars. There’s a
lot to be hopeful for in the next school year, as more and more of us are protected from Covid.
While the level of activity possible during the current restrictions has been far less than in normal
times, the Parents’ Association has been working away on behalf of the parents and guardians of the
school, as always. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and we will always try to help
with any PA related concerns.
Sow and Grow
Our Sow and Grow initiative has shown some very positive results, it may not quite
be harvest time yet but many of the seeds have produced thriving plants – well
done, successful gardeners!
6th Class Yearbook
Thanks to the Yearbook Team, who have worked hard to put together a yearbook under challenging
circumstances. The hoodies (a new tradition we suspect!) have been a massive hit with 6th Class,
helping to make their last months in school more special.
The school raffle has been the only major fundraising effort of the past two years, but there is still a
need for resources to upgrade school facilities. The PA would like to thank Daniel English and Emer
Elliot in particular, for their hard work adapting to current restrictions. A huge well done to the whole
Fundraising team on the success of the raffle, which raised an impressive €6,650.47 for our school.
Thanks to all who donated or bought tickets.
The PA continues to pursue a solution through our local representatives to the issues we face as a
school fronting onto a narrow and busy road. We are all part of improving the situation, whether it is
contacting our councillors and TDs, or simply being more mindful road-users. Car doors opening onto
the footpath and dangerous parking put children at risk needlessly.
This seems a good point at which to thank the wonderful Rosemary for keeping so many children safe
for so many years. She’s been there in driving rain and in sunshine, helping countless children, and
we will miss her. The PA collection is our way of expressing how grateful we are that she took our
children’s safety so seriously. We wish her and her husband a very happy retirement.
Special Education Needs – National Parents Council Delegate
As you will have seen in a recent email from school, there is a vacancy for this very important role.
This delegate is a member of the PA committee and is a vital link between the school community and
the NPC, on all matters relating to Special Education Needs. If you have an interest in this area,
please contact Janet Watters, our other NPC delegate, for more information, via email to
email@example.com. As always, we would encourage you to take any surveys
sent out on behalf of the National Parents Council, as an effective way to voice opinions and concerns
about the education of our children.
A return to ‘normal’ in September
We all hope for a more normal school year next year, so our intention is to resume as many PA activities as possible. Athletics, the Green Committee, the ICT Team and Library Team are just some of the areas that will need parental support.
If you wish to get involved (and we really hope you will!), you must be Garda vetted. This is a very fast and simple process these days as it is mostly online. Even if you would like to accompany your child’s class on walks, it is a requirement to be vetted, so please apply! https://www.saintbrigidsgreystones.ie/garda-vettinginformation-and-forms/
In September, it is the PA’s intention to hold our postponed AGM. Whether it is in person or online will depend on the restrictions in place at that time. We hope that this will be an opportunity for our school community to reconnect and re-establish itself and that as many of you as possible will attend.
Our Parent Association Constitution is in the process of being refreshed to simplify and clarify how our PA operates. All parents will be asked for their input into the document before it is put before the AGM for ratification.
There are also a number of PA roles that will need to be filled at the next AGM, there will be more detail on this on the return to school. As always, the PA can be contacted at
firstname.lastname@example.org regarding any matter.
Finally we would like to thank all the parents now leaving the school, especially with the current 6th Class. Your participation in the life of our school is very much appreciated and you will be missed. Wewish our class of 2020/2021 every success and happiness in the future.
Happy summer, everyone!
Christmas Messages from St. Brigid’s Parents’ Association
Hello everyone, Christmas and the holidays have crept up on us again! We as a Parents Association (PA) have missed going into the school to help out with anything the school needs, as well as the normal activities we would help with.
However, we have been able to keep athletics going with no days missed, the weather was good to us! The school helped out with completing the children’s Christmas cards, and we also received a tree grant to plant some native trees in the school grounds, which will happen in the new year. Lots to look forward to next year and we hope we will all be able to participate and help more and raise funds for the school.
