We have dedicated hard working staff who enable the pupils to maximise their talents not only academically but also in sports, arts, computers and music. We try to develop all talents and cater for all children. We have excellent Learning Support structures within the school. Many of our support staff work in an in-class support situation in class where they teach such activity based learning such as Ready Steady Go Maths and Lift off for Literacy. We have a Life-skills room where our staff teach skills that will be essential to the child in adult life. We have a fully working kitchen where the children can bake, cook and socialise in a happy collegial atmosphere.
Saint Oliver Plunkett Primary School opened in Blackcastle Navan in 1975. It was officially opened by John Bruton, T.D, who was parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Education at the time. The building was blessed by the most Rev. John McCormack, Bishop of Meath. The land that was made available was purchased by the parish and Fr. M.V. Daly was most instrumental in the building and the development of the school. The school has been a central part of life in North Navan since its founding and has played a formative role in the lives of the many families in the area.
Our Patron Saint
The school is named after St. Oliver Plunkett. St. Oliver Plunkett was born at Loughcrew near Oldcastle on the 1st of November 1625. A priest cousin, Patrick Plunkett, tutored him until his sixteenth year. In 1647 he travelled to Rome to study for the priesthood. He was ordained priest on 1st January 1654. In the summer of 1669 he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh and returned to Ireland where he was warmly welcomed by a people who had already proved their readiness to suffer for the Mass and the Sacraments and the authentic word of God. The conclusion of his life is well known: betrayed by those who should have been assisting him; arrested near Dublin; tried for high-treason at Dundalk and London; condemned on trumped-up evidence; hanged, drawn and quartered on Tyburn Hill, London, on 11th July 1681.
In 1918 Pope Benedict proclaimed him a martyr. On 23rd May 1920 he was beatified, and on 12th October 1975 he was canonised by Pope Paul
Schools operate under the Rules for National Schools which are made by the Minister for Education. The Board of Management is the governing authority in the school. The Board of Management is made up of the following:
(1) Two members appointed by and representative of the patron (Bishop).
(2) Two members, parents of children enrolled in the school (one being a mother) elected by the general body of parents.
(3) The principal and an elected member of staff. Boards of Management are appointed for a term of four years.
(4) Two community members
The school is under the Catholic Patronage of VR. Dr Michael Smith. The Board of Management meets every four to six weeks and meetings are chaired by Helena Gibbons who is the Patron’s representative on the Board. The other Patron’s representative is Fr Noel Weir. The Acting-Principal Padraig Farrell and Kathleen Quinn are the two teacher representatives on the Board, while Kenny O’Rourke and Deborah Ryan are the nominees from the parent body. Collette O’Reilly and Brigid Smith are the community representatives. Pádraig Farrell is the secretary of the Board.
School Structure and Activities
St Oliver’s has seventeen mainstream classrooms and has 420 children enrolled in the school. We have 27 teachers and 2 SNA’s on staff. As a DEIS Band 2 school we have many supports in place to delivery equality of access to education for all. We have a Navan School Completion worker Sinead Kearns who works with children in need of extra support. A play therapist visits the school every Thursday to work with the children. The school has a very strong tradition in music and we have a visiting teacher for recorder and ukulele Alun Smyth who visits the school on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Our school choir under the direction of Mr Ryan & Ms Lynch have gained many awards and plaudits for their performances. They meet on Thursdays at Lunchtime. Our Comhairle na n-Óg are very pro-active and the school is very proud of the many green flags that we have gained so far. The Comhairle na n-Óg, working with Mr Roche, offers children in the school an opportunity to have a voice and help shape the decisions which the school takes. There is a huge sporting tradition in St. Oliver’s. We are currently Cumann na mBunscol champions and this is testament to the hard work of teachers in the school training boys and girls of all ages in Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie. We have a very active Athletics club who partake in regular competitions. We also boast teams in Soccer, Rounders and Basketball.The school also provides a variety of clubs for children at break times such as a Science Club and Chess club. We encourage participation in our school to cultivate the sense of a school community.
We have a very active Parents Association. The committee meet regularly to support and organise school events and fundraisers. The main functions are to:
Represent the views of parents
To inform parents of developments in education and in the school
To foster co-operation between parents, teachers and the B.O.M
Home School Liasion
Our Home School Liasion teacher provides a vital link between home and school. Our HSCL teacher Mr Anthony McDonagh organises many courses for parents and he is a constant presence out our school gates in the morning. Mr McDonagh works hard with students and their families to ensure thety are happy in school and ready to learn
School starts at 9.00 am and finishes at 1.45 pm for Junior and Senior infants and at 2.45 pm for all other classes. Children are expected to line up at 8.55 am. Gates of the school open at 8.45am. Children from Junior Infants to 2nd class enter at Gate 1. Children from 3rd to 6th class enter at Gate 3.
Many classes are held in the school building in the evenings, a homework group is hosted by Navan School Completion who work in conjunction with our teachers. There are also after-school classes in karate and Irish dancing.