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Newsletter 2024

Credit Union Quiz

On Monday 29th January 2 teams represented our school at the Credit Union Table Quiz.  Congratulations to Luke, Amelia McAdam, Hannea and Jason who competed in the Junior Section and Adam, Max, Seamus and Lisa who competed in the Senior Section.  Both performed well and the senior team finished in 2nd place, only beaten by 2 points.



Early Collection on Wednesdays

Many thanks to all parents for facilitating staff training on 4 consecutive Wednesdays during January and February.  Today is the last day school finishes at 2.45 for children in 1st-6th Class.

Collection at 3.00pm

The school gate is extremely busy at 3.00pm with cars coming and going.  Children will not be permitted to leave the school grounds until it is safe to do so.  Parents of younger children should come to the school gate to collect their child/children, especially if they are parked further away.  Some parents wait until 3.05/3.10 to collect and this reduces the amount of vehicles at 3.00pm.  Please consider staggering your collection time.

After School Activities

On Wednesday 21st February all pupils have the opportunity to take part in a Lego workshop after school.  (Infants 2.00-3.00 & 1st-6th 3.15-4.15).  On Tuesday 19th March the after school workshop is a STEM workshop – Predators of the Deep Ocean and River Monsters.  (Infants 2.00-3.00 & 1st-6th 3.15-4.15).   Please ensure you have returned the form indicating if your child/children wish to take part.  These afterschool activities are free.  Glow Group, who will deliver the Lego  workshop are also willing to deliver an eight week after school workshop @ €45 per child, Lego for younger children and coding and Minecraft for older children.

 At this stage we are looking to see if there would be sufficient numbers for the 8 weeks.  Please note parents would have to pay for this.  You will be notified if the 8 week programme goes ahead.

Open Afternoon & Applications for 2024/2025

An Open Afternoon takes place on Wednesday next, 14th February.  Parents and children who are considering enrolling in Ballybay Central School are welcome to visit the school between 1.30-3.00 on that afternoon.  Application forms will also be available on the day.  The closing date for receipt of application forms is Friday 1st March.

Volleyball/Junior Athletics Coaching

On Monday 26th February for 3 weeks children in the Middle and Senior classrooms will participate in volleyball as part of our P.E. programme.  Children in the Junior classroom will receive Junior Athletics Coaching.  These activities are being provided by Monaghan Sports Partnership.  Tracksuits and runners must be worn on Monday 26th Feb, 4th March and 11th March instead of Fridays.  Due to limited space in school we plan to do the volleyball and athletics in Hall Street hall.  The children will walk there and back.

 Student Council News

As part of a fundraiser for yard equipment, the Student Council are planning to sell tote bags.  These will be available to purchase at the school early in March.  The bags will feature self portraits of all the students in the school and will make a lovely keepsake for years to come.  The process is currently at the design phase.  Please keep an eye on the school website for further details.

After School Committee

Our Active School Committee was chosen in January.  Congratulations to       Moriah (JI), Eliana (SI), Theodore (1st), Holly (2nd), Mason 3rd, Jason (4th), Lisa (5th), Christina (6th).

Moderator’s Visit

We are looking forward to the visit of the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt. Rev. Dr. Sam Mawhinney and his wife on Tuesday 5th March.  The Moderator will visit the classrooms and take part in an assembly.

Soccer for Girls in County Monaghan

Blayney Academy FC are currently recruiting for their u13 and u14 teams for the new summer soccer season. No experience is required. They are looking for girls with a love of sport and meeting new people while also wishing to increase their fitness and skill levels. Their teams play weekly in leagues and cups with all home matches in Beech Hill College, Monaghan. Training takes place at Clontibret Astro Park. There are three free open days for girls interested in playing the world's biggest female sport, where they can give it a go, meet new friends and try soccer 'the Academy way'. 

Girls from all over Monaghan and surrounding counties are invited to attend and parents can contact Club Chairman David Lynch (086-8328667) or Girls Development Officer Declan McNamee (0044-7979880009) for further information.

You can also visit their Facebook page here: 

 Free Open Football Sessions:

  • Friday 9/2/24 - 30pm Our Ladies Astro Castleblayney
  • Sunday 11/2/24 - 11am Beech Hill College Soccer Pitch
  • Thursday 15/2/24 - 6pm Clontibret Astro Park

Coffee Morning

The next coffee morning will take place on Friday 1st March.  All parents are warmly invited to drop into the school hall for tea/coffee and a chat between 9.20-10.30 on that morning.


Congratulations to our Chairperson, Rev. Gerry Clinton on his recent engagement to Naomi Hillis.  We wish them both every happiness.


The Parents’ Association are hosting “Wardrobe Colour Style” with Catherine McGregor, on Wednesday 20th March in Hall Street.  Tickets will be issued to each family shortly.

Healthy Eating Policy

All families will receive a draft copy of the newly revised Healthy Eating Policy today.  Please read the policy carefully and complete the attached questionnaire.  Return the questionnaire to Mrs. Patton before Wednesday next, 14th February.

Mid Term

School will be closed on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February for Mid Term break.




    January 2024  Newsletter

Welcome back to a new term at Ballybay Central School.  We trust you and your family had an enjoyable Christmas and we look forward to what 2024 has to bring.


We welcome Ms. Elaine Morgan to the staff.  Ms Morgan is covering Ms Donaghy’s maternity leave and will be teaching in the Senior Room every Tuesday.  Ms Morgan has spent many years teaching in Hong Kong and she brings a wealth of experience with her.  She will be introducing the pupils in 4th-6th Class to French which will be an added bonus.

Pre Christmas Activities

School was very busy in the run up to the holidays.  Many thanks to all who donated food to our food appeal.  Teach na Daoine were delighted with the response.

€260 was donated to Ballybay Cancer Society following the festive walk to school and breakfast.    Again many thanks to all who donated so generously.

 Everyone had a great day at the pantomime in Armagh on 18th December.

