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February Newsletter 2019

February Newsletter 2019

Catholic Schools Week

We celebrated Catholic Schools Week from Jan 28th – Feb 1st. Mrs Cronolly introduced the programme each day with a thought for the day and all classes partook in various activities which focussed on the Catholic ethos which permeates our school. A prayer service was held during assembly with 2nd-6th classes. 2nd class marked Grandparents Day by inviting some of our grandparents to the school. It proved a very enjoyable afternoon with lots of chatting and memories shared. We thank God for the gift of grandparents.

Dates for your Diary

Non Uniform Day: March 15th

Do This in Memory Masses: Wednesday, 20th March @ 7.30pm & Wednesday, April 10th @7.30pm

First Confessions: Wednesday, 27th March @ 6pm in Ss Peter & Pauls Church

The Sacrament of Confirmation: Wednesday, April 3rd @ 11am

New Infants Induction Evening: Thursday, April 11th @6 -7.30 pm

First Holy Communion: Saturday, May 11th @11pm

School Closures

Midterm break: Feb 20th (Teachers In-Service Day), 21st & 22nd

St Patricks: Monday & Tuesday 18th & 19th March

Easter Holidays: Monday, 15th April to Friday, 26th April

Sacramental Preparations

First Holy Communion

The children have been attending Mass as part of the “Do This in Memory Programme”. This is a very important part of your child’s preparation for the sacraments and attendance is required. Preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion will commence in school after the midterm break. We thank you for your support and participation.


6th class have been invited to attend the Confirmation Programme “Exploring our Faith” in Ss Peter & Paul Church. The enrolment ceremony took place on Tuesday, Feb 12th and the programme will continue on Thursday, Feb 28th for 3 weeks.

School Self Evaluation

As part of School Self Evaluation a School Self Evaluation Report and School Improvement Plan (2018-2020) has been drawn up and is available on the school website. As already outlined we will be striving to increase our literacy levels with particular emphasis on reading and comprehension. The main focus will be on Literacy Lift Off Programme (1st class & Senior Infants) and Guided Reading throughout the school. 1st class have already benefitted from a 6 week intensive course in Literacy Lift Off and it is has now commenced in Ms Martin’s Senior Infants. Please continue to read with your children at home and try to establish a pattern whereby it forms part of your daily routine. While improving your child’s reading skills it also gives you an opportunity to spend some quality time with your child that is removed from the world of screens and online activity.

R.S.E. Programme

4th/5th/6th classes will attend a “Growing Up” talk presented by Fiona Fallon on March 28th/29th. The talk will deal with the sensitive areas of the R.S.E. Programme. It is important that parents communicate openly with their children about these issues as it is a challenging time in their lives and we all need to support them as best we can.  Class teachers will cover the relevant sections of the RSE Programme dealing with body names/changes/growing up etc. Parents are notified in advance of these classes so it gives you an opportunity to address those issues with your child.

Stay Safe Programme

The Stay Safe Programme is currently being taught in Jun Infants, 1st, 3rd and 5th classes. This is a personal safety skills programme which seeks to enhance children’s self protective skills by participation in lessons on safe and unsafe situations, bullying, inappropriate touch, secrets, and the dangers of communicating with strangers. It is very important to encourage your child to discuss the content of these lessons at home. Parents can learn more about this programme at Our children’s safety both in the real and virtual world is a priority for us all. Please check your child’s online activity at regular intervals to ensure their safety.

Health & Safety

In the interest of Health & Safety we have installed 2 special chairs for emergency evacuation down the stairs.  They will be used to evacuate anyone who may have difficulty using the stairs, in case of an emergency.  The chairs and training for staff members cost approx. €1800 and it was funded by the Dept. Of Education & Skills

Child Protection

Our Child Protection Policy now comprises of (1) Child Safeguarding Statement and (2) Risk Assessment. This can be viewed on our school website and a hard copy is available from the school office on request. If you have any queries/concerns with regard to child protection please contact: Mary O’Rourke (Designated Liason Person) or Heather McCullagh (Deputy Designated Liason Person).  If there are any comments you would like to make in regard to improving our Child Safeguarding Statement please contact me directly. This statement will be reviewed at our next Board of Management meeting.  Your comments will inform this review. Parents will be notified via email of this review.

