Bremore Educate Together Secondary School


News from Bremore ETSS

Newsletter May 2018

Newsletter May 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We have had a very busy and successful few months here in Bremore E.T.S.S. All of our staff, students and parents are working hard to support the continued growth and development of the school.

Here are just some of the things that have been happening over the past number of months….

Digital School of Excellence Fund

Bremore E.T.S.S., along with three other partner schools have been granted the Digital School of Excellence Fund. This entails us working collaboratively on an innovative project in teaching and learning that uses digital technologies. The focus of our project is ‘Assessment in Junior Cycle’. This exciting project allows us to continue the work we have begun with Trinity College and Bridge 21.

Amber Flag

Our Amber Flag Committee held a very successful whole school ‘Sunrise Walk’ recognising and acknowledging the importance of minding our mental health. We are proud to say that this event, alongside the work they have carried out through the year has earned us our Amber Flag! Staff and students will attend a ceremony in Cork next week to receive our flag. We look forward to raising this together next year.

Centre for Talented Youth Ireland (C.T.Y.I.), D.C.U.

We are delighted to have secured four more student scholarships in the C.T.Y.I. Programme this year. We are very proud of our students’ achievement in this area and we are sure they will enjoy this opportunity.

World Wise Global Schools and Development Education

Our work in this area is progressing very well. Our staff have been collaborating with other Educate Together schools and this week we will display our work at a showcase event in Hansfield E.T.S.S. All of our first year students also visited Sonairte Centre and our Business Studies students held a Fair Trade food market. Our Green Schools Committee have also been working hard …They recently received an award for participation in the An Taisce ‘Neat Streets’ programme and we are well on our way to achieving our Green Flag.

Phenomenon Based Learning

Before the Winter break, all students participated in a Phenomenon Based Learning (P.B.L.) event in the area of ‘Climate Change’. Before the summer holidays, we will explore a Philosophy themed P.B.L. This innovative practice allows students to engage in enquiry based learning at their own pace and offers them opportunities to think critically and engage in topics in a meaningful way.

Literacy Events

Before Spring break, all students participated in a very successful reading initiative ‘Drop Everything and Read’. Thanks to those families who donated books to our book drive, we have created class libraries for all classes in the school and we would hope to increase these in the future. Students also participated in several other literacy themed initiatives which aimed to raise the profile of reading in our school. These include a weekly Book Club, World Book Day Fancy Dress and Literary pairs competition. Thanks to all those involved.

Active Schools Week

Thanks to our P.E. teacher Mike for organising an excellent Active Schools Week which culminated in our whole-school trip to Clogherhead Adventure Centre. We are proud that being active is such an integral part of the student experience in Bremore E.T.S.S.

Parents Council

Our Parents Council are working tirelessly to support and enhance the work we do in the school. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their commitment and dedication to the school. Every parent/guardian of a child in the school is automatically a member of our Parents Association and we need your support to work together in partnership to develop our school. Please get involved in any way that you can.

Sports Day & Barbeque 2018

Our Sports Day is scheduled to take place on Monday 28th May, weather permitting. More information to follow but please keep this date in your diary as we will invite our families to a whole-school barbeque that afternoon. Our Parents Council will also be looking for volunteers to help organise this.

Summer Examinations

Formal Summer Examinations will take place from Monday 21st – Thursday 24th May. Students will receive an exam timetable so please note alternative finish times on these days. Please ensure that students are well prepared with all equipment needed for each exam. Formal reports will be sent home to all students by the end of the year.

Whole-School Trip to Planetarium

The whole-school will visit the Planetarium in Armagh on Monday 14th May. These co-curricular activities really support student learning and offer them excellent opportunities for experiential learning.

Classroom Based Assessments (C.B.A.’s) for Junior Cycle Certification

Our first cohort of students in 2nd year are currently engaged in C.B.A.’s which will form part of their Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement. As we have developed a policy of having C.B.A.’s in all subject areas, our students are well prepared for this form of assessment. We wish them all the best and look forward to seeing their results.

