Saint Brigid’s National School, is a primary school situated in the centre of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Our mission is to provide the highest quality education for all our children in a happy, safe and stimulating Christian environment, focusing on their academic, social, personal, moral and spiritual development to help them be the best they can be.

How parents can help

We will be adding to this post in the run up to the re-opening of the school with ways parents can help.

Newsletter
13th August, 2020

The Principal, Board of Management and Staff of St. Brigid’s, Greystones have been working hard getting the school ready for the safe return of all, following the guidelines published by the Department of Education. https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/a128d-back-to-school/   Our main aim is to have a safe and happy return to school and to prevent the risk of infection. We know we can depend on your help and support in these challenging times.

We understand that being in communication and parents having information is important. Please read any emails that we send home and keep an eye on our school’s website. Some of the general information will be familiar to you by now, but there will be some details of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in St. Brigid’s NS, Greystones specifically. Decisions will be reviewed regularly. If upon review, there are any changes to what we do, we will let you know. Your child’s class teacher will also update as necessary. Ensure the school has your contact details so that you receive emails from the school with the information you will need. Let us know if you have moved house, changed phone number or email address. You may also want to check that your emergency contact details are up to date.

School will be a bit different this year, especially at the beginning, but children are very resilient and will get used to these changes very quickly. They will look to you for reassurance. Whatever concerns they may have they will be helped by you speaking positively of the return to school. We advocate giving children information that is age appropriate.

Children should NOT ATTEND school if they are unwell, if any members of their household are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19.

If you are in any doubt whether you should send your child to school or not, please err on the side of caution.

If any pupil becomes unwell while at school, we will follow the recommendations in the guidelines and parents will be contacted to collect the child as soon as possible.

The HSE will inform any parents of children who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case.

Throughout the school there will be hand sanitizers provided which children will be required to use and will be asked to regularly wash their hands while in school. Automatic hand sanitizer dispensers are installed throughout the school.

Drop-off and Collection

  • The guidelines says that schools must ‘limit interaction on arrival and departure from school.’
  • The gate on Trafalgar Road beside Mrs. Mooney’s has been re-opened so there are now three entrances to the school. Children will enter and exit the school via a designated gate and must use this gate at all times. Details will be issued to each class group.
  • Walking or cycling to school is encouraged as a safer alternative to car pooling or using public transport.
  • Parents are asked not to enter the school grounds and to leave the area around the school promptly at ‘drop off’ and collection time.
  • Appointments may be made to visit the school for essential purposes. A ‘contact tracing log’ at Tara’s office will be filled out for each visit.
  • Any school payments should be via the online payment system
  • Your child’s class teacher will let you know the best way you can contact him or her. For example by email, Class Dojo or Seesaw

Physical Distancing

  • Children from Junior Infants to 2nd Class are not required to physical distance according to the guidelines we have received from the Department of Education.
  • Children from 3rd-6th class are expected to keep a distance of one metre where possible. They will be required to stay in their ‘pods’ or groups and keep socially distance from other ‘pods’.
  • In the guidelines each class is referred to as a ‘bubble’. Classes will be mixing only their own class group. This includes break time
  • Classes will be divided into groups, or ‘pods’. These children will sit, work and play together. Teachers will base these ‘pods’ on friendship groups. Where teachers are new to a class, they will consult with the teacher who had the class last year.
  • Staff will try to maintain physical distance from children when they can, and will wear face coverings and other PPE when needed.
  • Ventilation is important. Windows and doors will be kept open where at all possible. Please ensure your child is dressed warmly enough. This is important.

Schoolbags and Lunches

  • We have not been given any guidelines regarding these items but a common-sense approach will be followed.
  • Choose lunchboxes, bottles and pencil cases that are easy to clean, as they will need to be cleaned frequently.
  • Make sure that younger child can open and close their lunchbox, the contents of the lunchbox, their bottle, their coat, and their shoes independently. Shoes with ‘velcro’ fastenings are preferable for the younger children!
  • Children will be required to use their own school equipment where possible e.g pencils and pens as for the time being sharing of resources will not be possible.
  • Please ensure that your child does not have toys from home in their schoolbag.
  • Your child’s class teacher may have other requests and recommendations that they will add.

Cleaning

  • Brigid’s NS, has been given a thorough ‘deep clean’ and cleaning in the school will be increased significantly.
  • Books, toys and resources will be cleaned regularly.
  • Where necessary items of school equipment will be isolated for 72 hours prior to being used by a different pod/class.
  • Again class teachers will let you know further measures we are taking to prevent the spread of COVID as necessary.

We understand that these restrictions are not easy, but you will appreciate that they are important.

Please be positive when talking to your children about them and explain to them that they are in their best interests. Keep the lines of communication open. Trust us to do our very best.

Adapted from ‘All Things Primary’ and ‘Playful_Classroom’ who generously shared their newsletters for free on Mash.ie

Help children avoid dry, sore hands by teaching how to wash their hands carefully.  Regular HAND WASHING can be hard on the hands especially in children where the skin is thinner and more sensitive than in adults.

Here are 4 things that can help:
1.Use soap with neutral pH value
2.Get your hands wet before you put soap on
3.Rinse and wipe your hands thoroughly after washing
4.Use hand cream when you get home after school and at bedtime.

If you know of something that really helps to avoid sore hands, do get in touch and let us know.

We are all in this together.

LUNCHES

A practical way parents of the younger children can help is to pack lunches that children can open easily. It has always been better that teachers aren’t opening lunch things that the children will be putting in their mouths. With COVID-19 this is even more important. In addition we have a no nuts policy for all because some children have nut allergies. We also have a whole school healthy eating policy.