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.

Letters home from school.

Scroll down this post

to see other LETTERS SENT HOME

so far this school year:

Newsletter 26 – 16th April  

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The week has flown by. I can’t believe it is Friday already.

We were delighted to welcome back our students to school after the Easter break on Monday. The children all look so refreshed and seem happy to be back at school with their friends once again.

Lots of learning has been taking place outdoors this week. From Maths lessons to Science lessons not to mention PE. I even had the pleasure of listening to Ms Purcell’s 4th class play a tune on their recorders in the back yard on Tuesday. Music to my ears. Pardon the pun.

Vision and Hearing Tests for Junior Infants – The Junior Infants had their Vision and Hearing tests at school this week. Ann and Brenda (the two HSE Nurses) commented on how friendly and mannerly they all were. They are great ambassadors for our school. Maith sibh a pháistí !!

Thank you to the Parents Association – The PA are working hard to improve our outdoor environment. Over the Easter, five new apple trees were put in situ. We look forward to them maturing and eventually producing some nice fruit for us to eat.

Road Works and Road Safety – The improvements to Kimberley Road are almost complete. However, we would ask the children to exercise caution when coming to and from school. It is important that they always stay on the footpaths and avoid stepping out onto the road.  We would also ask that parents park in designated parking zones only in the interest of safety to all. I have alerted the Gardai to the traffic problems in the mornings so hopefully we will see an improvement to this over the coming weeks.

Gaelic Coaching – Kevin Spain from Éire Óg will work with our Senior Infants, First and Second classes for the next six weeks starting Monday 19th April. Kevin has worked at the school over the last year and the children really enjoy his sessions. He incorporates lots of fun games into his drills and ensures every child can participate whatever their sporting prowess.

Home-School Communication – Please ensure that we have your correct contact details. From now on most correspondence will be delivered via Aladdin Connect, text and e mail.

It is important that you let us know if your child is not returning to school next September. We have waiting lists for all classes and as you will appreciate, we would like to be able to offer places to those on our waiting lists as these become available.

2021/2022 School Calendar – This is now available to view on our school website.

Summer Uniform – May marks the beginning of Summer. The boys and girls can wear the summer uniform (school shorts) to school from Monday 10th May to the end of the year if they wish.

COVID-19 Protocols – Thank you again for your continued support in helping keep our school a safe place to teach and learn. A few reminders around our protocols

  • It is important not to congregate in the school yard or school gates at drop off and collection times.
  • All communication with the school must take place by phone or online.
  • Please do not send your child to school if they are a close contact of someone with COVID 19, are awaiting a test or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Please do not send your child to school if they are living with someone who has symptoms of the virus.
  • Please do not send your child to school if they have traveled outside Ireland. I f they have please consult and follow the latest Government advice in relation to travel.

Have a lovely weekend. Until next week, take care and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

9th April 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you all had a nice Easter. This is a lovely time of the year and the stretch in the evening certainly helps puts a pep in everyone’s step.

The clouds are slowly lifting on the Pandemic. All secondary school students will return to school on Monday and we will be able to travel freely within our own county and meet up with one other family outdoors. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to hold tight for a while longer.

We are looking forward to welcoming the boys and girls back to school on Monday. In advance of their return, you will need to complete the Return to School Declaration Form which will be live on Aladdin Connect from 3pm on Sunday 11th April.

Unfortunately, the road works are still not complete on Kimberley Road. In the interest of the health and safety of our children we would ask that you park in designated areas only. This applies to parking on Trafalgar Road also. Thank you for your cooperation in advance.

If you are dropping off a child late or collecting a child early you will need to use the pedestrian gate at the zebra crossing on Trafalgar Road to gain access to the school grounds. This is the only gate that is unlocked between 9.00am and 2.40pm each day.

The first day back to school after a holiday is always a little busier than usual so we would ask you to bear with us as we all get back into the daily drop off and collection routines.

Enjoy the weekend.

Le meas,
Máire Costello
Principal

19th March 2021

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

I hope you all had a nice St. Patrick’s Day. The weather was beautiful and certainly helped to lift peoples’ spirits. The “Orchestra of Light “drone show wishing everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day  was spectacular and the message of hope it sent out to the world is exactly what  we all need right now.

Monday 15th March saw the return to school of our 3rd to 6th class pupils. We were delighted to welcome them all back. We have really missed them. I hope they missed us a little too.  The teachers know how important it is to allow time for the boys and girls to settle back to school and adapt to school procedures and routines again. They will create opportunities for the children to talk and discuss, in order to re-establish relationships and to support learning across the curriculum. The children will be engaging in outdoor learning activities to help promote physical activity and positive wellbeing, one of the key priorities for us at this time.

Seachtain na Gaeilge – As part of our celebrations for Seachtain na Gaeilge we organised for Giggles the clown to have a virtual visit over Zoom with our Senior Infant Classes. The children loved his colourful hair and bright clothes. He spoke to them “as gaeilge”, taught them some new Irish words and made some balloon animals for them. The children had a lovely time chatting to Giggles and would love a visit from him again soon. Hopefully the next time, it can be in person.

Tuesday 16th March – It was lovely to see the boys and girls dressed in green and the staff also got into the spirit of our national holiday by donning forty shades of green for the day. There was a lovely atmosphere in the school greatly enhanced by the outdoor socially distanced singing seisiún organised by Mr. Dodd for the older classes in the yard. Unfortunately, the junior classes were unable to participate in the “Paráid Mór” sa chlós this year but the mini parades in the junior classes were something special.

COVID-19 Protocols – We appreciate all that you are doing to help keep our school a safe place to work and learn. From not sending your children to school if they are displaying any COVID symptoms to the wearing of face masks to being vigilant about social distancing at arrival and pick-up times to dispersing as quickly as possible from the school grounds and gates, you are all playing your part to keep us safe. Thank you.

Return to School Declaration Form – A reminder that this form must be completed after every school absence or school closure. The form can be accessed through Aladdin Connect from 3pm the day before your child is due to return to school.

Sacraments – No dates have been set for the 2021 Sacraments. Please keep a close eye on the Parish website for any updates on this.

Healthy Eating Policy – Having consulted with the teachers and Parents Association the Board of Management have now ratified St. Brigid’s Healthy Eating Policy which is available for all to view on our school website.

Easter Holidays – The school will close for Easter on Friday 26th March. Junior Infants, Senior Infants and their siblings will go home at 12.10pm and 1st to 6th will finish up at 12.30pm. School will reopen  on Monday 12th April.

Until next week, stay safe and stay well.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

15th March 2021

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

It was lovely to have the full school back this morning.  The boys and girls from 3rd -6th class have really taken a stretch.

We really appreciate everyone completing the Return to School Declaration Form in Aladdin Connect.  It is now a requirement from the Department of Education that this Declaration Form is completed after every school closure or school absence.  This means all parents/ guardians will have to complete the form again after 3pm on Wednesday 17th March as the school is closed on Wednesday.  While it might seem a little over the top having to complete it again, it is in the interest and safety of all the children and staff here at the school.

On medical advice one point we have been asked to clarify is that if you have anyone in your household with symptoms suggestive of COVID (child or adult) that the whole household needs to remain at home until the index case has had a test and it is negative. Even if you feel it’s not COVID you need to keep everyone at home until you speak to the doctor for advice.  We appreciate your cooperation with this.

It is Green Day tomorrow and we are looking forward to seeing all the boys and girls dressed in green (no face paints).  If the children are uncomfortable dressing up they can always wear their school tracksuit instead.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

12th March, 2021

Dear Parents /Guardians,

We are looking forward to welcoming the boys and girls back on Monday.

I am really proud of how the children have worked over these last weeks.  I know it hasn’t been easy.  It will be great to see them again.

I would like to share with you two videos and an advice sheet we received today from the Department of Education’s COVID 19 Team which  you and your children may find of some use in advance of their return.

