St Clare’s N.S. Ballyjamesduff

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Latest News

Irish Christmas Tree Growers Poetry Winner

Well done to Cian Mc Phillips who took first place in the Irish Christmas Tree Growers poetry competition  with his poem ‘A Real Irish Christmas Tree’. Here he is with his sister Sarah, his Teacher Ms Sullivan and Mr Mc Cartin.

Santa’s Visit to St Clare’s

The boys and girls of St. Clare’s were lucky enough to receive a special visit from Santa himself just before they finished up for Christmas. Below is a clip of Santa’s entrance!


Nativity Play

Ms O’ Growney’s Fifth class put on a nativity play on the day of the holidays and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all who watched it.


St. Clare’s FM

Some of our  students recently broadcast their own radio station over the school’s intercom with the help of Mr O’ Connor. The kids created their own questions to ask their parents about Christmas at home and they made short conversations out of the answers plus a few gags thrown in for good measure! Have a listen to the show below!!!





It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!!!




Tug Of War Champions

The Bumbleance buzzes around St. Clare’s!!!!


We were lucky enough to have the Bumbleance visit us recently in St. Clare’s. Each of the classes got to have a look around the Bumbleance. Check out below what 4th class wrote about the visit!!


Donation to St Clare’s

Many thanks to Jeanette Murray who recently donated her winnings from the Cavan Public Participation Network Poetry Competition to our school. Jeanette’s poem focussed on the environment and recycling. Her donation was greatly appreciated.

Snow in the Fun!!

We took full advantage of our recent snowfall in Ballyjamesduff. Lots of snow balls were thrown!!!

Gaelic Football Coaching

5th Class have had a great time learning the skills needed to be a great Gaelic footballer this December – are we looking at some future All-Ireland winners?!”


Rugby Blitz

5th and 6th class had a great time learning all about tag rugby when a coach visited our school from Virginia Rugby Club. A lucky few also got to compete in a tournament in Virginia and done really well…we can’t wait to TRY it again!”

December Assembly Winners



New P.E Equipment for St. Clare’s 


Thanks to the fantastic fundraising efforts of last year’s hardworking Student Council, we have been able to make a substantial investment in much-needed P.E. equipment for our school. While the taste of last April’s bake sale treats has been long forgotten, the money raised on that day has made a terrific contribution to our delivery of the P.E. curriculum. Staff and pupils compiled their P.E. equipment wish list and we were delighted to be able to make many of those wishes come true-the wide selection of equipment purchased includes new javelins, beanbags, footballs, training bibs, rugby balls, a Unihoc set, foam balls, soft-toss discs, scooter boards, a tag rugby set, plastic balls, a bowling set, two parachutes and a new pair of Samba goalposts as well! A huge thanks to everyone who supported our Bake Sale in April-we are incredibly grateful to you all. Pictured above with our brand new P.E. resources are the pupils who served on last year’s Student Council so commendably, the ever-enthusiastic members of our Active School Committee who continue to make our school a more active place to be and some of our senior P.E. monitors who ensure that all our P.E. resources are well-maintained throughout the year. We can’t wait to start using our new equipment and we are now looking forward to our action-packed, fun-filled P.E. lessons even more than we usually do!

West Midland Theatre Company

West Midland Theatre Company presented two shows in St. Clare’s N.S. recently. The shows were a nice treat for our wonderful boys and girls and was a welcome break from the work in the classroom!!


Donation by Parent’s Association

Following the AGM of the Parents Association the committee made a donation of €10,000.00 to our school. Pictured presenting the cheque to Mr. Mc Cartin are members of the PA Committee. The donation will be used to update the computers  in our computer room which will benefit all our pupils. This donation is possible because of the support all our parents give the PA with their fundraising efforts. Everyone in St. Clare’s N.S. are really appreciative of the support!

