A Message from our Principal

 

            

I have to start off by saying how delighted I am to be appointed as Principal of Adamstown Community College. I am proud to have been a part of the school for the past seven years, as Deputy Principal, and look forward to settling into my new role. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Mr. Des Newton the very best for his retirement. Des started as Principal of the school when it was just a building site and developed it into the wonderful educational institution that we have now. The school is a credit to all his diligence and hard work over the past ten years.   

I would like to extend a belated welcome back to all our students, new staff and parents for the new school year. I especially welcome the new 1st year students. They have settled in very well over the past number of weeks and I hope they will be very happy in Adamstown Community College.

Student Contribution:

The school contribution for 2019/20 may still be paid online through the school website or through the school office. The contribution is used to cover the cost of student journals, lockers, swipe cards, photocopying, subject resources and IT investment as well as subsidising the cost of school outings and travel to extra-curricular events. The contribution also covers the cost of mock examinations and corrections. This financial cost can not be carried by the school. On-line payment can be used to help spread the burden of payment and significant discounts are given for siblings. Please contact the school if you have difficulty logging on to the payment site. 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. I request that all parents cooperate with payment. 

School Musical:

The school will be staging “Beauty and the Beast” in the school’s Sports Hall. The important dates for your diary are:

Matinee Tuesday 17th December. Hopefully we will get the Primary School children to attend from the local schools.

Evening show Tuesday 17th December.

Evening show Wednesday 18th December.

We will need to hire seats, floor covering, lighting, sound, stage and curtains but it is going to be a great event. It is important that parents support and attend the show. Staging a show like this is a huge occasion for the school, the students and the staff involved. Many hours of hard work have already been put in to rehearsals and planning so we need the support of the community.  

Uniform:

Please note that the uniform and footwear requirements are clearly set out in the uniform section of this website. No exceptions are made regarding these expectations so please make yourself aware of them. In particular please note that a proper school jacket is part of the school uniform. We have also uploaded images of the correct footwear on the website in order to avoid any confusion. 

VSware:

Our data storage system is called VSware. Parents log in through the front page of our website and have access to their student’s information page. School reports, timetables, attendance records and other data is available on this page. New parents receive a password in September. I would encourage parents to log in at least once a week, to keep track of attendance, behaviour and progress.

Examinations and Reports:

We issue formal reports to parents three times per year, in the autumn, spring and summer. The autumn report issued in November is based on a continuous assessment model over the first term. It generally is an accumulation of the marks gathered from four pieces of work: three pieces of work worth 20% each and a class test worth 40%.  The spring report issued in March is based on formal examinations or mock examinations which start on Thursday February 6th 2020. The summer report issued in June is based on formal house examinations which take place during the last week of May.

Every year group has a Parent/Teacher meeting scheduled for them to allow parents to speak to all of their son’s/daughter’s teachers. The schedule of meetings can be checked on the school calendar which is found on this website. In the strongest possible way I am requesting that you attend these meetings as a means of supporting your child’s education and also to get to know their teachers a little better. At the most recent 6th year Parent/Teacher meeting we saw many of the 6th year students attend without being accompanied by their parents. This is a trend I am not happy with as I feel some of the value of the meeting may be lost.

Enrolment September 2021:

Our open evening for 5th class students was held on October 10th and was a great success. A big thank you to the teachers and the students who helped during the evening. 

The application period for September 2021 is open until January 31st 2020. Putting in an application is an on-line process. There is a link on the front page of our website to the application form. Our admissions / enrolment policy is also available on the school website and should be read carefully before applying.

An assumption has been made in the past that if you have a child in one of our named feeder schools or you already have a child in this school that you will get an automatic enrolment into Adamstown Community College. This is not the case and it is necessary that we get an application for each student wishing to attend our school. Obviously with all the new houses coming on stream in the Adamstown area there will be an increased pressure on places so it is important to get your application in on time.

Attendance and Punctuality:

There is a legal obligation on the school to report attendance records to Tusla.  The attendance of some students is of concern and may I take this opportunity to remind you that a student 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 very disruptive to teaching and learning and to the school office.

A linked issue is students arriving late to school in the morning. Exceptions are made for genuine reasons of a delay by Dublin bus however the responsibility to get students to school on time lies with parents and students themselves. 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.

Teaching and Learning:

We have moved from 40 minute class periods to 58 minute class periods this year. Generally the feedback is very positive. The school is definitely calmer because there are less class movements during the day. Students are finding it easier to manage their books and their lockers. The longer classes are facilitating teachers to use more active learning methodologies which is in keeping with the New Junior Certificate and with our practices as an Instructional Leadership school.

All Junior Certificate subjects have now been introduced into the new Junior Certificate. The T4 subjects were the last to be introduced and our current 1st years who study Technology, Materials Technology Wood, Technical Graphics or Junior Engineering are all now following the new programme.

Over the last 10 years we have encouraged our teaching staff to use Instructional Leadership techniques and methodologies in the classroom. We have also facilitated our teachers to get training in IL practices. Three of our staff graduated as Instructional Leaders this October and I wish to congratulate them for this great achievement.

Restorative Practice:

Restorative practice is based on the idea that the best way to help someone who has done wrong is to give them the opportunity to put things right. At its most basic, restorative practices improve the quality of relationships we have. Using this approach can both avoid and minimise conflict, and help us to manage conflict better when it does arise. Our Caire Aires received a days training in restorative practice this term from Michelle Stowe. A large number of our staff have also engaged with Michelle during last year and continuing through this year. I big well done to all involved.

New School Policies:

The development of school policies is an ongoing process in every school and involves input from the staff, students, the Board of Management and parents. We have recently put four new policies up on our website in Draft format and are inviting you to read them. You may send in suggested changes/modifications by email. It is hoped to ratify these policies at the next Board of Management meeting. 

Trips:  

Schools are busy places and we like to offer educational trips to all year groups. Transport to and from the various venues is subsidised through the school contribution. Some of the highlights so far this year are:

The TY bonding trip to Carlingford Adventure Centre for 3 days.

The 1st year bonding day trips to Courtlough in Balbriggan.

The 5th year Agricultural Science trip to the Ploughing Championships.

The Erasmus trip to Sweden. This was a 5 day trip involving Science teachers from across Europe. Three of our Science teachers attended.

Painting and repairs:

Ongoing maintenance is being carried out on the school building. Over the summer holidays we had 10 classrooms painted, the Library and one of the stairwells. Repairs were carried out on the fire doors throughout the school. We also recently got three flagpoles erected along the Station Road side of the school yard.



David Anderson 

Principal, Adamstown Community College