Update 18 – 25th March 2020

Dear Parents

Our online homework page is now up to date and can be accessed at http://www.derrynooseps.co.uk/website/?page_id=11170
It is important that you read all information on the homework page carefully;
  1. Parents of children in P3 are asked to access LEXIA ASAP to ensure access.
  2. Parents of P4 are especially asked to read the Mathletics Section as this programme will be new for your child.
In relation to the Accelerated Reading Programme please note the following;
  1. Go to Accelerated Reading Section of the homework page.
  2. Whilst targets have been set for each child the focus is to read as many books as possible.  This will be different for each child as the level of difficulty will be different.
  3. Having completed the book your child will have two options to follow.  The first will be to complete a quiz by following the link on the homework page.  The second is to complete a Book Review as attached and email back to their class teacher.  Some of the books on the link do not have a quiz and thus the reason why children must complete a book review.
  4. So children should now go and select their first book and begin reading.
The teachers were very keen to be able to keep in direct contact with the children in their class.  To facilitate this we have set up an email address for each teacher – children/parents should email parents via their parents email address(in line with our Child Protection Guidelines emails should not be sent to a teacher from a child’s email address) with any queries, concerns, fun stories or news they might like to share!  All teachers look forward to hearing from the children.
Teacher Email Addresses;
Mrs McClelland  mrsmccp1@gmail.com
Miss O’Neill  misso.p34@gmail.com
Mrs Gollogly mrsgprim5@gmail.com
Mrs Hamilton  mrshp6@gmail.com
Mr Woods mrwoodsp7@gmail.com
I ask that you get each child to send their teacher an email with a little message so they will have your email address for future correspondence.
I was in touch with our school inspector today, Mr Stephen Blevins, and he has also advised ‘the less is more approach – small drip feed steps is much more appropriate than a bombardment – homes are stressful places at present and too much expectation on continued learning will only add to that toxicity.’
I feel this is very useful advice for us all.
Remember to keep you PE photographs coming and any news etc that you would like to share.
Stay safe
G Farrell (Principal)

Update 17 – 24th March 2020

Dear Parents                                                                                         24 March 2020

Reference: Coronavirus – ‘Care Facility’

I am writing to you regarding guidance that was published by the Department of Education on Friday 20thMarch in relation to schools providing ‘Care Arrangementsfor the children of ‘Key Workers’.

As of yesterday the Minister of Education, Peter Weir stated, “Schools should only open to children of key workers to facilitate them getting to work to fight the virus BUT ONLY where there is NO OTHER VIABLE OPTION.  If you can use an alternative, DON’T SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL”.

 Fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk of the virus spreading and infecting key workers and vulnerable individuals in their family and wider society.  The best setting for your child is home.


In order to ensure we meet with the guidelines from the Public Health Agency we will be following the procedures as below if your child attends our ‘care facility.’

  • We will use the school dining hall to ensure children are seated at least 2 metres apart
  • Parents must send in CLEAN pencils, pens, markers, colouring books, jigsaws, reading books, other activities etc. to be used by their child only
  • Children will wash hands each time they leave one area to another
  • Be provided with regular outdoor movement breaks at a safe distance from other children/adults
  • Parents should also send in CLEAN water bottles filled at home and easily accessible snacks and lunch
  • No transport is available and clarity will be given in regard to school dinners

We aim to open as soon as possible.  We are waiting the delivery of the required equipment from the Education Authority which includes hand sanitisers, gloves and masks.

I must inform you that we maywork with other local schools,to facilitate a very limited number of places which will be guided by the number of staff available. This means that these care arrangements may NOT always take place in our school.

Step 1:

If you wish to apply for a place for your child you are asked to complete the information in the google – link below.  Once I have received this information I will be in contact with you to discuss the finer arrangements in more detail.


Please respond to this email by 3.00pm today.

Many thanks for your continued support at this challenging time for us all.

Kind regards

G Farrell

G Farrell (Principal)

Update 16 – 21st March 2020

Dear Parents                                                                                         23 March 2020

Reference: Coronavirus – Key Workers

I write to you regarding the ongoing confusion and developments in relation to the Coronavirus and the provision for ‘Key Workers’.  All schools are now closed as we know but the Department of Education has instructed that schools reopen to facilitate care arrangements for the children of ‘Key Workers’.

As a school we are keen to show our unreserved support for the ongoing challenge our healthcare services are currently facing. We realise we have a vital role to play in providing support for our community.

However, with the lack of clarity and without a detailed operational plan and appropriate protective measures in place we feel we cannot safely provide care arrangements for the children of ‘Key Workers’ by Monday 23rdMarch.

