Newsletter, May 2018
Please find below details of forth coming events in our school and events we took part in.
Official Opening of New School
The official opening of our new school will be held on Thursday, June 7th @1.30pm. School will finish at 12.30 for Junior Infants – 3rd class. 4th – 6th classes will remain in school for the ceremony as they will have various tasks assigned to them on the day. Our school will be officially opened by Minister Denis Naughton. Bishop Kevin Doran will officiate at the blessing of our new building. Parents will receive an invitation in the next few weeks but attendance will be limited to one parent per household as space is at a premium. You will be furnished with exact details closer to the date.
First Holy Communion
First Holy Communion will be held on Sat, May 19th in Ss. Peter & Paul Church at 11.00 a.m. Mass. First Communicants are expected to be in the Church at 10.45. The school choir will sing at this Mass and full attendance is expected. The Parents Association have organised refreshments afterwards in the school hall for the First Communicants and their families. We remember them in a very special way at this important milestone in their lives. Please refrain from photographing the children during the Mass as it is an unnecessary distraction for them. A group photo will be taken at the end of Mass. Please also bear in mind that photographing other children without permission is not permitted.
Sacrament of Confirmation
We congratulate the 6th Class Children who received The Sacrament of Confirmation on April 25th. Bishop Doran commended the children on their excellent participation and the choir on their wonderful performance. Children will take their Confirmation Pledge later this month.
School tours have been organized as follows:
Junior Infants: Glendeer Pet Farm & Jump for Joy on 25th June
Senior Infants: Glendeer Pet Farm & Jump for Joy on 21st June
1st Class: Turoe Pet Farm, Loughrea on 20th June
2nd Class: Let’s Go Camp in the AIT on 19th June
3rd Class: Let’s Go Camp in the AIT on 19th June
4th Class: Shannon River Adventure, Rooskey on 13th June
5th & 6th class: Delphi, 13th – 15th June
5th & 6th not attending Delphi: Shannon River Adventure, Rooskey on 13th June
Class teachers will furnish you with exact details closer to the date.
5th/6th class will attend a “Growing Up” talk presented by Laura Kiely on Monday, May 14th. 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.
S.S.E. – Numeracy
Year 3 of our 3 year Numeracy Plan is nearing completion. The primary focus has been on the development of problem solving skills. Through analysis of Standardised Test Results and teacher designed test/tasks we will determine how well our targets have been met. Many initiatives developed over the 3 year period will now be adopted as part of our Whole School Plan for Maths. We are currently gathering evidence from teachers, parents and pupils in order to plan for a new area of focus for 2018/2020. There will be a further update of S.S.E in the end of year letter.
Sport: Sports Day
Due to inclement weather it is difficult to plan a date for Sports Day. However, you will be informed of the exact date when we are confident that the weather has improved. Sports Day will be held over 2 days this year to accommodate all pupils on our restricted site at present.
Some of our 5th and 6th class boys and girls took part in the Roscommon schools SPAR 5-a-side blitz on Tuesday March 20th in Lecarrow. The girls entered two teams and both competed admirably. The girls ‘A’ side beat a few teams convincingly, with many of the girls performing superbly. Unfortunately, they came up against a strong Cornafulla team who ended the day for our girls. There were 3 boys teams entered into the competition. Our ‘C’ team battled bravely, but found themselves in opposition against a few very strong teams primarily Cloonfad ‘A’ team who went on to compete in the final. Our B team performed well and beat Cornafulla ‘C’ team but as with our ‘C’ team they played some very strong opponents. Our ‘A’ team played some scintillating football at times and scored some splendid goals on their way to winning a few game. They reached a playoff for the finals but just came up short against Cloonfad ‘A’. Well done to all who participated on the day!
Gaelic coaching continues with Marie Naughton from Clann na nGael on Thursdays for the junior end of the school. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Clann na nGael for their continued support in gaelic coaching. The annual Cumann na mBunscol blitz which was due to take place this Friday 11th May in St Brigid’s GAA Centre will be rescheduled. Gaelic training is held every Thursday afternoon. The girls’ team are coached by Ms Fallon and Ms O’Keefe and the boys’ teams are coached by Mr Kilbride and Mr O’Leocháin. Good luck to both players and managers in upcoming blitz!
