Thursday, September 26, 2013

School Note September 26th 2013


Dear parents,

                     Today, all the children and staff of the school attended Mass for the start of the school year in Ballybrown Church. This was a special occasion as it was the last occasion that Fr O Connor will fulfil this duty. Fr Muiris has been a great friend to the school in his six years in Ballybrown both as a priest and as a member of the Board of Management. Ms Day prepared the choir and they added to a special occasion. Well done to all of them.

                   Thanks to the parents who attended the meeting on Class Size in the South Court last Monday. If the pupil teacher ratio is raised by two per class teacher, this school will lose at least one, if not two teachers, at a time of record enrolment. I urge parents to contact TD's to get the message across that this is unacceptable.

                           Please check your child's Homework Diary every night, Monday to Thursday. It is a good idea to sign the Homework Diary and check that homework is being done properly.

                                       I would like to express my gratitude to all the families for their Art & Craft/Photocopying contributions. All monies are spent on Art & Craft materials used in class and to defray the cost of photocopying. . If you have not yet paid this money, you can give it to Rosemarie in the school office any day between 9a.m. and 2p.m.

              Even at this early stage of the school year, the Lost Property section is growing. Please ensure your child's name is on all jackets and uniform tops.

              Credit Union for all classes will resume tomorrow morning in school

                   N.B. This school will be closed on Friday October 4th as it is in use as a polling station for the referendums on that day.

Gach dea ghuí,



J. Lyons


Thursday, September 19, 2013

School Note September 19th. 2013


Dear parents,

                      I wish to bring the following to your attention.

                       There are now more children attending this school than ever before. In total, 270 children pass through the gate every morning. There is plentiful parking in the Church grounds as well as in the Resource Centre Car Park provided that parents do not delay unduly when bringing their children to school. Parents who linger in the school grounds are taking up valuable parking spaces. In the case of younger children, there is no need for parents to linger in the playground. Both play areas are supervised every morning from 9.a.m.  Please respect the need for Bus, Disabled and Staff parking.

               On the sporting front, our boys' and girls' Under 13 football teams have completed two rounds of the Cumann na mBunscol football competitions. Thanks to all the teachers who give so generously of their time.

            Next Monday,September 23rd.  a meeting on the subject of Class Size will take place in the South Court Hotel, Raheen to highlight the effects of a proposed increase in the pupil-teacher ratio. Schools such as ours with growing enrolment are particularly at risk of losing one or more teachers. I urge parents to attend and /or take up the issue with our local TD's.

               All children will attend a special Mass for the opening of the school year in St Joseph's Church on Thursday next September 26th. at 10 a.m.

               I would like to express my gratitude to all the families for their Art & Craft/Photocopying contributions. If you have not yet paid this money, you can give it to Rosemarie in the school office any day between 9a.m. and 2p.m.

           Seán Kelly, MEP, has contacted the school to publicise  a Cyber-Bullying Forum that he will be hosting in Kilmurry Lodge Hotel, Limerick on Friday September 27th, in order to raise awareness of online bullying.             

              Finally, it is school policy to put relevant information about all school-related activities, including sports fixtures, on the school website Please check the website regularly.


Gach dea-ghuí,



J. Lyons





Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Letter re Class Size campaign

 Dear parents,

                    The Minister for Education has stated that he intends to make savings of €100 million in the Education Budget this year. The most likely option is to increase class size. If the pupil/teacher ratio is increased by even one per class teacher, Ballybrown NS will lose a classroom teacher. This is an appalling prospect at a time when the school enrolment is at an all-time high. .An increase of three to the pupil teacher ratio will result in a loss of two teaching posts.    An alliance of Management bodies, parents and teachers has been formed for the purpose of lobbying and organising against any such proposed changes to the schedule. (See overleaf).

  The issue was discussed at the Board of Management and Parents Association meetings in this school this week.

What can we do? A campaign is currently under way throughout the country.