The highlight of our run up to Christmas was most definitely the Christmas Shows in Derryvalley Hall on 20th December.  The children performed so well.  Many thanks to the Parents’ Association for their gift of a selection box to every child and also thanks to the committee for organising the food after the show.  All parents should have received the link for the recording of the shows.  We are very grateful to Tyron Ross for recording and editing the evening. 

The following day was a pyjama, movie and hot chocolate day with donations being given to the Parents’ Association funds. 

All children were very pleased with their Kris Kindle gifts which were distributed on 22nd December.

Fresh Today Lunch Boxes

All pupils are being given a lunch box this week.   The lunch boxes are being provided by Fresh Today.  They will no longer be taking back empty boxes/food after lunch.  Your child’s lunch carton from Fresh Today will be put in the lunch box each day after lunch and sent home.  Please ensure your child’s lunch box is in their bag every day in order to take home lunch cartons.

A new year might be a good time to talk to your child about their lunch order.  While most children are happy with their lunch orders and eat all they get, a number of children especially in the Junior classroom are not eating any of their Fresh Today lunches.  Fresh Today lunches are not compulsory and if your child does not want to receive the lunch you must let us know so their name will be taken off the system.

Coffee Morning

The next coffee morning will take place on Friday 26th January.  All parents are warmly invited to drop into the school hall for tea/coffee and a chat between 9.20-10.30 on that morning.

Dates For Your Diary

Monday 5th February             -           School Closed, St. Brigid’s Day

Thur/Fri 15th/16th Feb              -           School Closed, Mid Term




         November 2023  Newsletter


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Credit Union Poster Competition

Congratulations to Charlotte McAdam (1st Class), Mikayla Maunde Chisambi (4th Class) and Katie Moffett (6th Class) all of whom were awarded 3rd place prizes in their relevant age categories in the recent Credit Union poster competition.  They received their prizes at the prize giving ceremony on Saturday 18th November.

Teach na Daoine Food Collection

During December we are asking all families to donate non perishable food items to our annual food collection for Teach na Daoine Monaghan.  Teach na Daoine is a family resource centre based in Monaghan which provides support to the community.  Each year at Christmas time they make up food hampers which are distributed to those in need.  They also have a ‘Food Pantry’ all year round and would be very grateful of food donations which will go towards restocking the pantry in the New Year.  Items may be left into school between now and Wednesday 13th December.  Item s will be collected by a representative from Teach na Daoine on Thursday next week, 14th December.

Cash for Clobber

Many thanks to all who donated clothes to our Cash for Clobber clothes collection.   In total almost 185 bags were collected and the school receives €516 as a result.  Most of this money is being used to help with costs for our Christmas Play, costumes, backdrops etc.

Trip to Pantomime

All children will be attending The Market Place Theatre on Monday 18th December.  We will be leaving school at 9.20am and returning before 3.00pm.  Junior & Senior Infants are to be collected at 3.00pm on that day, instead of 2.00pm.  Cost per trip is €15 per pupil which must be paid online on or before Wednesday next, 13th December.  Uniform must be worn on the day.  Please do not send any spending money etc.  Mobile phones are not allowed.

Food Glorious Food Recipe Books

In February 2018 the Parents’ Association produced a fabulous recipe book entitled Food Glorious Food.  There are a number of copies of the book in school for anyone who wishes to purchase one in the run up to Christmas priced at €10 each.  If you would like one please contact school and we will get it to you.

Active School Flag

This year we are beginning our Active School Flag journey.  Active School Flag is a Department of Education initiative supported by Healthy Ireland.  Schools are provided with a framework to guide them to work towards achieving a physically educated and physically active school community.  Ms Brown is our Active Schools Coordinator.  Our Active School slogan is: Exercise Every Day, A Little Goes A Long Way! which was selected following a competition in the Middle and Senior Rooms.  Congratulations to Hannea Avelino (4th class) on her winning slogan.  Also congratulations to Daniel Moffett (2nd Class) and Jessica Murphy Ly (4th Class), runners up with their slogans.  You will be able to view the slogans on the Active School Tab on our school website.

Student Council

Members of the Student Council have been busy recently.  They have a drop box displayed on the Student Council notice board and if any pupils have an idea/initiative they can put t in the drop box.  They also surveyed all staff and pupils to ascertain what equipment they would like for the playground.  A climbing frame came out on top and now the Student Council are meeting to come up with some fund raising ideas to meet the costs.  It is great to see the Student Council being so proactive!

Board of Management

Welcome to our new Board of Management which took up office on 1st December.  The following people have been elected:

Chairperson                                              Rev. Gerry Clinton

Patron’s Nominee                                     Clayton Wilson

Parent Nominee                                        Florence Steenson

Parent Nominee                                         Tyron Ross

Principal                                                       Karen Pepper

Teacher Nominee                                      Pamela Patton

Nominee from the Wider Community   Wendy Sloan

Nominee from the Wider Community   Eric Latimer

Christmas Show

There is great excitement in school as children practice for their Christmas Show.  The show will take place in Derryvalley Church Hall (Eircode A75 DR64) on Wednesday 20th December at 7.00pm.  This is our first show since Covid and we are very much looking forward to the evening which will be full of fun, music, dancing singing, food and maybe a surprise of two!  Further information will be sent out on Aladdin closer to the time regarding practices that will take place in Derryvalley on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th December.

Aladdin Connect

Please make sure at least one parent is receiving notifications on the Aladdin Connect app.  Some parents that are registered on Aladdin are not receiving notifications of messages.  Important messages are being sent out twice (by email and Aladdin) but from January messages will only be sent on Aladdin Connect.  If you are having any difficulties with Aladdin Connect please contact the school.

Kris Kindle

It is the policy in our school that instead of the children exchanging Christmas presents with each other we implement Kris Kindle. Children have been given the name of who to buy for.   Please wrap it and put the name of the person it is for (but not who it is from) on the label.  We ask that all presents are brought into school between now and 15th December.  Please be mindful of the age and interests of the child your child has to buy for.  Please don’t include selection boxes in the presents.  All presents will be left in the hall until Friday 22nd when they will be distributed before children go home.

