Letter (5) 11112020


Dear Parents                                                    Issue: 05                                                         November 11th 2020

Best Attendance Award for October:

  • Congratulations to Miss Dolan’s 1st class who were the winners of the Best Attendance trophy for the month of October.

Science Week:

  • This week is science week
  • Sincere thanks to the Board of Management who have purchased a “Primary Science Let’s Experiment kit” for the school. This kit consists of a number of different boxes of materials (sufficient for a class of 30 pupils working in groups). The different boxes provide the necessary equipment for scientific experiments in the areas of: Electricity, Magnetism, Light, Forces & Motion as well as Sound. This is an exceptional resource for the school!
  • Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to organise our usual workshops for science week, but the Galway Science group have not let this deter them. They have sent us links to many great videos and on-line resources that we can show the children and they can observe science in the world around them.
  • The Galway Science & Technology Virtual Festival Show will take place on Sunday 22nd November at 11am screened live on www.galwayscience.ie. John Sharpson & Clara Murray of RTE Jnr After School Hub will present the show and it will be a great family event with dancing, bubbles, bugs, snakes and juggling; talks on the Science of Santa, a virtual tour of the Galway Atlantaquaria and screening of the winners of the ReelLIFE Science video competition. The Programme of Events for the day will also include separate workshops by video link by Killaloe Exploration Dome, Fantastic DNA, Art by Dee Deegan and the Teddy Bear Hospital. Go to https://galwaysciencevirtualshow.eventbrite.ie to register your interest for your family.
  • Teachers will be carrying out all sorts of fun science experiments in class this week – check out the school website for photos!!

Knitting & Coding:

  • Traditionally the girls in 6th class have benefited from the local knitting club coming into the school each Wednesday to assist Mrs Monson in teaching them how to knit. Unfortunately this was not an option this year, because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
  • To ensure that the girls did not miss out on the wonderful opportunity of learning to knit, Mrs Monson, Mrs Hallissey and Mrs Devally have been taking the girls (in their pods) and teaching them this wonderful skill.
  • As with Mrs Monson’s 6th class, we did not want the 6th class girls in Mr Kelly’s class to miss out on this opportunity either. Unfortunately Mr Kelly has no knitting skills! He is however very skilled in the area of coding. So in a “trade-off” of skills, Mrs Monson, Mrs Hallissey & Mrs Devally have also been teaching knitting to Mr Kelly’s 6th class and in return Mr Kelly has been teaching “Scratch” coding to both his class and Mrs Monson’s class.
  • The end result of this is that all the 6th class girls are learning both knitting & coding this year.

Clarin College News for 6th class girls:

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/97780437229?pwd=eWNmbGM0OGtGd0V1NE1Oc1hqVFp0UT09

Meeting ID: 977 8043 7229        Passcode: 096908

Christmas Cards:

  • The Parents Council have signed our school up with www.designacard.ie this year. Each child has designed their own Christmas Card. Samples were sent home earlier this week. If you wish to order anything, please complete the order form and put it & the exact amount of money due, into the envelope provided.
  • Envelopes must be returned to the office by Monday of next week (November 16th) at the very latest. This is to ensure that the printers have sufficient time to process the orders and get them back to the school in plenty of time for Christmas. 
  • This year there is also an option for parents to order the cards on-line (instructions for this are on the template). These orders also need to be submitted by Monday of next week.
  • Any orders submitted after this date will be subject to a late fee of €6 by the card company.
  • A portion of the sales price will come back to the school and be used by the Parents’ Council to fund different things for the children.

Stay Safe Programme & RSE:

  • The Stay Safe programme is being taught in every classroom from now until Christmas
  • The CAPP (Child Abuse Prevention Programme) Stay safe programme is a primary school based approach to the prevention of child abuse. The programme seeks to enhance children’s self-protective skills by participation in lessons on safe & unsafe situations, bullying, inappropriate touch, secrets, telling, and stranger danger.
  • In addition to this, the sensitive areas of Relationships and Sexuality in Education (RSE) will be taught in 5th & 6th class between now & Christmas also – as the children missed out on these lessons in the final term of last year.
  • This RSE element will be covered for the girls in 4th class in term 3.