Ms Flood Clarke’s Retirement

After 31.5 years service to our school and pupils, Ms. Elizabeth Flood Clarke retired from the teaching staff of St. Clare’s N.S. Elizabeth and her family joined our staff and pupils and parents in St. Joseph’s Church for a celebration mass followed by entertainment and refreshments and presentations in St. Clare’s N.S. We wish Ms. Flood Clarke every health and happiness in her retirement.

Slan agus Beannacht Ms. Flood Clarke





Zombie Walk

We had our Zombie walk on Friday 27th October. Many ghouls, ghosts and other frightful creatures were spotted walking around St. Clare’s that day. The walk was a great success and the children really enjoyed it and  we were accompanied by some parents along the way. Our very own Tinkerwell put a silence spell on  everyone just before we left  and then we marched off on our spooky journey. It was a spooktacular event!!!!



October Assembly Winners




Maths Week in St. Clare’s


St. Clare’s N.S took part in Maths week from 16th – 20th October.  As well as lots of fun activities inside their classrooms, the students got an opportunity to go outside and solve various Maths problems around the school grounds.  Here’s some photos of both 5th classes doing their Maths trail.





Good Luck to Castlerahan!!!!

Best wishes to our local club Castlerahan who take on Cavan Gaels on Sunday. The boys and girls of St. Clare’s came out in full force  today in their Castlerahan colours to show their support for their local team. Chanting and cheering for the Castlerahan club could be heard echoed around every yard during break time.  Good luck Castlerahan!!!



St. Clare’s N.S. Summer Camp

From games, sport, art and craft, cooking and even getting soaked, the St. Clare’s N.S. Summer Camp 2017 was a great success with loads of fun and activities for everyone! Check out the photos below to see all the fun we had!!








Ice-Cream time at St. Clare’s

Because we all worked so hard during the school year, Mr. Mc Cartin promised us a surprise before we got our Summer Holidays! We were delighted when he told us on the intercom that he had organised an ice cream van and it was parked in our front yard!! All the classes took turns to go up and get their very own 99 complete with strawberry sauce! The ice cream was yummy!


100% Attendance at St. Clare’s N.S.

Congratulations to the following pupils who received 100% attendance during the school year 2016/17. The pupils were present in school every day and received a certificate and acknowledgement at our end of school year assembly for their efforts.

Here is St. Clare’s N.S. we realise the importance of school attendance and celebrate monthly the classes who have the best attendance. Check out the photos below of the pupils from each class level who achieved the attendance award.


6th Class Graduation

The end of the school year is always filled with excitement, summer holidays, sunshine, playing with friends, going on holidays or trips away. The list is endless, however it is also a time for reflection and saying goodbye and that is what our 6th class pupils did at their graduation ceremony in June.  The pupils said farewell to St. Clare’s N.S. and looked towards the new phase in their lives, secondary school. The ceremony was led by Fr. Tully followed by speeches from Mr. Mc Cartin, Ms. O Connell and Mr. Smith. The Parents Association presented certificates to the 6th class pupils and made presentations to their teachers. Photographic slideshows showing the pupils journey in St. Clare’s were shown and the classes provided some fantastic entertainment to the appreciative crowd of parents, teachers and friends. Refreshments were provided by the PA with a graduation cake and goodies for the pupils. The ceremony ended with the release of 58 white balloons carrying the pupils hopes and wishes for the future! We wish them every success in secondary school and the next phase of their lives.




School Tour Season 2017



From pet farms to water-sports with plenty of mud, climbing, action and fun, our pupils had a great time on their respective school tours. 

Junior Infants visited Killinkere Pet Farm, Senior Infants bowled and played in Mullingar, 1st class explored Newgrange Pet Farm while 2nd class had a great day on the lakes in Rathbeggan. 

Our senior pupils also experienced plenty of activity with 3rd class going to the Crystal Maze, 4th class Funtasia Waterpark, 5th class Lough Crew Adventure Centre and 6th Class Bay Sports. Check out a selection of photographs below to see the fun our pupils had. 




