SCHOOL NEWS in Brief…..
27th March 2020
From the Principal’s desk (aka the kitchen table!):
I hope you and your family and friends are keeping well in spite of the circumstances.
As you know by now, the DES have extended the period of school closures to the 19th April for the time being.
As we become somewhat more used to our new reality it’s important for you as parents to reflect on your own wellbeing. Are you minding yourselves and giving yourselves time to adjust? Remember, you are your child’s primary educator – but, if all parents were teachers we wouldn’t need schools! If your young children are running about like crazy – do know, they do that at school too! If your older children are saying they have all the work done and are slouching and saying they’re bored – do know, they do that at school too! This period of time is about building children’s capacity as independent learners, especially from Rang 3 up to Rang 6. How is your child faring with setting up a timetable? Are they totally dependent on you as parents? Would they consider themselves as ready to learn independently? How will they assess themselves in the numeracy and literacy and project work they choose to do? How will they reward themselves? Are they demonstrating a positive attitude as is expected every day from teachers when at school?
As we have reiterated a number of times through our emails, families are still finding their new routine. However, we hope that through the measures we have put in place so far you are finding a way to somehow navigate this new path! As a school, we are only finding our own path also. Remember, everything we have sent out to you are all suggestions! If you are not yet getting to this work that is ok. Every household is different and has differing demands. The Minister for Education has instructed teachers to continue to plan lessons and that is what we are doing. This does not mean that families have to use them. They are there for you to use, should you feel up to it and find them useful.
Remember the best you can do for your child at this time is:
The feeling about learning is more important than the learning - it is much better for your child to feel confident and happy about completing 5 easy sums or re-reading a well-thumbed favourite book than to feel stressed about struggling through difficult maths or reading challenges. We, the teachers, will get to the new content when everyone is back to school, so don’t worry! Stress is not useful, so avoid it if you can - that goes for both child and adult!!!
Mental Health Comes First
Of greatest importance during this time is everyone's mental health. Different people will cope with being at home in different ways and the family dynamic may feel stretched or strained while everyone is pushed together. Keeping the family mentally and emotionally healthy is more important than getting through academic work.
Make sure to take the time to figure out what works for your family.
Here are some resources that might help families through this time:
The staff of RMDS have been wonderful in working co-operatively to get our distance learning up and running in these difficult circumstances. We have met remotely on a number of occasions since our school closure to discuss the best ways to continue to support children and parents at home. In setting out work for children to do at home we are mindful of not overburdening parents whilst also keeping children stimulated, motivated and most importantly learning. I will be sending out a questionnaire shortly which looks for your feedback on our distance learning to date. Your feedback would be much appreciated, and will help continue to guide us in preparing work for your children.
The importance of Social Distancing is impressed upon us at this time and I would like to take this opportunity to reinforce that message. There is an absolute need to practice social and physical distancing, and to minimise physical contact with each other, to help avoid the spread of Covid-19. However difficult as it may be, please avoid meeting up and in all circumstances adhere to HSE guidelines. It is certainly harder with older children, and for those with teenagers, but please support your children to maintain the restrictions on congregating for the safety of all in our community.
On a lighter note we have some “Happy Birthday” wishes to send out since we last saw the children!
So a big “Happy Birthday” to ………
Rowan (Rang 4), Oscar (Rang 3), Sarah K. (Rang 5), Harry (Rang 5), Shay (Rang 1), Juno (Rang 2), Henry (SI), Iesha (JI), Fay (SI), Lauren (JI) and Conn (Rang 5) whose birthdays have all taken place over the last few days! We hope you all enjoyed your day!!!
Julia (Rang 3), Freddie (Rang 1), Billy (Rang 6), Oscar M. (Rang 5) and Brian (Rang 6) whose birthdays take place next week! We hope you have a wonderful day with your families!
Finally, here is a lovely link to some calming, coping ideas for the whole family to try together!
Take care, Rosemarie