We welcome anyone who is able to help in any way. So please get in touch at the following email address email@example.com
We wish you all a very peaceful, safe Christmas, holidays and New Year.
My name is Janet. I am your National Parents Council Primary (NPCP) elected Delegate on your Parent Association (PA) Committee. When your child first enters the school, you automatically become a member of the PA. The PA in turn have membership of the NPCP, which represents parents’ views to the Department of Education and provide support. Pre-Covid, the PA would organise an events in the school hall, typically around children’s use of technology and health & wellbeing. These supports can now be accessed on-line or through the parents help line.
This year, the NPC have also organised several free interactive sessions and there will be more in the New Year, the PA will keep you informed. On Internet Safety in particular, there is a great advice platform for parents at webwise.ie. Hopefully this all makes digital learning in the home less stressful for parents. You are not on your own! I wish you all the best over the Christmas period. Enjoy and stay safe. We are in this together and we are one community. Never more so than right now.
NPCP Delegate for St. Brigid’s
My name is Amanda and I am currently Vice Chairperson of the PTA. This is my final year in St. Brigid’s and over the course of my (long!) time here I have seen many changes, none more dramatic than over the course of this year. I have been very involved in the Digital and ICT initiative in the school for the past 4 years through which we have developed and introduced a curriculum to support the children from 3rd to 6th Class in acquiring IT skills. Our aim has been to support their learning and ready them for secondary school and beyond, as well as introducing the ideas of digital citizenship and online safety. I hope that this has helped some of the school community navigate the challenges of online learning this year and that the initiative will continue and thrive. The huge number of ways in which parents can contribute to the life of the school have been restricted this year, but I would urge anyone who feels that they would like to participate in the PA to any extent to contact any of the active PA members, through the WhatsApp groups, or the PA email – we welcome you wholeheartedly! I wish you all a very happy Christmas and that you and yours remain safe and well.
Amanda Dunne Fulmer
Vice Chairperson PA
On behalf of all in the PA, we would like to extend our huge gratitude to Ms Costello, the teachers, the staff, the board members and all the parents and guardians of the children of St Brigid’s, for their support and care this year.
Many of you have reached out to ask how you can support the school and the community. This year, for the community, we continue to fundraise for the local St. Vincent de Paul through our Christmas jumper day collection. You can donate through the schools Aladdin Connect link or alternatively you donate directly to St. Vincent de Paul at https://www.svp.ie/greystonesannualappeal.
For those of you who wish to support the students, you can buy a book for the school in Halfway Up the Stairs bookshop (https://halfwayupthestairs.ie/ ) and leave it there, for donation to the school library. For a list of recommended books please go to https://childrensbooksireland.ie/recommended-reads/.
Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh!
Autumn 2020: Please note, that though the Parents Association are still working hard in the background supporting the school, on account of Covid protocols their work in the school is somewhat restricted.
The Parents’ Association in St. Brigid’s, Greystones play an important role in the school. The members pool their skills, ideas and energy to make the school the best learning environment for the the students that the school can be. Their creativity and commitment knows no bounds. Here are some examples of how they are making sure that our school days are the best days of our lives.
National Parents’ Council
The Parents’ Association are members of the National Parents’ Council.
HERE is a link to the NPC’s website.
There is a wealth of resource and training made available there to help parents.
Information in advance on AGM 2020 to be held in the first term.
PTA Committee roles
The Chair provides leadership for the committee sets the agenda for meetings and manages meetings in line with the agenda.
The Chair should ensure that issues are properly debated, and an agreement is reached. Some committee members will be better at expressing themselves than others; it is important that the chair welcomes contributions from all members of the committee so that everyone feels involved.
The Chair will ensure that all new members feel welcome and their contributions valued. The Chair will introduce them to the other members and encourage them to play an active part in the discussions at committee meetings.
To ensure the smooth running of meetings the Chair must remain impartial and make sure that all parties have a voice and the opportunity to participate in decision-making.
The Chair will work closely with the Secretary to ensure that the PTA is run effectively.