Christmas Cards

As is school policy we ask that children do not exchange Christmas cards with each other in school.

Coffee Morning

Following on from the enjoyable coffee morning we’d like to invite parents to this month’s coffee morning which will be held on Friday this week, 8th December.  If you are free, call in for a cuppa and a chat between 9.20 and 10.20.

We would like to invite all parents to                   

 a tea/coffee morning in the school on

Friday 8th December 9.20-10.20am

This will be an opportunity for parents to meet each other over a cuppa.


After School Club – Christmas Art & Craft

Our Christmas Art & Craft After School Club will be held on Tuesday 12th December.  Junior & Senior Infants will meet between 2.00-3.00pm.  1st-6th Class will meet from 3.15-4.15pm.  We were disappointed that the After School Dance and Fitness Class had to be cancelled at short notice in November.

Festive Walk to School

On Friday 15th December we will be holding our annual Festive Walk to School fundraiser.  Children are to dress up in Christmas jumpers, hats etc. (no uniform) and we will meet at the old Riverdale Hotel between 9.00-9.20am and walk to school through the park.  When we arrive at school members of the Parents’ Association are going to provide a breakfast for everyone.  We ask everyone to contribute to our collection for Ballybay Cancer Society on the day.  A suggested amount to donate is €2 per child but of course if you wish to donate more that will be greatly appreciated.  Ballybay Cancer Society values the donations they receive each year.  The money they receive is always put to good use to support local families who are affected by cancer.


Dates for Your Diary


Friday 8th December – Coffee Morning 9.20-10.20am

Tuesday 12th December – After School Club – Christmas Art & Craft                                                           Junior & Senior Infants 2.00-3.00pm/1st-6th Class 3.15-4.15pm

Friday 15th December – Festive Walk to School in aid of Ballybay Cancer Society

Monday 18th December – Panto in Armagh

Tuesday 19th & Wednesday 20th December – Practice for Christmas Show in Derryvalley      Church Hall

Wednesday 20th December – Christmas Show at 7.00pm in Derryvalley Church Hall

Thursday 21st December – Pyjama and Christmas Movie Day at school

Friday 22nd December – School closing at 12.00 for Christmas

Monday 8th January 2024 – School reopens



Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.




         November 2023  Newsletter

Welcome back to school for what will be a busy few weeks in the lead up to Christmas.  We hope everyone had an enjoyable midterm break and got a chance to rest and recharge the batteries.

Parents’ Association

The following parents have been elected to the Parents’ Association committee for 2023-2024.

Chairperson                           William Patton

Vice Chairperson                   Leah Cosgrove

Secretary                                Alison Bann

Treasurer                                Sandra Anderson

Vice Treasurer                       Jonathan Anderson


Edlyn Avelino, Anne Marie Gilliland, Tyron Ross, Danika Sloan, Florence Steenson and Sabine Vogel.

The committee greatly appreciate the support of all parents with their activities throughout the year.

Board of Management

Many thanks to Tyron Ross and Florence Steenson who have volunteered to serve as the parent nominees on the new Board of Management which will officially commence its term of office on 1st December 2023.

P.E. in the Park

Pupils from 1st class upwards had 2 very enjoyable sessions in the park.  Thanks to the staff from Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre.  On 19th October children enjoyed kayaking and on 26th October everyone participated in orienteering.  This was a great opportunity for our pupils and we hope that we may get the opportunity to participate in P.E. in the Park again next year.  We acknowledge the financial support from Monaghan Sports Partnership who contributed to the costs (€15 per child) and the school contributed per child, which left it very affordable to all at €5.

During mid term the school grounds were mapped by Orienteering Ireland which means we will be able to organize orienteering activities ourselves around the school grounds. 

P.E. for the remainder of the year will continue to be on FRIDAYS so pupils should wear tracksuits and runners every Friday.             

Coffee Morning

Our 2nd Coffee Morning will take place on Friday 17th November 9.20-10.20, We’d encourage parents who are available on this morning to pop in at any stage and have a cuppa and a chat with other parents.  School will provide tea, coffee and biscuits.  This is an opportunity to welcome everyone to the school community.

Library Visit

Pupils in Ms Brown’s room had a very enjoyable trip to the new library in Castleblayney during Children’s Book Festival.  They had the opportunity to listen to Gerry Daly, an author and illustrator and get to work on their own illustrations.

Pupils in the senior room will be attending Monaghan library on 23rd November for a story telling session with Steve Lally.

Parent Teacher Meetings

Parent Teacher meetings will take place on Thursday 23rd November from 2.00-6.00pm.  School will close for all pupils on that day at 2.00pm. 

Parents will be able to book their appointments through Aladdin the week before hand.  You will receive information regarding booking in advance.  Each meeting will strictly be 10 minutes per child.  It is very important that this is adhered to, to ensure all parents see their child/children’s teacher at the allocated time. Parents of children who attend Mrs Patton should make an appointment to meet with her on this day also to discuss updated support plans.

If you are unable to attend at a suitable time on the afternoon of the 23rd November, please email the school and your child’s class teacher will make arrangements to meet with you on an alternative day/time.

Cash for Clobber/Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Please drop bags for clothes collection to school for Friday this week, 10th November.  Spread the word with your family and friends.

Anyone wishing to take part in the Christmas Shoe Box Appeal should return shoe boxes this week for Wednesday 8th.  Each shoe box should be accompanied with a €5 donation.  Please put a sticker on the box identifying what age the shoe box is for.  Shoe boxes should be wrapped separate to the lids so as the boxes can be opened before being transported.

Student Council

Congratulations to the new Student Council members – Adam, Annabelle, Emily, Ethan S, Hannea, Max, Stefan and Witness.  

They, along with Mrs Boyle, organised a very successful Autumn Scavenger Hunt on the last day of term.  Following the scavenger hunt all children received treats and pictures to colour.  We look forward to working with the Student Council this year.        

