Letter 21/11/2022

Feb 14, 2023

Dear Parents                                                    Issue: 04                                                          November 21st,  2022


  • Sincere condolences to Alise and all the Averin family on the untimely passing of her dad Andrey, may his soul rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with her & her family at this very sad time.

Dates for Diary:

  • Thursday Nov 24th Staff Webinar Term 1 – all the children will go home at 1.15pm
  • Thurs Dec 22nd to Wed Jan 4th: Christmas holidays (school closes at 11.45am on Wed Dec 21st)
  • Wednesday February 1st: Grandparents day
  • Monday February 6th: St Brigid’s day bank holiday
  • Thursday February 16th & Friday February 17th: February Mid-term break
  • Tuesday March 22nd: School Photographer
  • Monday April 3rd to Friday April 16th: Easter Holidays (school closes at 11.45am on Fri Mar 31st)
  • Monday May 1st to Friday May 5th: May Mid-term break
  • Thursday May 18th: Confirmation for 6th class girls

School Uniform:

  • The Board of Management have reached a decision on the school uniform
  • From Sept 2023 the school uniform will be the one that is now on display in the foyer (photo attached)
  • We listened to all the parties, collated all the data very carefully & we heard loud and clear that people wanted a change.  
  • This uniform is a 5-day per week unisex uniform
  • It will cost at least €50 less than the pinafore option that the girls currently wear
  • There will be a 12 month grace period upon introduction
  • I realise we will not please everybody and I’m not asking everybody to love the change. All I’d ask is that now that the decision has been made, that everyone will support it.

Amalgamation Update:

  • We have been advised that the site currently occupied by Gael Scoil Riada & Coláiste an Eachreidh has been purchased by the Department of Education
  • The intention is that this site will be used to develop their promised co-education amalgamated primary school for the town.
  • No indication of any dates has been given, but as soon as we have further information we will share it.
  • This is an exciting and important step forward for primary education in our town.

Remembrance Tree:

  • In November we always take the opportunity to remember the Holy Souls. Our wonderful SNA team have created a beautiful “remembrance tree” which is currently hanging in the school hall. All children have been given the opportunity to write the name of a loved one who has passed away on a piece of paper shaped like a leaf. They coloured and decorated the leaf and all the leaves have been hung on the remembrance tree. This is a small gesture for us all to remember our loved ones who have passed away.


  • Congratulations to Mr Kelly’s 5th & 6th class on having the Best Attendance for the month of October

Special Achievements:

  • Congratulations to Ava Mason, Rachel Murray, Ayla Mooney & Isobel Heffernan from Mrs Monson’s 3rd / 4th class who all won prizes in the Athenry Castle Halloween drawing competition!

Halloween Fun day fundraiser:

  • Sincere thanks to Kim Somers and her team at Flex-yo style / Ultra flex for making our Halloween Fun day before the mid-term break such a special day for all the children!!!
  • Thanks also to everyone who donated – we raised €470 for the Athenry Playground committee.

Parent / Teacher meetings:

  • Sincere thanks to all parents for attending their parent / teacher meetings last week.
  • It was so nice to see all the parents face-to-face again in our school. We all missed the sense of community. It’s great to have it back again!


  • Parents of children in Junior Infants up to 2nd class are urged to continue to support their child with homework on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. These are the early years. Getting off to a good start in school is everything. The pupils get very little homework at this stage but support with it EVERY night from a parent can have transformative results.
  • Unfortunately, at this formative stage, homework is not something that can be outsourced to any crèches / child minding facility. It’s too important to be done anywhere other than a 1:1 setting at home. There’s an opportunity here to have a real impact on your child’s early years of education. Let’s make the opportunity count.

Sleep Hygiene & Routine:

  • This is impacting negatively on some of our senior rooms at the moment. It is important that pupils who will be working from 8:50am every school morning, get to bed on time each night.

Presentation Day:

  • Scoil Chroí Naofa is a Presentation Primary School. November 21st is Presentation Day, our school feast day. We celebrated our school feast day by going to mass in the church. We did this to commemorate the Venerable Nano Nagle (foundress of the Presentation Order) and her work.
  • We wish all the Presentation sisters in Athenry convent a very special feast day!

MMR Vaccines for Junior Infants:

  • A community medical doctor & a school public health are visiting the school tomorrow (Tues Nov 22nd) to vaccinate the children in Junior Infants with a 2nd dose of the MMR vaccine and the “4 in 1” vaccine.
  • Consent forms have been distributed to all the children. Please return the forms to your child’s class teacher as soon as possible. The letter contains details of the time slot for your child.
  • It is essential that a consent form for each child is fully completed, signed & returned to the school prior to the vaccination.
  • Parents / guardians or a nominated adult are invited to attend with the child on the day of the vaccination.

Cúirt Creative Writing Workshop:

  • The pupils in Mrs Monson’s 3rd / 4th class and in Mr Kelly’s 5th / 6th class will be having a creative writing workshop on Wednesday Nov 23rd.
  • Cúirt International Arts Festival of literature are offering these workshops to our school as part of their school’s outreach programme
  • The workshop will be with author Mary Watson. Her novel “The Wren Hunt” was published by Bloomsbury Press in 2018.

GAA Coaching:

  • Thanks to Jack Hynes (Galway GAA coach) who has provided Ms McSpadden’s 1st / 2nd class and Miss Feeney’s 2nd class with 3 weeks of coaching in Gaelic football.