Attendance Policy

Thank you to all who attended our ‘P.M.I.’ on the attendance policy. It is important that the voices of all educational partners are included as we develop policies in the school. The Policy is now available on our website. Please note that the policy states that students will not be permitted to leave school for any reason without being collected by a parent/guardian. All absences must be explained in writing. You may use the journal to communicate with the class tutor.

Re-Enrolment Forms

All students have been given re-enrolment forms for the 2018-19 Academic Year. Completed forms and school fees must be returned by Friday 25th of May. Equipment lists and School Calendar for 2018-2019 will be posted during the summer.

Enrolment for 2019-20

Enrolment for 1st year 2019-20 will open on Monday 21st May. More details can be found on our website:

Awards Ceremony

Our end of year Awards Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 30th May at 1:45 pm. As always, we invite families to join us in recognising and celebrating student achievement.

New Building

Our new school building is progressing well and the most recent date we have been given for moving is mid-June. To facilitate the move and packing up of our temporary accommodation, school term will end for all students on Wednesday 30th May. We look forward to showing you around the new school building in August.  I would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank all the staff and students for a hugely successful year. Looking forward to continuing our journey in our new building next year.

Kathy Jones, Principal

Ailna Carr
Early closing

Re: New Child Protection Procedures

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In accordance with Circular 0081/2017 issued by the Department of Education and Skills, all schools are permitted two half-day school closures in order for staff to upskill in the important area of Child Protection. 
The release of the Children First Bill 2017, Child Protection Procedures and Child Safeguarding Statement give new mandated responsibilities to all teachers and it is essential that staff receive adequate training in these areas. 
As such, we will close at 11:55am on both Tuesday 8th of May and Wednesday 9th of May to allow for this training to take place. There will be no after-school activities on these days and all students must leave the building at 11:55 am. 

Yours sincerely, 

Kathy Jones

Ailna Carr
World Book Day

World Book Day Dress Up 

Staff and students were invited to dress up as famous literary characters. There was great excitement first thing in the morning as staff and students tried to guess who everyone was supposed to be. Students were greeted by The Mad Hatter, Little Red Riding Hood, The Queen Of Hearts and Wally as they entered the school, setting the tone for a literary day where they would be taught English by Superman and The Cat in the Hat, French by Triss from the Divergent series and Irish by Harry Potter. Prizes were awarded to the three best costumed students with first place for an excellent Katniss Everdeen complete with bow and arrow. The event created good conversations about the books chosen by staff and students to represent and the bar has been set high for next year.  


Literary Pairs Competition 

This involved staff each wearing a badge with the name of a famous literary character. Students then had to match pairs of characters from famous books. Think George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men, Jane Eyre and Rochester from Jane Eyre and Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games. There was a fantastic buzz around the school as students searched the entire building trying to find all of the literary pairs. First prize was won by Break-Time by an enterprising student who deducted that our principal Kathy was Sherlock Holmes. As an English teacher, the highlight of my day was a student pulling Of Mice and Men out of the book box during DEAR (Drop everything and read) Time, asking me was I Lennie from this book, and deciding to read the book.  

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Ailna Carr
Amber Flag

On Friday 23rd of March Bremore Educate Together Secondary School launched our official campaign for an Amber Flag.   The Amber Flag is a flag awarded to schools and colleges in recognition of their contribution towards promoting positive mental health, an issue that is high on the agenda of students and teachers in our school

The Amber Flag Committee was set up in September and have been working tirelessly to come up with a positive, community spirited event that focused on the issue at hand, teenager wellbeing and from that the Sunrise Walk was suggested.  As promoting positive mental health and Wellbeing are at the forefront of not only society needs but also curriculum demands of the new Junior Certificate, this school thought there was no better group of students up to the challenge.

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On Friday morning a large group of students, parents and staff met at 6am and walked from the school to Balbriggan beach arriving for sunrise.  Here they gathered and remembered the reasons behind this campaign.

