Category: ‘Literacy’

January 2016- New computer room

January 13, 2017

We are delighted to have our newly upgraded and decorated computer room officially opened. Huge thanks to Ian Murray for all his work in setting up the 20 desktops and flatscreens and getting it up and running with network and WIFI. Pictured are some pupils accepting cheque from PA Chairperson Caroline Boyd and PA Treasurer Lucy Franks. To our Parents Association who raised the money and all who support them last year we say a massive thank you– To the boys we say ; use carefully respect technology, be aware of its advantages and dangers and enjoy many years of learning !100_8492



From Cavemen to 1916 and beyond.

May 8, 2016

All roads led to Marian hall Birr last Wednesday night 9th March as St. Brendan’s Boys Primary school staged their historical production and tribute to 1916. Heritage has a major influence on the school and so they were delighted to have Michael Donegan ( Former Principal) back to write and direct the first half of the show. Current principal welcomed the huge crowd to the free show and thanked the people of the parish for their continued support of the school. He also thanked the parish for use of their fine hall and to hall caretaker Martin Walsh for his support with the show. The stage looked fantastic with set designed by local artist George Dempsey and painted by pupils from the school with lights and sound by Phil Walsh kindly organised by parent Pierre Greijmans. Then the boys took over !

Boys from 6th , 4th and 3rd classes took the audience of over 600 on a journey from the glaciers of Ireland up to the famine. Classes came on for scenes in magical costumes to a rocking soundtrack as they retold Irish History through the first farmers , celts , , Christians , Vikings ,Normans, Plantations, Penal laws and suffering of the famine times. All through this they had a commanding performance from the director ( Jack) and the story kept great flow through the narrators (Paul and Jack).The audience were on an emotional roller-coaster from laughter at the ABBA dancing Vikings to sorrow with the famine dead. Then came the interval with tea/ coffee provided by parents association and shop.

The second half began with 120 boys on stage playing a tin-whistle medley of Irish traditional and republican songs and a booming version of Fields of Athenry. The 5th class under Ms.Ward and placement student Eoin Pilkington then held the audience spell-bound with their version of “Triumph of Sorts” written by local principal Damien White. Drums and rifles were to the fore as Padraig Pearce ( Darragh) led the rebels to the GPO where the proclamation was dramatically read aloud to the audience with drum beats bellowing. It was special to see the proclamation being read aloud by pupils born in other countries but who now see themselves as Irish. This is really Ireland in 2016. Music and song interspersed this part with Banna strand and foggy dew being sung with a highlight of grace being sung by 5th class accompanied by the talented Ms.Pilkington and Ms.Ryan.
Thanks were expressed to all through the booklet on the night for all the elements that go into a show of this scale with funding support from Offaly Arts Council and Birr Lions club. Mr Crofton thanked the audience and community for allowing the boys the opportunity to perform on stage and to celebrate 1916 in this manner. Michael Donegan was thanked for his time, energy , passion and inspiration to the show and he then spoke of the pride he has in the school , the boys and the school community which is such an integral part of Birr. The audience then sang the finale of Amhran na bhFiann to conclude the night and send the audience home with a spring in their step and happiness in their hearts.
We hope it was both educational and entertaining and respectful to the memory of the heroes of 1916.
3rd 4th class on stage

5th class on stage

6th class on stage

Dec 15:Poetry project

December 21, 2015

Ms Katie Costigan organised and ran a great poetry project in the school during her time here on TP. It was a great success with lots of classes producing great quality poems.
Pictured are the class winners and the overall winner from 4th class.


Oct 15 – Whole school poetry

October 25, 2015

School Poetry competition
Ms.Costigan has gone around to all classes 1st-6th doing some poetry lessons. We will have a poetry comp for each class in NOV with cool prizes , display on noticeboard , poems published in books and even in local paper! Genres—1st—sense poem, 2nd—Acrostic, 3rd—Rhyming couplet, 4th—Alliteration, 5th –Kennings, 6th—Haiki / Cinquins. Enjoy !!

