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A chairde,

We are just about to enter December and with that the classrooms are full of children practicing for their Christmas Plays and singing carols. It is a lovely place to be in with such a happy and positive learning environment.

We are delighted with the parent teacher meetings and the feedback received.  A healthy school is one where parents, teachers and students work together.  
I would also ask parents to donate for the Parent Association Christmas Raffle that will be taking place on the day of the school concerts.
Le gach dea ghuí
John Britton

Board of Management
The new Board of Management for the years 2019 to 2023 is almost finalised. Our new Chairperson is Finola Furey who is the retired head of HR for all the ETBs in Co. Donegal. She has a huge amount of experience in education and we wish her all the best in her role with our school. Fr. Phair will be joining her as the Diocesan Representative on the Board. They will be joined by Karol Warnock and Sinead Keogh who are the Parents Representatives and John Britton and Laura Mc Gurrin who are the Teachers Representatives. Two more members from the local community shall be chosen at the next Board meeting.
I would like to sincerely thank all these people for volunteering for the role and giving up their spare time.
I would also like to thank our outgoing committee who have shown a huge amount of commitment over the past four years and whose support has been invaluable for the development of our school.

Christmas Concert 2019:
All pupils and staff are currently busy preparing for our annual Christmas Concert which will be held on Thursday 19th December in the school gym.  There will be five concerts and parents, grandparents and family members are welcome to stay for all.  The times for the day are as follows and are subject to change:
 Junior & Senior Infants
o – 10 am – Ralph the Reindeer
 First & Second Class
o – 10:45 am – Sleepy Shepherd
 Third & Fourth Class
o – 11:30 am – It’s a Party
 Fifth Class
o – 12:30 pm – Four Masters Late Late Toy Show
 Sixth Class
o – 13:30 pm – A Lad in Blunderland

Since this is a full school day and to accommodate working parents’ children will remain with their classes following the concerts and Infants will be finished at 2 o’clock as normal.
The Parent Association will be holding a raffle at each concert with hampers as the prize.  Donations for the hampers will be gratefully received and can be dropped to Bernadette’s office.  The Parent Association will be serving tea and coffee at the concert for a small fee.   Entrance to the concerts is free but there will be a box for voluntary donations at the door.   Car parking will be available at the front of the school.

A note from the Parent Association:
The Parent Association are holding their annual Christmas Hamper Draw on Thursday 19th December during the Christmas Concert.  If any parent would like to donate items towards the Hampers such as puddings, biscuits, chocolates, tinned foods, napkins, crackers, candles etc. it would be very much appreciated.  All items can be left into Bernadette’s office before Friday 13th December.  We will also be serving tea and coffee on the day with all proceeds going to the Parent Association. The moneys raised will go towards developing and improving our sensory room which provides an excellent calming space for children in our school.

The Parent Association also organised a bag pack at Super Value two weeks ago. They raised almost €400 for the school and I would like to thank all those who volunteered during the day for giving up their spare time to help fundraise for the school.

School Calendar
Mrs Cass Smith and some of the children in the school have been busy preparing a school calendar that will also be on sale on the day of the Christmas concert.  It will consist of a selection of the some of the art work that the children of our school have completed over the past 4-months and will make a great present. The cost will be €10 and all proceeds will go towards improving our school sensory room.

Confessions for Christmas / Advent Prayer Service:
This year once again Fr. Phair, Parish Priest, and Fr. Keogan,  will visit the school on Thursday 5th December for Confessions for pupils from Third – Sixth inclusive.  
Every week between November 29th and December 13th Third and Fourth Classes and their teacher Ms. Rooney will lead the school in Advent Prayer Services with the assistance of Mrs. Smith who does the guitar accompaniment.  

Christmas Jumper Day:
The Student Council will be organising a Christmas Jumper Day on the 20th of December which will be in aid of Crumlin’s Children’s Hospital. We hope to see as many jazzy Christmas jumpers on the day as possible and we ask every child to bring in €2 for the cause.

Active Flag News
The Active School Committee are busy planning suitable games for all pupils to play at break times.  We already have an inventory of all P.E. equipment in the school completed.  Third and Fourth classes have composed a song on the theme of active schools with suitable actions to the song to follow.  The Active School team are now planning and constructing an active walkway around our school.  The junior end of the school have now completed their four –week challenge of walking for ten minutes each day.  These are some of the many tasks and projects that must be completed towards obtaining our active flag!
Active School Co-ordinator Kathleen O’Reilly

Student Council News:
At the start of November, we started to collect for the Team Hope shoebox appeal and we were very happy to get over 300 shoeboxes.  In the next few weeks we will be doing a Christmas jumper day and a competition for best decorated Christmas tree.  All money will be going towards Crumlin Hospital.

Music in Action/Athletics:
Troy from the Balor Arts Centre has just completed an eight-week music program with 3rd and 4th class which the children have thoroughly enjoyed.
James Mc Dowell from Macs Active will be doing a 12-week block covering all classes after Christmas. He is a very experienced coach and the pupils really enjoy working with him. He will work with the Senior half of the school first and then will begin a 6-week programme with the Junior half of the school later.

Infants Trip to a Musical:
Junior and Senior Infants are going to the Abbey Arts Centre on Monday the 16th of December for a showing of a Christmas musical called ‘ Santa’s Fairy Tale Christmas’ which is run by the Talisman Theatre Company. The cost of this trip is €10, and a letter will go out to all parents and guardians about it next week.

School Photographs
The school photographer has distributed the individual and class photographs this week and a reminder that completed forms and moneys must be returned by Tuesday the 3rd of December.

Literacy Lift Off Reading Initiative:
Literacy Lift Off was undertaken in First Class for a period of six weeks, the pupils in these classes were immersed in reading for this period, reading two books a day.  An intensive programme of reading has many benefits for the emergent reader, and this was evident.  The Literacy Lift Off Reading initiative will be run in Senior Infants for a six-week period after the Christmas Holidays.

Christmas Annuals:
Order forms for Christmas Annuals were handed out today.  The Annuals cost €2 each and completed orders to be returned to the school by Friday the 29th of November.

Best Kept Classroom for November 2019:
Winners in the “Best Kept Classrooms” competition for the month of November:
Junior Award:  First & Second Class – Mrs Gaffney
Senior Award: Third Class – Mrs Rooney
Well done to the pupils and teachers involved.

Christmas Holidays:
The school will close for Christmas Holidays at 12.30 p.m. on December 20th, 2019 and school re-opens at 9.20 a.m.  on January 6th, 2020.   Happy Christmas to all.

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