School News - Reált Na Mara Girls National School

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ICT Update
We have invested in 33 new Chrome Books for our senior classes. Proceeds from our Ballymacgarvey fundraiser and the Department grant, financed this new venture. Thanks to the Board of Management for supporting this new improvement which is line with our digital strategy for the school. Thanks to Oliver Brady for his time and help in working on improving wi-fi within the school.

School Garden
Our school garden is beginning to bloom again and thanks to our gardener mum, Dominika, we have lots of flowers and vegetables in the beds. Ms Colgan's class have helped with the weeding and planted some potatoes, salad, radish, peasand spinach. Brian does a fantastic job watering the willow tunnel and it has sprung to life again this year with all his care.
Ms. Murtagh's 4th Class will plant sunflowers around Fr. Willie's buddy bench. Gradually there is a feeling of a return to normality as nature brings joy to the children.

Book Rental Scheme
This is a scheme which is greatly subsidised by the Department of Education and operated by parents in consultation with the school. It is a great scheme and saves you money and time. We really need your help if we are to continue with it this year. We need a core team of 10 parents to do the ordering and to do follow up on delivery of books and stationery for each class. A further team of 10-20 bag packers are needed to put the books into bags for each child. Can you please give your name to the office if you are willing and able to help? If we get enough helpers we will continue again and we will work in the hall to a timetable, at a 2 metre distance so that each team member is safe. Many hands make light work.

  • Dates to note for this term.

-Week of the 10th May- Standardised Tests 1st Class to 6th Class. English and Maths
-7th June- Bank Holiday- School Closed
-Week of June 21st- Reports home.
-June 23rd- Last day for 6th class.
-June 24th- School closing for Summer Holidays. 12 noon closure.

September 1st 2021- School reopens.

  • Happy St. Patrick's Day

We are sending you this video link with greetings from the children and staff for St. Patrick's Day.  I would like to thank all of the staff for their contributions and to the children in school and parents at home who sent in video clips of their daughters dancing.  Bhí siad go hiontach!

A big thank you to Ms. M. Campbell in Senior Infants who put the whole video together for us.  We hope you enjoy it!

  • Message from Mrs McCloughan.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh for your help and cooperation in keeping the children and staff safe and keeping the school open.

Teachers are a little concerned about the children meeting for play dates.  We would ask you to wait and not organise any mixing of children until it is safe to do so.  We are working hard in school to keep bubbles apart.

You will receive a notification to sign your child back in on Aladdin each time she is absent, confirming that she has no Covid symptoms.  Please attend to this on Wednesday evening before school reopens on Thursday.

Stay safe,

Mrs McCloughan

Dr Luke O' Neill answers our questions.
Recently the girls in classes 3rd to 6th were asked to submit any questions they might have had about Covid 19 and Mrs Roulstone sent a selection of them to Dr Luke O'Neill. Have a look at the link below for the answers.

  • Congratulations Ms. Byrne

A huge congratulations goes to Ms. Byrne who is now an All Ireland Football champion. She and her sister Kate were members of the Meath team who beat Westmeath in a pulsating game of football in Croke Park today, the 20th December. We are all delighted for you both. Well done to you and the Meath Team.

  • Parents' Association Autumn Winter Newsletter.

Please link on the link below to access the newsletter.

Autumn Winter Newsletter

Department of Education Guide for Parents: What to do if your child is a close contact of COVID-19

  • Science Week 2020

Science week took place the week of the 8th November to the 15th November. Each class took part in different activities and experiments throughout the week. Senior Infants experimented with Skittles and water, melted chocolate and watched the Forensic Science Show with Junior Einstein.
5th Class also completed the Skittles experiment, stood on balloons, observed the chemical reaction that occurs when Mentos and Diet Coke mix and finished up with designing their own Marble Run.
6th Class again completed the Skittles experiment(it was the most popular experiment this year), mixed Diet Coke and Mentos and watched a rocket blast off. They also watched a webinar that Science Week Ireland had available on their website.

  • Halloween has arrived at Donacarney.

  • Please find our Advanced Admission Notice below:

Advanced Admissions Notice

  • School Garden

Thank you to Dziuzanska family for looking after our school garden over the summer months. All their hard work has been well rewarded as harvest time is upon us.
Thank you, too, goes to Dominika for constructing a beautiful fairy garden at the edge of the school yard. The children are really enjoying it and are keeping their eyes peeled for any sign of its residents.
Thank you Dominika and family, we appreciate all your hard work.

  • Letter to Parents                                                                                 29/8/20

Dear Parents/Guardians,

“Tús maith, leath na hoibre” (a good start cuts the work in half)

Congratulations to all on a very good start to the school year and to re-opening the school safely.  Thanks to all the staff and to all parents/guardians for your cooperation on Thursday and Friday.  It was just wonderful to have the children back in school again and they seemed happy to be back with their friends, teachers and SNAs.

