Note From The Headmistress 17.01.2020

By January 17, 2020 News

Note from the Headmistress
17th January 2020

Notices and dates for your diary
Parent/Teacher meetings this term

24th January II, III & IV Form from 11.00am to 1.00pm
14th February VI & UV Form from 11.00am to 1.00pm
13th March LV Form from 11.00am to 1.00pm

Focus Weeks
3rd – 7th February English Focus week
24th – 28th February French and Spanish Focus week.
2nd – 6th March Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Exeat weekend arrangements:
The arrangements for Friday 24th January are as follows:
• All pupils from Junior Infants to 6th Form will have lessons until 1.00pm.
• Pupils in Junior, Senior Infants and 1st Class will have a light lunch at 12.30pm. Pupils in 2nd Form to 6th Form will have a substantial snack at break time.
• Boarders should return between 6.00pm and 7.30pm on Monday 26th January.
• Day pupils return on Tuesday 27th January at 8.30am.

Taster Day
A taster day for prospective pupils will take place on Tuesday 11th February. If you know of friends or family who have children who may be interested in taking part in the taster day please ask them to contact Mary Maher at admissions@headfort.com for more information.

For further information on upcoming parent teacher meetings, matches etc please check this link to our website calendar on a regular basis https://www.headfort.com/calendar/

Welcome back!
The children have certainly had lots of exciting stories to share about their Christmas break and it’s great to see that everyone has settled back into the school routine again so quickly.
Welcome to our new children and their families who are settling in really well. Welcome also to Miss Janna Wessolowski. Miss Wessolowski is a former Headfort pupil on her gap year from college and will be supporting us and the children until the summer break.
I am looking forward to working with everyone this term, so that all our children continue to grow in confidence, with a love of learning, and a determination to be the best that they can be.

A Thank You
Thanks to all those who bought a copy of our Headfort Chronicle at the end of last term. Donations of €125 were made to both The Temple Street Foundation and Chime The National Charity for Deafness and Hearing Loss.

Wellbeing Week
This week we focussed on positive wellbeing. A positive wellbeing is a state of overall good health in both body and mind. We talked about making good choices and taking part in activities aimed at achieving a sense of accomplishment and vitality intellectually, spiritually, socially and physically.
In assembly we explored the following Top Tips for a Positive Wellbeing.

1. Taking breaks from technology. It can create strain on the eyes, disrupt sleep, overstimulate your brain and normally technology is linked to a lack of movement.

2. Spend time outside in nature.
Nature is healing and taking a walk is a great way to destress.

3. Breathing exercise. Practice breathing slowly into your stomach, through your nose and out slowly to calm down nervousness. Left and right nostril breathing is all good for enhancing these effects.

4. Spend time with people who support you. Social interaction and a strong network of support is important for mental health, sharing problems and building social skills.

5. Write your feelings on paper. Keeping a journal, can help ease a troubled mind when you’re not ready to talk about what is bothering you.

6. Meditation. Close your eyes for a few minutes each day and just focus on breathing. You don’t need to anything else but witness your thoughts and feelings.

7. Find a creative activity. Finding a way to expressive yourself through your chosen form of art from acting, playing an instrument, art, writing short stories or poems is great for relaxing and spending time away from technology.

8. Limit phone time. Social Media can be a very negative environment and hyperfiltered which can distort how we see and feel about ourselves. Breaks are a good reminder that social media is a filtered highlight reel, not real life.

9. Drink plenty of water. We are over 70% water and dehydration can cause low energy amongst other undesirable symptoms.

10. Talk about your problems. They can seem much worse in your head, especially if you don’t talk about them and let them build up. Find someone you can trust.

11. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables daily. Food helps to build and nourish your body, it provides energy and helps you when you’re not feeling well. Aim for at least 5 portions daily.

As part of our wellbeing week, the following is a poem that I shared with the children in Junior infants, Senior infants and 1st Class

Friends
F is for faithful, they’re loyal to the end.
R is for reliable, they’re true and don’t pretend.
I is for the interest in sharing thoughts with you.
E is for enjoyment, whatever you might do.
N is for neighbourly, they’re kind in every way.
D is for dependable on every single day.
S is for that special friend you know is always there,
The one who makes you happy and you know will always care.

Attendance at School
If your child is late to school in the morning please remind them that they must sign in at the school office.
If your child is leaving school early please collect them from the school office.
We would appreciate your support in this matter as we want to ensure your child’s safety at all times.

Cookery Classes
Cookery classes will be run this term on Wednesday evenings at 6.45pm and on Sunday mornings.

