Newsletter, May 2019

Dear Parents,

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

Sacrament of Confirmation

We congratulate the 6th class pupils who received the Sacrament of Confirmation on April 3rd. Bishop Doran commended the children on their excellent participation in the programme and the choir on their wonderful performance.

First Holy Communion

We congratulate also the children who received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion on Sat, May 11th in Ss. Peter & Paul’s Church. The children were wonderful on the day and I would like to express my thanks to all who made this special day such a memorable occasion. A special word of thanks to the choir. I can always depend on them to attend in great numbers and to perform beautifully. Thank you also to the parents for cooperating with the ban on photography in the church. Your cooperation made life easier for all.  Last but not least I would like to commend the Parents Association for the wonderful party they provided in our school hall.

School Tours

School tours have been organized as follows:

Junior Infants: Glendeer Pet Farm & Jump for Joy on Monday, 24th June

Senior Infants: Glendeer Pet Farm & Jump for Joy on Friday, 21st June

1st Class: Turoe Pet Farm, Loughrea on Friday, 14th June

2nd & 3rd Classes: Let’s Go Camp in the AIT on Wednesday, 12th June

4th Class: Shannon River Adventure, Rooskey on Thursday, June 20th

5th Class: Birr Adventure Centre: Tuesday, 18th June

6th Class: Birr Adventure Centre, Wednesday, 19th June

Class teachers will provide you with exact details closer to the time.

Child Protection

A Child Protection & Safeguarding Inspection took place in our school last term over 4 days. I am very happy to announce that the school is fully compliant in regard to Child Protection and that the planning and implementation of the SPHE Curriculum in the school is very good. This is the highest standard achievable. Sincere thanks to Fiona Walsh and Claire Lennon (Parents Association) who took time out of their busy schedules to assist the Inspectorate with their enquiries and to all of you who completed the online questionnaire. All of this feeds into our final report which will be published on the DES website shortly. On the final page of this newsletter please see notification from Board of Management of annual Child Protection review.

RSE Programme

4th/5th/6th classes attended a “Growing Up” talk presented by Fiona Fallon on March 28th/29th. The talk dealt with the sensitive areas of the RSE Programme. Class teachers have all covered the relevant sections of the RSE Programme dealing with body names/changes/ growing up etc. Parents are always notified in advance of these classes so that you have an opportunity to address those issues at home with your child.

School Self Evaluation

As part of School Self Evaluation a School Improvement Plan has been drawn up for the period 2018 – 2020.  This is available on the school website. We are focusing 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 they do not always comprehend the content.  As part of the S.S.E. process the New Primary Literacy Curriculum will also be implemented in English and Irish for all classes from September 2019.  At present we are in the process of administering standardised reading and maths tests. Test results will be analysed by the Special Education Needs (S.E.N.) team in conjunction with class teachers and myself to inform curriculum planning for 2019/2020.

Seachtain na Gaeilge

Bhain gach duine an-taitneamh as Seachtain na Gaeilge.  Seachtain na Gaeilge proved to be very enjoyable this year.  On Friday March 15th all classes came together to enjoy a ceili where the pupils entertained us with a variety of dances they had learned as part of the Dance strand in the PE Curriculum.  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.

Sport:  Sports Day

Sports Day will be held over 2 days in June. You will be informed of an exact date nearer the time.


Our 4th class took part in a soccer blitz Ballybay NS in November. Both the boys and girls played superbly, with the boys 1st team winning all their games.

In February and March, all of our 5th and 6th class boys and girls took part in a Cloonakilla Soccer blitz which was run by Mr Kilbride, Mr Ó Leocháin and Ms Kilmartin during breaks and other available times. All players showed great enthusiasm and it was great fun, culminating in an epic final game between Real Madrid and Liverpool.

Also in March, 3 girls’ teams and 3 boys’ teams were entered into the Spar 5-a-side soccer tournament in Lecarrow, along with the coaches Mr Kilbride and Ms Kilmartin. All teams put in fantastic efforts, with some players putting in magnificent performances, and can be very proud of themselves. Our boys ‘A’ team won all of their games and progressed to the county finals.

The county finals took place in Lecarrow in May. Our boys’ team performed heroically on the day. They beat exceptional teams in the group stage like Roxboro, Boyle and Glanduff. They came up against Cornafulla in the county final. They went a goal down but drew level from a fantastic team goal finished by Szymon Skoczen, but agonisingly lost on penalties. The team, consisting of Cathal, Kevin, Jack, James, Billy, Szymon, Shane and Fionn, worked relentlessly throughout and were commended for their skill, sportsmanship and behaviour on the day. Well done boys!

Gaelic Football

Our boys and girls will be competing in the first stage of the county championship on Tuesday, May 28th in the Clann na nGael grounds. Their opponents on the day will be Cornafulla, Summerhill and Ballybay. The top 2 teams from each group will play a playoff against schools from other groups to see who will go to the county finals. We wish them the very best of luck!

