School Details - St. Kevin's National School Philipstown

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School Details

About Us

‘Ag Foghlaim faoi Churam Chaoimhin Naofa’


Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa or St. Kevin’s N. S. is a catholic primary school under the patronage of the Archdiocese of Armagh which  has served the community of Philipstown at its present location since 1954. It is sometimes referred to as ‘the school at the crossroads’.  Numbers of pupils are growing and an extensive modernisation of the school building serves their education needs.  There are seven teachers including the principal on the staff. Presently, there are Learning Support and Resource Teachers who work closely with the main staff in delivering the Revised New Primary Support Curriculum.

Mission Statement

All the staff endeavour to create and sustain a happy and contented learning environment within which our pupils may grow and develop into individuals who will be prepared for the next stage of their education.

School opening and closing times

School opens at 9.00 a.m. for all children. No responsibility is accepted for pupils being left at the school before 8.40 a.m. Infant classes finish at 1.40pm, with all the others finishing at 2.40pm. Children should be collected promptly as your child may fret if he/she thinks you have forgotten them. If there are any special collection arrangements, please let us know by note. Junior and senior infant children will not be allowed to leave the school building without an escort being appointed by parents/guardian. The junior/senior infant teacher must be notified of any changes of escort.


Uniform must be worn at all times. It consists of a wine coloured jumper or cardigan, grey skirt or pants, grey shirt or blouse, wine tie and grey or wine coloured stockings or tights. Clothes should be ordered in June for September. Short-sleeved polo shirts, grey or white are to be worn under tracksuits. These are available from Dunne's Stores or Penny's.
The school crest is optional.
Please ensure that all clothing likely to be removed e.g. jumpers, coats, hats etc are labelled with your child's name.
If your child has any toilet problems please let the teacher know. In the event of a toilet accident the parent/guardian will be  notified to come to the school to collect the pupil. For younger children we do not recommend trousers with clasps or belts which may be difficult to open. Shoes should have Velcro fastenings until such a time, as the child is able to tie his/her own shoelaces.


The Revised New Primary School Curriculum, which was introduced in 1999, is designed to prepare our pupils for secondary school and adult life.
It  recognises the uniqueness of the child, while at the same time enabling him/her to take a full part in our modern society of the 21st century.
Our society demands that our citizens are competent in literacy and numeracy and this is reflected in the way these areas are taught in primary schools.  There is a heavy emphasis on oral, reading and written skills in literacy while in numeracy the approach is through activity and discovery methods.  Thus, the emphasis is less on rote learning (learning off by heart) but more towards a curriculum which seeks to deepen the child's understanding of new ideas and concepts.
Our pupils are also made aware of our proud Irish identity, language and heritage through the teaching of Gaeilge, History and Geography.  At the same time our role within the E.U. and the way it has influenced our society is also explored.
The Revised New Primary School Curriculum seeks to highlight the importance of the part each pupil has to play in protecting our world.  The Science, Environmental Studies Education (S.E.S.E.) programme nurtures a greater understanding of and a greater need to preserve our environment.
The Social Personal Health Education (S.P.H.E.) promotes greater self esteem and independence within our pupils.  The 'Stay Safe' and 'Walk Tall' are key teaching programmes which seek to foster within each pupil good decision making skills which are necessary for a healthy, safe and well balanced lifestyle.

Road  safety when dropping and collecting children

Parents/guardians are asked to park on the school side of the road or in front of St. Kevin's Hall. No pupil is to cross the road without an escort. Parents/guardians should walk to the school gate and collect their children from that point.


There are two breaks during the day, a short one from 10.50a.m. to 11.00a.m. and a longer break from 12.30p.m. to 1.00p.m. We try to ensure that no child feels lonely or left out, and to this end we recommend that older brothers, sisters and friends do not monopolise the younger children's playtime which may restrict them in forming peer attachments. Each class grouping has its own specific play area.