New Primary Language Curriculum
At the end of last term, a number of our teachers attended professional development training on the new Primary Language Curriculum. The Primary Language Curriculum supports teaching and learning in English and Irish from junior infants. The curriculum recognises and supports teachers as skilled professionals with the autonomy to make key decisions about teaching and learning in their own school, to include decisions about what children learn, the sequence in which they learn, the pace at which they learn, and the activities and experiences through which they learn.

Language learning enables children to understand the world around them and to communicate effectively with others. The Primary Language Curriculum seeks to support children on their language-learning journeys, in both English and Irish, while also acknowledging the diversity of languages spoken in our schools.

The curriculum reflects the principles and pedagogies of Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (NCCA, 2009) and it supports continuity between children’s learning and development in early childhood settings and in infant classes. The curriculum acknowledges the learning journeys that all children are on. From birth, children learn language through their interactions and experiences at home, in early childhood settings and into primary school. Children continue to engage in language learning and development as they progress to post-primary school through their experience in junior cycle. In its strands, elements and learning outcomes, the Primary Language Curriculum is aligned with the junior cycle specifications for English and Irish. This provides for continuity of experience and progression in language learning as children make the transition from primary to post-primary school.

Further information is available at ‘Curriculum online’
https://curriculumonline.ie/Primary/Curriculum-Areas/Primary-Language/

Information for parents of children taking the ISEB Common Entrance exams
Having carried out the ISEB Curriculum Review, new specifications for 13+ CE are currently being developed. The new specifications will follow the following aims.
Pupils who have pursued a course of study based on CE specifications and assessments will:
 * be equipped not only for the next stage of their education but for life-long learning based on a secure foundation of subject knowledge, concepts and skills and the ability to apply what they know to new situations;
 * be enthusiastic learners who are open to new ideas and experiences, curious, questioning and keen to experiment;
 * enjoy reading and be able to communicate clearly orally and in writing;
 * have the confidence to think, weigh up evidence and make up their own minds, and the resilience to learn from their mistakes;
 * have the skills to work independently and collaboratively;
 * understand how subjects connect with each other;
 * demonstrate cultural and environmental awareness and empathy, developing an understanding of their own place in the world.
Further information about the ISEB Project Qualification and the new specifications can be found by following this link: https://www.iseb.co.uk/News/Newsletter-Spring-Term-2020

Pupil Survey a reminder
I would also like to give our children an opportunity to provide their feedback too. I would be very grateful if you could ask your child to take part in the survey by clicking on the following link: https://forms.gle/rmXeBKiTmAUZVXha7https://forms.gle/rmXeBKiTmAUZVXha7https://forms.gle/rmXeBKiTmAUZVXha7
If you are experiencing problems with the link, please email me directly at mary.wall@headfort.com

A reminder from Mrs Jenkins, Head Matron, for the Boarders
1.BLAZER UNIFORM: to be worn only for exeat weekends, start and end of term and school events (either in house or away from school).

2. GREY UNIFORM: On a regular Friday, children to change into clean grey uniform on Friday mornings if they are going home or going out for the weekend. These children must check out wearing their Headfort red jacket. Children staying in for weekend collect their weekend clothes on Friday mornings at designated time given by Matron on duty.

3. REMINDER: Please make sure any new clothes, equipment for sports, footwear, etc. brought back to school MUST be named clearly by parents/guardians.

4. ANY child on new medications or have injuries during the holidays, please make the Matron on duty aware of this in writing and if their child is fit for games.

Summer Camp 2020-Advance notice
Headfort School will be the venue for a new Summer Camp starting in June 2020. The camp will be run by Aengus O Connor of Connemara Maths Academy (CMA).
At CMA Summer Camps students are welcomed from Ireland and from all over the globe. In 2019 they welcomed students from over 30 nations worldwide and from all over Ireland.

At CMA summer camps students enjoy an incredible mix of STEM, Adventure Activities, Team Sports & Creative Technologies in a fun-filled action packed week.

Learning through discovery, creativity and adventure is the corner stone of their educational philosophy, promoting critical thinking, problem solving and educated risk taking through challenging, stimulating and intensive residential programmes and summer camps at Headfort School in County Meath and at Rockwell College in County Tipperary on Ireland’s Ancient East.
Age range 8-17 yrs.

For further information please see CMA website https://www.connemaramathsacademy.com/ or contact Aengus or Kim at cmasummercamps@gmail.com or call 095 31925.

Places can be booked directly online through our website using credit/debit cards, Bank Transfers or PayPal.

Dr Wall

17.01.2020