To ensure that the business of the PTA is conducted in accordance with the wishes of the representatives of the PTA, to uphold the constitution of the PTA, and prepare and submit statutory reports to Regulatory Bodies
• Provide leadership
• Sign the approved minutes of the last meeting
• Set the agenda for meetings
• Get to know members of the committee
• Run meetings in an efficient and timely manner ensuring that everyone is able to contribute
• Agree a date for the next meeting
• Welcome and involve new members
The support provided by the Vice-Chair is invaluable. Deputising for the Chairperson when necessary, the Vice-Chair helps to ensure that the Committee and all of the events continue to run smoothly. As with the Chair, leadership, enthusiasm and energy are necessary qualities for this post.
Job function: To support the chair in all aspects of their role, to ensure that the business of the PTA is conducted in accordance with the wishes of the representatives of the PTA and to uphold the constitution of the PTA.
Main duties: 1. To chair meeting in the absence of the Chair
2. To draw up annual PTA programme in consultation with the Chair.
3. To prepare meeting agendas by consulting with the PTA Chair.
4. To welcome and involve other parents into the PTA.
5. To lead parent and wider school community engagement in PTA (class representatives, use of local contacts and skills).
The Secretary ensures that the PTA runs smoothly and provides a link between Committee Members and the PTA, and between the PTA and the School. This requires good organisational and communication skills and being able to stick to deadlines.
The Secretary is a key committee member as they are responsible for ensuring effective communication links between committee members and between the PTA and the school.
The Secretary deals with all the correspondence that the PTA receives and helps the Chair ensure that committee meetings run smoothly. Building up a good relationship with the school Secretary will help make sure that correspondence, sent to the school, is passed onto the PTA promptly.
Recent Activities by the PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION have included the School Calendar, decoration of the school for Christmas, planning for the School Garden and Junior Tidy Towns, running the School Library on a Tuesday, reading with the Infants, swimming in Shoreline, the Christmas Cards fundraiser, Christmas Jumper Day in aid of CF Ireland, preparing the School Year Book, ICT Maintenance, Follow up ICT Lessons for 3rd and 6th for a week in November and the School Shop
As always we are indebted to our wonderful Parents’ Association who contribute hugely in terms of time and energy to make our school a better place.
The Parents’ Association’s Gardening Committee brought Senior Infants on a gardening adventure. Earlier this year they planted radish seeds. Today they harvesting radishes. The boys and girls were fascinated when they found the round, red radishes in the soil. They enjoyed tasting what they had grown. They had a sense of pride in what they had achieved. Thank you to the Gardening Committee.
Thank you to the Gardening Committee of the Parents’ Association. They have planted up window boxes. They are looking at their best right now; very colourful.
Members of the Parents’ Association Digital and ICT group completed desktop, word and PowerPoint sessions with 4th Class, Rooms 17 and 19. They were super students and really enjoyed it.
The group said; ‘We were able to deliver this program to all 3rd and 4th classes this year. We are pleased with our achievement’.
The PA Digital and ICT group want to thank lecturers Aisling Carroll and Barbara Beatty and all the parent support team. Without all their hard work and commitment none of this would have been possible.
Meeting with the Students’ Council
The Students’ Council and Parents’ Association have worked together in the past. The Students ‘Council were asked by the PA what charity Green Day should support. They chose the Gavin Glynn Foundation. Now the Students’ Councils and Parents Association are working together on a more formal basis. They are reported to have had a super session on 27th April, 2018. The Students’ Council were enthusiastic and full of great ideas. So much so the PA has requested Ms Woodcock to pencil in another meeting before the end of year. The PA feel that they should have 3 or 4 sessions with the Students Council during the school year. Good communication like this between the PA and Students’ Council should create an even better school community. Well done to all concerned.
An Easter Treat for the Junior School
A visit from Cagney and Lacey; two chickens caused great excitement among the children. To see a chicken close up was a great novelty for the majority of these children. On cue one of the feathered visitors laid an egg. This was REAL learning for the children.
