Back to School
All pupils are warmly welcomed back to Saint Mary's for the school year.
Frequently Asked Questions - Back to School
This information been published to help parents and pupils to prepare for the new school year.
It has particular relevance for parents of new entrants to Scoil Mhuire.
When is the ‘first day back at school’?
Saint Mary’s re-opens for all pupils on Tuesday 3rd September
What time should my son/daughter arrive to school?
All pupils should assemble for school at the school building between 8.45 a.m. and 8.55 a.m.
Classes line-up in the school yard and are accompanied to their classroom by their class teacher.
Newly enrolled pupils in Second Class and the Speech and Language Class are exceptions to this rule on the 'first day'. They are advised to enter the school with their parents through the front door. On subsequent mornings they may line-up with their class in the yard - Speech and Language Class pupils should go directly to their classroom every morning.
Existing pupils have been allocated to classes. On the first morning they should line-up in the designated areas for each class group (e.g. Second Class 2012/13 will now line up in Third Class space, Third Class 2012/13 will line up in Fourth Class space etc.). Class teachers will collect their class from the yard and check all names according to class lists.
What time does school start?
Classes commence at 9.00 a.m. sharp. No pupil should arrive later than 8.55 a.m.
What time does school finish?
Classes end at 2.45 p.m. . All pupils are escorted to the bottom of the hill by their class teacher.
To ensure that all children are collected in a timely manner, parents/guardians who wish to collect pupils at the bottom of Saint Mary’s Hill should be in place and waiting for them before 2.40 p.m.
Can I leave my child up to school on the first day?
On the first day of school parents of new pupils are encouraged to bring their son/ daughter into the school to help them to settle in, to familiaries themselves with their child's classroom and to familiarise themselves with the general layout of the school building and grounds. Some parents may wish to accompany their child for the first couple of days to establish a routine.
Can I drive up the hill?
Due to restricted space on Saint Mary’s Hill and safety concerns regarding traffic, parents/guardians of existing pupils do not drive up the hill or park on the hill. This practice has been strictly observed since February 2013 with great success, creating a safer environment for all and eliminating congestion on Saint Mary's Hill. All parents and guardians are thanked for their continued support of this initiative.
It is suggested that parents who are accompanying their children to school for their ‘first day’ should park and walk up the hill, thereby establishing a routine. Parking is available in the car park at the roundabout, at Monaghan Leisure Centre, or in the designated space inside the yellow line on the Clones side of the main road.
If, in exceptional circumstances, it is deemed necessary to drive up the hill, on Tuesday September 3rd, parents/guardians are asked to observe caution as all pupils and staff have become accustomed to an absence of traffic on the hill.
Which door should I / we enter on the ‘first day’?
New pupils and their parents should enter the school using the front door, the door with steps leading to it - if there are accessibility issues, the side door can be used. After the ‘first day’ all pupils should enter using the side door.
Where do we go when we enter the building?
There will be a number of staff members with class lists waiting to greet all new pupils in the central area inside the front doors. Two class lists will be posted on noticeboards to tell you which class your son is in.
If you are unsure where you should go with your child please ask staff for assistance.
Second Class pupils will be in two classrooms on the Ground Floor. Class teachers Ms. Mc Elvaney and Ms. Sullivan will be in the classroom to meet you and your child.
Speech and Language Class pupils should proceed straight upstairs to the Speech and Language Classrooms.
What should we bring?
All pupils are expected to have some writing materials in their schoolbags on their first day back at school (e.g. some writing copies, some Maths copies, two pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener, 30cm ruler etc.).
All pupils should have sufficient food and drink to sustain them for the school day.
What time is lunch?
There are two breaks.
A brief morning break from 11.00 a.m. to 11.15 a.m. and lunchtime from 12.30 p.m. to 1.00 p.m.
When can we order school milk?
School milk is bulk ordered for the entire school, therefore it will not be available immediately.
A letter and order form will issue in early September to allow parents to order school milk.
What about school uniform?
All pupils must wear full school uniform - grey trousers, navy jumper, blue shirt, new striped tie (new entrants) and black shoes. A navy school jacket is recommended, but is not compulsory. Current pupils should continue to wear their navy tie, alternatively, if they wish, they may join all new entrants in wearing the new school tie.
What can my child wear to PE?
Pupils are not required to wear particular PE gear. A T-shirt and shorts or tracksuit bottoms are recommended along with runners. Pupils may not wear any item of their school uniform during PE lessons.
What day will my son do PE? How will I know when to have PE gear ready?
PE times will be allocated when all class timetables have been finalised. Coaching, swimming lessons etc. may be provided during the year on a different day to the usual 'PE day', a note will be sent home to inform parents.
What about homework?
All pupils are given homework on four nights, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There is no homework at weekends to avoid impacting on family life. As there is no homework at weekends, there is an expectation among all teaching staff that all homework on the four nights (from Monday to Thursday) should be completed to a high standard.
Pupils have a homework journal. All pupils must complete all items of homework assigned by their teacher. Parents must ensure that all homework is completed by checking all items of work. The homework journal should be signed by parents/guardians to indicate that all homework has been completed to their satisfaction.
What about books?
Saint Mary’s offers all books to all pupils as part of the school’s Book Rental Scheme.
Your child will be given all of his/her books. Details on payment will be issued shortly after.
How can I contact the school?
The homework journal provides a link between school and home. Notes written in the homework journal by both teachers and parents can establish lines of communication. Saint Mary's operates an 'open door policy' parents/guardians may arrange to meet with school staff at a mutually suitable time to discuss matters relevant to their child's education. Parents/guardians are encouraged to telephone the school in advance of potential meetings with class teachers in order to limit incidences of unexpected and unplanned disruption to class tuition.
Where can we get more information on Saint Mary’s?
Letters and notices sent home to parents are an important part of communication from the school, keep an eye on your child’s schoolbag for these.The Text-a-Parent service is also used.
The school website is the main means of communication for the entire school community. Bookmark the site and visit often to keep abreast of all that is happening in the school.
NEW ENTRANTS INFORMATION NIGHT
An information evening for parents of all new entrants is held in September, your son will receive notification. All parents are encouraged to attend