Patrick invites you to Cahir National School

Patrick Crean joined Cahir National School as Principal in September 2020. Here he gives his views and experiences of this unique primary school and why he thinks his school can offer something different to other schools.
“I am very honoured, excited and privileged to have joined the pupils and staff of Cahir National School. This is a wonderful opportunity to pursue a leadership role in such a beautiful and welcoming enviroment where there is such a positive attitude to learning by children, parents and teachers. I’m fortunate to have taught in a variety of schools over the course of my teaching profession. However I get the sense that Cahir National School has something very unique to offer any potential family who maybe considering enrolling.
Cahir School has a large, modern, adequately resourced building that allows teaching and learning to blossom in a safe environment. Enormous credit must go to my predecessor Ms Noreen Hanley and the Board of Management for creating such a fine infrastruture for learning to take place in a safe and controlled enirvonment.
Being a small school, children in Cahir have a strong sense of connection. They mix with children from all year groups and learn to relate to people of all ages. They can make friends based on interests and maturity rather than being limited to those who are chronologically their peers. Our children enjoy strong rapport with not only their teacher, but all the staff at the school. There is shared concern for their learning and welfare.
No child slips through the cracks. Their social, emotional and medical needs are known by all staff and the quirky little characteristics that make them special are appreciated. I’m glad to have joined a coherent team of teachers and SNA’s who work and develop together and none of us are lost in a big staff.
This year we have one classroom with only 12 pupils, which is less than half of the national pupil-teacher ratio. Our teachers are able to offer students tailored instruction to meet their learning needs. This ensures your child’s learning program is pitched at a level where they are challenged but feel safe and supported.
Being small and accessible, we have a tremendous relationship with parents and have formed a great partnership in learning. There is a real sense of community and ownership. Throughout the years our Parents Association has done fantastic work in fundraising for eductional and technological supports for the school.
In Cahir National School, we are focused on the development of the whole child. New families often come to us as they are looking for an education that fosters creativity, problem solving, communication and good character. Our school has a rich tradition of Arts and Culture. We have always had music lessons, dance lessons and successful dramatic performances over the years. We have a great uniqueness in sport as well, particularly in hurling, which is unique to Cahir.
The fact that many of our past pupils return to us for visits often shows the sense of belonging they experienced here. It is affirming us as a successful school and giving our children a “tús maith” in life.
The school has been very fortunate in terms of Covid preparations. By having an exit door in each classroom, we have been able to keep our children within their bubbles and prevent them from mixing with other bubbles. The large classrooms and small numbers of pupils have made the environment very safe and has helped by all our children, parents and staff at ease.
As we are aware life is particularly challenging at the moment and remote learning has taken priority. However, I’m very confident that all our children can return safely as soon as possible and that we can get back to normality in the coming weeks.”