Video 3rd to 6th Class https://youtu.be/IfrNHfHo5vI

Video for Parents https://youtu.be/hg2wRiXXSpc

Click on this link for the advice sheet.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

12th March 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Can you believe it is a year to the day

since schools first closed

for Lock Down One back in March 2020 ?

I will never forget that day 12 months ago

when we waved goodbye to the boys and girls thinking we would see them again two weeks later. However, this was not to be.

We all had to adopt to a new way of teaching and learning in such a short space of time. This new remote teaching and learning was hard – hard for students, hard for teachers and hard for parents. While it proved to be bit of a novelty in the early days the novelty soon wore off. The children and staff really missed the routine of the school day not to mention the social interactions. Fingers crossed this is the last we will see of remote teaching and learning as our senior classes return to school this coming Monday. We are really looking forward to welcoming them back – the school is just not the same without them.

School Life – I am happy to report that our first two weeks back with the junior classes have gone really well. The children have settled back into school life and are thoroughly enjoying being able to mix with their friends once again.

Junior Infants – There was great excitement in the Junior Infants classes on Monday when the boys and girls got to take home their very first readers from St Brigid’s.  They felt so grown up and couldn’t wait to get home to show them off.

Grow and Sow Bags – A big thank you to the Parents Association for providing all our junior classes with Grow and Sow Bags to bring home this week.  The opportunity for children to get their hands dirty and to observe first-hand how plants grow is an educational opportunity not to be missed.

Green Day – We are looking forward to celebrating St Patick’s Day here at the school on Tuesday 16th March. We are inviting the boys and girls to come to school dressed in something green. The children can wear their tracksuits to school if they are not comfortable dressing up,

Remote Learning in 6th Class – While the interest in remote learning may be waning it has afforded our 6th classes the opportunity to participate in some fun filled learning days of late.  These have included a “Book and Bake Day”, an Activity Day and even a “Pasta Day” where the children got to create some pasta art, learned and recorded 3 Italian phrases, made a pasta-based meal and designed a holiday brochure for a city or town in Italy. Sounds to me like a lot of fun and something they really enjoyed doing.

Condolences – We extend our condolences to Ms Walle and her family on the recent passing of her dear Mum.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very sad time.

Standardised Tests – It is the intention of the DES that Standardised testing will take place for all classes from 1st to 6th in May/June 2021 subject to pandemic guidelines. A new Circular will be issued to schools in the coming weeks in relation to standardised testing for 2021.

Slán le Ms. Dalton – We wish Ms. Dalton all the best as she moves on to teach in another school. She will be missed by all the boys and girls in Room 9.

Improvements to the outdoors – You may notice two lovely new birch trees have been planted on the left side just inside the silver entrance gates on Trafalgar Road. A big thank you to Rebecca and Ed Melvin who gave so generously of their time on Wednesday to do the planting on such a cold and wet day.

Return to School Declaration Forms for 3rd to 6th Class – A reminder to parents of children in these classes to complete this form in advance of your children returning to school on Monday 15th March. The form will be available on Aladdin Connect from 3pm on Sunday when it goes live on our system. Thank you for your cooperation with this new protocol.

Road Safety –In the interest of developing good road safety habits with the children, we would ask you to cross with our lollipop lady Rosemary at drop off and collection times please.

After School Activities – Our After School Basketball will start up again after Easter COVID permitting.

Mother’s Day – Finally, a special shout out to all our St. Brigid’s Mums for Mother’s Day on Sunday. I hope you have a lovely day and are spoiled rotten. You deserve to be.

Enjoy the weekend. Stay safe.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

8th March, 2021

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

Hot off the press from Department of Education. The Department have confirmed that 3rd-6th Classes can return to school next Monday 15th March. This is great news. We are looking forward to seeing the older children as we have really missed their presence around the school. The school isn’t the same without them.

You will need to complete the Return to School Declaration Form in advance of your child returning to school. The form can be accessed through the ‘Attendance Notes’ option on the homepage of the Aladdin Connect app or on their homepage via browser.

The form only becomes available at 3pm on Sunday 14th March. All children will need a completed online form before returning to school on Monday.

Parents will see a badge notification on the Attendance Notes tab. Click on the tab and follow the instructions.

Please note that for any future absences your child may have the Return to School Declaration Form must be completed in advance of your child returning to school.

Thank you for your continued support throughout this lockdown. We would appreciate your cooperation in this new Health and Safety protocol around the completion of the Return to School Declaration Forms.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

March 5th 2021 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It was lovely to see Infants to Second Class return to school this week and great to get the opportunity to say a quick hello to you the parents/guardians even if it was from a distance.  We are all just so delighted to be back.

We’ve had the best week ever !! The sound of learning coming from the classrooms is something that I have really missed not to mention the sound of the children playing at yard time. The children have settled right back into the routine of the school day and are so happy to be with their friends again.  They have been using their “cúpla focal” this week to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge and are greeting me in the mornings with “Maidin maith Ms. Costello. Conas atá tú? “ This is really lovely to hear and sets me up for the day.

I can appreciate just how fed up our senior classes may be with remote learning at this stage and that interest and engagement is waning fast. Hopefully they only have one more week of home learning to do  but in the meantime we all need to do our best to encourage and motivate them as much as we can.

I found it interesting but not surprising to hear from some parents that their older children were jealous of their younger siblings returning to school this week. It just goes to show how much our boys and girls want to get back to school.

Return to School Declaration Form– Thank you to everyone for completing this in advance of your child’s return to school this week. We had 100% compliance with this new protocol which is absolutely amazing. So again, míle buíochas. This form has to be completed every time a child returns to school after a period of absence and holidays.

Kimberley Road Works – Three members of the Board of Management met with the engineer on Wednesday to discuss a proposal for the removal of the barrier on Kimberley Road at the laneway entrance to our school. I am happy to say that the situation has now been resolved and the barrier is to stay.

Health and Safety – The HSE have been in contact with us to let us know that the Junior Infants hearing and vision tests are to take place here at school in the school hall on Tuesday  13th and Wednesday 14th of April.

Sacraments – In a letter we received from Archbishop Dermot Farrell this week, the Archbishop acknowledges the anxiety about the timing of the celebration of the sacraments this year. He would like to assure parents that there is no deadline and that we should focus on supporting children so that they are prepared to celebrate the sacraments whenever, and in whatever format, this proves possible. As soon as liturgical celebrations can be safely resumed, the celebration of sacraments for children where this could not happen last year will be prioritised, then children who are due to celebrate Confirmation this year, followed by First Confession and First Holy Communion.

Have a lovely weekend.

Slán sabháilte

Máire Costello

Principal

2nd March 2021

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your cooperation in completing the Return to School Declaration Form for your children after this period of school closure. It is great to have such support and backing from our parents. We really appreciate you engaging with this new form of communication in relation to your child returning to school.

From now on when a child returns to school after an absence, parents need to complete the Return to School Declaration Form either through the ‘Attendance Notes’ option on the homepage of the Aladdin Connect app or on their homepage via browser.

Parents will still need to provide a reason for their child’s absence on Aladdin Connect.

The form becomes available at 3pm on the day the child has been marked absent or if the child is returning to school after a school closure. If a child is marked absent on a Friday, the form becomes available at 3pm on Sunday.

This is to ensure the declaration is completed in as appropriate a time for a child’s return to school as possible.

Parents will see a badge notification on the Attendance Notes Tab. Click on the tab and follow the instructions.

Just to reiterate the Return to School Declaration Form must be completed in advance of any child returning to school after a period of absence.

Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any problems filling in the declaration form and attendance note.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

***************************************

26th February 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Happy Friday. What a beautiful morning it is out there this morning – Definitely a day for a nice long walk.

I hope you are all keeping well. I know the news that the junior end of our school will be returning to their classrooms this coming Monday is the news that many of you have been waiting for. We are so excited to be welcoming the children back and cannot wait to see them.  Unfortunately, our senior classes will have to wait a little while longer.

