Note from the Headmistress
11th October 2019
Notices and dates for your diary
• Maths Focus Week Week beginning 12th to 20th October www.mathsweek.ie/2019/
• Parent Teacher meeting UV and 6th Form on Friday 25th October from 11am to 1pm
• Half Term break starts at 1pm on Friday 25th October
• Parent Teacher meeting Junior Infants Thursday 21st November * Please see Mrs Maree for details
• Parent Teacher meeting Senior Infants, 1st Form & LV on Friday 22nd November from 11am to 1pm
“One joy dispels a hundred cares.”
Yesterday, Thursday 10th October was World Mental Health Day. One of the strategies that the teachers have focused on with the Junior pupils is ‘Character Building Thoughts for Children’. The language used in all interactions with the children uses positive phrases and affirmations. The phrases and language we use every day empowers the pupils to take responsibility for their own part in conflict and their decision-making processes. So far, they have worked on the following two school rules;
1. They must be a kind friend.
2. They must be a good listener.
The character-building thoughts naturally extend, enhance and complement these basic expectations. There is an extensive series of ‘thoughts’ that we will be introducing to the children such as ‘Treat others the way I want them to treat me’ and ‘When I am sad, I help myself feel better by thinking of things that are good in my life’. I would like to thank Tracey Maree and the Junior pupils’ teaching team for sharing this with us.
On a similar theme, we focused on ‘actions and consequences’ with the senior pupils. We talked about the importance of learning to take responsibility for what we do. If we are caught out doing something we shouldn’t be doing, then we have to accept that we have no one else to blame, and we should accept the consequences of our actions. We encouraged the children to try to think of the possible consequences of any actions we might do ‘just for a bit of fun’ or just to annoy someone. But we also stressed the importance of thinking before we act so that we don’t come to regret our actions. We all do things that we regret, sometimes through carelessness and sometimes through stupidity, but it is best to admit our errors and accept the consequences rather than allow others to get the blame, or simply ‘lie low’ in the hope that we will never be found out!
While addressing World Mental Health Day this morning in assembly I decided to talk to the children about happiness and what makes us happy. Happiness is not about what we have, it is not dependent on what we own, it is not about what happens to us; it is about how we feel about ourselves. It comes from inside us.
It is so easy for us to concentrate on what we don’t have, to wish and hope for objects and achievements. But I asked the children to take time out to remember all the things that we do have; our friends and family, the community that we live in – think of what we have inside ourselves… confidence, self-esteem, humour, intelligence, compassion, gentleness, aspirations and goals. These are the things that should make us happy and make us smile.
Happy people are not more successful than us – they are people who have decided to be positive about life. Happy people are not luckier than us – they have found a way of making life happen for them by accentuating the positive – by seeing the cup half full rather than half empty.
Happiness is our decision – it is not dependent on others. And it is a gift we can share. Happiness lies within us! As well as talking about healthy minds, we also talked about healthy bodies and so today at break time the children had a fruit option. On Monday morning we will continue the theme of positivity. Please ask your child on Monday evening what they did during the morning Reading Period!
Gallery Visit, 3rd October 2019
On Thursday, the Sixth form set off for their annual trip to The National Gallery of Ireland where they toured exhibitions of the well-known Irish landscape artist Nathaniel Hone, and the ‘Spanish Master of Light’ – Joaquin Sorolla. It was a day of contrasts, as Edie O’Brien reflected; “It was interesting to see how two artists from different countries could portray their culture through art”. The well-received Sorolla exhibition, which was recently brought over from The National Gallery in London, is highly recommended by our sixth formers and ends on November 3rd.
There was great excitement this week in the Forge garden for the planting of a Cornus Siberica plant which was kindly donated to us.
A gentle reminder regarding mobile phones. We have a no smart phone policy. Boarders are allowed to have a simple mobile phone to make calls but it must not have a camera and/or internet access. If phones are found to be in breach of school policy, the phones will be confiscated. This complies with our safeguarding policy.