Annual Report 2013/14


SCOIL CHROI NAOFA WHOLE SCHOOL EVALUATION REPORT 2013/2014

Whole School Evaluation Report incorporates all activities of the Board of Management, Student Council, Parents Council, Green School Committee, Diversity Committee, Active School Committee, staffing, professional development courses, school planning, Literacy & Numeracy Targets, and all the activities that have taken place in the school from junior infants up to 6th class from September 2013 to June 2014 in the various curricular areas.

BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

The Board of Management is currently in its third year in office. Members consist of John Donohue and Michelle Kenny (Parent Representatives), Tom Lane and Margaret Seery (Community Representatives). Gerry Farrell and Fr. Benny McHale (Patron Representatives), Cathriona Cronin and Teresa Neylon (Staff Representatives).
Board of Management had four meetings during the year. Chairperson and Principal have numerous meetings.
Board members take on an active role and presence in the school.
Our school has currently transferred trusteeship from the Presentations Sisters to our Patron, Bishop Neary.
The Board of Management requested a Voluntary Contribution again this school year for each family as a result of reduced funding towards the running costs of the school. The Board requested a contribution of €30 per child or €50 per family. We received €1,460 in total to date.

PARENT’S COUNCIL

There are thirteen members on the Parents Council. Officials include Yvonne Dowling as Chairperson, Mary Ryan as Secretary and Natalie Tuffyas Treasurer.
At the beginning of the year, the balance in the Band Account was €4,102.02 and the balance in the Parents Council was €400.51. Balance of accounts to date are Band: €5,822.78, Parent’s Council: €1,768.07.
The Councilassisted in the following fundraisers:Christmas Monster Raffle, Fun Table Quiz and the Annual Church Gate Collection.
Money raised provided workshops for the children with author John Quinn, Bird Watching and Origami with Tom Cuffe, Sean Nós dancing with Mairéad Joyce and Circuit Training with Geoffrey Sheridan.
They also funded parties e.g. sacraments, band events. sports day and superliner competitions.
They purchased sliotars, a bell lyre, bell lyre cases, accordion straps and melodica tubes.
Financial support was provided for bus trips for events such as running events, camogie, table quiz, choir and senior tours.
Members discussed the new Anti Bullying Policy.
Members assisted at many activities and events such as band events, fundraisers, grandparents day, graduation day, sports day etc
Fundraisers include
Monster Raffle €4041.40
Church Gate Collection: €891.40
3 Cash for Clobbers €2800.00
Table Quiz €900.65

STUDENT COUNCIL

Sixth class pupils are members of the Student Council. The aim of the Student Council is to give a voice to the student body, to make positive changes to our school and to promote the Irish language. The following officials have been elected: Sarah Ryan (Chairperson), Laoise Farrell (Vice-Chairperson) and Hannah Lane (Secretary).
A Student Council noticeboard is on display in the hall. A box has been placed centrally to encourage the pupils to put forward suggestions.
They taught the following Irish phrases to the pupils every week which are displayed on the Student Council’s Noticeboard:
Stop é sin.
Diaduit.
Téimchuig…
Slánleat.
Tóg go bog e.
Tá tart orm.
Dithmémolón.
Conasatátú?
Caithsabhoscabruscair é.
Támoloniteagam.
Táan t-Earrach ann.
Is breáliomgaeilge.
Go n-éiríleat.
Tásé in am don lón.
Labhair Gaeilge liom.
Táseachtainna Gaeilge linn! SNAG.
Táanboscabruscairlán.
Cáiscshonaduit .
Léighméleabhar.
Tá an t-am istigh.
Tá an ceartagat
Sin iarrachtmhaith
They continued a Superliner Competition with the junior and senior classes on a weekly basis.
They set up an Art Gallery near the Principals office where the class teachers are reminded to select a sample of outstanding art work from his/her class for display every month.
The Student Council were a great help in assisting parents and children into the school grounds via the safe route.
They assist the staff in implementing our Healthy Eating Policy.
Students’ Council held their annual Bake Sale on Friday, 23rd of May in aid of Special Olympics Ireland. This organisation offers many sports to people with an intellectual disability. Miss Murray is a volunteer with Special Olympics for 17 years and she was helping out in Limerick this June at the 2014 Ireland games. Therese in 6th class is a member of the No Limits Special Olympics Bowling Club. She has won many medals in a variety of competitions. She has made many new friends. The Student Council raised €900.00 for the Bake Sale.
They assist in the paired reading initiative where they pair of with a child in Junior Infants for a story session.
They played an active role during our Anti Bullying Awareness Weeks. They knitted wrist bands for all the children. They made posters for display around the school. They created two display boards with anti bullying messages.
They suggested more pots with plants around the front and side of the prefab and to paint them in vibrant colours.
They also recommended painting the basketball poles.
They will organise the annual SCN X Factor on the last week of June.

DIVERSITY COMMITTEE

A Diversity Committee has been established in the school in January 2013. This committee consists of all the children in Ms. Monaghan’s 4th class. Their role is to welcome to welcome new children, families and staff to our school community.The following are some of their duties:

They have prepared a powerpoint presentation for new families which they present to parents and children on arrival and also to new parents on Reception Night. They update this powerpoint every year.
They give guided tours around the school to new families.
They check on new children during indoor and outdoor recreation.
They also assist in the Opening Day for new children and parents when they visit the school
They organise an Intercultural Day in June with the Green School Committee.
They prepared an Anti Bullying Powerpoint for all the classes for No Bullying Week.

