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December Newsletter 2023

         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.