STEAM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics)

STEAM Education is a new initiative that is being rolled out in a select number of Primary schools. We, in Cloonakilla, are delighted to have been nominated for participation in this programme. “Engineering-in-a-box”will be co-delivered by STEAM employees from Athlone based company Teleflex, in both of our 5th classes commencing on Wednesday, 13th February for a 10 week programme.  STEAM Education bring STEM and Arts into primary schools in a series of fun and interesting demonstrations and experiments with the aim of fanning the flames of wonder and excitement that these subjects can bring to young inquiring minds. I would like to thank Kelly Marie & Dermot Neary (Parents of Eleanor Neary- Senior Infants) for nominating us for this programme.


We are always adding to our library of apps on our ipads. This term we have purchased many apps including Britannica kids, Myths and Legends audio books, National Geographic World Atlas and Maths Drill. 

5th and 6th classes have been using their I.C.T skills during the Junior Entrepreneur Programme. They have used Microsoft Word to create persuasive advertising posters for their products as well as market research surveys and questionnaires. We also analysed the survey results and converted the data into bar charts and pie graphs using Microsoft Excel. The students on the storytelling teams have been busy keeping a digital record of our progress by conducting recorded interviews with the winning teams and taking photographs of our work, which they will use to create a PowerPoint presentation for our J.E.P showcase day.

Miss Harney’s 5th class are participating in a project that integrates e-learning at a national level. Recently they compiled a bar chart detailing their favourite hobbies using Microsoft Excel and emailed it to their partner school. Miss Cunniffe’s 5th class have kept the school community updated on our Active School Flag activities. We recently created an Active School Flag page on our website where we record our activities.

We display the Frásaí na Míosa for Irish on the news ticker on the home page of our school website. We also have a new page on our school website hosting the names of websites that teachers recommend for parents to use with their children.

Junior Entrepreneur Program – JEP

Our 5th and 6th class students have been busy participating in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme, which provides opportunities to experience real-life business learning.

Successful local entrepreneurs, Kevin and Mary Dooley of Dooley’s Florists, visited our school to engage in a discussion with our students, which provided invaluable insight into the running of their business.

Recently, the students pitched their own product/service ideas to a panel of Dragons and one product was selected from each classroom. Our classrooms are now in the process of producing the chosen products and these will be available for sale soon at our J.E.P Showcase Day where we hope to sell the products to the pupils, staff and the general public.

Each individual in the class has a role to play in this project as part of the marketing team, the sales team, the designing and production team, the financial team or the storytelling team.

World Book Day

World Book Day will be celebrated on Thursday, March 7th. Special activities will be held in all classes to mark this event and to promote further interest in reading. Please take a few minutes out of your busy schedules at home to mark this occasion with your children. Book tokens will be distributed to all classes so this is an opportunity for the children to purchase a book of their own choosing.

Spelling Bee

The annual Eason’s Spelling Bee county final is due to take place on Thursday February 14th in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon.  After holding an in- school competition Kyra Brennan Donovan from Ms Kiely’s 6th class emerged as our school representative.  Kyra will compete at the county final on Feb 14th. We wish her the very best of luck. 



Basketball training for 5th & 6th class boys and girls has been on-going with Ms Kiely and Ms Connaughton at lunch time. Well done to all who participated in basketball training.  A panel of twelve players has now been selected and all players are training for an upcoming Roscommon Primary Basketball Tournament.  Our group will see us play Cornafulla NS, Roosky NS, Lisaniskey NS and Frenchpark NS. The top team from each group will go forward to the semi-final in term 3. 


Ms McCullagh has commenced badminton training for all those interested from 4th class during lunchtime on Wednesdays.


The Spar 5-a-side tournament will be taking place in April.  Training for 5th & 6th boys will commence this month with Mr Kilbride and the girls will be coached by Ms Kilmartin and Mr O’Leocháin.

Cumann na mBunscol

The Cumann na mBunscol sports quiz will take place on March 13th.  A few lucky boys and girls will be selected to represent the school at the mini 7’s on April 10th.  Selected children will be taking part in a tournament including Ballybay, Summerhill and Cornafulla in May.  Training commences in April with Mr Kilbride, Ms Fallon and Ms O’Keeffe.

