Please find below details of forth coming events in our school and events we took part in:
Thank you for your co-operation with regard to implementation of carpark rules. It is imperative that you continue to observe the rules ALL of the time in order to ensure the safety of all. Please do not walk through staff carpark when picking up children as this area must be kept free for school buses. For pedestrians using the side gate opposite Bannon’s shop the path here has been extended so you do not need to cross in front of traffic in the loop. Instead you are asked to remain on the path all the way around the loop to the steps. Parents have a responsibility to ensure these rules are observed. Pedestrians are requested to use the pedestrian gate at the front of the school and the ramp from the carpark. Pedestrians should not use the main school entrance under any circumstances. As we approach the winter season it is important to be mindful of the carpark/front entrance yard and paths on frosty mornings. The path will be salted but extreme care should be exercised. I am aware that the traffic situation around the school is very dangerous. The BOM and the Parents’ Association have made submissions to Roscommon County Council in relation to the proposed traffic management plan for the area.
Dates for your Diary
Parent – Teacher meetings will be held on the following dates:
Monday & Tuesday Nov 21st/22nd for Junior Infants – 2nd Class
Wednesday & Thursday Nov 23rd/24th for 3rd– 6th class.
Class teachers will be in contact with you via Aladdin Connect.
Should you wish to speak with me at any time please ring the school office and Maria will arrange a suitable time.
Sacrament of Confirmation: Thursday, 30th March 2023 @11am
First Holy Communion: Saturday, 13th May 2023 @ 11am
Enrolment forms for both sacraments have been submitted to the parish office.
All classes took part in Maths Week which took place from 16th-24th October. We all recognise that Maths promotes the ability to think rationally and to analyse and solve problems. Throughout the week children were encouraged to solve a “Problem of the Day”. All classes took part in Maths trails using the school environment as a Maths tool. During this week children were actively encouraged to use their “Maths Eyes” at home and in school. Support teachers conducted maths activities in all classes placing special emphasis on “Maths for fun”.
This week we are taking part in Science Week. The children have been exploring, experimenting and investigating the infinite possibilities science can offer. Science is an important part of our future, helping us to explore and understand the world around us. The children also had the opportunity to experiment at home and they were encouraged to use
the environment around them to broaden their minds and update their skills. A science display was held in the hall on Friday where all classes had an opportunity to display their experiments and to view the experiments conducted by other classes.
STEAM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics)
STEAM Education’s Introduction to Engineering is a hands-on teacher led programme designed to introduce the children to engineering in a fun, relatable way and to inspire them to think about engineering in their lives, as well as future careers. This initiative is being incorporated into a select number of primary schools. Cloonakilla N.S. is delighted to have been nominated again to participate in this initiative Ms. Connaughton’s & Mrs. Cronolly’s 6th Classes have been taking part in the ‘Energise’ STEAM programme with expert engineer Esdras Alves-Passos. This programme will run for a further 2 weeks. Mr O’hÓgain’s 6th class will also have the opportunity to participate in the programme in the coming weeks.
Internet Safety workshops
ZEEKO (Internet Safety Education) based in University College Dublin will conduct a series of workshops in our school on Monday 28th November. We are all aware of the growing challenges young people and their parents face around online gaming, inappropriate content, cyberbullying and fake news. Zeeko’s resources equip children, teachers and parents with the knowledge to ensure their online behaviours protect them from the negative impacts of the internet and technology, allowing them to benefit from the advantages. The workshops will be presented to 3rd-6th classes and will be age appropriate. There will be a workshop for teachers after school and one for parents online from 7pm-8.00pm. Parents can access the talk through the following linkhttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEuce2uqDsiE9XM-GPhHb6PhwVADT_VH32o. This is open to all parents and I would strongly urge you to attend as this is an area that poses a huge challenge to all parents at different stages of your child’s development.
A new Student Council has been set up in our school comprising of elected representatives from the 6th class pupils. They meet to discuss ideas to improve school life and to give a voice to the student body. Meetings are held monthly with Ms Kelly and myself. So far the Student Council have organised nets for the goalposts and a Halloween Bake Sale which was a huge success and raised €1600. The committee is currently organising a Christmas raffle. They have also distributed suggestion boxes in all classes and are currently assessing some of the more viable suggestions made.
