1. Fantastic News

We are now a “GAA 5 Star Centre!”

What is a GAA 5 Star Centre?

The GAA 5 Star initiative aims to support and recognise Primary Schools that
provide pupils with 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous Gaelic Games activity per
week in a manner that ensures the children will experience fun, friendship, fairness
and ultimately improve their fitness. Recognition as a “GAA 5 Star Centre” is
awarded to Primary Schools that undertake to deliver a programme of Gaelic Games
activity that is age-appropriate and meets the developmental needs of children within
the school. In order to receive recognition as a “GAA 5 Star Centre” a Primary
School must provide for the flexible delivery of the following activities over the
course of a school-year:

  1. Baboró

Due to the “new normal” Baboró went online this year. We were lucky enough to
secure a live show in our middle room. The children really enjoyed it. Thanks to
Baboró and our staff for facilitating this.

  1. Thank you

To all the Castlehackett school community. On behalf of the Board of Management
and pupils of Castlehackett NS, I would like to thank the parents, children, school
staff and the whole community for their support during our first two months back in
school. To the all the staff, thank you for all the work you are doing in ensuring our
school environment is as safe as possible. To the parents/guardians, thank you for
adopting our new procedures and implementing them such as social distancing at
collection/drop off etc.

  1. Creative Schools

We have been awarded a grant that enables us to participate in “Creative Schools
2020-2022”. It is a flagship initiative of the Government’s Creative Ireland
Programme, it puts the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s
lives. The initiative is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of
Education and Skills and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. As
schools adapt to the changing environment created by Covid-19, Creative Schools is
here to support us. We hope the arts and creativity can play a positive role as we go
about the important work of re-engaging learners and supporting the wellbeing of
our whole school community.

  1. Assembly

Monthly assembly is going very well. We have adapted our assemblies as they now
take place outside in our lovely court yard. We can do this thanks to the brilliant
portable PA system our Parents Association bought for the school. We always have
pupils share their poetry, singing, art and handwriting etc. with all the staff and
pupils of the school through this forum. This component of our assemblies has
rightly praised pupils for their efforts and as a result has improved their confidence.

  1. Nut Free Zone

All staff and parents are reminded at this time of year especially that Castlehackett
N.S. is a nut free zone.

  1. Book Club

Many thanks to parents and staff who engaged with the Setanta Book Club once
again. The school gets book token credits based on the size of the orders put through.
Staff then select titles to improve their classroom library selection. All very good
news indeed.

  1. Shoe Box Collection

This year our Christmas Shoebox Appeal is going to be run differently. Due to the
effects of Covid-19 restrictions, it is not possible to send gift-filled shoeboxes from
Ireland this year, so we’re asking families to donate shoeboxes online. Please follow
the link. https://www.teamhope.ie/christmas-shoebox-appeal/

  1. G.A.A. Training
    a. All G.A.A. training by visiting coaches has stopped for the winter but the senior
    room will continue to be trained on Wednesdays during lunchtime for football by
    Mr. Reilly and Mr. Farragher.
  2. Teaching Practice

Conor McHugh is doing a fantastic teaching practice in the senior room. Well done
to him.

  1. Fibre Broadband

As part of our digital learning strategy we have installed fibre broadband in the
school. This now paves the way for Castlehackett NS to upgrade its store of IPads
and continue utilising them. From self-assessment to maths games, these are a
valuable resource.

  1. Social Media

Social media Reminder re. Primary school children should also not be given unsupervised
access to the internet. Parents have to supervise this situation very closely outside of school
hours. Should any misconduct in this regard (by an unsupervised child in Castlehackett N.S.
outside of school hours) be brought to the attention of the school authority, the parent with
the concern will be directed straight to An Garda Síochána, Tuam. Please continue to
ensure your child has no smart phone access and that their internet usage is monitored
at all times. This is vitally important!

  1. Gaming

Please ensure that such consoles are out of bounds totally during the school week and used
under strict time control measures at the weekends if your child has one. They also should
be supervised if your console is linked to the internet as online gaming is an area that can
pose a serious risk to children.


Webwise is a fantastic resource that promotes a safer internet for all users, especially young
people. Please follow the link for more information. https://www.webwise.ie

  1. Bligh Awards and donation.

A special word of thanks to the Bligh family who once again made a donation of €1600 to
the school. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable continued support. Their very
generous donation will go towards educational projects within the school. We look forward
to Welcoming Richard, Angela, David and the extended Bligh family in the near future.
When restrictions are lifted we hope to present last years Bligh awards as these have become
an integral part of our recognition of achievement in Castlehackett NS.

  1. Galway Rural Development

Thanks to the Galway Rural Development for painting the front walls of our school. This
work was much appreciated.

  1. First Communion

Congratulations to the children in 2nd class who made their First Holy Communion. It was a
beautiful ceremony and we are very grateful to Fr Seán Cunningham, choir, Church
Community and all the parents and staff involved for all their work.

  1. Parents Association Fundraising

Our last collection on September 1st raised €332. All funds raised in this way are always
given to our P.A. to aid in all the wonderful work they do for our pupils.

  1. Midterm break

The school will close this Friday at 2.30pm for midterm break.

  1. Fibre Broadband and Digital Learning

As part of our digital learning strategy we have installed fibre broadband in the school. This
now paves the way for Castlehackett NS to upgrade its store of iPad and continue utilising
them for self-assessment to maths games as these are a valuable resource.

  1. Credit Union Art.

Congratulations to all our students that entered this years Credit Union Art Competition.

  1. Cycle Right

Our Senior room will be partaking in CYCLE RIGHT. It is a cyclist road safety training
programme designed to give cyclists the knowledge and skills to move safely through the
road system, an environment shared with other road users. CYCLE RIGHT is delivered over
three stages with participants gaining skills and knowledge on a phased basis which prepares
the individual to cycle in increasingly complex road scenarios.

  1. After school collection

Please ensure the roundabout is kept clear when collecting your child.

  1. Personal Accident Insurance

All pupils are now covered for 24 hour personal accident insurance.

  1. New Pupils

I wish to welcome our 7 new Junior Infants and 4 other new enrolments and their families
that have joined our Castlehackett school community. It has been lovely to see how well
they have settled into our lovely school.

All our news sheets are available for downloading on our website as there is some important
links to websites on this edition. As always lots of exciting news to report from our fantastic

Beir bua agus beannacht,

David Reilly, Príomhoide.

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