Christmas Pantomime

On Monday 18th December the whole school will travel to the Market Place Theatre in Armagh for the annual Pantomime.  The cost per child is €15.

Payments should be made by:

  • Online banking – IBAN IE20AIBK 9324 2601 2651 56 or
  • Cheque/draft from bank or Credit Union

On or before Wednesday 13th December.

If using Online banking please put your name on the reference line so we know it’s your payment.

Mrs McBride will issue receipts of payment.

Important Dates

Friday 17th November          Coffee Morning

Thursday 23rd November     School closes at 2.00pm for Parent/Teacher  meetings

Friday 24th November                    School closed for staff training day (Primary Maths                                                          Curriculum)

Friday 15th December           Festive Walk to School (more details next month)

Monday 18th December        Trip to Market Place Theatre, Armagh for pantomime                                                      (all pupils)

Wednesday 20th December  Christmas concert in Derryvalley Hall                               (time to be confirmed)


October Newsletter 2023


The School Photographer was in school yesterday and took photos of the children.  Junior Infants and 6th Class groups as well as a school photo were also taken.  You will receive proofs of the photographs with details of how to order and pay next week.  There is no compulsion on anyone to purchase the photographs.

Coffee Morning

The first coffee morning was held in the school hall this morning.  As mentioned at the Parents’ Evening in September the coffee morning is for all parents and will be held once per month.  The aim of the coffee morning is to welcome parents into the school community and to have an opportunity to chat and to get to know other parents.  If you are free on Friday 17th November please drop in to the next coffee morning,  you will be made feel very welcome.

Student Council

Our Student Council elections are currently underway.  Pupils who have been nominated for the Student Council have displayed their election posters along the corridor.  They are currently working on their speeches.  Voting takes place in school next Monday, 9th October.  8 pupils from 2nd-6th will be elected to serve on the Student Council this year.


You should have received an email this week outlining the following payments which are now due:

Pupil Cover Insurance                                           €  5.30         (per child)

Football                                                                €12.00         (per child)

PE in the Park   *1st-6th Class only                       €  5.00         (per child)  

Payments should be made by:

  • Online banking – IBAN IE20AIBK 9324 2601 2651 56 or
  • Cheque/draft from bank or Credit Union

On or before Friday 27th October.

If using Online banking please put your name on the reference line so we know it’s your payment.

Mrs McBride will issue receipts of payment.

Parents’ Association AGM

The AGM of the school’s Parents’ Association will take place on Tuesday next 10th October at 8.00pm.  The Principal will give a short talk at the start of the meeting.  Elections will take place on the night to elect a new committee.  Please consider volunteering as the school values and relies on the support from the Parents’ Association.

Board of Management

The term of office for the current Board of Management concludes on 30th November 2023.  A new Board of Management comes into effect on 1st December 2023. The Board of Management is made up of eight people:

  • 2 representatives of the Patron (Presbytery of Monaghan)
  • 2 teachers
  • 2 parents
  • 2 members of the wider community (selected by the other 6 Board Members)

Wendy Leonard and Alan Hamilton are the current parents’ representatives on the Board.  We would like to thank them for the contribution they have made during their time on the Board of Management.

Over the coming weeks all parents will receive correspondence from our Chairperson in relation to the nomination of parents to serve on the new Board of Management (2023-2027.  All parents are eligible to serve and there must be one male and one female representative.

Cash For Clobber

Our annual Cash for Clobber collection will take place on Friday 10th November.  All unwanted clothes, bed linen, towels, shoes (paired) may be left into school after the October midterm break.  The money raised from the collection will be used to buy much needed resources for the school. Please spread the word amongst friends, neighbours and family members.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

Children’s Book Festival

Pupils in the Middle classroom are going to Castleblayney Library on Wednesday 18th October to listen to the children’s author and illustrator  Gerry Daly.  His books include ‘Where Are You, Puffling?’, ‘Puffling and the Egg’ and ‘Wee Donkey’s Treasure Hunt’.

Pupils in the Senior and Middle Classroom will take part in The Big Book Quiz which is online, during Children’s Book Festival also.


School will be closed from Monday 30th October - Friday 3rd November inclusive for mid-term. 

Dates For Your Diary

Monday 30th October - Friday 3rd November                Mid Term

November 10th                                                                Cash for Clobber

November 17th                                                                Coffee morning for all parents

September Newsletter 2023



Welcome back to a new school year at Ballybay Central and we extend a very warm welcome to Moriah, Lauren, Sam, Harper, Chloe, Mark, Daniel, Louise, Katie and Bethany who have joined our school this September.  We hope you will be very happy with us.  We also welcome Niamh Donaghy and Lauren Angell who have joined the staff.  Ms Donaghy will be teaching in the Senior Room every Tuesday and Ms Lauren is our EAL teacher this year.

Fresh Today

Fresh Today lunches recommence today, 4th September for pupils in Senior Infants upwards.  The log in details from last year are the same.  Please order/make any changes before 5.00pm each Thursday for the following week.  If you don’t change the order your child will receive the same lunch each week.  Please check in with your child/children to see what they like or don’t like.  Younger children can get upset if they continue to receive a lunch they don’t like!  Lunches for Junior Infants will begin on Thursday 14th September and they will receive log in details before then.  If your child/children are never going to avail of the free lunch being provided please let the office know and they will be taken off the system.

Please remember to provide a healthy snack for first break.  CRISPS, CHOCOLATE BARS, CHOCOLATE BISCUITS ETC. ARE NOT ALLOWED.  Suggested alternatives are fruit, crackers, salted popcorn, yoghurts, cheese, wraps, pasta, sandwiches, bread sticks, rice cakes, sugar free jelly or vegetables.

Aladdin Connect

Later today you will be requested to give or decline permission for 2 separate items on Aladdin Connect:

  • Use of photographs – this is giving permission for your child’s photo to be used during the year on the school website, newsletter, the local newspaper etc. children are not named when photographs are used.  If you do not give consent your child won’t be photographed in school.
  • Taking part in school activities outside the school grounds. This includes walks, trips to the local park/playground, visits to other educational facilities/schools, school tours etc.