GREEN SCHOOL COMMITTEE: Please see Green School Programme

ACTIVE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: Please see Physical Education

STAFF

Senior Management meets regularly to review and plan.
Principal meet with postholders regularly during the year. .
Cathriona Cronin was Acting Principal from November to the end of January.
Clodagh Mitchell was employed as a full time substitute teacher up to end of January. She is currently teaching in Dublin.
Colm Wallace, Rebecca Sheridan and Janan Alani have secured permanents positions.
Marie Broderick job shared in Craughwell National School and will continue for another year in 2014/2015.
Sinead Doyle has been on Maternity leave and Ashling Tyrell is the substitute in her position
Ms. Vaughan was employed as a resource teacher for special needs for the year. Mary was the Principal in Corgary School which was closed during the holidays due to low numbers on roll. She taught pupils in Brackloon National School and our school.
We were sanctioned four full time Special Needs Assistants for 2013/2014.
Marella Deeley Special Needs Assistant was offered an infant position in a school in Mountbellew.
The DES has sanctioned five more learning support hours due to our rising numbers. The Department has clustered our school with St. Patrick’s School in Galway.
Sinead Doyle is due back from her maternity leave on the last week of June 2014.
Principal applied for a Developing School Status position in May 2014 and was refused due to insufficient numbers.
She also made a Staffing Appeal to the Primary Staffing Appeals Board on the grounds of the high number of EAL pupils on roll and also because we were short one pupil on the 30th of September 2013 for a twelfth mainstream position even though a child enrolled ten days later. We have been sanctioned the twelfth mainstream position for next year.
There will be three positions available for the next school year 2014/15, a permanent position, a maternity leave position and a fixed term position.
Our cleaner Wilma has resigned. New cleaning staff have now been employed.

PLANT

Gosia Kudyba, the architect from the Building Section of the Department visited the school on Wednesday the 20th of October 2013. We have been sanctioned seven mainstream classrooms and a gym. Our existing building will be renovated and updated in summer 2014 with regard to heating, insulation, windows and fire upgrade etc. Our two storey extension may be built on the same level as the bottom yard in the location of the top yard. Gosiarequested that we carry out an Ecological screening in preparation for our building project. Mr. Patrick Moran of FERS Limited contacted us to survey and to drill three boreholes on site. Irish Drilling Ltd came to the school on the 15th and 18th of November to drill three holes on the school campus.The following is a list of preparation tasks for the school building project, majority of which are now completed with the last two left outstanding:
– Site survey- complete

– Environmental screening report – complete

– Existing Building Survey – tender completed, Murphy Surveys appointed, M.S. to liase with school on the access and time scale to accommodate the survey works – complete

– Ground Condition Survey – tender in process, successful tenderer to liase with school on the access and time scale to accommodate the survey works – complete

– Traffic 1 management survey – complete

– Architectural Design – complete

– Asbestos survey – complete

– Pre-planning meeting – complete

– Architect meeting with OPW and DES to decide plans-currently in process.

– Presentation of the design to the Board of Management for comments – outstanding