I look forward to working with the Student Council throughout the year.
Student Council Members: Mya O’Toole, Abbie Duignan, Chloe O’Callaghan, Carley Quain, Sean Collins, Evan Mimnagh-Reilly & Aoife Noone.
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
The SEN team are working with class teachers and pupils to support literacy throughout the school through a number of initiatives. Guided Reading is supported from 1st class to 6th class. Literacy Lift Off is being delivered to 1st Class in
Term 1. It will move to Senior Infants in Term 2 and 3. Mrs McCabe is our Reading Recovery Teacher. We appreciate the ongoing support of parents which adds to the success of all these initiatives. Under The National Educational Psychological Services (NEPS) Dr Cathal Duffy continues to work with us to support teaching and learning in our school.
Teaching & Learning
As part of School Self Evaluation we are continuing to focus on literacy. This year we are focussing on Spelling. A number of classes are using an alternative spelling programme and we continue to focus on spelling in all classes using
the learning outcomes of the New Primary Language Curriculum. In order to improve reading levels throughout the school we continue to use Literacy Lift Off Programme (Senior Infants & 1st class) and Guided Reading in all classes.
Guided Reading is conducted in smaller reading groups where children read at their own instructional level. Once more I would urge you to please take the time to read with your child at home and discuss what you have just read in
order to ensure your child understands what they have just read. It is our experience that often comprehension levels
are significantly below the actual reading level. We will also be working on the development of a Wellbeing Policy Statement for our school in term 2.
3rd-6th classes have been studying the history of our local area as part of the History Curriculum with heritage expert Martin Curley. Martin led them on historical trails of the local area which included fieldtrips to significant historical features such as Meehambee Dolmen, Cloonakilla Graveyard and St Ruth’s Castle.
1st & 2nd class completed a nature trail within their immediate school environment. Study of local history enables pupils to investigate and learn about the past and to form connections between past and present.
Cloonakilla operates a Buddy Programme for the first term each year. A rota is formed so that 6th class children can assist our new junior infants in managing the playground. They ensure that the younger children learn to play with their classmates and join in games. Each 6th class volunteer follows the Buddy Guidelines which are outlined clearly at the start of the term.
The Green Schools Committee has been working very hard over the past two months, reminding all the classes about our themes and activities ensuring our school is a green space. Our Greens Schools Noticeboard displays activities and events for the coming month.
Litter & Waste/Water: Litter picking has commenced in 2nd class. They are doing a fantastic job keeping our yard litter free! We encourage all pupils to bring rubbish home from their lunches to keep our waste in our school at a minimum. All classes are encouraged to be mindful about recycling, reducing waste and saving water by turning off taps not only in school but at home too.
Biodiversity: Our “Bee Garden” was beautiful over the summer months. All the wildflowers bloomed and these flowers provided food for bees which helped them survive. In November, our caretaker and the Green Schools Committee will cut and spread the seeds of the wildflowers over the area before clearing up the garden in preparation for next year.
Travel: Our local community Garda visited our school in October and talked to all the children about road safety under our green school’s travel theme.
Energy: In October our focus for the month was on saving energy. This is a hot topic at present! We had a “Switch it Off” month in our school. Children not only learned about saving energy in school but also saving energy at home! Classes learnt about energy and the importance of turning off appliances. Each class teacher picked power savers to turn off all power when leaving the classroom. The Green Schools Committee ran energy competitions in the senior classes to promote saving energy in our school. 5th classes entered the saving energy mascot competition and 6th classes entered the saving energy rap/poem competition. Ciaran Hussey from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) visited 1st and 2nd classes and conducted energy workshops. Please see the Winter Ready table below to know the average cost of popular household appliances on your electricity bill. By reducing use you are not only lowering your utility bill but also protecting the environment.
The Green Schools Committee will be applying for our new Green Flag, Global Citizenship and Marine Environment in November.
At present it appears that we will be able to celebrate Christmas without too many Covid 19 restrictions this year.
Consequently, we plan to hold a Christmas concert for all classes. Each class year will combine for this event.