Active Flag

Our Active School Flag Committee are:

Aoife Carroll and Sean Noone (6th class)

Brian Finneran and Szymon Sckozen (5th class)

Marianne Molloy and Rachel Akahomen (4th class)

Christina Waldron and Grace Meares (3rd class)

Isla Walsh and Chloe O’Callaghan (2nd class) and

Davy Warde and Alex O’Brien (1st class).

  • Active Break Challenge

All pupils participated in the “Active Break Every Day Challenge” during Nov/Dec for a 4 week period.  It was a great way to generate whole school engagement with the Active School Flag process.  It also means that children gained more active minutes every day as the weather became colder and wetter.  Popular resources used were 10 @10 and Go Noodle.

Sporting Achievements

Our school would like to acknowledge physical activity and sporting achievements attained during and outside of school hours.  Please email us photos of the above for our Active Schools Display if your child is involved in noteworthy events.

  • Art Competition: 1st to 4th class are busy designing a poster to go with our slogan “Commit to be fit, don’t just sit” (Grace Meares) winners will be announced after the mid-term break.
  • “Do your talking as you’re walking” Policy has been introduced on yard as part of our Active School Flag.  Anyone found loitering may get some star jumps or lunges to get them moving.  We also have an “Active Line” initiative.  Children from various classes are rostered to keep classes moving with a selection of exercises until their teacher collects them from their line. “Active Star” certificates will be distributed on Fridays to those children who make in the greatest effort.
  • “Cycle Right” course with Ms Connaughton’s sixth class on March 5th.  This course will provide practical cycle safety and skills training to promote competent and confident cyclists for the future. 
  • Trisha McDermott, dance teacher and choreographer will carry out dance workshops with the following classes on Wednesday 27th for 4 weeks.  1st class (Ms Fallon), Sen Infants( Ms Donnelly) 3rd class( Ms Finnegan) and 6th class(Ms Kiely).

Volunteers Needed

Are you involved in a career based on physical activity? We are looking for volunteers to come and share their ideas/activities with the children during National Active School Week which takes place from May 7th to 10th.  If you can donate one hour of your time during that week please contact us.

Green Schools

Well done to Dylan Conway in 4th Class and Maebh Noone in 5th Class who were the overall winners of our new Green School Codes for our theme Global Citizenship and Energy. The winning codes will be displayed in all our classrooms and each class will learn our new Green School Codes.

Well done to all the children in each class who entered the competition.  There were a lot of creative and catchy codes and the art work was fantastic. The winners from each class are displayed on our green school’s noticeboard.

We will have “A Switch It Off Month” in March to promote saving energy in our school. “The Switch It Off Month” main aim is to reduce our electricity usage in our school. Mr. O’Leocháin will conduct energy lessons with the Senior Classes. Ray Foley from An Taisce will visit to conduct an energy workshop.

4th classes will be constructing projects at the end of February and March. They will be asked to focus on recycling objects when constructing their projects. These projects will promote recycling.

Amber Flag

Our mindfulness group meets each week to promote positive mental health.

All children from Junior Infants to 2nd class have had lessons about how to use our lovely Buddy Bench.  Children who are feeling lonely can sit on the bench and a buddy invites them to play.  It is working very well. The winners of the Infant Buddy Bench colouring competition were:

Lilly and Kayden from Ms O’Keefe’s Junior Infants class

Clara and Christopher from Ms Sexton’s Junior Infants class   

Ryan and Mollie from Mrs Martin’s Senior Infants class

Kiersten and Matthew from Ms Donnelly’s Senior Infant class

Each winner received a certificate – Well done to all

Cooking All Stars

Children from Ms Harney’s 5th class will soon be participating in Cooking All Stars in collaboration with Supervalu.  The children will learn food hygiene and preparation skills. They will try out some healthy recipes and will hopefully have fun and practise their new skills in the kitchen at home also!

Sensory Room/Garden

We are currently well on our way to finishing the kit-out of our Sensory Room.  Our hope is that it will be a relaxed and calm space where any child, at a time when they need it can de-stress in this supervised quiet environment. Its features will include lighting, sound, interactive equipment and soft play area.

