Firstly let me say that over the past couple of weeks we have truly missed your children’s laughter. They may find this new scenario difficult to adjust to. Like us all, their normal, secure and safe world has been thrown upside down.
We realise that school is an important part of their lives and we know they must be missing the routine of coming in to Scoil Chóca Naofa, where they have always played with their friends and engaged so well in their lessons.
We know you are worried that your child may be missing out on learning, so we will do our best in the coming weeks to give you strategies to help your child and provide some consistency in these uncertain times. When we closed on March 12th, we provided all children with work to bring them to March 27th. Now we must look to the future weeks.
We are setting up a new blue tab on the website entitled ‘Work at Home’ with links to each year group. From Monday March 30th, the teachers will submit a weekly suggestion for some work for them to complete daily.This should be up to 30 mins for the younger children and up to one hour for the older children each day.
We are very conscious of the stress and strain on all families at the moment with health, financial and safety worries. We do not intend to add to that anxiety, and want to let you know the school is here to support you in any way we can over the coming weeks.
Please note that this work is provided, simply to give them structure in their day, to help continue with their learning. It is not prescriptive and it is not mandatory, look on it more as a menu of things they “could do”. Your kitchen or sitting room is not a classroom and you are not expected to take on the role of teacher. We all agree that a little school work and a lot of play is the best mix.
We know that not every home is equipped with multiple digital devices and Internet access varies wildly from home to home and from area to area. For this reason most of the work will involve their schoolbooks.We have arranged a timetable for you to come to the school on Thursday March 26th to collect their books. This will appear as a separate post. We have provided daytime and evening time collection slots for classes and have laid out 2metre markers and a one way traffic system for you to follow to keep you safe whilst you collect these books. Do not bring the children with you when collecting the books please.
The format will be the same weekly. Your child is encouraged to read, write and complete some maths – no matter how short, on a daily basis. If not using our recommendations then build it into your household routine with the children.
Each week the teachers will also provide a few different sites you can look at with your children should you like to have them engage with additional activity. We have set up an email addresses for every teacher, please use this facility to contact teacher if needed or email pictures of your child’s written work, so the teacher can give some feedback if you have the time. Teachers will respond within normal school hours.
In many homes, older brothers and sisters are stressed because of Leaving Cert or Junior Cycle issues compounded by the current crisis. Many families may also be catering for elderly parents, relatives or neighbours. Some of our parents are working on the front line, with the HSE and our Emergency Services and to you we extend our deepest thanks.
May I take this opportunity to thank the dedicated staff of Scoil Chóca Naofa for making themselves available to co-ordinate and plan all of this activity for the children.
This is a very challenging time for us all. It is critical that during these challenging times we continue to work together and that the focus of all is on the best possible outcomes for our students and their families. Stay calm and safe.
Linda Daly, (On behalf of the Staff & Board of Management at Scoil Chóca Naofa).