October/November Newsletter 2023

Dear Parents/Guardians

We extend a warm welcome to all staff, parents and pupils for the new academic year 2023/2024. Welcome to our 18 new Junior Infants and all other children who have joined classes throughout the school-we hope you will be very happy here in St Brigid’s N.S. During the summer our G.P room was converted into 3 new classrooms and we thank the Board for the trojan work carried out to have this in place on September 1st. We extend sincere thanks to Darren Gilmartin and his team who worked fervently over a very short period of time to have this up and running for our pupils and staff.

We thank you for sending the children back to school in full uniform and ready to work hard for the coming term ahead. Please contact the Secretary / Principal via Aladdin Connect if you have any concerns regarding children’s physical wellbeing or if you need to pass on a message to the class teacher.

We wish Mrs Rowley every success in her new appointment as Deputy Principal in Cloonbonniffe N.S. She was with us for 5 years and was a very vibrant part of our teaching staff. Thank you for all the hard work and contribution to our school agus Go n-éirí an bothár leat.

We wish Fr Tómas Flynn good health and happiness on his retirement from the parish.  We thank him for his contribution to our school for the past 16 years as a member of the Board of Management and as our priest.

Child Protection Policy

Our safe guarding children statement is displayed on entrance to our school and our child protection policy is available to all school users on our website- www.drumcongns.ie

Parent /Teacher Communication

Please adhere to our policy on dealing with issues as they arise. If you wish to speak to your child’s teacher or Principal, please contact Mrs McGourty and/or teacher via Aladdin Connect to make an appointment.


School Calendar

A copy of the school calendar was furnished to all families and school users in August. Please ensure you check it from time to time to keep informed of school closures. If changes occur, we will inform you by Aladdin Connect.

Dates for your diary.

Staff meeting September 14th at 2p.m. Children leave premises from 1.30p.m.

Mid-term Break (Monday October 30th –Friday 3rd November inclusive)

School will close on Friday October 27th at 3p.m and will reopen on Monday 6th November 2023.

Parent/Teacher Meetings

These will be held over 2 days-Tuesday 28th November (5p.m-7p.m) and Wednesday 29th November 2023 (7p.m- 9p.m.) We will let you know closer to the time regarding family time slots on either day.

Dress up for Hallowe’en-

Children are invited to dress up on Friday 27th and we do not wish to cause any expense for families so we encourage you all to get creative when putting your Hallowe’en costumes together. Children are not allowed wear face paint. Please ensure that if children bring a treat, it is individually wrapped and under guidelines treats are not to be shared with others.

Diocesan Examiner’s Visit

Mr Colm Harte will visit our school on Tuesday November 7th 2023.

Confirmation will be held in St Brigid’s Church on Saturday February 17th 2024 at 11am.

P.P.S. Numbers

Please ensure that the parents of all new entrants forward their child/ren’s P.P.S. numbers to Mrs McGourty.



Labelling of Personal Property

Please ensure you label children’s jumpers and coats and personal property. Any unclaimed clothing will be brought to the recycling bank if not claimed by the end of term. Due to new measures introduced it is very important to have personal property labelling so as to ensure no mixing up of items.


Our school uniform is a bright green jumper with school crest, white blouse/shirt; white polo shirt and plain navy blue skirt/trousers. Please avoid stripes or coloured logos. Jumpers are available in ‘The Magnet’ in Carrick-on-Shannon. For younger children it is advisable to send in a spare pair of socks/underwear or tracksuit bottoms in their bags in the event of accidents/spillages. Also if the school supplies your child with socks, trousers etc. please wash and return as promptly as you can.

Free School Books – this year due to a nationwide initiative by our government our school books were provided to every child free of charge. We are asked to ensure that each child take care of their books and in the event of damage or if child loses a book it will have to be replaced at your own expense.


