Welcome Back September 2019

Welcome back to school for the new academic year 19-20 starting on Monday 2nd September. What an exciting year ahead. We are months away from our purposebuilt new school. We look forward to getting to know our new students in Junior Infants and a few who have joined us in other classes. Our new school building is progressing well. Space is at a premium here so thank you in advance for your patience as we wait for the move.

We ask you all to be mindful of road safety outside the school. The Arches hotel, over the past few years has kindly given our parents permission to park in their carpark, behind the hotel, in order to walk with children over the bridge. An ideal way to start the school year and ensure everyone is active. It would greatly relieve congestion outside the school too. Staff are temporarily parking in the Abbey carpark with special permission from the diocese. Parents may park either side of the road outside the school but please leave space at the gates for buses to enter and leave the school. Both gates at the front of the school are in use at all times so please never block. Also bear in mind that double parking holds everyone up. 

9.20am is our start time. Please do not drop off earlier than 9.10am as there is no guaranteed supervision until 9.10am. Please be mindful of our “bus only” box painted outside the low wall at the front of the school. Keep clear at all times. For our new parents- the turnaround is for buses only. It is safer for children to alight and board the buses when this area is “car free”.  

Thanks to Eamon our caretaker who tidies the playground and gets the forecourt ready every year. Deirdre, Karen and Theresa joined me in August to ensure all administration is in place for our return. Teachers have been in and out setting up classrooms throughout the month.

Niamh is Acting Deputy Principal again this year as a result of Hilary continuing to Jobshare with Suzanne in a support post. Daniel will work with 6th class in the smaller room in the Main Building. Andrea will take 5th class in the pre-fab, downstairs. Laura will teach 3rd and 4th class in the upstairs classroom of the Pre-fab at the front of the school. Damien will take 2nd class in the bigger classroom in the Main Building. Siobhán will take 1st class in the Modular Building. Helen will take Senior Infants and will work with Siobhán and Eimear until we move school. Eimear will induct our new Junior Infants in the Modular Building. The Support Team will involve Hilary, Suzanne, Niamh and Maria (shared again this year with Tuam Educate Together).  


Junior Infants will have two weeks of short days- going home at 12.30pm. This will ease them into their new routine. Do encourage more and more independence. Eimear will induct all the new Junior Infants with loving kindness and endless patience. Geraldine (SNA), Hilary, Suzanne, Maria,  Karen, Theresa, Niamh and Terri are also in the wings for the new Infants and new students throughout the school. Full infant day to 2pm begins on Monday 16th September.


Office Messages can be left on the school phone every day.  However we cannot guarantee that messages left late in the day will be acted on to your satisfaction so do leave urgent messages as early as possible. It really helps if your child knows how they are getting home when they leave your house in the morning. Deirdre our wonderful secretary, is in the office 9.30am to 12.30pm each day. Emails and voicemails can be sent outside these hours.


Webtexts Please let us know if you wish to receive texts on a different mobile or are not receiving webtexts. If you have changed your mobile number we need to update the lists. Ideally one webtext per family so Deirdre may be in touch to check your preferred mobile number. Let Terri or Deirdre know or send in a note with your child if there have been any changes.


ePayments Thanks to Deirdre and Damien who set this up in July. Big thank you to those of you already up and using. This new initiative will ensure accounting practices run more smoothly and in line with auditors advice of having less cash on the premises.   Please make payments as soon as you can and if you have any difficulties please talk to Deirdre in the office.


Pupil Personal Accident Insurance (Allianz) As we do every year the school takes out group cover. €8 per child. This covers every student on a 24 hour basis. Cover begins as soon as payment is received. There is no need to fill in a consent form as all students will be insured as a group. I urge all to get this payment in as soon as possible. Please pay online as soon as possible. Over the years we have had several claims, mostly for accidents which took place outside school time, and this cover has proved to be invaluable.  Claim forms, in the event of an accident, are available from the school office.


Website Don’t forget to keep an eye on our website for news  www.claregalwayet.ie . Access to individual classes requires a password.  Check with your child’s teacher for the current password.