Our Sensory Garden is at the planning stage and hopefully over the next few months work will begin on this outdoor area.  It will be a garden area where the children can enjoy a variety of sensory experiences with opportunities to stimulate their senses.

Non-Uniform Day

A non-uniform day will be held on Friday, March 15th. All monies raised will go towards our new sensory garden. Plans are currently being drawn up for same.

Junior Infant Enrolment

Our Junior Infant Enrolment will be completed this week. All successful applicants have been notified pending return of required documents by Feb 15th. Incomplete applications will render the application null and void.

School Photographs

County Photos visited the school on Feb 12th. Proofs will be distributed shortly and all orders/monies should be returned to the class teacher promptly. The photographer will revisit the school on Friday 5th of April for Confirmation photograph for 6th class. Communion photograph will be taken of children in their Communion Clothes on Monday 13th May.


In keeping with Cloonakilla N.S tradition, our 6th class students have received their new personalised school hoodies which they can wear in lieu of their school uniform jumpers.

MS Readathon Success

Congratulations to Muireann Lambe who won an ipad for her efforts during this year’s Readathon. Overall the children raised €3769.71 for Multiple Sclerosis and €414.36 was donated   to our school library.

After school activities

Lego Club

Lego club commenced for 3rd and 4th classes in January until February 25th.  Every Tuesday the children spend an hour working in teams on their lego creations.  Lego develops children’s problem solving and fine motor skills as well as enhancing creativity, communication and critical thinking.  Lego Club will re-commence 1st – 4th class on March 5th.

Spanish lessons

Spanish lessons continue on Tuesday evenings with Begona Sammon and a new session of lessons will commence on March 5th.

Public Speaking Event at Cloonakilla NS

On the evening of December 11th pupils from 5th and 6th classes and their teachers Ms Connaughton, Ms Kiely, Mrs Cronolly, Ms Harney and Ms Cunniffe held a public speaking event for our parents in the school hall. It was a great success.

The theme of the event was “Role Models.” Some of the children read a Seamus Heaney poem, others read aloud pieces they had written about their own personal role models. There was a debate on the night. The motion was “We need better role models for our generation” and the debaters on both sides had excellent speeches prepared. There was lovely musical entertainment provided by the children and Mrs O Rourke.

We were delighted to see so many of our families there to support us on the night. Our teachers and parents were very proud of us. We debated again with 4th class as an audience the next day and we hope that some of the children in that class will take part in public speaking next year. We will have another debate next term.


Newsletter, November 2018

Dear Parents,

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

New School

Unfortunately our back football pitch is still not fit for use due to drainage issues.  We hope it will be ready by Spring but this of course will be weather dependent.  We are currently working on installing a sensory room in our school.  This is a special room designed to develop a child’s senses, usually through special lighting, music and objects.  It will be used as a therapy for SEN pupils but also for those pupils experiencing anxiety who may need time out of the classroom or a quiet space.    We also hope to have a Sensory Garden completed by the end of this school year.  Plans are currently being drawn up and the P.A. will be fundraising for this throughout the year.  Please support them in their efforts.


Thank you for your co-operation with regard to implementation of carpark rules.  It is imperative that you continue to observe these rules ALL of the time in order to ensure the safety of all.    Parents have a responsibility to ensure these rules are observed.  Pedestrians are requested to use the pedestrian gate at the footpath/ramp.  Please be mindful of the carpark/front entrance yard on frosty mornings.  The path will be salted but extreme care should be exercised. Smoking is prohibited in the school grounds

Junior Infants

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our new entrants and their parents.  It is my wish for you all that your time here will be happy and memorable.  I would like to commend the Junior Infants for the manner in which they have settled into school life here in Cloonakilla. I would like to thank their parents for their sensible approach in parting with their children and for their co-operation in regard to dropping off their children in the mornings, thereby reducing some of the congestion in the carpark.  Please do not accompany your children to the school door and wait until the bell rings as it creates too many problems for other parents who wish to drop off their children.