The Board have been informed by the Heritage Officials that our extension will have to be built 35metres away from the town wall. The second complication is that an Archaeologist will have to be on site if there are bones found which will delay the whole project. The Department is aware that there are site constraints and that our building project is priority for the OPW at present.
The DES sanctioned a PREFAB for the extra developing teacher position for September 2013. Planning permission was granted and will suffice for five years. Unfortunately we were not able to retain this position as we had not sufficient numbers on the 30th of September 2013.
Billy Henderson checked the fire extinguishers in the school. He had to replace 4 cylinders. He also gave a Fire Safety Workshop to all staff at the Croke Park hour. This involved lighting fires and using the different types of extinguishers in the school to extinguish fires. He also made recommendations for the new building in relation to the positioning of fire extinguishers and doors, etc.
Room nine (Ms. Monaghan’s room) which was a support room is now converted into the 11th mainstream classroom. Carpet was replaced with marmoleum during the holidays. New furniture was purchased and a grant of €5000 was received. An Interactive Whiteboard, projector and printer has been purchased for this room. Blinds have also been installed. A new noticeboard has been put up outside the room for display purposes.
A new Burco, a two ring hob and an oven has been purchased for the staffroom.
A five foot green fence was erected on the wall of the old shelter in the top yard in order to prevent the sliotars going over to Convent. Mrs. Devally and Mrs. Hallissey have painted a camogie zone on the same wall.
Jack Hallissey our caretaker has secured coat hooks on the wall for the junior classes in order to replace the coat racks.He made 10 pots for shrubs and painted them different colours. He also painted the wooden frame at the fire exits in vibrant colours.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The majority of teachers attended Summer Courses and provided feedback at our staff meetings during first term.
Teachers who attend courses during the year provide feedback to all staff and share resources.
The following teachers attended course under the auspices of the Special Education Supply Service;
Mary Vaughan attended an Introduction to Autism Course.
Veronica Murray attending an Autism Course on the 10th and 11th of October
The following teachers attended courses in the Galway Education Centre under the auspices of the Professional Development Services for Teachers:
Mary O’Sullivan and Margaret Scully attended four Literacy Lift Off Seminars during the year.
Mary Vaughan attended Improving Reading Fluency Seminar and Speech and Language Support Seminar
Elaine Monson attended the Numeracy Link Course.
Elaine attended her second Numeracy Link on the topics of Place Value, Decimals and Percentages.
Elaine attending a Green School Seminar.
Cathriona Cronin and Maria Monaghan attending three Problem Solving Seminars.
Aishling Tyrell and Cathriona Cronin attended 2 hour long workshops on the Writing Genre.
John McDonald attended a course on the Active School Flag.
John attended A Healthy Eating Workshop.
Margaret Scully & Mary Vaughan attended Mental Maths Strategies
Mary Vaughan, Mary Cannon and Rosaleen Devally attended a seminar entitled “Autism and Me” presented by Sean Patrick Foley
Janan Alani completed a Talking and Thinking about Picture Books.
Karen Hennessy attended a seminar on Health Promoting Schools Initiative and Training for Co-ordinators under the auspices of the HSE in the Galway Education Centre.
Rebecca Sheridan, Maria and Janan attended a course on ideas for Art in Castlebar Education Centre.
Rebecca completed Xmas Art Course in Castlebar Education Centre
Rebecca Sheridan completed the Aistear Course in Tuam Teacher Centre.
Janann Alani completed a Visual Arts course in Dublin.
Cathriona Cronin attended a School Self Evaluation Seminar in the Connaught Hotel under the auspices of the Primary Professional Development Service.
Cathriona and Teresa Neylon attending the last session of the Forbairt course.
Teresa and Gerry Farrell attending a CPSMA Seminar on Family Law Issues in Galway city.
Teresa attending an INTO course on Leadership in Challenging Times in Athlone on the 23rd of October.
Teresa attended an Anti Bullying Procedure Workshop under the auspices of the PDST in the Connaught Hotel on the 10th of March.
Teresa also attended a Mentoring Session under the auspices of the National Inductive Programme for Teachers in Limerick Education Centre on the 21st of March.
John McDonald and his class provided a Skipping Workshop to all the staff.
Staff were given two sessions on the Blog presented by Veronica Murray.
Janan Alani and her colleague provided Art Workshops to the teachers on seasonal themes.
Staff were given a two hour session on Problem Solving course presented by MJ Malone.
Ita Seoighe from the PDST provided a Child Protection Workshop for all the staff
Geoffrey Sheridan provided a Circuit Training workshop for staff during Active School Week 2014.

SCHOOL PLANNING 2013/2014

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

All staff were reminded to read the policy at the beginning of the year and to comment at the first staff meeting. No changes were made.
All staff attended a child protection workshop presented by Ita Seoighe under the auspices of the PDST.

ANTI BULLYING POLICY: Ratified at BOM Meeting on 19/6/14.

E- LEARNING POLICY & TEMPLATE

The I.T. Co-Ordinator Mary O Sullivan applied for the Digital Schools of Distinction Award. Participation in the Digital Schools of Distinction Programme requires giving children an opportunity to enhance their learning experiences and to develop digital skills which will stand to them throughout their lives. This programme is an accreditation which primary schools can attain by demonstrating excellence in their approach to the integration of ICT. A validator visited the school on the 9th of May to assess us for this new award. The validator carried out an assessment in May2013. He visited junior infants, first class, fourth class (including pupils from fifth and sixth class), the resource teacher for special needs, the I.T. Co ordinator and the Principal. He was very impressed and quoted “I found my visit very educational and entertaining in this wonderful school”. We have just received our award in June 2014 in acknowledgement for the high standard of ICT integration achieved by the school to the benefit of both teachers and pupils.
Veronica Murray gave the staff in-service on how to upload photos and text onto the Blog. Each teacher has their own log in and password. All the teachers are now blogging.
Cathriona Cronin has researched a graphic web designer called Zappy who is currently re-designing our website blog to become a website with a blog. Cathriona is in contact daily with web designer and providing him with all our school data. It will include many new features such as:
Search engine
Visitor count
Link with Facebook
Link with local community facilities
Homepage- changing gallery
School newsletters
Award section
Calendar
Special features
Google map of site
School policies
Parents Hub
Staff
Translation to other languages
Principal address on homepage
Category and drop down toolbar for sub-categories
Websites to explore

ENGLISH

Literacy Targets:
Implementation of the Aistear Programme in Junior Infants.
Implementation of the Jolly Phonics Programme in Junior Infants and Senior Infants.
Implementation of the six week Literacy Lift Off Programme in Senior Infants and First Class followed by a visit to the local library.
Whole School Approach to Teaching Comprehension Strategies based on Building Bridges by Martin Gleeson and the First Steps Resource Books
Paired Reading between Senior Classes and Junior Classes

IRISH POLICY

The Student Council have taught the children Irish phrases every Wednesday morning at assembly.

