November 5th, 2021 

Winter is on my head, but eternal Spring is in my heart – Victor Hugo 

Dear Parents/Guardians/Families and Staff, Dia dhaoibh! 

Tá an Geimhreadh anseo! Winter is here! Oíche Shamhna has come and gone! 

Thankfully, we enjoyed our mid-term break and are reinvigorated to face the weeks ahead. 

Congratulations to our First Holy Communicants who led our weekly assembly on Monday, All Saints Day (Lá na Naomh Uile), which of course marks the beginning of November/Samhain, the month in which we particularly remember those who have died in the past year and beyond. 

We have, with this in mind, selected a beautiful evergreen tree which we will be planting on Thanksgiving Day later this month in the school grounds. This will be our Tree of Hope and Memory, and it will also be our Christmas tree later. 

Yesterday, we received the wonderful news that Ms. Burnham and Eva Hogan have successfully been awarded the Tree Grant worth €500 for our school from Wicklow County Council. Our Biophilia Project is now well and truly underway! On behalf of the Kilmacanogue School Community, we thank both ladies and we extend our gratitude to Wicklow County Council for their generous grant. 

We welcome warmly our newest member of the teaching staff, Ms. Sarah B. Hickey and wish her every success as a valued member of our education team here. Her expertise in teaching and learning over many years, as well as her skills in administration are greatly appreciated and we hope she will be very happy in our school. 

I understand that matters have improved greatly in the car parking areas. This is hugely appreciated. Thank you very much for your careful supervision of your children around the school and the church grounds. 

We are looking forward to the Confirmation Ceremony of last year’s Sixth Class pupils which takes place tomorrow, 6th November at 11 a.m. in St. Mocheanóg’s Church here in Kilmacanogue. Please find below the link for the Confirmation Mass tomorrow, which is also on the parish website. Link: 

On behalf of the whole school community we wish them all the very best for their special day and spiritual journey ahead. Once again, we thank Joyce Townsend the Parish Secretary and the Parish Team, the Parents Association, Mr. O’Connor the Sixth Class teacher and the teachers and SNAs who have helped in thoughtful preparations for this very important sacramental ceremony, both of a spiritual and practical nature. 

The Parents’ Association are delighted to announce that €315 was raised by all of your donations on our non-uniform fancy dress day on 22nd October. Míle buíochas daoibh go léir! 

The AGM of the Parents’ Association will take place on Wednesday November 17th via Zoom. Details will follow. There will be a number of positions available – (officer and non officer). Should you wish to put your name forward or would like any more information, please contact the current Chairperson, Lisa Dempsey, at no later than 6pm on Monday November 15th. 

Wicklow Sports Partnership sent us coach, Jim Sheridan, from Cricket Leinster to introduce the children of 4th Class and 5th Class to the world of Cricket this morning. This was a lovely surprise for us on such a beautiful, sunny day and proved to be great fun and exercise. Teacher participation will be encouraged at the next session! There will be three more Friday sessions in cricket for both classes. 

As part of Science Week, we will have a number of STEM activities within the classrooms next week. Outside, we will be learning Maths through exercise with Outdoor Mathletics on Monday and Tuesday. Please let your children wear their tracksuits on both Monday and Tuesday for these activities. Thanks to Ms. Denvir for suggesting an array of puzzles and activities that teachers may use in their classrooms during the week. 

As always, thank you all for your support and kindness. 

Warmest best wishes, Le gach dea-ghuí, 

Ann Marie 

Ann Marie Bourke 

(Acting Principal) 




November 13th, 2021

Painted by Cillian Shortt, 4th Class, inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s, ‘The Starry Night’

“My soul is like a house with a few wisps of smoke coming from the chimney – the passer-by does not know what a great fire is blazing within”(Vincent to his brother, Theo)

Dear Parents/Guardians/Families and Staff, Dia dhaoibh!

As we move towards the end of November, we know that the year is dying as the weather tends to be danker and darker. “The hedges show the birds’ nests no longer worth hiding”, wrote D.H. Lawrence. Yet the hedges provide the birds with a profusion of wild berries and the earth is moister with the leaves falling but the berries of the mountain are at their brightest red. And some of our brightest experiences in recent days have been with our pupils’ celebrating their First Communions and Confirmation with their friends, parents and grandparents.

In the weeks ahead, we will also learn of great celebrations and diverse symbolisms of the various religions of the world… Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali and others.

Our school is truly a multicultural environment. In an advanced multicultural society like in Ireland of recent decades, there is always a pointing to a horizon of transcendence, a witnessing to the “always more” in life.