We need time to undertake a risk assessment in our school to ensure we are complying with the Public Health Authority guidance relating to Personal Protective Equipment and Social Distancing. We will also need to contact parents/guardians to find out who is a ‘Key Worker’ and with no other childcare options.

We will take time to follow DE/CCMS/EA guidance and initiate a plan, which may involve working with other local schools, to facilitate a very limited number of places which will be guided by the number of staff available. Such places will be strictly for the children of ‘Key Workers’ who have no other childcare options.

The guidance released to schools on Friday evening states, ‘the Executive has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.’

I will keep you fully informed of developments and I will be in touch again as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding at this challenging time.

G Farrell (Principal)

Update 15 – Collection of Packs

Dear Parents you are asked to collect homework packs at the following times on Friday 20th March 2020.  Please note we will be operating social distancing so when in the school building it will be to simply collect packs for your children and then leave.  No children will be allowed on the premises.

Parents should bring an empty school bag when collecting the packs.

Parents whose oldest child is in P7 or P6 must collect packs for all their children between 2.00pm and 2.30pm unless you have a child in P3 – then you collect between 4.00pm -4.30pm

Parents whose oldest child is in P5 or P4 must collect packs for all their children between 2.30pm and 3.00pm unless you have a child in P3 – then you collect between 4.00pm – 4.30pm

Parents whose oldest child is in P2 or P1 must collect packs for all their children between 3.00pm and 3.30pm unless you have a child in P3 – then you collect between 4.00pm – 4.30pm

Parents of children in P3 must collect packs for all their children between 4.00pm and 4.30pm

Thank you for your strict cooperation with the above.

Mr G Farrell

Update 14 – 19th March 2020

Dear Parents                                                                           20 March 2020

I write to you again in relation to recent developments brought about by the impact of the Coronavirus.

Firstly, I want to thank you for your completion of the survey I sent you last week. You were all very honest in your views and many of you shared confidential and personal information in your feedback. Please note that this will remain confidential. 73% of parents had indicated that they would not be sending their children back to school until the threat in relation to the spread of the coronavirus is over.

You will be aware that the Education Minister has announced that all schools will close from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice.

As a result, we have planned both paper and digital resources for all children so that they can continue with their learning. These will allow you to support your child’s education during this period of closure.

You have already received homework packs for the next two weeks. These should be used during the weeks beginning the 23rd and 30th of March 2020. Parents will be asked to collect further packs on Friday – you will be notified of specific collection times via text ASAP.

In preparing packs, I have asked staff to send home work that your child will be comfortable in completing. New learning will be limited and when we reopen we will assess all children and plan accordingly.

I also wanted to give you all a telephone number to use, should you wish to contact me in relation to any concerns or queries. This number will be available during normal school working hours. The number is 07849169584

Parents can still use the derrynooseps@gmail.com to email re concerns and queries. Please also use this if you need to get a message to your child’s class teacher.

Please be assured that the staff and I will do all we can to support you during this difficult time.

We are keen to remain in touch with you and your children. We will be emailing a link weekly where the children can join and participate in our school assembly. We also encourage you to email any news, photographs etc. so that these can be shared at our online assembly.

To our P7 children and parents, I want to let you know that we plan to have a special evening of celebration with you in due course to mark your time in primary school. We will not let you leave quietly!

In the meantime, I wish you and your families God’s Blessing in the time ahead and look forward to welcoming all children back to school in the near future.

It is with a heavy heart that I sign below.

Kind regards

Gary Farrell

G Farrell (Principal)

Update 13 – 16th March 2020

Dear Parents

I write to you in relation to the ongoing concerns and developments in relation to the Coronavirus and the potential impact that this is going to have on all schools.

We continue to be advised by the Department of Education and as of today schools are not being closed at this time. However, it is inevitable that this will happen and it is important that we are prepared for this.

A letter, received today, from Peter Weir Education Minister has advised that;

all schools should be preparing a work schedule for their pupils in the event of a school closure, to cover a minimum of four weeks. This schedule should provide parents with the required resources to enable their children to continue their education in a home setting with the support of parents.’

In light of the above and due to ongoing concerns that we all share our school will remain closed for the remainder of this week and will reopen again on Monday 23rdMarch 2020.  We have thus moved two planned closures for later in the year to this Thursday and Friday.

I have also set up a survey for you to complete to give you an opportunity to air your concerns in relation to this current situation.  You can access the survey at the link below.


I will be in school on Thursday to take phone calls from any parent that would like to speak to me in relation to the above.

Please be assured that we will act in the best interests of all children, staff and wider community as the days unfold.

Thank you for your continued support at this challenging time.