Every year we remind parents that it is very important that children attend school daily unless they are sick or that some unforeseen family business or event happens. ATTENDANCE IS RECORDED daily on Aladdin and there is an opportunity to inform class teacher of absence if prior known or to fill in record of absence on child’s return to school.

Children who have full attendance receive a certificate and a prize for their achievement and those who missed 1 or 2 days receive a certificate. In the light of Covid 19 still in community we ask you to use your personal judgement if children are presenting as unwell. Measures are in place if a child becomes unwell in school and our secretary will ring home to arrange child’s collection if they become unwell.

Thank you for informing our school staff if your child could not attend school and we assure you of privacy and confidentiality.

Staffing Arrangements for 2023/2024


Mrs C Faughnan (Administration Principal)

Ms F. McGowan: (Deputy Principal) 3rd & 4th class

Ms O. McHugh (Special Duties Post-Holder): 6th class

Mr M. McKiernan: (Special Duties Post-Holder):  ASD class teacher

Ms C McGivern: 5th class

Mrs N. Heslin: 4th Class

Ms F. Glancy & Mrs A Mcmanus: 2nd Class (Job sharing)

Ms O McGovern:  (Substitute) Sen Infants & First class

Ms G. Ní Chonghaile: Junior & Senior Infants

Mrs R Keane & Mrs. C O’Reilly: Support Teachers (S.E.T) Job sharing

Ms S Beirne: Special Education Teacher (S.E.T)

Substitute: Shared Support Teacher with Drumshanbo and Aughnasheelin

Ms K Brady: S.E.T English as an Additional Language teacher

Mr D Evans: E.A.L teacher

Mrs C McGourty: Secretary

Mrs G McWeeney: (Special Needs Assistant)

Ms O Ferguson: (Special Needs Assistant)

Mrs Z Prior: (Special Needs Assistant)

Mrs B Hollahan:(Special Needs Assistant)

Mrs R Keane: (Special Needs Assistant)

Caretaker: Mrs P Doran


Board of Management 2019/2023

Mr Paul Gannon(Chairperson)                             Very Rev. Fr Tomás Flynn

Mrs C Faughnan(Principal)                                  Mrs Nollaig Doyle

Ms F McGowan (Deputy Principal)                      Mr Tony Redican

Mrs Caroline McKeon                                         Mr Darren Gilmartin

The term for this board is coming to a close and we will let you know more after midterm break re- electing of new members. Many new changes happened under this board and we thank them for their hard work.



If your child is absent for a day or a number of days, please inform Mrs McGourty via Aladdin Connect. If a child is missing for more than 20 days, the school is obliged to report this to Tusla- The Child and Family Agency.

Morning and Afternoon Supervision

A teacher will be on duty from 9.05 a.m. -9. 20 a.m. and at the end of the school day from 3.00 p.m. to 3.20 p.m. approx. Children are still released in a staggered manner and we thank you for being there to collect them and keep everyone moving safely.

Safety and Parking

Please adhere to the parking arrangements in place and allow room for buses to arrive, children to disembark and buses to pull out. Safety for All school users is paramount and we request everyone to cooperate in this practice.

Health and Safety

We would like to remind parents/guardians/pupils that wearing makeup and nail polish is not permitted. We also advise that children only wear stud earrings and avoid wearing chains and necklaces. This will be strictly enforced for safety reasons at all times.

Every year we have an outbreak of head lice. We request that pupils with long hair tie it back as a means to prevent the spread of lice. Please check your child/ren’s hair regularly and only treat if you notice presence of eggs/nits/or adult lice in the hair.

Please alert class teacher or secretary so that the school community can be made aware of any outbreak.

Healthy Eating Policy

We thank you for your co-operation in implementing this policy down through the years. We encourage children to eat sandwiches, fruit and vegetables, cheese and have a non-fizzy drink or water/milk etc. Please do not send screw top/glass bottles or wide screw top beaker cups as young children find them difficult to open. The following items are not permitted in line with our healthy eating policy: chewing gum, crisps, biscuits, all form of chocolate bars etc, fizzy drinks, yoghurts/frubes. We have noticed that items such as yoghurts, cheese strings are difficult to open for the younger children and they are messy and this causes distress to the child. We ask you not to send them into school and rather have them as a snack before or after school if your child enjoys them.