Remembrance Day fell on Thursday, the eleventh day. Shortly before the eleventh hour we shared a few moments of silence in the school to remember all who have died. Nowadays, people from diverse backgrounds come together to remember their dead from all wars. Multiculturalism urges us to discover ways to live in communion with each other in tolerance, harmony, peace and reconciliation. “We connect through our sameness but we grow through our differences”, Virginia Satir.

The Kilmac Mountain Running Festival, which takes place from the 26th to the 27th November, includes a 2km/5km Schools Run – Lap of the Gap (under 10s accompanied by an adult) and registration takes place online at The 2K route (Under 10) and 5K route (Under 14) run from the GAA pitch, out the front gate and to the right, following trails on a loop in clockwise direction behind the GAA grounds, on the side of the Sugarloaf, and back to the GAA Club. Prizes for runners, class and teacher. A reminder: The AGM of the Parents’ Association will take place on Wednesday November 17th via Zoom. Details will follow. There will be a number of positions available – (officer and non officer). Should you wish to put your name forward or would like any more information, please contact the Chairperson, Lisa Dempsey, at no later than 6pm on Monday November 15th.

At Kilmacanogue NS, we decided to run Maths Week in conjunction with Science Week this term. So, on Tuesday, we had a full day of outside activities with Mathletics 4 Schools. The facilitators, Vicky and Georgia, used a unique co-curricular programme, which combined maths topics with athletic skills in a fun way. The programme is based on the primary maths curriculum. Thank you to Ms. Denvir for coordinating Maths and Science Weeks and for suggesting and providing a myriad of resources/activities to the team.

There have been a number of very creative and exciting Science Projects going on around the school. In particular, Ms. Montgomery’s Third Class Green had an array of interesting experiments to try out yesterday from making musical instruments to lava lamps and understanding how telephones work.

Cricket sessions with coach, Jim Sheridan, from Cricket Leinster continued with the children from 4th and 5th Classes yesterday. Once again, it is great to be out in the fresh air having fun together. There are two sessions remaining on the next two Fridays.

Gratitude to Eamonn Walsh of the parent body, who also happens to be Chairperson of Wicklow Sports Partnership, for organising Basketball Ireland coach, Paul Carr, to come to the school on 6th December for basketball coaching with the children. We cannot wait to try out our new basketballs, which were recently purchased for the school. Thank you to the Parents’ Association for their fundraising efforts yet again. We hope to have our new basketball hoops and nets installed in the coming days. Our ever-enthusiastic teachers and SNAs have already done basketball coaching skills training via Zoom earlier in the year. Like our cricket sessions, staff participation will be encouraged!

Jackie Kinch, our GAA coach, continues to attend weekly for skills training and activities with most classes. She will be finishing up on the last Thursday of November until the New Year. Classes who have not had the opportunity to train with her this term will be included for next term. We congratulate Jackie for being on the winning team for the seventh year in a row in the Wicklow County Championship last weekend! We are very fortunate to have her with us every week. What an asset she is to our school community. She is always uplifting, creative, self-autonomous and full of common sense.

We are hoping to recommence extra-curricular Music lessons in the near future. I will keep you updated in relation to progress on the matter.

We hope to continue to show a visual snippet of our learning from around the school in collage form, at the end of each Newsletter.

Finally, an important reminder: Healthy Eating is something we place a strong emphasis on at Kilmacanogue National School. We encourage healthy lunches to be brought to school and allow a small treat on Fridays.

As always, thank you all for your support and kindness.

Míle Buíochas,

Slán agus Beannacht,

Ann Marie

Ann Marie Bourke

(Acting Principal)




Samhain/November 20th, 2021

mil » Honey. milisbhriathrach » Sweet-spoken; honey-tongued.

militeach » Honey-eating. miliúil » Honey-like, honeyed.

miltreoir » Honey-guide. seileán » (Wild) honey-bee.

Dear Parents/Guardians/Families and Staff, Dia dhaoibh!

Early this week at our staff meeting, we reflected on what it means to be an educator. I shared my deep interest in the life of the distinguished educationalist from Ukraine, Vasily Sukhomlinsky, who extolled a view of the role of the teacher that influenced me greatly. He left a considerable body of interesting accounts and insights in regard to the best ways to encourage children, to awaken the child’s intellectual and emotional life. In his many wonderful texts, “The School of Joy”, “Under the Open Sky” and I Give My Heart to Children,” he writes: ” Some teachers succeed in making their pupils happy, while others are demanding and strict in their efforts to develop their pupils and enrich them through knowledge, an achievement they find impossible without constant testing of ability, industry and ambition. First and foremost a teacher must understand a pupil’s heart. This is something that cannot be learnt with the help of any special devices. This particular skill is only found in teachers with rich emotional and moral resources of their own. This skill will only come to fruition when our pupils find in those who educate them that “life giving water” without which those talents will wilt and fade”.

