Baile Mháirtín, Contae Luimnigh

October Newsletter

Dear Parents,

The Staff and Board of Management would like to sincerely thank you and all our pupils for your continued co-operation and support in preventing the spread of Covid- 19 in our school community. It is an uncertain time for all of us as the country enters level 5 restrictions, however the well-being of our pupils, parents and staff will remain our top priority as we endeavour to keep our school open.

Jersey Day: Thank you to everyone who donned their jersey on Friday 25th September in a show of support for the Rise4Daithí campaign. The total raised was € 510.80. We were delighted to have Dáithí check in with us on the day. It is fantastic that Dáithí will be coming home for a visit and we wish him the very best as he continues his journey. Keep it up Dáithí!!

Maths Week: Well done to all classes who shared some of their super maths activities with us on Facebook. Great fun was had by all.

Student Council: Congratulations to the newly elected Student Council: Caoimhe O Farrell, Darragh Carmody, Conor Carmody, Lucy Heffernan, Conor O Riordan, Mia McCarthy, Sarah O Riordan, Sean Kelly, Kate Ryan, Calvin Wallace, Paddy O Sullivan, Rossa O Leary and Keira O Loughlin.

Survey Feedback: Thank you to all who completed the online Parent Survey, we are overwhelmed by the kind words of encouragement, and acknowledgement of our efforts to ensure a safe return to school for all since reopening. In answer to some queries and concerns please note the following:

SeeSaw: In the event of a school closure, we will be using the SeeSaw platform to deliver the curriculum to students. Teachers will provide pre-recorded lessons for the core subject areas. Thematic planning will allow for cross-curricular links i.e. integration with SESE, Art, SPHE.

Instruction will be given alongside these video lessons and daily feedback will be given to students. This will facilitate all students to have equal access to the curriculum. Teachers will facilitate individual Zoom support lessons if a child has difficulty with a topic. Parents will be encouraged to contact the teacher should they require further support.

Car Park: To try to alleviate congestion in the carpark in the morning the following changes will be made after midterm: Teachers will park at the bottom of the car park and the same system of “drop and go” will operate directly outside the school gate. Cones will be laid out for the morning drop off system and removed before home time collections. Mr. Gilbourne will be in car park for a few weeks after midterm to assist with the smooth transition of this new system. We would appreciate that you ensure to inform grandparents/childminders of this change.

Home Time Collections: Thank you to everyone for your cooperation with the staggered pick up times in the afternoon for 1st -6th classes. Class teachers will continue to escort children to the school gate, we ask parents to stay at your car and children will walk to you via footpath.

At the Junior and Senior Infant home time can parents please stand at the footpath closest to your car to meet your child , this will ensure children do not walk between cars.

Pods: Social distancing is practiced as much as is practicable in each classroom, with each classroom being considered a bubble and each bubble divided into pods from 3rd-6th class. Changes to pods in 3rd-6th class will only take place at midterms, Christmas and Easter. (“It is recognised that younger children are unlikely to maintain physical distancing indoors. Therefore, achieving this recommendation in the first four years of primary school, is not a pre-requisite to reopening a primary school. The aim of the system within the school is that class grouping mix only with their own class from arrival at school in the morning until departure at the end of the school day. The Pods within those Class Bubbles is an additional measure, to limit the extent of close contact within the Class Bubble.”) COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools.

Books: Children have their own storage for books at their desk and each child has their own textbooks/workbooks. There is no sharing of books in school, therefore children can take their own books home each evening as they are the only ones handling them.

Parent-Teacher Meetings: Class teachers will arrange phone meetings with parents at the end of November. A schedule of times will be made available to book on Aladdin after midterm, you will receive a text when bookings are open. We hope to facilitate face-to-face parent-teacher meetings in the new year.

Covid-19: As we approach the colder months, please be aware that windows will be open in classrooms to provide adequate ventilation. Although rooms will be heated, we advise parents to ensure children wear an extra layer under their uniform. There will be additional outdoor time during the school day, please ensure your child brings a coat to school every day.  

If children display any Covid-19 symptoms, they must be kept home, and parents should contact their GP. If you are unsure whether to send your child to school any morning, please contact reception before sending them to school and we will help to clarify. Keep an eye on the Parent Info section of the school website where we have the most up to date information on recommended guidelines.

We must continue to work together in our efforts to ensure we keep our students, staff and community safe during this time. Wishing you all a safe, happy and very well-deserved break.

Your sincerely,

Majella Clarke, Principal.