Green Day – Partnership – When good things come together.
Friday 16th March was ‘Green Day.’ The Parents’ Association in partnership with the Student Council asked children and staff to come to school wearing green and to make a donation of a euro or two to the Gavin Glynn Foundation. It was the Student Council that decided on the charity chosen. In memory of a very special boy money is raised to help families with children who have cancer travel to get treatment abroad. 956 euro was raised for a very good cause.
‘Green Day’ finished on a high with a wonderful outdoor concert organised by 6th class teacher Mr. Martin Dodd. The concert marked the end of a most successful Coicís na Gaeilge. Students and teachers would like to that the organisers of ‘Green Day’. Occasions like these make school even more fun and encourage a great feeling of community in the school. We would love to know what other activities the Parents’ Association have for the Summer Term.
We would like to say: ‘Thank you’ and ‘Keep up the great work!’
Just before Easter, Gavin Glynn’s father, John was presented with the cheque by the Students’ Council and the Parents’ Association
A special thanks to the Mums that counted the money; Niamh, Emer, Hazel, Andrea, Rian and Caroline.
The Parents’ Association’s IT Committee worked with 3rd Class Room 14 during the months of February and March 2018. There were four intensive, hour long sessions which ran over just two weeks. The children were introduced to Word and Powerpoint during this time.
The children really put a value on this learning. Being motivated digital natives, they learn a great deal in this time. Over the next few weeks this opportunity will be offered to other middle and senior classes, as time allows.
We would like to thank Aisling, Amanda, Barbara, the two Janets and Roz for giving up their time to help us learn.
The Gardening Committee from the Parents’ Association worked with Junior Infants on the ‘Grow It Yourself Sow & Grow’ scheme. The extra cups are used cups from the Happy Pear getting a second life as plant pots and are fully compostable once they are done. Milk cartons were upcycled as watering cans too. The children planted aubergines, radishes, courgettes, squash and carrots. Many thanks Rebecca, Aoife, Melissa, Sharon and Bronwen from the Parents’ Association who organised this interesting and exciting activity for the three Junior Infant classes.
Copper Friday on 2nd February 2018 was a great success. There was great excitement in the school. Children brought in coppers from home. Room 20 brought in the most amount of money and got a prize from Auntie Nellie’s. The money raised (a phenomenal 2,417 euro) will be used to buy resources for Aistear. This is an infant curriculum where the children learn through play.
Here is a slideshow of photos from the day.
Parents from the Parents’ Association made Christmas Decorations with Junior and Senior Infants
The Parents Association have decorated the school foyers for Christmas.
Our Parents’ Association also decorated the school for Halloween
Our ever busy Parents’ Association organized a Halloween Bake Sale to raise money for a defibrillator for the school
The defibrillator, purchased with funds raised by the Parents’ Association is now in situ next to the Principal’s office. Hopefully, we will never have to use it, but it is good to know it is there if needed. To date, eight members of staff have been trained in how to use the defibrillator and further training will take place in the New Year.
A message from the Parents’ Association’s
Digital and ICT Committee
Digital STRATEGY FOR SCHOOLS 2015 – 2020
To realise the potential of Digital Technologies to enhance teaching and learning in our education system. The Department recognises that all of the education partners (including parent associations) also have a major role to play in achieving this Vision
To facilitate this last April your PA formed a Digital and ICT sub committee to enable direct collaboration with our school and support where possible (focused approach)
Our Committee Role
In consultation and co-operation with the Principal & ICT co-ordinating teachers, the team is engaged in devising and implementing a programme to equip students with IT skills in order to support their broader educational experience.
We aim to create a self-sustaining programme guided by the school and the parental team to support digital education going forward.
If you are a PARENT that can help
Janet Watters (c/o school office)
We wish to set up a database with the contact details of parents with any IT skills and expertise that can assist and support our IT collaboration with the school.