Please check your Aladdin and accept or decline permission as appropriate.

Aladdin will be used for all correspondence from school this year.  Please note you are unable to reply to an Aladdin notification or to send a message using Aladdin.  Later in the year Aladdin will be used to book Parent/Teacher Meeting appointments.  If your child is absent, being collected early or arriving late to school, please use Aladdin to inform their teacher.


PE will be on Fridays for this term and we look forward to welcoming Euan Treanor soccer coach with the FAI for the next 6 Fridays.

Children should wear tracksuits and runners every Friday for P.E.


Please ensure jumpers are named – especially during this warm weather as they can get mixed up when taken off.  School uniform must be worn Monday-Thursday.

Text Books/Stationery

The Free Primary Schoolbooks Scheme means that parents are no longer required to contribute to the cost of schoolbooks.  Therefore you will not be charged for book rental as other years.  All books and resources used to implement the curriculum are the property of the school and if damaged or lost must be replaced.


The photographer will visit the school on Tuesday 3rd October.

Parents’ Meeting

All parents are invited to attend a meeting in the school on Wednesday13th September at 7.30pm.  Staff will be present at the meeting to discuss the school curriculum, routines and general school policies.  It is important that each family is represented at the meeting.

Cash For Clobber

Our annual Cash for Clobber collection will take place on Friday10th November.  All unwanted clothes, bed linen, towels, shoes (paired) may be left into school after the October midterm break.  The money raised from the collection will be used to buy much needed resources for the school. Please spread the word amongst friends, neighbours and family members.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

Hedgerow Week

This is Hedgerow Week, an initiative of Teagasc and The Heritage Council.  Ross Cochrane will visit the school this week and will speak to 4th-6th Classes about the importance of our hedgerows.


Written homework will begin next Monday.

Contacting the School

If you need to contact a member of staff, please ring 042 9741365 before 9.20am or after 3.10pm.  The school secretary works on Mondays and Wednesdays.  If you require to discuss a matter in depth with a teacher, a meeting will be arranged which will take place before or after school.  The reason for requesting a meeting should be indicated in advance.  Teachers must not be contacted on their personal mobile numbers or personal email addresses.

Ballybay Central National School

School Calendar 2023-2024

School Re-opens Wednesday 30th August
Mid-Term Break Monday 30th October-Friday 3rd November inclusive
Christmas Closing Friday 22nd December @ 12 (Mon 25th-Fri 5th Jan)
Re-opening Monday 8th January 2024
St. Brigid’s Day Monday 5th February
Mid-Term Break Thursday 15th & Friday 16th February
St. Patrick’s Day Monday 18th March
Easter Closing Friday 22nd March @ 12 (last day of school)
Re-opening Monday 8th April
Bank Holiday Monday 6th May
Bank Holiday Monday 3rd June
Summer Holidays Closing Friday 21st June



End of Year School Newsletter 2023


It’s hard to believe we have reached the last month of this academic year already.  The year seems to have flown by; it has been very busy with the children participating in many educational events and trips throughout the year.  During this year we have welcomed many new children and families to our school community.  The current enrolment is 65 pupils and looking forward to next year the enrolment will be similar.  We would like to say goodbye and best wishes to our 6th class pupils as they leave us to begin the next chapter in their educational journey in secondary schools in Monaghan, Castleblayney and Ballybay – best wishes to Hanny, Madison, Levi, Emma, Jake, Elizabeth L, Josh, Lydia, Elizabeth M, Lewis and Kyle.  We also bid farewell to Anna and her Mum Eniko as they leave the area to return to Europe.   We are looking forward to welcoming our new Junior Infants to an induction morning today.

School Uniform

The importance of wearing the correct school uniform cannot be emphasised enough.  When buying school uniform over the summer please bare in mind that all children must wear plain black shoes/runners.  Runners or shoes with logos, white soles and in various colours (including navy) are not part of the uniform.  It has been noted that some children are currently wearing the incorrect footwear.                 

In September parents will be contacted if children are not wearing the correct uniform.  They will be required to buy the appropriate footwear/uniform so please do not buy something that is not going to be permitted to be worn in school.

Spare Uniform

As we come to the end of the school year, if anyone has pieces of uniform they no longer require, they would be gratefully accepted in school.

Free Primary School Books

The Minister of Education has made available a School Book Grant which will provide free school books for all children in Primary Schools from September 2023.  This grant will include the cost of all textbooks, readers, workbooks and copybooks.  Parents will no longer be charged a book rental fee.  We will provide all books which will remain the property of the school and must be returned at the end of each year.  We are asking parents to supply an appropriate filled pencil case for their child/children.  Each class teacher will be in touch before school reopens with details of what is required.

End of Year Family Fun Evening

The Parent’s Association have organised a family treasure hunt for all children and families on Monday 19th June at 7.00pm.  Pupils are encouraged to attend with members of their family.  Everyone is asked to meet in Ballybay Park on the evening. Following the treasure hunt everyone will move up to the school grounds for refreshments.  The evening will end at 9.00pm.  Pupils will not be permitted to take part in the treasure hunt without an adult present in their group.

P.E. Days

P.E. will take place on Fridays until the end of term as we are finished swimming lessons.  Children should wear uniforms Monday-Thursday and tracksuits on Fridays for the remainder of this term.

The last day for wearing school uniform this year will be Wednesday 14th June.  Children may wear their own clothes from Thursday 15th June onwards.  Wednesday 14th June will also be the last night of homework this year.

Looking Ahead

Sports Day will take place for all children on Friday this week.  Junior and Senior Infants are to stay until 3.00pm.  Children in 2nd-6th Class are going on a trip to Baird’s Shore and the water treatment plant in Corcaghan on Thursday 8th June.  A trip to Rossmore Forest Park will also take place before the end of term, the date will be confirmed.

