Frequently Asked Questions
Is Griffeen Valley ETNS a DEIS School?
Is there a Special Class / ASD Unit in the school?
Yes. Our Special Class is full for 2023/24. Any applications received will be placed on a waiting list for the academic year of 2023/2024. Please refer to our Enrolment page for information.
How do I enrol my child at this school?
Griffeen Valley is part of a Lucan Common Enrolment System (LCES). When a parent/guardian makes an application to one of the schools, they are applying to a centralised system. There is no guarantee that your child will get a place at this school. Further details in relation to enroling and the LCES are available on our Enrolment page. The LCES e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are we funded?
The Department of Education and Science provides an annual grant for each child. This capitation grant is clearly not sufficient to cover the ongoing costs of running a primary school. As with most national schools, Educate Together schools have a fundraising programme. The generous, on-going support of parents for the resourcing of our school is vital for continuing to develop and grow.
What is the Board of Management composed of?
Our Board of Management consists of eight members. The breakdown of the representation is: the Chairperson; the Principal; an ET Patron’s nominee; two parents (one mother and one father); two from the community and a member of the teaching staff. To see who is on our current BoM, go to the Board of Management page.
The School Day
When does school start/finish?
School starts at 8:30 am. Infant classes finish at 1.10pm and all other classes finish at 2.10pm.
Do children wear a uniform?
How do I communicate with the school?
We use 'Aladdin' for connecting with parents and guardians. We recommend that you download the Aladdin for Schools app for updates and information. It is important for you the parent/guardian, your child and us at Griffeen Valley to have good communication with each other. If you have any queries, problems or concerns regarding your child, please firstly contact your child’s teacher and make an appointment to meet them. In addition, if there is a change in home circumstances (e.g. illness, separation or anything that you feel may affect your child) it is important to let us know. We assure you of the utmost confidence in all matters. If you have any difficulties using Aladdin please contact the school office.
What should I know about lunch?
We are not a DEIS School, therefore we don't have the resources to provide lunch or breakfast. We have a NO NUTS policy so please avoid giving your child any food that may contain nuts or traces of nuts. This includes many types of biscuits, chocolates and sweets. We recommend a healthy lunch be brought to school each day to encourage the healthy growth of your child. The school has a Healthy Eating Policy which you will find on our website.
What if my child is absent from school?
If your child is unable to attend school we ask that you send an ‘Explanation for Absence’ from the Aladdin app. If your child is likely to be absent for more than two days then we ask that you contact the school. In the event of holidays or hospitalisation, we ask that we be informed of this as soon as possible. If any child is absent from school for twenty days or more the school is obliged to pass this information onto the National Education Welfare Board. We will notify you, in writing, if your child has been absent for more than fifteen days. Another letter will be sent to you if your child is absent for twenty days and the authorities will be notified.
What do I need to do if my child needs to finish early from school?
A form must be signed in the secretary's office stating the time that the child is to be collected or leaving the school.
How are Educate Together Schools different?
An Educate Together school serves the needs of the entire community and caters for all religions and none. The ethos of an Educate Together school is inclusive, encouraging respect for diversity. For more information, go to our Educate Together Schools page.
Are Educate Together Schools anti-religious or atheistic?
No. This is a common misconception. There is no faith formation/instruction in any particular religion during the school day in an Educate Together school. However, we celebrate and learn about many different festivals, faiths and beliefs. The ethos of the school is 'equality-based' – no child is discriminated against on the basis of their social, cultural or religious background in either access to the school or within the classroom during the school day. No student will ever be asked their religion as part of the enrolment process.
Does the school provide any preparations for First Communion or other religious rites?
Our school does not prepare children of any denomination for sacraments or religious events. We may provide facilities for the teaching of faith formation after school, if requested and available.
Starting in Junior Infants
How should I prepare my child for their first day at school?
Talk to your child about your own time spent at school when you were younger. Be excited as you explain about the opportunity to make new friends and to learn new things. We recommend that your child wears comfortable and smart clothing. Teach your child how to take on/off his/her coat and how to open and close zips, buttons, buckles and laces. Zips are preferable to buttons and elasticised clothing is ideal. Ensure all your child’s belongings are clearly labelled with his/her name and help them to identify their own belongings. Show your child how to use and finish using the toilet properly and how to wash their hands after using the toilets. You can find more information on the New Junior Infants Information page.
