Autumn 2019 Newsletter

Autumn Newsletter 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please note the following information in our newsletter:

Child Protection

Our Child Safeguarding Statement, including the Risk Assessment, is on display in the school and is also available to download from our school website. Please contact me if you have any queries or concerns. The Child Safeguarding Statement, which is reviewed annually, will be reviewed in March 2020.

• The Designated Liaison Person for Child Protection is Noel Lohan, Acting Principal

• The Deputy Designated Liaison Person is Aine Bleahene, Deputy Principal

Stay Safe Programme

Please note the following change from previous years:

• It is school policy that all classes do the Stay Safe Programme/RSE in every class, during the months of January/February/March.

• This part of SPHE will be covered on a 2 year cycle

1. RELATIONSHIPS AND SEXUALITY Programme, will be covered in Junior Infants, 1st , 3rd and 5th classes.

2. STAY SAFE Programme will be covered in Sen. Infants, 2nd, 4th and 6th classes.

• Please take time to look at the content of the Stay Safe lessons, which are available online at www.staysafe.ie

Internet/Phone/Social Media Safety

A parish based information programme will be held on the 14/15/16 of January 2020.

A combined Primary Schools Parents’ talk will take place on Wednesday, Jan.15th.

School based childrens’ workshops will take place during school time. Timetable to be finalized nearer the time

Student Council

Congratulations to the newly elected members of our school’s Student Council from 5th and 6th Class: Evan McKeon, Ellie Connaughton, Eva Ruane, Tiernan Hanrahan, Odhran Buckley, Faye Kelly, Roisin O’Sullivan, Brian Fitzpatrick.

The function of the Council includes the following:

• Representing the pupils at official events

• Liaising between pupils and staff

• Representing pupils’ views to inform school rules and policies.

We wish the students and the Student Council coordinator, Mrs Barrett, the very best for the coming school year.


• No immediate plans, but the Parents’ Association Fundraiser will be taking place next term.


• The Digital Strategy Committee, headed by Ms. Regina Power, will be making recommendations on the purchase of I.T. equipment, eg. more iPads, laptops, applications, and upgrading of the current system which is necessary to cater for the ever expanding use of online activity in the school.

• It should be remembered that digital/online technology is a teaching/ learner resource to aid in the delivery of the curriculum and there will be variations on its use from class to class.

Primary Language Curriculum

• Staff training day took place on Monday October, 7th. This is a new integrated approach to the teaching of both Irish and English. It is now in place in all classes, infants to sixth. Further training (half day school closures) will take place over the next two school years, with the first scheduled for sometime in the next term, details as they become available


• Meditation takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays at the beginning of Religion time (12 noon, Monday to Friday)

A Beginning of year Mass, with the theme of ‘Creation’, was celebrated by our school Chaplain, Fr. John Garvey in early October. Thanks to the numerous pupils and staff who contributed in any way.

Fr. Garvey is a regular visitor to the school and is a great support to us.

Fun Friends/Friends for Life

Mrs. Bleahene gave a talk to Parents of 1st and 5th classes outlining the content of these programmes, which will be delivered by Ms. Cahalan, Mr. Dolan and Ms. Bleahene, throughout the coming year. Many Thanks to the Parents’ Association for providing refreshments afterwards.

Friendship Week

We celebrated Friendship Week just before the midterm break. Pupils were involved in a range of activities throughout the week and we enjoyed a final celebration at a wonderful whole school Friendship Assembly on Friday October 25th. Many thanks to staff for all of their work and in particular to Mrs. Bleahene for coordinating this week which will now become an annual event.

Roscommon County Champions

We had a very special welcome for members of the Pearses Senior football Team, Roscommon County Champions when they visited our school in October. It was a proud day for Creagh to have8 past pupils, on the victorious team PANEL.

Congratulations also to Ty Finnerty, 3rd class, who represented Ireland in a Kick-boxing Tournament in Scotland.

Health and Safety Notices

• Road Safety and Parking Awareness

We thank you for your full co-operation in relation to road safety and parking (we have had a number of complaints from our neighbouring residents about driveways being blocked) when dropping off and collecting children. We ask you to continue to be extra vigilant at all times. We ask all parents to please reduce speed when coming in around the church area to drop off and collect pupils.

