Letter (6) 26112020

Dear Parents                                                    Issue: 06                                                         November 26th 2020

The whole staff of Scoil Chroí Naofa would like to offer our sincere gratitude and appreciation to both you and the pupils for all your compliance with the Public Health guidelines and our new school practices. We are genuinely proud of all the efforts the whole school community have made since we re-opened and truly very glad that we have been able to remain open while keeping everyone safe.

In order to show our gratitude to you and most especially to the children, we are planning some special treats for the Christmas season.                               


  • This coming Sunday (November 29th) is the first Sunday of Advent. The First Sunday of Advent is actually the Christian Church’s New Year’s Day. Archbishop Eamon Martin has launched the 2020 online Advent Calendar, which will go live on www.catholicbishops.ie on Sunday. The virtual calendar will offer ideas to help us spiritually prepare for our Lord’s coming at Christmas (the real “reason for the season”) with thoughtful reflections. Each day of Advent you can click on the virtual door and take just five minutes to find moments of peace and to rediscover the true meaning of Advent & Christmas.
  • With the current level of Public Health restrictions, none of us are able to physically attend mass. For this reason, let me remind you all that Fr Brendan & Fr Benny say mass in the church every Sunday at the usual mass time of 11am. Although none of us can join them physically in the church, the mass is broadcast live via webcam. If you and your family would like to view the mass together, please visit www.athenryparish.ie and follow the links to the “Parish Webcam”.


  • Christmas is only around the corner! On this topic we’d appreciate if the magic of the season is preserved for all the children in the school. Staff will certainly play their part. It is a special time in particular for primary school children. We’d like to ensure it remains that way. We thank you for playing your part
  • Santa usually visits the school a week or so before we get our school holidays. This year, he won’t be able to come into the building to meet all the children, but he might still make an appearance – we’ll have to wait & see……..
  • Plans are currently underway in all the classes where the children are working on a mini Christmas performance. Each performance will be recorded and compiled together into the school Christmas iMovie. This will be put up on the YouTube channel for parents to view.
  • Unfortunately there can be no Band performance for the turning on of the Christmas lights in Athenry this year. The senior girls will however still be making decorations for the Christmas trees around the town, as they do each year.
  • Thank you to all the people who ordered Christmas cards / Christmas labels / Calendars / Stockings from “Designacard”. We expect the finished products to be delivered in the next week or two. We estimate the Parents Council made approx. €400 from this fundraiser, which will be used to benefit the children in different ways throughout the year.
  • All the children will receive a Christmas annual courtesy of the Parents Council this year. These are fun & educational Christmas-themed activity books which will be given to the children in December.
  • The school will close at 11.45am on Tuesday December 22nd for the Christmas holidays and will re-open on Wednesday January 6th at 8.40am (with class starting @ 8.50am sharp)
  • Fun-events taking place in the run up to Christmas are:
    • Children may come to school wearing a Christmas jumper / hat etc, on a particular day
    • There will be a small Christmas party in each classroom
    • There will be a mini Christmas raffle in each classroom (see details below)
    • The children will get to view the school Christmas iMovie together
    • Weather-permitting, there will be an outdoor Christmas disco!

Christmas Raffle:

Each year the Parents Council organise a Monster Christmas Raffle and there is always great excitement surrounding it! Unfortunately it is not possible for the raffle to take place in its usual format this year!

The Parents Council did not want the children to miss out on this fun, so they have put their heads together & come up with an alternative which means the children can still take part in the raffle, but without breaching any Covid-19 guidelines.

  • We would like to ask parents to please donate some small child-friendly items which will be prizes for the raffle.
  • Any prizes that are donated will “quarantine” in the office for a few days before the raffle takes place.
  • Depending on what prizes are donated we would hope to have a mini draw for each class (15 classes)
  • We will not be asking people to sell tickets or to fill lines on a card. We would just ask each child to bring in €2 and this ensures their name is included in the draw.
  • Teacher will have a money box on his / her desk. Each child puts their €2 into the money box & teacher ticks off their name.
  • On the day of the raffle teacher puts all the children’s names into a hat. Each teacher will hold their own draw in their own classroom (so there will be no congregating in the hall in large numbers or the mixing of pods or bubbles).
  • Hopefully there will be a few prizes for each room, depending on what is donated.
  • In effect, this year’s raffle will be a fun event, rather than a fund-raising exercise.

