Here at Mahoonagh Ns we pride ourselves in our extra-curricular activity line up which play a vital role in each of our pupils education and growth in life.


As part of Catholic School’s week we celebrate Grandparent’s day. In Mahoonagh NS, we are so fortunate that many Grandparents play a vital role in the lives of our young children. It's a special topic and a really lovely chance to celebrate Grandparents near, far, present or no longer with us. It is a nice opportunity for exploring diversity, cultures and differing family traditions. What's more, our pupils lead learning, talk & discussion and creativity.
Third class every year has the opportunity to celebrate grandparent’s day where they invite and entertain their grandparents for the afternoon. The afternoon usually begins with a short prayer service and some singing, and then the third class pupils engage in interviews and discussions with their grandparents and each other’s grandparents. They learn firsthand about life when their grandparents were in school and how things were different. The afternoon is concluded with teas, coffees and cake.


The school quiz team has been very successful over the last number of years and have taken part in numerous quizzes representing their school and region. Each year pupils from fifth and sixth class get the opportunity to become members of the school quiz team. Each year our quiz teams enter the Hazelwood college science quiz, the community games quiz and the Desmond credit union quiz.


Once a term the school holds an assembly in which each class presents a song or a poem they have prepared for everyone to enjoy and children from all classes are acknowledged and rewarded for their individual achievements both in and outside of school. These are to ensure a positive message of encouragement and ensure the children know their efforts are valued and rewarded. Our assemblies are opened with a short prayer service led by one of the teachers or one of our local priests and pupils from each class take part by saying the readings, prayers and reflections and presenting symbols. Assemblies are a special time of gathering as a whole school.


Mahoonagh N.S has an outstanding school trad band and choir with very talented singers and musicians from 2nd class upwards involved. The school choir sings for the First Holy Communion, Confirmation, prayer services and other school events throughout the year. A lot of hard work and practice is put in each year by the pupils and staff involved.


Sports have an important part to play in our school life in Mahoonagh N.S. and we are an active school since 2016. The Active Flag is an initiative which aims at engaging children in a more active and healthy lifestyle. As part of this we engage in lots of different activities and incorporating busy breaks into our daily classroom schedule. Our active schools committee, made up of two pupils from each class with the help of Mrs. Karen McAuliffe (our Active School’s Co-ordinator) will be help us to keep on track in staying active. Each year we take part in active schools week by putting an extra emphasis on sports and being active. Our active committee organise and coordinate daily lunchtime activities for each class and our school sports day, being the main event, brings the week to a close.


As Mahoonagh N.S is a green school promoter and we have successfully earned four green flags to date: Flag 1 for Litter and Waste, Flag 2 for Energy, Flag 3 for Water and Flag 4 for Travel. We are currently working on our 5th green flag for biodiversity. Our Green School committee with the help of Mrs. Katherine Hanley (our Green Schools coordinator) work hard to ensure the implementation of our Green School’s Code by encouraging recycling, reusing paper, composting raw foods, encouraging the use of lunch boxes instead of wrappings, encouraging healthy eating, organising charity sponsored clothes collections, supporting biodiversity in our school grounds and promoting W.O.W. Once a term we go on a WOW walk as a whole school up the village and are always very conscious of turning off lights and taps, closing doors and windows and recycling, composting and minimising waste. Our Green School committee is always busy working on various aspects of the project to promote a more environmentally friendly school.

Our current Green schools slogan is “It’s in our hands to make the plans”


Mahoonagh N.S. are very proud to have been awarded six Discover Primary Science and Maths Awards. We work hard to record all the experiments we undertake throughout the year. Each class in the school gets involved in some aspect of the steps involved e.g. investigations, using ICT and maths, science trips, speaker visits, science workshops, presenting at or attending science events in the school or other events. We encourage pupils creativity and ingenuity.


At Mahoonagh NS we follow The Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Programme which is a classroom-based prevention and early-intervention programme designed to reduce challenging behaviours and promote children’s pro-social behaviour. The programme focuses on strengthening classroom management strategies by use of evidence-based practices including:

· Building positive relationships with students
· Building positive relationships with parents and promoting home to school consistency
· Preventing behaviour problems using proactive approaches
· Giving attention, encouragement and praise
· Motivating children through incentives
· Developing behaviour plans
· Managing teacher stress
· Decreasing inappropriate behaviour.


A number of our teachers are trained in the friends for life programme and run it with different classes as a whole class programme, or as a small group intervention throughout the school. ‘Friends for Life’ is a school-based anxiety prevention and resilience building programme developed by Dr. Paula Barrett in Australia. The World Health Organisation cites ‘Friends for Life’ as the only evidence-based programme for anxiety in children that is effective at all levels of intervention (WHO, 2004). Friends programmes helps students to develop resilience by teaching them effective strategies to cope with, problem solve and manage all kinds of emotional distress, including worry, stress, change and anxiety. Skills learned throughout the programme help students both now and in later life.

FRIENDS is an acronym for the skills taught throughout the programme:

· Feelings.
· Remember to Relax. Have quiet time.
· I can do it! I can try (Inner helpful thoughts)
· Explore Solutions and Coping Step Plans.
· Now reward yourself! You’ve done your best!
· Don’t forget to practice.
· Smile! Stay calm, Stay Strong and talk to your support networks!


In September 2017, Mahoonagh National School set up their very first Students Council. It consists of six students from sixth class and it rotates every term. Each class from third to sixth class also have class representatives. Their job is to notify the Council if their class have any problem or any good suggestions to improve the welfare of the school community. The student council is the voice of the students in our school.


Mahoonagh N.S. is a Roman Catholic Primary School in the village of Castlemahon, situated 5 minutes from the busy town of Newcastle West.

(069) 72332

Castlemahon, Co. Limerick    


Mahoonagh NS participates in the following national school programmes.

National Behaviour Support Service

Active School

The Incredible Years

Cumann na mBunscol

Green School

Discover Primary Science and Maths