However, it is just the beginning and we have to maintain a diligent effort in keeping our school virus free and safe for all, every day, from now on.
We had no sick or unwell children sent to school.  This is vital to maintain a high standard of safety in school and the children were excellent in their attitude to observing new routines of respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene and social distancing.

In preparation for next week, please note the following:
• All appointments/meetings with teachers will be conducted by phone
• Please continue to arrive at appointed time only, according to surname
                                                                          8.50     A to E
                                                                               9 am     F to L
                                                                               9.10      M to Z

• Please do not forget lunches or drinks.  There are no deliveries to classrooms of late lunches due to restricted movement in the school.
• Maintain social distancing in the school grounds.  Please do not congregate for a chat before or after pick-up and leave the school grounds as quickly as possible once you have collected your child.
• Traffic- Please be patient.  We will always keep your child safe until you arrive.  I understand it can be frustrating and there is no simple or quick answer.  The wet days last week did not help as there were fewer children walking to school.
Please do not park in local estates, Cearnach Close in particular, when collecting your child.  Each house has a parking space which must be left free for residents only.
• Please keep your child at home for the required amount of time, (14 days), if she has recently been to a country which is not on the green list. (

We’re looking forward to a happy and successful year in school.

Le meas,

Kate McCloughan

School Re-opening update for next Thursday 27th August.

Please reading the following note carefully and ensure your contact details are up to date.  

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The school will re-open for all pupils on Thursday the 27th of August. We are looking
forward to welcoming the children back to school, we have missed them!
It has been a strange time for our young children and we understand that returning to school
will be a challenge in so many ways for all of us. We will be focusing first and foremost on
the children’s wellbeing and on settling them back to the school routine, which will not be
the same as the one they left in March. This will take time and we must not hurry this very
important process in an effort to try and “catch up”.
Rest assured that the children will achieve success academically if we nurture their
confidence, happiness and trust in their surroundings. Please support the school and the
teachers in this and be patient. In order to gradually establish routines at home and at school
there will be no homework given out until the week of September the 14th. We will use this
time to sign the children in the senior classes up for Google Classroom.

We have put a large number of new measures in place to make sure that the school
environment is as safe as possible for your children to come back to and for all staff to work
Please note below, times of arrival and departure for your daughter, along with key facts
which is attached separately.

“ The responsibility for keeping Covid 19 out of the school is the responsibility of the
whole school community” and I’m seeking your full cooperation with the new measures
which we have adopted for the safety of all.
There will be no supervision in the yard in the morning in order to ensure social distancing.
Children will walk straight to their classes where their teachers will be waiting for them.
We will have staggered arrival and departure times on the 27th and 28th of August and
these will continue until we review them.

Arrival times:
will be as follows until further notice and after review:
Group 1 Families whose surnames begin with A to E arrive at 8.50 am
Group 2 Families whose surnames begin with F to L arrive at 9 am
Group 3 Families whose surnames begin with M to Z arrive at 9.10
Buses and Junior Infants arrive and depart at a different time.

Departure Times
Senior Infants:
Ms. Duffy’s Class 1.55pm
Ms. M. Campbell’s Class 2pm.

1st to Sixth Classes:
Buses will leave first at 2.45 pm
First and Second 2.50 pm
Third and Fourth 2.55 pm
Fifth and Sixth 3 pm
Cuan Na Réaltaí: Buses for children in the Cuan will remain unchanged from last year.

Parents must arrive on time in the morning and afternoon. Parents are asked to observe
social distancing when you are dropping and picking up your daughter and at all times on
school grounds.
Kind regards,
Mrs. Kate McCloughan

Maximise Space Minimise Contact
 Pupils go straight to class on arrival through designated doorways
 Classes are named “bubbles” and groups within classes are called “pods”
 There is social distancing between each class bubble and between pods in classes
 Pupils will wash or sanitise their hands throughout the day as directed by their
 Pupils use separate writing materials and equipment, no sharing
 Pupils follow a one way system throughout the school
 Pupils enjoy lots of outdoor PE
 Bubbles stay inside their zone at break time

Unfortunately we have had to stop the following school activities
 After School Clubs
 Milk Carton Distribution
 6th Class Monitors
 Outside Coaches
 Swimming

To keep our children safe we have
 had numerous meetings to discuss and plan our strategy
 installed hand sanitizers
 cleaned the school thoroughly
 intensified and increased cleaning arrangements within the school
 ordered PPE including gloves, visors and masks (staff only) aprons, thermometers
cleaning products, wipes and so on
 prepared an isolation room and back up isolation room
 agreed new routines and timetables to facilitate social distancing
 painted new lines on the yard to create play zones for each class
 organised book rental so that books are already in school for most children
 ordered signs which will be in place soon

Please click on the link below to access the Parents' Plan Key Facts.

