Newsletter 16th December 2020

Confession and Confirmation
Second Class received the Sacrament of Penance on Tuesday night in a quiet and Covid-friendly ceremony in St. Anne’s Church. It was lovely to be there as Christmas approaches – why not plan a visit with your family? Thanks to Arles Parish for the careful organisation and to Mrs. Donnelly and Ms. Murphy for helping to prepare the children. Sixth Class took part in a Ceremony of Light on Monday night as part of their preparation for Confirmation. Thanks to Mrs. Connolly and Mrs. Hurley for helping the children to prepare. It is hoped that Communion and Confirmation can take place before the summer but this – like so many things – has to remain uncertain for now.

Food Appeal
Many thanks to you all for your generous support of our recent food appeal and to Ms. Goff for organising.

No Presents Needed
A reminder that while teachers like to receive presents at Christmas and children like to give them there is absolutely no need and no one should feel under any pressure in this regard. As has been the custom in recent years we also ask children to refrain from giving cards to classmates as the volume of cards and envelopes generated is extraordinary. They may give one to their ‘Advent Friend’ under the guidance of the class teacher.

Táimid ag déanamh iarracht níos mó Gaeilge a úsáid i rith an lae. We’re trying to use a little more Irish during the day. The children are continuing our efforts this year. Have a listen!

Enrolments will be accepted in January for the next school year 2021/22.

Our Gift to You
In the coming weeks you will all receive a copy of our 2021 Calendar containing photos of the children. We had to be creative this year as group photos were more challenging! We decided not to ask local businesses for sponsorship and to give you each a copy free of charge for the memorable year that’s in it. We have not been running our voluntary ‘brown envelope’ collection so far this year, though we may return to it in an electronic format in the coming months and will ask you for your support then.

A reminder that we are treating the pupils to a performance of the ‘The Sword in the Stone’ (The Helix Panto Online) this Friday 18th December.  One of the stars is Colm Farrell, a past pupil of this school. We want to make it a special occasion and a celebration. The children can wear their Christmas jumpers or something festive on the day and we’ll treat them to some popcorn too.
Entry just €2.

Covid Update
Firstly, thank you all for your careful attention to any virus-related concerns. It is so important that we have your support in preventing the spread of the virus. While we have a spacious, warm, modern building, we do need to have windows open more than usual and we’re not always in a position to fully close them. If your child mentions that they are feeling the cold, please let us know. Another layer of clothing may be one solution. Thankfully for the vast majority this has not been a problem to date.

Most notably, pupil attendance this December has been higher than the previous four Decembers! Very well done everybody! We would really like to keep it that way, so please continue to follow public health guidelines.

As we did at Halloween, we will be sending home some schoolbooks in the coming days. It is a precaution in case the school is forced to close. They were not needed after Halloween and we sincerely hope they won’t be needed in January!

The school is vulnerable – if the virus is widespread in the community, it will enter the school. This year to date we have had one confirmed case within the school. Because this coincided (thanks to due to care and attention) with an extended absence and the Halloween break, a Public Health risk assessment was not deemed necessary and there were no concerns regarding onward transmission.

I appeal to you all to please minimise your contacts in the coming weeks, practise physical distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands. I am hopeful that if we can make it to Easter with minimal disruption the worst may be over and we can begin to look forward in confidence. If you do not take care and the virus becomes widespread in the community, disruption to the life of the school is likely. The children do not need that, parents don’t need it and teachers certainly don’t want it. Please, please remember this over Christmas, we all want to return as normal in January.

Nollaig Shona
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody associated with the school – but especially you the parents – a very happy and peaceful Christmas. As always, we are aware of some especially difficult family circumstances and will be keeping you in our prayers.

The school will close for the Christmas holidays at 12:20 for Infants and 12:30 for all others on Tuesday next, 22nd December. The children don’t have to wear their uniform on that day; they may wear something ‘Christmassy’ if they wish. We will re-open on Wednesday, 6th January 2021. Other planned closures are detailed on the school website.

Thank you all for your support as always. Nollaig shona daoibh go léir.

John Threadgold