SSE Report 2014/2015


SCOIL CHROI NAOFA WHOLE SCHOOL SELF EVALUATION REPORT 2014/2015

Whole School Self Evaluation Report incorporates all activities of the Board of Management, Student Council, Parents Council, Green School Committee, Diversity Committee, Healthy School Committee, Active School Committee, staff, professional development courses, school planning, Literacy, Numeracy & Irish Targets and all the activities that have taken place in the school from Junior Infants up to Sixth Class from September 2014 to June 2015 in the various curricular areas.

 

BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

  • The Board of Management is currently in its fourth year in office. Members consist of Bernie Ryan and Michelle Kenny (Parent Representatives), Tom Lane and Margaret Seery (Community Representatives). Gerry Farrell and Fr. Benny McHale (Patron Representatives), Veronica Murray, Cathriona Cronin and Teresa Neylon (Staff Representatives).
  • Board of Management had three meetings during the year. Chairperson and Principal have numerous meetings.
  • Board members take on an active role and presence in the school.

 

PARENT’S COUNCIL

  • There are 18 members on the Parents Council. Officials include Yvonne Dowling as Chairperson, Mary Ryan as Secretary and Eithne Kennedy as Treasurer. The Board of Management, staff and parents wish to thank Yvonne for her dedicated service on the Parents Council over the last eight years.
  • At the beginning of the year, the balance in the Band Account was €4,854.23 and the balance in the Parents Council was €3,296.81. Balance of accounts to date is Band – €5,755.76, Parent’s Council – €1819.81.
  • The Council assisted in the following fundraisers: Christmas Concert Raffles, Fun Table Quiz in Dowling’s and the Annual Church Gate Collection.
  • Members assisted at many other activities and events such as band events, grandparents day, graduation day, sports day, covering and renting books, etc
  • Members discussed the new Anti Bullying Policy, Birthday Policy and the Healthy Eating Policy.
  • Financial support was provided for bus trips for events such as athletics, camogie and table quiz.
  • Fundraisers include
  • Concert Raffles             €1,415.00
  • Church Gate Collection:   €884.47
  • Three Cash for Clobbers             €1,275.00
  • Table Quiz €1,279.00
  • Concert DVDs      €72.00
  • Calendars                                        €395.00
  • Money raised provided workshops for the children such as Bird Watching with Tom Cuffe.
  • They also funded parties e.g. sacraments, band events, sports day and superliner competitions.
  • They purchased 10 helmets, two accordion cases and bell lyres.

Total                              €5,320.47

                      

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 who have been elected: Amy Higgins (Chairperson), Rebecca Dennis (Vice-Chairperson) and Rhiannon Caffery (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 Irish phrases to the pupils every week.
  • They continued the Superliner Competition with the junior and senior classes on a fortnightly basis.
  • They updated the Art Gallery every month where the class teachers selected a sample of outstanding art work from his/her class for display.
  • They were a great help in assisting parents and children onto the school grounds via the safe route.
  • They assisted the staff in implementing our Healthy Eating Policy.
  • Student Council held their annual Bake Sale in aid of Our Lady’s Children Hospital in Crumlin. Our school has a special connection with Crumlin as some of our children have been helped, cared for and cured by their dedicated staff. The Student Council raised €841.
  • They organised the annual SCN X Factor.
  • 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 dramatised sketches of different types of bullying for assembly each morning.
  • They applied to the Galway Education Centre for support and training in a Debating Programme. Their application was successful. They were all trained by Margaret Martin. A team was selected to participate in the Sister de Lourdes Debating Competition 2015.
  • They set up a remembrance tree in the hall and gave all the children labels where they could write or draw about someone or pet that has died. The children put all the labels on the tree for the month of November.
  • They organised a fundraiser with the assistance of a publisher.  They created a calendar from January to December 2015   with a photo of each of the twelve classes to coincide with the months of the year. The calendar costs €5.To date 79 calendars were sold for €395.
  • They suggested dressing up as a character in a book on the Friday of the Book Fair Week.
  • They suggested that some pets may be allowed to visit school within reason and in consultation with class teacher.
  • The committee are delighted with their new orange bibs purchased by the Board of Management.