MATHEMATICS POLICY

Numeracy Targets:

Implementation of the Aistear Programme in Junior Infants.
The three week Maths Blast Programme (based on Mata sa Rang) implemented in Senior Infants and first class.
Revised Problem Solving Policy to include a variety of problem solving strategies
Policy on Tables was revised to include a variety of activities and ideas pooled by teachers to reinforce tables.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY

Courses attended by staff in 2013/14 will be inserted into this policy.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION POLICY;

Christian Meditation CDs and guidelines were distributed to new teachers.

CURRICULUM

ENGLISH

The author John Quinn visited to speak to the four senior classes.
An intensive Reading and Writing programme entitled Literacy Lift Off has been implemented in 1st class and senior infants.
Paired Reading is taking place in six classes at present where children in a senior class read to children in a junior class. Mrs. Monson’s class is paired with Mrs. Burke’s class, Mrs. Cronin’s class is paired with Ms. Sheridan’s class and Ms. Monaghan’s class is paired with Ms. Alani’s class.
The senior classes participated the Spelling Bee Competition with Ryan Tubridy. Mary Alfred represented the school at the County Spelling Bee Championship. Ava Earls was the runner up for the school.
Mia Lukina won first prize in the Under 10 Community Games Handwriting Competition.
Thursday the 6th of March was World Book Day. Every child received a €1.50 book token. To celebrate World Book Day children from different classes were selected to read a story over the Intercom. This will be common practice in the school going forward.

GREEN SCHOOL PROGRAMME

Our school has been involved in the Green School Programme since the millennium. Our aim as a Green School is to teach the children to respect their environment and to hopefully put into practice as adults what they have learned in school. Our slogan is: Think Globally Act Locally. We have been awarded 6 flags based on the following themes: Litter & Waste, Renewal, Energy, Water, Travel and Biodiversity.Mrs. Monson is the Green school Coordinator and is assisted by her committees in 5th class. Over the last two years we have been working towards our 7th Green Flag which is based on the theme of Global Citizenship, Litter & Waste. We all have a responsibility in looking after our environment, in thinking globally and acting locally. Everyone can make a difference. Mark Molloy, Environmental Officer visited the committee to assess our progress on our new theme in the hope of securing our 7th flag. An Taisce informed us that our application for our seventh International Green Flag Award was been successful. This flag was presented to representatives from the school in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway on the 20th of May followed by lunch. Congratulations to our Green School Co-Ordinator, Mrs. Monson and the Green School Committees who have steered the two year programme on Global Citizenship, Litter and Waste.
The Green School Committee are delighted to announce that Scoil Chroí Naofa has been shortlisted for The Green Awards 2014. The Green Awards aim to celebrate excellence in sustainability and to encourage practice amongst Ireland’s organisations and individuals. There are 23 different categories in total. Our school was shortlisted for the Green Awards 2014 in the Green School/ College Award category with Queens University, Belfast and St. Peters National School, Dromiskin. The Green Awards aim to celebrate excellence in sustainability and to encourage practice amongst Ireland’s organisations and individuals. Mrs. Monson and Mrs. Neylon travelled to the Award Ceremony in the Hilton Hotel, Dublin before the Easter holidays. We had a most enjoyable evening. Queen’s University College won the award but we were very happy and proud that our school was nominated.
The Committeeorganised three very successful Cash for Clobbers. They gathered 200 bags in first term and raised €1,080 for the school which is going towards purchasing T-shirts for the Hallelujah Choir. They organised a Cash for Clobber three bag challenge as part of a competition for participating schools to collect the biggest amount of bags over the series of the school year. They raised €2,800.00 in total this school year.
Park & Stride Day is advertised and encouraged every month. All children are encouraged to wear high-visibility vests and arm-reflectors. Those who travel to school by car are asked to park their car on the outskirts of Athenry or away from the school and to walk the last part of the way. High visibility vests were given to one of the Junior Infant Classes while arm bands were given to the other class.
The Green School Committee invited the school to take part in the National Green Schools Travel Walk to School Week which took place from Monday to Friday the 12th to 16th of May. They reminded all parents and children that it was Park & Stride Week. All children were encouraged to wear high-visibility vests and arm-reflectors every day. Those who travel to school by car were asked to park their car on the outskirts of Athenry or away from the school and to walk the last part of the way. On Wednesday, the 14th of May children, staff and parents took part in a special walk. We assembled at Kenny Park car park at 8.50am and then we all walked to school.
The Green School Committee organised an Intercultural Day on Thursday, the 15th of May with the assistance of the Diversity Committee. Each class learned about different countries and showcased their learning during the day to all the children and to parents who were invited to visit from 1.30 – 2.30pm. It was an opportunity to meet children and parents from different countries. Children and parents had an opportunity to taste a wide variety of international cuisine, to learn about customs and traditions and to look at some arts and crafts from different countries. Children came to school dressed in national dress of any country.
Mrs. Monson invited some members of the Athenry Knitting Club to assist her in teaching her class knitting. They are creating a quilt from squares knitted by each child which are depicting scenes of life in our school to include the Green flag symbol.
They regularly update the Green school notice board in the hall.
They water the hanging baskets and the plants in the large pots regularly.
They requested a ban on Christmas cards.
They reminded the parents, children and staff about a free WEEE Wagon Day for electrical household waste and electronic equipment organised by Galway County Council and WEEE Ireland.
They planted a tree on National Tree Day.

