September 2016 Newsletter

Beginning of Year Newsletter September 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope that you all had an enjoyable and restful summer and that your child is settling back into the routine of school life. I would like to extend a special word of welcome to our new Junior Infants and to all who have enrolled in Creagh NS this year. Our hope is that all of our pupils will be happy in school and that they will enjoy learning in a safe and happy environment. As we start a new school year, I would like to draw your attention to a few important areas.

Classes and Teachers for 2016/17

Junior Infants Ms Curtin & Ms Carty

Senior Infants Ms D Dolan/Ms Kelly & Ms Fox

First Class Ms Barrett/Ms Haynes & Ms Carey

Second Class Ms Power & Ms Moran/Mr Ward

Third Class Mrs Gallagher and Ms A Dooley

Fourth Class Mrs Barrett and Ms Blade

Fifth Class Ms E Dolan and Mr Geraghty

Sixth Class Mrs Bleahene and Mr Ronaldson

Special Education Team

Mr Lohan

Ms Farrell

Ms K Dooley

Ms Greene

Mrs Mc Cann

Ms O’ Rourke

Ms Whyte/Ms Larkin

Ms A Kelly/Ms Colohan

Ms S. Lynch: Shared Post with Camcloon N.S.

Special Needs Assistants

Ms Helena Divilly Sweeney/Mrs Frances Lyons

Ms Siobhan Carty

Ms Sarah Loughnane/Ms Carmel O’ Riordan

Ms Patricia Rooney

School Secretary: Ms Ann Haynes

School Caretaker: Mr Joesph Murphy

Student Council

Our Student Council is made up of sixteen representatives from our four senior classes. The pupils on this year’s Student Council are as follows:

Sixth Class: Charlie Naughton, Jason Cunningham, Emma Mitchell, Xi Ge Kennedy, Wasini Henry, Shane Fitzpatrick, Eimear Hynes, Sean Mc Dermott

Fifth Class: Danny Killeen, Emma Mc Greal, Katie Silke, Ryan Campi, Holly Keighery, Samuel Mazur, Emily Gillespie and Niall Jennings. Congratulations to all of these pupils on their nomination and election.

Mrs Barrett will have responsibility for organising and chairing monthly meetings with the Student Council.

Official Opening Time

The official opening time for the reception of pupils is 9.20a.m. The Board of Management cannot accept responsibility for pupils who arrive on the school grounds early.

Access to the School

Please note that we have a security system in operation on all of our exit doors. Only staff members are permitted to open these doors using the access code. We kindly request in the interest of health and safety that parents/guardians refrain from entering the school until these doors have been opened.

Visitors’ Book

For health and safety reasons, all visitors to the school must enter at reception and sign in and out, using the visitors’ book at the secretary’s office. This includes all parents/guardians who come to the school during school hours to collect pupils for appointments, to drop off lunches or to collect pupils if they are sick. We kindly request that you do not go directly to your child’s classroom. Thank you.

Collecting Your Child

Please ensure that your child knows from which gate they are being collected after school.

Pupils leaving school early

When it is necessary for a pupil to leave school early, the teacher must be informed in writing in advance. Parents/guardians are asked to call to the secretary’s office from where your child can be collected. Please do not go directly to your child’s classroom. Any person collecting a child on behalf of the parent will be permitted to take the child only if the parent contacts the school beforehand.

Church Area: The back entrance, beside the church, where parents can park safely, is available when dropping off and collecting pupils. Please adhere to the one way system and drive slowly around the church, keeping to the left side. It is very unsafe to reverse in this area while the children are exiting from the school.

Junior and Senior Infants

Junior and Senior Infants are collected directly from the child’s classroom.

Those travelling by bus will be collected from the classrooms by the Deputy Principal, Mr Lohan and he will accompany them off the school premises.

The school should be informed of any change in arrangements.

Please note: Pupils should not climb over or sit on the perimeter wall.

The main gate and entrance is for staff use only, unless parents are collecting/dropping off pupils outside of the official opening times. In these

instances pupils must be accompanied to the door by parents/guardians.

Travelling to and from school

Please encourage your child to exercise care, be of good behaviour and be courteous to the driver and classmates while on the bus. Seat belts must be worn and children must remain seated at all times– please advise your child accordingly.


