You should ensure that your child is as independent as possible- physically, emotionally and socially. If they can look after themselves  in these areas they will feel secure and confident and readily settle in.

It would help greatly if they are able to-

  • Button and unbutton their coat and hang it up.
  • Use the toilet without help.
  • Use their hanky or tissues when necessary.
  • Share toys and playthings with others and “take turns”.
  • Tidy up and put away playthings.

Remain contentedly for a few hours in the home of a relation, friend or neighbour. If they have had this experience, then separation from parents should not be upsetting.

  • Tell him about school beforehand- casually- and talk about it as a happy place where there will be a big welcome for them  and where they will meet new friends
  • Don’t use school or the Teacher as a threat, even jokingly. “If you behave like that for Mrs. X she’ll murder you” though said lightheartedly can make some children very apprehensive.
  • If you feel it would help, you could take him/her for a stroll through the Infant Yards on an afternoon during June when the other children have gone home.
  • S/He will like to have their new uniform and new bag when they begin. These help him identify more readily with the school and with other children.

Yes. Children in Ballinahinch National School are expected to wear the full crested Ballinahinch uniform.

No, there are no compulsory school fees but the school would not look as it does and have such a high level of equipment and extra educational programmes without considerable financial support from parents. Parents are asked to contribute to the class at the start of each year for Art & Craft materials, printing and photocopying, their child’s insurance and other miscellaneous items. The Parents Association run fundraising events each year.

These are available on this site under School Policies

A: When they are younger listen to them read every evening, check that their memorisation work e.g. tables is done and see that their work is neatly presented. As they grow older teach them to be more self reliant, asking for help when they need it and showing you their work when it is completed. Remember that the purposes of homework are:

•         To consolidate and reinforce what is taught in the classroom.
•          To involve parents in the schoolwork of their children.
•         To establish routine and foster a sense of self-discipline in each child.
•         To develop in the child good learning and memorisation skills.

If your child is secure, knows that you value them doing their best, that you expect them to behave, be kind and courteous then they are set up for success. Read to them every night, involve them in the life of the family, make sure that they have a reasonable bedtime and a sensible home routine. Avoid putting a TV in their bedroom as this isolates them from normal family life. Encourage them, as they get older to partake in the life of the community through, their parish, Guides, Beavers, sports clubs. This will produce a rounded child with friends and interests who will do their best in every situation. This leads to success at school.

Standing up to peer pressure is one of the greatest challenges that children face. Help your child deal with peer pressures by doing the following:

  1. He will be more likely to respect your views and values and better able to resist peer pressure if he has a good relationship with you and feels you are a source of support. This bond needs to be nurtured long before your child’s teenage years.
  2. Children who are confident and have positive self-worth are more likely to pursue friendships with children who are good role models and better able to resist negative peer pressure. Find opportunities to boost your child’s self-esteem and enjoy success by involving him in activities that capitalise on his strengths and interests. And, of course, praise him for things he does well at home.
  3. Your child is a keen observer of what you do and may learn more from what he sees than what he hears. If he sees that you are constantly striving to keep up with other parents, he will likely do the same with his peers. If he sees you drinking and smoking, he is less likely to resist engaging in these behaviors. If you do drink or smoke, giving it up will make a vivid impression on him.
  4. Let your child know that you understand how hard it can be at his age to do things that make him stand out. Tell him that his peers may respect his decision not to join them in an activity even though they may not express it, and that some may even admire his courage in resisting what they could not. Help him understand that a friend who is pressuring him to do something that may be harmful is not much of a friend. Appeal to his desire for autonomy by encouraging him not to let others manipulate or make decisions for him.
  5. Avoid overreacting when talking about peer issues. Your child may tell you things that may make your jaw drop. If you overreact, you will discourage him from talking with you about these issues again. At the same time use these teachable moments to introduce some cautions without moralising or lecturing. Although it may seem as though he is dismissing what you are saying, he will hear you.
  6. Don’t make an issue out of your child’s wanting to wear the same clothes as his friends or adopt a trendy hairstyle. Make your stand on high-risk peer behavior. Battling your child constantly over minor issues may drive your child toward peers who are similarly alienated from their parents. Not sweating the small stuff will enable you to be more effective when you challenge him on the larger issues.
  7. If he can learn to trust his own instincts when making decisions, he will be less likely to let others make decisions for him. Encourage him to think through the possible consequences of the decision he is facing, including whether it may cause him harm. Let him know that giving in to the pressure now may make life harder for him later on.
  8. Help him figure out what to say to peers who are pressuring him to participate in high-risk activities. Suggest responses that are short and simple and that he can say comfortably. If he is receptive, role-play with him or encourage him to practice in front of a mirror.
  9. Make a point of encouraging your child to invite his friends home. Spend some time with them and assess whether they are positive influences.
  10. Don’t hesitate to set limits for your child. Your willingness to say no to him sets a good example and may help give him the courage to say no to a peer when faced with a potentially harmful situation.Q: What can I do to teach my child to cope with peer pressure?Standing up to peer pressure is one of the greatest challenges that children face.

