Monthly Archives: February 2016

Newsletter February 2016


Cloonakilla School Newsletter, February 2016

Dear Parents,

Please find below details of forth coming events in our school and events we took part in.


New School Building

A contractor has been proposed for the construction of our new school. At present we are awaiting final approval from the DES to proceed with construction. You will be notified immediately once this final approval has been granted. The BOM are confident that the process will be completed shortly.

Catholic Schools Week

We celebrated Catholic Schools Week from Feb 1st – 5th. All classes partook in various activities which focussed on the importance of the Catholic ethos which permeates our school. On Feb 1st we celebrated St. Brigid’s Day and 4th class made St. Brigid’s Crosses to mark this occasion.

School Improvement Plan

(a) Literacy

During this term all classes will engage in shared reading. Please find time to read with your child at home, no matter what age, as it is an opportunity to engage with them in a quiet environment away from the distractions of technology for a short while.

The children in all classes are also developing work began last year on the writing genres. For this term they will use the Procedural and Explanative forms. All writing samples are displayed on noticeboards outside each classroom.

Junior/Senior Infants continue to learn through play using the Aistear Programme. Please encourage you children to share with you the new vocabulary they have learned through this medium of play.

After midterm Junior Classes will engage in Scribing as part of their homework. You, their parents will be asked to act as Scribe (Writer) for your child’s story.  Class teachers will issue you with more information.

(b )Numeracy

We are continuing to work on improving problem solving skills throughout this school year. Children are engaged in Maths Circuits, games and problem of the week in order to develop the higher order skills of integrating and connecting.  If children are working on problem solving for homework they should be able to illustrate to you how they move from the concrete – to the pictorial – to the abstract.


School Self-Evaluation

School Self Evaluation is ongoing in Science. We are presently analysing all evidence gathered from parents, pupils and teachers and this will inform our School Improvement Plan for Science which will commence in Sept 2016 All

teachers have engaged with 3 evenings of Continuous Professional Development in Science as part of this process.


Discover Primary Science Programme

All classes are participating in the Discover Primary Science Programme and are working on experiments which cover a variety of strands within the Science Curriculum. As part of the programme 2nd Class will visit the Irish National Stud in Kildare after Easter.  Here they will have an opportunity to learn about and observe horses close up in a natural and relaxed environment.  An Astronautical Engineer will also visit the school in the coming weeks to address the senior classes on space science.  Parents will have an opportunity to learn more about Science in Cloonakilla at our open-afternoon on Tuesday, April 12th.

Lego Club

Children in 1st-3rd classes will have the opportunity to take part in an after school Lego Club organised by Ms. Kelly/Ms. Campbell. Lego has recently grown into a worldwide phenomenon where children can develop many different skills by using and exploring Lego in different ways. The club will commence after the mid-term break and should be an enjoyable experience for all those taking part.

Readathon Success

As a means of promoting literacy and to encourage children to read, children from 3rd– 6th classes took part in the MS Readathon. It was a huge success as the children read many books and raised a staggering €3073.85. The school earned 10% commission. This money will go towards purchase of books for introduction of Literacy Lift Off in Sept 2016.  Well done to all those involved.

Dates for your diary

First Confessions:                                                            9th March

Non-Uniform Day:                                                           16th March

1916 Flag Raising Commemoration:                          Tuesday 15th March

Discover Primary Science Open Afternoon:         Tuesday, April 12, 1.30pm to 2.45-3.00pm

New Infants Induction:                                                                 Thurs, April 21st @ 6pm

The Sacrament of Confirmation:                                               Tuesday 26th April @ 11 o’clock

Do this in Memory Masses:                                         Sunday 28th February, Sunday 10th April

First Holy Communion:                                                  Saturday 14th May @ 11 o’clock


Credit Union Schools’ Quiz


The annual Credit Union Schools’ Quiz was held on Sun, Jan 31st in the A.I.T. Unfortunately, we had no winners on this occasion but I would like to congratulate especially the 6th class team of Shane Cleary, Katie Keegan, Sarah Costello and Candice Lynch who were pipped at the post by merely 1 point. Many thanks to their teachers, Ms. Cunniffe, Ms Gately and Mr. Kilbride who prepared them for the quiz.


1916 Commemoration

At present 3rd – 6th classes are studying the 1916 Easter Rising as part of the History curriculum and they are also engaged in project work on this theme.

As part of the Ireland 2016 commemorations, “Me Mollser”, a specially commissioned monologue play visited our school on Wednesday February 10th. 3rd – 6th classes attended this event which is being run nationwide in conjunction

with the Abbey Theatre. It told the story of the Easter 1916 Rising through the magical power of a performance and

workshop. We all thoroughly enjoyed the production.   On March 15th we will hold a special commemoration of 1916 when the Irish Flag is raised for the first time on school grounds.  You will be furnished with more details closer to the event.

School Photographs

County Photos will be here to take the school photos on Tuesday, February 16th.  Children should wear full uniform on the day.

Beauty and the Beast

Sixth class attended Beauty and the Beast on Tuesday Feb 2nd.  Both Summerhill and St Aloysius  College were involved in this impressive production.  We thoroughly enjoyed it and were very impressed with the performances especially some of the past pupils from Cloonakilla.  We thank both students and staff of Summerhill for the hospitality shown to us on the day.