What about lunch?
Choose a lunch box and drink bottle that are both secure but which can be opened easily by your child. We recommend a healthy lunch be brought to school each day to encourage the healthy growth of your child. The school has a Healthy Eating Policy which you will find on our website. To help your child, please ensure that all carton drinks have straws, and that a spoon is provided for any yogurt. If giving your child fruit please peel and segment the fruit if your child is unable to do so for him/her self.
What should I do if my child has medical issues?
The school staff working with your child should always be made aware of any health problem your child may have, such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, epilepsy etc. If your child develops any health problems during their time here at Griffeen Valley School please keep us up-to-date. It is important that we have this information in order to offer your child the best care we can.
What if my child requires administration of medication in school?
The parent /guardian should write to the Board of Management requesting permission for the teacher(s) to administer the medicine, enclosing details of the medication procedure required. This request must be in writing for the school records. The parent/guardian will, in all instances, be required to sign an indemnity form prior to the teacher being authorised by the Board to administer the medication.
Covid is very much still around and it won't be going away so please refer regularly to HSE Guidelines for the latest information.
Do I keep my child at home if they have any sort of infection?
Please do not send your child into school if they are unwell or you suspect an infection, such as colds/flus, head lice, hand foot and mouth disease, stomach flu or chickenpox. Please inform the school immediately if you do find head lice as it is very contagious. We will immediately notify all parents to check their child’s hair.
How can I get in contact with my child's teacher?
Make an appointment with the teacher by emailing the school secretary or the teacher directly. When making the appointment, please indicate the nature of your concern e.g. class-work, behaviour-related, personal etc. A time will be arranged when you can be given the attention and privacy you may need. Teachers of younger children may be able to speak with the parent at collection time.
When do Parent-Teacher Meetings take place?
Usually towards the end of November. The school sets up available 10-minute time slots for parents to book a meeting. A choice of a face-to-face meeting or a phone call is agreed beforehand. Please arrive 5 minutes prior if you are meeting in person. If there are any outstanding issues, a further meeting may be arranged.
Stay Safe and Relationship & Sexuality Education (RSE)
What is Stay Safe?
It is a personal safety skills programme for primary schools - both mainstream and special. Its overall objective is to prevent child abuse, bullying and other forms of victimisation. It is mandatory for all primary schools to teach it. You can familiarise yourself with the Stay Safe Programme at www.staysafe.ie. For further information please read our SPHE school policy or go to our Curriculum Aspects page .
What if I don't wish my child to partake in Stay Safe?
Please contact the school principal with your concerns. Children who do not partake must go home early on the day of the lesson (Wednesdays 12.15pm for Infants and 1pm for all other classes). Please familiarise yourself with the lessons before speaking to the principal.
What is Relationship & Sexuality Education (RSE)?
RSE provides children with opportunities to develop knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practical skills necessary to establish and sustain healthy personal relationships with self and others. In addition to learning about relationships, RSE invites children to explore concepts such as physical development and human sexuality. Topics are explored with children in a developmentally appropriate nature throughout their primary education. For more information and useful links, see the Curriculum Aspects page or visit the PDST guide to teaching RSE.
Does my child have to do it?
No. If you wish to exclude your child, you can deny permission in Aladdin when it is released. The school should be informed and the child must go home early on the day of the lesson (12pm for Infants and 1pm for all other classes), usually on a Wednesday. Please familiarise yourself with the lessons before deciding whether to exclude your child.
How can parents / guardians get involved?
Active and focused involvement is a vital element of parents’ and guardians’ contribution to the education of their children. We encourage parents and guardians to become actively involved in the education of their children and in the broader school community. Parents and guardians are encouraged to be involved in Parent-Teacher Associations, and in the development of extra-curricular activities. While endorsing the professional role of the teachers in the school, parents can work with teachers to enhance their children’s learning experiences in class. You can contact by email at email@example.com.