Our school is beautifully situated beside Breaffy Wood, two miles east of Castlebar on the main Castlebar-Galway road. There are just over 400 pupils on the rolls. Our school is a Catholic school under the Patronage of the Archbishop of Tuam. We are an inclusive school.
This is a mixed school catering for pupils from infants to sixth class. We have two of each class .As a result we have 16 class teachers and 8 SEN teachers and a principal . In all we have twenty five teachers, one SNA, a secretary , a caretaker and a cleaner. We also have a visiting teacher for traditional music.
When our new school opened in 1990, it replaced a building which was then 100 years old. It was used for some time as Breaffy Community Centre. It is now used by our school as a Library and Aistear Room. These two extra rooms are a great benefit for implementing reading and the Aistear programme.
In the Aistear Room, stations are set up for specific language themes where children learn through play.
An independent Pre-school and after-school provider called ‘Little VIP’s’ operates from one of the classrooms there.
A school extension was completed in September 2005. A further new extension was completed in 2009. We are fortunate to have 16 modern classrooms , resource rooms ,a sports hall that can also be used for concerts and floodlit astra -turf outdoor facility .
We have 46 mobile ipads for class work and in-class support that are equipped with educational literacy and numeracy apps that are managed and pushed out remotely.
All classrooms from first class have a computer station of three desktops for literacy , numeracy and other subject project work work not to mention PC skills. All of our classrooms are equipped with interactive Smart Boards where the teacher can mirror work wirelessly from the teacher ipad to the interactive screen. These were introduced in May 2018 as part of our ICT Strategy.
We also have a lot of equipment for P.E. and games. Boys and girls football teams take part in many competitions, and the rounders team enter for the Community Games and other local competitions. We also compete in many athletics events. We have a sports day in the last term of every year.
Every second year, at Christmas, we have a school concert. There is always a great variety of plays, musicals, songs, poems, dances and recitals. Every second year we participate in The National Childrens’ Choir performing in our school, and in The National Concert Hall. Fourth Class participate in this.
We run after school clubs in Gaeilge, Reading for Fun, swimming, golf, art & Craft, knitting and up-cycling.
At the end of the year, we all go on a school tour. At times during the year, we go on a number of local environmental outings to visit places like Ballintubber Abbey, The Museum of Country Life in Turlough, Knock folk Museum, the Céide Fields, the library, the Linenhall Arts Centre and the local Fire station. This year we included the Ceide Fields .
We use Breaffy Woods for nature walks. We are very environmentally aware in our school. We take part in a number of art competitions each year: Credit Union, Community Games and Texaco.
We also participate in a number of table quizzes. These are organised by the Credit Union, The Pioneer Association, Cumann na mBunscol.
The sixth class pupils hold a number of fund-raising events for charity every year e.g. a jumble sale, talent show. They organise all the events for the whole school which is a very successful social entrepreneur activity. They raise approx €4500 for nominated charities.
We all learn how to play the tin whistle from first class. We can also learn other instruments and join the school’s Grúpa Ceoil. We have a School Band. Students play the tin whistle, glockenspiel, accordian, melodicas , or drums. The School Band participates in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
As you can see, we are a very busy school. There is always something to look forward to outside of the usual timetable. There is a strong commitment from our staff to the curriculum and to extracurricular activities. We are a busy and progressive school.