MATHEMATICS

The two senior infant classes and the two first classes have been taught the Maths Blast Programme.
Children in 5th & 6th class have registered on the Khan Academy website. www.khanacademy.org is an innovative website for pupils with a variety of mathematical topics to help improve their maths. The site sets challenges suitable to each child’s ability level. This site enables the children to engage with maths in an enjoyable way and can be practised at home. The children are also taking part in an online maths competition entitled Mathletes.
A number of children had the opportunity to attend a free Maths Camp in the Galway Education Centre based on the Khan Academy funded by Sean O’Sullivan from Dragon’s Den.

MUSIC

Ms. Murray is the Band Co-Ordinator. All the children from fourth upwards received band instruments. Third class was taught the tin whistle. They learnt 6 tunes. One bell lyre, bell lyre cases, accordion straps and melodica tubes were purchased.The following teachers taught the music: Mrs. Cronin, Ms Murray, Mrs. Monson, Ms. Monaghan, Mrs. Hennessey, Ms. Doyle Ms. Sheridan, Mrs. Burke, Ms Tyrell, Ms. Alani and Mrs. Neylon. Ms. Murray also taught the drummers.
The Medieval Town Band performed their repertoire at the Lighting of the Christmas Tree and in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Athenry.The band received a beautiful award from the Community Council.
Mr. Mc Donald, Mrs. Cronin and Mrs. Neylon taught second class children the tin whistle.
Ms. Tyrell taught first class girls the tinwhistle.
Our school choir sang at various Masses, Prayer Services and Carol Services conducted by Mrs. Cronin and accompanied by Ms. Murray.
Children from 3rd up to 6th class sang at the Christmas Market.
Our school has a very strong tradition of choral singing. Children take part in many Choral Events during the year. They sing at Morning Assemblies, Masses, Prayer Services, Concerts, etc. The two senior classes have taken part in the National Children’s Choir every second year over the last 18 years. Last year they participated in another Choir entitled the Peace Proms Choir which was a Choral Education Programme devised by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland. The children had the opportunity to perform with a full symphony orchestra in NUIG with a leading professional conductor and musicians. This year 4th, 5th & 6th classes participated in the Hallelujah Choir Festival which took place in the City West Hotel, Dublin in December 2013. This programme consists of 12,000 children singing a medley of songs with some dance moves over a four day period. The Parents Council financed the buses for the children. Children were provided with the Hallelujah Choir Festival t-shirts compliments of Cash for Clobber Collection funds.
All the children participated in the school Christmas Carol Service.
The Church Gate Collection took place in March and a sum of €891.40 was raised.
The senior classes attended the Presentation College Musical and the Vocational School Musical.
Alan Burgess manager of the Athenry Heritage Centre very kindly organised the Galway Ensemble in Residence Contempo Quartet to perform for the children from 2nd up to 6th class on Thursday, the 8th of May.

IRISH

The Student Council teach a new Irish phrase to all the children every Wednesday.

Mrs. Cronin gave prizes to children regularly at assembly who make a special effort to speak Irish on Wednesdays.

Seachtain na Gaeilge was celebrated for a week in March. All the children and staff made an extra effort to speak Irish throughout the week. All the classes participated in a Ceili Mor. They were also entertained by musicians on the staff.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

All children from 1st to 6th are encouraged to skip during play time.

Children from 3rd up to 6th class had the opportunity to be coached in camogie by Mrs. Burke, Mr. Wallace or Michael Helebert who is a representative of the GAA Coaching Committee,

The school camogie team qualified to the finals of the INTO Mini 7s and the 13 aside Cumann na mBunscoil Camogie Blitz. Runners up for the 13aside were Orla Kavanagh, Hannah Lane, Sophie Murphy, Natasha Murphy, Aoife Hallissey, Emma Orchard, Ava Earls, Megan Earls, Annabelle Tear, Sarah Ryan, Emma Ruane, Maria Donohue, Leah Crotty, Nessa Kelly, Katelyn Tuffy, Sara Dowling, Shauna Madden, Eimear Tully and Jacqueline Ward.

Some children from 2nd up to 6th participated in the Athenry Camogie Schools Blitz in May.Our school was awarded first prize. Team members include Leah Crotty, Sarah Ryan, Emma Orchard, Eimear Tully, Nessa Kelly, Sarah Dowling, Aoife Hallissey, Katelyn Tuffy. Another one of our teams were runners up for another shield. Team members include Hannah Lane, Ava Earls, Natasha Murphy, Annabelle Tear, Caoimhe Rohan, Emma Ruane, Sarah Lukina, Laoise O’Shea.

Seventeen girls participated in the recent Athletic Association Irish Primary Schools Cross Country Championship in Renmore. Congratulations to Zoe Griffin who was awarded a medal for coming 24th in her race. She qualified to the County Finals.

Mr. Wallace selected some of our runners for the Cumann na mBunscoil Cross Country Championship in Renmore.

Junior and Senior School Relay Teams participated in the Community Games Sports Day.