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The group then walked back to the school for a well deserved breakfast for students, parents and staff.  The community breakfast was kindly sponsored by local businesses Borza (Traditional Fish and Chips) and Supervalu Balbriggan. As a new school, with such a small community at the minute, it is a real pleasure to be able to initiate this close knit community with parents and local people at this stage setting the precedent for when we grow and move into our permanent premises soon.

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All students also had the chance to meet and chat with representatives from Samaritans - the committee’s chosen charity for this fundraising event.

Ailna Carr
Tuck shop - lunch menu


Lunch Menu

Available to buy from the ‘Tuck Shop’ every Monday & Tuesday

Rolls  €3.50 each   

Choice of Fillings:

Ø Chicken fillet

Ø Chicken salad

Ø Ham and cheese

Ø Cheese, tomato and onion


Healthy/Cereal bars €1.50



Bottled Water   €1

Vit hits    €2


‘Meal Deal’  -- Roll + Bar + Water = €5

Ailna Carr
Literacy Drive - January 2018

Re: Literacy Drive

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As part of our schools Literacy Drive, we have identified several areas of focus for the coming term and beyond. We would like to take this opportunity to inform you of these plans and ask for support in running them. Our identified Literacy Targets are:

1.      To raise awareness of and promote literacy in the school. 

2.      To promote reading for pleasure. 

3.      To improve the reading ages of students through a targeted intervention of ‘DEAR Time’ 


Upcoming events:

Friday 26th January – Book Drive. We are asking for donations of suitable books for teens to support the creation of our ‘class libraries’. Each student who donates a book will be awarded VS Ware points.

Monday 19th February – Friday 23rd March - DEAR Time Initiative (Drop Everything and Read). We will dedicate 15 minutes of each day to Reading for Pleasure for a five week period. Students will keep track of their progress on a class wallchart. We will use the materials from the Book Drive and our own collection of books to ensure each student follows our ‘book in the bag’ policy.

As part of our extra-curricular programme, we will soon be launching a weekly Book Club. More details will be shared with the students as to exact times etc. in the coming days. The chosen book is ‘Spirit of the Titanic’ and we have already secured a visit from the author, Nicole Pierce in the near future.

We also hope to have several more exciting activities surrounding World Book Day whereby we hope to raise the profile of literacy in the school.

In addition to this, please find attached a recommended Reading List for your child. We would also encourage your child to join the local library and make reading part of their everyday habit. Research shows that teenagers who regularly read have a broader vocabulary and improved writing skills. It can also improve their critical thinking skills amongst a range of other benefits.

If you have any queries/concerns regarding our Literacy plan, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you as always for your support.

Yours sincerely,


Kathy Jones, Principal



First Year Recommended Reading List:

In Pieces – Trinity Comprehensive Writing Group 

Tuck Everlasting – Nicole Babbitt

The Real Rebecca - Anna Carey

Girl Stolen – April Henry 

Night John – Gary Paulsen

Half the Man, Twice the Lawyer – John Grisham

The Cay – Theodore Taylor 

Buddy – Nigel Hinton 

Skellig – David Almond 

Wonder - R.J. Palacio 

Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer 

Wilderness – Roddy Doyle 

Coraline – Neil Gaiman 

Girl Missing – Sophie McKenzie 

Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo 

Cirque du Freak – Darren Shan

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein 

The Scarecrow and his Servant – Philip Pullman  

Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy 

The Boy who Lost his Face - Louis Sachar   



Second Year Recommended Reading List:

Stone Cold – Robert Swindells 

The Dare – John Boyne

Shadows on our Skin – Jennifer Johnson 

The Weight of Water – Sarah Crossan

Lord of the Flies – William Golding 

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee 

Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman 

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

Once - Morris Gleitzman

Animal Farm – George Orwell

The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly 

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

Chalkline – Jane Mitchell 

Trash – Andy Mulligan

True Grit – Charles Portis 

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness 

Into the Grey – Celine Kiernan

My Ántonia– Willa Cather

The Wind Singer – William Nicholson


*Please note that these lists are guidelines only and have been taken from the JCT website.