 

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 3rd & 4th class. Their role is to welcome new children, families and staff to our school community. The following are some of their duties:

  • They 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 assist on the Opening Day for new children and parents when they visit the school
  • They assist the Green School Committee on Intercultural Day. .
  • They prepared an Anti Bullying Powerpoint for all the classes and advised them to view it during anti Bullying Week.
  • The Board of Management purchased new yellow bibs for the Committee.
  • They created a new PowerPoint on Diversity which they shared with the staff and children around Intercultural Day.
  •  They also created a display board with their new motto as follows: Stand Tall, Stand Strong and Stand Together.
  • They suggested Buddy benches for both yards. Jack our caretaker designed them. Children sit on them when they have no one to play with. The Committee makes sure a buddy is assigned to them.

GREEN SCHOOL COMMITTEE: Please see Green School Programme

 

ACTIVE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: Please see Physical Education

 

PLANT

  • An official from the Building Department re-visited our plans for building some of our proposed extension on site. An Engineer was sent to survey the grounds. They concluded that the building will only be built as a full building project which is on the priority list with the OPW. Our building project is on standby at present due to site constraints.   A green field site is not an option.
  • The Board has employed Jarlath Laffey to be our gardener.  He removed some dying trees, shrubs and plants. He has trimmed trees and shrubs. He also has planted 180 plants. He attended to the pots and the hanging baskets. He gave a guided tour to the Green School Committee and then he labelled the main plants.
  • 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 i.e. €30 per child or €50 per family. We received €1,916 in total.
  • The small room in the old prefab was equipped as a support room for Mary Vaughan and Paula Lane.
  • The new prefab was installed in August. An interactive whiteboard and a laptop was purchased for the extra classroom.
  • A new photocopier was installed and all our rooms have been equipped with printers.
  • The wall at the front of the school beside St. Therese was plastered and painted.
  • Emma the artist painted a mural on the new wall with the assistance of the five committees.
  • Carpets in Ms. Tyrrell’s and Mr. Wallace’s rooms were replaced with marmoleum.
  • An extra new blind was purchased for the fire door in the sixth class room.
  • A shredder was purchased for the office.
  • The BOM purchased extra English readers for classes Junior Infants up to Mrs. Hennessey’s 3rd class.
  • One radiator was installed in the staffroom.
  • Our hall floor will be replaced with a gym floor during the holidays.
  • The inside and outside of the boundary wall at the car park will be pointed along with the wall in the bottom yard which is adjacent to the second  mural.
  • Holes in the tar macadam will be repaired.

 

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 a course on Development Co-ordination Disorder under the auspices of Enable Ireland.
  • The following teachers attended course under the auspices of the Health Service Executive;
  • Karen Hennessy and Teresa Neylon attended a two course on the Whole School Approach to Mental Health Promotion.
  • Colm Wallace attended a workshop on Zippy’s Friends.
  • John McDonald attended a Fun Based Activity Day.
  • The following teachers attended courses in the Galway Education Centre under the auspices of the Professional Development Services for Teachers:
  • Aisling Tyrrell attended a course on Reading Fluency.
  • Colm Wallace attended two sessions on an Irish course Gaeilge Ó Bhéal, Éisteacht agus Labhairt.
  • Colm Wallace and Rebecca Sheridan attended a Cruinneas Gaeilge course.
  • Veronica Murray attended a Child Protection course.
  • Mary Vaughan attended a Phonological Awareness course in the Galway Education Centre under the auspices of the PDST.
  • Elaine Monson attended a Green School seminar on Global Citizenship.
  • Teresa Neylon and Veronica Murray attended a course Data Gathering & Data Analysis.
  • Maria Monaghan and Rebecca Sheridan attended Yoga for Children.
  • Margaret Scully attended six sessions of Mata sa Rang.
  • Mary Murray attended two sessions of the RSE.
  • Teresa Neylon attended an Anti Bullying seminar.
  • Margaret Scully and Mary O’Sullivan attended Inservice on Literacy & Team Teaching.
  • Elaine Monson and Teresa Neylon attended a Numeracy Link course.
  • Michelle Treacy, Darrelle Burke, Janan Alani, Ashling Tyrrell, Mary Murray, Maria Monaghan and Teresa Neylon attended Wellbeing for Teachers.
  • Teresa Neylon attended a workshop on SSE Numeracy
  • Veronica Murray and Teresa Neylon attended SSE on Literacy
  • John, Darrelle, Karen and Mary Murray attended the Be Active after School Activity Programme provided by Galway Sports Partnership CE in Education Development. A resource folder was given to each participating school
  • Teresa Neylon and Maria Monaghan at the invitation of NEPS attended an Emotional Wellbeing course.
  • Fiona Falvey presented a summary of the Health School Promotion Initiative to the staff..
  • Michael from the PDST provided support to the staff in Irish. He facilitated a SCOT analysis on Irish. He taught Irish lessons to various classes.
  • Owen Diviney Life Coach provided a workshop for the staff on Health and Wellbeing.
  • Anne O’Rourke provided workshop on reviewing our Critical Incident Policy.
  • Michelle Hanley, Nutritionist & Juice Therapist provided a Nutritional Workshop for the staff.
  • Ciara from PDST provided a Yoga Workshop for the staff.
  • Veronica attended a seminar on Supporting Children with DCD – practical strategies and approaches.
  • Veronica Murray and Karen Hennessey attended a session on Friends for Life with Anne O’Rourke.
  • Mary O Sullivan, Margaret Scully, Mary Vaughan and Veronica Murray attended a cluster meeting of support teachers in the area facilitated by Anne O’Rourke.
  • Mary O Sullivan and Margaret Scully attended a second cluster meeting.
  • Croke Park Hours
  • Maria Monaghan, Mary O’Sullivan, Elaine Monson, Janan Alani, Ashling Tyrrell and Teresa Neylon attended WELLNESS 365 SEMINAR under the auspices of the INTO.
  • Teresa Neylon attended Conflict Management inservice delivered by the INTO.
  • Mary Murray and Teresa Neylon attended Bully4u Seminar by John O’Dwyer.
  • Teresa Neylon attended inservice on Appointments, Education & Law under the auspices of IPPN.
  • Paula Lane carried out research on members of our school community on the Literacy Lift Off Programme. She will forward her findings to the staff on its completion.

