Parent-Teacher Meetings

Normally we would be having parent-teacher meetings this month. Due to the current situation, we are working on developing a format for these meetings and plan to hold them in January. Details will follow. In the mean time, if you have questions or concerns, please email your child’s class teacher or phone the school.

Green School

The school continues to actively work towards our first Green Flag. Our focus is on Litter and Waste Management. There are many systems in place in the school to minimise and manage waste. We are making paper briquettes using our old paper. We are also learning about such topics as composting, reusing and repurposing and recycyling. We’re asking for your help with a few things. While the majority of children bring a reusable water bottle to school each day, we’d like to reach 100% on this. We have been given some reusable bottles and are happy to pass them on to anyone that needs one. We will be gathering data to see how many children and staff are bringing reusable water bottles to school. Also, we are looking for your creative ways to reduce lunch packaging. Therefore, on Friday we’re asking everyone to do their very best to bring in a lunch with as little packaging and single-use plastic as possible. We’ll be recognising those who make a great effort in this area in the next newsletter.

Parent-Teacher Association

The Parent-Teacher Association, which is open to all parents and staff members, is planning an online AGM. It will take place on Wednesday, 25th November at 19.00. All are welcome. This is a chance to look at what activities the PTA can become involved in over the course of the year despite our unusual circumstances. The meeting link can be gotten from the school.

Science Week

Last week all the classes were busy carrying out various science investigations and activities. There are many more things planned for this week. The Galway Science & Technology Festival takes place this Saturday at 11:00 with an online event. See for more information.

Lights for Bikes and Scooters

The Galway Cycling Association has provided us with lights for bikes and scooters that are provided by the Road Safety Authority (RSA). These will be available from Matt in the mornings for anyone to collect. If we run out, we can request more sets. We’d like to organise a photo of those cycling and scooting to school on Wednesday morning this week to say thank you. We’ll have a socially distanced photograph at 8:50 in the school yard.

After-school Clubs

As the Evasion Games must be held outside, we will have to decide each day whether they will go ahead. This is also the case for the Soccer sessions. A text will go out if they are cancelled. We’ll organise the financial details over time. Thanks for your patience.

Admissions Process Open

The Admissions Process for the 2021-2022 school year has begun. We are gradually transitioning to a new admissions procedure. Anyone can make an application for admission for the new junior infants class or a place in an older class on our website (

Feel free to pass on the link to friends and neighbours. The first places will be offered at the end of January. Please email Matt or Claudia if you have any questions.

Head Lice Checks

We’d encourage parents to continue regularly checking for head lice and to treat it accordingly as soon as possible. Many thanks for your cooperation.

Ceramic Boats

Last year the children made ceramic boats with Tatiana. They are being displayed in various locations and environments before they find a permanent home in our school. Tatiana brought them to school and displayed them beautifully on the green space.

Knocknacarra Educate Together NS – Board of Management Meeting – 4 th November 2020, 19.00 (Google Meet)

Present: Maggie Hall (patron nominee), Liz Daly (female parent nominee nominee), Aneil Rawat (male parent nominee), Paul Adams (chairperson and patron nominee), Louise Shields (community nominee), Vivienne Kelly (teacher nominee) and Matt Wallen (principal and secretary)

Apologies: Elaine Keane (community nominee)

Paul chaired the meeting.

Principal’s Report


o There are currently 187 pupils enrolled in seven classes, with two new pupils joining tomorrow.

o The Admissions Notice has been posted, and the new enrolment procedures are in place.

o Offers for junior infant places will be sent out at the end of January after the enrolment period has passed.


o Sarah-Jane Gilmore and Padraic Hickey have been appointed as permanent teachers.

o Florence and her daughter are now both formally employed by the school for cleaning.

o We will be granted additional support teaching hours which will now be banked and used in a block, most likely in the second term.


o Parents have been very helpful regarding communication related to attendance and ensuring children stay home when unwell. Attendance has improved somewhat. The average attendance to date is 92%. 29% have not missed a day. Six children have missed more than 15 days. Three have missed more than 20 days.

Health and Safety

o The COVID-19 plan is in operation, and the management of the re-opening has gone smoothly.

o A review of the rest of the Health and Safety Policy is required.

Curriculum Development

The staff will begin the process of writing and reviewing the Gaeilge and Arts Curriculum Plans from the middle of November. The Learn Together Plan will be the focus in the latter part of the year, taking into account the proposed changes of the curriculum that are due to be approved by Educate Together in the near future.


o The final payments for the doors replacement, bar the amount to be reserved for retention (5%), have been made. The heating repairs are complete and the final drawdown should take place soon.

o It has been difficult to get roofers to respond to the queries due to a combination of busy schedules and poor weather. We’ll aim to follow up on the planned repairs in the next month.

o We are awaiting a third quote for the taps replacement, and once this is received we’ll choose a contractor for the work.

Misc. Events/Information

o It is proposed that parent-teacher meetings be postponed until January as guidance from the Department has not been sent out. The format of these meetings is yet to be determined.

o A plan for staff meetings, either in year pairs (Junior & Senior Infants, 1st & 2nd, etc.), or as a whole staff via Google Meets has been agreed for the year.

o The process of writing IEPs (Individual Education Plans) is nearing completion.

o Work is ongoing for the retention of our Active Flag and new applications for our first Green Flag and Gaelbhratach (Irish language flag).

o The school will participate in the Science Festival in a virtual manner this year. A special kit has been given to the school, and there are opportunities for participation in online activities both at school and at home.

o We continue to have a weekly whole-school assembly using Google Meets.

Financial Report

o Income and expenditure for October was reviewed.

o A budget for the year was approved by the Board.

Plan for School Re-opening

The plan continues to be followed, and there were no issues raised by the Board at present.

Annual Review of the Child Safeguarding Statement

The Board conducted the annual review of the Child Safeguarding Statement. One area to note was the importance of ensuring that substitutes are aware of the policies and procedures in place. This is included as part of a two-page information sheet given to all substitutes.

Annual Review of the Code of Behaviour and Anti-bullying Policy

The Board also reviewed the Code of Behaviour and Anti-bullying Policy.