• Pupil Safety

Please continue to remind your child of the importance of keeping safe coming to and going from school, especially during these dark winter mornings and evenings. Pupils should never be alone nor should they deviate from their normal route to and from school. Seat belts should be worn at all times when travelling by car/bus while helmets should be worn when cycling. Children should never exit cars onto the roadside. We also encourage pupils to wear high visibility jackets at this time of the year. Children should use the Pedestrian lights or the lollipop lady, Mrs Mary Madden to cross the road safely at all times. We ask parents to continue to remind their children of the importance of good behaviour when travelling to and from school by bus.

Our School’s Involvement in up-coming Community Events.

• Switching On of the Christmas Lights in Ballinasloe.

• Sean Nos Dancers taking part in Town Hall drama ‘Finding Julia’ (see below for details)

• Senior classes will be taking part in music/singing performances in the Millrace nursing home or at the top of the Square in the lead-up to Christmas

• Other classes will be staging some Christmas related activities in the school

• A Christmas Jumper Day on Friday, December 13th will be held to raise funds for East Galway Cancer support services in Brackernagh

• Traditionally the school has linked up with Ballinasloe Lions Club in supplying Christmas Food Hampers to those in need in the town and hinterland


The school gets numerous requests for involvement in community events, fundraisers and other extra-curricular activities, and while many are very worthwhile, the teachers are conscious that the core curriculum- and particularly Numeracy and Literacy – must take precedence during the school day.

Christmas Jumper Day

The school will participate in the Christmas Jumper Day on December 13th to support the great work of East Galway and Midlands Cancer Support in Ballinasloe. Mrs Barrett and the Student Council will co-ordinate this event.

Lions Club Hamper Appeal

We will continue with our tradition of donating non-perishable food items to enable the local Lions Club make up hampers for families in need this Christmas. There will be boxes in classrooms where items may be placed (e.g. tinned foods, rice, pasta, cereals, tea, coffee, soups, sugar, biscuits, etc) We thank you for your support again this year. Our student council will be working with Mrs Barrett and Mr. Lohan to co-ordinate this appeal and further details will issue next month.

Science Week

Sincere thanks to teaching staff member, Mrs Aine Bleahene and Mr. Shane Dolan who are organising a range of exciting events for Science week which will take place next week (November 11th-17th).

Peace Proms

• Details of dates and ticket arrangements have already been give to the children.

• Rehearsal in Leisureland, Galway, on 21/11/2019, (children only)

• Concert 25/01/2020 in Kingfisher Hall, Galway at 8pm. (Children and ticket holders)

Creagh National School Parents’ Association

• We are very grateful to our very busy and active Parents’ Association for the great work that they do. Sincere thanks to the Chairperson, Ms Caroline Treacy and to the members of the executive committee for their work over the past year. The AGM takes place on Tuesday, November 26th at 8.30p.m. and we urge at least one parent/guardian to attend please. Your help and support will be greatly appreciated.

Parent and Teacher Nominees to the Board of Management

• Two parent nominees (Mother: Rita Moore and Father: Aiden Curley) to the school’s Board of Management were elected during the October meeting of the Parents’ Association.

• The Teacher nominee is Ms. Caroline Gallagher.

The elected nominees will serve on the Board until November 30th 2023.

Enrolment Forms for 2020/2021

• Parents wishing to enroll children in our school in September 2020 may obtain an enrolment form from the secretary’s office from January 7th 2020.

Important Dates in 2020

Confirmation: Saturday May 30th @ 11a.m. in St Michael’s Church

First Holy Communion: Saturday May 9th @ 11a.m. in St Michael’s Church.

Parent Teacher Meetings for all classes will take place in January/Early February.

4th/5th/6th Classes: Tuesday January 21st (3.15p.m.-5.45p.m.) and Thursday January 23trd (3.15p.m.-5.15p.m.)

1st/2nd/ Classes: Tuesday January 28th (3.15p.m.-5.45p.m.) and Thursday 30th (3.15p.m.-5.15p.m.)