 

CURRICULAR AREAS

English

  • Parents of junior infants attended a meeting on the Jolly Phonic Programme.
  • An intensive Reading and Writing programme entitled Literacy Lift Off was implemented in 1st classes and senior infants.
  • Paired Reading took place  where children in a senior class read to children in a junior class. Mrs. Monson’s class paired with Mrs. O Reilly’s class, Mrs. Murray’s class paired with Ms. Alani’s class and Ms. Monaghan’s class paired with Ms. Sheridan’s class.
  • The senior classes participated in the Spelling Bee Competition with Ryan Tubridy. Tamsin Hyland represented the school at the County Spelling Bee Championship. Kayla Donnelly was the runner up for the school.  Tamsin secured 18th place out of 45children.
  • The following two pupils won awards at the Community Games Handwriting Competition; Aoibhe Rohan and Sandra Bedynek.
  • The Student Council applied to the Galway Education Centre for support & training in a Debating Programme. They were successful in their application and support & training was received from Margaret Martin.  She entered the following team Rebecca Dennis, Amy Higgins and Giovana de Melo Brito, for the Sister de Lourdes Debating Competition 2015. They qualified to the next round but unfortunately did not succeed to the finals. It was a great experience for the school.

 

Literacy Targets

  1. Aistear Programme in Junior & Senior Infants.
  2. Jolly Phonics Programme in Junior Infants, Senior Infants and 1st
  3. Six week Literacy Lift Off Programme in Senior Infants and First Class followed by a visit to the local library.
  4. Whole School Approach to Teaching Comprehension Strategies.
  5. Paired Reading between Senior Classes and Junior Classes.

 

Gaeilge

  • The Student Council taught a new Irish phrase to all the children every Wednesday.
  • Awards were given to a child from each class each month that make a special effort to speak Irish on Wednesdays.
  • The following were a list of some of the activities that took place through the medium of Irish during Seachtain na Gaeilge: Assembly every morning, Daily Diary, Brush, Wren & Ceili Dances, Daily News & Weather on Intercom, Irish Music over Intercom during lunch break, Stories, Poetry & Drama, Songs (Amhrán na bhFiann), Spelling Bee, King or Queen of the Tables, Maths Trails, Nature Walk, Walk to the Park with Teddy, Walk to the Church to listen to the story of St. Patrick, Bingo, Table Quiz,  variety of Games, watching TG4 Player, listening to Radio na Gaeltachta,  Irish Speaker Awards, Siamsa on Friday (Concert). Children came to school on Friday dressed in Green, White & Orange colours.
  • Congratulations to the following children who were awarded Certificates for making a special effort to speak Irish during Seachtain na Gaeilge: Sophie Murray, Nathaniel Drapiewski, Julia Rae Togashi, Oskar Slowiak, Sylwester Natalicz, Cian Dooley, Rayanne Marques da Pina, Anna Rohan, Kalina Skrzyszewska, Dorota Dabek, Nikola Sarna & Rhiannon Caffrey.
  •  Irish novels were purchased for the two senior classes out of the proceeds of the Book Fair.