Help your child deal with peer pressures by doing the following:

  1. Strengthen the bond with your child. He will be more likely to respect your views and values and better able to resist peer pressure if he has a good relationship with you and feels you are a source of support. This bond needs to be nurtured long before your child’s teenage years.
  2. Promote your child’s self-esteem. Children who are confident and have positive self-worth are more likely to pursue friendships with children who are good role models and better able to resist negative peer pressure. Find opportunities to boost your child’s self-esteem and enjoy success by involving him in activities that capitalise on his strengths and interests. And, of course, praise him for things he does well at home.
  3. Set a good example. Your child is a keen observer of what you do and may learn more from what he sees than what he hears. If he sees that you are constantly striving to keep up with other parents, he will likely do the same with his peers. If he sees you drinking and smoking, he is less likely to resist engaging in these behaviors. If you do drink or smoke, giving it up will make a vivid impression on him.
  4. Talk with your child about peer pressure. Let your child know that you understand how hard it can be at his age to do things that make him stand out. Tell him that his peers may respect his decision not to join them in an activity even though they may not express it, and that some may even admire his courage in resisting what they could not. Help him understand that a friend who is pressuring him to do something that may be harmful is not much of a friend. Appeal to his desire for autonomy by encouraging him not to let others manipulate or make decisions for him.
  5. Avoid overreacting when talking about peer issues.Your child may tell you things that may make your jaw drop. If you overreact, you will discourage him from talking with you about these issues again. At the same time use these teachable moments to introduce some cautions without moralising or lecturing. Although it may seem as though he is dismissing what you are saying, he will hear you.
  6. Choose your battles carefully. Don’t make an issue out of your child’s wanting to wear the same clothes as his friends or adopt a trendy hairstyle. Make your stand on high-risk peer behavior. Battling your child constantly over minor issues may drive your child toward peers who are similarly alienated from their parents. Not sweating the small stuff will enable you to be more effective when you challenge him on the larger issues.
  7. If he can learn to trust his own instincts when making decisions, he will be less likely to let others make decisions for him. Encourage him to think through the possible consequences of the decision he is facing, including whether it may cause him harm. Let him know that giving in to the pressure now may make life harder for him later on.
  8. Help him figure out what to say to peers who are pressuring him to participate in high-risk activities. Suggest responses that are short and simple and that he can say comfortably. If he is receptive, role-play with him or encourage him to practice in front of a mirror.
  9. Get to know your child’s friends.Make a point of encouraging your child to invite his friends home. Spend some time with them and assess whether they are positive influences.
  10. Don’t hesitate to set limits for your child. Your willingness to say no to him sets a good example and may help give him the courage to say no to a peer when faced with a potentially harmful situation.

Check with the teacher. In addition to the formal Parent Teacher Meeting many parents make appointments with the class teacher during the course of the year to check on their child’s progress. Check copies regularly to make sure your child is keeping up to date with work.

The school uses different types of assessment to judge how children are progressing. The teacher assesses how children are learning everyday. End of week table and spelling tests are used from 1st class up. End of term tests are given with written reports sent home in the summer. All Senior Infants are given a screening test in reading in February. Extra assistance is offered to children who fall below a certain level. Standardised tests are given in English and Maths to all classes from 1st class each May. As the results of these require interpretation against national standards parents should call to the class teacher. These results are also used in Parent Teacher Meetings.

• Have attractive colourful books in the home.
• Read him a variety of stories every day. He will get to associate these wonderful tales with books and reading.
• You must convey to him gradually that books are precious things. They must be minded and handled carefully and put away safely.
• Look at the pictures with him and talk to him about what they say.
• Read him nursery rhymes. He will learn them off his own bat. Don’t try to rush him.
• Above all don’t push him with his early reading. You may turn him against it.