Sports Day 2017

We held our sports day on Wednesday 19th June, taking part in lots of different sporting activities throughout the day like races, tug of war, obstacle courses, penalty shoot-outs, Gaelic, parachute games  and much more. Everyone had a brilliant day and we were blessed with the weather. Check out some photos from our day below!!










Project Time in 6th Class

Our 6th Class pupils created some wonderful SESE projects recently. Ms. O Connell’s class used space and spacecraft as their theme, while Mr. Smith’s class took on the challenge of bridges! All our pupils enjoyed the demonstrations and learned loads from the classes too!




Summer Newsletter

Girl’s Camogie Teams

Congratulations to our U11 and U13  camogie teams who recently put in an excellent performance at the camogie blitz in Cavan. Thanks to Ms. O Connell  and Ms. Smith for training the teams

Newly Trained Reading Recovery Teacher in St Clare’s

We are delighted that we have yet another Reading Recovery trained teacher in our school, which addition to Ms Mc Kelvey, means that we have two Reading Recovery teachers available at present in our school. Over the course of the year Ms Mc Govern received her Reading Recovery training which involved fortnightly trips to Monaghan Education Centre to observe live Reading Recovery lessons and teach two live lessons herself. She was enabled to teacher her live lessons with two children from St. Clare’s thanks to the support of two parents that willingly and generously volunteered to drive their children over to Monaghan Education Centre to participate. Ms Mc Govern was visited by her mentor Ms Healy frequently throughout the year who observed her lessons and provided her with constructive feedback, guidance and support to further enrich her training. Ms Mc Govern acquired some invaluable skills during the duration of the course which she will now bring to her future teaching of reading, as she is now a fully certified Reading Recovery teacher and received her certificate at the graduation day in Monaghan recently. Over the course of the year, Ms Mc Govern worked on a one to one basis with 7 children to deliver the Reading Recovery Programme, providing individually tailored and specific 30 minute lessons to these children. She is looking forward to the challenge of taking on some new children next year and working closely with them to enrich their reading skills, as she has done with the students she worked with this year, who made enormous strides in terms of their reading and writing ability. Ms Mc Govern will continue her professional development in this area next year by attending further Reading Recovery training days in Monaghan to ensure her skills are kept current and up to date. Below is a picture of the Graduation day for all the Reading Recovery trained teachers who received their training in Monaghan this year.




Junior Infant Open Afternoon


St. Clare’s N.S. will hold an Open Afternoon for our new Junior Infant pupils on Friday 16th June at 1:30pm. Our incoming pupils are welcome to join us, where they will meet their teachers and principal, get to view their classroom and meet all their new friends! Parents will be provided with an information pack and given an opportunity to ask any questions they may have about our school. We are looking forward to welcoming 54 new faces to St. Clare’s N.S. 



 May Procession

We  had our annual May Procession in St. Joseph’s church recently,  setting off from the school. The 6th class Confirmation recipients and First Communion recipients got to put on their finery from their special days once more and they were awarded with their certificates by their class teachers. Lots of parents and members of the school community came out to witness the procession.



May Assembly

Lights, Camera, Action!

St Joseph’s Hall Ballyjamesduff was packed to capacity on Friday 12th May when the pupils from 3rd-6th class showcased their dramatic and musical skills in our school production “Hoodwinked”.

The show followed the adventures of Robin Hood and his battle with the evil Sheriff, with plenty of humour and a little romance sprinkled in-between.

 The cast spent months in rehearsal assisted by Creative Director Ms Carroll, while the school Choir conducted by Mr. Mc Hugh added some beautiful music to the performance.

Many thanks to our Staff, Parents, Parents Association, St. Joseph’s Hall Committee, The Ballyjamesduff Sewing Club and all those who attended on the night, your support for these wonderful actors was greatly appreciated. We’re already looking forward to our next show which will be staged in 2018/19!








St. Clare’s N.S. Rewarding Positive Behaviour


All our pupils are working really hard at demonstrating and promoting positive behavior in our school. Each of our classes are working towards their target of “reaching the top of the ladder” with steps given out daily for good behavior.