The school operates a healthy eating policy. Children are encouraged to bring a balanced lunch to school e.g. rolls or sandwiches, unsweetened fruit juice and fruit. Sweets, fizzy drinks, crisps are strictly not allowed. Children are permitted to bring plain homemade scones or buns on Fridays only.

Books and Stationary

The school operates a Book Rental Scheme. Please cover all books and copies and encourage your child to keep them in good condition. Rental books should only be covered in brown paper and not in contact. For infants, pencils and colouring pencils are supplied and kept at school. Older children must supply their own pens, pencils, rulers and colouring pencils. Children are permitted to leave books not needed for homework at their desk at school.


Children will as a rule, be given homework from Monday- Thursday with none at weekends.

>Junior and senior infants homework should last no longer than 30 minutes.
>1st, 2nd and 3rd class homework should last no longer than 45 minutes.
>4th, 5th and 6th class homework should last no longer than 1 hour.

If your child is having persistent difficulties in either doing homework or doing it within these times, then you should make an appointment to see the teacher.
In the event of homework not being completed an explanatory note should be sent in to your child's teacher. Parents/guardians have an important role in assisting and supporting their children with their homework. All homework diaries should be signed by a parent/guardian


Informal assessment
Informal assessment will be continually made by your child's teacher, e.g. spelling tests each Friday. Informal maths assessments take place once a term.
Children are tested in all subjects prior to The Parent Teacher meeting and at the end of the School Year.
Formal assessment
At the end of senior infants our learning support teacher will oversee a specific standardised reading test after which learning support will be available if necessary. Every year,standard tests Micra  for literacy and Sigma  for numeracy will be carried out with all pupils. These are carried out in late May or early June.  These results form part of the formal written reports which are sent home to parents at the end of the summer term.


A good level of attendance at school is essential to help children reach their full potential. The Education Welfare Act 2000 requires that the school Principal inform the National Education Welfare Board of a child who is absent for more than 20 days in any one school year. If a child has been absent from school the Act requires parents/guardians to inform the principal of the reasons for the absence. Parents are obliged to send in an explanatory note explaining their child's absence.

Parent teacher meeting

Every year during the autumn term one evening is given over to a parent-teacher meeting. These are interviews which provide a formal opportunity for discussing each child's progress. Please do not hesitate to approach the relevant teacher at any time if there is a point upon which you feel anxious. If however you wish a more detailed discussion on any matter, please ring or call in advance to make an appointment.

Credit Union

Dunleer Credit Union visit the school every Monday. Children wishing to save should have filled out a lodgement slip and have their money ready for collection in an envelope.


P.E. day is normally on a Friday. Children should wear their tracksuits on this day unless told otherwise. Some of the more senior classes may also be required to wear tracksuits on perhaps one other additional day e.g. for Gaelic Football -Cumann na mBunscoil competitions. Children will be notified of this verbally by their class teacher.

Parents' Association

The school has a very active Parents Council. The Parents' Association organise and  assist in running a number of events throughout the year e.g. Halloween disco, Santa and Christmas coffee morning for parents/guardians, Sports Day etc. The Council also fund raise on behalf of the school.

One of the main sources of funding is the Term Collection. Every year parents and guardians are asked to make a voluntary contribution to the Parents Council. This money is used by the Parents' Council to pay for extras during the school year that may not otherwise be possible e.g. prizes and food for the school sports, buses for the school tours, enhancing the flowerbeds and the flower pots at the front of the school, Halloween Disco, Playground markings etc.

Any parent/guardian can be a member of the Parents' Council. Please come along next year to the A.G.M. if interested- it is normally held at the end of September.

Board of Management

The school has a Board Of Management which is very instrumental in the overall management of the school and is reconstituted every five years.
Board of Management Members are
Chairperson :                           Fr.M. Murtagh
Secretary     :                           Jim Mc Kenna
Treasurer     :                           Theresa Durnin
Teachers' Representative        Aoife Mc Gee
Community Representatives   Brigid Mc Kenna and Aiden Hand
Parents' Representatives         Lorraine Mc Ardle and Vincent Matthews

Parents representatives serve as a link between the parents and the schools decision makers.  

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