Afterschool Activities We now have Art Club, Chess, Spanish, Tin Whistle, Homework Club, Hurling/ Camogie, Volleyball and Faith Formation-Catholic classes. The timetables for afterschool classes will issue shortly. Classes start the week beginning Monday the 16th of Sept.  


Green Committee and Student Council Elections will be held for both committees this term so looking forward to hearing great speeches.


Carambola Lunches We are lucky enough to be part of the lunch scheme again this year. Thanks to Deirdre who made the application in June. If you have not received a menu please let Deirdre know immediately.  All who are already part of it and received lunches last year can go online as normal at  www.carambola.ie   and make any changes that you might need to do. Junior Infants & New Students who wish to join the scheme will get a menu to bring home and complete on Monday 2nd.  Please ensure this is returned promptly and lunches will commence for these pupils from Monday the 9th of September. Our policy of keeping once off plastics use to a minimum extends to drinks bottles. Well done to the Green Committee for initiating this. Carambola no longer supply bottles as we ask all to bring in their own bottle and refill it. Please ensure all children know and take care of their own bottle/container. Last year our grant covered until May and all reverted to their own lunches for June. If children opt out and you prefer to make their lunch at home please let us know as soon as you can.


Voluntary Contributions  This contribution is vital to meet the shortfall between grants from the DES and what we need to run the school. The DES pay 95% of all rent but we have to come up with 5% locally. We ask for €100 per family. This can be paid in total now or sent in two €50 instalments this term and in the New Year. If it works better for you to send it in in instalments of €10/€20 this is fine too.


Feedback We welcome all feedback. Please refer to the Flow Chart which has gone out to all families over the years in their starter packs. (Further copies available in the office). It has been updated and now appears on the back of our reviewed Code of Behaviour. This chart is a great guide in terms of the steps to take and the order in which to take them. Remember if you are unhappy for any reason please always start with the teacher if possible (he/she knows your child best) and then please give time for changes to be implemented. Feel free to leave a message/ email or send in a note if you wish to meet a teacher or the Principal and a mutally agreeable time can be arranged. Our policy is that all emails go through the office and are passed on to the relevant teacher. info@claregalwayet.ie The reply is then sent through the office.


Communication from the school  In line with our Green School policy  we will continue to send all information by email or webtext.  Please ensure that we have your correct email address and mobile number.


Do log on to www.welfare.ie   or www.citizensinformation.ie  to see if eligible for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA). It covers all clothing not just uniforms. Not too late-closing date is 30th Sept 2019. While applications are accepted up to the end of September you are advised not to delay.


Looking forward to another wonderful school year.     





Dear Parent(s) /Guardian,

Our school is delighted to announce that we are rolling out the Aladdin ePayment system to parents/guardians of children in our school.  

Our school uses the Aladdin software service for administrative purposes and the ePayment system will give you access from an internet browser on your computer, phone or tablet to make secure payments to the school using your credit or debit card.  The purpose of the ePayment system is to facilitate the easier payment of school money collections for parent/guardians and to reduce the amount of cash and cheques being sent into our school in line with recent central bank directives.  

Aladdin uses state of the art security to safeguard information entered by you and the school and data is stored and processed in strict compliance with Irish data protection laws.

Going forward, when money is due for any school activity that is relevant to your children, you will receive a text/email message containing your payment access link.  Please do not forward this text/email or share this access link as this link is unique for your family only. The link will bring you to a parent payment page which will contain all payments requested for all siblings in a family.  There is only one link per family ensuring you have the option to pay all amounts due for all your children in one transaction. Once you have completed your payment, you will be issued with a reference number. You will also receive an email receipt which will contain details of the transaction and reference number. Please quote this reference number in any queries you may have as regards this payment with the school.

We hope that you will find the Aladdin ePayments facility useful and that it is a very successful system for all.

Yours sincerely,


1st Class School Tour

1st Class School Tour 2019

We had a super day on our school tour to Aillwee Caves. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves. While the weather wasn’t as lovely as previous weeks we only faced one shower during the Birds of Prey Flying Display.

