Holy Spirit crest

27th April 2020

Dear parents, 

I hope you and your families  are well ? 

 Thanks for all your feedback on what we’ve been working on over the last few weeks . It is especially important at this strange time when it is difficult to gauge the needs of individual families . 

We had several meetings last week to discuss how best to proceed with Learning at Home over the next few weeks . We have tried to take into account the very different  individual needs of our school community . We have looked at and discussed a variety of methods  that are being used elsewhere, suggestions from parents and very creative ideas  from our staff and implemented a plan that maximises our pupil’s learning without leaving pupil’s behind .

This morning you will  receive an email from your child ‘s teacher  with a work schedule for each day of the week . We have reduced our pupils’ diaries to just Monday and Friday so they have plenty to write about on those two days . Our teachers will add screenshots of the textbook pages to their email to make the access as easy as possible . We have included Mathletics  in our Maths this week . There will be other Maths work as well so if pupils don’t have access to a laptop or other device they have plenty of  other work to get on with .   We have agreed on  a few other changes  in Irish and English but in order not to cause confusion and to keep pupils in a  routine we will phase them in gradually . 

We have also discussed how to improve the pupil’s well-being and we are implementing  some ideas in this area from today .As you know our website contains a variety of resources but I  would recommend the keep active , well-being and fun activities. These  are especially important in the situation we all find ourselves in at present .

REMEMBER : All work is optional. Ask your child to do  as much work as they can without putting stress on yourself or your child . Nobody will fall behind , all classes next year will cover work not carried out throughout the closure . The mental well-being of all our pupils is our  priority .

CONFIRMATION: We have been told it is extremely unlikely that confirmations will take place in May or June . Hopefully this week we will get  a definite decision with information on what the alternative plan is .  

Take care, 

Paddy Dillon

 

20th April 2020

 

Dear Parents / Guardians 

I hope you and your families are all well and are adapting to the strange circumstances we find ourselves in. As you already know, our school will not reopen on Monday 20th April and we still have not heard when Irish schools will reopen.

Thank you for all the feedback you have given us on how you are finding ‘home schooling’. Our management team have had several meetings to discuss how best to proceed with this as a school.  Our understanding is that there is a variety of circumstances facing families; many families have more time than normal to work with their children;  other families are trying to fit in home schooling with their own work, caring for elderly parents, looking after young children and in some cases, all of these. Some families have no access to internet and others do not have a laptop or other device for their child to use. Over the holidays, we have looked at what other schools are doing, as well as looking at guidelines received from the Dept. Of Education. The aim of our Learning From Home section is to provide all children with the opportunity to continue to further their academic learning experiences and to provide guidelines and suggestions for parents to assist with this, while trying not to add to the stress many families are experiencing.

With this in mind, we will continue to provide work on our website  every Monday throughout the closure. This will include Maths, Tables, Reading, Spelling, Irish and we will include other subjects should the closure continue. Children who receive Learning Support  will receive individual work from their Learning Support teacher by email. All children will receive a weekly email  from their class teacher.  Parents can reply to the email if they need clarification or advice but I would ask you to limit this to one or two emails a week to give teachers adequate time to respond to any queries received. I have asked teachers to only reply during school hours. Teachers will include an individual  email address in their mail  so do not reply to the hello@holyspiritsps.ie address . The ‘hello’ address  can be used for general feedback and queries in relation to lunches  . We  do understand that for the vast majority of parents, this is a new experience. Please do not worry if your child cannot complete a task, there will be many pupils in the same situation .  If, however,  your child is having difficulty with most of the work, please let the class teacher know.  

For parents who are in a position to put several hours a day into this process, we have a huge range of resources on the school website. One resource I highly recommend is The Great Isolation Activity Book. This has been designed especially for the present situation and many of the activities require no other resources. 

We have also placed our HOLY SPIRIT CHALLENGE on the school website http://holyspiritsps.ie/holy-spirit-challenge/. This is a menu of fun activities pupils can do at home.  There is a huge variety of activities so everyone should be able to find activities that suit their interests and talents.  Any child who completes 10 activities can get a parent to email their list to their teacher and they will receive a prize when our school reopen. I will send an email this week which will be for the pupils to read themselves. 

I will send an email to all sixth class parents in relation to confirmation, graduation and transition to secondary school. I am expecting a decision on confirmation this week but it could be a while before I get news on the other two as they will obviously depend on Government decisions in relation to restrictions.

Finally there are resources on well being and physical activities for pupils on the website both of these areas are especially important in our present situation so encourage your child to use these as much as possible. 

Look forward to talking to you all when we reopen.

All the best 

Paddy Dillon