National Pyjama Day 2017

We had a great day supporting this year’s National Pyjama Day. Run by Early Childhood Ireland, it’s a great opportunity to support some amazing charities and this year all funds will go towards three children’s charities, each supporting children under 6 years of age with additional needs. The children had a great day and here’s some pics from Glen, Ray and Letterkenny…..
















Welcome 2017!

We’re settling into 2017 really well and enjoying getting back into the swing of things. Welcome back to all the Early Learning Schools’ children in Glen, Letterkenny and Ray and a big welcome to all the new children who have just started their ECCE place.

It’s an exciting time for children and parents and we’re looking forward to helping them create some very special memories.

We’ve lots of exciting learning planned for this term as well as plenty of games, art and crafts and outdoor fun.

Here are some pics of the children in action on their first few weeks back.










Key Dates For Your Diary

As the Christmas season approaches, we wanted to let you know a few key dates for your diary.




Friday 16th – ECCE Children’s Christmas Songs for Parents at 11am

Wednesday 21st – ECCE Children Finish Up

Thursday 22nd – Toddlers and Babies Christmas Show 11am

Friday 23rd – Closing for Christmas at 1pm

Tuesday 3rd January 2017 – Re-Opening

Monday 9th January – Children Starting New ECCE Term

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the year and wish you a very peaceful and happy Christmas and look forward to 2017.

Early Learning Schools Christmas Shoe-Box Appeal 2016

Huge thanks to all the parents and children who took part in this year’s Christmas Shoe-Box Appeal. The children had great fun filling the boxes and wrapping them again this year.




Over three million children, from some of the remotest and poorest parts of the world, will have some very special gifts to open this year and we’re delighted to be a part of that.






Pic Special – Tales from our Teepee in Glen Outdoor School










Magical Storytelling at Ray and Glen Outdoor Schools

We had a wonderful evening at Glen and Ray Outdoor School celebrating Hallowe’en with a fun storytelling session. Families gathered in Ray for ‘Fun in the Forest’ and in Glen for ‘Tales in Our Teepee’.


The children had great fun playing traditional Hallowe’en games like bobbing for apples and listening to Hallowe’en tales. Everyone enjoyed the delicious homemade pumpkin soup that the children prepared themselves!


Thanks to everyone who came along and took part. It was ‘spooktacular’. Check out the pictures below….






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Fun Hallowe’en Storytelling and Games in Glen and Ray

We’re celebrating Hallowe’en in a fun way with a special storytelling event on Friday, 28th October in Glen Outdoor School, Glenswilly and Ray Outdoor School, Rathmullan.
There’ll be lots of fun with traditional Hallowe’en games like bobbing for apples and coins and much more! In Glen Outdoor School, children of all ages will get the chance to take part in a fun storytelling session in our new Teepee (6.30 – 8.30pm), while in Ray Outdoor School, there’ll be lots of storytelling and fun in the forest (6 – 8pm).





We’ll also have some delicious homemade pumpkin soup to warm us up and children are more than welcome to dress up in their Hallowe’en costumes, but it is optional.


It’s going to be a great evening of fun and if you’d like to come along to ‘Tales in the Teepee’ in Glenswilly call 086 173 7748 or if you’d like to attend ‘Fun in the Forest’ in Ray, call 086 410 7974. The event costs €6 for one child, €10 for two, €12 for three or €15 for four.

Happy Hallowe’en!


Welcome Back!

September marks the start of a new term and we’re delighted to welcome everyone back to Early Learning Schools. We’re very excited to meet all our new friends and it’s great to see some familiar faces back for the year.


The objective at each of our Early Learning Schools is to ensure that each child has a happy, fun and enjoyable experience. We encourage children’s creativity and social interaction and while we spend 80% of our day outdoors, we follow the national early childhood curriculum framework, Aistear, to ensure our children are prepared for primary school.




It’s going to be a very exciting first term with lots of outdoor fun and learning, arts and crafts and much, much more. Keep an eye on our blog for lots of photos!


Bear Grylls Summer Camp

We had a lot of fun at our overnight Bear Grylls Summer Camp. It was a wonderful experience for staff and children alike…camping outdoors, making hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows on our outdoor fire, going fishing first thing and preparing, cooking and eating our catch of the day!


The fun that the children are having on our summer camps proves that, (once you dress appropriately), there is simply no such thing as bad weather!


















Thank You….

What a wonderful week celebrating old traditions stories and skills at Glen Outdoor from 25th to 29th April. Now that we’re back to reality (and 2016!), we’d like to thank each and every person who helped us mark our ‘Step Back 100 Years’ celebrations especially to all staff at Early Learning Schools’ for their support and hard work preparing for the week.

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Without the help of the local community who loaned us their artefacts it wouldn’t have been possible to do all the lovely and memorable activities that we did. A special “Thank You” to Seamus Crawford, Brendan Boyle, Paddy Gildae, Charlie Callaghan and The Auction House for allowing us use their many items.

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To all who came and helped demonstrate the old ways and share stories we are grateful. Adults and children enjoyed and learned from these practical hands on experiences. A massive “Thank You” to Rosemary Crawford and Imelda Callaghan for showing the children how to churn butter and bake bread the traditional way, using the open fire and hot coals at Glen Outdoor School, and to Karen for making jam with them.


To Niall Mc Ginley for telling stories and sharing photos of the different types of transport, especially the first car to come to Donegal in the 1900’s which came to Glenswilly with IH 1 on the number plate. Niall also had an old shop book which had prices of items bought in the day. Tea, sugar and bread were 10p (that is old pennies, which is about 4p in today’s money).Thanks to Bríd Kelly for teaching Irish dancing, to Johnny Friel and Kieran Diver who made toys with the children to Con McFadden and Fulton Buchanan for showing the children how to plant and sow vegetables.

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Thanks to all who joined us from the community, parents, friends and family, Gerry Mc Monagle, Mayor, Cllr. Ian Mc Garvey, the First Holy Communion class with their teachers from Glenswilly National School and Anne Mc Ateer, Health Promotion Officer with the HSE who called to Glen Outdoor School to experience the fun and celebrations.

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It was a wonderful week enjoyed by children, parents and staff alike, and an important reminder that the children of today will shape our communities for the coming 100 years. We hope many of the children attending Early Learning Schools and who put their vision for the future in our time capsule will be back to dig it up in April 2036. A date for your diary!!!

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