Some of you may be feeling a little anxious about your children returning to school and that is totally understandable. While we at the school have been working really hard to ensure the school is  a safe place  to be we need your help to ensure we do everything we can to reduce the chances of a COVID-19 outbreak in our school. Thus, we kindly ask you to read and abide by all of the points outlined below:

Actions for Parent(s) / Guardian(s):

?  Parent(s) / Guardian(s) must complete the ‘Return to School Declaration’ Form (available via Aladdin Connect in respect of each child returning to school and after each and every further absence from school

?  Parent(s) / Guardian(s) may not congregate at or near the school.

?  Parent(s) / Guardian(s) wishing to communicate with the school should do so via the phone, email or agreed online platform.

? Parent(s) / Guardian(s) should not send their child to school if they have symptoms of COVID-19  – we would ask you to remain on the side of caution if in doubt.

? Parent(s) / Guardian(s) should not send their child to school if they are close contacts of a person with COVID-19, are awaiting a test or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

? Parent(s) / Guardian(s) should not send their child to school if they are identified by the HSE as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus.

? Parents(s) / Guardian(s) should not send their child to school if they have travelled outside of Ireland; in such instances, parents / guardians are advised to consult and follow latest Government advice in relation to foreign travel;

? Parent(s) / Guardian(s) are asked to cooperate with any public health officials and the school for contact tracing purposes and follow any public health advice in the event of a case or outbreak in the school.

We are hopeful that this partial re-opening of our school building will be a positive step forward but it will require ALL our collective efforts to maximise our chances of staying safe and healthy over the next number of weeks and months.

Ireland Reads – Some of our classes participated in the Ireland Reads Campaign yesterday which involved the children squeezing in a read to celebrate the new national day of reading. Ireland Reads is a public libraries initiative, in partnership with publishers, booksellers, authors and others under the Governments “Keep Well “campaign. It’s all about promoting the power of reading for enjoyment and wellbeing – combatting lockdown by encouraging people to get into a habit of regularly setting aside time to sit and read a book, a poem, a comic, a newspaper, whatever is of interest to them. The feedback from the teachers on the day was that it is was a great success and we look forward to celebrating it in the classrooms next year

Works on Kimberley Road – Wicklow County Council are currently working on replacing the footpaths on Kimberley Road, Part of their improvements to the road include a proposal to build out the footpath in front of the gate at the end of the school laneway, plant a tree here and remove the crash barrier at the entrance. The Board of Management have expressed their strong opposition to such a proposal in the interest of the health and safety of our children. We will of course keep you updated with any developments..

Water spillage onto Kimberley Road from the school grounds – We have had a company in over the last few days working on this. Some of our drains were blocked and these have now been all cleared. Hopefully we will have no further problems with the drains. Finger crossed.

Finally, sincere thanks to all the staff who have been going above and beyond over this period of school closure and to you the parents  for your continued support of our school. We look forward to warmly welcoming the junior end of the school back next Monday and please God we will see our older children on the 15th.

All the best,

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

25th February 2021

Dear Parents,

We are delighted that the school will be reopening on Monday 1st March 2021 for Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st Class and 2nd Classes. It will be lovely to have the boys and girls from the junior end of the school back.  We have really missed them.  Unfortunately, 3rd to 6th Classes will have to wait a bit longer.  Hopefully they will get to return on Monday 15th March if it is safe to do so.  In the meantime, the teachers of these classes will continue to support the children with their home learning remotely.

Before the children can return to school parents must complete a Return to School Declaration form.  This form can be accessed from your Aladdin Connect (App or browser).  When you go into Aladdin Connect go to the Attendance & Notes tab.  The form will be available there from 3.00pm on Sunday 28th February. If you have forgotten your Aladdin Connect password, you can reset it yourself via a link on the app.  This only applies to children in Junior Infants to 2nd Class for now.  3rd to 6th Class parents will need to complete it on the day before their children return to face to face learning.

Going forward the Return to School Declaration form must be completed any time a child is returning to school after an absence.  This form can be filled in any time after 3pm on the day before your child is ready to return to school, or before they arrive to school on the day they are returning.

For more information please visit https://www.aladdin.ie/connect_app_faqs.html and tap or click “Attendance Notes”.

Please note the form is only available through the Aladdin Connect app/browser.

Just a reminder that the children from Junior Infants to 2nd Class will continue to enter and exit the school premises via the wooden gate next to Mooney’s.  The gates will be open at 8.50 am for drop off and 1.35pm and 2.35pm for collection.   If you are running late the main silver gate on Trafalgar Road at the pedestrian crossing will remain unlocked but closed for the duration of the school day.

In the interest of Health and Safety we would appreciate your support in continuing to wear your masks while on the school grounds and avoiding congregating at the school gates at drop off and collection times.

We would like to thank you all for the part you have played in assisting us to keep the school open in Term 1.  To ensure the continued safety for all when we reopen again, only children and staff will be permitted in the school building.   It is very important that the children remember to bring all their books/lunches etc with them to school each day as we will not be able to facilitate drop off of these items.  We appreciate your cooperation with this.

Looking forward to welcoming back half the school on Monday.  Hopefully it won’t be too long until the senior classes return.  Fingers crossed.
Stay well, stay safe and above all stay positive.
Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

**************************************************

12th February, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year a festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. We wish all our families celebrating this day happiness and prosperity for the year ahead.

I am sure everyone is looking forward to the Midterm break next week. It will be a time for us all to recharge the batteries and perhaps spend more time outdoors if the weather improves.

I know the children (not to mention the adults) will be looking forward to their pancakes next Tuesday. I always enjoy talking to the children about their favourite toppings and will really miss these conversations this year. For the record mine is lemon and sugar !!

Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent the season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. Many of the children give up something they love for Lent and this is admirable but I always remind them that deciding to take up something like helping out more at home or making an effort to be nicer to their brother or sister is also something worth considering.

I know many of you are anxious to know when we will be returning to school. Unfortunately I have no news for you on this but as you will have read in the media there is hope of a phased return for all primary and secondary students over a three week period in March. I will be back in touch if I get any updates on this.

We are all eager to get back to school as soon as possible. While we are making every effort to provide effective remote teaching and learning we acknowledge that it is no substitute for the education that takes place within the classroom. To ensure continuity of learning it is really important that the children make every effort to engage with the instructional videos, work and feedback that the teachers are putting up for them.

This is our second week of Zoom calls and on the whole they appear to be going well. Just a reminder to let the teacher know the Zoom name that your child  will be entering the call under if it is going to be different from their own name. This is for the safety and security of all.

As we close up for the Midterm Break, I would just like to say well done to the boys and girls for the big effort they have been putting in over the last five weeks. We know it is not easy for them (or for you the parents). I would also like to acknowledge the huge effort the teachers are putting in in adapting to this new type of teaching. Remote teaching was not one of the modules included on the syllabus  when we were studying to be teachers !

Have a great weekend and be sure to tell the children to have  a lovely relaxing Midterm break. They deserve it.

Kind regards,
Máire Costello
Principal

****************************************

5th February 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all keeping well after another long week of supporting home learning.

Motivation – There is no doubt that learning from home is really hard and that it just gets harder as time goes on and the children naturally become less engaged.
It is important to remember that children are more motivated when they have some degree of self-determination, and can elect to pursue tasks that are personally meaningful. When they have a choice of projects, or at least a little wiggle room as to how a task gets done, children are more likely to stay engaged. Hopefully the Zoom calls this week will go some way towards promoting positive motivation and learning during this time.

Zoom Calls – The feedback on the Check-in Zoom calls this week has been largely positive. I had the opportunity to participate in such a call yesterday. It was lovely just to catch up with boys and girls again, to listen to their news and to see how they were getting on. I went away from the call feeling really good and ready to take on the world. I hope the children took something from it too. I am looking forward to joining another Zoom call with a different class next week.

Spring Provision for pupils with additional needs – Everyone recognises that school closure is challenging for children but particularly challenging for children with additional needs. This week the DES announced an In- Person Supplementary Programme similar to the summer July provision to support the education or care needs of these children during this period of school closure. We received documentation on the programme yesterday evening and will be in touch later today with the parents of pupils who are eligible to partake.

