Important News. Extended Closure and Support.Posted on 8th January 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Just a short note with respect to the extended closure of the school building and the supports in place, as we move from school-based teaching.
In order to support the suppression of the COVID-19 virus in the community, our government has instructed that schools will be closed to students for a period of three weeks. It seems that despite our time preparing the school for reopening after Christmas, in line with all the recommendations around COVID-19, the continued sourcing and purchasing of appropriate PPE, the creation of isolation spaces, the modification of our classrooms, school hall and staff room, the modification of our timetables, yard times and systems for entering and exiting the building, and having the correct policies and procedures in place, it is not possible to reopen the school building.
This closure is to ensure the reduced mobility of large numbers throughout communities. We hope that this closure will be no longer than three weeks. I would like to thank you for your efforts too, for greeting the new timetables with good grace, your support of the pupils in ensuring they are well prepared each day and observing the restrictions in the yard each day too.
So, firstly, I would like to thank you again, as parents and guardians in our school community for your support so far this year. We have said many times it is a very different school year, but that shouldn’t erode the fact that it has been a challenge – and I do appreciate, so much, the good nature that has underpinned everyone’s commitment so far, to our pupils and your children, to their teaching and to their safety in school, thank you.
Secondly, and unfortunately for our pupils, we are reverting to providing support to pupils in place of school based tuition. In March we provided i) curriculum based activities and tasks each week to each class. This was ii) supported by teachers who were contactable during school hours to all parents and pupils, by email. Teachers also provided support by iii) telephone and by sending iv) postcards, emails and small parcels to pupils. The school also provided v) art competitions, vi) online daily assemblies through ‘Zoom’. We also vii) maintained contact with all classes through weekly emails, viii) updates to the school website and ix) daily posts on Twitter suggesting activities or outlining the achievements and work of pupils during the school closure. Contact and support was also provided x) through the provision of ‘care packs’.
Teachers in Touch
On this occasion, teachers will make contact with you again, to outline whether they will be delivering ‘packs’ along with the pupils’ school books and baskets, and providing support by delivering work each week, or by email, phone or Zoom assemblies. Please keep an eye on your email for updates from your son/s or daughter’s/s teachers by email and phone too. Initial contact will be by email. Learning Support may also be in touch too with differentiated activities to be suggested in place of the general class work.
Finally, we will be providing ‘care packs’ in place of the school lunches as we did in March, April, May and June. These will consist of a ‘one-week pack’ of fresh food and a ‘two-week’ pack of non-perishable food. If you would like to avail of these care-packs, please contact me, in full confidence, at firstname.lastname@example.org arrangements for delivery can be put in place. My thanks for your understanding. Please let me know by a short note to email@example.com by Sunday 10th January at 5.00pm.
In conclusion, we will never be able to replicate the support, encouragement, cajoling, enthusing, and the really great care and teaching that pupils receive here through a remote platform. We can only try our best to do that, so that pupils are ready to learn when the building is open to pupils again, hopefully at the end of the month. We appreciate immensely that supporting our pupils for these three weeks as passed primarily to you. We appreciate anything that you can do with your son/s or daughter/s. Any reading or maths games will give a huge benefit, and if you have the time to do it with your child, we would urge that you do. We can’t wait to welcome the pupils back, they are the greatest source of fun, laughter, imagination and pride in our school building. We look forward to seeing you all again soon. As always, if there is anything we can do, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org