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Parent Information Booklet

Callystown N.S.



Callystown National School is a co-educational Catholic primary school, which strives to provide a well ordered, caring, happy and secure environment where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are nurtured and developed. We aim to assist pupils in realising their full, educational potential. The achievement of this aim informs all of the planning processes and activities which occur in our school.

Teachers and parents are partners in the children’s education, with co-operation and communication between home and school being essential components in the educational process. We share the same aim – the well being of the children in our care. This booklet has been produced with the express purpose of sharing information with parents concerning school policies, rules and routines.










  1. School begins at 9.00a.m. It is important that the children develop the habit of being punctual for school. Children, who are in the yard prior to official assembly time, are not the responsibility of the Board of Management.
  2. There is a short break at 10.45 a.m.

Lunch break is from 12.30 p.m. to 1.00 p.m.

  1. Junior and Senior Infant Classes are dismissed at 1.45 p.m. It is important that parents are on time. Pupils must return to their class teacher if their parent is not present. Parents must not take another child unless the school has been informed.
  2. The pupils from first to sixth class are dismissed at 2.45 p.m.
  3. Pupils who bring bicycles to school are asked to alight at the gates of the school.
  4. The Board of Management does not accept responsibility for children’s property.
  5. At 2.45 p.m., pupils are expected to leave the school grounds in an orderly fashion and to report home promptly.


General Notes

  1. Pupils remain in school for lunch.
  2. In the event of a pupil being absent through illness or for any other reason, the class teacher should be informed by written note (pupil’s journal) on the pupil’s return to school. If it is anticipated that the absence will be of a lengthy duration, the school should be contacted by telephone or email.
  3. When it is necessary for a pupil to leave school early, a note must be sent to the class teacher. Parents/ guardians are asked to call personally to the office to collect the child.
  4. Children should have their names written permanently on their uniforms, coats and other personal property such as schoolbooks, copies, lunch boxes, etc.
  5. Children are asked not to bring electronic games or toys with them to school.
  6. As the need arises, parents will receive notices with regard to school matters and events. Encourage your child to deliver notes immediately or check each evening at homework time to see if there is a note from the school. Messages will also be sent by email and by text a parent.
  7. The school website is www.callystownnationalschool.ie. The site has a lot of information about policies, holidays and the activities of the school.


                 Nourishing Lunches

Surveys have shown that children’s lunches are often                   very unhealthy and not adequate, nutritionally, because they tend to be low in fibre and high in sugar. Please do not give your child sweets, chocolate/chocolate spread, fizzy drinks or crisps for lunch as research has shown that these foods have a negative effect on your child’s performance in school. We would also ask you not to give peanuts or peanut related products to your children, as there are a number of children throughout the school with serious nut allergies. Lunch should provide one third of your child’s food requirements for the day. The most effective way to plan a healthy lunch is to include one food from each of the food groups – one piece of fruit, milk/yoghurt, two slices of bread and meat / poultry /cheese.

Foods recommended for Lunches: Fruit, sandwiches (no chocolate, nutella or peanut spreads), Cheese, Yoghurt, Salads, buns and cakes(no chocolate), Pancakes, crackers, rice cakes, water, milk, soup, etc.

Foods not to be included: Bars, Biscuits, chocolate of any kind on anything, crisps, nuts, eggs in salads or sandwiches, sweets or fizzy drinks.

Chewing gum is not allowed in the school.

Your child should bring a cloth (Tea-Towel) with his/her lunch each day..

Please check the school’s website for our Healthy Eating policy.

If your child forgets a lunch, please come to the secretary’s office and leave the lunch. It will then be brought to the classroom for your child.



Dress Code

  1. The school uniform is worn on all school days other than on days of PE lessons.

The school uniform is:

Navy Jumper and trousers for boys.

Navy Jumper and skirt or trousers for girls.

