Christmas Newsletter 2017


Fifth and sixth classes participated in The Explorers Programme run by The National
Sealife Centre in Bray in conjunction with The Marine Institute of Ireland. We went on a
free trip to Sealife in Bray where Pauline, Keith and Fiona gave us a really interesting
tour, a quiz and taught us how to look after our tank and its inhabitants.

sealife1They came the following week and installed our tanks and they put in native Irish fish. We had to look after them for a month. Pauline, Keith and Fiona came back last week to collect the tanks and fish. They gave another quiz to the pupils to see how much they had learned.

We really enjoyed our Explorers Programme!


On Wednesday 15th November David Day a musician from Athy, Co. Kildare visited us.
We were delighted when he travelled with all his instruments to spend the day with us
again. We had a memorable noisy day. The children really enjoyed having him again
and some are getting really good at drumming!


trophyOn a bitterly cold, bright November morning our fourth, fifth and sixth classes competed
in the Primary Schools Cross Country team races in Avondale. Our teams raced well and
recorded really good results. Fourth class girls came 15th , fourth class boys came 25th ,
fifth class girls teams came 12th, 13th , 18th and 20th , fifth class boys teams came 20th and 24th , sixth class girls came 22nd and sixth class boys came 1st , a wonderful performance by Conn Keaney who came 2nd, Steven Gormley who came 4th , Tadhg O’Shea who came 10th and the rest of the rest of the boys came in the top 20, bringing the team home in 1st place. This meant that our school came first in Avondale. Congratulations to all our teams, we are very proud of you all!


Third class took part in an interschool Futsal Competition on Wednesday 29th November
in Aughrim. It was extremely well run. The children really enjoyed it and every child
participated. Our thanks to Alan Reynolds and his team for the invitation and
organisation of this event.


QUAVERS TO QUADRATICS PROGRAMMEThird to sixth classes were extremely lucky to avail of a free course of workshops run by
Trinity, UCD and The National Concert Hall. The course, ‘Quavers to Quadratics‘ was a blend of music and science. They had a pre-workshop in school on the 30th November. This was followed by a trip to the concert hall on the 4th December. The students made their own instruments, handled different instruments and participated in sound experiments. The hosts followed up with  visit to our school  on the 19th December for another workshop. This was an excellent opportunity for our students!



On December 5th the HSE visited the school to carry out vaccinations on Junior Infants.




The Christmas plays, poem and choir in the church on Dec 8th were very well received.
The children were amazing and great credit is due to their teachers who prepared them
so well.

christmas_1Afterwards the Christmas Raffle was held. It was a huge success and a big thanks to the parents and children who sold tickets and supported it. We would like to thank Smyths
Toys who kindly donated both vouchers to the school. Smyths Toys are an Irish family run business and its very kind of them to give back to small communities like our school.

The winners were, 1st prize €200 Smyths Voucher Mary Doyle, 2nd prize €150 Gaiety Panto Voucher Grace Murphy and 3rd Prize €100 Smyths Voucher Sarah Nolan.

€1836.00 was collected in the raffle. Thanks to the PA for running the raffle and Chris
Doyle for securing the vouchers from Smyths.

Many thanks to the dedicated parents who operate “sausage Friday “. They are a very
welcome sight the last Friday of every month. Equipment for the outdoor classroom
and jerseys will be bought from the proceeds.

We were delighted to see so many parents and members of the community join us for a
cup of tea/coffee and mince pie/scone on the day. So many parents and teachers baked
and worked at the events. The PA sponsored the tea, coffee, milk, butter, jam etc.
Thanks to all for your support.

€1675.00 was made on Dec 8th . This will go towards the running of the school.

wreathThanks to the PA, parents, friends and staff of the school for making it such a success.
The children in 6th class sold wreaths which they had decorated in Art class. Many thanks to Stuart Williams who donated 30 wreaths and lots of decorations.

Also thanks to Stephen Hogan who gave us the beautiful Christmas tree for the corridor.
6th class children also sold Christmas logs and angels for the tree, which were made by
4 th , 5th and 6th class pupils. The logs used were from the huge eucalyptus tree, which was on the school grounds and which we had to have cut down for health and safety
reasons. Funds from the logs will go some way towards the cost of having it taken down.
Many thanks to Rod Whelan who, generously, gave his time to drill holes for the candles
in all the logs.


Schools are always concerned at the lack of adequate funding from the Department of
Education and Skills, to run schools. We had a long wait this year for the announcement
of the minor works grant which is absolutely essential for carrying out day to day
repairs. There is no guarantee it will be paid next year. It should be mandatory, not

The Capitation Grant which is intended to be spent on the day to day running of the
school e.g. heating, lighting, insurance, maintenance contracts, office supplies, cleaning,
teaching materials and resources etc was €200 per child per year prior to 2009. It was
reduced when the recession hit but unfortunately, not only has it not been restored, it
has not been increased to match rising costs. It currently stands at €170 per child per
year, i.e. 93c per child per day (over 183 days). Remember there are also running costs
over the holidays so over a full year that is 47c per child per day. Consequently schools have to constantly call on parents and the community to fundraise to meet the shortfall. Teachers and staff also get heavily involved in thefundraising.

Contact your TDS and the Minister for Education and demand better funding for

Garda Vetting

gardaParents wishing to help with any activities in the school must have Garda vetting

under the law (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016. Please contact
the office for details on how to apply.


beauty_and_the_beast.pngOn the 14th December all classes went to the Dominican College, Wicklow to see their
musical Beauty and the Beast. Lots of past pupils were involved in the musical.
Congratulations to them all on a great performance. The children really enjoyed it from
infants to sixth.


communionFr. Donal Roche held a meeting for parents of the Holy Communion class. Fr. Roche
invited parents of the Communion children to organise the Do This in Memory
Programme. There have been two Masses so far. There will be a Mass each month in
the New Year until May. This is an important part of the children’s preparation for their First Holy Communion. The booklets discussed at the Communion meeting are available
from the school (€5.00 each).


Children from first to fifth classes participated in the Recycled Christmas Tree
Decoration competition, run by Wicklow County Council. There were lots of lovely,
imaginative decorations made, and 2 entries were chosen from the school to go forward
to the competition – Senan O’Donovan 4th class and Ríonach Fleming 4th class. Ríonach
won a prize in the county wide competition. Well done to the winners and all who
participated in this very enjoyable project.


rugbyWe have completed a session of rugby coaching and we have 4 weeks of rugby coaching
organised after Christmas with George Naoupu from Leinster Rugby. We hope the
children will further develop their skills.


AMF-LogobannerArklow Music Festival is fast approaching, and will take place from Saturday March 3rd to Sunday March 11th 2018. Details will be given out after the Christmas holidays. This has proven to provide children with an invaluable skills set going forward. It helps them deal more effectively with oral presentations which now constitute a large proportion of their secondary school and university exams.



Accord will visit the school in May 2018 and give a follow up talk on growing up to 6 th


Based on September 2017 enrolment figures our staff allocation for the school year
2018/2019 will be 5 class teachers and 2 special needs education teachers. Unfortunately we will be saying goodbye to Mrs. Cooke, because our figures according to the Department of Education and Skills do not sustain 6 class teachers.


Open/Enrolment day for Junior Infants starting in September 2018 will take place in the
school on Friday 19th January 2018.

The Staff and Board of Management would like to wish all families a happy
and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Nollaig Shona daoibh go Léir agus Athbhliain faoimhaise daoibh freisin.

To download the newsletter click here: Christmas Newsletter 2017