 

Gaeilge Targets

  • Whole School Approach to teaching everyday phrases in Irish.
  • Grammar Plan revised.

 

Maths

  • The three senior infant classes and the two first classes have been taught the Maths Blast Programme.
  • Paired maths took place in a number of classes where children from senior class assist children in junior classes in the area of maths. Ms. Monaghan’s class assisted the three senior infant classes on Fridays.
  • In class support in Maths was provided daily for the three split classes by the class teacher and a support teacher.
  • A one week Maths Problem Solving workshop was provided to the three senior classes by two support teachers and the class teacher.
  • A one week Maths Number workshop was provided to the three Junior Infant classes by two support teachers, the class teacher and an assistant.

 

Numeracy Targets

  1. Aistear Programme in Junior & Senior Infants.
  2. Three week Maths Blast Programme in Senior Infants and first class.
  3. Number Workshops for Junior Infants.
  4. Problem Solving Workshops for Senior Classes.
  5. Whole school approach to Table Strategies.
  6. Whole school approach to Problem Solving Strategies.
  7. Paired Maths between Senior Classes and Junior Classes.

 

Music

  • Murray is the Band Co-Ordinator. All the children from fourth upwards received band instruments. Third class were taught the tin whistle. They learnt 6 tunes. Two bell lyres, two accordion cases were purchased. The following teachers taught the music: Ms Murray, Mrs. 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.
  • Mc Donald and Mrs. Hennessy taught second class children the tin whistle.
  • Our school has a very strong tradition of choral singing. Children took part in many Choral Events during the year. They sang at Morning Assemblies, Masses, Prayer Services, Carol Services and Concerts. Last Christmas all of the classes performed a concert item for their parents. The three senior classes participated in the Hallelujah Choir Festival which took place in the City West Hotel, Dublin. All the children participated in the Christmas Carol Service. Children from 3rd up to 6th class sang at the Christmas Market.
  • Norah Joyce (retired teacher) providing a music programme for one of the senior infants entitled Colour Strings.
  • Congratulations to Ms. V. Murray who received an Honorary Award from Galway Comhaltas to mark an appreciation of her outstanding service and dedication to Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann and  her special contribution to music, culture and Irish tradition.

 

Physical Education

  • Children from 1std up to 6th class had the opportunity to be coached in camogie by Mrs. Burke, Ms. Tyrrell, Mr. Wallace & Mr. Mc Donald and assisted by Michael Helebert /Owen Fahey from  the GAA Coaching Committee,
  • The school camogie team competed in the INTO Mini 7s and the 13 aside Cumann na mBunscoil Camogie Blitz
  • Children from 2nd and 3rd and the school camogie team participated in the Athenry Camogie Schools Blitz in May.
  • Mr. Wallace selected two teams to participate in the Cumann na mBunscoil Cross Country Championship Well done to the following girls who ran 1000 metres in freezing conditions and were placed in the top thirty out of 120 children: Sarah Dowling, Megan Earls, Ava Earls, Monica Medinite, Leonore Church, Michelle Gyamera, Amy Coffey and Zoe Griffin.
  • Mr. Wallace also selected children to participate in the Athletic Association Irish Primary Schools Cross Country Championship in Renmore.
  • Junior and Senior School Relay Teams participated in the Community Games Sports Day.
  • Mr Wallace selected sixteen children from 1st up to 6th class to participate in the Cumann na mBunscoil Galway County Primary School Sports in the Regional Sports Centre in Dangan in June.
  • Third  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 Mrs. Monson’s class and Ms. Monaghan’s class. Darren Collins from Monivea Rugby Club coached Rugby to sixth class girls.  Wendy and Darren organised a Rugby Blitz amongst the three senior classes.
  • 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 5th class.  He also provided a six week course on Football to the children in Mrs. Monson’s class
  • Ruth O’Reilly, the Connacht Senior Women’s Captain, an Irish International and part of the Six Nation’s Winning Team came to visit the school with the Women’s Six Nation’s Cup.She spoke to the children about her experience as an International Rugby Player.
  • Sharon Higgins provided Zumba Dancing Workshops to all the children financed by the Parent’s Council. Sharon very kindly provided workshops for all the classes during Active School Week.
  • Ciara from PDST provided a Yoga Workshop for the children in Ms Monaghan’s class and the staff.
  • The following girls in 6th class won the U14B Championship Final 2015: Nessa Kelly, Eimear Tully, Sarah Dowling, Caoimhe Rohan, Ava Earls and Megan Earls. The team qualified to the Feile Championship 2015.
  • Congratulations to Kate Barkley who won two All Ireland medals at the All Ireland Dancing Competition. She also qualified to the World Championship in Montreal in March where she was awarded 24th
  • We held our second Active School Week in June. Please read Active School Week Newsletter 2014/2015