Blue blouse or shirt or polo shirt

Navy tie

(Tracksuit pants are not considered to be part of the uniform)

  1. For Physical Education, runners are compulsory.
  2. From September 2006 all children will be required to wear the school tracksuit on P.E. days.




School Books

The school runs a book rental scheme. Pupils will be provided with all their textbooks and workbooks for the school year. The cost of the scheme is €40 per pupil.

School Supplies Levy

Callystown N.S. collects a €30 school supplies levy to fund photocopying, library books, supplementary readers, copies, jigsaws, paints, art materials, class games, computer software, hardware and other classroom and sporting requirements. There are reductions for families who 3 or more pupils attending the school.




  1. Children who are ill should not be sent to school.
  2. Parents are asked that teachers be made aware of any physical disability or allergies that their child might have.
  3. Please check your child’s hair regularly for head lice. If there is an outbreak of head lice in a class, all parents of pupils in that class are informed by note, and asked to take immediate action to treat the infestation.
  4. Requests to remain indoors at break times should only be made in exceptional circumstances. These requests must be made in writing to the class teacher.
  5. In the interests of safety, parents are asked not to park in the school grounds.
  1.  Parents are asked to drive around the roundabout and to stop at the pedestrian gate when dropping off their children. Under no circumstances should a car stop on the roundabout to drop children off.

Accident Procedures

  1. Accidents occur despite supervision. Minor accidents are treated at school. Slight cuts and grazes are normally treated by cleaning the cut with an antiseptic wipe and applying a plaster to the wound. When a dressing has been put on a wound, parents are requested to inspect the wound when the child comes home from school.
  2. In the event of an accident/child becoming ill, every possible effort will be made to contact the pupil’s parents or the persons delegated to take responsibility for the pupil.
  3. Please complete the form giving details of home/work phone numbers. The school should be notified immediately of changes of address, phone numbers etc.
  4. Non co-operation in this matter could result in a delay in having your child attended to medically, should the need arise.
  5. Please ensure that an alternative contact person has been nominated and that they live locally.
  6. There is a facility for parents to take out insurance to cover medical expenses incurred as a result of an accident at school. Details of this scheme are circulated to parents in September.
  7. The school employs a policy on the administration of medicines. Please make an appointment with the Principal if you need to discuss this issue.


Home/School Communication

Frequent communication is of vital importance in developing and nurturing co-operation between home and school. In our school, communication between parents and teachers may take one of the following forms:

  1. Individual consultation: This occurs where a parent has asked for an interview with a teacher or has been invited to visit the school to exchange information or to discuss matters of concern. A note to the class teacher or a phone call to the secretary requesting such an appointment is always essential. It is also necessary that the purpose of the visit be stated so that teachers may undertake whatever preparation is necessary with regard to information and records.
  2. Appointment with Principal: Parents should contact the secretary at 041-9822873 if they wish to meet the Principal.
  3. Parent / teacher meetings for pupils are generally held during the second term, (January/February).
  4. Meetings/prayer services are held in connection with preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
  5. A meeting is held in the first week of September of each year with parents of the new Junior Infant pupils.

In addition to the previous forms of home/school links, the following means of communication are also utilised:

  1. Notes in the pupil’s homework notebook.
  2. School reports are issued at the end of the school year.
  3. Details of school holidays or early school closures are always communicated in writing.
  4. At the end of each school quarter a school newsletter is sent home to each family. This will detail the activities of the school in that term and update parents on relevant information and events.
  5. Regular updates and reminders will be sent home with your children and also by email and text.
  6. The school website www.callystownnationalschool.ie



Complaints Procedure

It is in the interests of pupils, parents and teachers that good relations should exist between home and school. The teachers are willing to discuss any issues that may arise from time to time. With mutual respect and goodwill, most issues can be resolved readily.

Stage 1:

  1. A parent who wishes to make a complaint should make an appointment to meet with the class teacher with a view to resolving the complaint.
  2. If the matter is not resolved, the parent should meet formally with the Principal and class teacher.
  3. If the complaint is still not resolved, parent should formally meet with the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

Stage 2:

  1. If the complaint is still unresolved, it should be lodged in writing with the Chairperson of the BOM.
  2. The Chairperson should bring the precise nature of the written complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the matter within 5 days of receipt of the written complaint.



