How did you first hear about The White Lodge school?
I live close by to the White Lodge centres at Loewen Gardens and Phoenix Park so when the time came to look for a pre-school for my son, I went to look around Loewen Gardens and I was really happy with the centre.
What factors played into your decision to send your child to The White Lodge school?
The Principal at Loewen Gardens, was so friendly and professional. All the staff had a great attitude and the setting in Loewen Gardens is very nice. It was the first pre-school my son attended and the staff made me feel very comfortable. I liked that Loewen Gardens was quite a small school in comparison to Phoenix Park and I liked the setting where it was located. I liked the staff, their approach and their attitude.
Did you take a tour of the school before making your decision? What were your first impressions?
Yes I went to look round Loewen Gardens. I liked the setting and the community around it. I love The Pantry coffee shop and spent a lot of my time there. I like how there are lots of trees and greenery at Loewen Gardens and I think it has a nice atmosphere.
How did your child adjust to the school? Did the school take any special measures to help with the settling in process?
My first son settled in quickly. He was very happy almost straight away. My second son didn’t settle so easily. The teachers at White Lodge helped a lot to make us feel comfortable.
What in your opinion are the three greatest strengths of the school?
First and foremost the teachers. They are professional and extremely kind. They know how to make the children feel comfortable
The active involvement of the management is another strength. You can always talk to them if you need to and they are very approachable and very willing to help you if you have a problem.
And finally the curriculum. It is not intense and not all about sitting at a desk writing. It is a very interactive curriculum where even when the children are playing, they are learning.
How does the school include parents in the community?
Parents can volunteer for activities like reading stories to the class, for example. Celebrations at the school are culturally related so parents can come and share what they have to offer with each celebration. As a parent, if you want to become involved, you can get involved but the balance is up to the parents. White Lodge are very accommodating to what level you would like to be involved at.
How does the school keep you informed about your child’s progress?
I get to see the teachers at drop off and pick up so I speak to them almost every day. Every Friday, parents gets the weekly newsletter emailed to them. This includes pictures which is a great way of seeing what your child has been learning. It also informs you what they will be doing the following week. There is also a diary that gets sent with your child to and from school so you and the teachers can make a note of something in there that you may have a concern about.
What is the number one thing you’d miss if you transferred your child to another school?
I would miss the friendly and approachable staff and the Principals. I’ve done tours of other schools and I think White Lodge is very different. The staff are very kind. If I ever have a problem, I get an immediate response. If I have a difficulty, the staff are very accommodating.
What kind of child (or family) would you say would be the best fit for this school?
White Lodge has children from a whole range of nationalities from all over the world. The setting for White Lodge is very multi-cultural. White Lodge is for parents who want their children to be comfortable learning through play.
What extra-curricular activities or out of school programmes does the school offer which you have taken part in?
There is a field trip once a term. We have been to the national library, attended the sports day and their UN day celebrations. My children also recently took part in the annual concert.
Mayali Jayasinghe, Mum to Rheyan and Shanouk