Cumann ns mBunscol Sports Quiz
The annual sports quiz was held in the Abbey Hotel Roscommon on Wednesday, March 14th. 24 schools were competing for the prize and showed an incredible knowledge of many sports. We had no winners but we were very well represented by James Doherty, Billy Glennon, John Hurley and Seán Noone (all 5th pupils). Sincere thanks to their parents who transported and supported them during this event. Without your co-operation events like this are not possible.
A selection of 5th & 6th class students will be participating in the first ever Roscommon Primary Schools tournament on Friday June 8th in the Convent Gym, Roscommon. This is a new endeavour for most schools and I’m sure will be an enjoyable experience for all involved. Mr Connolly will coach the boys on Friday during lunchtime and Ms Connaughton will coach the girls on Thursdays at lunchtime also (weather permitting). Best of luck to all involved.
Active Schools Week
Our “Active Schools Week” was a great success. The focus on fun and participation was achieved by the whole student body. The photos on display are clear evidence of this. A huge thank you to the following for giving up their valuable free time to come in and give the children a taste of what they do on a daily basis to enhance the lives of others.
Brian Chalmers (parent) – Fitness Instructor at Hodson Bay Hotel
Martin Warde (parent) – Na Fianna Martial Arts & Fitness Centre
Charlene Hussey – Roscommon Sports Partnership
Agnieszka Pila – Owner of Athlone Zumba
Davina Donnelly (teacher) – for her expertise in the area of yoga.
Please keep up the activity as seen during “Active Schools Week”. It has huge benefits both physically and mentally and also develops teamwork, leadership and creative thinking.
Discover Primary Science Programme
On Thursday 12th April, all of the pupils in Cloonakilla N.S. took part in a Science and Maths Showcase afternoon. Parents and grandparents viewed all of the work we have done this year in science, technology, engineering and maths. Children from Junior Infants to 6th class were busy on the day teaching parents and grandparents all they had learned. All of this work was completed as part of our application for the Discover Primary Science and Maths Plaque of STEM Excellence award.
World Book Day
We celebrated “World Book Day” on the 1st of March. The children had a lot of fun dressing up as their favourite fictional characters and trying to guess what books teachers were reading. They took park in writing competitions, created beautiful book marks and designed book covers. They also had many opportunities to share and read the books they enjoy. We hope that days like this will instil a love for reading in the children.
Seachtain na Gaeilge
Bhain gach duine an-taitneamh as Seachtain na Gaeilge. Seachtain na Gaeilge proved to be very enjoyable this year. The children made a huge effort to speak Irish throughout the week and many different activities took place in the classrooms such as dramaíocht, cluichí, amhráin agus filíocht. Well done to those who shared their love of Irish with the entire school over the intercom with such confidence and clarity. Go raibh maith agaibh go léir.
New apps purchased recently ensure that all classes are benefiting from use of ipads. All classes have displayed their work for the spring term on the school website. Senior pupils use our new laptops to report on school events which are then uploaded by the teachers. We aim to have a computer station at the back of each classroom by 2019. We are currently in the process of starting on E-Twinning with another primary school in Ireland and Dubai.
We recently received confirmation from An Taisce informing us that our application for the Green Flag for Global Citizenship Litter & Waste was successful. We are delighted with our achievement as this will be our 7th Green Flag. Our flag raising ceremony will be held in September. A special word of thanks to members of the Green Schools Committee who ensure all tasks are carried out to the highest standard. In the meantime we will continue with our Green School activities. WOW days will continue until Wednesday 23rd May. Please ensure you assemble at The Mill @8.50am wearing a hi-vis jacket. Once we have formally completed the WOW days we would encourage parents to continue WOW days with your children until summer holidays.
End of Year Mass
The end of year Mass for 6th class will be celebrated on Friday, June 22nd at 1.30pm by Fr John Deignan. 6th class parents / guardians are invited to attend and refreshments will served afterwards in the staffroom.
The final non-uniform day for this school year will be held on Friday, June 1st. All children are required to contribute
€2 which will go towards funding of our new library.