 

John McDonald is in charge of the two year 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. An Active School Committee was established in November 2013. Mr. McDonald is the Co-Ordinator assisted by his class and Mr. Wallace. The Board of Management purchased new bibs for the Committee. 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 are having an Active School Week this week.  Our slogan is Be active! Keep active! Stay active! 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 following is a list of various activities that took place during our Active School Week. Children came to school in their track suits and runners. Children were encouraged to be active in their travel as they walk to school. There were a wide variety of fun activities on offer every day for the different classes. Each morning 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, yoga, dancing and action songs. The teachers organised a variety of activities to mark this fun week, e.g. sports day on Tuesday in Kenny Park, disco, hulahoopathon, skipathon, runathon, jogathon,  bizzybreak activities, active homework, teddy bears picnic, active travel (Park & Stride from Kenny Park), drop everything and dance/jog/think,  Mexican wave, penalty pandemonium against the principal/teacher, basketball knockout, samba with Edivania de Melo Brito and her sister, Zumba with Sharon Higgins,  fun & fitness activities with Hugh &Aoife (from Club Vitae in the Maldron Hotel  Oranmore) etc.  The following were some ideas in supporting  children to be active at home: walk, run, jog, skip, cycle, dance, swim, trampoline, walk or play with the dog, play tag, hide and seek,  football/soccer, do active chores e.g. plant/weed garden, tidy bedroom, walk to the shop/church/park/library etc. Active Awards were presented to children who made a special effort in being extra active during the week. The Healthy School Committee encouraged children to drink water in preference to juices especially during Active School Week. They did major research on the amount of sugar in different juices. They displayed their findings on a noticeboard in the hall. The following are some of many interesting facts about their study:

  • Capri Sun contains 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • A small bottle of club lemon contains 15 teaspoons of sugar
  • A small bottle of Coca cola has 13 teaspoons of sugar
  • Water has no sugar

 

Religious Ethos

  • Murray prepared the sixth class girls for their Confirmation. The children participated in the Confirmation Parish Programme entitled You Shall Be My Witness Programme which was delivered by the NET Ministry team. The girls also attended a Confirmation Retreat in the Pastoral Centre presented by the NET team.
  • Mc Donald and Mrs. Hennessey 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.
  • We had a number of Prayer Services on the first Fridays based on various themes; New Beginnings, Advent, Christmas, 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 Mass.
  • Second up to sixth attended mass on 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 Week at morning assemblies in January led by Ms. Murray.
  • We went on a 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, blessing of throats and distribution of ashes.
  • A member of the Knitting Club, Maureen Canon asked us to support her in a fundraiser for the Irish Pilgrimage Trust. She donated a large Easter egg and some gifts for a raffle. The sum of €684.00 was raised.
  • The Student Council raised €841.00 for the Bake Sale in aid of our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin.

 

 

 

Science

  • During  National Science Week the following activities took place;
  • Teachers made a special effort to teach interesting science lessons and conduct exciting experiments
  • Tom Cuffe provided Origami Workshops for 5th & 6th
  • Conor McDonagh from Steps Ireland presented an Engineering Workshop to 6th class pupils.
  • One of the science teachers with the assistance of transition year students from Presentation College demonstrated a circuit of simple experiments to Ms. Monaghan’s fourth class and Mrs. Hennessy’s third class.
  • The Mad Scientist conducted a number of experiments for three middle classes.