Weaving Wellbeing:

  • “Weaving Well-being” is the first Irish designed positive mental health programme of its kind which aims to enhance well-being in children aged from 8-12 years within the framework of the Social Personal and Health Education curriculum.
  • The staff are currently implementing this programme from 2nd class up to 6th class

Castleturvin Nursing home:

  • The girls in Mrs Duffy’s 4th class have been writing to residents in the Castleturvin Nursing home
  • They are availing of the free postage initiative by An Post to nursing home residents, during the Covid crisis.
  • The girls have been telling their “pen-pals” about what they are learning at school
  • Writing letters is great for practising their functional writing in a very enjoyable way. Also from a wellbeing perspective it shows the girls that we can still connect with people, even if we are forced to stay apart.

Green School:

  • Many thanks to all the parents who donated bags of old clothes for the Cash 4 Clobber collection on Monday. It was a great success. We estimate that we raised approx. €400 for the Parents’ Council.
  • Mrs Greally and her 4th class will be issuing a “Green School Newsletter” in the next few days.
  • They are planning a number of “WOW days” i.e. “Walk to school on Wednesday” – so watch out for more details in the Green School newsletter!!

New Equipment:

In addition to the new Science Experiment kit already mentioned, the Board of Management have also funded the purchase of:

  • additional PE equipment for all classrooms. Part of our Covid Response Plan was to ensure that all classes could have their own PE equipment which did not need to be shared between class bubbles. This additional equipment gives all the different classes more resources and therefore greater choices!!
  • Fun Magnet sets for the 3 senior infant rooms. The children will use these sets as part of the “Construction” theme under the Aistear programme. Again an integral part of our Covid Response Plan was to ensure teaching and learning at school continues as normally and as safely as possible. Hence our investment in new toys which can be sanitised after use. 

Donation to Temple Street:

Thanks to the Board of Management for making a donation of €250 to Temple Street hospital (“Trick or Treat for Temple St”) on behalf of the school.

Aquarium:

Our sincere thanks to local man Tommy Cheevers who has been maintaining the new aquarium. He calls to the school every few weeks to clean the tank, check the water quality and sometimes even adds a few new fish! This week he added a family of baby sharks to the aquarium! This has caused great excitement for all.

School Yard:

Thanks also to our very talented caretaker Mr Hallissey, for whom no job is too big or too small!! He is currently working on getting new demarcation lines painted on the different school yards, to make the new “zones” clearer for pupils and staff.

Raincoats & suitable footwear:

Please ensure your child brings their raincoat to school and wears suitable footwear every day. The children will be going outside for break every day so they will need to be suitably dressed for the weather. Outdoor activity is being encouraged by the Department of Education.

Christmas:

  • Christmas is only around the corner! On this topic we’d appreciate if the magic of the season is preserved for all the children in the school. Staff will certainly play their part. It is a special time in particular for primary school children. We’d like to ensure it remains that way. We thank you for playing your part
  • The current Covid situation means that we will not be able to invite parents into the school to watch their children take part in Christmas concerts this year. We are however hoping to put together a Christmas iMovie for parents as an alternative this year. So, watch this space!!
  • Given that the Parents Council are limited in what they can fund for the children this year, they have agreed to fund the cost of a Christmas annual for each of the children. These are fun & educational Christmas-themed activity books which will be given to the children before the Christmas holidays.
  • The school will close at 11.45am on Tuesday December 22nd for the Christmas holidays and will re-open on Wednesday January 6th at 8.50am.

Homework:

  • Homework is now being given in the junior end of the school.