Dogs Trust Ireland

Well done to 2nd and 3rd Class who completed 100 Skips A Day In May.  They raised a total of €110 for Dogs Trust Ireland.  This is a great achievement.

School Reports

School reports will be released on Aladdin on Wednesday 14th June.  If you are unable to access Aladdin or have not signed up for Aladdin please contact the office.

Class Arrangements for 2023-2024

It is quite difficult to make definite plans for September at this stage but class arrangements for next year are provisionally as follows:

Junior & Senior Infants – Mrs Boyle

First, Second & Third Class – Ms Brown

Fourth, Fifth & Sixth Class – Mrs Pepper

Special Education Teacher – Mrs Patton

Principal Release Day Teacher – TBC


We thank Ms Moffett for all her hard work and dedication this year while covering Mrs Patton’s leave and wish her well in her teaching career.  During July both Ms Brown and Ms Moffett will be getting married.  On behalf of the entire school community we would like to wish them both God’s richest blessing on their wedding days.

We also thank Ms Fitzpatrick for her contribution to our school this year.  Ms Fitzpatrick taught in the Senior Room each Tuesday.  The children thoroughly enjoyed her art classes!  Ms Fitzpatrick also established a Student Council in the school and co-ordinated many events with the Student Council.

On behalf of the staff I would like to wish each and everyone in the school community a happy, joyous and sun filled summer.  Thank you for your support throughout the last year.  Enjoy the break from school routine and spending quality time together.




And reopens at 9.00 for all pupils on Wednesday 30th August.







May Newsletter 2023

Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons for all pupils continue this month. The last swimming date is Thursday 25th May.  If a parent is at the pool to dry and dress a younger pupil, siblings may also go home from the pool.  Please ensure you let your child’s class teacher know if they are going home from the pool by emailing the school beforehand.

Active School Week

We had great fun last week during Active School Week and the weather was kind to us also.  Dessie Ward put the children through their paces on Monday.  Circuits in the playground and a scavenger hunt in the park took place on Tuesday and Friday.  Elaine Keogh from Jungle Body got everyone moving on Wednesday.  This was followed by fruit skewers which the children created themselves.  We also enjoyed our lunch outdoor on Friday.  It was great to see the range of activities children took part in each evening – it is safe to say we have some very active children in Ballybay Central School!



School Tour

We have booked Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre from 10.00am – 3.00pm on Monday 22nd May.  Please arrive for 9.40am and drive to the main gates and keep straight towards the ‘castle’.  There is parking space at the castle and this is where we will meet everyone.  Please do not drive over to the Adventure Centre or park in another car park.  When everyone has arrived we will walk down the path to the centre together. 

One half of the group will be rotating around land sessions (Archery, Team Games, Orienteering, and Climbing), while the other half will be on the water(weather depending either Paddle boarding or Canoeing). 

Children in Junior Infants, Senior Infants and 1st class will not be in the water but should bring spare clothes in case they get wet/dirty. They will need to wear old clothes and suitable footwear. 

Children in the middle and senior rooms will be in the water. Wetsuits are provided and are sanitized after each use. Water shoes/old runners can be worn also but children must bring their own. They will need togs/shorts and t-shirts to wear under their wetsuits and suitable old clothes and footwear for the land activities. 

Children will need to bring a substantial packed lunch.  Instead of packed lunches from Fresh Today we are getting treat bags for each child so there is no need to bring additional treats.  Also remember to send sun cream, if required.

Children should be collected from the car park in front of the castle at 3.00/3.15pm.

Please forward payment of €27.50 per child to the school via on line banking. 

The details of the school account are below: 


IBAN: IE20 AIBK 9324 2601 2651 56 


Account Name: Ballybay Central School 


Please put your family name/child's name on the payment.

You will receive a receipt from Sandra in the office after payment has been received. 


Induction Morning

An induction morning for those enrolled in Junior Infants for September 2023 will take place on Wednesday 7th June, 10.00-12.00.  Parents of those enrolled will receive further information.


Stranooden Group Water Scheme

Pupils in 2nd-6th Class have been invited to learn more about water quality and water protection while also exploring The Journey of Water from Source to Tap.  A trip to the lake at Baird’s Shore will be followed by a visit to the water treatment plant at Corcaghan on Thursday 8th June.  This trip is being organised by Ross MacDonald, Stranooden Group Water Scheme.

Dogs Trust

For the month of May, 2nd and 3rd Class will be taking part in ‘100 skips a day in May’ for Dogs Trust Ireland.  They plan to go outside every day in May and complete 100 skips each day and in doing so; we hope to raise money for Dogs Trust Ireland.  Dogs Trust Ireland is an amazing charity that work hard to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home dogs throughout Ireland.


Please check your Aladdin Connect for any outstanding unexplained absences.  Any absence that hasn’t been explained is marked unexplained.  Please note teachers are not responsible for filling in reasons for absences.

End of Year Fun Night

Please keep Monday 19th June free for the End of Year Fun Night.  This year the Parents’ Association are organising a treasure/scavenger hunt around the town with refreshments being served in school afterwards.  More details to follow.

Dates For Your Diary

  • School will be closed on Monday 5th June for the Bank Holiday.
  • Reminder: school will be closed on Tuesday 6th June due to a staff planning day.
  • School closes at 12.00 on Wednesday 21st June for Summer holidays.
  • School will re-open for the next academic year on Wednesday 30th August for all pupils.





     April Newsletter 2023

Welcome back to the last term of this academic year – it’s hard to believe there are less than 10 weeks left and we hope those weeks will be filled with plenty of fun, sun and happy days at school.  As we move into the 3rd term we are conscious that for some children this will mean their final term in primary school.  We hope 6th class will especially enjoy this term before they move on to their respective secondary schools in September.

Staff Planning Day

School will be closed on Tuesday 6th June for a Staff Planning Day.