Here we have Ms. Dolan Brady’s Class enjoying a trip to the playground and Mrs. Smith’s class enjoying a pizza party as part of our rewards programme. Keep up the good work boys and girls!













Presentation to CAPS


St Clare’s recently presented a cheque to CAPS.



St Clare’s Bake Sale

We held a bake sale on Thursday 6th April and it was a roaring success. Thank you to all the children, teachers and parents who contributed such amazing buns, cakes, biscuit and breads. We’d give the contestants on the Great Irish Bake off a run for their money, for sure!!


Easter Hamper Winners

The Parent’s Association organised some fantastic Easter hampers which were won by the very lucky Ann Hogan and Francis Davis


#BeActive Award Video

Check out this brilliant video  from Sport Ireland showcasing all our hard work for the  #BeActive Education Award. The #BeActive Education Award is a European wide award that puts the spotlight on an educational setting that can demonstrate concrete ways in which it encouraged its young people to be active.

The #BeActive Awards form part of the European Week of Sport and Sport Ireland, as National Coordinating Body for the week in Ireland, were delighted to nominate our school  for the award.

April WOW Day 5/4/17

As the Easter holidays are drawing near we had an Easter themed WOW day! Children walked to school in their lovely Bunny Ears, Easter Bonnets and Masks! A great start to the school day. Thank you to all who participated!

Wow Day

Our next Wow day will be taking place this Wednesday on 5th April. Looking to forward to seeing you all there!




Autism Awareness Day

We went blue for Autism Awareness day which was 2nd April.


March Assembly 


Check out our assembly winners for March!!!



St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Despite the rain we had a strong representation of pupils from our Student Council, Active School and Green Schools Committee take part in the Ballyjamesduff St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where they represented our school with pride and enthusiasm. Many thanks to the Parents Association who helped coordinate the pupils on the day. 



The Great St. Clare’s Bake Off

Mrs Flood Clarke’s class recently put their baking skills to the test with “Seachtain na Gaeilge” inspired treats. The boys and girls had great fun creating their green goodies and even better fun eating them! 




Pancake Tuesday  was a Flipping success!!!

Pancake Tuesday was a big hit in St. Clare’s N.S. recently with the smell of eggs, flour, lemon, chocolate sauce, butter, jam, ice cream and much more filling our corridors! Here we have Ms. Carroll’s 4th class and Ms Murphy’s 3rd class enjoying their creations in their classroom aka their Michelin Star restaurant!! Third class tried out lots of different toppings on their pancakes!!





Gaelic Football skills

Junior infants and senior infants received Gaelic coaching skills for six weeks. They thoroughly enjoyed it and we could definitely spot some potential GAA stars in the making. Here are  some of the junior infants taking part in the coaching sessions.



Defibrillator and First Response Training

Following the purchase of a Defibrillator by our Parents Association, training was provided by the Civil Defence to our staff and members of the Parents Association on how to use the equipment. The training was extremely beneficial and allowed the staff an opportunity to up-skill in the area of First Response. Thanks to the Parents Association who organised the training. 








Operation Transformation’s 10@10

All the classes in St. Clare’s were busy on Friday the 10th February at ten o’clock doing the Operation Transformation 10@10. They all put their fitness to the test along with their teachers. Check us out in action below!!!

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Surprise Visitor

The staff enjoyed a surprise visit from the INTO president Rosena Jordan recently. We were delighted to have her call in for a brief visit.



Catholic School’s Week

We held a prayer service on Friday 3rd February to celebrate and mark Catholic school’s week. Children from various classes did prayers of the faithful and we all joined  in song to mark the special week. Fr Tully blessed the children’s throats after the prayer service.


January Assembly Winners


Pen Licence for Ms. Sullivan’s Class

If you want to observe good hand writing in St. Clare’s N.S. you should call into Ms. Sullivan’s Classroom, all 30 pupils in the classroom were recently awarded their pen licence! Mr. Mc Cartin was on hand to present the certificates to the pupils. Well done everyone!