NPC online Workshops – The National Parents Council Primary are running free online interactive workshops on “Keeping your child safe online” all next week. Each session will have limited numbers for discussion and questions, and places will be offered on a first come first serve basis. The sessions are taking place online via Zoom at 10am on Monday to Friday, and 8pm on Monday to Thursday next week, starting Monday the 8th. Just click on the link below to register.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/InternetSafetyOnline2021

The forecast for the coming days is not great so be sure to wrap up warm, stay home and stay safe.

Le meas,

Máire Costello

Principal

**************************************

29th January 2021 AM

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We come to the end of another busy week of schooling. Remote teaching and learning are hard on students, teachers and parents alike and by the time Friday comes around we are all ready for a break from the books. So be sure to  be kind to yourselves and have a nice weekend this weekend.

We have received no further information from the Department of Education regarding a proposed  return to school date. However, talks between the Department and the unions are ongoing and there is hope that schools will reopen on a phased basis from mid February starting with children with additional needs followed by primary schools and exam years. There is light ahead.

Spring is just around the corner. This is another cause for hope. You can definitely notice a stretch in the evenings and it is lovely to see the daffodil leaves appearing in gardens and on the sides of the dual carriageways all over the country.

We celebrate St. Brigid’s Day this coming Monday. This is always a special day in our school. Fr Gerard will celebrate mass at 10am from Holy Rosary Church on the day. The mass will be live streamed and he would love as many boys and girls as possible to tune in on the day. It will be an opportunity for the children to sing the song they all love and know “We sing a song for Brigid”

No dates have been set for First Holy Communion and Confirmation for this year. There are still 28 ceremonies outstanding from last year and and the Parish are currently working on how best to accommodate the ceremonies from both this year and last year when it is safe to do so.

Our condolences go out to Ms Purcell and her family on the sad passing of her Mum yesterday. May she rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.

As I mentioned in my email yesterday, the teachers will begin Zoom check-ins with their classes from next week. These check-ins are by no means mandatory but if you would like your child to participate in these calls it is really important that you support them in adhering to our Zoom guidelines.

I would like to acknowledge the huge lengths the staff have been going to to support our pupils education during this current lockdown that you may not be aware of. From travelling miles to pick up a decent WiFi signal to dropping off resources and books to homes to organising outdoor meetings with some of our children with additional needs, the staff  continue to do what they do best in these challenging times.

Finally, a huge thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support and good wishes. It means a lot.

Le meas,

Máire Costello

Principal

UPDATE 1pm

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Apologies for yet another email but I thought it was important to share this information with you all and I did promise that I would keep you updated with any correspondence from the DES in relation to extended school closure.

Below is a copy of a letter that I have just received from the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education. I have also included important information for parents issued by the DES

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

Dear Principal

As you are aware, the Government has made a decision on foot of public health advice to extend the level 5 restriction measures in place to supress the spread of Covid-19, and as part of these measures to continue this phase of school closure at present.

This decision has been made in the context of wishing to avoid the movement of the full one-million strong school-going population daily. The closure of schools will be kept under ongoing review by Government.

It is a priority for Government to address the needs of children with special educational needs and provide additional supports for these children during this period of closure, in line with public health advice.

The Department of Education is engaging closely with stakeholder representatives during this limited period, to work towards achieving consensus on a satisfactory way forward to ensure a safe phased return of children with special educational needs to inschool learning. This remains a high priority for all partners.

The Department is also continuing to work with education partners to ensure that all schools can safely fully reopen, in line with public health advice.

Yours faithfully

Deirdre Shanley

Assistant Secretary (Department of Education)

Useful Information for Parents

Supports for parents –  Continuity of schooling guidance for parents is available at this link in several languages: [http://Supports for parents Continuity of schooling guidance Continuity of schooling guidance for parents is available at this link in several languages: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/965639-continuity-of-schooling/ Online safety Extensive information and guidance on online safety is available to for parents and students at www.webwise.ie. The information contained at https://www.webwise.ie/parents/covid19-online-safety-advice-for-parents/ might be particularly useful.]https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/965639-continuity-of-schooling/

Online safety Extensive information and guidance on online safety is available to for parents and students at www.webwise.ie. The information contained at [http://Supports for parents Continuity of schooling guidance Continuity of schooling guidance for parents is available at this link in several languages: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/965639-continuity-of-schooling/ Online safety Extensive information and guidance on online safety is available to for parents and students at www.webwise.ie. The information contained at https://www.webwise.ie/parents/covid19-online-safety-advice-for-parents/ might be particularly useful.]https://www.webwise.ie/parents/covid19-online-safety-advice-for-parents/ might be particularly useful.

Curriculum Tagged Resources The Department’s Education portal Scoilnet (https://www.scoilnet.ie/) contains some 21,000 curriculum tagged resources that can be used by teachers, students and parents to support the continuity of learning in the remote environment.

Wellbeing supports The National Educational Psychological Service of the Department of Education, NEPS, has developed an updated series of resources and animation videos for parents and students during this period of school closures. These build on previous materials that proved popular with parents. The videos feature important updated wellbeing advice and guidance, and include tips on how students can stay positive, active and connected, and how parents can support their child’s daily routine. Irish language and sign language interpretation versions are also available and are posted on the Department’s twitter feed on @Education_Ire and on gov.ie/schools. The pdf resource guides are available here: [http://Wellbeing supports The National Educational Psychological Service of the Department of Education, NEPS, has developed an updated series of resources and animation videos for parents and students during this period of school closures. These build on previous materials that proved popular with parents. The videos feature important updated wellbeing advice and guidance, and include tips on how students can stay positive, active and connected, and how parents can support their child’s daily routine. Irish language and sign language interpretation versions are also available and are posted on the Department’s twitter feed on @Education_Ire and on gov.ie/schools. The pdf resource guides are available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af24b-wellbeing-guidance-documents-for-parentsstudents-and-schools/e The videos are available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a04fc-advice-for-students-and-theirfamilies/#wellbeing-advice-for-parents-during-covid-19 Supports for parents of children with special educational needs The National Council for Special Education has a range of resources for parents of children with special educational needs, including useful material on a broad list of supportive topics, and short focused video materials designed to provide advice and guidance to parents. These are available on ncse.ie and disseminated through their twitter feed @ncseirl. The NCSE is also operating a dedicated phone line for parents of children with special educational needs during this period of school closure, offering support and guidance; the number is 01 603 3456 and it is open during office hours.]https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af24b-wellbeing-guidance-documents-for-parentsstudents-and-schools/e The videos are available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a04fc-advice-for-students-and-theirfamilies/#wellbeing-advice-for-parents-during-covid-19

Supports for parents of children with special educational needs The National Council for Special Education has a range of resources for parents of children with special educational needs, including useful material on a broad list of supportive topics, and short focused video materials designed to provide advice and guidance to parents. These are available on ncse.ie and disseminated through their twitter feed @ncseirl. The NCSE is also operating a dedicated phone line for parents of children with special educational needs during this period of school closure, offering support and guidance; the number is 01 603 3456 and it is open during office hours.

**********************************************

28th January 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I promised I would be back in touch with regards to the rollout of Zoom Social Check-In calls to pupils. The class teachers will be in contact  with you over the next couple of days to arrange dates, times. Login passwords etc.

There is no obligation on anyone to take part in these Zoom calls. However, if you choose to allow your child to take part in the calls, please be aware of the guidelines below.

It is important  to note that  a parent will need to end the call if the teacher has problems with WiFi and has to leave.