Ailna Carr
Newsletter - 4th of December 2017

As we approach our second Winter Holidays as a new school we would like to take this opportunity to say how much we enjoy working in partnership with the students, staff and parents/guardians.  We are making excellent progress in the development of the school thanks to this team effort.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.  Please see announcements below for your information.


Parent Council

All parents/guardians are automatically part of the Parents Association of the school and are encouraged to get actively involved.  Our Parent Council held their AGM recently and the members were elected.  Please follow their Twitter page @BRE_ETSS_PA


Brennan Insurance

The Parent Council are organising Personal Accident Insurance for the students in the school. Please see the accompanying form for details.  There are two options available:

·         Option A          24 hour cover                                      €8.40 per student per annum

·         Option B          School related activities only              €5.40 per student per annum

This Insurance is optional, however if your wish to avail of one of these options, please return to your child’s tutor, the completed form with the exact amount only in an envelope with your child’s name and class by Monday 11th of December.


Class Library Book Drive

In an attempt to promote reading, the school Literacy Team are in the process of creating Class Libraries for each group in the school. If any families have books that would be suitable reading for 1st or 2nd year students and wish to donate them, we would greatly appreciate it. Book boxes will be left in the main hall and students can drop books in each morning.


Phenomenon Based Learning

The week beginning the 18th of December, all of our students will be working on a Phenomenon Based Learning (PBL) project.  This is an innovative and exciting approach to learning that our staff have been planning with the Bridge 21 Team in Trinity College Dublin.  Parents/Guardians will be invited into a display of the PBL work and to our Winter Awards Ceremony during that week.  More details to follow.


University trips

At present all Clann leaders are arranging visits to universities for all class groups.  We hope that these experiences will motivate your child to think about their future choices.



Please check and sign your child’s homework journal on a weekly basis.  All teachers assign regular homework and students should record all their homework in the journal, even if it is uploaded to One Note.



All students must bring lunch with them every day to school.  Please remember that there are no facilities to purchase food in the school.


Cold Weather

As we are currently experiencing very cold weather we would like to remind you that every student should wear a jacket/coat to school.  Please also make sure that students who cycle to school wear a safety helmet.



A reminder that school begins each morning at 8.30am.  Supervision on the school premises begins at 8.20am.  Please ensure your child arrives on time each morning to school to prevent disruption to class.


New School Building

The architects have been in touch with a building completion date of end April/ early May 2018.  This is great news and we will keep you informed of any further developments as we have them.

Sarah Jane Willis
Newsletter - 13th of November 2017


School Closure

Please note that school will be closed for the full day on Thursday 30th of November to facilitate further Junior Cycle Training.


2nd Year Parent Teacher Meetings - change of calendar date

2nd Year Parent Teacher Meetings will now take place on Wednesday 29th of November from 4.15pm – 6.45pm.


Parent Council Coffee Morning

The Parents Council would like to invite all parents and guardians to a coffee morning in the school at 11.10am on Wednesday 15th of November.  All are welcome to attend.


Parent Council AGM

The Parents Council AGM will take place in the school at 7pm on Wednesday 22nd of November.  All parents and guardians are encouraged to attend.


Ailna Carr
2017/2018 School Year

Welcome Back

I would like to welcome all our pupils and families back from their summer holidays and wish everyone an enjoyable and successful school year for 2017/2018.  Welcome to all of our new families joining the school, we hope to get to know you all over the course of the year.  Parents are welcome to take part in the many events run in the school each year by the teachers and parent’s council. 


Parents Council

We have an active parent’s council and we would encourage you to get involved or attend some of the activities organised.  Last year our parents worked with us to help develop our Positive Behaviour Policy; we will have more opportunity for this type of activity this year. Getting involved will allow us to build good relationships and enable us to work as a team as your child progresses through the school.  Talking to other parents may provide you with some support as your child becomes a teenager.  Being involved in your child’s school life shows them that you are invested in their education.


