Archive for Latest News

Maths Puzzles to keep you entertained while at home

This is Maths Week.  There are lots of ideas on the following website to keep you busy while school is closed! Enjoy!

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Note from High Tech Kids Virginia

I have been asked to let parents know about the computer classes below:

Computer classes for children age 7 yrsto 12yrs. Commencing Monday and Tuesday 6th & 7th November at Ryefield, Virginia. €36 for 6 weeks. For registration contact Ann on  086 6018559 or email

Ann (High Tech Kids)

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Learning new vocabulary

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are targeting vocabulary development as part of our literacy plan this year.  This is as a result of identified weaknesses in the standardised test scores in this area in June 2016 and also as part of the implementation of the new primary language curriculum.

Perhaps the greatest tools we can give children for succeeding, not only in their education but more generally in life, is a large, rich vocabulary and the skills for using those words.  In addition to this a large vocabulary is more specifically predictive and reflective of high levels of reading achievement.

Poor vocabulary affects the children’s comprehension of what they read.  Writing a word into a copybook, looking up its meaning, finding words with similar meaning or putting the words into sentences will not ensure that the word becomes part of their vocabulary.  In order to do this, children need to use the new vocabulary that they are learning on numerous occasions and hear the words used regularly in everyday conversation. 

Another way of improving your child’s vocabulary is to read to them regularly. Once a child is able to read we have a tendency to stop reading to them as we want them to practice their own reading.  However, the books that children can read for themselves are, of necessity, simpler than those that you would read to them.  Therefore they are not necessarily coming across new or challenging vocabulary in their own reading.  This is why it is so important that we do not stop reading to our children, even when they can read for themselves.  This is especially true for children who are finding reading a bit challenging or who are reluctant readers.

By reading to them, you are helping them in many ways: 1) You are modelling good reading to them. (It is important, especially for boys, to have both male and female role models if at all possible) 2) You are developing their interest in reading. 3) You are motivating them to want to read themselves as they see that you consider reading important.  4) You are improving their comprehension as they can focus on the story rather than trying to decode words. 5) You are improving their vocabulary as you are exposing them to vocabulary that they will not otherwise come across. (You need to discuss, even briefly, the meanings of new words while reading for this to be most effective)

Vocabulary Homework:

As part of their homework each night, pupils from 3rd to 6th class have to use the words they have written in their vocabulary copybooks and pupils from Junior Infants to 2nd class have to use the 2 words in their Homework diary by bringing them into the conversation at home and at school over the course of the week,  in as many different ways and as many times as possible.  It is only through using the words that they will actually become part of your child’s vocabulary. It would be a good idea to place these words in a visible place (such as on the fridge) so that everyone in the family will use them in their conversation.

Thank you, in anticipation of your cooperation,

K Devine

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The Centre for Talented Youth(CTY) Ireland

The Centre for Talented Youth have asked us to inform parents of their work.

CTY Ireland is the only dedicated Centre in the country serving the needs of young people with high academic ability. The Centre provides enrichment courses to help stimulate and challenge those students who fall into the top 5th percentile. (The Centre also provides courses for bright and motivated students). Based in Dublin City University (DCU), over 35,000 students have accessed CTYI courses since its establishment in 1992.

For more information to find out how to access their programmes for Primary school students with exceptional ability please see their website at:  



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Culture Night in Co. Cavan Friday 22nd September

Cavan Arts Office have asked us to share their brochure outlining the various events they have planned for Culture Night (Friday 22nd September). Click on link below.

Electronic culture night brochure

There are lots of interesting events happening all over the County. Of particular interest to you might be :

Vickers Vimy at Cavan County Museum
Five piece collective formed by Ed Drea & Fintan Hanley best described
as folk/roots return to Cavan County Museum by popular demand.
Venue: Cavan County Museum
Time: 8.00pm to 10.00pm
Tel: 353 (0)49 8544070


Virginia Show Centre Multicultural Evening
Experience the heritage, music and cultural sharing of local and new
communities from Virginia, Zimbabwe, Lithuania and Latvia.
Venue: Virginia Show Centre
Time: 5.30 to 6.45pm

Breffni Photography Club Photographic Exhibition
Desmond Connors and members of the Club invite you to an exhibition
featuring recent award winning images. Members on hand to answer all
your questions!
Venue: The Meeting Room, Skelly’s Costcutters,
Main St, Virginia
Time: 5.00pm – 11.00pm / Email:

The Lost Brothers and Art Exhibition entitled ‘93 Years of
Two Irish songwriters, four albums, crafting a genre that is completely
their own – a cinematic view of an unknown landscape. It is roots music,
but not as we know it.
Venue: The Ramor Theatre
Time: 7.00pm to 10.00pm
Tel: 049 8547074

Michelle Boyle Exhibition Preview and Interview with the Artist
Preview ‘This is where I belong…this exact spot’ at Farmleigh House Dublin
from September 27. In conversation live recording in the artist’s studio with
filmmaker Neasa Ni Chianain from 7-8pm.
Venue: Whitethorn Studios,, Garryross School, Garryross,
Virginia, Co Cavan
Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Booking to Interview is advised as places limited
Tel: 083 8664589

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Welcome back!

Welcome back to a new school year! We hope you all had a relaxing, safe break and that the batteries have been recharged for the year ahead! We look forward to working with you in the best interest of your child/children over the coming school year. 

We welcome Mr McPhillips and Mrs McEntee to our staff and wish them well. We also wish Mrs Hoban well as she begins her maternity leave.

Some reminders:

  • Our new school hours are 9:00am – 2:40pm . 
  • Pupils who come to school by car should be in school no later than 9:10am, but not before 9:00am,  in preparation for teaching beginning at 9:20am and should be collected promptly at 2:40pm. (Junior infants finish at 12:30pm until Friday 15th September and at 1:40pm thereafter. They should be collected at the infant door.) 
  • Parents/Guardians/Carers who collect pupils by car are asked to come to the gate or into the school yard when collecting their children, as the car park is very busy and teachers will not let children out until they see the relevant person either at the gate or in the yard.
  • Pupils who arrive late (i.e after 9:20am) or who are being collected early must be signed in/out in the reception area. 
  • Please familiarise yourselves with our Healthy Lunch Policy and other school policies, which are available under the School Policies Tab on the home page.
  • Should you wish to contact a member of school staff please do so via the school office (049 854 4653) or the school email ( or using your child’s homework journal. It is school policy that school staff do not communicate with parents through their own personal mobile or email.
  • You may remember that we asked you to collect plastic lids over the holidays. Please continue to collect them. We need plastic lids in all different colours but particularly yellow, blue, green, white, red or orange. 

Book Bills

We are currently preparing the book bills and these will issue in due course. The €50 deposit that you paid before the summer break will be deducted from your bill. We endeavor to keep book bills as low as possible.


Swimming lessons will soon begin for pupils in classes 1st to 6th. The lessons for 5th & 6th class  begin on Monday 11th September while the lessons for 1st -4th class begin on Thursday 14th September. Both sets of lessons run from 10:15am -11am. The bus leaves school at approx 9:35am and returns at approx 11:50am

It would be very helpful if parents of 1st/2nd class pupils would please get their child/children used to undressing/dressing and drying themselves over the coming days in preparation for swimming.

Girls with long hair are asked to please have their hair tied up or plaited for swimming. If it is left loose their jumpers etc get very wet. They then have to sit in these wet clothes for the rest of the school day.

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New staff members for the 2017-18 school year.

We are delighted to welcome Jennifer McEntee as a part-time member of staff in Billis NS. Jennifer was recently appointed as a permanent member of staff to Laragh NS as a support teacher. As this post is shared with Billis, Jennifer will teach part-time in Billis as a support teacher. We look forward to working with her and hope she will be happy in her new role.

We are also delighted to welcome Mr Patrick McPhillips to our staff in the new school year. Mr McPhillips will be covering Mrs Hoban’s maternity leave in 1st and 2nd class and will be starting with us from 30th August.

Ms Abigail Hobson  will be covering Mrs Henry’s maternity leave. Ms Hobson’s exact start date has to be confirmed but it is expected to be the end of September. We look forward to her coming to Billis.

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6th class Graduation service in Billis

On Wednesday we said goodbye to 6th class and wished them well as they head off to Post Primary school.  We hope they enjoyed their time at Billis NS and learned lots!

Best wishes from all the staff and pupils.


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Clothes Collection

We have just received a cheque for €406 our recent clothes collection! This is a fantastic amount, the highest we have ever received. Thank you to all those people who cleared out their wardrobes and presses! This money will go towards our sensory garden.  

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Gardening Success

Our polytunnel and sensory garden are in full bloom. The Infants harvested their potatoes yesterday….31 potatoes in total!

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