Our Senior Girls football team in Donnycarney on Thursday

February 23rd, 2024

Good afternoon, everyone,

I hope your week has been good.

I hope Carol H’s class enjoyed their coffee morning today. Thank you to our 5th class hosts today, Aisling, Edie and Maryiam. Next week Michael’s class are welcome to have a coffee morning in our staffroom.

We are busy in D7ETNS this weekend as we are hosting an Educate Together Conference – Educating for Sustainable Development. We have teachers from ET schools and visitors from the Department of Education attending the conference. It is a lovely opportunity to show everyone our beautiful new school.

We have more dates for your diary

I got a call yesterday from National Council for Special Education offering our school a Staff Training Day. This will take place on Friday May 24th.

The Seminar outline and content will be –

  • Overview of autism and the challenges experiened by the autistic students
  • Strategies for working with Children with autism
  • Understanding regulation as key in promotion of positive behaviour
  • Overview of assessment, Student Support Plans
  • Introduction of the autism Good Practice Guidelines.

We also  got an email from Oide which is a support service for teachers and school leaders. They are doing a whole school training Maths Curricuum day with our staff on Monday, May 27th .

School will be closed for both these days.

I do apologise any inconvenience. Needless to say, all intended school closure dates are on our school calendar at the start of the year. However, we only got offered these dates this week.


Stay and Play / Afterschool activities

If you are collecting a child from an Afterschool acticitiy eg karate, keyboard, soccer, do not ring the Stay and Play bell or ask their staff to get the child from their activity as they may not know where in the building these activites are taking place. If you need to collect your child early from an afterschool activity, please contact the afterschool activity provider directly.

Rowing has finished this year for 5th class. I hope they enjoyed it. We have noticed that having this opportunity to row in school has inspired many of our past pupils to take it up as an activity in secondary school and in college. The centre where we bring the children rowing offers Easter and Summer camps at really good value.

World Book Day

We will be celebrating World Book Day the week after next on Thursday, 7th March.  As a school, we are always working towards fostering an environment where reading is celebrated and encouraged, and it is wonderful to have a whole day dedicated to just that!  In celebration of reading and to remind us of the endless, invaluable possibilities and learning experiences that books create, we are excited to share with you some activities organised for this year’s WBD:

One School One Book

Each class in the school will read and respond to the same book, Begin Again, by Oliver Jeffers.  Classes will explore different aspects of the story and will be coming together to celebrate it at our next Learn Together assemblies. It will be nice for the children to all be on the same page, so to speak, and create a sense of community around the day.  We look forward to hearing all the different responses and interpretations that the classes will bring to the assemblies.

Surprise Reader

We are hoping that each class will have one ‘surprise reader’ on WBD to bring in and read a story/excerpt from a book/poem – this could be a parent/grandparent or someone special to children in the class.  If you are interested in being/suggesting the ‘surprise reader’, please contact your child’s teacher to coordinate the visit. Please remember not to let the surprise slip to your child!

Swap Shop

We will be having our very own ‘swap shop’ for books in the library, organised and coordinated by some very capable 6th class children.  We ask that each child, where possible, brings in 1 – 2 books they no longer want from Mon 4th March – Wed 6th March.  On WBD, each class will visit the ‘swap shop’ to choose a new book to bring home. Please ensure that any books brought to school are suitable and in good condition.

Book Tokens

As always, the children will be given World Book Day tokens to bring home and spend in their local bookshop if they wish.

As you can see, we have a jam-packed World Book Day organised for the week after next.  In the interest of keeping books at the core of our celebration, we will not be having fancy dress as an activity.  We really look forward to all that is planned and are sure that it will be a fantastic day!

Music in the classroom – 5th class visit the NCH

Our class went to the concert hall, and we had a great time. There was great music. There was a really big orchestra with a variety of instruments – violins, trumpets, viola and piano. There were all four of the instrument families: the string family in blue, the woodwind family in green, the brass family were in red and the percussion family in yellow.

They made us do a lot of singing and moving at our seats. We clapped our hands and banged our feet. There were two songs that we learned in school: The Circle of Life and We are One. The music was sometimes fast and slow, it was very unpredictable.

They played songs like: Jurassic Park theme song, Speed and many more.              

We thought that this was a fun activity. The songs were great, and it sounded much more immersive than on the radio. There were so many more schools at the concert hall.  There were at least 900 people. When we all sang together it sounded amazing. We thought the use of instruments was amazing and they worked together perfectly. They performed all the songs in a work from the dinosaurs to modern day. It was at least 1 hour. The seats were very comfortable.

When we entered the room, we were all surprised at how big the National Concert Hall is. They brought someone in to sing some of the songs. Her name was Lucia Evans. She was a great singer. If it’s ever on again we would go.

  By Senan.F, Dylan and Naithi, 5th class


Massive congratulations to the girls’ football team who kicked the season off with a hard-fought and well deserved 4-2 win in the cup against Our Lady of Consolation National School. Despite going 1-0 down early on the team showed great resilience, determination, team spirit and no little skill to come back to win the game 4-2. Many thanks to their coaches Paul and Mauro for their continued support. And again, a massive congratulations to Ester, Aoife, Holly, Freya, Riley, Claire, Juno, Lelia, Aoibhín, Evana, Ruth, Sheena, Alannah and Aisling on the great win and for representing the school so well.

We will be on the road again in a few weeks for the next round of the Cup where we will face Scoil Áine Naofa from Lucan. Back onto the training ground on Tuesday to work on our skills. 

Padraig, Paul Butler, Mauro & Jack 

Thanks also to our parents and guardians who took time out to bring the children to the game.

Manchester United Workshop Review

On Monday the 19th of February we entered a webinar about Manchester United’s history. It was a part of the Northern Ireland Science Week.

 About the workshop:

In the workshop they did different fitness challenges and they spoke about the history of Manchester United and about different things that happened in the past like the Munich air disaster and how Man Utd used to be named after a train station. We learned a lot about the logo. We found out that most of the logos have a boat and most have a red devil. We talked about some of the most famous Man Utd legends of all time such as Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and many more. They showed us some Man Utd legends memorabilia such as David De Gea’s goalkeeper gloves and also David Beckham’s boots. They also showed us some fitness tips that most professional footballers use. The fitness exercises they showed us consisted of running on the spot, squat jumps, jumping side to side and all of them at the same time

Thanks, Iarla, for this review.

Have a lovey weekend everyone,


Fionnuala McHugh, February 26, 2024