The bus journey was a little bumpy heading to County Clare but we survived! On arrival we had a Guided Tour of the cave given by Liz, our tour guide. We learned that there is a constant temperature of 10 degrees celcius inside and this is why the Brown Bear would have chosen to hibernate here many, many winters ago. The bones of the Brown Bear were found over 40 years ago. See http://clareherald.com/2018/07/aillwee-cave-bear-skull-is-10400-years-old-19767/ for more information.

The cave was discovered in the 1940s, when a farmer named Jack McGann followed his dog, who was chasing a rabbit. Some children were very concerned that Jack died in the cave but we were reassured by Liz that he lived to be 90 years of age and enjoyed several explorations of the cave.

We saw stalagmites (grow upwards) and stalactites (fall down), which are formed from calcium deposits not ice as some guessed! We passed over a few narrow bridges inside the cave, saw a waterfall, got our hair wet running under dripping water & enjoyed when the lights were turned off in full. It was very dark & we realised what it would have been like for the Brown Bears. Scary!!

We ate a snack and some treats at 11 a.m., walked in the Woodland Area with Conal leading the way and visited the Birds of Prey Centre. We walked through the aviary, meeting eagles, falcons, hawks, owls and vultures. It was a truly magnificent flying display. Guided by experienced Falconers we met Jess, Batty and Milly as they swooped over our heads in the high winds. Isabelle and Sam, both wearing bright colours were chosen to stand in the middle of the ring while beautiful birds landed on their arms! One bird wore a hood to keep him calm. The children taught he looked like a secret agent up close!

We learned all about Aillwee’s award winning Burren Gold Cheese. The children asked interesting questions about the colour of the wax, why didn’t they make blue cheese & how heavy were the wheels of cheese. Dylan lifted one and attested to its weight.  We tasted some samples also. We visited the Gift Shop and learned how 5 euro cannot buy everything. The children chose pencils, erasers, small teddies of the birds of prey and/or a sweet treat.

Despite the road closure at Oranmore rail crossing our great bus driver from Costello Bus Hire had us back in school by 3 p.m. While exhausted we had a fabulous day and the children were very well-behaved, curious and interested throughout. Well done First Class!

To see all the pictures from the tour, please go to classes tab and select your child’s class grouping.

Helen, Hilary and Karen

Senior Infants School Tour

We had a wonderful day on our school tour! Super weather, super venues and super children. They were a joy to accompany!

We left school shortly after 9.10am and arrived at the Burren Nature Sanctuary at 10am. We were met by our guide, Caroline who let us play in the indoor play area for half an hour before we ate a snack. The indoor area has a slide, soft play area and climbing frames. We had the entire indoor space to ourselves! Next, we headed off to the barn to hold the Guinea Pigs, feed the goat and outdoors we fed Dyson the pig and the lambs. Following that we went for a walk through the Fairy Wood where we saw the homes of the Fitness Fairy, the Tooth Fairy and many more. Caroline told us all about the mischievous fairies who cause lots of trouble and we made wishes at the Wishing Well. We visited the Gypsy Fairy's wagon and the Tree House before returning indoors for a snack. We finished our trip to the Burren Nature Sanctuary by playing outdoors in the sandpit, on the swings, slides and climbing frames.

Our next stop was Dunguaire Castle. Martin, our bus driver with Costello's Bus Hire kindly accompanied us across the road to the beautiful fort of King Guaire. We toured the castle and it's spiral staircase, watched Alan make jewellery from powdered glass and played tag on the green inside the castle walls. Emily and Grofu led the group in a fine rendition of Galway Bay by Francis Fahy. The tourists loved this and were a great audience! It was a really lovely day! We were tired but happy by the time we returned to school for the 3pm pick up. Suzanne and Helen told Terri that our 20 Senior Infants are certainly ready for 1st Class! They are a truly wonderful, happy bunch.

To see all the pictures from the tour, please go to classes tab and select your child’s class grouping.