 

  • Our school has participated in the Discovery Science Programme for five years. Teachers in various classes taught their pupils many interesting science lessons and the children had the opportunity to carry out a wide variety of scientific experiments. Hence our school was awarded five Discovery Science Awards of Excellence. In recent years the programme required mathematics to be integrated into science lessons. We have been awarded three Discovery Science & Maths Awards of Excellence. In 2015 Ms Tyrrell our science co-ordinator with the assistance of the staff and children applied for our ninth award. Staff had to ensure that technology, engineering and mathematics is incorporated into our teaching and learning in science. We have just been notified that we have been successful in achieving the Discovery Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths Awards of Excellence.
  • Special thanks to two engineers Barry Doyle and Maja Drapiewska who provided workshops for Ms Monaghan’s class.

 

Green School Programme

  • We are now working towards our 8th Green Flag which is based on the theme of Global Citizenship. We all have a responsibility in looking after our environment, in thinking globally and acting locally. Everyone can make a difference.
  • The Green School Committee distributed Hi-Vis Vests to all the children in junior infants.
  • The Committee organised Park & Stride Days for the whole school community from Kenny Park in October and June.
  • They organised three Monster Cash for Clobber Collections.
  • The four senior classes made Christmas decorations for Christmas trees located outside Centra and in the square under the guidance of Mrs. Monson.
  • The Committee requested  children  not to  exchange Christmas Cards  at school. This is our way of caring for the environment and reducing the amount of waste paper as well as cutting cost to families due to the current economic climate.
  • They organised an Intercultural Day 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 parents  were invited to visit.  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.
  • 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 water the hanging baskets and the plants in the large pots regularly.
  • Jarlath Laffey brought the committee on a guided tour of all the plants he planted during third term. He labelled the main plants. Mrs Monson’s has taken photos of the main plants and made large labels for them. Her class will bring the classes on a guided tour at the beginning of the school year.

 

Social Personal & Health Education

  • We celebrated Anti-Bullying Week in November 2014. We educated our pupils on the different types of bullying with a focus on respectful behaviour and relationships. Class teachers taught lessons based on the different types of bullying each day and how to respond to bullying behaviour. The following are a list of the activities that took place around the school:
  • There was an assembly every morning where we focused on the definition of bullying, different types of bullying ( physical, verbal, social and cyber), the role of the  bystander, bully and victim, how to deal with bullying, etc.
  • The Students Council dramatised a sketch every morning, highlighting the different types of bullying. Other classes contributed to morning assemblies by sharing songs and posters on a bullying theme.
  • Children recited the anti bullying pledge each day. A copy was sent home to parents for signing.
  • The Respect Rap was revised during the week.
  • Garda Eamon spoke at assembly.
  • Murray sourced lovely book tokens which have been created for all staff and children and distributed by the Diversity Committee.
  • The Diversity Committee were present on the playground at both breaks wearing their blue sashes. Their role is to buddy children in the yard.
  • The Diversity Committee 2013/14 created a superb Anti Bullying Powerpoint last year which has been uploaded onto all class laptops.  Staff and children viewed the slides during the week.
  • Staff and children participated in the Random Act of Kindness Activity. Each day a child picks a child’s name out of a box where he/she is encouraged to carry out a random act of kindness towards that person. Staff are doing likewise with another staff member for the week.
  • Friendship homework was given to children each night and discussed the following day e.g. how did you show kindness to your Mum, Dad, sisters and or brothers.
  • The Caring Kids’ Award was presented to children who made a special effort in being extra kind this week. Congratulations to the following pupils who were awarded the Caring Kid Award for showing extra kindness during Anti Bullying Week: Hanna Dabek, Eve Murray, Samantha Martin, Clodagh Joyce, Jessica O’Shea, Shay Brady, Shannon Farrell, Maia Morgan, Giovana Bueno, Rebecca Boyce, Sophie Murphy, Zoe Mongan and Tamsin Hyland.
  • The Healthy School Committee in Mrs. Hennessey’s class organised an Anti Bullying Poster Competition. Congratulations to the following pupils who were awarded prizes: Adriana Moore, Eve Murray, Ailbhe Mannion, Lucy Ryan, Sarah Almeida, Anna Rohan, Mia Doyle, Amy Coffey and Abbie Gibbons.
  • Friday was called blue Friday where staff, children and parents were encouraged  to wear blue as a statement of peace and solidarity in support of creating school community where people will “Stand up and be a friend for others.”
  • The Scoil Chroí Naofa Anti Bullying Charter on rights and responsibilities was revised.
  • The Board of Management ratified our revised Anti Bullying Policy.
  • Our school participated in the Food Dudes Programme with the assistance of the Healthy School Committee and our co-ordinator, Mrs. Hennessey. This initiative aims to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables. The programme had two phases. Phase one is where children  received fruit and vegetables in the school  and phase two where children were rewarded with certificates of achievement for bringing in and eating fruit and vegetables from home as part of their daily lunch diet. Eventually children will enjoy the taste of these foods and eat them for a reward. They will also come to think of themselves as healthy eaters who enjoy fruit and veg.
  • The motto of the Healthy School Committee is Healthy Body, Strong Mind Go Better Together.  Our school is currently implementing the two year Healthy School Programme. We hope to secure an award in 2016. Four criteria have to be addressed.

