Message from Mr. Neenan

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

It's hard to believe that another week has passed without seeing our wonderful pupils. I hope you are all staying safe and looking after each other. This week was meant to be the busiest of the year as we made our final preparations for Communion and Confirmation. My thoughts are with all those children and the disappointment they are undoubtedly feeling. 

I would like to thank everyone who completed our survey. Thank you in particular for all the wonderful comments of support you submitted. They have given us a huge lift and made us all the more determined to support you and your children through this difficult time. We were delighted to receive overwhelming support for the way in which we have facilitated remote learning to date. Our data from the survey also shows that a switch to a weekly menu of activities has provided breathing space for a large number of families. 

Some suggestions were submitted detailing how we might further enhance our approach. I discussed these suggestions with our divisional inspector and with staff at our weekly meeting online. Some of those innovative suggestions were sadly deemed unfeasible at present. As an example, concerns were raised by all involved that interactive lessons via Zoom/Teams/FaceTime would raise potential child protection risks and unfairly disadvantage homes with poor access to internet/devices.

However, you should notice the following tweaks in the coming weeks: 

  • As an alternative to interactive video calls, there will be a video/audio check in from your class teacher at some point each week. 

  • We have been advised to place more of an emphasis on using the Cula4 and RTE School Hub as a basis for our weekly learning from 1st-6th class. 

  • We will be further reducing the online links posted in weekly plans, in line with your feedback. 

  • Children are encouraged to continue sending in completed activities for feedback from teachers, but there is no requirement to do so. 

  • If you would still like some additional resources for your child to complete that are based on the same themes, these can now be emailed directly to you by sending an email to resources@ballydesmondns.ie. More general ones can still be sourced via the resources section of our school website. 

 

 

Please remember, we are here to listen, help and support. Thank you to those of you who have reached out already. As a school community, we are all in this together. If you are struggling, please contact us. Even if we don't have the answer, we may be able to point you in the right direction. Stay in touch and hopefully there will be light at the end of this lockdown tunnel in the near future. 

Stay safe,

Mr. Neenan.