St Clares Primary School

Education is for Life

School Annual Report 2015/16

School Annual Report 2015/ 16

I would like to thank all our staff, pupils, parents, Board of Management, Parent Association and the local business community for their support and cooperation over the past year. The 32 pupils from 6th class move on to secondary school. We wish them the best of luck.  We welcome 30 new enrolments. School reopens for pupils on Tuesday August 30th.

Pupil’s reports were issued in June 17th .The reports are intended to inform our parents of their child’s educational development, behaviour and attendance. We advise parents to this report to inform themselves of the child’s strengths and areas of concern.

Literacy and numeracy standards remain high in our school. The reports for classes 1st  to 6th will inform parents of their child’s level of reading performance in the national context giving a  STEN. 1st to 6th Classes will also have a STEN score for Maths indicating the pupils’ standard in maths. The STEN is a  rating  1 to 10, 10 being the best indicating your child is in the top 10% for their class in Ireland while 1 would indicate your child being in the lowest 10% in the country.

The Bury, Junior Infant Test has a maximum score of 60. Senior Infants have a literacy test and a Maths test both scored out of 100. Senior Infants also have a MIST test which had an explanatory note with your report.

Writing skills have been our primary area of focus for literacy improvement for the past 2 years. Problem solving has been our primary focus in Maths. Chess, card games and board games have been used to help develop problem solving and logical reasoning ability. Regular assessment of the different writing genres to access progress was also carried out .I would like to thank parents and community members who have helped us in fulfilling these objectives both in and out of school time.

Spelling tests will give a spelling age which you can compare to your child’s actual age. Other subject area reports are based on class work taught during the year and are reported using 3 factors, standard of achievement, participation /enjoyment and individual talent. P.E. takes sportsmanship into account, S.P.H.E. takes practical application of health eating and bullying into account.

Each class were taken on 2 educational trips this school year Through these outings the children get a real experience of Science, Maths, History and Geography.

All classes from 1st  to 6th were taken to swimming lessons .We are proud to say that every child leaves this school able to swim at a reasonably competent level .

6th class this year were given the option of a week in the Gaeltacht. 50% of parents availed of the option this year.  The idea is intended to foster a love of our language which is the focus of the school in relation to the teaching of Irish. Reports provide parents with a standardised test score for Gaeilge but I think our most important assessment in this area is the attitude to the language. Parents will again be the decision makers in relation to a Gaeltacht option. Another incidental aspect of the trip is that it allows parents to access the degree of independence and maturity of their own child before they go to secondary school.

The school has participated and promoted a wide range of activities both during and after school this year. Soccer, Gaelic football, hurling, dance, athletics, art, drama, rugby, tennis and table tennis were all made available to our pupils.

Both girls and boys teams participated in the 15 a side North Leitrim / South Donegal League. The local clubs provide an excellent coaching and competitive structure at all age levels in hurling , camogie , soccer and both boys and girls gaelic football .

We took part in a number of athletic competitions including County and Connacht cross country competitions event. All our classes took part in the 3km /5km Kidz on the run which took place in the Bee Park in June.

We placed a big focus on dance this year with the assistance of Kathleen O Hagan. All classes were introduced to a range of dances from traditional to hip hop to modern dance. We had a number of public performances including the St Patricks day concerts, 1916 Commemoration event and school dance spectacular.

 The Chess Club / Chess for Learning Programme enters its 3rd and final year. Each child from 1st to 6th class has been introduced to chess. Chess is an activity for children that works as a means of enjoyment, a way make friends and as a means of improving learning The classes have played  in  a variety of events travelling and hosting   schools in Sligo ,Donegal and Longford .We hope to build and develop this over the next years with a view to the All Ireland Chess National Festival which takes place in Sligo next April .We ran 2 major chess tournaments in the Bee park and attended one in Longford all with over 200 children participating. We won the Schools Cup in Longford and hope to defend it next year.

The school grounds, building and all weather pitch are available for all those promoting underage activities and sport and is provided free of charge to all afterschool providers .

While we are a Catholic school we also cater for children of all faiths and none. Approximately 20 % of our pupils are non-Catholic. During Schools Catholic week we were delighted to welcome both Catholic and non-Catholic speakers to speak to the senior classes. Fr. Oliver, Sr. Kathleen and parent volunteer teams helped prepare the Catholic children in 2nd and 6th classes for the sacraments. We had mass on 3 occasions to mark the beginning and end of the school year and on December 8th.

We had a very enjoyable End of year Musical in the Glens Centre. This was just one initiative of the democratically elected school pupil’s council. The council members were elected using the PR system by all pupils 1st to 6th. It contributed to the school throughout the year with regular meetings discussing feedback from the pupils in all classes.

Our measure of success outside the academic areas is participation. We strongly encourage parents to get their children involved in activities in the community outside school time .We will continue to be guided by consultation with the Parent Association with regard to the promotion of activities, assisting involvement, participation and good health for all pupils.

Prevention of bullying and the promotion of wellness and positive mental health for pupils and staff continues to be a major challenge and is the principal focus of our Health Promoting Schools involvement. All staff and BOM members attended a talk by Phycologist Shane Martin during the year. We firmly believe that prevention and early effective intervention is the key to success in this very difficult area. Our No Blame policy in relation to Bullying is extremely important and we encourage all pupils, parents and staff to understand and respect this approach. Building resilience is also essential. For the children, involvement in an activity with other children is essential for social reasons, thus we promote involvement in clubs and activities in the community.

First break has been firmly established in the school as fruit break.  This is a vital part of our Health promoting Schools policy in promoting healthy lifestyles.

School Year for 2016/17  . The teachers and classes for next year are as follows. Please note these are provisional and may change in September  if circumstances change .

Class Teachers

Junior Infs.  Ms. Roisin Jenkins.   Senior Infs.   Ms. Claire Gibbons.

First Class   Mrs Fidelma Fox       Second Class Mr Padraig Ward.

Third Class  Ms. Martina O Neill  Fourth Class  Ms Claire Sheerin

Fifth Class   Ms Mc Dermott         Sixth Class  Mr. Michael Dolan

 Learning Support and Special Needs Support Team . L.S.R.T. Teachers are Ms. Irene Kerrigan, Ms. Maeve Conlon, Ms. Stephanie Kelly. Assistants are Roisin Kelly (Whole Day) and Geraldine Kivlehan and Tracy Stewart (Infant Day ).

Book Purchase Scheme: The school book scheme operates as in previous years.  All pupils pay €100 .This covers the costs throughout the year including all books, insurance, tests, art supplies and photocopying. Surplus monies is used for S.E.S.E. outings (2 per class per year) and for swimming, chess, sports , beach trips, real drama theatre experiences etc…   Arrangements for payment in instalments can be made by appointment.

Communication. We are online at  and we have adopted the online school management Aladdin system for all communications this year. Our website and blog pages are regularly updated. Through these we communicate all policy information and general news, photos and information of interest for all staff, parents and pupils.

Parents are welcome to contact us by e mail and this year for the 1st time school reports were issued by e mail using our Aladdin System to almost 50% of families. Next year school notes will issue weekly by e mail only to those who register and a system for payments online will also be operating. All staff and B.O.M. communications will also use the online Aladdin. Paper communications are of course also available on request.

School Year 2016 /17.

We reopen for pupils on Tuesday August 30th .

New Infants will go home at 12 for the first 3 days.

October 2016 mid-term break –We close from Mon. 31st Oct. 2016 to Friday Nov. 4th, 2016

Christmas 2015 – We close on Thursday 22 December 2016. and re-open on Monday 9th  January 2017.

February 2017- mid-term break Closed on Thursday 23rd  Feb. 2016 and Friday 24th  February 2017.

Easter 2016 – We will close from April 10th to April 21st,

June 23rd will be the final day of the school year,

PLEASE NOTE that changes may be required as part of contingency arrangements to make up for time lost due to unforeseen school closures . Where contingency arrangements are required the BOM may reduce the length of the Easter break by remaining open up to and including Wednesday April 12th 2017 or may extend the school year until June 30th .

                                Thanks to our Board of Management whose members were newly elected in December 2015 for a 4 year term. They are Kieran Ryan    ( Chairperson ) and Fr. Oliver Kelly ( Patrons Nominees) ,Sinead Connolly and  Liam Gilligan ( Parents Nominees ) , Stephanie Kelly  ( Teachers Nominee ),  Ann Gilligan and Maria Lynch ( Community Nominees ) .

                               My sincere thanks to all our parents who have been so supportive throughout the 2015/16 year, the staff who have worked so hard and especially the children who make it all worthwhile. We look forward to another successful year in 2016/17.

Yours Sincerely,


John Conlon (School Principal)

23 August 2016.