December 2016 Newsletter

Christmas 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please note the following information in our Christmas Newsletter:

Thursday December 8th

The school will remain open on Thursday December 8th as per the school calendar. Fr O’ Donovan, Chairperson of the Board of Management, will celebrate Mass with staff and pupils in our school hall, Halla Uí Bhruadair, at 10a.m.

Confessions for Christmas

The priests of the parish will visit the school On Monday December 12th for the Sacrament of Penance (3rd to 6th Classes). We thank them for their ongoing support throughout the year.

Christmas Festival in Ballinasloe

We were delighted to support the recent Christmas Festival organised by Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre. Sincere thanks to Mrs Aine Bleahene, Ms Aine Dooley, Mrs Barrett, Ms Elaine Dolan, Mr Lohan and Mr Geraghty for co-ordinating our school’s participation and well done to all the pupils involved.

No Uniform Day

We thank you for supporting our No Uniform Day in October in aid of Aiden Sheridan’s fundraising for Breast Cancer Research. We congratulate Aiden, a parent in our school, on his fantastic achievement of completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks in aid of this very worthy cause. We were delighted to welcome Aiden to our school to present him with a cheque for €470.

Lions Club Hamper Appeal

We are delighted to 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 is working with Mrs Barrett and Mr Lohan to co-ordinate this appeal and further details will issue shortly.

Gifts for Staff

We are very conscious of the financial pressures on families, particularly at this time of the year. Therefore we thank you for your full co-operation with the staff’s decision not to receive gifts at Christmas.

Science Week

Sincere thanks to the school’s science co-ordinator, teaching staff member, Mrs Aine Bleahene for organising a range of exciting events for Science week last month.

Workshops on Bullying and Cyberbullying

An important date for your diary: Wednesday December 7th

We have booked a facilitator to present workshops on bullying and cyberbullying to pupils, staff and parents on Wednesday December 7th. Workshops for pupils in 3rd-6th class will take place during the school day; training for staff will take place after school and a presentation to parents/guardians will take place from 7p.m.-8.30p.m. in the school hall. This is open to all of our parents regardless of what class your child is currently in and we very strongly urge you to attend please.

Policy Review and Development

New: Anti Cyber Bullying Policy

We are currently drafting a new Anti Cyber Bullying Policy and we welcome your suggestions please.

Policy Review: Anti Bullying Policy and Critical Incident Policy

The Board of Management will undertake the annual review of the school’s Anti Bullying Policy using the approved Checklist (Appendix 4 of DES Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) at its next meeting.

We are also reviewing our school’s Critical Incident Policy in line with the new guidelines Responding to Critical Incidents recently published by the Department of Education and Skills and the National Psychological Services. This publication, which contains excellent guidelines and resources for schools, may be downloaded from www.education.ie

How to submit feedback on school policies

We will notify you by text when the draft copies of the revised Critical Incident Policy and the new Anti Cyber Bullying Policy are uploaded to our school website. Once notified, we will ask you to submit your feedback in writing to the school please within a specified time frame. The policies will then be presented to the Board of Management for ratification. Please note that school policies are available to download from our school website www.creaghns.com under the Downloads section. The password Tony2012 is required to access our policies.

Child Protection

Please note the following key personnel in relation to Child Protection in our school:

Designated Liaison Person: Stephanie Keating, Principal

Deputy Designated Liaison Person: Noel Lohan, Deputy Principal

Our Child Protection Policy is also available to download from our school website and its annual review will be undertaken by the Board of Management using the approved Checklist (Appendix 2 of DES Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) next term. If you ever have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to make contact with us. Your child’s welfare, safety and protection are our priority at all times.

New Stay Safe Programme

It is school policy that all classes do the Stay Safe Programme every year during the months of January/February. Training is now being provided in the New Stay Safe Programme and schools will implement changes as advised following this training.