A number of children from 1st up to 6th class participated in the Cumann na mBunscoil Galway County Primary School Sports in the Regional Sports Centre in Dangan in June. Congratulations to Leonore Church who came third in the under nine category of the Long Distance Race.

3rd class attended Swimming Lessons in Kilcornan Swimming Pool in Clarinbridge

A number of children took part in the Community Games Swimming.

The Galway Community Rugby Officer from Corinthians Rugby Club, Wendy Hickey provided tag rugby coaching to the two senior classes. The children also participated in the 2014 Girls National School Rugby Extravaganza.

John Burke from the Football Association of Ireland provided soccer coaching to all the classes. He provided a “Give Racism the Red Card” soccer workshop for 6th class. He also with the assistance of Michelle provided a six week course on Football to the children in Ms. Monaghan’s class

Sixth class participated in a Cycling Workshop organised by An Taisce in October. The day commenced with a powerpoint presentation followed by practising skills in the top yard. They later went on a cycling tour around the town.

Marina Keating provided Martial Arts sessions to children in the three senior classes.

Mairéad Joyce, a Sean Nós teacher provided Sean Nós Dancing Workshops to all the classes.
John McDonald is in charge of the Active School Flag Programme. To achieve the Active School Flag we as a school community must have an educated and physically active school. We must learn about and take part in lots of different sporting activities during school and after school. Scoil Chroí Naofa is a very active school already. We take part in lots of different sporting activities but we need to get every child in school to become more active inside and outside the classroom. We will be having an Active School Week in June and classes will go on active school tours. A Display Board will be erected in the hall of past activities and future events. Suggestions from each class will be sought. A new committee has been established called the Active School Committee. Mr. McDonald is the Co-Ordinator assisted by Mr. Wallace. Second class is the steering committee. Their slogan is Be active! Keep active! Stay active! We are participating in a two year Active School Programme and hope to be awarded an Active School Flag. The Active School flag committee has 3 aims:
To make sure that everybody takes part in some kind of activity during or after school, e.g. walking, cycling, swimming, running or just playing.
To help children to be more active inside and outside of school. It is recommended that children have at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
To make sure we have fun while getting more active. It’s much easier to be active if you’re having fun doing it.

The whole school participated in an Active School Week from the 16th – 20th of June. Our slogan is Be active! Keep active! Stay active. Children were encouraged to be active as much as they can at home, at school and at play. According to research children between 5 – 12 years of age need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Children should reduce the amount of time spent on watching TV, using video, computer games and phones. The children came to school for the week in their track suits and runners. They were encouraged to be active in their travel as they walk to school. There was a wide variety of fun activities on offer every day for the different classes. Each morning we commenced with a wake up shake up morning assembly presented by the Active School Committee. They demonstrated and encouraged the whole school to participate in some fun exercises. They assigned these exercises as active homework. The teachers organised a variety of activities to mark this active fun week, e.g. active school tour, sports day, disco, hulahoopathon, skipathon, runathon, bizzybreak activities, circuit training with Geoffery (Ms. Sheridan’s brother), active homework, teddy bears picnic, walk a mile with a smile, active travel, Fun & Fitness Activities from the District Health & Fitness Gym, drop everything and dance, drop everything and jog, mexican wave, penalty pandemonium against the principal and class teacher, basketball knockout, salsa & zumba dancing, etc. Children were encouraged to drink water in preference to juices during this week. The Committee issued an Active Newsletter to give ideas to parents and children on how to stay active at home, school and at play. They carried out a daily survey on the number of children in each class who drank water each day. An award was given to the class who drank the most water. Active Awards were presented to children who made a special effort in being extra active. The following were some ideas in supporting children to be active at home: walk, run, jog, skip, cycle, dance, walk or play with the dog, play tag, hide and seek, football/soccer, swim, trampoline, active chores, plant/weed garden, etc.

The committee is seeking assistance from any parents who would b e willing to share their skills in any area of keeping fit, e.g. dance, sport, yoga, games, etc.

RELIGIOUS EVENTS

Mrs. Cronin prepared the sixth class girls for their Confirmation. The girls attended a Retreat in Esker. They participated in a Service of Light. The children were also involved in the Confirmation Parish Programme entitled You Shall Be My Witness Programme.

Mr. Mc Donald prepared the children for their 1st Confession and Holy Communion. The children and their parents were also involved in the Communion Parish Programme entitled “Do This in Memory Programme. Fr. Benny very kindly gave each of the Communicants a Bible after their big day.

We had a number of Prayer Services on the first Fridays based on various themes; New Beginnings, Advent, St Brigid, Lent, Mary our Mother, Easter Story.

The staff and children prepare for special masses during the year e.g. Opening of Year Mass, Presentation Day Mass and the Graduation Retirement Mass.

Second up to sixth attended morning mass on Monday the 6th of January for the feast of the Epiphany

The whole school took part in our annual Carol Service. .

We celebrated Grandparents Day by inviting them to visit their grandchildren in the school.

We celebrated Catholic Schools Weekat morningassemblies in January.

We went on a junior and senior May procession to the statue of Mary located at the back of the church.

Children throughout the year had opportunities for Confession, blessing of the miraculous medals, the blessing of throats and the distribution of ashes.

