Spring Newsletter 2021
“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head
And whispered to her neighbour
Winter is dead.”
(From Daffodowndilly by A. A. Milne)
Spring has suddenly crept up on us and it is hard to believe we are at the end of the second term in school already. We feel privileged to be back at school following 7-9 weeks of remote learning. It is not a privilege we take for granted. We are very conscious of the importance of implementing our Covid Response Plan, we all have a part to play in keeping our staff, pupils and their families safe during these worrying times as Covid continues to be prevalent in our country. Again I must reiterate the importance of keeping your children at home if they display any symptoms of Covid or if you feel they (or any member of the household) may have been in contact with a Covid positive case.
Festive Walk To School
On 14th December the children and staff took part in a festive walk to school. We met at the Riverdale Hotel and walked to school through the park wearing festive hats. We were unable to walk together as a school due to Covid restrictions but each classroom walked together. On arrival at school everyone went to their own classroom and thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast provided by members of the Parents’ Association. Children and staff made donations to Ballybay Cancer Society on the morning and €210 was collected altogether.
Hope Café Monaghan
During the month of December children brought non-perishable food items to school which were donated to Hope Café in Monaghan. Clare Douglas who collected the food items informed us that the food would be donated to needy families in Monaghan in the run up to Christmas. She was overwhelmed by the amount of food donated.
BCNS 2020 – School Magazine
Pupils in the senior Room created a school magazine during December and sold it to their families and friends. €1 from each magazine is being donated to Ballybay Cancer Society. The children were delighted with the response to their magazine and such was the demand they had to print more copies! A bundle of magazines was sent to the local nursing home, St. Anne’s for the residents to read. Thanks to Micheal our local postman for delivering them for us.
€140 from the sale of the magazine will be put with the €210 from the festive walk to school and €350 is being donated to Ballybay Cancer Society. Thanks to everyone who supported these events before Christmas.
During the period from 11th January-1st March/15th March all pupils remained at home and worked remotely. Staff provided daily lessons using the on-line learning platform Seesaw. This was part of our contingency plan as required by the Department of Education. We were delighted to have had introduced Seesaw to the children during the first term and everybody was familiar with it when schools remained closed after Christmas. We will be continuing to use Seesaw both in school and for homework after Easter. Remote learning was challenging for many families on a variety of levels and we appreciate the support you gave your child/children in completing the activities each day. Staff worked extremely hard during lockdown to ensure the curriculum continued to be implemented. It was great to see the children at our whole school zoom assembly and also at their individual zoom catch up with their teacher and classroom peers. We will not be sending home any books when schools close for Easter. However if schools don’t reopen we will be reverting to remote learning on Seesaw after Easter and books/packs will have to be collected from the school after the holidays.
Parent Teacher Meetings
Parent teacher meetings were deferred in Nov/Dec due to Covid restrictions. Meetings took place on 3 consecutive Tuesdays this month over the phone at pre-arranged times. Unfortunately it is not possible to meet with parents unless there has been a pre-arranged meeting. Obviously we are limiting the numbers of people who come into the school building at this time.
We are pleased to welcome Jessica Hill to our school. Jessica is completing work placement in Ms Brown’s room as part of her teacher training in Stranmillis College.
The school was very pleased to receive €700 from the committee of PSALM. This group was set up a number of years ago to promote music in Protestant Primary and Secondary schools in Co. Monaghan. We participated in a number of events organised by PSALM. The donation will be used to purchase an electric piano which will be a great addition to our school.
Boundary Wall Collapse
During a period of very heavy rain on 23rd February part of the boundary wall of the school collapsed and was washed out onto the road. We are very grateful that no one was hurt and many thanks to those who helped clear the road and remove debris on the day. The Board of Management is engaging with the Department of Education and our school insurance company in order to secure funding to repair the wall but also to address the drainage issue behind the wall.
It is very difficult to make plans for the summer term at this stage but it is highly unlikely we will be able to go swimming as we usually do in term 3. School tours, open mornings and whole school gatherings all appear doubtful. However it is important to focus on the positives – hopefully the weather will be good and the children will be able to go on trips to the park/playground, nature walks and spend time outdoors in their class group while also continuing to work hard in class in order to complete all parts of the curriculum. The summer term is short, 10 weeks in total. It will be a different term but let’s pray we all keep safe. Hopefully the vaccine roll out reaches more people and we can continue to keep our schools open.
School closes at 12.00 this Friday 26th March for Easter and will reopen on Monday 12th April.
School Closures During Term 3
Monday 3rd May School closed Bank Holiday
Monday 7th June School Closed Bank Holiday
Friday 18th June School closes at 12.00 for Summer Holidays
“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as he said.”