Craggagh NS Blog

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November 2015

Internet Safety Talk for parents – Monday, Nov 30

Our PA have organised a talk on Internet Safety to be presented by Ms Cliona Sheehan of the National Parents’ Council on Monday, November 30st at 7:30pm in the Community Centre.

The session will focus on strategies for improving communication between parents and children and negotiating boundaries to their internet usage.

Parents will be introduced to strategies which will help their children be responsible, effective and safer internet users.

Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Seanfhocal na Coicíse

“Is minic a bhris béal duine a shron!”

(It’s often a person’s mouth broke his nose!)

Great Day at Futsal! @faischools

Our 3rd & 4th class boys had a great day out in Breaffy Sports Arena today at a local Futsal blitz.   

Futsal is a type of indoor soccer played with a small, heavy ball. Unlike indoor soccer, players are not allowed play the ball off the wall. There is an emphases on control and skill.

We had some tough games against St Pat’s, Breaffy and Snugboro but the boys aquitted themselves really well, scoring 4 goals in the process.  

Thanks to Paul Byrne of FAI Schools for organising the event, we really enjoyed it!

Alannah’s Great Grandfather’s War of Independence Medals #rang1916 @mayo_history @dfarchives

We’re studying all things 1916 in history these days as we lead up to next year’s centenary celebrations.

We are particularly interested in local stories about Craggagh, Kiltimagh & Balla and the lives of the people who lived here.


Medals awarded to Martin McNicholas , Carnahan, Craggagh, Co Mayo

 Today, Alannah brought in these medals which were awarded to her great grandfather, Martin McNicholas, Carnahan, Craggagh, for his activities during the period of the Irish War of Independence.

You can read more about these medals on the Military Archives website.

The medal on the left above (green, orange and black ribbon) is the Truce Commemoration Medal awarded to veterans still alive on June 11, 1971 which was the Jubilee of the 1921 truce.

The medal on the right is the Service (1917 – 21) Medal. This medal was awarded in two classes:

  • (a)  Medal with bar to persons who are in possession of a military  service certificate entitling them to a pension under the Military Service Pensions Acts in respect of active service in the period subsequent to 1916 and prior to 11 July 1921 and to those persons not in possession  of a certificate who satisfy the Minister for Defence that had they applied for a pension, their service was such as would have  merited the award of a pension.
  • (b)  Medal without bar to persons who were members of Óglaigh na hÉireann (Irish Republican Army), Fianna Éireann, Cumann na mBan or the Irish Citizen Army for the three months ending on 11 July 1921.

During the early 1970s when DeValera was president, he invited veterans to apply for these medals and pensions, by listing their activities and referencing their contemporaries as proof.

Many thousands were awarded medals and pensions during this time. Below is the account of Dan Moran from Derryvohey, Craggagh (Mr Charlton’s grandfather) who was also awarded his medals in 1971.


Dan Moran Pension Application pg 1
Dan Moran Pension Application pg 2

 This was an amazing time in Irish history and our area is no exception. There’s loads to explore and we’ll publish what we find here.

If you have anything relating to this period of history, especially if it relates to our locality, please get in touch. We love local history, especially if we can use primary sources. 

We’d love oral stories, written records, photographs, medals, membership books, oath cards etc.

Thank you for your help and stay tuned!


Paper Planes Competition – the results are in! #scienceweek Amazing work!

Conor reached over 11m with this effort

We had some absolutely fantastic entries for our paper plane competition today. We saw a great range of designs from students right throughout the school.

Our longest flight was recorded at 11m 30cm by Oisín in 4th class, making him the Senior Room winner. TJ recorded the longest flight in the middle room with 9m 58cm and Saoirse was the Junior Room winner with a very impressive 9m.

Saoirse in Senior Infants reached an incredible 9m!

 There was some brilliant learning throughout the week as children tested and tweaked their designs aiming for the longest flight time possible. We noticed today that some of the planes that flew furthest had small bodies with wide wings which were folded along the edge, with a very pointy tip. The people with this type of design didn’t have to throw their planes very hard as they glided very well (i.e. they had good lift).

Oisín’s plane however, was very narrow all over, much like the supersonic Concord aeroplanes. This allowed Oisín to fling his plane very hard (thrust) which is where he found his amazing distance.

Prize winners 2015

Congratulations to everybody who took part, what a great way to end #ScienceWeek2015!