Each child is obliged by law to attend school every day on which the school is in operation unless there is a reasonable excuse for not attending. The school authorities are obliged to notify The Educational Welfare Board when a child is absent for twenty days or more. It is important that a written reason for the absence be given to the class teacher on a pupils return. When a pupil has been absent for 15 or more days, a letter will be sent home to inform the parents of the number of days their child has been absent.



Aims of Code of Discipline

The code of discipline aims to achieve three things:

  1. a) The efficient operation of the school and the structuring of in-class discipline so that there exists an efficient and stimulating learning environment.
  2. b) The maintenance of good order throughout the school and respect for the school environment.
  3. c) The development of self-discipline in pupils based on consideration, respect and tolerance for others culminating in a mannerly attitude towards each other and the school staff.


 Principles of Discipline Policy

If the school is to achieve a happy, secure environment in which children can develop to their full potential, it is necessary to provide a framework that promotes constructive behaviour and discourages unacceptable behaviour. The aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to an education in a relatively disruption free environment. The school code places a greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions, and the ideal is that pupils will acquire self-discipline. There will be times however when it may be necessary to impose sanctions in order to maintain good order and to discourage offenders. We recognise the importance of a strong sense of community within the school and the existence of a high level of co-operation among teachers, ancillary staff, pupils, parents, the Board of Management and the Parents’ Association.


Respect and Courtesy

  1. All pupils are expected to treat staff and their fellow pupils with respect and courtesy at all times. The use of foul language and any form of bullying are unacceptable.
  2. Pupils must respect all school property and keep the school environment clean and litter free.
  3. Pupils must have all books and required materials.
  4. Pupils are expected to work to the best of their ability and to present written exercises neatly.
  5. Any form of behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable.





School Rules

School rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. If a school is to function efficiently, it is necessary that rules and regulations are clearly stated and enforced consistently and wisely.

  1. Pupils at all times will show respect and courtesy to their fellow pupils, teachers and staff of the school.
  2. Pupils must not behave in any way, which endangers themselves or others. Rough play comes into this category.
  3. Any form of threatening behaviour is unacceptable.
  4. Any instructions or directions given by the supervising teacher and/or by members of staff are to be complied with.
  5. School uniform must be worn at all times except on P.E. days when the school tracksuit must be worn.
  6. Pupils are not allowed to leave the school grounds during school hours unless accompanied by their parents/guardian.
  7. Pupils may not re-enter the school building during breaks without the express permission of a teacher.
  8. All school property and furniture must be treated with respect.
  9. Children do not have permission to have mobile phones at school.



Rewards for Good Behaviour

Most of the pupils are very well behaved and rewarding good behaviour is an important part of our Code of Discipline. The following strategies may be utilised to reward good behaviour.

  1. Note in pupil’s homework notebook to convey messages of approval from teachers.
  2. A points table is kept on a class by class basis. Prizes for best-behaved classes.
  3. Extra privileges.


The following strategies may be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour.

  1. Reasoning with pupil.
  2. Verbal reprimand, including advice on how to improve.
  3. Temporary separation from peers, friends and others. This may include children standing at the wall during playtimes.
  4. Recording of incident of misbehaviour in the “black book”
  5. Note in homework journal to parents.
  6. Detention during breaks.
  7. Withdrawal of privileges.
  8. Extra exercises to write out.
  9. Pupils who misbehave frequently may not be allowed to participate in school outings for their own safety and that of the other pupils.
  10. Referral to Principal.
  11. Suspension -: in accordance with the terms of rule 130 (5) of the Rules for Primary Schools.