 

  1. Environment

The school has to have a distinctive atmosphere which reflects the extent to which the school takes care of the social, emotional and physical needs of those who learn, work and visit. It is reflected not only in the physical environment but in the social environment.

  • The Board of Management hired an artist to design a mural in consultation with the various committees at the entrance to the school. She sketched an outline and various classes assisted her in painting.
  • The Board hired a gardener to get rid of plants and shrubs that were dying and to plant shrubs and flowers with a view to colour, growth and light throughout the year. Flower beds were planted in front of staff room and also at entrance to school. Hanging baskets were hung around the main entrances and flowers were added to pots around the school.

 

  1. Curriculum & Learning

Teaching and learning form the core work of every school. A solid robust Social Personal Health Education programme is vital, along with a menu of subjects and activities that nurture, challenge and support pupils. Supporting staff to do the best they can is also essential here to ensure a healthy learning and working environment.

  • The staff implemented the Food Dudes Programme which aims to encourage children to become healthy eaters by eating more fruit and vegetables.
  • Our Anti Bullying Week took place in November 2014 emphasising that  Scoil Chroí Naofa is a Bullying Free Zone. Bully 4u provided a bullying workshop for senior classes. They also provided an Information Evening for parents on Bullying and Cyber Bullying.
  • A Nutritionist Michelle Hanley was invited to talk to the senior children about healthy foods and juicing financed by the Parents Council. She also provided a Croke Park Hour for the staff financed by the Board of Management.
  • A Life Coach Owen Diviney was invited to talk to the senior children about Well Being financed by the Parents Council. He also provided a Croke Park Hour for the staff financed by the Board of Management.

 

  1. Family & Community Links

Links are fostered between the school and families, the local community, other schools and key local groups and organisations which might help to promote the health of the school community.

  • The Board of Management have purchased different colour bibs for the 5 committees in the school.
  • The Athenry Knitting Club provides knitting workshops to the children in 5th class.
  • Grandparents were invited to visit on Grandparents Day. Parents Council financed refreshments.
  • Ms. Monaghan’s and Mrs. Monson’s class visited the Athenry Heritage Centre for a guided tour and medieval experience under the guidance of Alan Burgess, Manager and financed by the Parents Council.
  • Parents have been invited by the teachers to talk about their work, talents or memories.
  • Children are encouraged to participate in competitions such as Credit Union poster and quiz competitions, Community Games sports, handwriting and Art competitions.
  • The Green School Committee works very closely with the Tidy Towns Committee.
  • Please read other links under Sport.

 

  1. Policies

Policies are written documents which support the everyday running of the school through active implementation on a day-to-day basis. They form the background script or compass by which the school navigates its way. They are developed and implemented in co-operation with the whole school community

  • The Committee are revising our Healthy Eating Policy with the assistance of a parent Ruth Cawley who is a Clinical Dietician.
  • We are currently drafting a Mental Health Policy.