4th, 5th& & 6th classes will hold a Carol service. 6th class will have some input in this carol service but they will hold a separate performance at the end of the school year. All concerts will be held during the school day.
Concerts will be held on the following dates:
Wednesday Dec 14th: 3rd class @ 11.30am
Thursday Dec 15th: 1st class @ 11.30am and 2nd class @ 1.30pm
Friday Dec 16th: Senior Infants @ 10.00am and Junior Infants @ 11.30am
Monday Dec 19th: 4th, 5th & 6th classes Carol Service @ 11.30am
Christmas Show for Senior Infants
Senior Infants will attend a Christmas Show “Rudolph Saves Christmas” in Dean Crowe Theatre on Wednesday, December 7th. Class teachers will furnish you with exact details.
As a fundraiser The Parents Association have organised for children to design their own Christmas cards. The sample cards will be distributed early next week and we would request that you order online by Friday 25th November. Orders must be made by logging on to logon.designacard.ie/ordernow or by scanning the QR code on the back of sample card. LATE ORDERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Musicals for 5th & 6th classes
6th class attended a fantastic production of “Grease” in the Dean Crowe Hall last week produced by Athlone Community College. 5th class will attend Colaiste Chiarain’s production of “The Pirates of Golden Island” next week.
Thank you for your response to Non-Uniform Day which raised €574. This money, combined with monies raised from the cake sale, will enable us to purchase 2 new laptops for the middle/senior classes. All fundraising this year will focus
on upgrading laptops. If you are aware of any local companies who may be in a position to donate second hand laptops to our school we would be more than grateful to hear from them. We would like to thank Alkermes, Sidero and a family donor for the donation of IT equipment.
In keeping with Cloonakilla N.S tradition, our 6th class students will receive their new personalised school hoodies in the next few weeks which they can wear in lieu of their school uniform jumpers.
Active Schools News
European Sports Day was held in September this year. We joined together as a whole school to participate in a “Take on the Teachers Challenge”. Various pupils from 6th class took on a group of teachers in a “Basketball Hoop Challenge”. The teachers were victorious on this occasion. However, the students, after a long battle, managed to redeem themselves during a “Penalty Shootout” to claim victory! It meant the whole school got a night off homework so there was great excitement!
3rd-6th classes have been busy training for cross country competitions. We were very successful in the local derby hosted by Summerhill NS. We then proceeded to Roscommon Racecourse for the county gathering to take home many medals. We were especially touched by the warm welcome and guard of honour provided by the whole school body on our arrival back to school. It was a moment to treasure for all athletes. A large group of children qualified for the Cross Country Connaught Final in Moyne, Longford. It was a challenging course but the pupils performed well and did their school proud. Following on from the athletic competitions we have now signed up to the daily mile challenge. We, as a school, have committed to run at least three times a week. We encourage all pupils to be active and to move as much as possible.
Gaelic Coaching with Clann na nGael has commenced on Wednesdays for 1st & 2nd classes until Christmas.
Senior classes enjoyed a taster session of tag rugby during October with Charlie and Conor from the Buccaneers Rugby Club.
Amber Flag at Cloonakilla NS
The Amber Flag is a nationwide programme that promotes awareness around mental health in educational institutions across the country. This is the 5th year that Cloonakilla N.S. will participate in the programme. It runs from November to April, and the Amber Flag will be awarded to successful schools in June. Children from 4th, 5th and 6th classes were
invited to submit applications if they would like to be on this year’s Amber Flag Committee to Mrs Cronolly at email@example.com before Friday the 18th November. The committee will be chosen the following week and the committee will meet regularly to plan this year’s Amber Flag events.
Children’s Nasal Flu Vaccine
The Monksland Pharmacies have offered to come into our school and administer the Nasal Flu vaccine which is free for all children. This is totally optional and is a service that has been made available to us. You will be furnished with more details in the coming days.
Following this year’s AGM the PA committee is:
Chairperson: Clare Lennon, Vice Chairperson: Jenny Sherlock
Secretary: Lisa Byrne, Vice Secretary: Christina Melican
Treasurer: Laura Carroll, Vice Treasurer: Catherine Hogan
I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all the wonderful work throughout the year.
Mary O’Rourke, Principal