G Farrell (Principal)

Update 12 – 12th March 2020

Please note the following;

Coronavirus Precautions:  Due to the current concerns and advice in relation to the coronavirus we will continue to take precautionary measures while in school as per previous website updates.  I would also ask parents to keep their child/ren at home if they present with a cough, sore throat or a fever.

Confirmation and First Holy Communion:  You will also be aware that Confirmation has been cancelled including next week’s Service of Light.  The Do This in Memory Masses for children preparing to make their First Holy Communion have also been cancelled.  At the moment, First Holy Communion will go ahead as planned.

Please also note there are no masses this weekend in our parish.

School Closure:  You will be aware that due to the coronavirus outbreak school closures may be announced.  In order to ensure that the children can continue with some school work each class teacher will be sending home a pack/booklet of work to be completed.  This pack has been sent home either yesterday or today.  We ask that you keep this in a safe place and only use during the period of an unexpected closure.

For children in P1-3 we encourage you to ensure that children continue to read (over-read) current reading books, go over spellings (both old and current), word boxes, word levels (as appropriate) and use a range of iPads and Websites to reinforce reading, phonics and number P1 (1-10) P2 (1-20) P3 (1-50)

Suitable websites;

www.oxfordowl.co.uk. Online reading books. 

www.topmarks.co.uk.  Covers all areas of the curriculum.

www.ictgames.com  (100 square games, ordering numbers and place value revision)

www.crickweb.co.uk/ks2literacy.html (spelling practice)



For children in P4-7 we encourage parents to ensure children complete as above as well as use Lexia (If assigned), Mathletics (P5-7) as well as our additional online homeworks available on the school website.  There are a wide range of activities on Mathletics which the children can complete themselves without having work assigned to them.  These include Live Mathletics.  Continued learning of tables in P6 and P7 will be extremely important.  In addition, there are many websites and iPad Apps that you can use to reinforce all areas of the curriculum.  The following topics could also be researched by the children in preparation for their World Around Us Topic in Term 3:

P4 Great Fire of London

Journey’s and Transport

P5 Egyptians

P6 Rainforest

P7 Solar System

Suitable websites;




www.oxfordowl.co.uk. Online reading books. 

www.topmarks.co.uk.  Covers all areas of the curriculum.

www.ictgames.com (100 square games, ordering numbers and place value revision)

www.crickweb.co.uk/ks2literacy.html (spelling practice)



Thank you for your continued support at this challenging time.

Mr G Farrell

Update 11 – 11th March 2020

Dear parents in light of growing concerns in relation to the Coronavirus all unnecessary off site activities will be postponed until further notice.  This will include class trips, attendance at sporting events etc.  I thank you for your support at this time.

Update 10 10th March 2020

The Primary 5 class will visit the TMAC Centre on Friday 13th March 2020 to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with our Extended Schools Partner Schools.  This will involve workshops in Irish Language, Music and Dance.  Children will need a packed lunch and wear their green for the day.  Please register at link below;


Update 9 9th March 2020 – Coronavirus 

Dear Parents

Due to the current threat of the coronavirus we are asking all parents to be extra vigilant during this period.  Please ensure your child;

  1. Carries a supply of tissues to school each day
  2. Hands are washed frequently with soap and hot water
  3. If your child is feeling unwell or experiences any of the symptoms as below it is important that you do not send your child to school and you should immediately telephone your doctor for advice
  4. We will endeavour to keep parents informed of any developments in relation to the impact the spread of the coronavirus as advised by the Department of Education
  5. Children should bring in a bottle of water each day with their name clearly marked on it.

I thank you all for your support at this time.

Mr Farrell


Update 8  Dear Parents – Change to arrangements for next Saturday

The next Do This In Memory Mass is on Saturday 14th December 2019 at 7.00pm.

However, due to the current levels of sickness we have made the following changes.

  1. The Children will not perform their two Carols but instead perform these at our own Carol Service on Wednesday 18th December.
  2. Parents are now asked to sit with their children in the main isle of the church.
  3. Children should wear their ordinary Mass Clothes.
  4. Shirley will contact you today if your child has been selected to read a prayer of the faithful or to carry up the gifts in the offertory procession.  Children reading the prayers will sit in the front row with Mr Ronan Quinn (Parent).  Children carrying up in the offertory will sit with Mrs Annie Finn (Parent) half way down the main isle on the right as you look at the altar.
  5. Everyone should be seated by 6.45pm.
  6. We also need three parents to give our booklets at the three doors – if you could offer your assistance please contact the school office TODAY.
  7. “Immediately after Mass on Saturday evening the new town crib will be put in place in the vicinity of the Christmas tree across from the Monument. Families are invited to bring their children to the unveiling of the crib after Mass if you can make it… spread the word!”

