A Message from our Principal

SPRING NEWSLETTER           

We have had a busy few months and are well over half way through the academic year. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the great things that are  happening in the college. I would also like to inform you of some important upcoming events and dates to put in your diary.

Scifest:

The school held a Scifest event for 1st years on 6th November. SciFest’s main objective is to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education through the provision of a forum for students at local/regional/national level to present and display their scientific investigations. It was an all-day event, held in the Sports Hall and was a great success. Support for the event was provided by SciFest in the form of resources, judging, certificates and a number of prizes for participating students and promotional materials were also provided. Well done to all the 1st year students and to the teachers involved.

Musical:

Every alternate year the school puts on a musical. This year the musical chosen was Beauty and the Beast. A musical has huge benefits for the students involved and is often one of the highlights of their time in school. It helps develop confidence and can often be a means of establishing new friendships. During the week before Christmas we staged three performances. The first of these was a matinee which was attended by students from our two local Primary Schools and we thank them for their support. The two evening performances were open to our students and parents. Attendance on the first night was a little disappointing but the final performance was in front of a full house. Our students were brilliant and it was a very enjoyable show.

A big thank you to the teachers involved who gave up many hours of their free time running rehearsal, organising the sets, the music and the costumes.  Your work is much appreciated.

Teaching and Learning:

The Department of Education and Skills sanctioned 2 whole day JCT in-services for this academic year. The staff had the first of these on “Planning for student centred Learning” in November. The second day was a subject cluster day held in early February. Our school was host to a number of subjects that day and teachers from other schools came to Adamstown Community College. The focus was on subject specific inservice for teachers. This links in well with our focus for the school this year which is Subject Planning.

We have lodged an expression of interest to the Department of Education and Skills for the new Leaving Certificate Languages. There are four new languages being introduced, Polish, Portuguese, Lithuanian and Mandarin Chinese. We are interested in piloting Polish and Lithuanian in Adamstown Community College with a view to them being examined in 2022. We are awaiting a response from the Department.

We had a Follow-Through Inspection in Art in October. A Follow-Through Inspection focusses completely on the recommendations made during a previous subject inspection. There were three main recommendations made in the original subject inspection in 2017. The inspector was very pleased with the progress achieved on these recommendations. Congratulations to the Art Dept.                                                                 

Restorative Practice:

We are working towards becoming a Restorative Practice school. We have had a really good buy in from staff. Becoming a Restorative Practice school is generally perceived as a five to six year project. We are lucky enough to have procured support from the Blue Skies Initiative which is funded by TUSLA. Two trainers came out to deliver a course, after school, over a number of weeks. In addition to this a large number of our staff engaged with Michelle Stowe last year and are continuing their training throughout this year. Well done to all involved.

Child Safeguarding Statement and Anti-bullying Policy

It is very important that all parents take the time to read our Child Safeguarding Statement and our Anti-bullying Policy. Both of these documents are available on our website. We welcome feedback by email from parents in relation to the school’s compliance with the requirements of the child safeguarding requirements of the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017.’ 

Sports and Trips:  

Adamstown Community College continues to experience success at extracurricular activities. Our basketball, badminton and soccer teams have been particularly successful. We have also seen success with our chess and debating teams. A group of our senior students have made it through to the National Finals of the Bank of Ireland Money Smarts Challenge. 

I would like to encourage students to get involved in an extracurricular activity of some sort. We have a large range on offer and it is a great way to make friends and to relieve stress.

Adamstown Community College’s Annual Charity 5k & 10k Run will be held on Saturday 7th March. This year we are kindly sponsored by Lucan Credit Union and Giraffe. Proceeds to be donated to the South African Township Programme. 

We have a number of upcoming foreign trips over the next few months. A group of TY students are heading off to South Africa at the end of March. The South African trip forms one of the mainstays of Transition Year with fundraising running throughout the year and a focus in many classes on the themes of inequality and appartheid. 

Almost fifty 5th year students are heading to Paris just before the Easter holidays and we have a similar number of 2nd year students heading to Barcelona over the May Bank holiday weekend. Towards the end of the academic year we have a TY trip to Italy and a Business Studies trip to New York. Obviously we wish them all a safe, enjoyable and educational trip.

Please refer to the school calendar for dates of holidays, midterms and for details on many other activities and themed days planned for the rest of the year.

Uniform:

Please note that the uniform and footwear requirements are clearly set out in the uniform section of the website. No exceptions are made regarding these expectations; therefore please make yourself aware of them. In particular please note that a proper school jacket is part of the school uniform and students must wear a crested top as they go to and from school.

Attendance and Punctuality:

There is a legal obligation on the school to report attendance records to the TUSLA. The attendance of some students is of concern. Students should only be out of school for exceptional reasons. It is also of concern that some students are asking to go home from school for the most minor of issues. This is not reasonable and is very disruptive to teaching and learning and to the school office.

The responsibility to get students to school on time lies with parents and students. Students who arrive late for school disrupt teaching time and miss out on valuable learning. In this regard, students who consistently arrive late may be sent home.

VSware:

It is very important that parents regularly log in to their child’s VSware page to check their attendance record, behaviour record and to access their school reports. Please note that parents can reset their own passwords to access VSware. This will only work however, if the mobile phone number we have on the system is correct. If you have changed your mobile phone number you must inform the main office and they will update your records. 

Student Contribution:

From 18th March we are accepting the student contribution for 2020/21. The contribution should be paid before the end of this academic year. The contribution is used to cover the cost of student journals, student insurance, lockers, swipe cards, photocopying, subject resources and IT investment, as well as subsidising the cost of buses to school outings and extra-curricular events. The contribution also covers the cost of house examinations, mock examinations and corrections. The cost of the resources listed above can not be carried by the school. I feel that the contribution is reasonable and I can assure you that it is spent very carefully on your students. This small investment in your son’s/daughter’s second level education is money well spent.

On-line payments can also be made now for supervised study, book rental and future school trips.  We ask that you log on through the school website as soon as possible to complete payments. A guide to logging on to the MIT system has been put up on the school website. On-line payment can be used to spread the burden of the contribution and significant discounts are given for siblings. We feel the contribution is a reasonable one and request that all parents cooperate with payment to ensure that this is complete by June.

Microsoft:

We have been offered support from Microsoft in the form of an installation of Solar Panels on the roof of the school. The maximum number of panels allowed on a building, without planning permission, is 30 panels. The 30 panels can generate up to 10 KiloWatts of power. We have been surveyed and hopefully the panels will be installed soon.


David Anderson

Principal

Adamstown Community College