Letter (4) 10112021

Nov 11, 2021

Issue: 04                                                                                                                                  November 10th 2021

Dear Parents



  • The whole school community would like to offer our sincerest congratulations to Julian Drapiewski (father of Gabriel in Junior Infants) who recently completed his studies and has qualified as a Deacon. A wonderful achievement!


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 in all classes 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.


Dates for Diary:

  • Wednesday Nov 10th & Thursday Nov 11th – Parent Teacher Meeting Phonecalls – all children will go home at 1.15pm
  • Thursday Nov 25th Staff Webinar Term 1 – all the children will go home at 1.15pm
  • Wednesday December 22nd – all children go home at 11.45am : Christmas Holidays
  • Monday February 21st to Friday February 25th: Mid-term break
  • Tuesday March 22nd: School Photographer
  • Monday April 11th to Friday April 22nd: Easter Holidays

Information for schools regarding Children First Awareness Week:

  • Children First Awareness Week took place from 1st to 7th November 2021.
  • Children First promotes the protection of children from abuse and neglect, by setting out what individuals and organisations need to do to keep children safe, and how to deal with concerns about a child’s safety or welfare.
  • Society has a duty of care towards children, and everyone should be alert to the possibility that children they are in contact with may be abused or at risk of abuse or neglect.
  • If you are concerned about a child or young person, you should contact Tusla social work department. Organisations classed as providers of relevant services under the Children First Act 2015 are required to complete a risk assessment and must have a Child Safeguarding Statement in place.
  • More information on keeping children safe in our communities is available at gov.ie/childrenfirst

Covid 19:

  • More than ever we all need to play our individual parts in ensuring that our run into Christmas at home, school and work goes as smoothly as possible.
  • You’ve all done an amazing job so far but we have to continue to keep up our highest standards to protect everybody in our school & community. There is now more than ever a personal responsibility on us all to do the right thing and to find out the latest public health guidelines as they are made available.
  • We will certainly keep up everything we are doing to ensure the highest levels of safety in the school. None of the measures we introduced to mitigate the COVID situation in SCN will be changing in the short term.
  • See below link from the HSE for a reminder of the symptoms and the guidelines


  •  Schools are not public health bodies and while we will continue to serve you all as best we can always, when it comes to public health we have been advised recently to urge families to take more personal responsibility for their public health obligations. All the details you need are available on www.hse.ie.
  • The simple fact is that schools find it difficult to keep abreast of the evolving public health situation themselves and like you are relying on reading the living documents as they present on the HSE website.
  • If you are getting tested for COVID 19, your child should not be in school. To keep the school and community safe everybody must adhere to this public health guideline.
  • Parents of any children who have been instructed to restrict their movements by public health and not attend school are asked to contact the school to ask their child’s teacher to provide school work for them if they so wish. Homework will not be automatically provided as we realise your child might be unwell and need time to recover fully if this is the case.

As a parent myself however I wished to share with you the following. I think it’s particularly relevant and useful. (Please check the HSE website for the full breakdown on all the latest guidelines).


  • have a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or more
  • have any common symptoms of COVID-19– a new cough, loss or changed sense of taste or smell, shortness of breath or an existing breathing condition that has recently become worse
  • are told by the HSE that they are a close contact of COVID-19
  • live with someone who is unwell and may have COVID-19
  • have other less common symptoms of COVID-19, such as sore throat, headaches or vomiting
  • have diarrhoea
  • returned from another country in the last 14 days with an adult that needs to self-isolate

Runny nose or sneezing

It’s OK to send your child to school or childcare if a runny nose or sneezing are the only symptoms they have.

But if your child has a runny nose and feels unwell or is off form, they should stay at home.

A runny nose or sneezing on their own are more likely to be symptoms of a cold or other viral infection.

Most of the time, you do not need to phone your GP if a runny nose or sneezing are your child’s only symptoms. Talk to your pharmacist instead.

Follow the advice to prevent the spread of colds, coughs and viral infections in children

If your child also has a high temperature, loss of smell or taste, a cough or shortness of breath, follow the advice for children with symptoms of COVID-19.


Webinar on the Importance of Sleep:

  • Planet Youth with Lucy Wolf, sleep consultant held a webinar last week on the “Importance of Sleep for Our National School Children”. It was a webinar for parents that explored the importance of sleep, the reasons behind typical sleep challenges and how parents can practically support their children to develop positive sleep practices.  You can view a recording of this webinar using the following link:



Best Attendance:

  • Congratulations to Miss Feeney’s class on having the Best Attendance for the month of October.

Special Achievements:

  • Congratulations to everyone who won an award for making an “Extra Special Effort” with their handwriting and how they present their work
  • Congratulations to Ailbhe Mannion (6th class) & Chloe Quinn (6th class) who were winners in the competitions run by the new Athenry Swans Hockey team!
  • Congratulations to Aleksandra Pajak (2nd class) and Adriana Moore (6th class) who won prizes in the Athenry Castle Halloween drawing competition!

Fund Raising:

  • Thank you to everyone who took part in the Cash 4 Clobber collection before the mid-term break. We raised approx. €300 for the Parents Council.
  • All the children came dressed in their Halloween costumes on the last day before the Mid-term break and donated €1 or €2. A total of €400 was raised and it is being donated to the “Trick or Treat for Temple St.” fund.
  • Before the mid-term break all the children designed their own Christmas cards. The sample cards are due this week & will be circulated to the children, as soon as they arrive. You will be able to place orders on line and are advised to do this asap, to ensure that the cards arrive in time for Christmas.
  • In December, before we break up for the Christmas holidays, we will have a “Christmas Jumper day” in aid of Athenry Christmas lights & Tidy Towns.