The health and safety of our pupils is our priority at all times.

We ask you to please adhere to the following procedures when dropping off and collecting pupils:

• Please do not park in the bus bay. This area is for buses only. It enables those travelling on the bus to be collected safely. Your full co-operation in this regard is expected please.

• We ask you to refrain from making u-turns, as this is an extremely dangerous manouvre.

• We have requested that the local Gardaí assist us with the implementation of the above safety procedures.

• Please remind your child to use the Pedestrian Crossing and the Lollipop Lady to cross the road safely. The ramps are not to be used as a pedestrian crossing.

• There is parking on the Creagh Church side of the school, which we would ask you to consider using, particularly for those coming from the Athlone side.

• Pupils living near the school might consider walking/cycling in an effort to reduce the volume of traffic. Ensure that helmets are worn when cycling and that you exercise extreme care.

• Please be mindful of local residents and do not block their access to their residents. Local residents are entitled to move freely in and out of their homes and we thank you for your full co-operation in this regard.

Uniform / School Tracksuit

Children should wear the complete school uniform at all times. Junior and Senior Infants wear the tracksuit every day while the school tracksuit should only be worn for P.E. for pupils in First-Sixth Classes. Black leggings and bicycle shorts are not permitted. In the event of fine weather, there is currently an option to wear plain black shorts.

Absenteeism / Attendance

In the event of your child being absent please inform the class teacher in writing. Please use ‘absence notes’ at the back of the homework journal. Schools are obliged to monitor school attendance and to report, to the National Education Welfare Board, the name of any pupil who is absent for an aggregate of 20 days or more in a school year. This is a legal requirement on schools and one where there is no discretion.

School Website

The school website www.creaghns.com contains a lot of useful information e.g. news about recent and upcoming events, class pages, links to educational websites, booklets for parents, holiday schedule, monthly newsletter.

Please note that the Board of Management End of Year Report (2015/16) is now on the school website. Should you wish to have a hardcopy of same, please contact the secretary.

Please note that all photographs, articles and video footage on our school website are the property of Creagh National School. No redistribution or transmission in any format is permitted.


The school uses the “text-a-parent” facility to communicate important messages to parents. Accordingly, it is very important that we have an up-to-date mobile number for you. If your details have changed please let the secretary know.


Parents are always welcome to meet with staff in relation to their child. However, we kindly request that you phone in advance for an appointment. Such appointments can be made through the secretary (Ann). To facilitate supervision of pupils, these meetings are scheduled from 2.10p.m.

Healthy Eating

The school has a healthy eating policy, which was reviewed recently. Please ensure to adhere to this policy. Please note also that a small number of children attending the school are allergic to nuts. In the interest of these children’s well-being, parents are asked not to include nuts in their child’s lunch.

Treats for Pupils

As some pupils have allergies to certain foods we kindly request that parents/guardians do not send treats into their child’s classroom on special occasions.

Birthday Invitations

A reminder of our school’s policy that birthday invitations are not to be distributed through the school. Neither can the school provide telephone/address details of parents.


Please inform the school of any allergies which your child may have and any medication which they may require during school time. It is essential that our records in relation to this are kept updated.

Head Lice

We kindly remind all parents/guardians to check your child’s hair regularly for head lice. Head lice spreads rapidly unless treated, and regular checks are essential.

Dogs on/near school premises

We kindly request that dogs are not brought near or onto the school premises for health and safety reasons.


The school’s homework policy may be viewed on our website. Please inform the class teacher if your child is experiencing difficulty with any aspect of his/her homework. It is school policy to include Physical Activity as part of your child’s homework each evening.


Our thanks to one of our parents, Ms Mairead Cannon, who is organising our library once again this year. Any books which are in good condition and that you feel would be appropriate for our library will be gratefully received. We thank all of you who have donated books in the past.

Creagh Parents’ Association

We are very lucky to have a very active and supportive Parents’ Association. It is a great opportunity to meet other parents so we are hoping new members may join this year. Whatever level of support you can give will be greatly appreciated.