On behalf of the Board of Management I would like to convey a special word of thanks to the Parents Association for their fantastic fundraiser “The Kube” which was held in Athlone Springs Hotel on March 18th. It was a most enjoyable night which raised the hefty sum of €11,000. This funded our new school stage and the balance will go towards stocking of the library which will cost approx. €10,000. I am very grateful to them for their continued enthusiasm and support for our school. Thanks also to the generous sponsors and participants who gave willingly of their time and money.
Book Rental Scheme
The Book Rental Scheme will continue for 3rd to 6th classes. Children have received application forms. Please return with money by May 31st. No late application forms will be accepted this year.
As part of our History Curriculum, 3rd – 6th classes will embark on local history tours in June. 3rd/ 5th will take part in a historical trail of Athlone. 4th/6th classes will embark on a trail of their immediate local area here in Bealnamulla. 1st Class will visit Derryglad museum on May 22nd as part of their history programme. Here they will have an opportunity to enjoy many artefacts from the past and a glimpse of what life was like long ago.
Sincere thanks to you all for adhering to the traffic management system in the carpark. However, it has come to my attention that unless it is monitored regularly users will revert to bad habits. Please be reminded of the following
- Inside lane is for set down only. DO NOT leave car unattended.
- If you need to enter school you may park in Parents’ Carpark (to left of main entrance gate as you enter).
- When exiting from this carpark you must turn left and drive around the set down area.
- The outside lane is for circulation only. Under no circumstances should children exit while car is in outside lane.
- Do not park in the teachers’ carpark as the buses must have free access here. This allows for extra space in the set down area.
- Pedestrians must enter by pedestrian gate at front of school only.
It is up to you the parents to ensure that everybody acts responsibly in the carpark. Traffic should run freely if everybody does the right thing ALL of the time.
Newsletter, February 2018
Please find below details of forth coming events in our school and events we took part in.
Catholic Schools Week
We celebrated Catholic Schools Week from Jan 29th to Feb 2nd. All classes partook in various activities which focussed on the importance of the Catholic ethos which permeates our school life. A prayer service, conducted by Deacon Willie Gacquin, was held on Tuesday, Jan 30th for 2nd-6th classes. On Feb 1st we celebrated St. Brigid’s Day and 4th class (Ms. Gately’s) made St Brigid’s crosses to mark the occasion. 2nd & 5th class (Ms Cunniffe’s) marked Grandparents Day by inviting some of our grandparents to the school. It was a very enjoyable occasion for all with lots of music, song, dance and memories shared. We would like to express our thanks to all who attended for sharing their life experiences and wisdom with us.
Literacy Lift Off Programme
First Class has now completed the Literacy Lift Off Programme. This early intervention programme has been very successful in raising literacy and writing levels in the class. Please continue to support your child by reading stories and books on a daily basis and continuing to supervise homework. Literacy Lift Off has commenced in Mr O’Leocháin’s class and will continue for six weeks, starting each morning at 9.20 am so please ensure the children are in school promptly each day. Please ensure their writing copies are kept in their Literacy Folders.
Year 3 of our Numeracy Plan is on-going in all classes. It focuses mainly on improving problem solving skills across all strands of the curriculum. If children are working on problem solving for homework they should be able to illustrate to you how they move from the concrete to pictorial to the abstract. Please encourage your children to use Maths in their everyday lives in a variety of ways as it is important that they understand the relationship between Maths and the real world.
A School Improvement Plan for a 3rd Curricular area will commence in Sept 2018. We are currently evaluating all areas of the curriculum in order to identify our area of greatest need. We will be distributing a student/parent questionnaire shortly and would be grateful for your feedback in this regard.
Dates for your diary
First Confessions: March 6th at 6pm
Non-Uniform day: March 16th
New Infants Induction: Thursday 19th April at 6pm
The Sacrament of Confirmation: April 25th at 11am
Do This in Memory Masses: 4th March, 25th March & 15th April
First Holy Communion: 19th May at 11am
Easter Holidays: Friday 23rd March April and returning to school on Monday 9th April
Discover Primary Science Showcase day: Thurs, April 12th
Preparations for the sacrament of Confirmation have commenced in 6th class with our Confirmation candidates attending the “Exploring Our Faith” parish programme. The “Do This in Memory” Masses will run until April 15th. We thank you for your attendance and participation.