Parent / Teacher meetings:

  • The dates for the Meeting Phonecalls are Wednesday November 10th & Thursday November 11th.
  • All the children will go home at 1.15pm. This is to facilitate teacher to start making calls from 1.30pm.
  • Teacher will have been in touch with you already to let you know what time you can expect his/her call.
  • Please note phonecalls will be coming from a private number.

Sensory Garden:

  • We are delighted to announce that we have a plan for our Sensory Garden. Landscape designer Anne McKeown has produced a wonderful design, which is on display on the window of the main front door.
  • The major works have gone out to tender but we may need parental help with the finishing touches at a later stage. If any parent wishes to contact me in relation to the project now I’d be delighted to hear from them.
  • It will be a fabulous addition to our outdoor playing space for the pupils. It even includes an outdoor classroom!
  • Sincere thanks to our Board of Management who have given us the go-ahead to make this investment in our school.

Science Week:

This year Science Week will focus on “Creating Our Future”, a national conversation between the general public, the research community and policy makers.

Science Week is a week-long event in Ireland each November, celebrating science in our everyday lives. It includes a wide variety of events involving industry, colleges, schools, libraries, teachers, researchers and students throughout Ireland. Science Week will have a number of regional festivals offering a range of opportunities for the public to engage with STEM across Ireland.

Please keep an eye on the Galway Science You tube channel for lots of experiments and short videos.



The children really enjoyed watching the show “This Is Science Week!” It was a 45-minute live show that celebrated all things science. John Sharpson (‘Múinteoir John’ from RTÉ’s Home School Hub) hosted this special event with guests including Jason Smyth (the fastest Paralympian on the planet), Junior Einsteins Science Club and the education team from Castlecomer Discovery Park. It was very interesting.

  • All the classes are taking part in lots of fun activities & experiments for science week.
  • Some of the highlights are:
    • Mrs Greally’s 4th class taking part in a Teagasc Science Week zoom webinar called “Facts about Cows, Milk and Grass”
    • Mr Kelly’s 5th / 6th class are doing a “Battle of the Bots” – Engineer a drawing machine and creatively explore science through art
    • Mrs Monson’s 6th class are doing “Something Sciencey” with Jane McLoughlin; a week’s worth of science videos & experiments
  • All of the Junior & Senior Infant classes will be having a Lego workshop (Nov 22nd & 23rd). Thanks to the Parents Council who have funded this for the children.
  • Miss Feeney’s 3rd class are working on their Engineers Ireland STEPS Young Engineers Award 2021

Green School Committee:

  • Mrs Greally’s 4th class are this year’s Green School committee.
  • The theme for the next Green School’s theme for 2021/22 /23 is “Global Citizenship – Biodiversity and Food”. This two year theme explores how to grow, harvest and prepare your own food using organic means whilst also investigating the impact of the current food production system on the local and global environment.
  • Mr Kelly’s 5th/6th class will be a sub-committee for this theme as they already do a lot of work in this area.

Marathon Kids:

  • Mr Kelly’s 5th / 6th class are taking part in “Marathon Kids Ireland”. The girls will take part in an 8 week programme where they will run a total of 26.8 miles and learn all about the benefits of sport.

TULCA Visual Arts:

  • Mrs Monson’s 6th class will be working with artist Aoife Barret to produce a “letter” – however this won’t be a conventional letter written with a pen / pencil. Aoife is an established visual artist and printmaker with a broad social practice that focuses on the power of community, creativity and arts and health.

Branar Theatre for Children:

  • In December all Junior Infant, Senior Infant, 1st class and 2nd classes will have the opportunity to tune in to a performance of “How to Catch a Star”. This adaptation combines an original score by Colm Mac Con Iomarie, puppetry and stunning stage design with Branar’s signature storytelling to create a show to inspire us all to follow our dreams.


  • NOTE: there is a “Class List” option available on the Aladdin app. If you “opt in” to this list you will be able to see the contact details for all the other parents in your child’s class, so long as they have also “opted in”.
  • 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).

Head Lice:

  • An incidence of head lice has been reported in Mr Hanley’s 1st class. Please check your child’s hair regularly and treat immediately, if necessary. Long hair should be tied back.

Team Hope Christmas Shoe Boxes:

  • The Christmas Shoebox Appeal is an annual campaign where thousands of individuals in Ireland donate shoeboxes filled with gifts to children affected by poverty in Africa and Eastern Europe. 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.
  • To make a VIRTUAL BOX of your own with your child you can visit www.teamhope.ie at any time and choose the items you would like to add. (Just follow the steps online).

Community Links:

  • Athenry Playground:
    • Athenry Playground needs your help! They are in urgent need of people who can give time and / or ideas to help with the ongoing maintenance of current equipment and fundraising for new equipment for our community playground. If you can give some time or have some ideas please consider joining their fundraising committee. Contact [email protected] or Shauna on 087 4307729.
  • Ultraflex Academy of Dance:
    • Athenry Community Hall, Tuesdays
    • 4pm (3-6yrs), 5pm (7-9 yrs), 6pm (10yrs plus)
    • 7 week term is €70 – limited places
    • For further information phone Kim on 087 7799489  http://www.flexyostyle.ie
  • Kids Yoga and Mindfulness with Laurie:
    • Athenry Community Hall, Thursdays @ 3.30pm starting Nov 4th
    • Children aged 5-12
    • 7 week term is €60
    • For further information phone Laurie on 087 0569552

Yours sincerely

Fergal Naughton, Principal

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