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November 2018 Newsletter

Board of Management

The Board of Management is elected to serve a three-year term with the specific intention of managing and guiding the school in the direction supported by our patron, Bishop Denis Nulty. Our new Board took office on October 15th. Fr. John Dunphy (Chairperson), Fr. Michéal Murphy, Mrs Brid Saruwatari and Mr. Michael Regan are the Trustee nominees. Ms. Ailbhe Ní Chuilinn and Mr. Jarlath Bolger are the teacher nominees. Ms. Siobhan Kealy and Mr. George Murphy are the Parent nominees. The two immediate goals for the Board are to oversee the completion of our Building Project in association with the Design Team and Mythen Construction and ensuring the dressing room extension being undertaken in association with the Parents’ Association, comes to fruition.

New School Buildings

The Board of Management is delighted with how fresh, bright and in particular warm, the new buildings and the 1960’s block are. This is particularly important as we move into the colder winter weather. The days of sitting in cold damp classrooms are behind us, hopefully forever. Mythen Construction are currently working away steadily to renovate the remaining old buildings. It is hoped to have the project completed by next summer. That will mean that all prefabs will be removed for the beginning of the next academic school year.

Dressing Rooms.

Full Planning Permission and the necessary certificates have been granted by Laois County Council. We are nearing the completion of the tender stage and hope to be able to appoint a construction Company to carry out the works shortly.

Parents Association

The Parents association are sending a letter home to all families today seeking your help for the projects that they want to run. There will be a no-uniform day in the New Year with the monies raised going to the Clare’s Wish Foundation.

School Uniform

The Knockbeg College uniform is unique to our school. Wearing it is an essential part of our school philosophy. The Board of Management and the Parents’ Association are very clear in their view that they want all students to have equal status and this includes wearing the correct uniform, including shoes and jacket. These can be purchased from Shaws department store in Carlow or from School Uniforms Direct who are based in Baltinglass. Contact details are available from the school office or online, with purchases also available online with School Uniforms Direct.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones have a lot of very positive uses in school and elsewhere. However, when used in appropriately, they can cause considerable distress for many young people. While most of our students are very responsible in their behaviour and their use of phones, they do present a considerable distraction in class and are often a barrier to good communication at break times. The rule on use of phones was changed with the approval of the Parents’ Association. It is no longer acceptable for mobile phones to be used from 8-55 in the morning until the end of the school day, unless under the supervision of the teacher for use in class. All teachers are asked to confiscate any mobile phones seen in use during the day and give to the Principal for safe keeping.

House Exams

All class groups recently sat exams in all their exam subjects except the Transition Year cohort. This was a great learning experience for our first year cohort. Leaving 11 reports are available on E-Portal with the remaining results becoming available in the coming days. It is important for all students to return to a planned study pattern. This is best done by following a prepared timetable. If help is needed in preparing a study timetable, please ask your son to discuss the matter with his SPHE teacher as a Junior Cycle student or Mr. Hoyne our Guidance Counsellor.

Parent Teacher Meetings

All our Parent Teacher meetings are pre-planned with the dates being available in the school journal. This year, they will all take place in the new school gym. Leaving 11 meeting takes place on Tuesday November 27th with the 3rd Year meeting taking place on Wednesday December 5th. All meetings commence at 4-10pm and finish at 6-40pm. Senior students should attend with your Parent/Guardian to get as much information as possible from your teachers. Please arrive in good time to ensure you get the maximum benefit from this opportunity to meet all teachers. Classes on these afternoons will finish 15 minute earlier to facilitate preparation. Study will also begin and finish 15 minutes earlier.

Important dates.

Transition Year Information Seminar Wednesday December 5th in the Ref from 7pm to 8pm.

New Junior Cycle In-Service for all teacher will take place on Tuesday December 11th. There will be no school for any students that day.

Our annual Christmas Liturgy and Carol Service will take place on Wednesday December 19th in school.

School will shut at 12-30pm for Christmas Holidays on Friday December 21st.

Career Choices

Mr. Hoyne, our Guidance Counsellor, meets with all Transition Year, Leaving 1 & Leaving 11 students in groups and individually to provide information in relation to career choice. He is providing important information on the significance of subject choices for Transition Year students and on all matters related to entry requirements for the different Colleges in Ireland and abroad for senior students. Please ensure that you have discussions at home in relation to this with your son to ensure the best possible choices are made in the months ahead. CAO application will have to be submitted early next term and it is helpful if your son has put some thought into the courses and Colleges that he might be interested in attending.