Parents' Plan Key Facts

  • First Holy Communion for Réalt Na Mara Girls’ School

Congratulations to all the girls who received Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion on Saturday.
Having waited patiently since May the 16th for their special day due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the parents, pupils and teachers were delighted that the day of their First Holy Communion finally arrived on Saturday the 1st of August.
There were pupils from Ms. Smith’s, Ms. McGuinness’, Ms. Tully’s and Ms. Linden’s classes participating in both masses on Saturday.
It was different to our usual celebrations due to social distancing, but it was a reverent and happy occasion.  Each child was supported by her family as they stood side by side at the altar and Fr. Joseph thanked the parents for bringing the children and encouraged them to come often in the future.  Indeed many of the girls put on their beautiful dresses once again and came to mass on the Sunday also.
Fr. Joseph spoke to the girls about Jesus and how they can talk to Him and how we are all nourished by the body of Christ. He told them how Jesus is with us in a very special way in the Eucharist.  
Thanks to everyone who helped prepare the children and who supported on  Saturday in the church to make it a wonderful day for the girls.

  • Please note:

-The 2020-2021 School Calendar is now available under the Parents' section of the website. (Please note there may be changes to the calendar according to Government directives.)
-The 2nd-6th Class booklists are available to download under the Parents' Section.

  • Our First (and last hopefully) Virtual Sports Day.

Thank you to Ms.McManus and Ms. Sarah Kirwan for organising this year's Virtual Sports Day. We know every year, the girls look forward to this day but unfortunately in 2020 Covid 19 had other plans. Thank you to all the girls who sent in pictures of their sporting endeavors and we are still collecting the Obstacle course entries and will post them in the coming days. If you haven't sent in your pictures, please do send them to your class teacher or you can send them to this email
We hope you enjoyed the day despite the circumstances.

Thank you
On behalf of the Green Schools Committee and the whole school communinity, we would like to say a special thank you to Dominika and Brian for minding and keeping our school garden alive and looking so well. A huge amount of work has been completed and it has not gone unnoticed. The willow tunnel has been transformed and there are lots of herbs, vegetables and fruit in our raised beds and we look forward to seeing all the crops when we return in September.  A sincere thanks again to Dominika and Brian!
(Pictures taken early June)

  • Ideas and Activities for the school closure. Updated 21st April.

Please remember these are only suggestions. This is new to all of us and we are all doing our very best in extremely difficult circumstances. Please don't put yourselves under any pressure. The most important thing is our health and safety.

GAA Stars Colouring pages.

  • You can download, read about and colour some of Ireland's greatest female sporting heroes by clicking on the link below.

Female sport Stars.

  • Every day at 11am, you can listen one of David Walliams’ World’s Worst Children stories, so sit down, take a break, and enjoy 20ish minutes of pure fun!  Link is:

    Start keeping a handwritten journal.. Write about what you are seeing in the news, how you and your family are passing the time, what is closed in our country, how you are feeling. Keep it. These are historic times, written evidence. It is an opportunity to record our experiences and save for the future. We will have first hand written documents of these times. Parents, guardians, grandparents are invited to participate too.

  • Read for at least 15 mins a day.

  • Put on your favourite song and dance.

  • Write/draw a new ending for your favourite story.

  • Colouring- lots of free mindfulness colouring pages available on

  • Nessy programmes are designed to help students of all abilities learn to read, write, spell and type. Visit

  • Read a story to a sibling/pet.

  • Fold and put away your clothes.

  • Art: Take a line for a walk using each of your colours.

  • Make up a wordsearch/crossword.

  • With adult supervision, bake/cook something you have never baked before.

  • Build a tower out of cards. See how high you can build. Measure it.

  • Make a paper airplane and test how far it can go.

  • Do a jigsaw. Time how fast you can do it.

  • Go Noodle: A huge selection of free videos, including dancing, exercise and reflection activities.

  • Prodigy Maths: This is a free maths challenge game suitable for pupils from 1st class.

  • Topmarks website: Huge selection of learning games covering all the curricular areas. https://www.

  • Try out usually a paid subscription but they are offering free trials for next two months.

  •  - online books- usually paid subscription but free trial at moment.

  • Cosmic Kids on YouTube is a fantastic yoga resource. Get everyone involved.

  • 10@10: Daily 10 minute exercise videos-    This can be done 'as Gaeilge' too. Get everyone involved.

  • TG4:  - Programmes and cartoons in Irish.

  • Maths Games and activities.

  • Keep washing hands- make up songs to last the 20 seconds.

  • With adult supervision,  The Craft Cabin, Cavan are doing a Facebook Live video every day at 12 showing an arts and craft activity using commonly found resources around the house.