Junior Room
Junior Infants
1st Sarah & Dónal
2nd Dara
3rd Ellen
Senior Infants
1st Saoirse
2nd Seán
3rd Ronan
Middle Room
Overall Winner TJ
1st Class
1st Seán McD
2nd Conor
3rd Saoirse K
2nd Class
1st Shayne
2nd Class Ellie
3rd Vanessa
3rd Class
1st Holly
2nd Adam
3rd Tara
Senior Room
Overall winner Oisín 4th class
4th Class
1st Conor
2nd Cara
3rd Jack
5th Class
1st David
2nd Alannah
3rd Scott
6th Class
1st Amy
2nd Anna
3rd Laura
School Overall Top 5
Oisín Cronin 11m 30cm 4th class
Conor Dwyer 11m 05cm 4th class
Amy McNicholas 9m 97cm 6th class
TJ McNicholas 9m 38cm 3rd class
Saoirse Murray 9m Senior Infants

View slideshow below to see some of the action

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Snake Spiral #scienceweek

Today’s Science lesson was an investigation into how air moves when heated and cooled.

We started the lesson by making snake spirals. We drew a spiral and decorated it with snake patterns.




We cut out the snakes and attached string.


We discovered that when we held our snakes over the radiator, the snakes began to rotate.

This was due to the hot air rising from the radiator. We did some research and learned that hot air is lighter than cold air. So hot air rises and cold air comes in to take its place. This causes air currents called convection currents.


The air above the radiator is warm air which rises to make the snake swirl.

Now we know why Mr Charlton’s and Miss Moore’s rooms upstairs are always warmer than ours!

Visit to National Museum of Country Life

We had a fabulous day at the National Museum of Country life today.

We spent most of our time learning about and examining ordinary objects made by people using the materials that they had to hand at the time; mostly straw, willow (sally) and heather.

Examining lobster pots made from sally rods and hen nests made from straw
Straw basket…and guess who is that in the straw boy hat!

All sorts of household, farming and fishing items were made using these materials:


  • Baskets
  • Chairs
  • Stools
  • Mattresses
  • Hats

Farming & Fishing

  • Horse collars
  • Hen nests
  • Cleaves
  • Rope
Relaxing on a súgán chair

We got to look closely at thatching. We noticed when we looked at the 1901 & 1911 census records for our area in class recently that every house in our community was thatched except for one!

Straw is naturally water resistant and is a fantastic natural insulator.

Handling a thatch roof…amazing craftmanship

Finally, we briefly explored the sections “Hearth & Home”, “Trades”, “Farming & Fishing” and “Life in the Community”.

laundry was a little different long ago…but we still have Persil!
a crane for hanging pots and pans over the fire
shopping trolley not required!

We found the school section particularly interesting. School life was very different from today.

The objects used in school have changed a lot. We don’t use ink wells, quills or slates and we don’t learn the catechism….and our teacher doesn’t use the strap!

sign hung during religion class…and a leather strap.
ink was used by the older children in school and slates for the juniors
Does this thing have Twitter?

Being able to see and handle historical artefacts makes for very engaging and memorable history lessons.  We’re very lucky to have such a wonderful facility so close to us.

Mid-week Magnetism #scienceweek

Day three of Science Week 2015 in Craggagh NS involved magnets and dancing paperclips!


Today we tested the strength of magnets. We investigated how magnetic pull worked over varying distances.


We used squared paper to help measure the distance of the magnet’s pull.


To make a fair test, each group used the same type of magnet and similar magentic objects.

Our next step was to investigate the effect that a barrier had on the strength of the magnet.


We discovered that a thin piece of plastic had very little effect on the magnet’s pull, so we introduced a more substantial barrier. We placed paperclips on our desks and tested how the magnet worked from under the desk.


We found that while the magnet was not strong enough to move the paperclip very far, it did make the paperclip move from side to side. We thought it looked like the paperclip was dancing!

3rd and 4th Class boys to compete in FAI Schools Futsal competition

FAI Schools Futsal for 3rd/4th Class

image credit:
image credit:

The boys of 3rd and 4th classes will participate in the local Futsal competition to be held in Breaffy House Sports Centre on November 24th. Our boys have been drawn in Group A which will see them pitted against Breaffy NS, St Pats NS (Castlebar) and Snugboro NS.

The top team from this group will qualify for the County Finals.

ROUND 1 Group A Fixtures
Breaffy 1 St Pats 2 : 9:30am
St Pats 2 Snugboro : 9:45am
Breaffy 1 Craggagh : 10:00am
Snugboro Breaffy 1 : 10:15am
Craggagh Snugboro : 10:30am
St Pats 2 Craggagh : 10:45am

Win = 3 points, Draw = 1 point

What is Futsal?

Futsal is the official FIFA version of indoor soccer and the only internationally recognised small sided game. The word “Futsal” comes from the Portuguese phrase “futebol de salao” or the Spanish, “futbol de sala” which basically translates to  indoor football. The main feature of the game is the ball which is a size 4 and is slightly weighted with a reduced bounce.

The ball and rules create an emphases on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as refining ball control, passing and dribbling in small spaces.

Check out this video of Brazilian legend Falcao:

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