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St Joseph's PS, Madden, Co Armagh

Welcome Back...

28th Aug 2020

Dear Parent,

I would like to welcome you and all of our children back to school in this unusual start to a school year. I particularly want to extend a warm welcome to those children who are starting our school for the first time.  I would also like to welcome all of our new families to the school community. As I write this some of the children are playing in their ‘bubbles’ in the playground and it’s a beautiful sound to have around our school again!!

Our strong focus this year will be on the wellbeing of each and every child and ensuring that they are happy and feel secure in their time with us.

If your child does experience any difficulty in school, for whatever reason, please make us aware of the circumstances so that we may deal with it immediately. Discussions with either myself or a member of the Teaching Staff concerning your child can be arranged via the school office. Meetings will be via telephone initially and in person if this is deemed necessary. We look forward to a strong relationship being formed between the school and home in the coming months and years ahead.


P1 arrangements


Those Pupils inducted on the 26th of August, will commence their full P1 Year on Tuesday 1st September.

Group 2

Those Pupils inducted on the 27th of August, will commence their full P1 Year on Wednesday 2nd September.

Group 3

Those Pupils inducted on the 28th of August, will commence their full P1 Year on Thursday 3rd  September.


School Access

Please note that the children are now all familiar with their new class entrance and exit arrangements.

Parents/adults collecting pupils at their designated time should wait outside the side doors (Mrs Donnelly’s veranda) at the top of the playground to collect P1 children. P2 Children should be collected outside of the main entrance to the school. (Please ensure social distancing at all times) P3 – P7 pupils will board the EA yellow bus at the school gates, or be accompanied to the roadside to be collected or walk home.

Please note that the school gates will be closed at 9.00 am in the morning for the duration of the school day.  If your child/ren is late coming to school please ensure that they can open the ‘pedestrian gates’ and gain access to the school before you leave.


School Uniform

Please make sure that all sweatshirts, polo shirts, coats, school bags and lunch boxes have your child’s name clearly marked on them.  If possible please write clearly on the inside waistband of the school sweatshirts/cardigans and polo shirt with a permanent marker for easy identification.  


Lunch Boxes

Lunch boxes should be plastic and easily wiped down each evening before being brought back to school. Please ensure your child’s name is clearly marked on their lunchbox.



The school meals menu will be placed on the school website monthly.  School meals are available to all children at a cost of £2.60 per day or £13.00 per week. No pupil is entitled to free school meals unless authorised by the EA.  Dinner money for the week must be paid on or before Friday of each week.  

If your child wishes to take dinner on a certain day, please let their class teacher know(P1 only)Dinner money should be sent to the school electronically via the school Danske bank account. Cash payments should not be sent to the school.

Sort Code:  950341         Account No: 73032272

Please ensure your child’s /childrens names are on any payments to the school bank account for reconciliation.

Healthy Eating

We operate a healthy eating policy at break times.  Please ensure your child brings fruit only for breaktime. No yoghurt, crisps, chocolate or fizzy drinks are allowed.  This does not apply at lunchtime.  

We would appreciate your co-operation in this matter and please keep in mind the previous communication re “nut allergies.  We also have a pupil in school with a Dairy allergy.  It is extremely important that children are reminded not to share food in their lunchbox with others. There will be no school milk available during this term.

School mobile phone

We will be using a service called TXTLOCAL for quick reminders and messages that need to be relayed to parents at short notice.  You will be asked to nominate one number that can be recorded on our SIMS system to be used to contact you when necessary.  Unfortunately, you cannot reply to this service so it is important that this number is monitored regularly.

Mobile phones

Children are not permitted to bring mobile phones into school.  If you need to make contact with your child this can be done via the main school contact number.  However, if you wish your child to carry a phone for safety purposes they should be switched off and deposited in the secretary’s office before class commences and collected in the evening when class has concluded.

Photographic images

During the school year we may wish to take photographs of activities that involve your child.  The photographs may be used for displays, publications and / or a web-site by us, by the EA (Education Authority) or by local newspapers.  Photography or filming will only take place with the permission of the Principal and under appropriate supervision.  When filming or photography is carried out by the news media, children will only be named if there is a particular reason to do so (e.g. they have won a prize) and home addresses will never be given out. Before taking any photographs of your child we need your permission.  

Following this communication you will receive a link to a google form survey which will enable you to offer your consent. It is extremely important that you fully complete this form.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Loughran