Cappawhite National School has begun its new academic year with two important new additions - a pre-school on its grounds and a €5,400 funding boost to make the school more energy efficient.
The school welcomed not just a new class of eight junior infants but also 18 little boys and girls attending the community’s Tir na nOg Pre-School, which has relocated to the primary school campus.
Cappawhite NS is among a growing number of primary schools that are also becoming home to the local pre-school.
School principal Alice Flynn said Tir na nOg Pre-School was previously located outside the village at Drumiada, Cappawhite but Maria Buckley, who runs the pre-school with pre-school assistant Marion Renehan, wanted to move it into the village.
The national school proved to be the ideal location as it had vacant classroom space and toilet facilities. Renovations to the school were carried out during the summer to develop a HSE approved pre-school facility with its own enclosed outdoor play area.
Ms Flynn has welcomed the pre-school, which is operating 20 years.
“We felt the relocation would have benefits for the pre-school and the national school. It will help the young children to integrate into the school environment,” she said.
Cappawhite NS has also received a Tír na nÓg Play School Cappawhite. Front L/R. T.J. Moloney, Elenora Barry, Molly Gantley, Lorcan Gill, Shauna Clancy. Center L/R. Daniel Carr, Thomas Collins O’Dwyer, Evan Coyle, Dylan Ryan, Maria Buckley, (Pre School Owner Manager) Conor McCarthy, Jamie Renehan, Devin Allen Coyle. Back L/R. Sarah O’Neill, ( Work Experience) Cora Gill, Ava Carr, Mel Sheridan, Chris Fahy, Hanora Armshaw, Marian Renehan, (Pre School Leader). Missing from the photograph is Shelly McCarthy.5400 award from Airtricity’s Community Fund. The money is being invested in upgrading the insulation to the old wing of the school, which is 115 years old.
The award was presented to the school at Kilcommon Community Hall on August 30.
Ms Flynn said the school is involved in the Green School’s Project and applied to Airtricity for assistance with energy conservation.
She pointed out that Airtricity’s Community Fund is targetted at communities in close proximity to windfarms and in Cappawhite’s case, the nearest windfarm is Knockastanna near Kilcommon.
Ms Flynn said they were delighted to get this award, which will help the school reduce its energy bills and make the building a warmer environment for pupils and staff.
The school has also achieved an Active School Flag in recognition of its pupils’ involvement in physical activities like walking to school and sports ranging from gaelic games, soccer and tennis to basketball, athletics and table tennis.
Ms Flynn said Cappawhite NS is one of only three schools in Tipperary to achieve the flag.