Junior and Senior Infants/ 3rd classes:

Tuesday February 4th (2.15p.m.– 5.45p.m.) and Thursday February 6th (2.15p.m.- 5.15p.m)

Notes re appointment times for 4th/5th and 6th classes will issue on January 7/8th

Notes for 1st/2nd/ classes will issue the week beginning January 13th.

Notes for Junior and Senior Infants and 3rd. will issue the week beginning January 20th

• Please note that these arrangements are provisional and may be subject to change

Voluntary Contribution

We thank you for your generous response to our Voluntary Contribution Scheme.


We congratulate and celebrate our students on their many successes in a wide range of activities and events.

Ballinasloe Fair and Festival Art Competition: Congratulations to all of our pupils who participated in the Fair and Festival Art Competition. Well done to all of our prize winners. Many thanks to Mrs Gallagher who co-ordinates our school’s entries into a range of art/craft competitions throughout the year.

Sean Meade Football Tournament:

• This tournament will be a biennial event in future, with the next round being scheduled for the 2020/2021 school year.

Hurling and Camogie Blitzes

• Well done to our school teams that participated in hurling and camogie blitzes earlier this term. Sincere thanks to the coaches, Mr Geraghty, Ms. Moran, Ms Cahalan, and Ms Conway.

After School Sports Activities

We are very grateful to those that give freely and generously of their time to provide coaching in a range of sports. We encourage pupils from 3rd-6th Classes to get involved in sport as it is a great way, not only to learn new skills, but also to make new friends.

The following coaching is scheduled to take place in the Spring Term for 3rd-6th class from 3p.m.-4p.m.

• Girls’ Football: Ms O’ Rourke, Mrs Bleahene and Stephen Kerr

• Boys’ Football: Mr Ronaldson and Mrs Bleahene

• Hurling: Mr Geraghty

• Camogie: Ms Cahalan and Ms Larkin

Other After School Activities

• Homework Club Monday-Thursday (1st-6th Class) Contact Mr Dolan directly (currently full).

• Yoga: Contact Ms Laura Gallagher directly (Thursday class is now full)

• Performing Arts classes with Ms. Emily Lohan, will commence on Monday,Nov. 11th. From 3 to 4 pm. Classes will involve singing, acting and dancing.

• A number of Creagh pupils, present and past, are on stage in the Town Hall this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 13th to 15th, Nov. The group are part of Martina Flanagan’s Sean Nos Dancers.

The dance is part of the Drama Production “Finding Julia”. “Finding Julia” is a historical drama by local writer, Patricia Johnston. The play is set in East Galway at the time of the Irish Civil War and features Julia’s reaction to the execution of her boyfriend, Liam Mellows.

Keeping our Children Safe Online

• There will be an Anti-Cyber Bullying and Internet Safety Talk for Parents/Guardians on January, 2020 7p.m.-8.30p.m. in Gullane’s Hotel, Ballinasloe. Our two sixth classes will have an Anti-Cyber Bullying and Internet Safety workshop during the school day on the same date. We encourage at least one parent to attend the evening talk to hear the most up-to-date information on how we can keep our children safe online. Further details included with this newsletter.

Exact date and times to confirmed

Agreed Reports from the Board of Management

We remind parents/guardians that the Agreed Reports from the Board of Management’s meetings are posted on our school website www.creaghns.com They are easily accessible through a link on the homepage. We encourage you to read these reports as they contain important information. The most recent report is dated September 24th 2019.

In November We Remember

During the month of November we remember all of our family members who have passed away. Our thanks to Mrs Gallagher, Ms. McCann and Ms. Connaughton for the “In November We Remember” display inside our main entrance door. Pupils have the opportunity to visit this display and to spend some quiet time remembering their loved ones.

Our Sympathy

Our deepest sympathy to all families who have suffered bereavement in recent times. We remember you in our thoughts and prayers, especially at this time of year.

Your child’s education and welfare is our priority. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or concerns.

Le gach dea ghuí,

Noel Lohan, Principal

November 8th, 2019


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