Sacramental Enrolment Mass

Congratulations to the pupils in 2nd and 6th class who took part in the Ceremony of Light Sacramental Enrolment Mass on Wednesday 25th January in St. Joseph’s Church. Thanks to their teachers Ms. Smith, Mr. Mc Cormack, Ms. O Connell and Mr. Smith along with Fr. Tully who prepared the pupils.


RTE fame for St. Clare’s N.S

On Friday 18th January, excitement was high around St. Clare’s N.S. A production team from RTE’s Operation Transformation, along with a film crew and presenter Kathryn Thomas arrived at our school for a full days recording. Operation Transformation were very interested in learning how we recently won our European Award for the most active school in Europe and so followed us on a typical “active day”  around our school. Check out these great photographs from the day and see us on the show at:







Sacramental Enrolment Mass 

Sacramental Enrolment Mass for the pupils receiving the Sacraments will be held in St. Joseph’s Church on Wednesday 25th January at 7:30pm.

Parent Evenings


 Our Active School Film: Fame for all in St. Clare’s N.S.

After a hectic day of filming on 14th December 2016, the final footage of our Active School in action has been uploaded to the National Active School website to guide and inspire other schools who wish to take on the challenge of becoming an Active School.

It was a great privilege to be invited to make such a contribution to this Department of Education initiative and we are delighted with the final product. Sincere thanks to all who were involved. It makes us incredibly proud of every single member of our school community-well done one and all!

We would invite you to view this video footage by clicking on the link below-it is well worth a look.

Christmas at St. Clare’s N.S.

We had a wonderful Christmas here in St. Clare’s N.S. Peronalised Christmas cards, schools calendars, Christmas plays, our annual Christmas Carol Service, a Santa Dash and of course a visit from the North Pole! Check out some photos below! 



December Assembly Winners!!! 

 Santa Dash 21st December!!!

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What a festive, jovial atmosphere there was on our first ever Santa Dash which took place on Tuesday 21st December 2016. Despite bitterly cold conditions, we braved the Arctic air and set out well wrapped up in our Christmas jumpers, winter woollies and Santa hats for a brisk dash around the Nun’s Walking Route. Everyone was in great spirits, singing Christmas carols in full voice as Mr. McCartin kept our school bell jingling all along the way to really give our dash a cheery Christmas vibe. It was such a lovely sight to see almost 450 Santa-hat bearing pupils, teachers and the many, many parents who joined in, snaking along the route, not once but twice! We returned to school invigorated, cheerful and even more buoyed up for the fast-approaching Christmas festivities having done something really positive for charity in the process. To all who took part and donated to the worthy cause of Cancer Care and the Hospice, a huge thank you. It was a wonderfully charitable and enjoyable active event to end 2016!

Have a look at us in action on our Santa Dash below.

WOW Day: 7th December 2016

We may have raised our Active School Flag on 2nd December 2016, but our active events are to remain a permanent fixture on the busy calendar of St. Clare’s N.S. and Wednesday morning, 7th December 2016 saw us out in force once again for another WOW day. It was great to see enthusiasm aplenty among all who had gathered on the exceptionally mild morning and we had great numbers join us on the day, all eager, highly visible, energetic and ready to fit in some exercise and friendly chatter before the bell tolled on another school day. Thanks to everyone who came along. We hope to see even greater numbers join us in the new year on our next WOW Day which takes place on 1st February 2017-St. Brigid’s Day. Mark it on your calendar now!

School Celebration-A Day to Remember

2nd December 2016

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Friday, 2nd December 2016 was certainly a day to remember for everyone here in St. Clare’s N.S. as we celebrated not one but two amazing active accolades achieved in recent months. Renowned national dignitaries from political, sporting media and educational arenas along with many distinguished invited guests from the locality descended upon our school on the day to duly recognise and supportively share in the combined celebration of two remarkable accomplishments-the raising of our Active School Flag and the European Be Active Education Award 2016 presented to us by the European Commission. The truly special event marked the culmination of an exhilarating, exciting and eventful year in the life of our school which has now been recognised at local, national and European level for our improvements in provision for physical activity. Both honours however were as a result of the combined efforts of our pupils, staff, parents and wider community and we certainly felt that for everyone involved, a celebration was well-deserved!