Sr. Nancy visited the school on a Diocesan visit on Wednesday, the 5th of February. She visited all the classes to talk to the children about the programme, hymns, prayers, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit

The school participated in Christmas Shoebox Appeal again this year. We gathered 112 boxes which was fantastic

A member of the Knitting Club, Maureen Canon would like us to support her in a fundraiser for the Irish Pilgrimage Trust. She donated a large Easter egg for a raffle which took place on Thursday, the 10th of April. The sum of €740.10 was raised.

The Student Council raised €900.00 for the Bake Sale.

SCIENCE

Senior infants and first class visited the castle.

Galway Science & Technology Festival ran from the 11th to the 23rd of November. To participate in this event, 1st, 2nd & 3rd class were provided with Kinex workshops and 5th & 6th class had a Cell DNA workshop with Muriel Grenon.

We apply every year to participate in the Medtronic Foundation Projects. We were selected this year to take part in two projects, the Kinex Workshops and the Heart Dissection Workshop. Brendan Smyth presented kinex workshops to fourth class. Four children Ciara Coffey, Michelle Gyamera, Aibhe O Regan and Roisin Fallon competed in the Kinex County Championship which took place in the Radisson Hotel on Tuesday, the 3rd of June. The class also presented a display board highlighting all their learning since they became involved in the project. Brendan Smith presented a Heart Presentation Powerpoint to the children in 6th class. Medtronic researchers also presented a ‘Practical Heart Presentation’ to them. Maria Donohue and Marta Galinska showcased their learning on a display board at an exhibition in the Radisson in Galway also.

SOCIAL PERSONAL & HEALTH EDUCATION

The Stay Safe Programme is taught from Senior Infants to 6th Class. The aim of this programme is to teach children personal safety skills. Information booklets about this programme were distributed to parents of senior infants and new families throughout the school.
We celebrated our first Anti Bullying Awareness Week from the 11th to the 15th of November 2013. The following is a list of the activities that took place:
– Morning Assembly was dedicated to exploring the different types of bullying and how to respond to bullying behaviour. The senior classes performed a “Respect Rap” each morning and different classes contributed poems based on the topic.

– 5th & 6th class knitted blue wrist bands for every child and staff member in the school to remind them that it was Anti Bullying Week.

– We erected a “Kindness Tree” in our school hall. Each child decorated a blue leaf to place on the tree and wrote a kind message on it.

– The Students’ Council launched an Anti-Bullying Poster Competition. The winner was announced at Friday morning assembly.

– The 4th Class Diversity committee wore their blue sashes during yard breaks making sure that everybody had someone to play with and everyone was being kind to each other.

– An Anti-Bullying noticeboard was created for the school hall displaying a wide range of posters based on bullying and cyber bullying.

– Class teachers focussed on bullying and cyber bullying (senior classes) as part of their SPHE programme.

Our second Anti Bullying Week took place in May emphasising that Scoil Chroí Naofa is a Bullying Free Zone. The following are some activities that took place: There was an assembly each morning with a focus on the definition of bullying, different types of bullying (physical, verbal, social, and cyber), the role of the bystander, the bully and the victim. The children sang the Respect Rap. They promised to keep the No Bullying Pledge which was created by Mrs. Burke. Fifth and Sixth class made Anti-Bullying wrist bands for all the children and staff. Student Council created a Kindness board and posters with kind words for display around the school. They drafted a No Bullying charter. The Diversity Committee created a PowerPoint on bullying. They became a buddy to children in the yard and in the classrooms during breaks. They also presented the staff with a no bullying badge. Ms Treacy with the assistance of Mrs Devally created a Helping Hand Tree where each child drew around their hands and identified five people who they can turn to if they have a problem with bullying. They then placed their hand on the Helping Hand Tree. On Wednesday which was called Blue Wednesday children and staff came to school dressed in blue (blue signifying peace, safety and solidarity). The Caring Kid Awards were presented to the following children on Friday who made a special effort in being extra kind during No Bullying week. Emma Clayden Murphy, Emilis Drambrauskas, Emma Murray, Haley Smith, Ethan Fallon, Hollie Cooke, Sinead O’Mahony, Kacey Leigh Ward, Laura Kuzmicz, Weronika Duszota, Aoibhe Rohan, Leonore Church, Blaithnaid O’Mahony, Tara Hannon, Ava Fitzsimons, Amy Higgins, Giovani de Melo Brito and Deirdre McDonagh.
During No Bullying Week the children learnt the following messages; Bullying is wrong, unacceptable, deliberate and repeated. It is something that can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime, in any way. Our school will not tolerate bullying. We are a No Bullying team. We are banding together against bullying. We are standing up to be a friend for others. Everyone has a responsibility. We can change things. We can make a difference. During the week the children are hearing many stories on different types of bullying where they are identifying the Bully, the Victim and the Bystander.
1. A Bully is someone who tries to hurt people again and again by the way they act.

2. A Victim is someone who is bullied and feels hurt, upset and scared by the actions of a bully

3. A Bystander is a person who sees bullying taking place and is a very important person involved in stopping the bully. The bystander can choose to help to stop the bullying or join in with the bully and become a bully too.