Hot School Meals Scheme

Under our DEIS status a hot meal for each pupil is provided daily. Our menus were sent out via email and the choices are forwarded to our provider. We encourage everyone to avail of this hot meal as it is making a considerable difference to student’s concentration and general wellbeing.

Student Council

Elections took place in October from 1st class upwards and a new Student Council is established. We look forward to hearing the children’s voices regarding concerns/ worries of the general pupil body. The student council’s meeting will take place on the first Friday of each month. The first meeting has taken place and lots of ideas were brought forward. Well done to all.

Leitrim Observer Photographer School Visit

Willie Donnellan visited Junior Infant room in early September. A supplement with photographs of all new Junior Infants in Co. Leitrim was published.

Credit Union Art Competition

Each year we enter this poster competition and this year the theme is “My Community and Me” closing date for entries was October 19th.

Change of Numbers/Addresses

Please contact Mrs McGourty (School Secretary) between 9.30 a.m. and 3.00p.m. daily if you have any queries or wish to speak with a teacher or the principal. Please forward any change of address or mobile numbers so contact lists can be updated. This is very important in the event of an accident or unforeseen event.

All communication will be sent via Aladdin Connect.

Accelerated Reading Programme

Our participation in this programme is now fully up and running. Pupils from 1st class upwards are reading books suitable to their level and ability (known as their ZPD-zone of proximal development. They take quizzes on books read and aim to reach targets at their own individual pace. The overall aim of the programme is to foster a love and engagement of reading at an independent level while using a computerised programme to assist its implementation.

Library Books

We have installed a central library in the school and while it is adequately stocked we need to keep expanding it and changing books. We request if you have older children /nieces /nephews or neighbours who have unwanted children’s books we would gladly take them and if they are in the Accelerated Reader online library they will be of great use to us.

Green Schools

Thanks to Ms Glancy and the Green School’s Committee as we work on the theme Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity   We had a very interesting presentation from the owners of Leitrim Hill Creamery and we sampled their ice cream and goats cheese. We wish them every success as they prepare to open up their new Café in the Market yard in Carrick on Shannon. We learned about the value of buying local produce and supporting local businesses. We discussed food waste and food miles as part of Climate Action week.

Christmas Cards

Children have designed their Christmas cards and they are sent off to the company to be printed. We will inform you of cost when they are ready and returned to the school.

School Code of Behaviour

We have a school code of behaviour which was given to all families and signed on enrolment of each child in our school. We have noticed an increase in the use of bad language/misbehaviour in the yard, on the buses and this is not acceptable. Please discuss with your children how we can eliminate and not accept or tolerate the use of bad language/misbehaviour around us.

Maths Week October 14th -21st 2023

Teachers and pupils were busy carrying out various mathematical activities during this week. We are starting training in implementing a new Maths Curriculum and training was given to school leaders and maths coordinators. It will be rolled out to staff during the year and we will keep you informed of changes and areas where emphasis has changed in the delivery of the maths curriculum.


Ballinamore Community School Visit.

Our 6th class will visit Ballinamore Secondary School on November 15th 2023.

Leitrim Primary School Athletics

Thank you to the parents who brought their children to this event held in St Felim’s Pitch Ballinamore on Wednesday October 4th 2023.