It was a day that undoubtedly marked the highlight of the year thus far and one that the pupils will recall for many years to come, in particular the first guest that made a surprise appearance early that morning in the arms of Mr. Damien O’Reilly from RTÉ-it was none other than the much sought-after Sam Maguire Cup. With 40% of our pupils hailing originally from Dublin, all of whom have remained staunch Dublin supporters despite their relocation, these pupils, along with all of their Cavan and international counterparts, relished this opportunity to raise Sam Maguire aloft and take some cherished photos alongside this national treasure.

There was much more to come on the day however and alongside local distinguished guests, we were honoured to welcome Ms. Mairead McGuinness, M.E.P. and Vice-President of the European Parliament; Mr. Aogán Ó Fearghail, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael; Ms. Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion; Ms. Karen Cotter, National Co-ordinator of the Active School Flag Programme; and, Bishop Leo O’Reilly all of whom, despite onerous schedules, kindly gave of their time to attend and join in our celebrations.

Presenter of Countrywide on RTÉ Radio 1 and with familial links to the locality, Mr. Damien O’Reilly initiated proceedings with a warm, rousing, congratulatory introduction that set the tone for the day ahead and even stoked up that long-standing rivalry between our local Castlerahan G.A.A. Club and its nemesis, Ramor United! After this introduction, our school choir, led by Mr. Shane McHugh, epitomised our fighting spirit in song with a feisty rendition of ‘The Eye of the Tiger’ that provided a lively start to the entertainment presented on the day.

Mr. Karl McCartin, then addressed the gathering, praising our wonderful staff and pupils for their enormous efforts along with proffering sincere appreciation to our ever-supportive parental body for so willingly assisting and becoming involved with the active school initiative at every opportunity.

It was a day however for the spotlight to shine on the hardworking members of the St. Clare’s Active School Committee. Introduced by Ms. Verena Cunningham, each in turn described to all in attendance the assortment of active measures that had been implemented and brought us to the celebration of this very special day. With contributions from all serving committee members, including pupils, Ms. Anne Sullivan and Ms. Niamh Coleman, when their presentation concluded and they took their bow, all present were left fatigued at the mere description of the activities that had been undertaken during the year.

One example of such activities was exhibited by a group of 6th class pupils who provided an intricate skipping presentation before Ms. Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion spoke fittingly to the children, congratulating them on what they had achieved and acknowledging the powerfully positive impact of our active school programme on their health both now and in the future. She encouraged us all to continue in this vein, lauded our school as an example for others to follow and light-heartedly remarked that the introduction of Free-Dance Fridays in Leinster House could be a very good idea!

A performance of the New Zealand Haka as Gaeilge by the 5th class pupils followed and once again portrayed that spirit of determination and passion that embodies our culture here in St. Clare’s N.S. Mr. Aogán Ó Fearghail, President of the G.A.A. took to the rostrum afterwards and enlightened our pupils as to the meaning and purpose of the Haka, declaring Ballyjamesduff as their very own Haka to defend and take pride in. His words of congratulations were warmly received and while recognising the incredible input of the pupils, he specifically extolled the teachers of Ireland as among the finest worldwide and praised our staff for their dedication and selfless commitment to the Active School project. Before concluding, Mr. Ó Fearghail led the children in an impromptu performance of that famous local song ‘Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff’, leaving all who had gathered intensely proud of our very own Haka.