Creagh National School Parents’ Association

We are very grateful to our very busy and active Parents’ Association for the great work that they do. We ask all parents to please support their AGM on Thursday December 15th at 8.30p.m.

iPads for Pupils

We were overwhelmed by your generosity and support for our recent fundraising events for iPads for pupils. We thank all staff, parents, pupils and the wider community for their support. A special word of thanks to teaching staff members Ms Regina Power and Ms Antoinette Blade for organising and co-ordinating this extremely successful fundraising event. The Bring and Buy Sale/the proceeds from the stall at Country Fair Day and the Raffle raised a total of €11,245. When added to the proceeds from last May’s Fun Run which raised €2515 and a school prize from the Credit Union of €750 which was specifically given for IT equipment, we now have a total of €14, 510 towards iPads for students which will be used by the pupils on a rota basis. We are currently seeking advice from experts in this area as well as looking at various quotations. We have also applied for staff training (this will not incur any cost to the school) in order to maximise their full potential in the classroom. We hope to make our final decision shortly.

Activity Kits

We are most grateful to our Parents’ Association for their fundraising, which enabled us to purchase additional activity kits for pupils. We were delighted to receive a cheque for €1894.00 from the Parents’ Association and all of this money has now been spent on the additional activity kits. We are very aware of the huge benefits of physical activity, which we continue to promote on a daily basis in our school.

Enrolment Forms for 2017/2018

Parents wishing to enrol children in our school in September 2017 may obtain an enrolment form from the secretary’s office from January 9th 2017.

Important Dates in 2017

Confirmation: Saturday May 13th @ 11a.m. in St Michael’s Church

First Holy Communion: Saturday May 27th @ 11a.m. in St Michael’s Church

Parent Teacher Meetings for all classes will take place in January/Early February as follows:

4th/5th/6th Classes: Tuesday January 17th (3.15p.m.-5.15p.m.) and Thursday January 19th (3.15p.m.-5.45p.m.)

1st/2nd/3rd Classes: Tuesday January 24th (3.15p.m.-5.15p.m.) and Thursday January 26th (3.15p.m.-5.45p.m.)

Junior and Senior Infants: Week beginning Monday January 30th as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 2.15p.m.-3p.m.

Thursday February 2nd 2.15p.m.- 5.45p.m.

Notes re appointment times for 4th/5th and 6th classes will issue in December.

Notes for 1st/2nd/3rd classes will issue the week beginning January 9th 2017.

Notes for Junior and Senior Infants will issue the week beginning January 16th 2017.

Health and Safety Notices

Road Safety and Parking Awareness

We thank you for your full co-operation in relation to road safety and parking 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. 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 Madden to cross the road safely at all times.

Social Media

Please continue to be vigilant around pupils’ use of Social Media. We remind our students of the importance of showing respect at all times when communicating with and about others.

Renewal of our Yellow Flag

We have started the process of renewing our school’s Yellow Flag, which was awarded to us two years ago in recognition of being an inclusive school. Our thanks to the Yellow Flag Committee members and to Mrs Caroline Gallagher and Ms Danika Dolan for all of their work. Please take time to look at our Intercultural Notice Board inside the middle entrance near the senior infant classrooms.

Renewal of our Green Flag

This year’s theme for the renewal of our Green Flag is Global Citizenship. We thank Mrs Bleahene, Mr Lohan and the Green Flag Committee for their work. We are now working towards our ninth green flag!

Voluntary Contribution

We thank you for your generous response to our Voluntary Contribution Scheme, which was reviewed recently by the Board of Management. Envelopes may be returned to the school secretary.


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

Children’s Mass on Christmas Eve

The annual special Children’s Christmas Eve Parish Mass will take place in St Michael’s Church on Saturday December 24th @ 6.30p.m. All families are welcome to attend.

In November We Remember

During the month of November we remembered all of our family members who have passed away. Our thanks to Mrs Mc Cann for the lovely “In November We Remember” display inside our main entrance door. Pupils have had 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 a bereavement in recent times. We extend our sympathy to our former Principal, Mr Tony Broderick on the recent death of his mother Mrs Lilly Broderick R.I.P.

Christmas Holidays

The school will close on Thursday December 22nd @ 12.30p.m. The school will re-open on Monday January 9th @ 9.20a.m.

I would like to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and peaceful 2017. My sincere thanks to you all for your kindness, co-operation and support during 2016. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of all of the staff here in Creagh National School.

Nollaig shona daoibh go léir.

Stephanie Keating, Principal.

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