Easter 2018 newsletter



St. John the Baptist Junior Boys’ School Newsletter

 31st March 2018

A thuismitheoirí agus a chaomhnóirí,

The first three months of 2018 have been among the busiest in a long time. The boys have had the benefit many enjoyable extras since we came back in January- this is what distinguishes the School and, as a staff, we value these extras hugely.

World Book Day:

As a School, we were delighted to celebrate 22nd World Book Day in Belgrove on Thursday 1st March 2018. Over the last 22 years, this day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own. Each boy received a money-off token so that he could reduce the purchase cost of a book of his choice.   

First Confessions:

These were held for our boys during the first week of March. I think the change to a school-based ceremony where one class receive at a time has become embedded now- it is certainly more conducive to quiet reflection to have each class by themselves. Thank you to the Priests of the Parishes- Fr. Pat, FR. Martin, Fr. John & Fr. Larry for officiating.

Faith Friends

On behalf of the boys in Ms. O’ Grady’s, Mr. Harvey’s and Miss McGuire’s classes and indeed on behalf of the parents of these boys, I wish to thank 3 very important ladies. Yesterday Thursday, Nuala O’ Hara, Josephine Bastible and Berni O’ Dea arrived to the school with Fr. Pat and presented the boys making their First Holy Communion with their Faith Friend letters. The Faith Friends Programme seeks to link the first communicants with people in the parish and has been embedded in Clontarf for many years now. Once again, a big ‘go raibh mile to the three ladies

Córfhéile na Scoileanna:

Our First Class boys started learning to play the recorder in January and on the 8th of March they did us proud at Córfhéile na Scoileanna in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, The Córfhéile is a non-competitive music festival for primary school children. The children that perform in the Córfhéile do so for the love of playing music. The boys showed great dedication to their practice and it paid off on the day when they represented our school so well.

Palestrina Choir

Staff from the Choir called in last week to conduct aural aptitude tests with the boys in 1st classes who, like their teachers, were just recovering from their Córfhéile exertions! Past pupils from our school form a core of this famous boys’ choir. We hope that quite a few boys are selected and I would urge parents of boys who are selected to take up the offer of a place. Singing and music are great gifts and singing especially is great for the soul!

Lá Glas/Céili:

Following 6 weeks of Irish dancing with Rhona Lucas, all classes came together for our annual Céilí.  The boys were all dressed for Lá Glas and they performed their dances very well.  Each class performed traditional dances- our 3 junior infant classes did a great performance of the ‘Snake Dance’  each class split into two….and were branded Anna and Conda,  Boom and Slang and King and Cobra. Other classes performed the Walls of Limerick, Shoe the Donkey and the Siege of Ennis.  Some boys from our 3 second classes did the Brush Dance and it really was amazing. We closed out the Ceilí with the staff performing the Siege of Ennis to the very astute adjudication of the boys!

Don’t forget to check out the photos of all events on www.belgrovejbs.ie !


Child Protection In-service

On March 9th the 4 Belgrove Schools undertook to complete a 1) Child Safeguarding Statement and 2) Risk  Assessment for each School. These are vital documents as they state clearly the steps we take as a school to ensure the safety from harm of each boy here. The documents are available on the school website and for inspection in hard copy at the school foyer.


Again, what a great success it was, despite postponement due to the Beast! We had over 48 tables, over 40 Platinum Sponsors and thousands of tickets sold. I think I can speak for our Staff here when I say how grateful we are for your support of this night. As always, a big thank you to all the Quiz Committee members who gave great support collecting sponsorship, planning the night and performing the many ‘back-office’ tasks which go into making the night a success. Dorothy’s questions were as always top-class, provoke great debate and cheers and howls when the results are read out! Finally- to Maureen Borreson who pulled it all together….. well done Maureen! Team Martin Browne were very popular  winners… and we avoided the dreaded tie-break!

The quiz just got active…

The accreditation process which the Active School Team must undergo to renew our Active School Flag is fairly specific and involves implementing initiatives with the community and very importantly bringing Parents on board by involving them in Active School initiatives. One such initiative took place after round 4 of the quiz last week. 20 male and 20 female volunteers competed for speed by passing a ball over their heads and under their legs in a chain and the line that finished first were announced as the winners (This is NOT as complicated as it sounds!).

The mothers won…

Active School Flag Update:

According to the World Health Organisation ‘Children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity* daily.’

*For children and young people, physical activity includes play, games, sports, transportation, chores, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, in the context of family, school, and community activities.

We were awarded our first AS flag in 2015 and are hoping to renew it this year. This is a whole school initiative and you are probably aware of AS events such as our Friday Bootcamps (thanks to Gavin) and more recently our Mad Hatters’ Parade. These are very important and enjoyable aspects of the AS process, but we are also mindful of the need to develop a ‘culture’ of being active so that it becomes part of daily school life for the boys, and hopefully they will bring the practice on into their teenage years and later life. To this end, staff promote Brain Breaks (eg when transitioning between subjects), boys get PE homework on PE days, teachers have replaced sweets with physical activity as a reward, and Active Archie is available to bring home on a day when boys are going to be physically active.

