Return to school Ombudsman for children invites contact from any pupils nationwide

School is back and the Ombudsman for Children’s Office wants to hear from young people.


We know that school is about more than education. It’s about friends, fun and a chance for children to be themselves, away from their family. We’ve heard from teachers and parents, from unions and the Department of Education. Now we want to hear from the young people.


We’re running a campaign to hear directly from children about how they feel about going back to school and we’re looking for your support.


Are they nervous? Are they excited? What is their favourite thing about school? How has school changed during the pandemic? Their Covid-19 School Hero? What is the reality of homeschool?


We are asking children and young people to send us a video, a photo, a comment, a reel – anything that shows what going back to school means to them. At the end of the process a panel of judges, made up of young people, will select a winner and four runners up. An ipad and other prizes are up for grabs.


#MoreThanSchool will run from Monday 15th March to Monday 12th April.


When a student sends us their entry we will make contact to get permission from them and their parents to share it online or on our social accounts. If we don’t get permission, we will not be able to use the entry and we will delete it from our records. If we receive information that makes us think a young person may be in danger or at risk of being hurt, we will have to follow up on this.


We would love if your students could take part in our campaign.


You will find all the info on If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Many thanks for your help and best wishes for the weeks ahead.


Aoife and the OCO Communications team.



Aoife Carragher

Communications Manager

087 148 4173

Ireland Reads February 25th

Ireland Reads Day on Thursday, the 25th of February is almost here!


The aim is to get everyone to pledge to ‘squeeze in a read’ on the 25th of February, Ireland Reads Day – whether that’s reading a book, a newspaper, a comic – whatever works.


Please visit, or watch the video at:

(English) -

(Irish) -


Ireland Reads is a new campaign from Irish libraries, Children’s Books Ireland, NALA, booksellers, publishers and others to get the whole country reading this month as part of the Government’s national Keep Well campaign.

Lobby letter to extend the Greenway to East Mayo

Claremorris Boys National School



Forward Planning Department

Mayo county Council

Aras an Chontae

The Mall


Mayo F23 WF 90




22nd February 2021

Dear Sirs


I am making a submission on the Draft Mayo County Development Plan 2021- 27 on behalf of Claremorris Boys National school.


Not many of our pupils cycle to school and I feel this is a pity.  In Westport town the number of children cycling to school has increased massively in the past few years, this has come about due to the huge increase of safe cycling infrastructure in town and of course the influence of using bikes because of the influence of the  Great  Western greenway, which gives children the chance to cycle 2 or 3 miles into school along the greenway.


I noted in the county plan that there are no interconnecting greenways between the towns in East Mayo from map 6.1 in the draft plan. This needs changing in the plan and there is an ideal solution to convert the closed railway that runs through Claremorris from Charlestown as a greenway to connect all the towns in East Mayo.


I note the county plan only refers to a velorail on the closed railway, I am aware this is due to run on only part of the closed railway 6km north and south of Kiltimagh.  Whilst this may work for

a short section of the closed railway line the rest of the line should be turned into a greenway in particular so that children can cycle from rural areas into the towns of East Mayo like Claremorris, Swinford and Charlestown.  In fact, I reckon a greenway should be put in alongside the velorail route around Kiltimagh.


The greenway on the closed railway would be great for all the children who come to our school and for their parents who could cycle safely to school with their children when they are small and give the children the independence to cycle on a traffic free safe route as they get older.


For the sake of the children of East Mayo please put an objective in the county plan that the closed railway from Claremorris to Charlestown will be converted to a greenway until such time as the railway might ever open.  I believe this is in line with Irish Rail policy for closed railways anyway.


Thank you for your consideration.


Mark Loftus. Principal and Secretary to the Board of Management.

Claremorris BNS.

Norma Foley Letter to Students December 2020

Letter to pupils/students from Minister for Education Norma Foley, received today for circulation.

I wish to draw your attention to the weekly online citizenship & democracy quiz competition which is now available to all primary school students in Ireland. is a government, local government & EU funded programme which has been available to all post primary students since 2001.


The questions for the weekly online quiz include such topics as:

· fire safety

· food safety

· environment & waste management

· health & wellbeing

· financial literacy

· local democracy

· consumer protection etc.


Students are directed by hyperlinks to sponsors websites where they can research the correct answers which they then submit to The computer randomly selects monthly winners from all the correct entries. There will be at least one winner of an age-appropriate education prize selected each month. These prizes are being sponsored by Mayo Fire Service. To enter, students must logon to and register, then take the weekly quiz. They can participate as a class, individually or as a homework exercise.