While there may be some initial teething problems, I want to thank you all  in advance for your assistance and patience as we all adapt to this new way of social engagement with your children

Regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

Zoom Guide for Pupils 

  1. Our school Code of Behaviour applies in all online communication. 
  2. Please join the call 5 minutes before the start time and wait in the ‘waiting room’. 
  3. When joining a class Zoom call pupils should be dressed appropriately. 
  4. Under no circumstances should class Zoom calls be recorded. 
  5. When asked to enter a name to join the Zoom call, children are to use their first name, and first letter of their surname (e.g. Tom M). If they are using a parent’s or sibling’s device with another Zoom username please let the teacher know in advance what name they will be entering under. For security reasons, if a teacher does not recognise a name they will not be accepted into the call. 
  6. There must be an adult in the same room as the child for duration of the call. This adult does not need to be on camera. 
  7. All children are to have microphones muted, unless otherwise instructed by the teacher. 
  8. Children are to only use the ‘chat box’ function when instructed to do so by the teacher. 
  9. Set your Zoom to “gallery” view to see all the faces in the room. 
  10. Always show respect – follow the same rules you’d follow in the classroom. Listen when someone is speaking and be kind. 

*********************************************

PM 22nd January 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We have been getting very positive feedback with regards to remote teaching and learning this time round. The levels of engagement are much higher than the last time. However, we recognise that a large part of school life in the classroom is social interaction which unfortunately remote learning does not lend itself easily to.

It was always our intention to address this if the school closure were to extend beyond the 1st February. Hopefully we will be returning then but if we don’t our plan is for the teachers to have Zoom check-in/social calls with their classes. It will  be good for the children to see each other and their teachers and to catch up on all the news. I will be back in touch next week with more details.

Have a lovely weekend.

Kind regards,
Máire Costello

Principal

**********************************************

AM 22nd January 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Happy Friday. I bet you are all looking forward to the weekend. I know how exhausting supporting home learning is on top of everything else that you have to do and really appreciate the help and encouragement that you are giving to your children at this time.

I am aware of just how tricky it can be at times to motivate children to do their school learning at home. Establishing a daily routine and sticking to it helps greatly with this. And don’t forget the teachers and SNAs are there to help too. They are eager to support the children’s learning at this time. It is really important that the children share samples of their work with the teachers throughout the week so the teachers can see how they are getting on and provide relevant feedback.

If you are looking for some additional and fun educational activities for your children to do, the children’s section of the Sunday Times is back. Well worth having a look at.

I hope the children enjoyed Cormac’s workouts. They are a lot harder than they look but are a lot of fun. Joan from Music Generation has also made some videos for our 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes which I hope the children get an opportunity to watch.

I know many parents have felt let down by the decision to postpone the reopening of schools for children with significant additional needs. For our part, our special education teachers (SETs),SNAs and class teachers will continue to work tirelessly to engage with and support these children and will differentiate their teaching and learning where necessary.

Although these are difficult times, these lines from the poem “The Hill we Climb” written by Amanda Gorman for the inauguration of President Biden remind us that there is always hope. A good note to end on I think. Have a lovely weekend. Stay safe.

“When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light.

If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

******************************************

15th January 2021

Dear Parents,

I am writing to you as we reach the end of our first week of remote teaching and learning Round 2. It is awful to be back here again. We would all prefer to be back in the classroom working with your children and doing what we do best. But for now we have to stay home to keep everyone safe.

We have learned a lot from the last lockdown and hopefully the changes we have made to our remote learning policy will ensure a richer learning experience for the children this time round. Already parents have been saying just how helpful the teaching videos have been. The daily engagement on Seesaw or Class DoJo and the blend of guided and independent learning should go some way to addressing the shortfalls of the last lockdown.

We would expect all the children to engage with the learning set by their teachers each morning. However, we do realise that everyone’s circumstances are different and all we ask is that they would do the best they can.

While the emphasis for home learning is on English, Gaeilge and Maths, we see see huge benefits to the children keeping up with their fitness exercises. With that in mind, we have arranged for Cormac to upload daily exercise classes and weekly PE video lessons for the children to do at home. I challenge you the parents to do the exercises along with your children. Forget about “Operation Transformation”. Give Cormac’s workout a go. You’ll be glad you did. I did and I really enjoyed it.

Devices – Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if access to a device is a problem in your household. We would only be too happy to sort you out with one from the school.

The Home School Hub and Cúla4 are back. I know that many of our boys and girls enjoyed these the last time around so don’t forget to check them out.

Many of you will be aware of the statements released by Ministers Foleys and Madigan yesterday in relation to planning for a return of in-person learning at primary level for children with significant additional needs in mainstream primary classes. I will of course keep you updated on any other further developments in this area.

Have a lovely weekend. Until next week, stay safe and stay home.

Kind regards
Máire Costello
Principal

11th January 2021

Morning Boys and Girls,

Tá fáilte romhaibh ar ais. Welcome back.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed the extra three days holidays. The snow on Friday was a welcome sight and I know that many of you spent some time outdoors having great fun.  Holly from Ms. Mangan’s class made my day when she sent me a lovely picture of the snowman she built wearing a bright red tinsel scarf.

As you will already know, you will not be returning to your classrooms this month. You will be doing your school work from home. Your teachers will be in contact with you each day and will be sending you short videos to help with your learning. It is really important that you do your best to complete all the work they set for you and that you send them back any work they ask for so they can see how you are getting on. If you are having any difficulty with the work, just let your teachers know. They will only be too happy to help you.

I know that many of you are missing your friends and were looking forward to coming back to school so you that you could catch up with them again. For now we have to stay at home to keep everyone safe and hopefully we will all be back together soon.

In the meantime, take care. Remember to keep washing those hands, keep your distance and stay home.

Ms. Costello

**********************************************

8th January, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I am writing to you at the end of a very difficult week. I am sure you are already aware that all schools are closed until the end of January. Unfortunately, this means we are back to remote teaching and learning. Like many of you, this is not what we at St. Brigid’s want – we want to be in the school building with your children doing what we love and do best. However, we are acutely aware of the high incidence of Covid19 in our communities and accept that we all need to remain at home, where at all possible, until it is safe for the schools to reopen.

Myself and the staff have been busy this week putting plans into place to provide and support remote teaching and learning. If you child’s teacher has not already contacted you they will be in contact at some stage today to bring you up to date.

We have learned a lot about remote teaching and learning from the last lockdown. When we returned in September there was a lot of discussion and debate amongst the staff about what worked well and what could be improved or done differently. We also took on board the parental feedback and concerns from the online survey we carried out at the end of May 2020. All this combined to help us draft our Remote Teaching and Learning Policy which was ratified by the Board of Management on 20th October 2020 and parents were notified by email on 22 October 2020 that the policy was available to view on the school website.

While we hoped that school buildings would not close again on account of Covid, we were prepared for it this time round. All classes have been signed up to either Seesaw or Class Dojo teaching platforms. This will facilitate ease of communication and regular engagement with pupils including assigning work and providing feedback. We also signed middle and senior classes up to learning websites like Readtheory.org and KhanAcademy.org and we organised that all books were brought home before Christmas.

Having considered the pros and cons of live streaming of classes e.g.live zoom lessons, the Board and staff decided that pre recorded direct teaching was better for a variety of reasons and home situations. Therefore our teachers will be uploading instructional videos over the course of the week to support the teaching and learning

Live streaming assumes that each child has a quiet space and a reliable device with a strong internet connection. It also requires the  students and teacher to be online at a dedicated specific time. This would pose difficulties in many homes where children would be competing for access to a shared device.

The nature of live streaming lessons also means that the learning pace is set by the teacher, not the individual student. In comparison students can watch prerecorded videos at any time and any pace, when a device is available in their household according to their own needs. They can watch them again and again and go back to the parts they do not understand.

Pupils with additional needs will of course continue to be supported by our Special Education teachers and SNAs and contact will be made directly with the parents of these pupils.

It will take a little time for both teachers and students to adapt to this new “normal” we find ourselves in and so we would appreciate if you bear with for the first little while as we all get up to speed. It a really important too that pupils and/or parents regularly check in with the class teacher because the teachers will really want to know how the children are engaging with their work and nip any potential problems in the bud.

We appreciate your continued support and hopefully we will get back to our old “new normal” before long. Remember we are here to support you and your children. Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you need us for anything.