Cycle Safely

Ms Connaughton’s 6th class engaged in a very worthwhile 5 week programme by Roscommon Sports Partnership.  Under the guidance of Noel Feely they learned lots of new skills regarding cycling and taking care of their bicycles.  They got to put it into practice in the school environment.  All agreed it was a very enjoyable workshop.

Dance Instructor

In conjunction with Roscommon Partnership, local dance choreographer Trisha McDermott came to share her expertise with Ms Donnelly’s, Ms Fallon’s, and Ms Kiely’s classes for a number of weeks.  As part of Active Schools Flag, children participated in Active Lines at the end of break-times.  We had lots of hardworking & enthusiastic pupils, some of whom received our Weekly Active Star Awards Certificates.   Active boxes have now been distributed to all classes.  This a box of simple playground equipment that children are encouraged to use to enhance their activities during break-times.  Please feel free to send in any photos/newspaper clippings of your child’s achievements in the sporting world for our “Achievement Wall” on the ASF Board.  Lastly, thank you to all of the teachers who give of their time during lunch break to coach the pupils of our school, Basketball: Ms Kiely & Ms Connaughton, Soccer: Mr Kilbride, Mr O’Leocháin & Ms Kilmartin, Gaelic: Ms Fallon & Ms O’Keeffe and Badminton: Ms McCullagh


Both the boys and girls basketball teams competed in the Roscommon Primary Basketball blitz on May 1st.  The boys faced strong opposition in their opening match and were unfortunately knocked out by Cootehall N.S.  However, the girls team got through their opening games displaying determination and a thirst for victory.  After a tense game against Cootehall N.S. the girls managed to secure their place in the semi-finals.  This game took place on May 22nd and when they faced Boyle N.S.  Boyle proved too strong on the day and our basketball journey ended.  Well done to all involved.

Active Schools Week

Our “Active Schools Week” was a great success.  We launched both our Active Schools Walkway for all pupils to use at breaktimes and we started our “Run a mile” initiative for all classes. The focus on fun and participation was achieved by the whole student body.  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.

Dolores Waldron (parent) Fitness Instructor

Damian Mitchell (parent)

Sandra Mulhall, “Rinka” co-ordinator

Davina Donnelly (teacher) – for her expertise in the area of yoga.  We also hired a badminton coach for the day to instil in us a love of badminton.  Our teachers vs students “hoop challenge” proved very popular with the students coming out on top after an initial draw.  Well done to all involved.

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.

Cumann ns mBunscol Sports Quiz

The annual sports quiz was held in the Abbey Hotel Roscommon on Wednesday, April 10th.  19 schools were competing for the prize and showed an incredible knowledge of many sports.  We were very well represented by Ryan Carberry, Sarah Geoghegan, John Hurley and Seán Noone (all 6th pupils) and they came 5th overall.  Sincere thanks to their parents who transported and supported them during this event.  Without your co-operation events like this are not possible.


The motion for this term’s debate is “Today’s children are under more pressure than their parents and grandparents were”.  Ms Connaughton’s 6th class proposed the motion in our recent inter-class debate and Ms Kiely’s 6th class opposed.  The motion was not carried and the opposing team will now debate against Curraghboy N.S. in June.  Well done to all involved.  Debating is a great way for children to develop their public speaking skills and increase their confidence, as well as preparing them for debating at second level and beyond. Please see website for photographs.

Amber Flag

A group of children from the senior classes are part of the Amber Flag Committee, which aims to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in school.  On Thursday 23rd of May, Caroline Hopkins from Pieta House will visit Cloonakilla to give a short presentation and award the team with their second Amber Flag.  We are currently the only school in Roscommon, primary or secondary, to hold an Amber Flag.  450 schools have received flags nationwide.  Well done!

Cooking All Stars

Children from Ms Harney’s 5th class recently took part in an 8 week Cooking All-Stars Programme with Ms Cronolly, sponsored by Supervalu.  They learned about The Food Pyramid and healthy eating and made meals including scrambled eggs, pancakes, hummus, pasta with marinara sauce and granola.  They surprised their families by making delicious healthy meals at home too.  Each child received a recipe card, certificate and selection of recipes.  All ingredients were provided by Smith’s Supervalu, Monksland. Photographs on website.

Project Maths

Children from 6th and 1st classes collaborated for 6 weeks for our Maths Games Project.  Each week the children from 6th taught the younger group how to play maths games.  The 1st class then took their maths games home to play with their families instead of traditional maths homework.  Everyone enjoyed this educational fun!

STEAM Education

Both 5th Classes participated in a 10 week “Engineering-in-a-box” programme which was delivered weekly by STEM employees from Teleflex.  Pupils were introduced to the various disciplines of Engineering and conducted practical experiments under the instruction of Teleflex engineers.

They visited the Teleflex plant in Garrycastle, Industrial Estate to present their projects and to see at first hand what life in industry looks like.  I would like to thank Teleflex for their warm welcome and the words of encouragement we received on our visit.  Once again I would like to thank Kelly Marie & Dermot Neary for nominating us for this excellent programme.