This is an excellent way for students to learn about various government and local government bodies, who they are, what they do and the impact they have on their daily lives. Students will develop excellent research, teamwork, communication and collaboration skills through the use of digital technologies. There is also a very attractive prize to be won by participating teachers.

Mount St. Michael TY business

We were asked to share this



We are a TY Mini Company in Mount Saint Michael Claremorris. Our mini company is an Elf on the Shelf Goodie Bag for your child/children. The bag includes an Elf on the Shelf letter, in which parents can fill out to personalise the bag to their specific child/children. In the bag will be a Reindeer Hot Chocolate Cone, a sweet filled Cone, a snowman popcorn filled bag and some delicious chocolate coins.

***If elf on the Shelf is not a known figure in your household, we can simply just add a Christmas name tag to the bag instead of the elf on the shelf report card***


Our Prices are as follows ; 

1 Bag for €5 

2 Bags for €8 

3 Bags for €13 

4 Bags for €18 

5 Bags for € 23


If you would like to order a bag/bags please email the below email address

Include ; 

  • Your Full Name 

  • Weather you would like the elf on the shelf report card or the christmas name tag 

  • The number of bag/bags you would like to order


Thank you for your support of a local mini company. We will be in contact with you once an order is placed about payment 


Shannon Connolly & Leah Sheridan  

Covid19 advice for parents on talking to children

Talking to Children and Young People about
COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Advice for Parents and Schools
 Children and young people need factual, age appropriate information about the virus and concrete instruction about how to avoid spreading of the virus. Without the facts, they often imagine situations far worse than reality. See
 Let the child/young person’s questions and their age guide as to how much information to provide:
o Very young children need brief, simple information and reassurance that they are safe and that the people they care about are safe. They may ask Will I get sick? Will granny/grandad die?
o Reassure them that the Government is working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy.
o Explain that at the present moment very few people in this country are sick with the virus.
o Tell them that not everyone will get the virus and that the vast majority who get it recover fully.
o Older children may need help to separate reality from rumour and fantasy. Either provide or direct them to where they can find accurate, and factual information about the current status of COVID-19. Having such knowledge can help them feel a sense of control.
 Children can feel less anxious and more in control when given guidance on what they can do to prevent infection. Give them this information. Further information is available here.
 The posters overleaf are available at this link. There is also a link to a video the Deputy Chief Medical Officer answered some common questions for RTÉ Junior’s News 2Day programme here:

NCCA consultation on Curriculum

NCCA seek your interaction and opinion on the Curriculum.

As parents and therfore education partners,

It is advisable that you see what changes are being proposed and implemented in advance of such finalisation.



The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) has published the Draft Primary Curriculum Framework for consultation until October 2020. The framework sets out a number of proposals to encourage and support discussion and debate about a redeveloped primary curriculum. The consultation is an important opportunity for you to have your say on these proposals.

To support and keep you informed, the NCCA will provide a series of short e-bulletins via e-mail in the coming weeks and months. These will contain updates and information on the consultation.


Course for children

Dear Principal/Secretary,
I wish to notify you of a 6 week programme for under 12's at Perspective in Claremorris. Tribe is a programme that has had benefits for anxiety, social relationships and self esteem. I would be grateful if you could circulate the below on your parents database. 
Tribe is a 6 week programme for under 12's that happens in Perspective, Mount St., Claremorris. Tribe is a fun coaching programme where children learn one wellbeing technique weekly that helps resilience, anxieties, worries, self esteem and has many other benefits for positive mental health. It is suitable for every child and the sessions include art, role play, movement and games. There are 2 groups commencing on Monday 2nd March. 6-8 year olds, 5:30pm and 9-12 year olds at 7:15pm
Group sizes are limited and booking is essential.
Cost:€70 for 6 weeks. To book contact Perspective on 085 7297451.
Please feel free to check out Perspective on facebook. 
Kind Regards and Thank you,

Follow Perspective on Facebook for Peer Promoted Wellness and stay updated on future workshops and projects!
Services Available:
One to One Mental Health Peer Support
Working with Anxiety Programme for Adults/Kids
Peer Support Group in Mental Health
Art Psychotherapy Group
A Woman's Heart Monthly Self Compassion Group
Iron Men, Monthly Men's Group
A  Woman's Heart Workshop (Twice Anually)
Vision Board Workshop (January and May)
TRIBE Children's Coaching, Mindset, Self Belief and Confidence Programme
National School Programme
Secondary School Presentation
Self Esteem and Confidence 6 week Programme for 6-8 and 9-12 year olds