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Ratheniska National School

Partnering Children on their Developmental Journey

Christmas at Ratheniska


Christmas Mass

On Tuesday Dec 11th Fr. Paddy joined the whole school in celebrating our school Christmas mass. Fifth class had the privilege of leading the liturgy this year. Christmas mass marks the beginning of our Christmas Season in Ratheniska NS and we have been enjoying lots of activities across the school programme between now and the big day!


Christmas Show

On Wednesday December 12th classes from Junior Infants to Second Class travelled to the Dunamaise Theatre to see ‘A Hippo for Christmas‘. This production by the Talisman Theatre Group in Dunamaise Theatre set the mood for our young students and teachers alike for the Christmas Season.

Our First Green Flag



May 22nd last was an exciting day for the school, when four members of our ‘green’ team set off for Athlone to receive our first Green Flag from An Taisce! It had been the culmination of more than two years hard work by all in the school. During that time we had made great progress in reducing both litter and waste in the day to day life of the school.  Our efforts involved litter picking, sorting waste into separate bins and beginning to compost our biodegradable waste. We undertook a number of fun and hands-on analyses of, for example, what we bring to school as lunch packaging and also how much we send to landfill which could actually be recycled. The children took part in a number of projects where they designed posters, fridge magnets and all sorts of creations made from recyclable waste. An important step towards earning our green flag was to come up with a green code for the school and it goes like this:

Pick your waste up off the ground,

Don’t leave litter lying around,

Recycle things – don’t be a fool!

Do all this for our Green School.

A very big thanks needs to go out to all in the school who got actively involved and to the committee members who’ve worked so hard. Our committees have included the following people: Róisín Doheny, Carla Ponsioen, Cillian Grace, Martin Walsh, Conor O’Farrell, James Spillane, Caoimhe Lalor, Harry Silke, Cian O’Toole, Gillian Kelly, Rebecca Keane, Alan Roberts, Joseph O’Byrne, Ellen McLaughlin, Caoimhe Lalor and Adam Dalton. The staff involved are Ms. Dunne, Ms. Dempsey, Ms. Mulhall and Mr. Fennelly.


We’re all looking forward to the flag raising event which will take place on Monday December 10th. We will begin work soon afterwards on our next flag which will focus on the theme of energy.

Annual Table Quiz


4th, 5th and 6th classes welcomed competitors from neighbouring schools to the hall on  Thursday Nov. 22nd to contest the Parents Association Annual Table Quiz. Well done to Ratheniska’s 4th class team with Gary, James, Simon, Paul and Ryan on claiming the big prize on the night.

Halloween Disco


On Thursday October 25th the Parents’ Association hosted the annual Halloween Disco in the hall. A ‘spooky evening‘ was enjoyed by all.

National Tree Day


On Wednesday October 10th  both Junior and Senior Infants travelled to Togher wood to celebrate National Tree day. Ms. Dunne had reported a couple of recent sightings of  ‘Bill Badger’ in Togher Woods but unfortunately ‘Bill‘ didn’t choose to stir out during our visit! However we did manage to see a huge variety of trees and even chanced a river crossing !!

Cumann na mBunscol


Our boys and girls contested the Laois Cumann na mBunscol finals before on Thursday Oct 22nd in O Moore Park. Our boys met the Heath N.S. in their final and they staged a magnificent  fight back in the second against an excellent Heath side before eventually losing a thrilling game by 3-12 to 4-5.

Our girls were defeated 2-5 t0 1-2 in their final by Ballylinan. The girls played bravely to the end despite the difficult playing conditions.

Conor O Farrell and Ellen Connolly ( 6th class ) were awarded the most valuable player trophies in their respective finals… well done !

Afterwards the teams and loyal supporters were treated to Supermacs by the Parents association.

Even though both teams were defeated the children enjoyed the whole experience of participating in  the competitions and were very proud to be one of the few schools with both boys and girls teams reaching the final stage.




The Annual Cross Country Athletics Competition took place in Ratheniska GAA pitch on Wednesday 03rd of October. Children from Ratheniska, The Heath and Portlaoise National Schools were represented. Fourth class children ran 600 metres, fifth class were expected to complete an 800 metre track with sixth class competing over a 1000 metre distance.

It was great to see such interest in athletics with a great atmosphere and enthusiasm evident on the day. The positive effect the London Olympics has had was clear for all to see. Ratheniska was well represented in the medal haul, collecting individual and team medals in every class event in both the boys and girls competition. Who knows maybe the next Irish gold medal!

Special Visitors to School


Ms Caroline Greene (past pupil) has been working with 1st class for September as part of her teacher training and will head off soon to complete her college course. We thank her and wish her all the best.

Alison Spillane (past pupil & transition year student at Scoil Chriost Rí) has been helping out every Friday for the last five Fridays in classes from Junior Infants to 3rd Class .


Back to School Mass


We had our Beginning of Year mass on September 19th in our local church. Fr. Paddy Byrne had everyone under his spell and he made a special effort to include each class in the celebration. The pupils from 6th class led the prayers and brought up the offertory gifts while everyone else sang their hearts out. According to one source in 3rd class “It was the best Mass ever!“