 Dates for your diary:

Enrolment for First Communion: Wednesday 21st November @ 8pm

Triple P Parenting Talk: Wednesday 21st November at 7.30 – 9pm

5th & 6th Class Debate:   Tuesday 11th December at 7pm

First Holy Communion:  Saturday, 11th May 2019 @ 11am

Sacrament of Confirmation: Wednesday, 3rd April

 First Communion

Enrolment for First Communion will be held on Wednesday, Nov 21st. It is important that you attend the “Do this in Memory Masses” with your child as they form a very important part of your child’s preparation for First Holy Communion.  N.B. Please note that Mass times have been changed from Sundays to Wednesday evenings.

Do this in Memory dates:  

Wednesday 28th November @ 7.30pm

Wednesday 19th December @ 7.30pm

Wednesday 30th January 2019 @ 7.30pm

Wednesday 20th March @ 7.30pm

Wednesday 10th April @ 7.30pm

 School Choir

The school choir will sing at the “Do this in Memory Mass” on Wednesday 19th December in Ss Peter & Paul’s Church at 7.30pm.  The choir will comprise of 4th-6th class pupils. A full attendance would be greatly appreciated.

Non-Uniform Day

Thank you for your response to Non-Uniform Day which raised €688.  All funds raised will go towards funding of sensory room.

Art Exhibition

Children from all classes had their art work framed and displayed at a 2 day exhibition in our school hall.  It was an opportunity for children to showcase their artistic ability while at the same time raising funds for our school.  The Exhibition was a great success and I would like to thank you for your support.


Our school library is now fully stocked with a wide range of books to suit all readers.  Children from all classes visit our school library every week.  During library time they read and choose books independently.  Children from 2nd to 6th classes bring home these books to read at their leisure.  The children agree that it is a time they look forward to during the busy school week.  Please continue to encourage your children to read at home as a love of reading is something they will carry with them forever.

Debating at Cloonakilla

Children from 5th & 6th classes have been busy preparing speeches and auditioning for our upcoming debate.  The motion for this term’s debate is “We need better role models for our generation”.  Many of the children have put a lot of effort into researching this topic and writing their speeches.

Debating is a wonderful way to develop presentation and public speaking skills, and improve critical thinking skills and to learn the importance of evaluating evidence to create a reasoned argument.  It is an engaging, active learner centred activity, which also develops social consciousness in young people, and of course it instils self-esteem and confidence also.  We would like to welcome parents and children from 5th and 6th classes to our Christmas debate on Thursday 13th of December at 7pm in the school hall.  Please support the children who have worked so hard on their motions.


  1. Swimming

Session 2 of swimming lessons is in progress this term for 1st & 3rd classes. This session will end at Christmas and this will conclude our swimming lessons for this school year.

  1. Gaelic

Gaelic training has commenced with Marie Kelly (Clann na nGael) and all classes will have an 8 week block of lessons. Teachers will commence Gaelic training with   classes after Christmas. This will be in preparation for the Cumann na mBunscoil Competition later in the year.  Our 6th class girls attended a gaelic blitz in Ballyleague on 19th of October.  Roscommon Ladies Gaelic Football  Association organised it to encourage more girls to participate  in the sport within the county.  The team got an opportunity to play against many teams from around the county.  Well done to all the girls who participated.


  1. Basketball

Ms Connaughton and Ms Kiely have commenced training for 5th and 6th classes during lunchtime.

  1. Soccer

Mr Kilbride has commenced soccer training during lunchtime for an upcoming FUTSAL tournament for 4th class.

The FAI are running the Primary Schools Futsal for 4th Class on Wednesday 28th November in Hodson Bay Celtic FC’s Astro pitch beside Ballybay School. The day will be ran in in accordance with the FAI

Player Development Plan so it will be non-competitive. There will be no medals for the winners but each child will receive a participation certificate on the day.

  1. Active School Flag

We are now registered for the Active School Flag (ASF).  This is an initiative by the Department of Education & Skills and supported by Healthy Ireland.  It’s aim is simple. “Get more schools, more active, more often”.  Interested candidates from 1st – 6th classes have written their letters of application for a coveted place on our brand new ASF Committee.  The candidates will be announced in the coming days and we are looking forward to putting both ours and the children’s ideas into action over the coming year.  Watch out on the school website for what’s happening as part of our ASF journey.