Morning Supervision

Starting from Monday, September 4th, for all pupils, the school will be providing supervision from 8.20am.  Students should not arrive any earlier to school.

Students must arrive on time; late arrival will be managed using our Code of Positive Behaviour.  Parents support is appreciated.


Dress Code

Please familiarise yourself with the school dress code, it can be found on the school website .  Please note some students are wearing flip flops/sliders to school, they are not suitable for PE class or activities that may happen throughout the day, for health and safety reasons, and therefore they should not be worn to school.


Contacting School

1.       Calling to the school. If during class times, you have a message for a pupil or wish to contact the teacher, please call firstly to the secretary’s office.  Please do not call your child on their phone as they are not allowed to use mobile phones during class times.

2.       If your child rings you from their mobile during the school day.  Please remind them not to use their personal phone to call home, if they ask in the office they will be allowed to call home.  If they have an issue or problem please encourage them to seek assistance from any staff member or in the office.

3.       Forgotten Equipment and Lunches.  Now that your child is in Secondary School we are trying to encourage them to become more independent, therefore if they leave lunch or equipment at home, they should not ask their parents to bring the items to the school.

4.       Absent notes/Letters to the teacher. There is a section in the school diary for parents to write notes.  You child’s Tutor is the first port of call.

5.       Text Alerts.  The school uses a texting system to alert parents of various activities, if you change phone number or any other contact details, please ensure that your contact details are updated in the office as soon as possible.


School Carpark

The school carpark is for staff cars only, parents can drop off and collect students.  Please note there is a one-way system in place, please drive in the second gate. Please drive slowly.


Healthy Lunches

Until we have a canteen in place in our new building, all students are asked to bring in a healthy lunch.  Students will be awarded VSware points if the staff see them eating healthy nutritious food.  Fizzy drinks are not allowed.



Unfortunately the delivery of 1st Year lockers has been delayed by 12 weeks.  This is disappointing but is unavoidable.  We hope by the time we have moved into the new building, the lockers will be installed.  We will keep you informed on any developments.



From next week, all students will have homework/home learning.  Homework will be recorded in the student’s diary.  Parents should sign the diary each night when the homework is completed.  To help your child meet the homework deadlines you might put a calendar up in the house and ask them to mark in when Homework is due.  Some children may need more help than others with organisation skills.  Parents support is appreciated.


School Trips

School trips are part of the curriculum, students must attend all trips organised.  Permission slips will be sent out for all school trips; students must get them signed by a parent and return it to school.  If they do not have a permission slip, they will have to remain in the school and work will be set for them.  This is to be discouraged, as supervision would need to be provided.  Parents support in this matter is appreciated.


Key Skills

This year we are focusing on the Junior Cycle Key Skills.  Key skills help learners develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the many challenges in today’s world. They also support students in learning how to learn and to take responsibility for their own learning.  Parents should familiarise themselves with the language of key skills as you will hear your child using this language throught the year.

Managing Information and Thinking

Managing Myself

Working with Others


Being Creative

Staying Well

Being Numerate

Being Literate


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Ailna Carr
After school clubs

Please see some photos of our after school cooking club below. During the year students made pizza,  Croissants, buns and mini quiche

Kathy Jones
Development Education

Development Education

We have recently been informed that our school will be awarded a diplomatic passport for our work in Development Education on 27th of April. One teacher and four students are invited to attend the event. 
During the year our teachers attended the Ethical Conference with our students who presented their Shadow Puppetry Project with a Gender Equality Theme.  All of our students are involved in Development Educational activities, which run through all of our subjects.  The students keep reflective Journals on their lessons and  DE activities.  We are very fortunate to have an experienced a Parent who is a professional researcher in the area of development education on our Board of Management.  He attended some of the meetings with our teachers and World Wise.  

Kathy Jones
Phenomenon based Learning (P.B.L.)