 

October 2018 Newsletter

New School Buildings

The Board of Management is delighted to be able to announce that Mythen Construction handed back to us the newly renovated 1960’s Block and the remaining new buildings on Friday. This is a little later than expected and we apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused. It was however better to ensure that works are completed to a satisfactory standard, before taking ownership of the buildings. This will ensure that there will only be a limited amount of times that building workers will have to return to areas occupied by our staff and students. We will move into the new buildings in the coming days. Lockers will also be distributed by Fr. Shem to all students who wish to have access to one.

First Year 2018

Our First Years and other new students have settled in well and all appear to be happy so far. This is helped by the excellent work done by our Meitheal team, who have organised a number of events for the cohort with a number of other events being planned for the coming months. A big group are very excited by the prospect of a trip to see a premier league football match before Christmas which is a great way for the lads to make new friends in a fun environment. A big Thank you to Mr. McNeill and Mr. Cody for their time in organising this trip.

Open Evening 2018

Our annual open evening takes place next Friday, October 19th from 4 to 7pm. This is a fantastic opportunity for prospective students to see our new facilities and meet with our teachers as they make up their mind on which school to attend when they leave their primary school. Mr. Carew, our Principal will give a talk in the new Gym at 5-30pm. Teachers will be in classrooms throughout the evening to meet students and parents to advise on the fantastic opportunities available to them in Knockbeg College. Refreshments will be served in the school canteen, by staff from `The School Food Company` who provide food to our students on a daily basis. Noeleen, our school secretary will be in the office to provide enrolment details and forms to anyone seeking information. We are currently enrolling for September 2019. The closing date for enrolment is October 26th. We have a limited number of spaces available. If we are over-subscribed, places will then be allocated in accordance with the terms of our Board of Management enrolment policy. School will shut at 1-15 to facilitate preparation for our visitors.

Career Choices

Mr. Hoyne, our Guidance Counsellor meets with all Transition Year, Leaving 1 & Leaving 11 students to provide information in relation to career choice. He is providing important information on the significance of subject choices for Transition Year students and on all matters related to entry requirements for the different Colleges in Ireland and abroad for senior students. Open days for all Colleges are taking place at present, with details advertised online by the relevant Colleges. Please begin to have discussions at home in relation to this with your son to ensure the best possible choices are made in the months ahead.

School Uniform

The Knockbeg College uniform is unique to our school. Wearing it is an essential part of our school philosophy. The Board of Management and the Parents’ Association are very clear in their view that they want all students to have equal status and this includes wearing the correct uniform, including shoes and jacket. These can be purchased from Shaws department store in Carlow or from School Uniforms Direct who are based in Baltinglass. Contact details are available from the school office or online, with purchases also available online with School Uniforms Direct.

House Exams

Exams will take place in school for all students after the mid-term break. It is very important for all students to establish a regular pattern of study and revision in preparation for these exams. This is helped by having a timetable prepared which will provide structure to your efforts. Please ask Mr. Hoyne if help and advice in preparing a sample timetable is required. A lot of our students are availing of our after school study facilities, which does contribute to the fantastic results achieved by them in State Examinations each year. There are a small number of places still available. If anyone is interested, please contact Mr. Conway.

School attendance

Full school attendance is very important if your son is to make the most of his time in school and be afforded the best possible opportunity of reaching his potential. We therefore ask all parents to make every effort to ensure that your son is on time for school and attends for the full day. A signed note to explain all absences must be presented upon returning to school. If it is necessary for a student to leave early, it is essential that the correct procedures are followed as these are an integral part of the “Child Protection Guidelines“. This means that a note signed by a parent/guardian must be presented to the Principal/Deputy Principal before departure. If a pressing matter arises during the school day, please contact the school office to make arrangements.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones have a lot of very positive uses in school and elsewhere. However, when used in appropriately, they can cause considerable distress for many young people. While most of our students are very responsible in their behaviour and their use of phones, they do present a considerable distraction in class and are often a barrier to good communication at break times. The rule on use of phones was changed with the approval of the Parents’ Association. It is no longer acceptable for mobile phones to be used from 8-55 in the morning until the end of the school day, unless under the supervision of the teacher for use in class.

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

English  
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

 

Science  
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

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

Business in Action

Mon Mar 4th to Fri Apr 12th
   
Science  
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  https://sites.google.com/schoolfoodcompany.ie/sfc-parents/home 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.