For now, stay safe and stay well.

Kind regards,
Máire Costello
Principal

*********************************************

4th January 2021

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

I know this Christmas break will have been quite different from any other but I hope you had a nice time and that you got the opportunity to have fun and spend time with your children.

As you will be aware from the Taoiseach’s announcement last week, the Christmas holidays have now been extended by 3 days up to and including Friday the 8th of January.  Whether or not the schools will reopen next Monday is uncertain.  The Government and the Department of Education have said they “fully intend” to reopen the schools as planned from Monday January 11th. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told RTE’s This Week radio programme yesterday it was the Governments “firm intention” to reopen schools as planned but that further assessments would be considered closer to the reopening.

I will of course keep you updated should I receive any correspondence from the Department over the coming days.

In the meantime, stay well, stay safe and stay positive.

Kind regards,
Máire Costello
Principal
*************************

The staff and management would like to wish all parents and students of St Brigid’s peace and joy for Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year

Dear Parents,

I cannot believe that this day next week is Christmas Day. Without doubt, Christmas is a fantastic time! The promise of peace, goodwill and a growing sense of excitement and expectation, makes this time of year very special indeed. I’m sure you’re all looking forward to the holidays, to the lie ins and to spending quality time with family and friends even if this does have to take place outdoors.

As we begin the holiday season, I encourage you to reflect on the things and people who are truly important in your lives. It’s important for all of us to step back and put things into perspective and appreciate our blessings especially this year of all years. For those in our community who have lost loved ones this year, we know that this is a particularly difficult time for you and want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

I know you will all agree that your children deserve the best Christmas ever They have been superstars this term, adapting to new routines and protocols and an example to us all of how to get on with things.

I would like to take this opportunity to express how grateful I am to be associated with the families and community of St. Brigid’s. As the Principal, I am thankful for students who work hard to learn, parents who encourage and staff who are dedicated and truly care about each child. Thank you for your help, support and sense of community. There is no place I would rather be.

Beannachtaí na Nollag daoibh go léir.

Ms. Costello

Newsletter 15

11th December 2020

Newsletter 15

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This week has gone by in the blink of an eye.

Tá an Nollaig buailte linn agus draíocht na Nollag san aer. Christmas is here and the magic of Christmas is in the air.

St. Brigid’s is a hive of activity right now, buzzing with excitement as we count down the days to December 25th. Every morning the Infants check the countdown blackboard at Tara’s office to see how many more sleeps until Christmas Day before they make their way to “Santa’s Workshop” one of the stations for Aistear this month. The school is alive with the sound of music as the children practice their Christmas songs and carols outdoors. A different experience from previous years but no less enjoyable. The classrooms have been transformed into Christmas wonderlands and you really could not ask to be anywhere nicer right now.

Christmas Trip to the Theatre Traditionally at this time of the year we would all be looking forward to our annual trip to the Whale Theatre. Unfortunately, due to COVID 19 this is not possible this year. The boys and girls have been through so much since last March and we thought they all deserved a little Christmas treat. If we cannot go to the theatre, then the theatre can come to us. Oh no it can’t. Oh yes it can. !!

“The Sword in the Stone,” this year’s online Helix Panto, is coming to our school this Christmas. The children will get an opportunity to join Archie and Pip on their magical adventure of intrigue, excitement and fun on their quest to claim the Sword of Hope and save Merryville. We hope the children enjoy their first ever-online Panto.

Christmas Jumper Day in aid of SVP– The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) provides help to thousands of families at Christmas time and throughout the year. This year more than ever they need our help to ensure everyone is safe and warm and that they can enjoy a little bit of the magic that comes with this season. We will celebrate Christmas Jumper Day on Tuesday 22nd December. This is a chance for us all to have some fun while helping raise much needed funds for SVP. . The children can wear a festive jumper or accessory to school on the day. An e-payment link was sent from the office to all families on Wednesday for those of who would like to donate to this very worthy charity,

Dressing for the weather – With classroom doors and windows now being kept open and a significant drop in the temperature, it is really important that the children come to school dressed for the weather. An extra layer of clothing under the school uniform or tracksuit and an extra pair of socks or woollen tights can make all the difference.

Welcome back Room 15 – We are looking forward to the boys and girls in Room 15 returning to school on Monday. As you know, they have been restricting their movements for the last two weeks. I am sure they will be so happy to be back with their friends and teacher again.

Congratulations to Mr Molloy’s 2nd Class – Greystones Library were are so impressed with the wonderful work from Mr. Molloy’s Second Class that the library decided to display the art work on the front windows of the library to add some festive cheer to passers-by and library users. The poems and stories have been displayed in the children’s area of the library. The library have awarded a prize to the whole class for their amazing work. Mr Molloy will collect the prize later today. We can’t wait to see what it is.

Cúla4 ar Scoil – A great program to help your children with their Irish. It airs Monday to Thursday at 10am on TG4, and is repeated at 4pm. Catch up anytime on TG4.ie or Cula4.com and watch individual lessons on Cúla4’s youtube channel.

Service of Light –Our 6th class pupils had their of Light online last night in preparation for their Confirmation in 2021. This is a very special service, the key part of which is when the parents hand a lighted Baptism candle to their child as an acknowledgement that the child is now ready to be a responsible Christian. While the had to be broadcast online this year, it was no less special. We are so proud of all the boys and girls who participated in the ceremony and wish them well as they continue with their Confirmation preparations. A big thank you to Ms Walle and Ms Hughes for preparing the children and to Fr. John, Fr. Gerard and Paul Thornton for making it happen.

Simon Harris Virtual Visit – Minister Simon Harris will come on a “virtual visit” to our school later today to give a talk to one of our 4th classes and to our two 6th classes. He will talk to the children about his work and role as Minister for Further and Higher Education, update them on the Pandemic and of course take their questions. We look forward to his visit.

Flu Vaccine for children 2-12 years – This is free to all children from the age of 2 to 12 years. Sam Mc Cauley’s has a large supply of this vaccine in stock. If your child has not had the vaccine and you would like them to have it, you can book an appointment for them online or just pop into the Chemist.

That’s all the news for now. Until next week. Slán sabháilte.

Máire Costello

Principal

Newsletter 14

4th December 2020

Dear Parents Guardians,

I hope you all had a good week. Can you believe it is December already? It is lovely to see the boys and girls arriving to school in their Santa hats and reindeer antlers these mornings – a gentle reminder that Christmas is just around the corner. Some of the staff have even gotten in on the act wearing different Christmas facemasks each day. We are all really children at heart.

December is always a busy month at St. Brigid’s with lots of exciting things happening. Walk into any classroom and you will see the boys and girls busy working on their Christmas art, retelling the very First Christmas story in their very own words and happy to be humming along to the Christmas songs and carols. It is such a privilege to be working in a school at this time of year.

Poets in the Making – Many pupils balk at the prospect of writing poetry. Not so for the pupils in Ms. Hughes 6th class. They have been discovering their inner Wordsworth these last few weeks and have been penning the most fantastic winter poems inspired by the poem “Becoming A Winter” written by Pie Corbett. I don’t remember the last time I read such good poetry by children so young.

Books for Christmas – The greatest gift you can give a child is to inspire in them a love of reading. At this time of year, parents frequently ask our advice on a list of books we could recommend for their children. Children’s Books Ireland have compiled extensive reading lists for children of all ages and all interests. The lists are published by themes and include titles by Irish authors, leabhair as Gaeilge and even a list of books for children who really do not like reading – Everything from fantasy to folklore, mystery to adventure, difference to wellbeing. Within each guide, there is an age recommendation, so parents can choose genres their child likes most and then find an age-appropriate selection within it.

https://childrensbooksireland.ie/reading-lists/

Service of Light for 6th class – The first step in the parish based preparation for Confirmation in 2021 is the Service of Light. This will take place on Thursday 10th December at 7:30pm. It will be an on-line service, live streamed from one of the churches. The link for it will be on the parish website and in the Stay Connected eletter from this weekend, the 6th of December and emailed on the day to all families who are registered for the sacrament. It is important that all families register with the parish using the form at www.kilquadeparish.ie/registration-for-a-sacrament/ If you have not done so already can you do so as a matter of urgency please.