Guidelines to promote good study habits for primary school children

  • Please encourage children to present their homework neatly and to a high standard and to the best of their ability.
  • Homework should be done at a regular time. It should be kept short 15-20 minutes for young children and no longer than 90 minutes for a senior pupil.
  • Frequency is important: 10 minutes of tables and spellings each evening is more effective than 40 minutes the night before the ‘Friday Test’.
  • Turn off T.V., computer games and other distractions.
  • Be organised and encourage your child to organise their books, folders, pens and pencils. Label and date work as you go along and you and your child will be able to see progress clearly.
  • Make sure children feel well, that they are not tired, hungry, cold, overheated or cranky!!
  • Be calm and relaxed and your child will be calm and relaxed also.
  • Talk to your child and scan what needs to be learned, written, read and encourage them to approach homework with fun and ease- what do they know? What do they need to know? How are they going to Learn/Solve or Present their work?
  • If homework is going on too long or getting stressful leave it and approach it when the child is calmer or rested.
  • If you or your child is experiencing difficulties with any aspect of homework email your child’s teacher. Try to resolve any matters arising as early as possible.
  • Finally check your child’s journal daily and sign when homework is complete.

Late Arrivals/Early Finishers

We introduced a system whereby we make a record of children who arrive late or leave early frequently for unexplained reasons. The rolls are called before 10.30a.m. and are entered on our computerised system Aladdin Connect. Children who arrive after that are marked absent. The roll books cannot be altered. It is important that your children develop good punctuality skills and are not distressed by arriving late and realising that class has started without them. They are at a disadvantage as they sometimes spend the morning playing catch up. We do understand that circumstances happen and people get delayed or something happens to cause delay or upset or you have to attend appointments from time to time. We ask you to inform the class teacher on Aladdin Connect if you know beforehand of scheduled appointments so your child will not be marked absent.

Health and Wellbeing for all our school community

We continue to discuss and implement programmes to support children with their physical and mental health.  We ask that everyone take time to reflect what is happening, how it is affecting children and adults and what can we do. Three things that promote positive health and wellbeing are

1) Plenty of sleep/rest/relaxation

2) Food-fresh fruit and vegetables –balanced diet

3)Exercise—make time for outdoors-walking, running, cycling or whatever activity involving movement and fresh air.

There are organisations available to help and support people. Please be in communication with family and friends and your community.

School Photographer

The school photographer visited our school on October 12th 2023. Mrs McGourty gave the prints and codes to the children and parents can purchase photographs online. If you purchase before November 7th there will be no delivery charge when your photos are delivered to the school.

School Policies

All updated policies are available on the school website at www.drumcongns.ie


Behaviour on School Buses

We encourage you to talk to your child about sitting in their seat with their seat belt fastened, remove their bags and behave appropriately so as not to distract the bus driver or cause any distress to others. The use of bad language is unacceptable and not allowed. We are requested to cooperate with the bus drivers to ensure safety for all bus users.


Modern Languages in Schools Initiative.

Our 4th class pupils are participating in this programme and we thank our facilitator Caroline Arachequesne for imparting knowledge of the French language and culture to our pupils every Monday.

Music Generation

Our whole school is participating in a 26 week programme of learning the Ukulele under the guidance of facilitator Mandy who visits us every Tuesday. The children are excited and it is superb to have this opportunity to learn an instrument.

The cost is covered under the DEIS funding and we deeply appreciate it.


Children of the Eucharist

Children from 2nd class up participate in this spiritual programme once a month. Thanks to Mrs McKiernan, Joan and Phyllis who are trained in providing this programme and helping the children to deepen their Christian Faith and it is especially valuable to the children who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of First Penance, First Eucharist and Confirmation.



We extend our sincere sympathy to all members of our school community who were bereaved this year. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May you be comforted in knowing your loved ones are at peace and will always be remembered.



Le gach dea-ghuí,

Cathriona Faughnan, Finola McGowan, Olivia McHugh, Rachel Keane, Clare O’Reilly, Nicola Heslin, Ciara McGivern, Fidelma Glancy, Andrea McManus Gearóidín Ní Chonghaile, Micheál McKiernan, Sinead Beirne, David Evans, Katie Brady, Orla McGovern, Geraldine McWeeney, Orlagh Ferguson, Zoe Prior, Bernice Holahan, Róisín Keane and Christina McGourty.