  1. Cross Country

Following numerous trials 12 finalists from each class were chosen to attend the County Roscommon Cross Country Competition held in St Brigid’s GAA Centre on Thursday 4th October.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable day for the 48 children who participated.  There were hundreds of competitors from all over the county representing their schools.  Shay McGuinness (4th class) came in 12th place in his section whilst Cathal O’Brien (6th class) came in 10th position in his age group.  They both received medals and we are very proud of them.  They went on to represent our school at Connacht Championships in Loughrea on Saturday 14th October.  In inclement weather they both ran superbly on a very hilly, wet course.  Well done to both of them.

  1. Orienteering

Padraig Higgins, a local orienteering expert, carried out a workshop with 5th class to share his expertise on this strand unit of our PE curriculum.  He gave a very detailed presentation on the topic and answered all questions before bringing the pupils into the playground to experience it for themselves.  It was so much fun and map reading skills were most definitely improved.  We hope to share our expertise with other classes during the year.

  1. Sporting Achievements

Our school would like to acknowledge physical activity and sports achievements achieved during and outside of school hours.  Please email us photos of the above for our Active Schools Display Board if your child is involved in noteworthy events.

Congratulations to Lauren Murphy (6th class) who competed in SouthView Equestrian Center in England where the top 4 Irish riders compete against the English, Scottish and Welsh.  Lauren was riding her pony The Bullseye.  Lauren had a great show where she brought home 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th & 6th wins over the week.  Each class had 120 children participating.   Congratulations also to Kailum Dunning who won a silver medal in the World Kick Boxing Tournament in Italy.  This is the biggest Martial Arts Event in the world so well done Kailum.


Local Cultural Tour

On Thursday November 8th, 5th class visited the Aidan Heavey Library.  There, they got to meet with award winning author Anna Carey.  It was an inspiring workshop and she gave the children plenty of food for thought on how to write a good story.  They were engrossed in the talk and afterwards the librarian very kindly let us borrow 15 copies of her



book to read “Mollie on the run”.  Afterwards fifth class proceeded to the Luan Gallery to view and interpret an

exhibition of “Neon Lights” by Kevin Killen and “Reseux” by Martin Coyle.  The geographical trail of the “Golden Mile” completed their trip to our local town of Athlone.


Green Schools

Our 6th Green Flag Global Citizenship, Litter and Waste was raised on Thursday the 25th of October. Sarah Geoghegan

in 6th Class and Conor Farrell in 1st Class raised our Green Flag. Well done to the Green Schools Committee for their presentation on the day and their diligence and enthusiasm over the last two years.  Our guest speaker Suzanne Dempsey from Roscommon County Council praised our Green School’s Committee and all the pupils in our school for all their hard work. Well done to everyone!

Litter picking has commenced with 4th classes making sure our grounds are litter free. The bin police will continue to patrol our rubbish bins. Children are encouraged to bring home all of their lunch wrappers to cut down on waste in our bins.  Our theme for our next Flag is Global Citizenship and Energy. This theme gives schools the chance to revise the Energy theme while looking at issues surrounding energy on a global scale. The global link to the energy theme is Climate Change.   A new Green Schools Committee will be established this month. We will then work on our environmental review and action plan for the next two years. A competition will be held among the pupils to design a new Green Code for our school as part of the Global Citizenship and Energy Flag over the coming weeks. We look forward to working towards our new Green Flag!


Amber Flag

We recently also celebrated the raising of our first Amber Flag – the first school in County Roscommon to raise an Amber Flag.  The Amber Flag initiative aims to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.  The committee will continue their work after Christmas by holding a mental health awareness event and continuing to inform the school community about strategies for minding our mental health.



Attendance for Sept/Oct was 96.7 %. Please note that daily attendance is recorded electronically before 10.30am. Any child not present at this time will be marked absent unless this absence is preceded by a note of explanation from parents. Again please note that all absences over 20 days are reported to the N.E.W.B. It is important that those with a poor attendance record for 2016/2017 improve their attendance for this school year.

Importance Note

It has come to my attention that some parents persist in taking children out from school early on Fridays.  This is not acceptable on a regular basis and will be addressed via attendance days if it continues.  Also children will not be called to the front door until a parent presents for collection. Please do not ring ahead.

