I hope that this email finds you all well and that each of you enjoyed some aspect of the Easter break as you continue in your efforts to stay safe during this most difficult time. It’s certainly not the beginning of our final term that was envisaged when we started the school year, however, the staff of St. Mary’s hope to offer you support and guidance over the coming weeks in order to facilitate distance learning in Term 3.
As we embark on this new term the teachers will continue to communicate through the SeeSaw app and I will, as before, email the weeks plans on Mondays. I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and teachers for their flexibility and dedication as we develop our approach to distance learning at St Mary’s and also commend children for their engagement and participation. If you have any difficulties with the app or any other concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com ) and I will do my best to help you.
As stated previously please approach the work suggested by the school in whatever way suits your family and household. With increased demands at home it is very understandable that there may be little time left for home-schooling children; when the school reopens the teachers will work with children to ensure they cover the required elements so please try not to worry about getting everything done. Please also remember that children learn through their experiences every day and that playing in the garden, baking, books, Lego, jigsaws, setting the table, exploring music, chatting to siblings/parents, painting and drawing, even TV and iPads are all educational activities in their own right.
For those children who are due to make their Communion this year, the information from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, as of April 15th, is that all sacraments will be on hold until social distancing measures are lifted. This is disappointing news for our 2nd class children who I know have been excited about and working hard to prepare for their big day; for now though, it is something to look forward to in the future when things settle down. As soon as any additional information becomes available about the rescheduling of the Communion, I will inform parents.
In light of the school closures, and the uncertainty of this next term, we have made the decision to cancel school tours for this year. For the 6th class children this is a particularly difficult decision as we know that the Donegal trip is something they have been looking forward to, however with social distancing likely to continue for some time we feel it is in their best interests to cancel. Any parent who has paid the deposit for Donegal will have the full deposit refunded.
As the weeks progress it is natural that some of your children may become restless, ask more questions and may show some signs of anxiety as they try to make sense of what’s happening around them. The National Educational Psychologist Service have prepared some resources which may help you in your discussions with your children and these are available here https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/covid-19.html.
Finally, I want to ask that you let your children know that their teachers are thinking about them, missing them and looking forward to working with them again.