The Campaign consists of 3 parts:

(a)   Lobby of TDs by email: this can be done by parents, Boards of Management and teachers:  below are the email addresses of the TDs in our constituency: Let your TD  know how you feel about the prospect of larger, multi grade classes.


 (b)       On   Monday next,  23rd September at 8.00p.m. there will be a meeting in the South Court Hotel , Raheen to which all local TDs will be invited.  This meeting will have five speakers who will speak briefly on the implications of any change to the staffing schedule. This meeting will serve Limerick City and County and it is essential that every school community is represented there.  A large turnout is vital.


(c) Each family has received a postcard to send to a TD in this area to make your feelings known. The school will have more available next week


(d) Would you be prepared to lobby local government TD's in this constituency to make your feelings known? The Limerick city area has the second largest class sizes in the country due to population surge in the last few years. It is hoped that a group consisting of members of the Board of Management, Parents Association and teachers would meet local TD's to put our concerns across. Please contact the school if you are available.

 This is a vital issue for the school and your children





J. Lyons



Thursday, September 12, 2013

School Note September 12th 2013



Dear parents,

                    Yesterday, the boys and girls in Third Class began classes in Cycling Safety with Mr. John Clancy of Cycling Safety Ireland.

                    Tomorrow, Friday, the Sixth Class pupils will begin a ten- week ICT course in the Resource Centre run by a company called Whizzkids.

                     You may be aware that cuts of €100 million to Education provision are forecast in the Budget next month. The pupil teacher ratio is expected to be targetted. Any increase could result in a loss of a teacher, with the knock-on effect on class sizes etc. All families are asked to contact your local TD to make your views known. Each family in this school will be issued with a postcard to send to a TD in the constituency. A meeting to raise awareness on the issue will take place in the South Court Hotel on Monday September 23rd. at 8 p.m. Further details next week.

                    If your child has scored at or above the 90th percentile (Sten 9 or 10) in Standardised tests, you may be interested in the Centre for Talented Youth which runs classes in venues throughout Ireland including Limerick. Please paste this link into your browser:


                  Ballybrown GAA Juvenile Club Annual Duck Race will take place on Sunday 15th Sept at 2:30pm at De Bucket. Fun for all the family including Bingo / Bouncy Castles / Penalty Shoot Outs / Dunk the Hurler / BBQ / Music & the main event, The Duck Race – 1st Prize €150, 2nd  €100 & 3rd€50.  All welcome.


                The AGM of the school's Parents' Association will take place on Monday next September 16th. at 8.30 p.m..  in the school. All parents are welcome to attend.

               If you wish to avail of the Allianz Personal insurance scheme for pupils, the closing date is tomorrow, Friday 13th. of September.


Gach dea-ghuí,



J. Lyons





Thursday, September 5, 2013

School note September 5th. 2013


Dear parents,

                   I wish to bring the following to your attention.

                The Cumann na mBunscol Gaelic Football season will start shortly. All children, boys and girls, are required to wear a mouthguard /gumshield when playing Gaelic Football. This applies to all training sessions also. Children without a mouthguard will not be allowed to play or train. This is a legal requirement and Allianz, the school insurers have stated that the wearing of gumshields is compulsory.                                                               The final date to avail of Allianz Pupil Personal Insurance is Friday September 13th. Monies to Rosemarie in the School Office. This scheme is entirely optional.

              I would like to advise parents of children in Infant classes that, from September 23rd., all external doors will be locked from 9.15 a.m. until 1.55 p.m. when they will be opened to allow parents/ minders to collect children in Infant classes.

              I would like to express my gratitude to all the families for their Art & Craft/Photocopying contributions. If you have not yet paid this money, you can give it to Rosemarie in the school office any day between 9a.m. and 2p.m. €35 per child or €60 per family

        Parking: I would appreciate if parents used the Resource Centre and Church grounds car parks. Children should not walk through the staff car park. They should enter via the gate nearest to the resource Centre. Safety of children is paramount.

            The school has some hurleys  for sale. .   Price:   26' : €6:  28':€8 ,      30': €10,  32': €12



Gach dea-ghuí,



J. Lyons