Dates of PA meetings 2017-18
11th September, 2017
20th September, 2017 – PA AGM
9th October, 2017
13th November, 2017
16th January, 2018
29th February, 2018
12th March, 2018
16th April, 2018
14th May, 2018
11th June, 2018
Available PA Committee positions: 2017- 2018
Chairperson (elected position)
The Chairperson works closely with the school and other PA committee and subcommittee members to ensure that the PA is run effectively.
- Provide leadership
- Coordinate the overall running of the PA
- Support subcommittees in the planning of specific events and activities
- Set the agenda for PA meetings (in conjunction with the Secretary)
- Run and manage PA meetings in an efficient and timely manner, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to contribute and that issues are properly debated and an agreement is reached
- Remain impartial and make sure that all parties have a voice and an opportunity to participate in decision making
- Work with the Vice Chairperson to welcome and involve new members
- Work with the Secretary and Treasurer to ensure that the PA is run effectively and in line with the PA Constitution
- Lead the organisation of the Annual General Meeting
- Encourage new parents to join the PA or help out at events
- Work with the Catering team to organise the PA thank-you evening
Secretary (elected position)
The Secretary ensures that the PA runs smoothly, providing a link between the PA committee and parents, and between the PA and the school. The role requires good organisational and communication skills and being able to stick to deadlines.
- Deal with all correspondence that the PA receives – passing it on to relevant parties
- Notify all Committee and subcommittee members, and all other interested parties, about PA meetings
- Help prepare agenda for PA meetings and email it to all relevant and interested parties
- Help the Chairperson to ensure that committee meetings run smoothly
- Take the minutes of PA meetings, type them up and distribute them
- Manage the PA email account, updating mailing lists when necessary
- Work with the school office, Class Reps Coordinator and Communications Officer to ensure that PA notices are distributed in a timely and appropriate manner
- Help the Chairperson with the organization and advertising of the PA AGM
- Look after renewal of PA insurance
- Look after renewal of NPC membership
Treasurer (elected position)
The role of the treasurer is to manage and control the funds the PA raises. The Treasurer should record all income and expenditure, details the amounts received and spent, and have the information available for every committee meeting.
- Day-to-day management of PA accounts
- Prepare and report financial statements at PA meetings
- Complete banking transactions on an as-needed basis.
- Organise floats for fundraising events (when needed)
- Collect and reconcile monies raised at these events and report totals raised to the appropriate stakeholders.
- Prepare full accounts for the end of each academic year
- Prepare a concise financial report for the Annual General Meeting.
Communications officer (NEW position)
This is a new, vital role on the PA committee. The Communications Officer will work with the Secretary and Class Reps coordinator to ensure the best methods of promoting and communicating PA information to parents.
- Establish and execute an overall strategy for communicating with parents, including adoption of new technologies or communications methods
- Work closely with the school office to circulate PA information to parents via the most appropriate method possible (email, text alerts, letters in school bags or school web site)
- Oversee, manage and maintain the PA page of the school’s website and other principal communications vehicles
- Work with subcommittee coordinators to devise appropriate advertising and communication strategies for specific PA events
- Publicise PA events and fundraising initiatives:
- Liaise with the local press to get press coverage of PA events
- Ensure posters are displayed around the school in good time
- Ensure all information on PA work is kept current and up to date
Fundraising coordinator (NEW position)
A new role on the PA Committee, the Fundraising Coordinator oversees the various fundraising events, ensuring that events are completed effectively and on time.
- Work with the PA committee and subcommittees to determine an appropriate schedule of fundraising events for each school year (in advance of the PA AGM)
- Oversee the fundraising activities of the PA
- Meet with the organisers of each fundraising activity on a regular basis, ensuring that events are being advertised and run in an appropriate and timely manner
- Work with the Communications Officer to decide on the best advertising and communication strategies for specific fundraisers
- Prepare a short report on current status of fundraising activities for PA meetings
NPC delegates (NEW position)
The NPC is the national representative organisation for parents of primary school children. It exists to support and empower all parents through its helpline, training and website. The NPC delegate is the main point of contact for all NPC-related issues.