Green School:

  • This week is “Clean Air Week” and Mrs Greally’s 4th class are carrying out a travel survey in their own class
  • The Green School committee have also commissioned some new signage to tie in with Clean Air week: keep an eye out in the school carpark for this!!!
  • Check out the school YouTube channel for the Green School Committee’s rendition of “The Walking Song
  • The first “WOW day” i.e. “Walk to school on Wednesday” will take place on Wednesday of next week (December 2nd), weather permitting. Please ensure you wear High Viz vests for your journey.
  • The Green School committee will be surveying each class and compiling the results to establish which class was the BEST at walking / cycling to school. (This activity will also be carried out in a Covid-19 compliant way).

Sixth Class Hoodies:

  • All the 6th class girls in both classes will be getting a hoodie as a souvenir of their final year in Scoil Chroí Naofa.
  • The girls (and their teachers) have chosen the colour / design and have all put their signature on a template, which will be transferred onto the hoodies.
  • The Hoodies cost €20. Sincere thanks to the Parents Council who have agreed to part-fund this for the girls.
  • There is a balance of €10 to be paid by each of the girls. This can be paid on-line via the Aladdin app.

Raincoats & suitable footwear:

  • Please ensure your child brings their raincoat to school and wears suitable footwear every day. The children will be going outside for break every day so they will need to be suitably dressed for the weather.
  • Now that we are in the Winter months, children are encouraged to wear layers under their uniform, to ensure they are warm.
  • Windows and doors throughout the school will be left open, to ensure there is plenty of ventilation. The heating in the school is on all day also.

Promoting Gaeilge:

  • I am continuing to record an Irish video for both the Junior & Senior classes each week. The purpose of these is to promote the Irish language throughout the school, and also for the children to see me!
  • There is a smartphone app called “Duolingo” which I would recommend. This is a fun app which helps you to learn a second language. It is very child-friendly. It encourages you to keep up your “streak” by playing a lesson every day. You also get points & rewards for all the lessons you complete. There is a leader board and the more you play the more you can “level up”! The children will be learning Irish, while having fun!


  • Our school was complemented on our SPHE (Social Personal and Health Education) provision following a Zoom call with a Department facilitator this week. We were heartened to receive this affirmation after all the hard work we always put into this area for the children.


  • Please make sure that you have downloaded the Aladdin app and have notifications switched on, as teachers may be using it to correspond with you during the school year.
  • If your child has been absent from school please record the reason for the absence on the Aladdin app (you will need to wait until teacher has marked your child absent first, before you will be given the option to record the reason).
  • Aladdin have introduced a new feature under the “Attendance” section, called “Return to School Declaration”. This is where parents are asked to make a declaration that they have “no reason to believe that my child has infectious disease and I have followed all medical and public health guidelines with respect to exclusion of my child from education facilities”. You will be asked to complete this declaration the day before your child returns to school, after being absent. This is an additional precautionary step that the school is taking in our efforts to keep all pupils and staff in Scoil Chroí Naofa safe during this pandemic. Should your son / daughter be marked absent from school, you will see that this form is available to fill out from the homepage via the “Attendance Notes” section. Please complete this form any-time after 3pm on the day before your child is ready to return to school, or before they arrive to school on the morning in question.

School Uniforms:

  • Can we make an appeal to parents, especially parents of girls in the Senior classes. If you have any school pinafores that are too small for the girls, would you consider donating them to the school? We would be very grateful to get them.

Community Links:

  • Turning on of the Athenry Christmas Lights will be a virtual event this year. The Athenry Lights Committee will stream the event live on Facebook. The date & time has yet to be agreed, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for further details.
  • Sincere thanks to Councillor Shelly Herterich Quinn who has requested the following from the County Council:
    • Footpaths outside the school to be repaired
    • Dog Foul bag dispensers to be placed near the school entrance, to encourage people to pick up after their dogs when they walk through the grounds.

Buíochas as ucht na tacaíochta i gcónaí. Séasúr na hAidbhinte beagnach buailte linn! Cár imigh an chéad téarma?

Slán go fóill

Fergal Naughton


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