  • We are delighted to welcome back Mrs Devally!
  • She is currently helping Mrs Monson to teach the girls in 3rd / 4th class how to knit.

Band & Lighting of Christmas Tree:

On Friday December 2nd the Athenry Christmas Lights will be turned on at 7pm in the Square. The Medieval Town Band has been invited once again to perform at the ceremony.  The children are putting a lot of hard work into this performance and we would be very grateful if you would support us by being present on this occasion.   All band members (children from 3rd up to 6th class) are requested:-

  • To arrive in school at 5:45pm (Gates & yard doors will be locked, so please use one of the 3 front doors)
  • Text Box:  To wear their full school uniform.
  • To wear extra layers under their uniform.
  • To bring their raincoat.
  • To wear their hair in plaits, if possible.
  • To wear Santa Claus hats or reindeer hair bands (optional).                 
  • Children will be supplied with band sweaters.
  • Children can be collected from the school after the event (approx. 7.30pm)


  • Sunday (November 27th) is the first Sunday of Advent. The First Sunday of Advent is actually the Christian Church’s New Year’s Day.
  • Christmas is only around the corner! On this topic we’d appreciate it 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
  • Thank you to all the children who participated in the Christmas Shoebox appeal. It is an opportunity to share a little joy and excitement with children who live in circumstances where these can sometimes be in short supply.
  • Pupils in Junior infants up to 2nd class will be hosting a Carol Service on Wednesday December 14th.
    • All children are to wear a Christmas jumper and / or a Christmas hat, if they have one, on the day
    • All family members are invited to attend
    • The carol services will take place in the hall
      • 9:15am–9:45am: Ms Tyrrell’s Jun Infs, Mrs Duffy’s Jun Infs & Miss Dolan’s Jun/Sen Infs
      • 9:50am–10:20am: Mrs Murray’s Sen Infs and Mr McDonalds’s Sen Infs
      • 11:15am-11.45am: Mr Hanley’s 1st class and Ms O’Byrne’s 1st class
      • 11:50am–12:20pm: Ms McSpadden’s 1st / 2nd class and Miss Feeney’s 2nd class
  • Santa usually visits the school in the days before we get our school holidays. This year, he hopes to make an appearance on Thursday December 15th.
  • Thank you to all the people who ordered items from “Designacard”. We expect the finished products to be delivered in mid-December, in time for Christmas.
  • 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 money raised from the Heritage walk back in June was used to fund the annuals.
  • The school will hold a Christmas Jumper fundraiser on Wednesday December 21st in aid of the Athenry Christmas lights committee. This will be a non-uniform day. The children may come to school wearing a Christmas jumper, hat etc., if they wish. We ask for a donation of €2 for this privilege, which will be given to the Athenry Christmas Lights committee, to assist them in making our town look so festive every Christmas.
  • The school will close at 11.45am on Wednesday December 21st for the Christmas holidays and will re-open on Thursday January 5th at 8.40am (with class starting @ 8.50am sharp)

Community Links:

  • Christmas Lights will be turned on in Athenry at 7pm on Friday December 2nd
  • Annual Craft fair in aid of Athenry Christmas lights will take place in Town Hall on Saturday December 3rd from 10am
  • On Sunday December 4th Santa will be going around the housing estates in the town

Sensory Spaces:

  • We now have several sensory spaces established in the school:
    • Suaimhneas: our sensory room
    • Sensory garden is now open
    • Hall: popular place for movement & gross motor skill breaks with our large co-operative games
  • A massive thank you to Jack, our caretaker, for all his efforts. He has done an amazing job.
  • Thanks also to Jarlath Laffey, our gardener, for all the planting
  • Thanks to Mrs Trehy & Mrs McGrath for kitting out the sensory room
  • As a finishing touch I would like each pupil to bring a decorated / painted small smooth beach stone to school for us to add to the garden. These would be gratefully accepted up until the end of this academic year and would add lovely colour and creativity to the space. They’d also give the pupils a sense of ownership of the space. Children for years to come will get great enjoyment from the garden in the yard.


  • The school have invested in additional readers which are being used in 5 in-class literacy programmes
  • Sincere thanks to the parents who volunteered their time to cover the books for us!

Internet Safety Talk:

  • Jeremy Pagden from School Websites.ie will hold a talk relating to Online Safety for the girls in 5th & 6th classes on January 12th 2023
  • He will put special emphasis on the downsides of spending too much time on devices. We are noticing that a number of children in the senior classes are coming to school with very low concentration spans
  • There will be a separate talk for parents at 7pm on Thurs Jan 12th, which will be delivered by webinar.

Languages Connect:

  • The Department are funding the provision of ISL classes for pupils in the school – there is no cost to parents
  • The classes will run for 8 weeks, starting in January and will take place after school.
  • The classes will be offered to pupils in Ms Alani’s 3rd class, Mrs Monson’s 3rd / 4th class, Mrs Greally’s 4th class, Ms Murray’s 5th / 6th class and Mr Kelly’s 5th / 6th class.
  • Parents must sign a consent form to give their permission for their child to stay on after school for the extra hour on the given day. These forms will be distributed after the Christmas holidays.
  • The classes will be given by Mrs Trehy

Yours sincerely

Fergal Naughton


Translate »