What an exhortation for our truly inspiring teachers and SNAs who understand the importance of the affective, pastoral, relational dimension in a rich schooling experience that we try to foster and endorse in our own “School of Joy” here in Kilmacanogue!

Our School of Joy began on Monday morning when 5th and 6th Class had a visit and brief talk from local man John Cox of ‘Orchards In The Community’ which is part of the DCs for Bees initiative. Orchards play a key role in providing an early food source for our struggling bees as they emerge from winter. ‘To help

protect the bees and increase pollination, we are planting in excess of 1,000 mixed fruit orchards all over Ireland’, he said.

Mr Cox spoke to each class about the importance of bees in Ireland and the world, now, in the past and into the future. He also told us some really interesting number facts about bees. Did you know that:

There are 98 species of bee in Ireland?

50,000 bees live in each hive?

Bees live for 6 weeks?

There are 20,000 bee miles in each jar of honey? That’s the length of Ireland 60 times!

And that the Queen Bee lays 2,000 eggs per day?

We are very lucky that ‘Orchards in the Community’ will gift the school an Orchard Bundle which consists of five fruit trees:

Victoria Plum; Conference Pear; Discovery Apple; Katy Apple; Boskoop Apple .

Mr Cox is even going to help us to plant these trees on Monday next in a dedicated spot in our beautiful grounds. They will be between four and five-foot-tall and could start producing fruit next Autumn. The bees are going to love the spring blossoms and we are going to enjoy watching the trees grow over the years too.

Thank you so much Mr Cox for your fantastic talk and your beautiful gift of an Orchard for the school.

The Wicklow Schools Invitational Cross Country Open XC event will take place in Avondale on Thurs. 25th November at 10.30am. Individual entries are accepted from children in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Classes. Check in by 10.15am at the very latest. All races and presentation of medals should not take more than 1.5 hours. Races will be run in the following categories:

3rd Class Girls 800m 3rd Class boys 800m 4th Class Girls 800m 4th Class boys 800m

5th Class Girls 1000m 5th Class boys 1000m 6th Class Girls 1000m 6th Class boys 1000m

Entry Fee €3.00 per individual. Cheques should be made payable to: Wicklow Invitational Athletics. Any queries to Theresa Kinane on 086-8635797 or email

The Kilmac Mountain Running Festival takes place from the 26th to the 27th November. It includes a 2km/5km Schools Run – Lap of the Gap (under 10s accompanied by an adult). Registration takes place online at The 2K route (Under 10) and 5K route (Under 14) start at the GAA pitch.

The AGM of the Parents’ Association took place on Wednesday November 17th via Zoom. A new committee was formed and we look forward to working in partnership with them over the coming years. We wish the outgoing committee well and thank them very sincerely for all their hard work on behalf of the school and community over the past few years. It is deeply appreciated.

Cricket sessions with coach, Jim Sheridan, from Cricket Leinster will continue with the children from 4th and 5th Classes next Friday and the following Friday.

Thursday will be Jackie Kinch’s last day of GAA coaching with us until the New Year. Jackie organised Christopher Fox of our local GAA club to present our school with the Blue Flag for the promotion of Gaelic Games in the school. Children from Fifth Class represented all of the children in the school when accepting the Blue Flag on behalf of the school.

The local GAA club in Kilmac is organising an Art Exposition for the children from First Class to Sixth Class in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Craig O’Neill, of the parent body is organising this and will be liaising with the school next week on the planning. To help support us, he will put a short Powerpoint together with some very high-level details about the club (colours, crest, location etc..) that the teachers can use as a point of reference. The presentation of the Art work will be done in a virtual manner, which will be detailed later.

Healthy Eating continues to be something we value here at Kilmacanogue National School. Please find attached with our Weekly Newsletter email, a pdf document entitled Healthy- Lunchboxes for information and ideas around creating interesting lunches for school.

An important reminder about the car park: please be mindful of all users of the car park and their safety. Please let the school know if you have specific mobility issues and we can discuss the matter with you.

As always, thank you all for your support and kindness.

Míle Buíochas,

Slán agus Beannacht,

Ann Marie

Ann Marie Bourke

(Acting Principal)

Last year’s 6th class on their Confirmation day, 6th November, 2021

2nd Class Orange and 2nd Class Green on their First Holy Communion Day, 23rd October, 2021