Return to school Newsletter 18/19

Welcome Back to School

Welcome back to everyone – to all our students, parents and teachers. I hope you all had a lovely summer and are ready for the year ahead. A special welcome to all our new students and parents in 1st year and other year groups and also to our new staff members. The new 1st Years are the biggest group to ever start in Knockbeg College. The key ingredients for getting on well in our school – good preparation at home and in school re classwork, homework and study – respect for the school and all in it – will always be at the heart of all we do and guide us along the road to continued success. Getting started now, with a good routine re school and revision work is a sure and certain way to be confident about success throughout the school year. Ambition and hard work throughout the year will ensure that good results can be achieved by all. It is essential that students with the help and support of teachers and families get organised in a good routine – time lost now will not be recovered and this is especially important for those facing big exams this year.

Meitheal Group

The school’s 1st year mentoring programme called Meitheal began the day our new cohort arrived to school. Ten of our L1 boys spent a week of their summer holidays at a training programme for youth leadership organised by the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin. This group work with and assist the present 1st year boys as they settle into secondary school life. They met with the boys for a large portion of the day last Monday, playing games with them and ensuring all had a pleasant day and hopefully made some new friends. They are available to all the boys at different times throughout the year and will organise a number of events. A big thanks to all the team members.

Joshua Dunne (Chairperson), Ross Bolger, Sam Byrne, Seán Byrne, Conor Donlon, Cillian Duff, Joshua Dunne, Dylan Grufferty, Jack Murphy, Ciarán O’Hagan & Canice Whearty

Leaving & Junior Cert Results

Congratulations to all our Leaving Cert students of last year who received results in August. Results as always were excellent with many doing much better than might have been expected. The students are now well used to the new grading system and seem comfortable with it. As usual the results achieved by our students were well above the National average which happens as a result of the hard work done by our students, the excellent tuition offered by our teachers and the fantastic support offered by their families. We wish them all success in future careers ahead as they head off to college, new jobs, apprenticeships and training programmes. We wish our boys who sat the Junior Certificate exams every success when they receive their results. Wednesday September 12th is the expected day for the results to be delivered and this will be confirmed shortly by the State Examinations Commission. We will distribute the results to the students on the day at 12-30 and they will then be free to go home with parents/guardians. We would ask parents to monitor celebrations and perhaps have a family gathering to acknowledge the occasion. All students are expected in school the following morning.

Evening Study Arrangements

The evening study programme has begun. This runs Mon – Thurs with the early session lasting 1hr 30mins, and an extra hour for the late session. Application forms and cost details are available from Mr. Conway. We believe that the habits formed during study time from an early age make a significant contribution to the excellent results achieved in State Examinations by our students.

Friday Afternoon Supervised Study

The Board of Management has once again decided to offer a free supervised study opportunity for all groups from 3-20 to 4-50 each Friday during school term. This is a great opportunity to get some homework etc. done on Friday afternoons before the weekend begins. Students who wish to avail of this should bring in some lunch or avail of the food available for purchase in the ref.

Junior Cycle Key Dates 2018/19

All second and third year students will have to complete a number of assignments which will form part of the Junior Cert results which they will receive from the Department of Education & Skills.                                              Some of the Key Dates for 3rd Year students are as follows; Class Based Assessment No 2

Latest date for student completion of The Collection of the Student’s Texts Friday Nov 30th
Window for completion of the Assessment Mon 3rd to Fri Dec 7th


Business Studies  
Period during which students spend three weeks completing Business Presentation


Mon Nov 12th to Fri Dec 7th
Window for completion of the Assessment Task Monday Mon 10th to Fri


Period during which students spend three weeks completing Science in Society Investigation


Fri Dec 7th 2018 to Fri Jan 25th 2019
Window for completion of the Assessment Mon Jan 28th to Fri Feb 1st


Some of the Key Dates for 2nd Year students are as follows; Class Based Assessment No 2

Period for work on and completion of Oral Communication Mon Apr 29th to Mon May 20th
Period during which students spend four weeks completing

Business in Action

Mon Mar 4th to Fri Apr 12th
Period during which students spend three weeks completing the Extended Experimental Investigation Mon Mar 4th to Fri Apr 12th




Higher Options Seminar

The annual Higher Options seminar takes place on Wednesday September 12th in Dublin. Mr. Hoyne who is our new Guidance Counsellor has made travel arrangements for our Leaving 11 students. This is a great opportunity to meet representatives of all colleges and I strongly recommend that all would attend on the day.  I want to thank Ms. Foley for all the time and support which she gave to all students in Knockbeg College.

Healthy Eating Policy

The Board of Management in conjunction with the Parents’ Association are entering the fourth year of our Healthy Eating Policy here in Knockbeg College. Students can buy a wide range of Healthy food and snacks in the ref at morning break, lunchtime and after school. Here is the link to the parent/student website Parents can also opt to send lunch to school. We would ask parents if at all possible not to send junk-food to school, in particular fizzy drinks as they have a negative effect on the boy’s ability to concentrate and behave as research has shown. Students are not permitted to bring food or drinks to school to sell.