Primary Debating Jan 15

February 10, 2015

“ All primary school pupils to get their own mobile phones” – Well, that was the argument proposed by the 6th class debating team of St. Brendans PS last week. Needless to say the boys spoke passionately on this subject. They took part in the Primary school debating competition organised by Laois Education Centre. It was the first time the school had taken part in the competition and they were excellently prepared by class teacher Mr. Damien Cunningham. They had an excellent and enthralling debate with the team of girls and boys from St. Ciarans NS from Broughal who travelled through a snow blizzard to take part. Both teams spoke very well and outlined their arguments and sparks really flew in the crossfire round. It was an impossible decision for the panel of judges to pick a winner and it came down to small margins. In the end St. Brendans PS team got the victory led by super-captain Darragh Cleary. Team was Darragh Cleary , Nathan Williams , Padraig Kelly, Cain Long, Luke Nolan and Dean Byrne. They look forward to the next round!


Mini Movies

October 15, 2014

Mini movies launch 2014 b

You can view the student’s animations HERE

RTE SHOW-Una’s Dream Ticket

October 15, 2014


Thanks to the hard work of Damien Dillon (PA) we have been invited to take a group of boys (3rd-6th) to Dublin on Tuesday 7th October to be the audience to UNA’S DREAM TICKET. This is free and will be a once in a lifetime chance. In order to choose the lucky boys we ask all boys (3rd-6th) who are interested to write a letter (or draw a picture) of why the school should choose them—Why they want to go? Judging for places will take place on TUESDAY 30TH SEPT as we must have the list of names for the producer.. Good luck to all interested !


Sept 2014: Dear Brendan Project

October 15, 2014

100_5353Despite being back at school the boys have been enjoying the lovely summer weather. Weather has been perfect for lunchtime Gaelic football with Mr. Crofton , lots of cycling and walking to school along with September visits to the park and castle. Our garden “An Ghairdin Draiochta” has also been getting a late summer revamp as Ms. Treacy and her team of volunteer dads and Grandads have been doing Trojan work in clearing it up. Mile buiochas lads !
The school also presented the boys with a LITERACY CHALLENGE over the summer holidays. Boys had to write a “Dear Brendan” letter or postcard about their holidays and post to the school. A huge number of families took part with postcards from received from Kerry to Spain, Legoland to Poland and Galway to Athlone. The boys met in September to chat about their cards over a little treat. Pictured are two of our young writers who took part looking over the cool cards :

Feb 14:School Spelling Bee

March 5, 2014

This year wee held spelling bee’s in a lot of classes again.
Mr. Crofton acted as “spell master” and the standard was extremely high. All boys were encouraged to take part in what is a fun event and is a nice occasion to celebrate those pupils of ours who excel at spelling. Overall school champion was Padraig Kelly. Trophies to follow shortly for winners in 3rd -6th as 1st, 2nd spelling bees more informal occasions.

6th class
1. Michael Hand
2.Ronan McNamara
3.Jake Heather

5th class
1.Padraig Kelly
2. Thomas Byrne
3.Nathan Williams
3. Edvinas Ozelis

4th Class
1. Michael McCarthy
2.Paul Heather
3.Oran Digan
3.Josh O’Meara

3rd Class
1.Damien Delaney
2.Darragh McNamara
3.Charlie Gallagher

2nd class
1. Conor Lally Greijmans
2.Matthew Donoghue
3.Tymon / Kiefer / Adam

1st Class
1. Conor Gallagher
2. Evan Brady
3. Antonio Anspoks



Rememberance Service Nov 2013

November 22, 2013

We held our Rememberance Service in the gym to remember and pray for family, relatives and friends who have passed away.Fifth class and senior infants made Rememberance Trees and hung crosses on them with names of family ,relations and friends on them. Other classes made rememberance charts which were displayed in the gym. Sixth class played Inisheer on the tin whistles and the boys read prayers of the faithful. Mr. Kennedy’s class played the theme song from the Titanic and all classes sang the Rememberance Song. Mrs. Ryder read a beautiful poem about angels and Rosary beads were presented to staff members (blessed in Rome and given by Fr. Cahir). The ceremony ended with the boys playing Amazing Grace as each class returned to their classrooms.