Parent / Teacher meetings:

In the past parent / teacher meetings would have taken place in the weeks between Halloween and Christmas. This will not be possible this year, given the current public health situation. The current plan is to hold these meetings next year, but obviously this will have to be reviewed closer to the time and will depend on the public health situation at that time. Should parents wish to talk to their child’s teacher in the meantime, please phone the office to arrange a call back from the class teacher.

Staying Connected:

  • I am recording a virtual assembly for all classes in the school each week.
  • I am also recording some Irish videos for the Junior & Senior classes each week. The purpose of these is to promote the Irish language throughout the school.
  • Parents can view their child’s eportfolio on Seesaw by downloading the app and using the access codes provided by the class teacher. There is some lovely artwork to be seen there – not to be missed!

Aladdin:

  • Please make sure that you have downloaded the Aladdin app and have notifications switched on, as teachers may be using it to correspond with you during the school year.
  • If your child has been absent from school please record the reason for the absence on the Aladdin app (you will need to wait until teacher has marked your child absent first, before you will be given the option to record the reason).
  • Aladdin have introduced a new feature under the “Attendance” section, called “Return to School Declaration”. This is where parents are asked to make a declaration that they have “no reason to believe that my child has infectious disease and I have followed all medical and public health guidelines with respect to exclusion of my child from education facilities”. You will be asked to complete this declaration the day before your child returns to school, after being absent. This is an additional precautionary step that the school is taking in our efforts to keep all pupils and staff in Scoil Chroí Naofa safe during this pandemic. Should your son / daughter be marked absent from school, you will see that this form is available to fill out from the homepage via the “Attendance Notes” section. Please complete this form any-time after 3pm on the day before your child is ready to return to school, or before they arrive to school on the morning in question.

Digital & Remote Learning Plans:

  • Digital Learning is an important part of the curriculum in Scoil Chroí Naofa. We have had to adjust our Digital Learning Framework (DLF) in response to the Covid-19 restrictions e.g. class iPads used to be shared between 3 different classes every day. This year we changed our approach so that each class has the use of a set of iPads for a full week. The iPads are sanitised after each use, quarantined over the weekend and then passed on to a new class on Monday.
  • In addition to the new arrangements for the use of the class iPads we have also introduced the children to Seesaw and are also going down the road of using Google classroom. All of these changes will form part of the school’s DLF.
  • In March 2020 we were all taken by surprise when the schools were forced to close and not re-open until September! We will not be taken by surprise like this again. We have finalised our remote learning plan so that we are ready to respond asap, should there be a forced school closure. Hopefully we won’t have to use it!
  • In tandem with this we are revising our “Acceptable Use of Technology Plan” so that Pupils, Staff and Parents are all aware of what is “acceptable” from Scoil Chroí Naofa’s point of view, in relation to on-line behaviour.

Digital Age of Consent:

  • Children under the age of 16 (digital age of consent in Ireland) require parental consent to access social media platforms and pupils under the age of 13 should not have social media platform access at all i.e. TikTok or Snapchat etc.
  • These laws and parameters are laid down by the Government to protect juvenile users.
  • Misuse of social media platforms by primary school pupils should not be taking place, as primary school pupils should not be using these platforms in the first instance.

Community Links:

  • Exciting news for Athenry: “Dealz” are opening a store, where the old Centra used to be. The official opening day is Saturday Nov 14th. We have been invited to send a pod of 6th class girls to the grand opening. Our sincere thanks to Anne-Marie Finn (Niamh’s mom) for taking the girls on behalf of the school.
  • Unfortunately there can be no Band performance for the turning on of the Christmas lights in Athenry this year. The senior girls will however still be making decorations for the Christmas trees around the town, as they do each year.
  • We have been advised that the Flu Vaccine is being provided by McSharry’s Pharmacy (beside the Primary Care centre) to children aged 2-12, free of charge, if any parent is interested in availing of this service.

Sincerest thanks to you all for your co-operation and vigilance in adhering to all the Public Health guidelines. It is a great team effort from the whole school community and we are all doing so well, keeping our school safe.

Le Meas

Fergal Naughton

Príomhoide

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