Note: Although incidents of misbehaviour are recorded, the emphasis is on encouraging children to behave well and praise is given for commendable behaviour. Parents will be informed at an early stage if problems occur and not simply at the point where a crisis has arisen. At times, it is suggested by some parents that the matters to which their attention is being drawn are of a trivial nature, and that there was no necessity to have informed them that their children were misbehaving. The response to this is that while the misbehaviour may appear to be of a trivial nature, it is the cumulative effect of such breaches of the rules that is important and not the offence itself.



Disciplinary Procedures in School Playground

Stage 1

  1. a) Child’s name and class recorded; nature of the incident is noted.
  2. b) Report of incident is given to class teacher.
  3. c) The child is separated from peers by standing at school wall for the duration of break/breaks.
  4. d) Written exercise is set as punishment and signed by parents where possible.


Stage 2

If there are three written reports of misbehaviour, a note will be sent to parents requesting that they call to the school to discuss the child’s behaviour.





Bullying is repeated aggression, either verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or groups against others. Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour that should not be condoned cannot be described as bullying. However when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing, it is bullying. It may manifest itself in many forms such as physical aggression, damage to property, extortion, intimidation, isolation, name-calling and “slagging”. At the centre of our school’s response to bullying is the continued development of a positive school climate, which focuses on respect for the individual. It is an important element of school policy to raise the awareness of bullying as a form of unacceptable behaviour.


The school uses the philosophy and processes associated with The Anti Bullying Campaign. Please refer to the school’s website for the school’s policy on Bullying.

Religious Formation

  1. Parents have a key role to play in the religious formation of their children. They are asked to follow the Religion programme from the child’s book, and to help with the Religion workbook when it is sent home.
  2. The pupils receive the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion when they are in Second Class, and they receive Confirmation when they are in Sixth Class. The preparation of the children for sacraments is a shared responsibility for pupils, teachers, parents and parish clergy.
  3. On certain occasions throughout the school year, the children may participate in prayer services or a class Mass.


School Environment

At Callystown N.S. is a Green Flag School. To date we have received the Green flag for Waste, Energy, Water and are currently in the process of earning the Travel flag.

A lot of effort has been put into creating a pleasant environment over the last number of years. Murals have been painted and a large part of the front part of the school has been landscaped.


Charity and Social Events

There are many requests to sell tickets and promote various charities and events through the children. It would be impossible to help them all. We encourage children through various projects to create awareness of need in the area and in the world. We support Trocaire/ Bóthar during lent and also one or two other worthy causes a year. This is Board of Management policy and will be strictly adhered to. The Parents Council/ Extension Fund Committee/ School will also support a couple of fund raising events during the year to raise necessary funds for the school, these will usually include the annual Skipathon in October and a Christmas fair or raffle.

School Tours

It has been the tradition of the school that each class from 1st to 6th will get an opportunity to go on at least one school trip. This usually happens in the last term of school. On occasions, when a suitable event occurs, then a tour can be arranged to take advantage of this opportunity. A notification of school tours will be sent to all parents detailing the trip and costs. A permission slip will be attached and will need to be signed in order for children to take part.


Credit Union

The school promotes the habit of saving. To this end, the school has a savings club with the local Credit Union. Each Monday, from October to the end of the year, those wishing to save can bring money in and it will be lodged through the school to their Credit Union accounts.                           No withdrawals can be made through the school.

In order to open an account, new pupils will have to furnish the Clogherhead Credit Union with a birth certificate.

After School Activities

After school activities are run on a term basis and may vary from time to time. The activities are run with the co-operation of teachers and Parents’ Council. Activities may include boys and girls football, music, Irish dancing, arts and crafts and IT club. Arrangements for each of these activities will be forwarded to parents at the beginning of each term.




The curriculum is presented in six subject areas, some of which are further sub-divided into subjects. These are Language (Gaeilge and English), Mathematics, Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (History, Geography and Science), Arts Education (Visual Arts, Music and Drama) and Social, Personal and Health Education.

  • English

The English curriculum is structured to offer children a total language experience in which oral language, reading and writing are fully integrated.