Book Fair

Tara Book Company, Galway is holding a book fair in our school from Feb 22nd – 25th. The books will be displayed in the old school hall and children will have an opportunity to look at the books on display during school time. Parents can purchase books daily that week from 2.10- 3.00. Please use this opportunity to encourage your child to read. The school will receive 50% commission in free books on the total spend. This will help us to restock our class libraries at minimum cost.


The BOM and PA issued a joint letter in January requesting you to please follow the carpark rules as a matter of extreme urgency. These rules are not intended to frustrate or make life more difficult but are necessary for the safety of your children. Sincere thanks to those of you who make a special effort to cooperate in this matter. Now that the reality of a new school is in sight it is important that we all work together to ensure the safety of all carpark users.

School Uniform

Full school uniform must be worn on all days except P.E. days. Again please note that earrings/jewellery must be removed for PE as matter of Health & Safety.

Junior Infant Enrolment

Our Junior Infant Enrolment Procedure has been completed this week and all successful applicants have been notified. If there are any siblings who have not completed this process they must do so immediately. An open evening for new Junior Infants will be held in the school on Thurs, April 21st at 6pm.

School Closures:

Midterm break :                                               Thurs & Fri, Feb 18th/19th Feb:

School closed for polling station:               Fri, Feb 26th

Easter holidays :                                               Thurs, March 17th-Mon, April 4th



We are awaiting news of the next stage of the Roscommon & District Football League. Both boys’ and girls’ teams have qualified.  We have entered the FAI 5-a-side competition.  We are really looking forward to this particular one to

see if we can build on last year’s success and to get to Aviva again! Cumann na mBunscol entry forms have been sent back and we will enter in the gaelic section.  The fixtures booklets should be with us very soon when we will see who we are up against in this year’s competition.  Gaelic Training will continue with Eamon Mc Manus (Clann na nGael) and Mr Kilbride for middle/senior classes.  Soccer training will continue with Gerry Doyle and Ms Gately.


Green Schools

We have been working on our Biodiversity theme this term. Congratulations to Ava Meehan (6th class) who was the overall winner of the Green Code Competition. Pupils in all classes are now learning Ava’s Biodiversity Code.

We have worked on ways to attract more wildlife to our school grounds. Pupils in 6th Class constructed an Insect Hotel from recycled materials.   We are hoping that this ‘hotel’ will provide a home and shelter to many mini beasts.

5th class pupils erected bird feeders around our school. We also put up a bird table to attract birds to our garden.  Each classroom has a bird feeder outside their window so all pupils can keep a look out for birds and hopefully identify them.  We are erecting extra bird boxes around the yard.

Other classes have been involved in planting flowers and keeping our grounds tidy. Our litter picking rota is working very well.   This is encouraging all pupils to take care of the environment around us.

Our Biodiversity Action Day takes place on Wednesday 10th of February. All classes will be learning about food chains and the habitats that are around us.  Martina Butler from Roscommon Co. Council is visiting us on the day.  She will be doing biodiversity workshops with some classes.  Pupils will take part in colouring and poster competitions on the day.


Parents Association

The Parents’ Association comprises of all parents and guardians of pupils attending Cloonakilla N.S. with an elected committee taking responsibility for the day to day work of the association. Our aim is to work closely and effectively with the school staff and to support and initiate activities that benefit our children’s education, development and well-being. The committee meets regularly to organise various events throughout the school year. Many thanks to the large number of parents and family members who helped out with the Tesco bag pack in December. Total raised was €1,217. If you or family/friends are in Tesco Golden Island, please place blue tokens in donation box for Cloonakilla NS.   Current fundraising efforts will support the delivery of the Literacy Lift Off Programme to be introduced in September 2016 and this will benefit all children in the school. In addition to above, other fundraising efforts include seeking sponsorship from local businesses, another bag pack in Tesco on 23rd / 24th September 2016 and the copper trail (see below).   Please feel free to get in touch with any members of the committee if you have any queries or ideas. Your help with future activities such as the First Communion Reception or bag packing would be much appreciated. See school website for committee contact details.

As a fundraising effort all children are asked to bring in unwanted coppers or spare change that may be lying around at home in jars etc. A collection bucket will be placed in each classroom from 22nd February to April 30th. The class with the highest amount raised will receive a treat!


Yours Sincerely,



Mary O’Rourke



Biodiversity Action Day

  • Biodiversity Action Day 10-2-16
  • Biodiversity Action Day 10-2-16
  • Biodiversity Action Day 10-2-16
  • Biodiversity Action Day 10-2-16
  • Biodiversity Action Day 10-2-16
  • Biodiversity Action Day 10-2-16

Our Biodiversity Action Day on February 10th was a great success.   We started the day with a walk to school (WOW) from The Mill.  The lovely morning encouraged many children and parents to take part.

Every class took part in different nature activities for the day. Pupils enjoyed nature walks, biodiversity poster competitions, writing poems / stories about biodiversity, making food chains etc.  Martina Butler from the Department of the Environment visited some classes with her biodiversity workshops.

Our pupils enjoyed wearing green clothes. It was an action packed day that was enjoyed by all.


The sun shone for us on our first WOW Day of the term which was very well supported by pupils and parents.

Well done to everyone for getting involved !


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Credit Union Table Quiz

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The Credit Union Quiz was held on 31st January at 2pm in the AIT.  Cloonakilla NS had 4 teams entered in this year’s competition.  Some of the questions were easy, such as, how many minutes in half an hour. But some were difficult, such as, who invented the world wide web !

There were 36 teams in our section of u-13 and we were the lucky runners up, losing by only one point.

We all really enjoyed participating in the quiz.