Formal Parent Teacher meetings take place once per year. You will be notified of the dates and you can arrange a mutually suitable time with the class teacher. If you have any concerns about your child’s educational or social progress you should ring the school office to set up an appointment with the teacher. Many parents also do this to check on progress as a matter of routine. The school welcomes parental interest

Anytime before the 1st of February in the year he/she is due to begin school. A child must be 4 years old by the 31st August in the year they begin.

Although Ballinahinch NS is a school run under Catholic Patronage we have children of all religions and none. It has no bearing on whether a child will be offered a place.

Many non-Catholic children participate in the religion class. If parents prefer, the children may be allowed to do other work during this period.

No. If children are sick then they are unable to concentrate.

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If you are offered a place you will be asked to provide a Birth Certificate, and proof of address in the form of a utility bill.

Through teacher assessment, screening tests or standardised test results some children are identified as having difficulties with some elements of the curriculum. If you are offered learning support your child will be given extra help which will help them catch up or work to their full potential. The class teacher and the learning support teacher will outline for you the work they will be doing and show you how you can help your child at home. Some children need ongoing learning support and others go to the LS teacher for a short period only. Sometimes the children are withdrawn from class and work with the LS teacher in small groups. More and more the learning support teacher works with the children in their own class.

The school keeps copies of the reports that are sent home, copies of any psychological or medical reports that parents give us and standardized test results.

It is very unusual for children to repeat a class. Children are only allowed to repeat a class for educational reasons and in exceptional circumstances. In exceptional circumstances, the Principal, having consulted teachers and parents is the one who decides whether a child should repeat a year. A record outlining the educational reason for the decision will be kept. In addition a clear programme should be drawn up that outlines what new approaches will be used and what the expected benefit will be.

Like the general population some teachers are and some are not. The care required by law of teachers is that of a reasonable parent. We try to act prudently in the case of injury or illness and inform parents as soon as possible.

If the teacher notices that a child is ill or the child complains of not feeling well the school will ring you. That is why it is really important that we have up to date contact information.
Sometimes children fall at playtime or get hurt while involved in sports during or after school. In the case of anything other than the most minor injuries the school will ring to tell you. Sometimes we will advise that we have checked the injury and that the child is fine. In other cases we may advise that you need to pick up your child or in rare cases bring your child to A&E. In the event of a serious injury we will seek immediate medical help even if we are unable to contact the parents. However most injuries at school are minor bumps and grazes.

Always contact the school if you think your child is experiencing difficulties either educational or social. Appointments with class teachers can be made by sending a note or through the school office. If a problem cannot be resolved through the class teachers appointments with the Principal can be made through the school office.

A: On the recommendation of an Educational Psychologist parents may seek an exemption from the study of Irish for children who have diagnosed Specific Learning Difficulties. Parents should write to the Principal seeking this. If the relevant psychological report suggests an exemption the Principal can grant one in accordance with DES Circular 12/96. Even when an exemption has been granted we recommend that pupils continue to participate in the oral Irish element of the Irish curriculum.

Here are some ways you can help:
• Make sure your child goes to school.
• Encourage your child to behave in the classroom and in the playground.
• The school has a uniform; make sure that your child wears it.
• Make sure they do their homework.
• Let the school know if your family is leaving the area.
• Respect the professional views of the principal or class teachers.

If you can choose when to take your holidays it is a bad idea to take children on holidays during term time. They will miss out on what is being taught.

Yes. Call to reception and pick the child up making sure to tell the teacher and sign your child out. The sign in /out book is available at reception. If you come to pick up your child during break time be sure to make yourself known to the supervising teacher before you pick up your child and ensure you sign out your child at reception. For obvious safety reasons we will not release a child until the parent/guardian calls for them.

The purpose of P/T Meetings is to discuss some or all of the following:
• Academic progress and the programme of work for the year.
• Social Interaction
• Behaviour and discipline
• Homework, Tests and reports.
If you have any questions write them down for yourself in advance as you may not remember them during conversation. If you have any concerns bring them to the teacher’s attention. If any educational terms are used of which you are not quite sure ask for clarification.
If any recommendations are made follow up on them by making contact with the teacher after a couple of weeks to check that all is progressing as it should.

Join and attend Parents Association Meetings.
Volunteer when teachers seek assistance with field trips or school outings.
Become involved with the parish at Communion and Confirmation year.

There is usually a waiting list.

As children get older there are a huge range of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities available. See School Activities tab on this site.

You should send a note back with the child when he/she is returning explaining the absence. You need to ring if the child has an infectious illness e.g measles/chicken pox etc.

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