Taunagh National School
Scoil Naisiúnta Tamhnach
Written by the pupils of Fifth and Sixth Class:
Anna Bagnall, Harriot Byrne, Azaan Butt, Evan Murphy, Keelan Murphy and Sophie Swann.
Taunagh N.S. is located in the heart of the village and was previously known as Riverstown No. 2 School. It is a two-teacher school with a downstairs classroom for Junior Infants to Second Class and an upstairs classroom for Third to Sixth class. There are currently twenty-nine pupils enrolled in the school. There are twelve children in the Junior Room and seventeen children in the Senior Room. There are children in all the classes from Junior Infants right up to Sixth Class. There is also an office upstairs and a computer room downstairs. In 2009, an extension was built onto the school which includes bathrooms, a storage room and a new entrance.
Ms. Rena Crummy is the Junior Room teacher and has been teaching here since November 2004. Ms. Linda Mc Mahon is the principal and Senior Room teacher. She has been teaching here since September 2015. We are very lucky to have such talented and kind teachers. The Board of Management oversees the finances and policies. Canon Swann is our Chairperson. The Parent Association organises fundraisers and events for the school community. Our school uniform is a red jumper or cardigan, a white t-shirt and, grey trousers or a grey pinafore/skirt. Lara Swann, a past pupil, designed our school crest which consists of a book, pencils and a view of our school.
There is a lot of variety every week with all the subjects we do. The core subjects are English, Gaeilge and Mathematics. We study History, Geography and Science as part of Social, Environmental and Scientific Education. The Arts subjects include Visual Arts, Music and Drama. We also do Physical Education, Religion and Social, Personal, Health Education (SPHE).
We do a lot of fun activities here in Taunagh N.S. Every year we prepare pieces for a Christmas service in Taunagh Parish Church. We perform a play, followed by hymns. We all have an important role in the service. In the summer term, we go on a school tour. In 2016 everyone in the school went to Dublin Zoo. We saw a lot of animals. What started off as a sunny day, didn’t last. We were very wet coming home but we stopped off at Supermacs to get something to eat. In 2017 we went to the Shannon River Adventure. There were a lot of activities involved such as kayaking, archery, wall climbing and a mud slide. We got very wet on this tour too, but it was worth it! This year, the seniors are going to W5 and the Titanic Museum in Belfast with 5th and 6th class from Ardkeeran N.S. We also attend swimming lessons and do sports day with Coolbock N.S. every year. We get into teams and compete with each other. We have a lot of fun doing this.
We are very proud of our achievements in this school. As part of the Write a Book project, we write our very own stories and publish them. All our hard work is acknowledged and a winner is chosen from each class that takes part. Our school has won the An Post Handwriting Competition two years in a row. In 2016 Anna Bagnall won and in 2017 Amy Bagnall won. We enter every year as it is a good opportunity to prepare a piece of handwriting which we can be really proud of. We also take part in the Eason Spelling Bee. Sophie Swann and Daniel O’Hara have represented our school at this competition.
We enjoy taking part in art competitions too. Sophie Swann won the Aurivo competition where she designed a poster to promote milk as a healthy drink. Patrick Ryan-Jones won a prize in the Someone Like Me competition which highlights inclusion. We also submit entries to the art competition part of Sligo Feis Ceoil and we normally have a number of prize winners. Every Monday our tin whistle teacher, Mr. Michael Hurley, comes in to the school and we learn the tin whistle. We take part in the Sligo Feis Ceoil tin whistle band competition where a group of children from the senior room plays two tin whistle tunes in front of a judge. We make great progress learning the tin whistle as Michael is a talented musician and very encouraging.
The Parent Association organises great activities for us all. We had a cake sale and two book fests. Alan Nolan, a children’s author was our special guest at the book fests. There was a great raffle at the cake sale, as well as beautiful Christmas cards on sale which were designed by the pupils. We are so fortunate to have an active Parent Association that organises great activities for us all. Many thanks to all the members of the Parent Association.
As we are a digital school, technology is a big part of our learning. We earned the digital schools award because we use iPads and laptops to help us learn other subjects. The skills we learn are typing on the laptops where we publish posters, e-books, stories and poems. We do research on the internet to get facts for our projects and we make sure we stay safe online. Celebrating Safer Internet Day is important as it helps us to remember how to use the internet wisely. We also use apps on the iPads to complete projects. We have used Book Creator and Keynote Presentations where we do our history projects in groups on topics such as Ancient Egypt and Pompeii. We are currently creating presentations about hatching chicken eggs in an incubator. We have a school website where we keep a record of our work, projects and all the different activities we take part in. Without doubt, technology is an important tool in our classrooms.
The Green Schools initiative has been a big part of our school since we started work on Litter and Waste in 2013. Since then we have earned three flags. We have completed Litter and Waste, Energy and Water. Each year, senior pupils have the chance to join the committee. The roles are shared out among the members. The main jobs are chairperson, secretary, public relations officer, researcher and spokesperson. Ms. Sinead Reynolds, our support teacher, helps us with Green Schools projects, ideas and themes. As part of the Green Schools programme we have also worked on gardening with Ms. Jane O’Hara where we maintain our raised vegetable and flower beds. We hope Green Schools will remain a part of our future to fulfil our dream of making the world a better place.
In December 2017, Taunagh N.S began collaborating with Ardkeeran N.S for a Shared Education project with Peace IV. For the first year of the project, the senior pupils worked with Fifth and Sixth Class from Ardkeeran. The project is called ‘We Do Robotics’. We are using Lego WeDo kits where we work together to construct Lego robots and make them move. The Lego WeDo kits allow us to build a robot which uses bluetooth to connect to an iPad or laptop. It is an interesting way to learn more about engineering and science. So far the pupils of Taunagh are doing a great job and are looking forward to completing this project. Next year, the two schools will continue to work together with pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class learning together in the area of science.
In conclusion, Taunagh N.S. has a Christian ethos reflecting the tradition and teaching of the Church of Ireland. The values of forgiveness, reconciliation, new beginnings and hope are promoted in our school. We are encouraged to learn to think independently, tolerate and value diversity, respect ourselves and each other, and be responsible for ourselves and to society.