Child Protection

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

Designated Liaison Person: Stephanie Keating

Deputy Designated Liaison Person: Noel Lohan

Code of Behaviour and Anti Bullying Policies

Please ensure that you read these policies. If you ever have any concerns please contact the school as early as possible.

Policy Review and Development

Annual Policy Review: The annual review of the Child Protection Policy, the Anti Bullying Policy and the Code of Behaviour will take place early in the school year.

Review and Update of the Health and Safety Policy

New Policy Development: Cyber Bullying Policy

Curricular Areas of Focus

Literacy: The New Language Curriculum with specific focus on Oral Language Development in both English and Irish will commence in Infants-2nd Classes as per DES guidelines.

English: Reading, Comprehension and Writing Genres will remain areas of focus in all classes.

Gaeilge: Informal/Oral Irish based on the ten specified themes in the Gaeilge Curriculum is an ongoing area of focus in all classes.

Numeracy: Problem Solving, Mental Maths with renewed focus on learning tables through drill and practice; and the strand “Measures”.

Beginning of Year Mass

We thank Fr Daniel O’ Donovan, Chairperson of the Board of Management for celebrating our Opening Year Mass with us last Friday, September 9th.


To teaching staff member, Ms Colohan on the birth of her son.

To teaching staff member, Ms Moran on the birth of her daughter.

To teaching staff member, Mr Mark Ronaldson on his recent engagement.

To all of our Past Pupils on their Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate Results. We wish them well for the future.

After School Sporting Activities

We are very grateful to those that give voluntarily of their time to coach our pupils after school. Please find details below of the proposed sporting activities for the coming school year:

Monday: Spikeball (3:30pm-4:30pm) in the Emerald Ballroom with Mrs Gallagher and Mrs Barrett (6th Class Only).

Tuesday: Girls’ Football with Ms A Dooley and Ms Fox 3p.m.-4p.m. (3rd to 6th Class)

Wednesday: Hurling with Mr Ward and Mr Geraghty 3-4p.m. (3rd to 6th Class)

Thursday: Camogie with Ms Curtin and Ms C Kelly 3-4p.m. (3rd to 6th Class)

Friday: Boys’ Football with Mr Ronaldson 3-4p.m. (3rd-6th Class)

We encourage our pupils to get involved in team sports. Apart from the benefits of physical activity, it is also a great opportunity to make new friends.

Important School dates for Your Diary

Confirmation: Saturday May 13th 2017 @ 11a.m. in St Michael’s Church, Ballinasloe.

First Holy Communion: Saturday May 27th 2017 @ 11a.m. in St Michael’s Church, Ballinasloe.

These two events are among the most important celebrations in our school year. We wish all of those involved in the preparation for these sacraments the very best over the coming year.

Other upcoming school events

Second Toy Sale and Raffle September 30th 2016

We are embarking on a fundraising venture to raise much needed funds for the provision of tablet technology for our pupils. Members of the teaching staff and Parents’ Association are organising a Second Hand Toy Sale and Raffle on Friday September 30th 2016. Further details will issue shortly. We thank you in advance for your support.

Sean Meade Football Tournament

We hope to host the Sean Meade Football Tournament on Friday October 7th 2016. Pupils from our football teams (5th and 6th Class Boys and Girls) will represent Creagh NS at this inter schools tournament, which has become an important annual event in our school calendar. We are very grateful to football legend Sean Meade, for his generosity in donating the Sean Meade Trophy and for his support of this event over the past number of years.

Lost and Found Items

A large number of items have accumulated in our lost and found area and we are now running out of storage room for these items, which have remained unclaimed for a long period of time. These items will be donated to local charities over the coming weeks. If your child has lost any item please check with the school on or before September 30th. Please ensure that your child’s name is clearly marked on all of his/her belongings as it makes it much easier to return items in the event that they are lost and found.

Parent/Teacher Meetings

Parent/Teacher Meetings will take place at the start of Term 2 (January/Early February 2017) for all classes. Notification of dates will be included in our December Newsletter.

Your child’s welfare is extremely important to us. If you have any concerns in relation to your child, it is important that you make contact with the school as early as possible. I look forward to working with you for the benefit of your child during the coming school year.

Le dea ghuí,

Stephanie Keating


September 2016


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