We greatly appreciate the support of parents and your suggestions are always welcome. We post regular updates on our Twitter account @BelgroveJBS so make sure to check us out!

From your Parents’ Association

  • There is an online Child Protection Programme available to all on the TUSLA website



  • School charges include a charge for Personal Pupil Accident Insurance for each student.


  • The Parents’ Association are hosting the First Holy Communion Reception on the 28th of April and would greatly appreciate donations of baked goods. By tradition, it is the Parents of boys in First class who undertake this work. We had a tremendous turn-out last year. If anyone is available to help out at the reception could they please contact them via email at pa@belgrovejbs.ie.
  • Don’t forget to check out the photos of all events on belgrovejbs.ie !

Entrance to School:

If you are late bringing a child to School, please enter via the JBS gate until 9 o’clock. After this time, you need to enter via Senior School reception only.

Cars on Vernon Court

Mr. Frankie Byrne in the Senior School has approached me on a number of occasions in respect of unsafe driving on Vernon court at 2:20. No one collecting a child should enter Vernon Court between 2 pm and 2:30. It is a ‘hot spot’ for boys leaving the SBS. Boys should not have to compete for space with cars when leaving their school.  There have been near misses and I have received reports of some very dangerous driving. We want everyone in both schools to be safe in our care at all times. Can I ask you to remind anyone collecting a child on your behalf to please avoid driving down Vernon Court during the ‘hot spot’.


Reminder that our Healthy Lunch Policy allows for one small treat on Fridays only. The great majority of the boys come to School with a healthy lunch and I want to affirm this. As part of our Green School Flag renewal campaign, we expect the boys to bring unused lunch items and wrappings home in their lunch boxes. I have noticed a lot of whole apples in the compost- suggest checking to make sure there is not too much in the lunch box and perhaps half apple a day?


We keep a stock of spare tracksuit legs of various sizes as spares in case of ‘accidents’. If we have recently changed your child at School, can you return the tracksuit to us please as we have none left. Any Parent who has a spare tracksuit legs or one that is too small, could you drop them to us please. Similarly, we are always looking for socks and underpants- any no longer needed will be most welcome.


Boys are to wear full uniform to school each day.

Swimming & the CRC

Unfortunately, due to a combination of a catastrophic plant failure and then building works at the CRC, we have not been able to offer the boys in 2nd classes the swimming lessons as heretofore (as part of the aquatics strand of the PE curriculum). We are in contact with officers at the CRC and hope to salvage some sessions- but our advice is to source swimming lessons independently- like singing swimming is a life skill which as well as being a great form of exercise.

Leaving School?:

If your son (s) will be leaving us in June, do please let us know as soon as possible- we are currently full but have Parents hoping to get a place across each year group.

Trócaire Boxes:

Each year, families are very generous to this very worthy charity. Please return boxes during our first week back at School after Easter.

St. Gabriel’s Parish Shop: The Shop has a large stock of medals, books, cards and gifts for First Holy Communion. They also stock copies of the book recommended for Parents ‘Preparation for First Holy Communion’. The shop opens after each Mass.














Don’t forget to check out the photos of all events on www.belgrovejbs.ie !


Upcoming events:


Return dates after Easter:  Monday 9th April 2018.

New Parents’ Meeting:  Thursday 19th April 2018 at 7.30 p.m.

First Holy Communion: this will be held on 28th April. Mr. Harvey’s and Ms. O’Grady’s boys will be in St. Gabriel’s while Ms. McGuire’s will be receiving the Sacrament in St. Anthony’s. This is the culmination of not just this year, but the result of cumulative work by teachers and staff in the four years since these boys started with us. We look forward to a lovely day and extend a special welcome to grandparents.

First Holy Communion Day – Parents 1st Class Boys – Assistance Required!

After the First Holy Communion masses on 28th April, the Parent’s Association organise a get together for the boys and their families in the School Hall, which the boys really enjoy.

Traditionally, the parents of the First Class boys host the event and serve tea/coffee/buns on the day (an experience they get returned the following year!)

We need Volunteers from the First Class parents to assist with hosting duties between 12.00 am and 2pm.

Do please try to make yourself available to volunteer some of your time.

Contact pa@belgrovejbs.ie.  to advise availability.

30th April: Clan Cluana Theatre will be visiting the school with their production of ‘Young Fionn McCumhal’.



Príomhoide:  Mr. John O’Sullivan                                                                                Príomhoide Tánaisteach: Áine Duffy


St. John the Baptist Junior Boys School

Seafield Road West


Dublin 3


Telephone:  8336539                                                                                                         Fax:             8533045

Email:         Principal:            principal@belgrovejbs.ie                                 School office:  belgrovejbs@eircom.net

Website:     www.belgrovejbs.ie


Don’t forget to check out the photos of all events on www.belgrovejbs.ie !