  • Sort and pair up your socks!!!

  • Compose a letter to a famous person you admire.

  • Play a board game.

  • Make up/design a new board game.

  • Spend some time outside every day. Remember social distancing.

  • Play shop with santised real money.

  • Tidy your bedroom.

  • Please go over the following hygiene guidelines with your child.

  • Multi- Cultural Assembly

Just before midterm we celebrated all the nationalities that we have in our school family here at Réalt na Mara GNS in a special assembly. This has become an annual event and each year the sense of occasion grows. This year, some of the children in 2nd/4th and 5th classes were lucky enough to have one of parents, Dominika, come in and conduct an art lesson with them. She showed the girls how to make their native badges using paper folding. The results were spectacular. Thank you Dominika.
Mrs Campbell worked digilently with girls from the countries represented in the school and they performed dances from England, Canada, Africa, Pakistan, Australia, Italy, Poland and others. It was such a wonderful sight to behold.
Finally, the two successful teams that participated in the recent Credit Union Quiz were congratulated and their medals displayed. Well done to them and their teacher Mrs McCartan for all their hard work!

  • Chess Tournament.

On Tuesday 4th February, a group of 16 children attended a one day friendly and fun chess tournament in Gaelscoil an Bhradáin Feasa. The day was organised by Ficheall. Ficheall is a network of primary school teachers in Ireland who promote the playing of chess in schools for the social, cognitive and mental-fitness benefits it has for students. Tournaments were organised all over Ireland and we took part in the non-competitive day against local pupils from Donore N.S, Aston Village, St Oliver's Scoil Naomh Cholmcille, St. Joseph's CBS, The Old Borough School and the hosts Gaelscoil an Bhradáin Feasa. There were 2 age groups - The Budding Masters(3rd/4th class) and the Masters (5th /6th).  We entered two teams of 8.  Sofia, Magdalena, Olivia, Zoey, Sophia, Caitlin, Elizaveta and Lucy represented us in the Budding Masters category. Anora, Danielle, Katie, Laoibhse, Kim, Abbie, Karinova and Emma did us proud in the Master's category. The girls played brilliantly and enjoyed the day. Thanks to Nuala who helped out on the day. Well done everyone!

  • Minutes from the January's P.A meeting

Please click on link below for minutes of January's meeting.

January's meeting.

  • Drogheda Credit Union Quiz 2020

A huge congratulations to our two quiz teams that took part in the Credit Union Quiz on Friday 31st January in Drogheda Institute of Further Education. Both teams excelled and narrowly missed out on a place in the next round by the smallest of margins, one point. They were each placed in third place.  They faced tough questions and tough competition.  
Well done Lucy, Lily, Jennifer, Rana, Caoimhe, Dania, Emma and Anora. You represented both yourselves and the school brilliantly. Well done too goes to Mrs McCartan for preparing the girls and working with the girls at lunch time over the last few weeks.

See how you would fare with the questions below!!!

1)Which Simpson child is the oldest?
2)Which ocean did the Titanic sink in?
3)Which Irish Rugby captain retired after the World Cup last year?
4) Too many cooks spoil the .................?
5) Which is the longest river in Ulster?
6)Who is the President of the Credit Union Movement?
7) The T in the medical department E.N.T stands for?
8) Which House of Commons speaker retired last year?

Answers: Bart, Atlantic, Rory Best, broth, Bann, Gerry Thompson, throat, John Bercow

January winners of Handwriter of the Month

  • January Assembly

In this month's assembly, the prizes for handwriter of the month were handed out. There is excellent handwriting being done in all classes of the school at the moment so well done all the recipients for this month.
Ms McGuinness' class then informed us all on the details of their recent class trip to Roddy Doyle's creative handwriting workshop 'Fighting Words'. The children read out their story which was fantastic.
Lastly Ms. Brodigan's 6th Class let us know about their latest endeavor- the Junior Entrepreneurs Programme. They have very innovative in coming up with a new product which had to pass three Dragons approval. More news coming on this in the next few weeks.

  • Senior Infants Play- Ralph the Reindeer

  • School Fundraising Raffle

We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our sponsors for the Ballymagarvey Fundraising Concert.  We had fabulous prizes and we enjoyed great fun both at the concert and at our school assembly doing the draw.  Both adults and children love to win something and we had a great spread of winners throughout the school.  Well done everyone and again a big thank you to all who donated a prize.  Míle buíochas daoibh.

List of Prize Winners

  • 1st/2nd Class and Cuan na Réaltaí's Christmas Concert.

  • November and December's Handwriter of the Month.

  • Christmas Concert at Ballymacgarvey.

Thanks so much to our fantastic friends who have supported the school in our once off big fundraising event with amazing raffle prizes and generous sponsorship.  

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