Student Council

The Student Council very ably organised the final day of term before the Easter holidays.  Unfortunately the weather didn’t oblige and their Easter Egg hunt took place indoors.  During the morning all children decorated Easter bunnies and also enjoyed a table quiz.  Many thanks to all who helped out on the day.

Active School Week

National Active School Week takes place from 24-28 April (next week) and all schools are encouraged to participate.  During the week we will be promoting the benefits of physical activity and all children will be participating in a range of activities every day.  Children are to wear TRACKSUITS & RUNNERS (no uniform) all next week.  Instead of written homework children will be required to complete physical activities.

Healthy Eating Policy

Please remind yourself of the school’s Healthy Eating Policy which is copied below.  Children are not permitted to bring biscuits, chocolate, sweets, bars, chocolate spread, crisps and chewing gum etc. to school for snacks.  Recently some children have had some of the above items in their lunch boxes and this is unfair to others who don’t have them.

Healthy Eating Policy

What people eat is known to be one of the key factors influencing long term health of school children and staff.  The school day provides the opportunity for having at least one of the daily meals within the school.  Food is often a feature of school celebrations.  The curriculum provides an opportunity to learn and explore about food and healthy lifestyles.  Through these guidelines Ballybay Central N.S. aims to help all those involved in our school community, e.g. children, staff and parents in developing positive and responsible attitudes to eating and to appreciate the contribution that good food makes to health.

  1. A healthy lunchbox includes a helping of food from the first four shelves of the food pyramid.
  2. Special occasions (as decided by teacher) are treat days. The school encourages non-food related treats.
  3. Some of the healthy snacks that we encourage include; wraps, pasta, sandwiches, bread sticks, rice cakes, crackers, plain standard yoghurts, sugar free jelly, fruit, vegetables, cheese, cream crackers, salted popcorn. Pre-packed cheese, chocolate spreads, chocolate/cheese dips, and chewy/sticky bars and sweets are not advisable at any time.
  4. Chewing gum, nuts, crisps and cereal bars are not permitted. Foods which have wrappers (i.e. tinfoil) are to be kept to a minimum and disposed of properly to reduce litter and protect our school environment.
  5. Healthier choices of drinks include milk and water. Yoghurt drinks are also a healthy option.  Pure unsweetened juices or well diluted sugar free squashes (1:10) may be included but only as part of their lunch meal, to reduce the risk of tooth decay.  Other drinks such as sweetened fruit juices, fruit drinks e.g. cartons of juice, squashes, fizzy drinks (including diet drinks and sparkling water) should be avoided due to their sugar and/or acid content, as these are also harmful to teeth.

 (Always encourage your children to brush their teeth before going to school and going to bed with a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste).

  1. Nutrition and healthy eating will be included as part of the school curriculum.

Fresh Today Lunches

Please check Fresh Today for their new menus as communicated to you by email before Easter.  There are some new food options for the summer term.  All children who receive hot school lunches will receive a packed lunch (sandwich, snack & fruit) on swimming days from this week onwards.  Children may eat some of their lunch before going swimming and have the rest on their return. 

Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons for all pupils will take place on the following dates:

Thursday 20th April, 27h April, 4th May, 11th May, 18th May and 25th May.  Children will leave school at 12.20pm and return to school by 2.30pm.  P.E. clothes should be worn.  A swimming hat is needed for the pool.  Lunch will be eaten before we leave and when we return.  Cost per pupil per lesson is €7 (€42 for 6 weeks).  Full payment must be made in advance by cheque, draft or online.                                   NO CASH WILL BE EXCEPTED.

  • Online banking – IBAN IE20AIBK 9324 2601 2651 56

When using online banking please put your name on the reference line so we know it’s your payment.

Please note staff are not permitted to dry children so if your child is in Junior classes and need help to dry/dress you must organise a responsible person to do this (i.e. yourself, older sibling or another parent).  Staff will ensure younger children are able to undress, (it is helpful if swimming togs are already on underneath clothes) put belongings in a locker and get to the pool area.  This is all part of the experience and is promoting independence for younger children.  For those attending to assist with drying and dressing you should be at the pool at 12.45.                                         Junior and Senior Infants may go home from the pool if parents are there.  Please let the teacher know if you will be taking your child home as their school bag will be taken on the bus.  All other children will return to school on the bus.

Parents’ Association

Many thanks to the Parents’ Association committee for organising a wonderful evening with Wilma Simpson, JP Flowers, Monaghan.  The evening was well attended and to date €2026 has been raised from ticket sales, donations and purchases on the night.  Thank you to all who bought and sold tickets and donations.  Some of this money will be used to support transport costs for swimming and tours.

Bus Eireann

Applications for school transport for the 2023-2024 school year are now being taken for new applicants.  The closing date for all new applications is 28th April 2023.  If your child is starting secondary school in September and will require school transport you must log into www.buseireann/ to register.  If your child is starting primary school in September or is already in primary school but not availing of school transport and would like to use it, you must apply before 28th April 2023.

School Uniform

Following the recent parent survey in order to ascertain satisfaction with the current school uniform over 80% of parents surveyed were either satisfied or very satisfied.   This means that our current school uniform will not be undergoing any changes.  With that in mind I wish to remind parents of the current school uniform:

  • Grey trousers, skirts, pinafores
  • Grey shirt
  • Plain red jumper
  • Grey and red tie
  • Plain black shoes/runners (ankle boots)

All pupils must wear the correct school uniform.  We pride ourselves on the uniform and comments are often made to us about how smart the children look.  Some people have started wearing the incorrect shoes – e.g. coloured runners, runners with logos, brown boots etc.  We don’t have a P.E. uniform and so children are free to wear their choice of runners and tracksuits on P.E. days.  Other children have become very casual about not wearing ties.   If ties are lost please purchase new ties in Crawfords.  Children are and will be given opportunities to wear ‘casual clothes’ throughout the year.  Your support is ensuring children are wearing the correct uniform is appreciated.

