Newsletter May 2021

Young Engineers Award
Huge congratulations to Kielan, Luke, Anna and Noah who have been short-listed in the top 30 STEPS Young Engineering projects nationally for their project ‘Sponge Pencil and Pen’. This is a huge achievement! It is a national competition and the projects are judged by a panel of senior engineers from leading engineering firms like Intel, ESB and Bristol-Myers.

Kielan, Luke, Anna, Noah and their class will tune to the Award Ceremony on YouTube on Wednesday. We are all very proud of their achievement and wish them the best of luck in the final!

Standardised Tests
The Department of Education has instructed schools to administer standardised testing again this year. They were not administered last year as schools were closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. This year we will be using a different standardised test called the Drumcondra Primary Achievement Tests. Standardised testing can sometimes be accompanied by an unnecessary level of pressure or expectation on the part of pupils, parents and teachers. Many assessment methods are used to build a picture of each child’s learning. Standardised testing is only one method used and sometimes too much significance is attributed to them.

It is worth noting that the change of tests and the impact of COVID-19 may influence standardised test results when compared with a child’s results from previous years.

Sacraments – Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation
Bishop Fintan has instructed parishes and schools not to set dates for sacraments until further notice. When planning for the sacraments, the Diocese will be prioritising Confirmation as 6th class pupils will have transferred to Secondary Level in September. We will inform you if we get a further information.

Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Talk
We have invited Internet safety expert Ger Brick to hold a Parent’s Information evening on Internet Safety and Cyberbullying on May 18th at 7pm via Zoom. Internet safety has become increasingly important during the COVID crisis so we would strongly encourage parents to attend the information evening. Some parents will have attended Ger’s talks in the school previously, but Ger has informed us that the talk will be different to previous ones and worth attending for all parents.

Sports Day
We hope to have our Sports Day on 1st June weather permitting. Schools have been advised not to have parents present for Sports Day but we will put plenty of pictures on the school website!

Hurling will be taking place every Thursday (weather permitting). Please don’t forget your hurley and helmet as we cannot share equipment this year. Junior and Senior Infants will have Fundamental Movement and Hurling training from 1.30-2.20pm for pupils who wish to attend. Thanks to our coach Brian Culbert!

Here Comes the Sun
Well done to all the pupils in our senior classes who participated and wrote poems for a County wide event for primary & secondary schools called ‘Here Comes the Sun’. This project was run by the Clare Education centre during the period when schools were closed to capture the experience of pupils and students during lockdown. You can view the video at:

Cash for Clobber
Cash for Clobber can be dropped to the Pumphouse on Thursday 27th May between 2-3pm and 7-8pm. Thanks to the Parents’ Association for organising.

School Tours, Sports and Events
The summer term in school is synonymous with school tours, games, sports days and outdoor activities. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has meant that some of these cannot happen. However, we do hope that it will be possible to organise events that are deemed safe by Public Health in May & June. Third to Sixth class will go on a school tour but the tour must remain in the local area. We will also organise some fun events and activities for the younger pupils.

School Calander
The school calendar for 2021-22 is attached to this email.

Maths Stations
We are currently doing maths stations in First and Second Class. Maths Stations is where two other teachers join the class teacher to work in small groups. It is a lovely way of having hands-on, maths actives in the classroom. You can see some pictures on the school website.

Earth Day
On the 20th April we celebrated Earth Day in our school. Earth Day is about learning and raising awareness of climate and environmental issues. Fifth and Sixth Class went litter picking around the local area which you can read about on our school website.

Third and Fourth Class joined a live YouTube stream of the National Museum of Ireland . Aisling and Darcy tell us more:

Hi, My name is Aishling and I’m Darcy and we’re in 4th class, we’ve been chosen to do this article for Earth Day, So, this year for Earth Day, we joined a live YouTube stream of the national Museum of Ireland and we learned about some cool fossils and extinct Ice-Age animals. We learned about Giant deer, the Grey wolves, Woolly mammoths, Brown bears.

The spotted hyenas, and surprisingly we saw some hyena fossil poo and lots more. Later that day, we did some art that was really fun, it was the earth on black paper, and on top of the earth were two hands and a rainbow. It was lovely.

Literacy Lift Off – Senior Infants
Following the success of Literacy Lift Off in First and Second Class, we have expanded it to Senior Infants. Literacy Lift-Off is an initiative that gives children lots of opportunities to read books at their own level of competency and gradually lift the complexity of what they can do in both reading and writing. Thank you to the Parents’ Association for their support in funding the purchase of the necessary books.

Important Dates
18th May: Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Parents Information Evening @ 7pm
7th June: School Closed for Bank Holiday Monday
25th June: Close closed at 12 noon for Summer Holidays

Thank you for on-going support and cooperation,
Kevin Clohessy