World Book Day

We celebrated “World Book Day” on the 7th of March.   Some children enjoyed dressing up as their favourite characters while others created book covers, made book marks and preformed drama based activities within the class setting. Support staff visited the classrooms to read stories and the children and teachers collaborated to decorate their classroom doors based on stories and novels that they have enjoyed. Photos can be viewed on the school website. We hope that days like these will instil a love for reading in the children.

4th Class Project Work Celebrating Ireland`s Heritage

The cultural heritage of Ireland includes a wide array of monuments, objects, landscapes and structures that were produced by the inhabitants of Ireland over the last nine to ten thousand years.
4th Classes created projects at home during the month of February and March “Celebrating Ireland`s Heritage”. These projects were on display for all classes during Seachtain na Gaeilge. All the children`s ideas, imagination and project work were outstanding and they should be highly recommended for a job well done.  Thank you to all the parents for their help.  There was a focus on using recyclable objects for their projects as part of Green Schools Recycling theme.  Well done to both 4th classes!

ICT: Digital Technologies

In keeping with current international practice, the term “digital technologies” is now being used in preference to the term “ICT” by the Department of Education. Digital learning refers to the embedding of digital technologies within learning, teaching and assessment practices in a school.  Mrs. Mc Cullagh and Mrs. Kennelly attended a course called, “Planning for The Digital Learning Framework to embed digital technologies in Teaching Learning and Assessment” in Athlone Education Centre this term. We have prepared a Digital Learning Plan for Cloonakilla N.S. to be implemented

 from September 2019 and which will replace our E-learning Plan. It will be available to view on the school website early next term. The focus of our plan will be on pupils creating their own content to support all curriculum areas rather than using drill and practice software. We have also submitted an application for extra funding under the additional funding scheme available to schools to encourage implementation of the Digital Learning Framework.

Green Schools

As part of our Green Schools initiative Cloonakilla took part in An Taisce`s National Spring Clean last month. Pupils  from Juniors Infants to 6th Class all helped out to ensure our school grounds were litter free. Thanks to all of the children who helped out on the day.

We have begun our support for a greener and heathier environment by recommencing our WOW days (Walk on Wednesdays). Each Wednesday morning, we will walk from The Mill car-park to Cloonakilla NS.  The Green Schools committee are encouraging pupils and parents to join us in our bid to be healthy, active and be good global citizens.  

(Last WOW day Wednesday 5th of June)

Catherine Flaherty from the RSA (Road Safety Authority) visited our school to remind all classes about road safety prior to our first WOW day.   Lukas Krzywon an Environmental Education officer held workshops for Juniors, Seniors and First classes last week with a focus on Guzzler`s energy book and saving energy.  We have had a very busy year working towards our Green Flag and a big thank you to everyone for all their help! In September we will commence Year 2 of our Global Citizenship and Energy Programme as we strive to earn our 7th Green Flag.

Junior Entrepreneur Program – J.E.P.

Our 5th and 6th class students have been working hard as entrepreneurs, marketing and advertising their products in preparation for our Showcase Day, where they sold the four chosen products to pupils, staff and the general public.  Thank you to all who supported our businesses.

Each group were very successful and made significant profits, after all of their loans had been repaid. The children will spend their hard earned profits on class trips and will make donations to charities.

On May 20th, the children also attended the National Showcase Day in the RDS in Dublin. They displayed their products and received the opportunity to interact with many others who participated in the programme and view their innovative products and business ideas. A great day was had celebrating Ireland’s Junior Entrepreneurs.

End of Year Mass

The end of year Mass for 6th class will be celebrated on Monday, June 24th at 1.30pm by Fr John Deignan. Children will take their Confirmation Pledge during Mass.  6th class parents / guardians are invited to attend and refreshments will be served afterwards in the staffroom.

Non-Uniform Day

The final non-uniform day for this school year will be held on Friday, May 31st. All children are required to contribute

 €2 which will go towards funding of our new sensory garden.

Book Rental Scheme

The Book Rental Scheme will continue for 3rd to 6th classes.  The Book Rental Scheme represents a saving for parents.  Children have received application forms.  These should be returned with money to class teacher by June 7th.  No late application forms will be accepted this year.

History / Geography

As part of our History / Geography Curriculum, 3rd – 6th classes will embark on local 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 visited Derryglad museum on May 22nd as part of their history programme. Here they had an opportunity to enjoy many artefacts from the past and a glimpse of what life was like long ago.  Geography fieldtrips will also be held for all classes.  Sincere thanks to Mr O’Leocháin for co-ordinating these trips.


Mary O’Rourke ,


Notification regarding the Board of Management’s review of the Child Safeguarding Statement

To: Parents  

The Board of Management of Cloonakilla NS wishes to inform you that:

• The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement was completed at the Board meeting of 25th March 2019.

• This review was conducted in accordance with the “Checklist for Review of the Child Safeguarding Statement” published on the Department’s ‘website

Signed ____Fr John Deignan_____________________________ Date __25/03/2019______________

Chairperson, Board of Management

Signed __Mary O’Rourke ________________________________ Date ___25/03/2018_____________

Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management