Congratulations to our 3rd Class pupil, Lucy Concannon

Congratulations to our 3rd Class pupil, Lucy Concannon who played her first game for Galway camogie on Saturday evening in Parnell Park.  

Cumann na mBunscol organised the game between Galway and Dublin primary school girls. Maura Murphy oversaw the Galway girls. We were asked to nominate one girl who plays with a club and school.

The match was played during the half time interval in the Leinster Championship hurling clash between Galway and Dublin. Stella and Declan reported that it was a very well organised event.

Lucy plays club camogie with Carnmore CC and with our school team here in CET NS. She played in goals on Saturday evening. They beat a very strong opposing team.

Terri was delighted to hear Lucy's name called out on Galway Bay FM during the hurling match coverage. While it was not televised Stella took some photos which we have attached.

No Energy Day-June 14th 2019

On Friday 14th 2019, we had a “No Energy Day” at CETNS. We didn’t turn on the lights or use technology or electricity all day long. Different classes along with the Green Committee took the meter readings at various stages of the day. We are in the process of comparing results with a “normal energy” day where we turn on the lights, use IWB’s (Interactive Whiteboards), i-pads, chrome books, photocopiers and laminators in our daily lives at school. It will be interesting to see how much electricity and money we saved on our “No Energy Day”.

On Friday, we had a day of fun where we embraced the outdoors, played board games, hockey, hurling, Cluichi Gaeilge (Irish word games), jigsaws, listened to stories, did some gardening, Free Writing, Free Drawing, “Stretch and Grow” in the castle field, old fashioned games like hopscotch and elastics. Remember “ England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales…”

Well done to all the parents, staff and students who got up that bit earlier to walk, cycle, scoot, car-pool or Park and Stride at the Arches on Friday to help save energy and look after our environment. Please try and keep it up for the rest of the term and next year also.

Junior Infants School Tour to Glendeer Pet Farm followed by "Jump for Joy"

The Junior Infants had a fabulous school tour to Glendeer Pet Farm near Athlone. They traveled by bus to Glendeer Pet Farm. First they had a little snack to give them energy for their tour. Then they had a lovely walk around the farm where they got to meet parrots, emus, monkeys, goats, , rabbits, puppies, lizards, wallabies to name a few. Our tour guide for the day was Charlotte and she was really impressed with how well the Junior Infants listened to her when she was teaching them about the animals. During the tour, they had an opportunity to explore an old house that had lots of old household items in it. eg an old iron, stove, radio, butter churn, bicycle etc. After the tour, the children had some free time in the playground and then they were well ready for their lunch. After that, we got back on to the bus to continue our day out at “ Jump for Joy” an indoor playground. The children had a ball there.

Then it was back on the bus . Some children had a lovely sleep on the way home . Others sang and chatted. It was a wonderful day. Everybody was in great humour. Many thanks to Martin our bus driver who got us there and home safely. Also thank you to Karen, Hilary and Michaela for their help on the day. I hope the Junior Infants will remember their first school tour of Primary School.


The Green School Committee, Junior Infants and the chidren in Damien's classroom visited " Green Earth Organics" to learn all about organic farming from owner Kenneth Keavey

We had a wonderful outing to Green Earth Organics and thank you so much Kenneth Keavey for the very informative and educational tour. He brought us to the cold room, the shop , the poly tunnels and the fields. Kenneth showed them how to grow vegetables without using chemicals. It was great fun. The children even got the opportunity to pull up their own vegetables and bring some home. They had a great time rolling around in the fields at the end of the tour having some good “old fashioned fun” in the fresh air.

Thank you so much Kenneth!


New Sports Gear

Claregalway Educate Together were delighted to receive support for their sports teams recently. 
Costello Bus Hire Ltd and Raftery’s Centra kindly sponsored a set of gear bags for the school’s hurling, camogie, volleyball and soccer teams. We wish to acknowledge these local businesses and look forward to continued cooperation with them in the community of Claregalway in the coming years. Here’s to lots more enjoyable sporting school events! Scoil Oideachas Le Chéile Bhaile Chláir abú!