I thank you for your support with the above arrangements.

Update 7 – Tuesday 3 December 2019

School Carol Service on Wednesday 18th December @ 7pm in St Mochua’s Church – Everyone to be seated by 6.45pm.

Please note details of what your child must wear.

P2 must wear a white plain T Shirt with their school uniform bottoms

P3 must wear a Christmas Jumper with their school uniform bottoms and have a mini cereal box wrapped as a gift to present to the baby Jesus

P4 must wear their red school T Shirt with their school uniform bottoms

P5/6/7 Choir Members and Traditional Group will wear the Choir Shirt and Tie

P5/6/7 Readers and Non Choir Members must wear their red school T Shirt with their school uniform bottoms

Thank you

Mr G Farrell (Principal)

Update 6 – Thursday 28 November 2019

As you are aware school will close on Friday 6th December at 1245 to facilitate the Staff Christmas Dinner.  The Education Bus (Martin Gorman) will take children home at this time

However, the Derrynoose Community Centre Staff are running a Christmas Party from 1-3pm .  The cost is £3.50 including a visit and present from Santa.

Please note that the school staff will walk those children who are going to the disco to the community centre at 1245am.  Once they are there, your child will be under the supervision of Mrs Elaine McGuigan and her team.  Please contact Elaine on 07564468958 with any queries that you may have.

Please complete the attached form to register your child and send in the exact money in an envelop with your child/rens name marked Christmas Party by Monday 2nd December 2019.

The information you provide will be shared with the Community Centre Staff

Complete at following link


Update 5 Thursday 20th November 2019

Dear Parent/s
Please note that the Application Process for admission to Primary One for September 2020 must be completed online and will open on 7th January 2020.
So that I can ensure that all prospective applicants are notified I ask that you complete our pre-application form ASAP at the link below.  Please also complete this form if your child is due to start school in September 2021, 22, 23.
I will use this information to ensure that you are kept up to date about the process and pending deadlines etc.
I ask that you share this email with family and friends who may also be considering choosing our school for their child/ren.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you Mr G Farrell (Principal)

Pre Admission Form https://forms.gle/gAroXR9wqojkCPa66

Update 4 Thursday 24th October

An important letter will be sent to all parents on Monday 4th November 2019 outlining dates and activities for term 1B i.e. up to Christmas.  I have included some of what is in the letter below;

Christmas Draw in aid of School Funds:  If you would like to sponsor a prize for our Christmas Draw please let me know ASAP what you would like to donate.  We are also looking for small cash amounts that can be put together for a more substantive cash prize.  I look forward to hearing from you before Friday 8th November 2019.

Parent Teacher Meetings:  Parent Teacher Meetings will take place week on Monday 18th  and Tuesday 19th November for all classes.  To facilitate these meetings the school will close each day at 12.50pm.  The yellow bus will run at this time. Times and dates will be sent home in school bags on Monday 4th November.

Please note two afternoons have been set aside from teaching time to organise Parent Teacher Meetings.  You are asked therefore not to reschedule your meeting as it is often difficult to rearrange a new time. Please note all meetings will be of maximum length of 15 minutes.  If additional time is needed a further meeting must be rescheduled.

Update 3 Tuesday 8th October 2019

Dear Parents

There will be a curriculum evening for parents of children in P1, P2 and P3 next Tuesday 15th October 2019 as follows:
Primary 1: 7.00pm
Primary 2: 7.00pm
Primary 3: 7.30pm
I look forward to meeting with you then.
Mr G Farrell

Update 2 for Monday 30th September

Dear Parent/s

I would like on behalf of the entire school community to send our best wishes to Derrynoose GAC, the management and players, as they approach the Championship Final on Sunday.  This is a very special occasion and one that we are immensely proud to share.
I understand that for some families this is a particularly special occasion and one that they may wish to celebrate.  With this in mind, any parent that would like to give their child/ren the day off on Monday please email back to inform me if this is your decision.  This absence will not impact on your child’s attendance record.  Alternatively you may wish your child to come in late at 11.00am.  Again if this is your decision, please let me know via email also indicating if they are going to have dinner.  All emails should be sent before 9.00am on Monday morning.
The match will take place on Sunday at 5.00pm in the Athletic Grounds.

Finally, I wish everyone an enjoyable day on Sunday.  Up Derrynoose!!

Kind regards
G Farrell (Principal)

Update 1:  September 2019

To celebrate the success and achievement of Derrynoose GAC qualifying for the Junior Club Championship next Sunday we will host a Blue Day on Thursday.  Children can wear as much blue as possible including club gear.  We also ask each family to pay £1.00 per child for our blue bucket collection on Thursday morning with proceeds going to Derrynoose GAC.