School Self Evaluation

As part of School Self Evaluation a School Improvement Plan has been drawn up for the period 2018 – 2020.  This will shortly be available on the school website. We will be focussing mainly on the Literacy Lift Off Programme (Senior Infants – 1st Class) and Guided Reading throughout the school.  Guided Reading is conducted in smaller reading groups where children read at their own instructional level.  Please take time to read with your children at home and discuss what you have just read in order to ensure children comprehend the material.  It is our experience that while often pupils can be fluent readers often they do not always comprehend what they have just read.  As part of the S.S.E. process this New Primary Literacy Curriculum will also be implemented in English and Irish (Jun Infants – 2nd Class).

Literacy Lift Off

During Term 1 the Special Educational Needs Team (SEN) have been supporting the development of literacy through in-class work with the Literacy Lift Off Programme in 1st Class.  We have just completed a six-week intervention in Ms Fallon’s class, where, on average the pupils made progress of 7 months in reading.  Many thanks to parents who

supported the children by reading with them every night.  Keep up the good work! The programme is continuing in Ms Kilmartin’s class for November and December.

 Maths Week

All classes took part in Maths Week which took place from the 14th-21st of October. The children enjoyed partaking in maths games, trails and activities throughout the week. They also tried to solve a “Maths Problem of the Day” and the 4th, 5th and 6th class children took part in the “Maths Eyes Competition”. The senior classes had fun making up games for the junior classes to enjoy and the support teachers conducted mathematical activities in all classes placing a special emphasis on “Maths for Fun”.   Maths trials were conducted in most classes, using our new school environment as a Maths tool.

 Science Week

Science week ran from the 11th -17th of November.  This year’s theme was “Game Changes and Change Makers”.   All classes focused on experimental Science for the week and the support teachers visited all the classrooms to conduct  interesting experiments with the children. The second class children made projects based on “The Solar System” which they displayed in the classroom. Photos can be viewed on the school website.  As part of Science Week 6th class (Ms Kiely) will attend a show in the AIT entitled ”Fantastic Physics”.

Library Quiz

5th Class are looking forward to taking part in the Roscommon County Library Quiz on Monday 27th November.  Preparations are underway and we are busy choosing our team to represent our school.

Parents Association

A new Parents Association Committee has been formed.   Officers are as follows:


Chairperson                       Christina Melican                             Vice Chairperson              Kevin Murray

Secretary                             Jolene Cummins                               Vice Secretary                   Leeanne Walsh

Treasurer                            Laura Devlin Carroll                         Vice Treasurer                   John Brennan

They will be issuing a newsletter next week to inform you of their plans for 2018/2019.  The PA have organised a Cash for Clobber Collection on Thursday 22nd November.  You have already been notified in this regard.  Bags can be left into old school hall from Monday, November 19th to Thursday 22nd as the hall will be open during school hours.  The Parents Association will also be running Tesco Tokens for the month of December.  Please support our Parents Association in their endeavours as their hard work and dedication benefits all children in the school.  I would like to thank them for giving willing of their time and support.

After school activities

Lego Club

Lego club commenced for 1st & 2nd classes in September.  Every Tuesday the children spend an hour working in teams on their lego creations.  Lego develops children’s problem solving and fine motor skills as well as enhancing creativity, communication and critical thinking.  Lego Club will be opened to 3rd and 4th class in the New Year.

Spanish lessons

Spanish Lessons continue on Tuesday evenings until Christmas with Begona Sammon

Homework Club

You have already received a letter from the Board of Management to ascertain if there is interest among parents in the setting up of a homework club in the school.  This would run for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3.10pm to 4.10pm for 2nd to 6th classes.  At present there is not much interest in this project.  If you feel this is something you may be interested in please return original form or ring Maria at the school office on 090 6492569.

Christmas Show for Senior Infants.

Senior Infants will attend a Christmas Show “Elfie saves Christmas” in Dean Crowe Theatre on December 4th.  Class teachers will furnish you with exact details.

Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Thanks to all those who supported our Christmas Shoebox Appeal which brings some joy into the lives of vulnerable children in Eastern Europe and Africa.  Altogether we donated 200 boxes from Cloonakilla so well done to all!