An angelic performance of ‘This Little Light of Mine’ by 1st class pupils then captivated one and all before Ms. Mairead McGuinness arose and unexpectedly provided the most rejuvenating performance during proceedings. Amidst her kind words of praise and admiration, she epitomised the active theme of the event, leading us in a lively performance of the ‘Hokey Cokey’ and highlighting the significant multicultural dimension of our pupil population that has created a diverse but strong and unified school community.

Continuing with the active nature of the day, Ms. Mc Kay’s 3rd class pupils presented a contemporary dance routine that skilfully combined fundamental movement skills with an element of literacy that was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd before our achievements were publicly commended by both Bishop Leo O’Reilly and Fr. Andrew Tully, Chairperson of our Board of Management. Drawing the day to a close was a perfectly choreographed martial arts performance by some 6th class aficionados that enthralled those in attendance; a complimentary contribution from Ms. Karen Cotter, National Co-ordinator of the Active School Flag initiative; and, a respectful finale when the gathering stood to attention and, led by Mrs. Dolan-Brady and the school choir, together sang Amhrán na bhFiann.

With formal proceedings concluded, the twelfth-month programme of improvement to provision for physical activity reached its climax, when all 448 pupils, staff members and invited guests streamed outdoors, and an excited countdown preceded the rousing raising of our well-deserved and hard-earned Active School Flag. Cheers and applause filled the air as the flag flew upwards before the crowd returned indoors to enjoy the delicious refreshments organised by our dedicated Parents’ Association. It was a uniquely memorable day of celebration for all involved and with our European Be Active Education Award and our Active School Flag now flying proudly atop our central flagpole, our active motto is certainly no longer an aspiration but the reality. What a wonderful day it was, a day to be proud of every single member of the community of St. Clare’s N.S. and may our much-improved active ethos continue to develop and thrive for evermore!

Lift Off to Literacy

We have now completed the Lift Off to Literacy Programme in both First classes and we are delighted with the results so far. After Christmas, we will move into both Senior Infant classes.

Lift Off to Literacy consists of 5 stations. The children have Lift Off every day for 50 minutes from Monday to Thursday. The stations include the Familiar Reading Station, the Writing/Word Work station, the New Book station, the Comprehension station and the Free Writing station. Here are some pictures of us working at our different stations.




November Assembly and Monthly Attendance Winners

Student Council:

We recently elected our new St. Clare’s Student Council for 2016/2017. We had 16 excellent candidates from 3rd to 6th class. Each candidate made excellent campaign posters which they placed around the school. On Election Day they then delivered a speech to all the other students in the school. Students then voted to see who got elected onto the council. The successful candidates were Eliza Lidaka, Ella Rubotham, Andy Behan, Dean Cahill, Jack Rooney, Amy Shannon, Brendan De Oliveira, Alana Boylan, John Linnane and Eliza Amolina. The Student Council will now work really hard to try and improve the school for everyone.


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Food Dudes

All classes recently participated in the Food Dudes programme whereby each day the children received  free fresh fruit and vegetables to eat. The children loved trying out all the different fruits and vegetables and are determined to keep up their healthy eating by bringing their own fruit and vegetables to school now. The children in fourth class carried our surveys to establish which fruit and vegetable from the Food Dudes range was most popular. Checkout the results below in the bar graph!! The children also composed some poems to describe their Food Dudes experience.


Food Dudes


October Assembly Winners 

Halloween Disco 2016

What spooky, gruesome fun we had on the final day before our mid-term break! Everyone donned, and many designed, their scariest costumes for a day of Halloween fun, games, tricks and treats. The costumes were chillingly creative, the face-paint fantastically frightening and the effort made by one and all was splendid to see. The day ended with a Junior Halloween Disco in the G.P. Room from 1-2pm, while our senior students assembled to strut their macabre moves from 2-3pm. Even the teachers joined in! It was a great and active end to what has been a busy half-term in St. Clare’s N.S.






Martial Arts

Having received the Education BeActive award for being the ‘most Active school’ in Europe, we are determined to live up to our name and keep our activity levels up. To keep our fitness levels up, classes are currently taking part in Martial Arts lessons and they are learning some cool moves in the process!!!