A non-uniform day will be held on Friday, March 16th. All monies raised will go towards the stocking of our new school library.
Full school uniform must be worn on all other days, except P.E. days. Again please note that earrings/ jewellery must be removed for P.E. as a matter of Health & Safety. I understand that earrings cannot be removed for the first 6-8 weeks after the piercing. However, it is not acceptable for children to miss out on P.E. class after this initial period due to piercing.
Cloonakilla N.S. will close for midterm on Thurs & Friday February 15th & 16th.
School will close at 12.30pm on Friday, March 2nd for staff training on new Child Protection Guidelines and March 19th for Bank Holiday. The Easter holidays are : Friday March 23rd @ 12 noon to Mon April 9th.
Junior Infant Enrolment
Our Junior Infant Enrolment Procedure has been completed this week and all successful applicants will be notified next week. An open evening for new Junior Infants will be held in the school on Thurs, April 19th at 6pm.
World Book Day
World Book Day will be celebrated on Thursday, March 1st. Special activities will be held in all classes to commemorate this event and to foster a love of reading. Please take a few minutes out of your busy schedules to mark this occasion at home with your children. Children will receive book tokens so this is a chance for them to purchase a book of their choosing. Dolores Keaveney (author) will conduct a workshop with Junior & Senior Infants and 1st classes on Friday, March 2nd. Senior Infants visited Athlone library in preparation for World Book day. All children have an option to join the library and we would really encourage you to use this resource.
We held a very successful Book Fair in our school library last week. Over €3,000 worth of books were sold and the school received €1,500 worth of free books to help stock our new library. If you have any unwanted children’s books at home, in good condition, we would be delighted if you would please donate them to the school.
The school choir will sing at the” Do This in Memory” Mass on April 15th in SS Peter & Paul Church. They will also sing for Confirmation and First Communion ceremonies.
Stay Safe Programme
The Stay Safe Programme is currently being taught in all 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, stranger danger and telling a trusted adult their fears. It is important to encourage your child to discuss this content if possible. Parents can learn more about this programme at www.staysafe.ie.
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.
County Photos visited the school on Feb 13th. Proofs will be distributed shortly and all monies should be returned to the class teacher promptly. The photographer will revisit the school on Friday, 27th April for Confirmation photograph for 6th class.
As part of our “Get Active” campaign at Cloonakilla all classes recently participated in the 10@ 10 activity programme. The children (and teachers) thoroughly enjoyed it and an increased level of energy and enthusiasm was evident afterwards. It is a well known fact that sport enhances mental health and wellbeing. We would encourage all of our students in Cloonakilla to become active as much as possible both in and out of school.
Soccer training continues on Fridays for 4th – 6th classes with Gerry in preparation for the upcoming SPAR 5-a-side tournament. We will also be taking part in a local schools soccer blitz.
Gaelic training will continue with Marie Brady (Clann na nGael) for 2nd, 4th & 5th classes. Gaelic training has also commenced on Thursday afternoons for 5th & 6th classes. Mr Kilbride and Mr O’Leocháin are coaching our boys while Ms Fallon and Ms O’Keefe are coaching the girls.
A number of classes recently enjoyed a short workshop with Charlie Cooper from Buccaneers Rugby Club. Pupils got a taste of the game and maybe the next Robbie Henshaw could be from Cloonakilla!!
Try using the local Greenway track for a walk or a cycle or even a “scoot” with your children.
Fourth classes took part in a project to promote recycling as part of our Green Flag Global Citizenship -Litter and Waste. Pupils collected recycled materials for the month of January and they constructed a range of items from the recycled materials. Their constructions are on display in the library. Well done to all!
Green Schools Co-Ordinator Ray Foley visited the school on January 12th and he completed a carbon footprint workshop with 4th and 5th classes. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day.
WOW days (Walk on Wednesday) will commence after Easter and your participation would be greatly appreciated. We will shortly be applying for our 6th Green Schools Flag for Global Citizenship. If our application is successful we will have the flag raising ceremony at the end of May.