Christmas Annuals

The forms for the Christmas Annual will be circulated on Monday next.  Please return along with the money by Monday 26th November.

New Staff

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Mary Jo Henry (S.N.A.) and Senan Kilbride (teacher) on securing permanent contracts in Cloonakilla.


Congratulations to Ms O’Keefe who was recently married.  We wish her and her husband a long and happy life together.

Message of Sympathy

The Board of Management, staff and pupils would like to extend a message of sympathy to the Rafferty family on the death of Michael Rafferty (father of Adam and Mollie) and to the Lynch / Webb family on the death of Aidan Lynch (father of Hannah).  May they rest in peace.

Yours sincerely,

Mary O’Rourke


Mary O’Rourke


Term 1 First Class

First Class has been very busy this term.

In History, we learned all about Toys in the Past. We surveyed our parents about all of the toys they played with when they were in first class. Then we wrote all about toys like the spinning top, cup and ball and the rag doll. We also learned about Christmas traditions around the world. We learned all about Christmas in other countries like Brazil, Australia and Italy. In Australia, they have a barbecue on the beach on Christmas Day!

In Geography and Science, we learned all about the Solar System. We wrote about the sun, the moon, the planets and constellations. Did you know that the sun is actually a star?

In art, we made beautiful Christmas trees and baubles to decorate our classroom. We also made some winter snowmen. They were very festive!

Term 1 5th class

Orienteering with Padraig Higgins

An orienteering expert came to carry out a workshop on this interesting strand unit of our PE curriculum. First, he introduced us to the topic with a powerpoint and some real life examples of maps. He then brought us outside to carry out an orienteering exercise based on our school grounds. Here is what some of the pupil had to say:

“Orienteering is very similar to a treasure map.”   Charlie Whyte

“It is easy to get lost in orienteering.” Oisin Connor

“I felt like a pirate searching for treasure!”  Adam Donaldson

“It’s like a really cool treasure hunt!” Rachel Murphy

“Always use your map to ensure you don’t get lost.”  Ruby O’Leary

“There’s a few symbols to remember…. a red circle fora control, a red triangle to signal the starting point and concentric circles to indicate where you finish.”  Lauren O’Brien

“I wonder what it would be like to do orienteering outside of school.”  Emily Mullally

Writing to Padraig

5th class decided to write letters to Padraig to express our gratitude. We all hope he liked them, because we sure loved orienteering! We had fun getting used to the format of a letter and using the correct terminology when writing a letter to someone.

Scavenger Hunt & Pumpkin Village

During October, Ms.Cunniffe’s 5th class went out on a nature walk to collect sticks, twigs, moss, leaves, wildflowers etc. to create our very own pumpkin village. We were divided up into teams of 3 to design and become engineers of the future. There was an element of problem solving involved as it was a little tricky. We tried to avoid the use of manmade products like glue and used cocktail sticks and pins instead. You can see clearly from the pictures how imaginative and creative 5th class were during this fun project.

Maths Games

As part of Maths Week , Ms.Cunniffe’s 5th class made maths games for 1st class to enjoy! We were in various groups to come up with these games. We had to be imaginative and come up with suitable games that would be fun but educational for a first class pupil. Some of the games were called “Mathsnopoly” and “Bingo Shapes”. It was a very successful project that we enjoyed and first class were a great audience.

 Halloween Art

Before the Halloween break Ms Cunniffe’s 5th class did Frankenstein art. We were all given a purple, dark green, light green, black, and white card. The purple card was the background, the two toned green cards were for Frankenstein`s face, the black card was for the hair, pupils and eyebrows. It was hard but fun cutting out weird shapes. Finally the white card was for the eyes. When we were finished we hung them up and they looked great in our classroom display.

Ms. Cunniffe`s 5th class did Halloween Silhouettes! It was lots of fun! We chose our preferred silhouettes, carefully cut them out. This was a little tricky as the shapes were quite detailed. We integrated our Maths skills with art as we had to use our compass to draw circles with radii of 7 cm and 9 cm to use as the disks for our backgrounds. Finally we glued the silhouettes to our circular disks. We put them on the window and it looked like a spooky shadow of a creepy ghoul!               By Ruby Rose O’Leary 5th Class