Astro Turf Pitch
Here in Killygarry National School we have a lovely Astro-turf pitch which is a big hit with all our pupils. It is fully fenced with netting on top and has a set of goal posts at each end. Every class is timetabled to use it during break and lunch time each day and it is also used when teaching the Physical Education curriculum. External coaches also use it when coaching the pupils in our school during the school day. Around the outskirts of our Astro-turf pitch we have a Bug Hotel and a Wildlife Garden.
Our school has a fabulous playground to the rear of the school which is completely secure and is fully surfaced in Flexotop Eco Surfacing to ensure the safety of our pupils using the playground. In the playground there is a large climbing frame with rope ladders, fireman pole, climbing wall, monkey bars and two slides. We also have a rope bridge which moves to help build a child's balance and a wooden balance beam. There is a large basket swing and a colourful carousel . There is also a spinner and a large seesaw which holds six children. As well as the playground equipment we have magnetic board games on the wall including draughts, chess, connect four and ludo. The playgound area is nicely decorated with a mural showing the old school from 1916 and using St. Brigid's Cloak as a backdrop it shows the events that take place in the school through each of the seasons. Another mural demonstrates the damage caused by climate change. Our wooden fence houses photos of native plants, trees and birds as well as a map of Ireland.
Soundfield Systems & Interactive Whiteboards
Every classroom is equipped with speakers and the class teacher speaks through a Soundfield System which amplifies their voice to assist pupils hearing what the teacher is saying. This improves student concentration as well as assisting pupils with hearing impairments. Each classroom has its own interactive whiteboard or interactive projector or screen which caters for our visual learners and enables teaching and learning to become more interactive and interesting for our students.
In 2022 we installed a fabulous new sensory room in our school. This room is used daily by pupils who require it for sensory reasons or to assist with their well-being or their special needs. The room has its own Causeway Suite consisting of soft padding on the walls, an interactive bubble tube that changes colour, soft seating, LED ceiling lighting, interactive fibre-optics and mirrors. There is also a set of vibrating bumbas, an interactive infinity wall panel, an LED sensory light dome, liquid floor tiles, coloured mirrors and fidget toys. This room is a wonderful addition to our school and was funded by the Parents Association and through additional fundraising.
The school is currently installing a beautiful sensory garden. We currently have a mud kitchen with working sink, a double swing chair, a mud restaurant, outdoor chimes and outdoor cowbells. We also have ‘Shane’s Corner’ in memory of Shane Gilchrist who made our bug hotel, planters and a bench for our garden. There are planters in recycled tyres and a sand tray also. Through BLAST funding we built a sensory walk, an outdoor stage and a music wall. Our sensory garden is currently under construction behind the school and when complete it will have an outdoor classroom and lots of fun things for our pupils to do in the great outdoors.
The school has a wonderful large school yard with a basketball court which gives our students lots of space to run and play. Our yard is covered in yard games such as Snakes and Ladders, Hotscotch, Soccer Pitch, Agility Course and a Target Game. We have a beautiful mural painted in our yard and three willow structures of children playing, funded by Creative Schools. There are comments placed around the yard such as ‘We have fun’ and ‘Are you being fair to everyone?’. Our school yard also has its own Buddy Bench for children who may find it difficult to make friends. There is also a container full of outdoor games for the younger children to help them integrate into the school. Alongside our school yard is our three flag poles which hold our Green Flags, our Active School Flag and our Junior Entrepreneur Flag.
Our school has a fabulous library which looks like Aladdin’s Cave. There are hundreds of beautiful books with soft seating and teddy bears to make the experience all the more special for our pupils. There is an Irish book section and a multi-lingual section with books in Lithuanian, Russian, Czech, Spanish, Polish, Romanian and Latvian. We also have a Penpal which reads the book in both English and in the languages above for the pupils. This helps to promote multi-culturalism in our school.
The school was built in 1997/98 and is a modern and stimulating environment for our pupils to learn in. Our classrooms have all been repainted and new flooring installed as well as LED lighting over the past few years. Our infant classes are equipped with a huge array of resources for Aistear (play based learning) as well as sand trays, role play equipment and small world play. All classrooms have their own interactive whiteboard, netbooks, iPad, library and arts and crafts resources. The school has a large stock of maths and science equipment which is stored centrally for use by all classes. We have three large special education rooms which can cater for small groups of children comfortably.
In Killygarry National School we have a state-of-the-art Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths room. We have a fully equipped Information Technology suite consisting of 17 iPads, 16 Chrome Books and 10 PC’s, all linked up to our HP Printer. There is Wifi throughout the school in all classrooms and each classroom has its own suite of Netbooks and Earphones for pupil use throughout the day. Our STEAM room is also resourced with our Samba Drums, our class set of Ukuleles and our Guitars. We have a large array of Science equipment including Beebots and Lego WeDo. Our pupils carry out the Accelerated Reading, Spellings for Me, TTRS Typing, Minecraft for Education, Freckles Maths, Scratch Junior and various other educational programmes in our STEAM Room. Our Special Education Team has four new Assistive Technology Laptops which are used to teach the IXL Maths and the Nessy English Programmes. The Mata sa Rang practical maths programme is also taught in out STEAM room. The STEAM Room is used by all classes throughout the school week for various different activities.
The school has a huge array of outdoor play equipment for the children to play with during their break or lunch. There is a large 3 seater swing chair, a climbing frame located on a soft play area, a mud kitchen, a mud restaurant, a bench with table and seating, a workbench, an outdoor stage, a music wall and an outdoor xylophone and cowbells.
General Purpose Room and Community Centre
Our school has a general purpose room located in the centre of the school. This room is used by teachers to teach drama, physical education and for our school choir to practice in. Braincalm is carried out on a daily basis in this large room and rehearsals for concerts and performances also take place here. Information meetings for new parents to the school and the AGM of the Parents Association also takes place here. This room was refurbished in 2021 with new LED lighting, a projector and a new speaker system installed. At Christmas this room turns into Santa’s Grotto with fabulous games and activities for the pupils to participate in. School projects, book fairs, jumble sales, cake sales and graduation ceremonies have all been hosted in this room.
We are extremely lucky here in Killygarry N.S. that the local community centre is also onsite which we have use of throughout the school year. This is a fabulous building with a stage and kitchen. Many school events have taken place here such as Christmas Concerts, famous GAA Cup visits to the school, school masses and assemblies, official openings of school extensions, etc. We are privileged to have this resource on our school grounds.