Discover Primary Science & Maths
All classes are participating in the Discover Primary Science& Maths Programme and are working on experiments which cover a variety of strands within the Science Curriculum. As part of the programme, 3rd class will visit Galway Atlantaquaria. Here they will attend a workshop on animal anatomy and squid dissection. 4th class will visit Lisbrock Pumping Station where an engineer will explain where our water supply comes from. They will also have an opportunity to see how the pumping process works. Parents will have an opportunity to learn more about Science in Cloonakilla at our show case afternoon on Thursday, April 12th.
Recently 6th class read the novel “Wonder” by R.J Palacio. It told the story of a boy, named August, who was born with facial abnormalities. This novel taught many important life lessons, such as to be true to yourself and not to judge others by their appearance. To consolidate work completed on the novel 6th class went to the IMC cinema in Athlone to watch the movie.
Coláiste Chiaráin Musical
6th class attended the musical “The Fiddler on the Roof” which was performed by the TY students from Colaiste Chiaráin. The students presented us with an amazing show of music, song and dance. After the show, the children enjoyed lunch in their canteen. We thank them for their hospitality.
Credit Union School’s Quiz
The annual Credit Union School’s Quiz was held on Sun, Jan 30th in the AIT. Unfortunately we had no winners on this occasion but I would like to commend all who took part. A special word of thanks to their teachers for preparing them for the quiz and to Ms Cunniffe, Ms. Connaughton and Mr Kilbride who accompanied them on the day.
The Children First Act 2015 was fully enacted on Dec 11th 2017 and consequently our existing Child Protection Policy must be replaced with a new Child Safeguarding Statement and a Risk Assessment Policy. All staff must undergo training in line with the new legislation. In order to facilitate this Cloonakilla NS will close at 12.30pm for all students on Friday, March 2nd.
As some of you will be aware we have an Automated External Defibrillator on site. It is stored in the main hallway of our school. The AED Response Team has recently undertaken additional training and the team has been expanded to include 9 staff members. In the event of cardiac arrest in a child or adult on school property or in the immediate vicinity a member of the AED Response Team will be summoned and CPR will commence followed by the AED until medical help arrives. The procedure will be used on children and adults alike unless parents indicate in writing to the Board of Management that they do not wish to avail of this service in the vent of cardiac arrest. As in the past we assume consent unless indicated otherwise.
Artist in Residence
5th class reached the end of their weaving project in December with a memorable “cutting off” ceremony (photographs can be viewed on the school website). This project was run in conjunction with the Artist in Residence Scheme sponsored by Roscommon County Council. Frances Crowe, a local textile artist, worked alongside the children to create and produce a stunning eight piece tapestry. Each wall hanging is based on iconic images of our local area. The end result speaks for itself and it is no wonder that the children are so proud of their work! We hope that their work will adorn our school hallway for many years to come. Congratulations and well done to all of the pupils.
After school activities
Lego Club has continued to be a great success this year. Children from 1st to 4th classes have enjoyed working in groups to create intricate lego buildings, vehicles and much more. They have also used their problem-solving skills and imaginations to complete complicated lego challenges! There will be a final lego club for 1st and 2nd classes after the Easter break.
Spanish lessons will continue for 4th-6th classes on Monday Feb 19th or Thursday Feb 22nd depending on demand. The course will run for 6 weeks. Cost: €30 per child or €25 for 2 children from same family.
Note from Parents Association
As you are aware the Parents’ Association will hold the Cube fundraiser event on Sunday 18th March in the Athlone Springs Hotel. The Event will see 48 contestants entering The Cube and competing against each other in a series of seemingly easy tasks, the winner on the night will win €1500. Some of these contestants have already pledged that if they win they will donate prize money to various local charities. Our contestants have come mostly from clubs, societies and businesses in our local area.
Parents are encouraged to support by coming along to the event on the night. It promises to be a great night’s entertainment for you, your family and friends, where we can promote local clubs, societies, charities and businesses as well as promoting our school. Tickets are available for €10 each at the school office, Bannon’s Service Station, Super Valu, Kennedy’s Monksland Service Station and the Athlone Springs Hotel. Your support will help us reach our fundraising target, allowing for the purchase of a stage for the new school hall.