Good Luck Castlerahan



Formula 1 Attendance Style

Here in St. Clare’s we have introduced our new attendance reward system. Each class in our school has a formula 1 car and each week we race against each other for the big prize! Attendance at school is very important and we love to track our class progress each week. Every Monday Mr. Mc Cartin announces the results from the previous weeks race, at the end of the month the class with the best attendance gets a grand prize! We look forward to racing our way to the top this school year!!


St. Clare’s Best in Europe!


It’s not everyday you win an award. It’s certainly not everyday you win a European award, but that’s exactly what we in St. Clare’s N.S. did recently when we collected the Education BeActive award from the European Commission in Brussels.

Firstly nominated by Sport Ireland as one of the top three schools in Ireland for the promotion of physical activity and participation, we were then extremely honoured to be shortlisted by the European Commission as an overall finalist at European level.

Mr. Mc Cartin and Ms. Cunningham travelled to Brussels as part of the European Week of Sports to attend the Award Ceremony. Competing against representatives from all over Europe we were announced the overall winners in the Education Category by the panel of adjudicators from the European Commission.

Returning to Ballyjamesduff with the Award was a very exciting time in our school with cheers and applause to lift the rafters. Mr. Mc Cartin, Ms. Cunningham and Ms. Sullivan and Fr. Tully outlined the fantastic achievement this was for our school. The enthusiasm and involvement by our wonderful pupils, dedicated staff, active schools committee and our parent body made this all possible.

A huge school celebration day is planned for later this term.

In the meantime checkout (More News) for further information.

We also received a letter from the Minister for Education congratulating us and Aer Lingus tweeted our onboard congratulations message!

The best in Europe, it does sound good!



 Be Active: European Week of Sport 2016

From 10th-18th September 2016 European Week of Sport, which aims to promote sport and physical activity across Europe was celebrated. Irish schools were asked to take part and here in St. Clare’s N.S. we accepted this challenge as a great way to kick-start the new school year. We organised an eventful week of fun, inclusive and energetic physical activities in which all of our pupils participated, a week that was thoroughly enjoyed by all-pupils and staff members alike! As our very first Active Week, we were thrilled with what was a successful start to our Active School Programme for 2016/2017 and a fun-filled celebration of European Week of Sport 2016 here in Ballyjamesduff.



12th September 2016: Move it Monday

Our first event of the week was Move it Monday where we all simultaneously responded to the intercom countdown to ‘Drop Everything and Move’ from 12-12.10pm. Some danced, others jogged, many exercised, a few used GoNoodle, but everyone moved nonstop until time was up and we were all tired out!


  13th September 2016: Try it Tuesday

Try it Tuesday involved introducing all children to a new way of being active and we were delighted to welcome Mr. Brian Coleman, a personal trainer from BC Fitness, Ballyjamesduff to our school not just on Tuesday, but on every afternoon during the week to conduct a fitness session with each class. What incredible workouts we all got to experience and despite a few aching muscles afterwards, these fitness sessions were thoroughly enjoyed! Sincere thanks to Brian for his energy, enthusiasm, encouragement and most importantly for freely giving up his own time to work with us in St. Clare’s each afternoon for the entire week-it was truly appreciated! BC Fitness-thanks for making fitness fun!!


  14th  September 2016: Who will Win Wednesday?

Competition was rife and tension was in the air at midday on Wednesday as ten brave staff members lined out against our ten-strong pupil team for a tightly matched game of Dodgeball. One pupil represented each of our ten classes from 2nd to 6th, all of whom congregated in the school hall to support their class player. Mr Smith set out the rules, our neutral referee Ms. Coleman got the game underway and what fun we had. The balls were lobbed, the cheering deafened and the excitement escalated as the first match was claimed by the staff squad and the second by the pupil panel. The final match, the decider was a nail-biting conclusion to our first-ever pupil-teacher challenge. Who emerged triumphant? The teachers!!!!!