Supporting your primary school child

General aims of these sessions:

Understanding the Irish primary school system and how it works Preparing a variety of ways to communicate with school Getting the most from parent-teacher meetings Understanding school reports and policies Making healthy choices for school lunches Understanding how to apply for a place in a primary school

Topic Content
1. Introduction to primary school Looking at how the Irish primary school system works. Comparing the Irish system to systems in their countries (if known). Examining costs involved with starting school.
2. The school day Looking at how the school day works. Talking about home and school routines. Looking at school curriculum. Finding out about school plans and extra facilities.
3. Parent-teacher meetings School reports Preparing questions for parent-teacher meetings. Expressing concerns. Role-play. Looking at sample reports.
4. Communication with /from school School policies Looking at letters to/from school using templates, writing frames. How the homework diary works. Contacting the school. Looking at homework, bullying and other school policies.
5. Healthy eating and children’s health Discussing good eating guidelines, e.g., with sample of food pyramid. Discussing and comparing healthy food options. Talking about children’s health, common illnesses, vocabulary of health. Introducing idea of emotional health – checking all is well with moving to primary school.
6. Moving on Examining choice of second level schools locally. Looking at subject options, available supports. Applying for a place for your child. Supporting English over the summer break.




Topic 1: Introduction to primary school


Globe or world map
Chart showing Irish education system
Sets of subject names on cards
Sets of subject related images

Task Suggested Activities
Getting to know you Ask parents to introduce themselves and say where they come from. Use a map/globe to locate places outside of Ireland.Talk about direction – north, south, east, west of Ireland.
Getting to know the children Ask parents to share their children’s names, ages and class. What pre-school/crèche do children attend, if any?
School subjects Distribute cards depicting words/images of school subjects in the primary curriculum. In pairs, match the image with the subject. Explore how a subject corresponds to activity in the home/community. Why are these important subjects for the children? Explain core subjects.
Discuss Irish education system, compare with other systems. Using chart, explain how Irish education works. Discuss similarities/differences in the education system in their own countries. Compare age starting school, discipline, examinations at primary level (in other countries), etc.
Costings Make a list of supply needs for primary schools, e.g., books, uniforms, bags and supplies. Encourage parents to share information on where to purchase supplies. Estimate costs with the group. Discuss supports available and how to apply. Explain voluntary contributions to school.


Literacy Links:

Recognising key words (family names, subject names)
Using school vocabulary
Reading charts
Locating information
Making comparisons
Asking questions to obtain information
Gathering information
Linking information from different sources, following instructions, filling forms

Numeracy Links:

Using a map and indicating direction
Recognising and recording numbers
Understanding maths signs and symbols
Using measurement to help solve a problem (e.g., cost of school uniforms, what size uniform)
Using the language of measurement
Making comparisons using a table
Making a timetable
Estimating and budgeting
Planning a budget
Using basic maths operations (adding, subtracting)