Parents Association AGM

The Knockbeg College Parents Association will hold their AGM next Tuesday Sept 11th at 7-00pm in the new Ref. All parents are encouraged to attend and become part of the Parents Association to see for yourselves the fantastic work that is taking place. The term of office for the Board of Management is finishing shortly. The two parent nominees to the Board of Management will be elected at this meeting. We would like to thank Ms. Michelle McMahon and Mr. Pat Farrell for their time and commitment to the community of Knockbeg College as part of the Board of Management. Parents contribute to policy discussion on many matters within the school and we value your opinion in all matters related to the smooth running of the school. Please attend this meeting to help elect people to represent the views of all parents and perhaps become involved in other areas of school life.

The Pavilion

The project to build an extension to the dressing rooms to support our students in their efforts to participate in lunchtime sporting activities is moving along steadily. This project is supported by the entire school community, Board of Management, Parents Council, Student Council & the Past Pupils Union which speaks volumes for the community of Knockbeg. The recent ‘Buy A Brick’ Fundraiser run by the Parents Council raised more than €10,000 which is a fantastic outcome. Planning permission has been granted and the tender documents are ready to be sent out to the nominated construction companies. We have applied to Laois Co. Council for the necessary Disability Access Certificate and the Fire Safety Certificate. These are due in a couple of weeks which will allow us to move forward to the next stage.

Liturgical Events

Our 1st yr. Welcome Mass will take place in Knockbeg College on Friday September 21st at 2-00pm with refreshments afterwards. This is always a lovely occassion with an opportunity for parents to meet and say hello to each other as well as some staff members. Please make every effort to attend with your son. You will be welcome regardless of your Religion or beliefs. Our opening year mass will be celebrated in the school this year on a date to be decided.

Open Evening

The annual open evening for 5th & 6th class students will take place on Fri Oct 19th from 4.00 – 7pm. This is a good opportunity to look around the school, meet our teachers and students and learn about the transition from primary to secondary School. Enrolment will close on Friday Nov 16th. If you have another son in 6th class and wish for him to attend Knockbeg College, please send in a completed enrolment form as soon as possible to ensure he will receive a place.

New School Building

The Board of Management is delighted to advise that our Major building project funded by the Department of Education is progressing exceptionally well. All demolition work has now been completed and most of the new buildings are nearly completed. We are delighted to have taken ownership of the New ref and Music room in the first building. Our fantastic SEN building is currently being used as classrooms and temporary offices until the project is completed. The new Gym and Fitness suite is the envy of many local schools. The remaining equipment will be installed shortly. The Technology and General Classroom Blocks will be completed later this month. The 1960’s Block will be returned at the same time. This will provide us with state of the art DCG & Computer rooms as well as three fabulous Science Laboratories and a beautiful Art room. We are privileged to be entering such a fantastic school which is replacing the damp, dark and cold buildings. I want to ask parents to implore all our students to respect the New Building and appreciate how lucky we all are. Please ask your son to put the rubbish in the bins provided.

Health & Safety during Construction

Health & Safety of the entire School Community is of paramount importance to the Board of Management, Parents Association and all staff at all times, but even more so during the construction phase. Mythen Construction have agreed to keep deliveries to the site to a minimum between 8-30 and 9-15am in the morning and from 3-30 to 4-30pm in the evenings to support parents and bus companies during drop-off and collection periods. All approach roads has signs erected to advise the entire community of the project taking place. All Construction Traffic will enter the site through the farmyard entrance. However the building site is potentially a very dangerous place so please discuss the development project at home with your son. Mythen Construction has erected fencing around the boundary of the site and is working with the Board of Management and the Design Team to minimise any risks for all involved. All our students have been advised of the dangers associated with being near a building site. It is paramount that they understand that they are not allowed enter the site at any time for any reason. Any questions or concerns in relation to the project must be addressed through the Principal. Students have been advised that if they enter the site for any reason unless accompanied by a member of staff following consultation with the principal of the school, then they can expect to be sent home. The Board of Management regrets that this may be necessary. There is a crane on site and lots of heave traffic during construction which would put the safety of unauthorised visitors at risk which cannot be allowed to happen. The Board of Management advises with regret that it will not be possible to permit student parking for the duration of the Building Project and apologises for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Traffic Congestion

Parents please take great care when dropping off and collecting students – The school has a huge amount of traffic coming in and out and we need to be very careful re parking not to obstruct school buses and students walking. The set down area is to the left hand side when you enter the car-parking area. The Board of Management and the Parents Association ask that you drive slowly and be vigilant at all times, being mindful of the presence of pedestrian and at times smaller children. We appreciate the concerns of all visitors but must emphasise that the safety of all is the most important consideration and ask everyone in the school community to have patience for a few minutes each evening and allow all to leave in a safe orderly manner.