Daily Mile School Flag Award – In recognition of our commitment to the Daily Mile, Athletics Ireland have awarded us a Special Daily Mile School Flag. We hope to raise this flag next Thursday 10th December. Congratulations to all the classes whose daily morning jogs have helped us earn this special flag.

What is it about Art and the name “Lucy”?

Congratulations to Lucy Finnegan whose entry to the 66th Texaco Children’s Art Competition reached the final stages of the judging process this year. Lucy was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for her entry. The standard this year was exceptional and we are so proud of her achievement.

Lucy O’ Leary, another Lucy at our school has built a small business out of her clay artworks. Lucy has always loved art and making things. To keep herself occupied during the first Lockdown, she began to create clay figurines. So impressed have family and friends been by her creations that requests for commissioned pieces have been flooding in. She has so many orders now that she won’t be taking any more until after Christmas. Maith thú Lucy. Comhghairdeas.

We are really looking forward to having fun with the boys and girls over the next few weeks. We want it to be a special time for them, this year more than ever.

Enjoy the weekend.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

*********************************

Newsletter 13 – 27th November

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Happy Friday.

Christmas officially kicks off tonight with the airing of the annual Late Late Toy Show. I know that many of our boys and girls have been looking forward to this for many weeks now – the Christmas pyjamas are at the ready, the treats have been bought and the children are all set to tune into the biggest Toy TV show of the year. In the words of Ryan Tubridy himself, “Now more than ever we need that sprinkling of joy and the ceremony of the hot chocolates and the PJs and the family gathering around for a night of unpredictable magic.”

Junior Infant Applications – The closing date for receipt of applications was Monday 23rd November. We received 142 applications in total. Round 1 offers went out on Tuesday 24th November. While some siblings did not get offered a place in the first round, I am confident that it will all work out for everyone in the end as we know a number of children received offers in more than one school. I appreciate it is an anxious wait for parents but please try not to worry.

Advent – Advent will begin this Sunday 29th November. Advent is the season of hope and expectation in which we prepare for the celebration of Christmas. The Advent season invites us to step away from what can be a frenzied time of parties and shopping to consider how we commemorate the birth of Jesus. We will have a special blessing of the school Advent Wreath over the intercom later today.

Christmas Holidays – School will close on Tuesday 22nd December at 12.10pm for Junior and Senior Infants and their siblings and at 12,30pm for the rest of the school and will reopen on Wednesday 6th January.

Christmas Cards – The children were so excited going home from school this week with the Christmas cards they had designed for 2020. We raised a whopping €2555.00 for the school from this project. A huge thank you for your support with this.

PA Fund Raising

Class Novels and books for reluctant readers – We raised €900 euros from the second hand book sale we had just before lockdown in March. The money is being used to buy two sets of new class novels for our 5th classes and to add to our depleted stock of books of high interest for our reluctant readers.

Project Yard – We are looking to make some improvements to our schoolyard this year. The basketball court needs resurfacing, there is a need for a sheltered area/outdoor classroom and the walls need brightening up. This work will need to take place over the holidays or weekends when the weather is good. We will keep you posted with developments

Presentation to Paul Thornton – On Monday last, two of our 6th class girls presented Paul Thornton with a framed photograph of the Greystones Bear on behalf of the school community in recognition of all the work he has done in helping prepare our boys and girls for First Communion and Confirmation He was visibly touched by the presentation and thanked everyone for the gift.

School and Learning – From “piloting their first space rocket” to outer space in Senior Infants to rhyming off the counties of Ireland in 4th class through song to designing and testing board games in 5th class, school has been a fun place to be this week. Oh to be young again J

Project Postcard – Our 2nd, 4th and 6th classes will participate in this project. Our school has been allocated Knockrobin Nursing Home in Wicklow and St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Crinken Glen Shankill. We hope that all the children will enjoy taking part in the Project and we thank them in advance for helping to spread a little cheer at this time of the year.

The prospect of moving to Level 3 restrictions from December 1st is good news. Our individual and collective behaviour is going to be critical to how we get through the next few weeks. Therefore, we need to keep up with the mask wearing and social distancing for the foreseeable future. We are all in this together.

Until next week slán.

Le meas,

Máire Costello

Principal

***********************************

Mrs. Costello’s Weekly Newsletter: 12 – 20th November

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you all have had a good week.

Hand on heart, I can honestly say that since I took over as Principal three years ago I have never seen the children so happy coming to school. Your positive attitude to school and learning has certainly rubbed off on the boys and girls and goes a long way to explaining the secret to having children with such a good attitude towards school. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

The news that the US company Moderna has produced another Covid vaccine hot on the heels of the vaccine produced  by Pfizer and Biontech in recent days is reason for optimism. Two Covid vaccines showing they are over 90% effective after trials is great news.

Christmas Cards – Thank you for placing your orders for the beautiful Christmas cards created by our very talented boys and girls. I know family and friends will appreciate the time and effort that went into designing the cards. There is nothing quite like a card made by a child.

Slán le Paul Thornton – We say goodbye to the pastoral parish worker Paul Thornton who is finishing up in Holy Rosary next Friday 27th November. Paul was appointed to work in the Greystones and Kilquade pastoral area back in 2011. Over the last nine years, he has played a key role in helping prepare our boys and girls for First Communion and Confirmation. We appreciate all that he has done for our community over the years and wish him well for the future.

Online Internet Safety Information for Parents – The National Parents Council hosted a number of online workshops for parents this week on the topic of supporting children to stay safe online. The feedback from parents on these workshops has been very positive. Places were limited and so unfortunately not everyone who wanted to register managed to secure a place. The NPC have planned more events for the rest of November.

Parent Teacher Meetings – I know that many of you have already received a written progress report or telephone call from your child’s class teacher regarding your child’s progress at school.

While the main focus of parent-teacher meetings should be on learning, it’s also an opportunity  to discuss factors that can affect learning, such as students’ peer relationships, classroom behaviour, motivation and work habits, as well as students’ strengths and challenges.

The teachers have allocated 10 minute calls for each meeting.   If you feel you need more time to discuss an issue that has been on your mind please don’t hesitate to request more time on another day. The teachers are very accommodating and more than willing to further discuss any concerns you may have.

Junior Infant Enrolment for Sept 2021 – A reminder that the school shall cease accepting applications for admission on Monday 23rd November 2020. The date by which applicants will be notified of the decision on their application is Monday 30th November 2020.

Light Up Greystones – At 5pm this coming Saturday 21st November, Greystones will come alight with the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights. This year you will not be able to go into Greystones to see the lights being switched on but you can watch it online on https://greystones.ie/light-up-greystones/ from the comfort of your own home. Watch out for a special message from the boys and girls of St. Brigid’s.

Outdoor Planting – The planters at the entrance to our school were looking a little sad. A big thank you to Aoife Murray Chairperson of the PA who used her magic green fingers to bring them back to life.

School Life – While robust hand and respiratory hygiene continues to be a priority for us here at St. Brigid’s, we are busy getting on with what we as teachers do best which is to teach and encourage and foster learning in our students.

Children love music and over the last couple of weeks, our Junior Infants have been exploring the music of Camille Saint Saens “Carnival of Animals” through art.   Our 4th classes have been studying money in Maths, learning how to multiply and divide money, a skill that will serve them well in the future.  When I visited 6th class yesterday morning, they were totally engrossed in a creative writing lesson based on “The Lighthouse”.

This is a snapshot of the teaching and learning that took place in some of our classrooms this week. A busy and exciting place to be I think you will agree.

I never cease to be amazed by the pupils’ genuine excitement about the simplest things in life. Perhaps this should be our lesson for this week.

