Monday 11th May 2020
Firstly, I would like to commend you all on all your efforts during these extraordinary times. I have no doubt the past few weeks have been incredibly challenging, we are dealing with unprecedented events which cause very real worries and concerns for ourselves, our families and our communities. Despite this, you have been engaging with your child’s education in a whole new way, allowing them to reinforce their learning and have a sense of security in a new routine, which is so necessary to reduce their anxieties and the uncertainty at this time.
Last week was a particularly poignant one; the Primary seven pupils should have been receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, this not proceeding as normal really brought home the incredible impact that the current situation is having, and will have, on the lives of our young people. This Saturday, similarly, we will be remembering our Primary four class who should be making their First Holy Communion. Such a memorable event in the lives of the children, again put on hold. We are acutely aware of the milestones, rites of passage and life experiences that our children are missing out on. Please know, we will do everything in our power, when the situation allows, to try in some way to compensate for these lost experiences. It is so hard to believe we are in the month of May already and it has been lovely to see the great efforts of the children to create a May altar in their homes just as we would have in school. I hope this sacred prayer space brings comfort during these uncertain times and a strong reminder of the place of faith in our lives, especially for the sacramental classes.
School, in terms of the building, may well be closed but school life is going on behind the scenes. Our days are filled with thoughts and concerns for the pupils in our school. While we ponder activities that may be fun and engaging, we are always thinking of the wellbeing of the boys and girls and are keen to know everyone is healthy, happy and well. We are mindful that everyone’s home circumstances differ; some parents are key workers, some are juggling working from home and home learning, some have caring responsibilities and indeed there may be sickness to overcome within the family and the worry associated with this. Beyond that, home life and routines are entirely different to the school day. This is always at the fore of our minds and our expectations of home-learning are therefore realistic. As mentioned at the outset of the closure, we ask you to engage with schoolwork at a level that is manageable to you and your family and appropriate for your child. It is of no benefit to anyone to have an overwhelmed and anxious parent or child. Just do your best! As I have said on many occasions, not all learning has to revolve around books and computers. Have fun with your children, allow them to play and learn in creative ways and remember, their health and happiness is paramount.
We do like to hear from you so that we know how the children are doing, that everyone in your families are happy and well, if we can offer support and indeed to ensure that no child feels completely detached from school when the time comes to return (when/however that may be). Thank you to those of you who have sent in pictures, of children at work or play, have submitted work or have been in touch to get responses to worries or queries. This contact is vital. Our School Website is an invaluable link for you and your child at present. There are weekly updates of suggested tasks as well as ongoing communications from the class teachers, assistants and the pupils.
It would be impossible almost for us to make direct contact with every family, as much as we would like to. I therefore ask, that any parent/child who has not been in contact with their child’s class teacher to please do so. A simple ‘hello’ message of how you are getting along and anything we can support you with. You can do this via email, the school Facebook message service or through google classroom (older pupils). Please remember this is in a pastoral capacity and not to check on the completion of home learning. We want to be supporting you as best we can throughout this uncertain time.
We are very mindful that the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has massively impacted employment and therefore family finances. Please know that if you find yourself in that situation, you are not alone. Do reach out and we will do our best to support you. I would also like to remind you all at this time that our school remains a referral agency for the CornerStone foodbank. Our safeguarding team is still in place and concerns can be directed to our designated teacher (Mrs Woods) via email.
The school has been registered for the ‘virtual sport’s day’ being hosted by Healthy Kidz in conjunction with Eurospar NI. You will receive an update shortly on how to register your child.
As always, we continue to send all our good wishes to each and every one of you. We are keeping you all in our prayers.
Take care and stay safe,
Mrs C. Sloan
Mrs Woods (Primary 1 and Safeguarding Designated teacher) email@example.com
Miss Cunningham (Primary 2) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Graham (Primary 3&4) email@example.com
Mrs Norris (Primary 5) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Sloan (Primary 6&7) email@example.com