December 23 Newsletter

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We have had the busiest first term- now that we review our time; we can safely say that not much more could have been squeezed in!

We opened the year by enrolling 7 new Junior Infants, and 1 student to third class.

By all accounts they are part of the furniture now.

We commenced a new cycle of Science; where through a process of curricular integration we rotate Pots for Tots, Science and Cookery on a 3-week cycle.

We opened our School academic year by attending mass 9th September- a nice way of introducing our school to the parish and familiarising the children, who will receive sacraments later in the school term, with the church.

6th class, who will be making the important decision of where to further their education, had a very informative visit from staff members of local secondary schools. The children were also invited to attend an open day in the VEC in Bunclody where they got to experience ‘secondary school’ for a day. The children of the Senior Room were hugely impressed.

International ‘Dot Day’ was marked in September- our children celebrated their uniqueness and creativity on this day by dressing brightly, or in Dots. We even created a collaborative ‘dot’ art project and this colourful day was a successful fundraiser for the school.

During September Mrs. Gahan attended a training for a Creative Cluster Programme course which we were accepted onto. The aim of the course is to try teach children how to use Artificial Intelligence for the greater good over the next two academic years-watch this space.

We had a photographer visit the school to take some smashing photos of the children, with their class and their family members, which proved a beautiful exhibition.

Our new Parents Association was formed and has been working with the school to provide lots of fun (extracurricular) experiences for the children this term. During October we had Deerpark Exotics (funded by the P.A) come to school- it was a very scary experience. We held snakes, chinchillas and learned oodles of information about hedgehogs and iguanas.  The P.A continued to entertain by holding the annual Halloween Disco the following week. The Disco was a huge success and the children of the school enjoyed some extra entertainment during the party.

The Parents Association also held a ‘hot lunch’, during November, for the children- what a treat! The children ate their fill of goujons, sausage all in a roll and washed it down with some juice- Yum

We resumed our hurling 365 with a new direction- our coaches have generously made themselves available every Wednesday morning from 9am until 11am. The children have benefitted more than we could have imagined with the smaller groups and larger focus on fun and skill during our hurling sessions.  Our 6th class girls have represented Tombrack N.S on the Ferns ‘Roinn A’ football team and made it all the way to the final. I am sure their confidence and ability has been seen by our GAA coaches. We all look forward to watching our senior room players continue to thrive in the new term; who knows how far they will go in the camogie/hurling competition during the new term. We thanked our team of Happy Coaches with a warm cuppa and a ‘full Irish’ before they take a break until later in January- Go raibh Mile Maith Agaibh!!

Pumpkins- the Pots for Tots Team got truly into the spirit and spent Friday morning carving pumpkins with the children in the garden. Every child at school on the day received a pumpkin carved by them. The ‘Dynamic Denis’ was replaced for the day by the ‘Dangerous Denise’. While his crew of scarecrows and such also helped out. The children were involved in amazing Halloween crafts, including ‘baby scarecrows’ at the school while the garden was a hive of activity.

Parent/Teacher Meetings-The parents of the children came to our school one wet afternoon to meet with our teachers and chat about their children and their progress- we are all doing well.

During the October Mid-Term Break we received the amazing news that we have been allocated another 12.5 Special Educational Teaching Hours for our school. The teacher who has taken those hours is Mrs. Ann Hayes; she has settled in with ease. You can all appreciate how much this is needed by the school to ensure the teaching continues to be carried out to the highest standard.

During November we welcomed our area Inspectorate, Mary Regan. She was a pleasure to have and was so impressed, and complimentary, of the quality of teaching and the level of interaction the children in our school have every day here in Tombrack National School.

The school supported the Community Garden Christmas fair, which was held in the hall in late November. We sold ‘spuds and cabbages’ generously donated by the Kehoe family. The sales from the school chutneys was shard with the Community Garden.

As we brought the first term to a close, we held our biggest event of the year- Our School Christmas Performances

Over two nights, the children performed ‘Are We Nearly There Yet’ and A Medley of Poetry and Song. The children, and the staff, have spent lots of time perfecting the performance along with the Beautiful Christmas Crafts. These crafts are a gorgeous keepsake that you will have in years to come to celebrate their Christmas spent in Tombrack National School. A HUGE thank you to you, their parents, for their fabulous costumes. A raffle was held on the night; the prizes for which were donated kindly by the school community- Thank you all most sincerely for your generosity. The children celebrated their hard work, and ours, with homemade cookies, popcorn and cups of milk all while watching a movie on Friday.

Throughout the term the children of Tombrack N.S have enjoyed music classes with Mrs. Lorna Maher- one of the many activities that is paid for by your school contribution.

During our Christmas Season of celebrations, we also remembered our missing loved ones at this time by placing a Christmas tree and baubles with a heartfelt message and name on the tree in the school garden; they are a beautiful sight.

As you are aware, this event was an opportunity for both the Parents Association and the school to fundraise.

Our soon to graduate 6th class received, the now annual, honour of receiving their graduation Hoodies. They have been wearing them with pride.

The new Board of Management came began December 1st. (2023-2027)

Chairperson: Pat O’ Toole

Patrons’ Nominee (Male): Fr. P. Cushen

Parents’ Nominee (Male): Richie O’ hÉadhra

Parents’ Nominee (Female): Caroline O’ Neill

Principal/Secretary:  Elaine: Gahan

Teacher Nominee: Margaret Kelly

Community Nominee: Sean Lacey

Community Nominee: (treasurer) Daria Kehoe

We are all eagerly anticipating the ‘breaking ground’ of our extension. With its arrival we will inevitably lose some play area SO- we would like to start saving for some stationary play equipment and this is the beginning of that fundraising.

During our last week in school the Big Man in Red made a spectacular appearance and even took any of us who were on the ‘Naughty List’ and placed us on the ‘Nice List’- well it’s only right given all that we do here in Tombrack N.S.

Also; we went to Mass and participated in the Down Syndrome Ireland Christmas fundraiser. 

Our school team appreciate every single person who contributes to our school- the time you spend with your children getting them ready through conversation, through readying them for the day ahead, dropping your children to Rackard League training, encouraging screen-free play, reading to them, supervising their homework and providing your child with wholesome lunches- it is with your help and ongoing support that we are the WONDERFUL school we are.

Thank you all

and Have a very Happy and safe Christmas, and we look forward to a great new year.

Mrs. Elaine Gahan, Principal.