RETNS Community Garden beginning to take shape

RETNS Community Garden beginning to take shape

Some more great work done on Friday.


Almost ready for planting!

Thanks to all the wonderful parents, children and staff who have “dug in”, we are really beginning to see our new community garden take shape. There was great work done by Niamh, Sean, Paul, Betty and Mia at the weekend. 4 beds have the second level and all have at least one layer of mypex. Most of the bag of hardcore has been spread out. The remaining beds have their planks beside them ready to be finished. Marley Park will give us some topsoil so hopefully we can plant some veggies soon!. 

We still need lots of help, no skills needed just enthusiasm and willingness to help. Give your name to your class rep to be passed on to the gardening group whatsapp. This co-ordinates when work is happening. Anne Bradley 


Eric Dempsey Ornithologist visits RETNS

Eric Dempsey Ornithologist visits RETNS

Eric Dempsey on behalf of Heritage in Schools came to our school on Wednesday 15th March. He is an ornithologist which means he studies and protects birds. He had many feathers and wings from different birds. We learned a lot about birds. 

We conducted an experiment where we all put our hands up behind our ears and Eric got a whole barn owls wing and he flapped it but we could hear no noise. Then he got out a single swan feather and flapped it and it was very loud compared to the barn owl. There’s little hairs on the back of the owls wing to decrease wind resistance and this helps to reduce noise. He told us how to distinguish between a left wing feather and a right wing feather on a swan. They are different shapes. The tail feathers of a peacock and a finch on the male spreads out and whichever bird had the most colourful tail spread would attract the best mate. This also worked to protect the male bird’s territory.

Swallows: Once a year they make a journey that is 10,000km to summer in South Africa while it is winter in Ireland and then they come back to Ireland via the Sahara Desert. They stop in the middle of the rain forest to eat bugs, drink water to prepare themselves for the journey across the Sahara. It takes five days and nights to cross the desert and they don’t stop to rest. The swallows in your area always come back to where they were born. Not all of them survive.

All of third class found Eric very interesting and they listened attentively. Eric gave us a gift. Once a year, spend five seconds to look at your first swallow in spring and think about the incredible journey that little bird who weighs the same as ½ bag of crisps with the brain the size of a pea has undertaken to get back to Ireland.

By Connie & Alex

Plastic Free February

Plastic Free February

As part of our Green Schools Theme – Global Citizenship-Litter and Waste, the Green Team have decided to focus on our use of single use plastic packaging. For the month of February we will focus our attention on reducing the amount of plastic wrapping we use in the school community.

Some classes are choosing to do this by recording the number of plastic free lunches in the room. Our Green Recycling Ambassadors will survey our bins to notice and measure improvements we make. They have already noted some areas for improvement.

Suggestions for home involvement:

  • Share photos of clever tips for plastic free/package free lunches. We have many children who bring zero waste lunches so it would be lovely to share these tips with the community.
  • Share photos or stories of attempts to do plastic free shopping
  • Photograph changes in the recycle bin over the month

We will share these photos on the website or Green Notice Board.

We will be discussing and sharing ideas at school assemblies and in class.

The committee have noted all the brilliant actions that families are already doing in their homes to tackle this problem- no single use plastic straws, cutting down on takeaway drinks, buying package free fruit and veg etc. We’d love to share your tips!

The Green motto for waste reduction from the Zero Waste movement is

    • REFUSE
    • REDUCE
    • REUSE

    Great News! Newpark Secondary School students are driving a campaign to become Ireland’s First Single Use Plastic Free School! Many of our RETNS past pupils are Newpark students so we are very excited about this initiative.

    Thanks for the photos and tips we’ve received so far! Please keep them coming!

  • Look at these two children using reusable straws. Well done Guys!

A plastic wrapper free lunch box used by another family in the school, well done to you too!

Community walk to St. Enda’s

Community walk to St. Enda’s








On Tuesday 18th June 2013 the whole school walked to St. Enda’s Park for our annual school walk. We were lucky to have a lovely hazy sunny day, hopefully heralding a good summer this year!  Below is a selection of pictures from the day.

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Green Flag for Transport

Green Flag for Transport



The Green Schools Committee is delighted to announce that the school has been successful in achieving our 4th Green Flag for travel. Congratulations to all in the school community staff, parents/guardians and especially the children for this fantastic achievement.

Sponsored Cycle or Scoot Day – 19th April 2013

Sponsored Cycle or Scoot Day – 19th April 2013

On Friday we held a Sponsored Cycle or Scoot Day in RETNS to raise awareness about safe conduct on the roads and footpaths and also to raise money for new bike facilities at school.


Have a look at the photos of the day:

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The children of some classes performed at Assembly, in case you weren’t able to be there we have included them here: