Dear parents and students,
I hope that you and your wider family and friends are well. What great weather! I hope you are getting out-and-about in the sunshine, as well as doing schoolwork, and enjoying it all.
In advance of the weekend, I would like to update you on some matters:
Well done to you all for your continued work on See Saw. I appreciate that it may be difficult to keep the work going, but it is important that everyone is trying his/her best in order to be ready for the year ahead and your new class. It will mean giving an extra effort for the next few weeks before the summer holidays and keeping focused insofar as we can.
It is great to see such wide variety of work and all areas of the curriculum being covered. While it is not classroom based, teachers are setting work applicable in an online setting based on their yearly curriculum plans.
As a school we chose the See Saw platform as the most useful to meet the needs of students and teachers across all class levels. As you know, it offers opportunities for setting a variety of tasks and activities, has facility for individual feedback, daily scheduling and comments, voice and video recording and the advantage that we can offer work on one platform to families across all class levels. There has been positive engagement and feedback on this.
Some suggestions have been made re using the Zoom platform for communicating/setting work. Advice given to us is that the Zoom platform is not secure and is open to hacking, despite recent updates on security levels. At the moment, we do not feel that it is appropriate to use it. We continue to explore other options, particularly ones relating to our current school platform, Microsoft Office, and will update on this as soon as possible.
I am aware that some children may be particularly anxious and experiencing difficulties at this time. I would draw parents attention to resources from the Department, which may be of use:
Please make contact with me at any stage to discuss any needs and we will look at ways that we, as a school team, can support your child.
Updates on Current Situation/Covid Restrictions:
I appreciate that the current situation brings uncertainty we are all wondering what lies ahead.
As a school team, we continue to wait for updates from the Department of Education regarding school re-opening before we can issue specific guidelines to you. One can surmise about what school might look like in September- small groups coming in each day, restrictions around use of space and taking breaks, hygiene and cleaning procedures to be adhered to and so on. All of this is being considered by the school team and will issue to you once DES guidance is made available to us.
We continue to prepare in the normal way re booklists and resources and will forward these to you as soon as possible. Booklists will be on the school website in June as will information regarding tracksuit orders. Payments will be set up in the normal way through Aladdin Connect app.
Class arrangements 20/21:
We also continue to prepare for class allocations and accommodation. Again, this is subject to any further direction from DES.
We will be welcoming over 40 new junior infants, some who are new families to St Anne’s and some children who already have siblings in the school. I will be sending this cohort an update on preparing for school, resources needed and class configurations, shortly.
2nd classes: Last year we took the decision to mix some classes, in that case 3rd class going into 4th. We had expected to mix 2nd classes going into 3rd this year and I know that these classes were working together in a number of ways before the closure.
However, given the current situation and the resulting being away from school, we have decided NOT to mix the classes going into 3rd. So the two classes will remain as they are.
Bishop Nulty has sent a message for you.
Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the day on which we celebrate the sending of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. I have decided to take this opportunity to record a message for those who are still waiting to celebrate Confirmation and for those who had been confirmed before COVID19 made its presence felt. You can watch the video here https://www.facebook.com/KANDLEi/videos/549403842436869/ and it will also be available on kandle.ie
We have put resources on the school website also relating to this also.
Calendar going forward:
This coming weekend is a bank holiday weekend and school is closed Friday to Tuesday inclusive. Class work will not go ahead but project work will be uploaded to the school website for anyone who wishes to work on this over the weekend.
We are aware that this month is traditionally one packed with events such as Sports Days, tours and so on.
We are working to provide opportunities for children to still have these events, albeit in a different way. With this in mind, each teacher will be sending activity-based work on See Saw for all to engage in for the following days
Friday June 5th: Arts Day
Wednesday June 10th: STEM Challenge
Wednesday June 17th: Sports Day
Week of June 22nd-26th: Class tours (virtual)
Teachers will send the activities for each class in advance of these days.
The promotion of wellbeing is central to the culture of St Anne’s for our children and staff. As we live through unprecedented times with the current crisis, our wellbeing is more important than ever. It will be a core part of our planning for the return to school once the restrictions are lifted.
The Department of Education and Skills requires all schools to review their provision for wellbeing through a school self-evaluation process. As part of this process we are inviting all stakeholders, teachers/staff, parents and children to complete questionnaires.
The questionnaires for parents will issue to all families next week. We would be grateful if you would complete this for us so that we can incorporate all thoughts in our planning.
Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a nice bank holiday weekend.
I am confident that, though uncertainty lies ahead, the St Anne’s community will stay strong and we will all get through these days. We will work together to support our children now and in the future months.
Remember we can all…
Keep growing and keep safe!