  • An Ghaeilge

Cumarsáid agus usáid na teanga mar theanga bheo an dá ghné is suntasaí den churaclam Gaeilge.

Communication and the use of Irish as a living language are the most important aspects of the Irish curriculum.

  • Mathematics

The five strands in the mathematics curriculum are number, algebra, shape and space, measures and data.

  • Science

The four strands of the curriculum are living things, energy and forces, materials and environmental awareness.

  • History

Emphasis on local history and a focus on the skills of the historian

  • Geography

The three strands are human environments, natural environments and environmental awareness and care

  • Music

The three strands are listening / responding, performing and composing

  • Visual Arts

The six strands are drawing, paint, print, clay, construction, fabric and fibre

  • Drama

Drama is used to explore feelings, knowledge and ideas leading to understanding

  • Physical Education

The six strands are Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, Games, Outdoor and Adventure Activities and Aquatics

  • Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)

The three strands are Myself, Myself and others, Myself and the wider world.

SPHE takes place in a number of ways in the school and the involvement of parents at all stages of the programme is essential for its effectiveness. Children learn through experiencing a positive school climate and atmosphere and by exploring aspects of the curriculum through relevant subject areas. The school follows an extensive SPHE plan.

The Stay Safe Programme is taught in the school. If you would like to see the programme or to discuss issues regarding the programme, please contact the Principal.





All children from Senior Infants to Sixth Class are tested on standardised Reading and Maths tests each May, to monitor children and to ensure the provision of learning support if needed. Parents will be informed of these test scores through the annual school report.


  1. As a general rule, every child from Junior Infants to Sixth Class is given homework each weekday night. Parents are asked to ensure that their children complete the homework each night. In the event of the homework not being attempted or not being completed, teachers may insist that the children complete the homework during some of the breaks.
  2. Each child from first class to sixth has a homework journal. It should be signed each night by a parent when the child’s homework is completed and inspected.
  3. Where exceptional circumstances prevent the completion of homework, please forward an explanatory note to the teacher.
  4. Do not do the child’s homework for him/her. Work set for homework will have been prepared in class. Please check your child’s homework for neatness and point out any mistakes.
  5. Changes have taken place in the way in which certain areas of Maths are being taught. In helping your child, please adhere to the methods being used in school. Providing alternative methods may lead to confusion for the child.
  6. Oral work is as important as written work. Please listen to your child reading, and examine spellings and tables.
  7. As a general rule, homework is not given at the weekends.





It is primarily in the home that the habit of reading is fostered. Encourage your child to join the library and help him/her to appreciate that reading can be fun and not a chore which is confined to school or homework. Encourage reading in free time and during holidays.

Problems with Reading

Children with reading difficulties may be referred to the Learning Support Teacher. For a support programme to be successful, it will require the encouragement and active co-operation of parents. Specifically, parents are asked to listen to their child reading on a nightly basis.  Be positive. The road to good reading may not be smooth, but your child will get there in the end.



Addition / subtraction tables are taught in the junior cycle, while multiplication and division tables form a large part of the senior cycle programme.


Teach children to Look at the word

Cover the word.

Write the word.

Check the correct spelling of the word



The children are taught the basic steps of a joined script style. While readiness is a factor, it is to be hoped, that most pupils will be using a joined script by the end of Third Class.


Group Teaching

Progress in all subjects varies from child to child and consequently your child on occasion may be grouped within his/her class with children of similar ability. The child’s rate of progress rather than his rank in the class is the primary consideration.


 Ways to help the School

  1. We are very appreciative of the support which parents and pupils give to the school’s fund raising activities.
  2. Take an active part in the Parents’ Association.
  3. Remember – When you give time to the school, you help your child!

When you give time to your child, you help the school!

Please keep this booklet in a safe place.


If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the school at 041 9822873


For all updated information, photos, history etc. visit our website








“Mol an óige, agus tiocfaidh sí”.