Children are also being taught the following strategy in dealing with bullying situations;1. Stop 2. Say No 3. Walk away 4. Tell an Adult
The staff have recently revised our Anti Bullying Policy according to recent Department Guidelines. This policy was discussed at the Parents Council. Three comments came back from the general parent body. The Board of Management will ratify this policy at this meeting.

ARTS & CRAFTS

5th class continued with Knitting classes with the Athenry Knitting Group.
Ms. Monaghan’s class commenced Sewing on Fridays with the kind assistance of Edvania de Melo Brito and Mrs Joyce.
6th class started to Crochet with the assistance of Victoria McDermott, Mrs Devally, Mrs Hallissey, Ms Treacy and Mrs Joyce.
Tom Cuffe provided an Origami Workshop for 5th & 6th class financed by the Parents Council.
Tom Cuffe from the Heritage Council provided Bird Watching Workshops to 1st, 3rd & 4th classes which were financed by the Parents Council..

TABLE QUIZ

Two teams of children from the senior classes participated in a Table Quiz in the library in October. Our senior team was awarded first place. Team members were Emma Flannery, Aoife Hallissey and Ailish Burke.
Three Quiz Teams participated in a Quiz in Kilchreest in January.
Two teams took part in the annual Credit Union Table Quiz in February.
Mrs. Hallissey and Mr Wallace organised a Quiz in Irish for the children in the three senior classes during Seachtain na Gaeilge.
Mr. Wallace selected four teams to take part in Tráth na gCeist (Table Quiz through the medium of Irish) in Loughrea in March.Congratulations to the following children on our senior team who were awarded 2nd prize: Aoife Hallissey, Hannah Lane, Emma Flannery and Ailish Burke.
Children also participated in the Pioneer Quiz on March 29th and Scor na nOg Quiz on March 30th
Mr. Wallace and Mrs. Hallissey organised a Fun Quiz for Adults in May, assisted by the Parents Council.

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Mr. Wallace coached the Table Quiz Teams.
Mrs. Cronin and Ms Alani provided Art Attack Classes.
Mr. Wallace provided a Sports Club for 1st and 2nd classes. .
Mr. Mc Donald coached Basketball.
Ms Sheridan taught guitar lessons and Spots Club for Infants.
Ms Tyrell provided a Science Club.
Mrs. Hennessy taught French Lessons to senior classes.
Mrs. Cronin and Mrs. Burke provided an Easter Fun Camp.
Ms Treacy and Mrs. Burke are providing a Summer Fun Camp.
Ms Monaghan provided Dance lessons on Thursdays for 4th

OTHER AWARDS

Last year our school was awarded a Digital Status Award in recognition of our best practice in the use of ICT in our teaching and learning. This year we have taken part again in the Digital Schools of Distinction Programme. Participation in this programme is giving an opportunity to enhance the learning experience of pupils and to develop digital skills which will stand to them throughout their lives. This Digital Schools of Distinction Programme is an accreditation which primary schools can attain by demonstrating excellence in their approach to the integration of ICT. A validator visited the school on the 9th of May to assess us for this new award. The Validator was very impressed and quoted “I found my visit very educational and entertaining in this wonderful school”. We have just received our award in June 2014 in acknowledgement for the high standard of ICT integration achieved by the school to the benefit of both teachers and pupils.
Abbie Gibbons from 5th class was awarded 2nd prize in the 11 – 13 age category of the Credit Union Poster Competition.
Mia Lukina was awarded 1st prize in the Community Games Handwriting Competition.
Rhiannon Gorton was awarded 2nd place in the County Galway Community Games Swimming Competition.
Emma Flannery was awarded 1st prize in the Primary School Category of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association Essay Competition.

GENERAL

A German teacher and her Transition Year Students from Presentation College taught 6th class some basics in the German language for two sessions over three weeks in February.

All the children enjoyed their school tours.

Ms. Tyrrell’s & Mr Wallace’s classes went on their school tour to a Let’s Go Activity Camp in NUIG Kingfisher, Galway.
Ms Treacy’s & Mrs Burke’s Senior Infant classes went on their school tour to Loughwell Farm in Moycullen.
Mr. McDonald’s class went on their school tour to The Farmyard in Corofin, Co. Clare.
Mrs Monson’s class went on their school tour to a Let’s Go Activity Camp in NUIG Kingfisher, Galway.
Ms. Alani’s Junior Infant class went on their school tour to Loughwell Farm in Moycullen.
Miss Sheridan’s Junior Infant class went on their school tour to Loughwell Farm in Moycullen.
Mrs. Hennessy’s & Ms. Monaghan’s classes went on their school tour to Adventure World in Limerick.
Mrs Cronin’s class went on their school tour to Westport.
The Parents Council have finance 50% of bus fare for two senior tours.

The following professionals visit our school every year;
The Doctor visited to administer a dose of the MMR Vaccine to Junior Infants.
BCG was given to the 6th class in November
Nurse checked vision and hearing of Junior Infants and Sixth Class.
Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Speech Therapists visit regularly.
The Attendance Officer, Paul McCarvera visits the school every month.

CONCLUSION

Our successes and achievement can only be attributed to the following:

the dedication and commitment of the staff

the interest and hard work of the pupils

the co-operation and support of parents

the ongoing support of the Board of Management