Newsletter 5th October 2020


Our dates for the year are in the ‘Calendar’ menu at the top of the page. We all sincerely hope that they work out as planned!

Over the next couple of weeks we will gradually reintroduce some homework and some teachers will begin experimenting with using the Aladdin app for same.

First Communion
Well done to the boys and girls of 3rd Class who (finally!) made their Communion on Saturday last. Thanks to their teachers Ms. Cunningham and Ms. Goff for preparing them. The rain held off and we hope people had a nice family day.

Healthy Eating
We encourage the eating of healthy lunches. We ask you not send sweets, crisps (and similar snacks), chocolate, fizzy or energy drinks to school please. We also ask you to think carefully about the quantity of food as children may feel they need to finish everything; that is not always the case.

Outdoor Activities
Much to our disappointment there will be no Cumann na mBunscol football competitions this year. We are gradually reintroducing our coaching activities during the year; cycling safety for 4th and 5th Classes; rugby and football for other classes. Swimming looks unlikely at this stage but we will keep it under review.

Allergies / Epipens
If your child has an allergy and we have an epipen here in the school please contact us immediately to check that it is in date.

Anxiety Webinar
Triple P Parenting Programme are delivering a webinar which will offer parents of children 4 – 14 years of age tips and strategies to help their children manage their anxiety. Parents have a crucial role to play in mitigating the potential long-term negative impacts of the pandemic on children, particularly in relation to mental health.

Date:                     Wednesday 21st October 2020
Time:                     7.30 – 9.00pm
Booking:             Online Booking
All information is confidential and your image or any identifying details will NOT be on screen.

Facilitators:         Sinead Higgins and Deirdre Dowling

COVID-19 Matters
Though quite a few parents, pupils and staff have been tested for the virus, we have not as yet had a confirmed case in the school. It is of course possible that there will be a case at some stage and it is prudent for us to be prepared. The school is a controlled environment. There are measures in place to combat the introduction or spread of the virus. These are based on:

• Physical Distancing
• Hand Hygiene
• Respiratory and Hygiene Etiquette

• Mask Wearing, where necessary

In the case of a positive result, Public Health will, by law, be informed. This may take a matter of hours due to legal and volume of work issues. The person tested, or their parents, may well be informed before Public Health. In some cases a social media discussion ensues and anxiety levels can be raised among the school community.

The Public Health Department of the HSE is the agency responsible by law for dealing with positive cases of COVID-19.

Once notified by the HSE testing regime, Public Health Doctors assume total control of the situation and will carry out a risk assessment. Based on questioning the person with the positive result, they will ascertain if they were within the school setting when they contracted the virus. If not, there may be no need to contact the school.

If the person was within the school setting when they contracted the virus, Public Health will contact the principal to carry out a Public Health Risk Assessment. This is a set of questions to see who might have been exposed to the virus and who needs to be excluded or tested. This risk assessment will be unique to each school.

The principal and board of management have no function in the risk assessment, other than to provide whatever information is required by the Public Health Medical Officer.

The principal and board may be asked to assist Public Health by sending a message from them to the relevant families identified in the risk assessment.  Public Health will not contact other members of the school community.

The principal and board are not permitted to inform members of the school community of the identity of the person or persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 for doctor–patient confidentiality and GDPR reasons.

Thank You
Huge thanks go to everyone in the school community for their patience and goodwill in helping the school to reopen and to remain open in these challenging times. To you the parents for your cooperation with our new routines, to the pupils for putting up with reduced opportunities for play and fewer chances to do the things we normally enjoy and to our wonderful staff for their generosity and flexibility in making things work. It’s good to be open! Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Reading Scheme Missing Books
We are missing a number of our reading scheme books. Please check if you have one. They are marked with sticker that has a letter and a number on it. If you have one, just return it immediately. Thank you.

Newsletter 21st September

Morning Arrangements
Please note that we will be reverting to our usual starting time of 9.15 a.m. from next Monday 28th September. Pupils may arrive at any time between 9 and 9:15 and they will go straight to their classrooms through the entrances they have been using in the past few weeks. The only change is that they need to be in school by 9:15. Naturally it will be busier as we approach that time so we again ask for your patience while the new routine becomes established. We would encourage you to do a ‘practice run’ this week in preparation for next week. Thank you.

Cycling / Road Safety
4th Class will begin their cycling safety course this week. We will try to reschedule lessons for 5th Class who missed out earlier in the year. While on that theme, we are concerned about road safety and physical distancing. There are a lot of children making their way on foot and by bicycle towards the church from the school in the afternoons. They are near to traffic on that road and there have been a couple of very narrow escapes in the past week or so. If you are collecting your child then please bring them in the car with you from the school – it will reduce pedestrian traffic on that road for a short but very busy time. Naturally the school is not responsible for what happens on a public road but we are concerned and really don’t want our pupils to come to any harm. Thank you.

This week we will open the attendance function on the Aladdin Connect App. Each day your child is absent, you will receive a notification via the app after the teacher has called the roll. You will then be invited to submit the reason for your child’s absence, (illness, urgent family reason, holiday or other). You will also have the opportunity to write a short note to the teacher if you wish. Until such time as you submit this information, your child’s absence will be recorded as unexplained.

If you record an absence promptly it is not necessary to contact the school. You should however phone the school if you have concerns about Covid 19 symptoms, or you wish to discuss the reason for absence directly with the teacher.

If you have not yet downloaded the Aladdin App, please do so. Please ring the school if you have any queries. Thank you.

Confirmation & Communion
Confirmation for last year’s 6th class (finally) took place recently. While it wasn’t normal, it was well organised by Arles parish and we hope all concerned had a good day. Communion for 2020 will (finally) take place on Saturday, 3rd October with strict limits on numbers attending. We hope that our pupils and their families have an enjoyable day despite the restrictions.

Allergies / Epipens
If your child has an allergy and we have an epipen here in the school please contact us to check that it is in date.

Electronic Payments
Our system is up and running and we’re working out the niggles and errors. If you have any queries please contact the school.

Jaydn’s Buddy Bench
In memory of our beloved pupil Jaydn Kelly who died a year ago, a lovely ‘buddy bench’ has been installed in the playground. It’s a nice way to remember him and we are grateful to all those who made it happen and would prefer their names not to be mentioned. Thank you.

Calendar 2020/21
Is now available at the link at the top of the page.