- Pass on NPC communication to relevant members of the PA committee
- Attend the annual NPC AGM
- Attend the annual NPC conference
- Organise the PA’s submission to the annual Fred O’Connell award, which recognises the partnership between parents and schools (St Brigid’s Parents’ Association was awarded a certificate of achievement in 2017)
As part of NPC membership, a nominated parent can represent the PA on a NPC Special Interest Group:
- Parent of child with special educational needs
- Parent of a child from the migrant community
- Parent of a child from the Traveller community
- Parent of a child of a minority religion (non-Roman Catholic)
- Parent of a child who is non-religious
(Please contact the PA if you would be interested in representing the PA on one of these groups.)
The Library Coordinator (ideally two coordinators) is responsible for the organisation and running of the school library, which takes place on Tuesday mornings from 9am until 11am and is available to 1st-6th classes.
- In August:
- From school office, get new class information – class teachers, children and room numbers
- Make new library cards for the incoming 1st class, with the name and room number of each child
- Adjust all the existing cards in the library card box to reflect new room numbers
- Check the current rota of parent volunteers and email/text each helper (if they can help again with new term)
- Compile a new rota of volunteer parents, with mobile numbers and email addresses
- In September and January:
- Set up rota for new term (Sept-Dec and then Jan-May) and distribute
- Start the library mid Sept and finish last week of November
- Start the library mid Jan to May taking into account no library at mid-term or Easter
- Maintain existing library books
- Process any delivery of new books to the school – cover books and set them up so that they can be used in the library or distributed to classes
Book-rental audit coordinator(s)
The rental book audit coordinator has two main responsibilities:
- During the school year, at the end of each term, the rental books need to be checked for damage and missing numbers and repaired if necessary.
- At the end of the school year, sets of books need to be prepared for the incoming classes and left ready for use.
This requires organising a team of people to carry out repairs and compile sets of books. The co-ordinator sources volunteers, puts together repair kits and numbering sheets, assigns volunteers to the relevant classes and supervises the audit.
Please email the PA at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in taking on any of these roles.
The Parents’ Association would love to hear from you.
A Parents’ Association survey went out with the school reports mid June.
If you are new to the school or haven’t yet have a chance to fill out the PA survey, you can do so at https://goo.gl/forms/4jlTI0w23C7xiRvG3.
Alternatively, you can pick up a survey in the school office and drop it back to the red post box at the secretary’s office (see below).
We hope you will take the short time to complete this survey so we can reflect your collective views in the parents’ collaborative contribution to our school.
Congratulations to the Parents’ Association
Congratulations to St Brigid’s PA who were awarded a certificate of achievement in the NPC’s Fred O’Connell award ceremony, which took place at the NPC Education Conference on June 10, 2017 in the National College of Ireland.
The Fred O’Connell award recognises innovative partnership work between parents and schools that supports children to have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Our Parents’ Association was awarded the certificate for its creation of an Annual Parents’ Night that highlights the value and necessity of having parents involved in the school. Janet Watters received the award on behalf of the PA committee.
The Parents’ Association
We value the involvement of parents at St Brigid’s. All parents of children at the school form the Parents’ Association (PA). The Parents’ Association works in close partnership with the Board of Management and the teaching team to promote the interests of the children and the involvement of parents in the school.
Parental involvement in the school
Apart from various committees, many parents are involved as individuals in the school.
Some parents like to help with reading and activities. We greatly appreciate and welcome this help. The class teacher may give you an opportunity to volunteer on a rota basis. Help from parents is invaluable in many areas of the school, for example with classroom activities, walks, swimming, sports day, school shop and school tours. Parents are asked to fill in a form so that they can be Garda vetted if they are to have unsupervised access to children.
The principal and staff are most grateful for all the help the school receives from parents. We look forward to seeing you at parents’ meetings, sports days, plays and concerts.
St Brigid’s coffee morning
The Parents’ Association invites parents of new children to a cup of coffee/tea
and a chat in the school hall on the first day of Autumn term from 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.