Phenomenon Based Learning (P.B.L.)

Our students have just participated in a two day session of Phenomenon Based Learning. This involved students engaging with the Phenomenon of ‘Energy’.  This involved us ‘dropping the timetable’ and allowing students to choose their own Research Question based on the Phenomenon and then create a product to show their learning.  It really was a success.   We are looking forward tomany more events like these!

Kathy Jones
Bridge 21

Bridge 21

We were delighted to work with Trinity College and Bridge21 this year, they held many workshops for our students and teachers.   So far we have looked at planning and development of the school, Phenomenon based learning, Collaboration and lesson planning  We are now working on assessment practices and procedures alongside the other new Educate Together Secondary Schools.

Kathy Jones
Creative Engagement


Our Creative Engagement project has just been finalised -  each of our students have worked with a stained glass artist to design and createtheir own unique piece. The final product will be installed in the window of our new school canteen.  It was a wonderful experience and we look forward to taking part in a Creative Engagement project in the future.

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Kathy Jones
Lenny Abrahamson Visit


The school recently hosted a visit from film director Lenny Abrahamson. Lenny is involved with the Educate Together 120 Campaign .Lenny was hugely impresses with our school and students and calling us ‘positive, joyful, inclusive’!  The students enjoyed listening to Lenny who talked about his directing career and where his inspiration for his movies comes from.  We had many questions for him, many of our students spoke about their attempts at making i movies for some of their classes.

Kathy Jones
Restorative Practice Workshop

On the 12th of January we held a Restorative Practices Introduction Workshop for the entire school community.  Students Parents and Teachers worked together for the day.  Michelle Stowe from delivered the workshop.    It was a very successful day .  The workshop was designed to promote positive relationships and communication.  It will help to inform our Code of Positive Behaviour review.  We enjoyed working together!

Kathy Jones

Students have developed skills and knowledge around safety in the lab. They now recognise various health and safety issues in the lab as well as the preventative measures needed to avoid these hazards. Students have investigated the structure of animal and plant cells and related them to their function. They made  physical models of the cells out of recycled material and were assessed on content knowledge and the key skills of creativity, communication and teamwork. Students have also observed the organisation and characteristics of life. Check out our Twitter page @BrePEandSci.

Kathy Jones

Hello I'm Kevin and I'm the History teacher here at Bremore E.T.S.S. So far this year we have looked at the important work of the historian and the archaeologist and compiled materials for a school time-capsule. This will be opened in 2022 when our current first years will be preparing to leave Bremore as well-rounded, intelligent and compassionate young people ready to embark on the next phase of their lives!

For the past few weeks we have been studying the ancient past and piecing together the history of the first peoples to settle on the island of Ireland. I am looking forward to an exciting year ahead full of field trips to galleries and museums, cross-curricular projects, studying the local history of Balbriggan and to learning about ancient civilizations such as the Celts and Romans, life in Medieval Ireland and studying the great works of Renaissance artisans. I look forward to working with everyone over the coming year.


Kathy Jones

Over the past weeks Art students have been learning key skills in drawing, and using their drawing skills for investigation, research and design. Have a look at the great sketchpad work featured as students are developing their skills through homework drawings.

Fantastic work is being done on our African birds sculpture project, each student has made a unique freestanding sculpture using recycled materials which will be decorated according to their individual design plans.

Each student should be very proud of the high standard of work they have accomplished in Art class, it is wonderful to see emerging talent and the consistent hard work is truly paying off.


Kathy Jones

Coding is now in full swing at the minute. Students are learning about algorithms, commands and de-bugging at present. In each lesson, the students explore these aspects of coding by applying them to real life situations, for example; teaching someone how to dance or giving instructions to their classmates about certain tasks. Once students are confident about the principles they explore by carrying out these tasks they apply them in a coding programme called ‘swift playgrounds’ which is currently apples most popular coding app. The progress of each individual student in this subject is clear to see. 

Kathy Jones