 

Visual Arts

  • The following items were knitted during the year by 5th class and ladies from Athenry Craft Club
  • Teddy Bears
  • Clothes for their own teddies
  • Santa Claus and Snowman Christmas Tree Decoration
  • Pumpkins and ghosts for Halloween
  • Winter hats
  • Hearts for Valentine’s Day
  • Jumpers for babies and toddlers in Peru
  • A wall hanging of Athenry Castle
  • Easter Chickens
  • Hairbands
  • Knitted dolls
  • Some children took on their own projects
  • Congratulations to Eva Coye and Abigail O’Shea who were prize winners of the Galway Advertiser Christmas Art Competition.
  • Giovana de Melo Brito and Michelle Gyamera were awarded first and third  prize in the first round of the  Community Games Art Competition. Giovanna De Melo Brito in sixth class qualified to the All Ireland Community Games Art Competition in her category.
  • Norah Joyce taught sowing to Ms. Monaghan’s class assisted by Maria Monaghan, Rosaleen Devally, Margaret Hallissey, Mary O’Sullivan, Margaret Scully and Veronica Murray.
  • Emma the Artist collected ideas and suggestions from the Committees for the mural. They assisted her in painting her sketches.
  • Children participated in the Credit Union Art Competition.
  • Mrs Devally, Mrs. Murray, Ms Treacy and Eleanor Bergin’s Granny provided crotchet workshops for 6th class.

 

Information Technology

  • One of our Millennium Projects was to design a school website. The staff received professional training in the use of Information Technology. Mrs. O’Sullivan was appointed our Information Technology Co-ordinator (I.T.C.) where she took responsibility for the establishment of our website with the assistance of Scoilnet. She has been our ITC co-ordinator since 2000 where she co-ordinates, moderates, and updates the website with the assistance of the staff and children. The website has provided a lovely insight into school life.
  • In May 2013, Ms. Murray added a blog facility where staff contributed photos and stories from their classes on a regular basis.  Mrs O Sullivan then applied for the Digital Schools Award in 2013. One of the criteria required was to have an active school website. We are the fourth school in Co. Galway to receive the Digital Schools Award which recognises excellence in our approach to the integration of ICT in learning, teaching and in administration.   In 2014, we secured a second award called the Digital Schools of Distinction Award, in acknowledgement of our high standards as an e-learning school.
  • In June 2014, Mrs. Cronin expressed an interest in the future of the website and did research on school websites and web designers. She selected the most popular features and characteristics in order to add them as a menu to our new website. The Board of Management employed Zappy a web design company from Dublin to create our new website at a cost of €1,500 and a nominal monthly fee for hosting. The Board of Management and staff are very proud of the finished product which is available for viewing on www.scoilchroinaofaathenry.ie . The website includes many features such as our school diary over the next few weeks, recent school newsletters & photos, blogging from various classes, a translation feature to other languages etc.

 

Extra Curricular Activities

  • Ms. Sheridan provided a Senior Infant Activity Club and a Junior Infant Activity Club.
  • Ms. Tyrrell provided a Science Club for 3rd class children.
  • Mr. Wallace provided Sports Club for 1st & 2nd class children.
  • Mr. McDonald coached Basketball to children from 4th to 6th.
  • Mrs. Burke provided Sports Club to middle classes.
  • Mr. Wallace and Mrs. Hallissey coached children for table quiz competitions such as the Athenry Credit Union Quiz, the Athenry Library Quiz, Kilchreest National School Table Quiz, Loughrea Tráth na gCeist (Table Quiz through the medium of Irish) and the Pioneer Table Quiz Competition which took place in the Ard Rí Hotel Tuam.
  • Ms. Alani provided Art Attack Classes for children from 1st up to 5th class.
  • Ms. Monaghan provided Dance & Yoga Club to children from 2nd to 4th class.
  • Ms. Alani and Ms. Tyrrell organised an Easter Fun Camp in the school.
  • Mrs Hennessy provided French Lessons to pupils from 4th up to 6th class.

 

Visitors

  • The following professionals visit our school every year;
  • The Doctor visited to administer a dose of the MMR Vaccine to Junior Infants.
  • Nurse checked vision and hearing of Junior Infants and Sixth Class.
  • Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Speech Therapists visit regularly.
  • The Attendance Officer, Paul McCarvera visits every month.
  • A Road Safety Officer provided Safety Workshops for all of the classes.
  • The German teacher from Presentation College with the assistance of Transition Year Students taught two German lessons to sixth class.

 

CONCLUSION

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

  • the dedication and commitment of the staff
  • the inspirational leadership of all our committees
  • the interest and hard work of the pupils
  • the co-operation and support of parents
  • the ongoing support of the Board of Management

 

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