School Drop Off & Pick Up

As per email sent to all families before Easter can we remind you to be extra vigilant when dropping off and picking up children from the school gate?  Some parents have started coming after 3.05 to collect and this has definitely made a difference at the gate in the afternoon. In order to ensure the safety of all children school staff will not just let children walk out the gate until they know where their car is and if it is safe to leave the school grounds.  Parents of younger children should come to the gate to collect their children otherwise children will remain on the school premises until it is safe for them to leave.

School Tours/Trips

A school trip has been organised to Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre for all pupils on Monday 22nd May.  Parents will need to bring children to the adventure centre at Lough Muckno, Castleblayney that morning and collect from there in the afternoon.  More details will be issued nearer the time.  We plan on visiting Rossmore Forest Park for a fun day out in June.

FAI Soccer Tournament

Congratulations to Elizabeth L, Kyle, Ethan, Adam, Jake, Joshua, Levi and Seamus who represented the school at the FAI 5-a-side soccer tournament this week.

Dates For Your Diary

Thursday 20th April    – Swimming lessons for all pupils commence for 6 weeks

Monday 24th –Friday 28th April    - Active School Week

Monday 1st May          - School Closed Bank Holiday

Monday 22nd May       - Trip to Castleblayney Outdoor Adventure Centre

Thursday 25th May      - Last swimming lesson

Monday 5th June                    - School Closed Bank Holiday

Tuesday 6th June          - School Closed Staff Planning Day (Primary Language Curriculum/New Primary Curriculum)

Wednesday 14th June   - School Reports issued on Aladdin Connect

Wednesday 21st June   - School Closes at 12.00 for Summer Holidays



World Book Day

World Book Day is being celebrated on Thursday 2nd March.  We are looking forward to a great day at school which will begin with a Fashion Show!  Pupils (and staff) are encouraged to come to school dressed as a character from a book.  Pupils should wear their outfits to school on Thursday and should wear something warm underneath.  There will be prizes in each classroom (1st, 2nd & 3rd) for the most creative outfits.  Throughout the day the children will take part in different activities all promoting books and reading.  Each child will receive a World Book Day Token (€1.50) which may be exchanged in Easons for a World Book Day book or used as a discount on another book of choice.

 Book Swap

As part of World Book Day our Student Council are hosting a “book swap”.  There may be books in your home that your children have finished with.  The Student Council would like children to bring 1 or 2 books to school (in good condition) that they are finished with (and won’t be getting back).  The Student Council will organise the books and then each class will be allocated a time to view the books and take a book if they wish.

Pupil Absences/Aladdin

Please use Aladdin Connect to record reasons for absences.  Aladdin connect may also be used to check your child’s attendance.  Under the Education Welfare Act 2000, schools are obliged to submit reports to Tusla Education Support Services twice a year.  This is a legislative requirement.  In December and June each year Aladdin generates the names of children who have been absent for 20+ days and the reasons for the absences.  If reasons aren’t given they are recorded as unexplained.  Parents should submit reasons for absences themselves on Aladdin Connect.  You may go back and fill in reasons after an absence.  Please use the attached information sheet to help you fill in reasons for absences on Aladdin.  Please come and speak with the Principal, if for whatever reason, you are unable to access your Aladdin Connect.

Flower Demonstration

Each family should have received four tickets to sell for the upcoming Flower Demonstration in 2nd Ballybay Hall on 28th March at 7.30pm.  This will be a great night as Wilma’s flower demonstrations are excellent.  The arrangements Wilma makes will be auctioned off at the end and money raised from the auction will also go towards the Parents’ Association funds.  Supper will be served also.  Please let your family, friends, neighbours and relations know about the evening and if you require additional tickets contact Sandra in the office.  If you are unable to sell your tickets a monetary (€40) contribution would be greatly appreciated.  All funds raised by the Parents’ Association benefits all children in the school.

School Uniform Review

The Board of Management is undertaking a review of the current school uniform.  You will receive a survey (by email) today and it is important everyone responds to the survey.  The initial survey is to find out what the general satisfaction level is with the current uniform.  If the majority of parents are satisfied with the uniform, there will be no change made.  Any changes made will not come into effect until September.


Pupils in all classes will go to Monaghan Leisure centre for 6 weeks swimming lessons beginning on Thursday 20th April.  We will leave school at 12.20 and return at 2.30/2.40.  Lunch will be eaten at 12.00 on swimming days.  Pupils in junior classes who need assistance drying and getting dressed must have an adult with them at the pool.  STAFF ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ASSIST CHILDREN DRYING AND DRESSING.

If parents are at the pool children may go home with them from the pool at the end of the lesson.  The Leisure Centre has informed the school that from 1st January 2023 the school is charged for the number of pupils booked in initially,  i.e. if 62 pupils are booked in,  62 lessons must be paid for each week regardless if pupils attend or not.  The cost per pupils is €7 per pupils (€42 in total for 6 lessons).  The Parents’ Association are subsidising the cost of the buses.  Money must be paid online to the school’s bank account before Thursday 20th April.  All 6 lessons must be paid for in advance.

  • Cheque/draft from bank or Credit Union or
  • Online banking – IBAN IE20AIBK 9324 2601 2651 56

Please include your name or children’s names when paying.   Sandra will issue a receipt for payments.  If you wish to discuss as aspect of swimming or the cost for swimming please contact the Principal.  Swimming is one of the strands in the PE curriculum and therefore it is expected all children attend.

Student Council

Our Student Council have been meeting with Ms. Fitzpatrick regularly.  They have some great ideas coming up which they will share with everyone shortly.  Members of the Student Council have been busy working on high vis jackets which they will wear in the playground at break and lunch time.  If someone is feeling left out in the yard or has nothing to play they can go to one of the Student Council members wearing the high vis and they will organise an activity for them to do.  Many thanks to our Student Council for coming up with this initiative.

School Closures

Please note school is closed on Thursday 16th March (staff planning day) and Friday 17th March  (St. Patrick’s Day).

School closes at 12.00 on Friday 31st March for Easter and reopens on Monday 17th April.