Have a lovely weekend. Keep safe, keep well and keep smiling.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

*************************************

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We have come to the end of another busy week at St. Brigid’s. The boys and girls are working really hard at school and making steady progress on their learning journeys. They are back on track to where they should be and this is testament to the great teaching and learning that is going on inside the classroom each day.

Trip to the Post Office – Our Senior Infants are so excited to be heading off to the Post Office later today to post their first postcards. They are learning all about the Post Office in Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework for children. I bet you never got to go to the Post Office when you were in school. Oh how school has changed!

Virtual Visit – This week the children’s author “Jackie Burke” paid a virtual visit to the boys and girls in our 4th. 5th and 6th classes. The author read a chapter from her new book “Harp Maiden” and gave tips to the children on how to come up with ideas for stories, how to structure stories and what to do if they got stuck. There was an opportunity for the children to ask questions at the end. The talk was extremely successful and thoroughly enjoyed by all the pupils.

Internet Safety Webinar – Many parents signed up for the Online Internet Safety sessions for Parents being organised through the National Parents Council. The sessions are now fully booked but the National Parents Council hope to organise some more in the future.

Science Week at St. Brigid’s. – The children are busy working as scientists this week. They are learning that science describes what’s happening all around us all the time from the science experiments that they are carrying out. The Skittle and the Colour Changing Milk Experiments were big hits with our younger children and a great way to introduce chemical bonding and the process of dissolving to young minds. The Dancing Raisin Experiment allowed the children to explore Archimedes’ Principle unbeknownst to themselves.

Homework – After much debate and discussion the staff have decided that the emphasis for now should continue to be on learning homework (Tables, Spellings, SE Facts, Verse of a poem/song etc.) reading and project work. We will of course be keeping this under constant review.

Phones from Santa for Christmas – I understand that many children are asking Santa for phones this Christmas. It is important for children to know that Santa always puts some serious thought into why a child might need a phone, what age is appropriate for a child to get a mobile device and how responsible and mature the child is.

Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation for 2021 – Parents who have a child they wish to present to the parishes of Greystones or Kilquade to receive the Sacraments of First Communion or Confirmation in 2021 need to register that intention before the end of November 2020. Details of the registration process are on the parish websites www.greystonesparish.ie or www.kilquadeparish.ie

Christmas Cards for 2020 – Thank you so much to those of you who have already purchased your child’s/children’s cards. For those of you who have yet to do so, today is the final day that you can place an order. The payment link will cease to operate from midnight tonight.

Project Postcard – Wicklow County Library Service, as part of the Wicklow County Community Response programme, are launching “Project Postcard”: the aim of Project Postcard is to link primary school children with local nursing home residents. A number of our classes will participate in this project.

St Vincent DePaul Virtual Food & Gift Appeal- Every year, the Society of St. Vincent DePaul provides help with food and gifts to thousands of families at Christmas. Normally we would do a collection in the school for them, but this cannot happen this year due to COVID 19. St. Vincent DePaul are collecting virtually for Christmas 2020. This year more than ever they need your help. Below is a link where you can make your donation. https://www.svp.ie/appeal-2020/food-appeal.aspx or https://www.svp.ie/appeal-2020/virtual-gifts.aspx.

Thank you for adhering to our protocols around mask wearing when on the school grounds and for keeping your social distance. You have played your part in keeping our school a safe place to be.

The news that there is a vaccine on the horizon is a good note on which to end this message.

Until next week, take care and stay safe.

Le meas,

Máire Costello

Principal

************************

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you all had a nice Midterm.

A very special part of my day is welcoming the children to school each morning and it was no different this week. The children bounced into school and were happy to be meeting up with their friends again after a week apart.

Cleaning Products – I know hand sanitiser, soap and cleaning products have been in the news a lot lately. With regards to the hand sanitiser, soap and cleaning products we are using at St. Brigid’s, a word of reassurance – Thankfully none of the products we are using here at the school were on the list of products that had to be recalled by the DES so no need for concern. One less worry for me at Halloween.

School Improvements -Over the Midterm, we were busy making some improvements to the school. The children in Rooms 2 and 3 were delighted with their new state of the art Smart Boards which were installed over the break. One child commented, “Did you see our new board Ms. Costello ? It looks just like a big telly”. Six classes got new magnetic whiteboards and the taps and sinks are currently being replaced in the main building.

Parent Teacher Meetings for Infants to 6th class for 2020 – These meetings will take place over the course of the next few weeks. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, the format of our meetings for this year is different. Your class teacher will be in touch with you regrading the format of the meeting and to arrange an appointment time.

Fundraising – A huge thank you to each and every one of you for supporting our Halloween Dress Up Fundraiser. We raised a whopping €1,731.00. The money you so kindly donated will go towards resurfacing the basketball court and yard which are looking a little worse for wear.

Christmas Cards – The sample cards have just arrived hot off the press. The children will bring home the sample card today. All orders can be made online and a payment link will be sent to you

GAA Coaching –Kevin Spain from Éire ÓG is coaching our 3rd, 4th and 5th classes at school for the next six weeks. The boys and girls had their first session with him on Wednesday and really enjoyed themselves. It is important that they wear a gum shield for these lessons.

Junior Infant Enrolment for Sept 2021 – Thank you to those of you who have already sent in your applications. A reminder to those of you who have yet to do so that you have two more weeks to make an application. We commenced accepting applications for admission to Junior Infants for 2021 on Monday 2nd November 2020. The school shall cease accepting applications for admission on Monday 23rd November 2020. The date by which applicants will be notified of the decision on their application is 30th November 2020.

Mobile Phones Policy – The Board of Management reviewed, updated and ratified the Mobile Phone Policy at our last board meeting. This policy is now up on the school website under Policies.

Written Homework – Thank you to those of you who contributed to our recent debate/discussion on written homework.. The benefits of written homework has been debated by teachers and parents for years. Many people think of homework as doing more harm than good by causing copious amounts of unnecessary stress to everyone while others believe that it has great advantages for children by encouraging them to think more independently outside the classroom I will be sending a separate email on this early next week

Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal Week 9th -15th November – Some parents were asking for the details again so I am including them here

This year the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is going online. Due to the effects of Covid-19 restrictions, it is not possible to send gift-filled shoeboxes from Ireland this year, so they are asking schools, families, friends, communities and businesses to support their appeal by donating gift-filled shoeboxes online. Each gift-filled shoebox is €20. Please go to https://www.teamhope.ie/christmas-shoebox-appeal/ for more details.

Folens Christmas Annuals – We have just received delivery of the annuals. If you placed an order for an annual, your child will bring it home today.

I am very mindful that these continue to be unsettling and difficult times for students, staff and parents. However, through working together so positively over these recent weeks we have demonstrated just how much can be achieved within such a cohesive, assured, caring and supportive community such as ours, and from this we should continue to draw much strength.

Please do remember to contact us if you need any support.

Yours sincerely,

Máire Costello

Principal

NEW 6th November 2020

*****************************

22nd October 2020

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

My weekend message comes a day early as we are preparing for a very busy day tomorrow and just wanted to share some important information with you.

Halloween Dress Up Day

One more sleep until we see all the boys and girls in their Halloween outfits. We are really looking forward to seeing all the creative costumes. The day is always a great day at the school where the children get to play lots of Halloween Games and have fun with their friends. While it might be a bit noisy on the day, it is great to see the children so happy.

A big THANK YOU to everyone for your very generous donations to our Halloween Fundraiser. Can you believe we have raised a whopping €1,389.00 so far? The yard will need to be resurfaced and this money will go towards the huge cost involved in getting this done. Arís míle buíochas. We are so lucky to have such supportive parents.

The children can bring in a treat tomorrow so they can participate in the classroom parties. Due to COVID 19 children can not share their treats as in previous years.

Enrolment for Junior Infants 2021-2022

Enrolment for Junior Infants opens on Monday 2nd November. Applications will only be accepted via email from 2nd – 23rd November inclusive. The Admissions Notice and Admissions Policy are available our school website. Applications forms will be uploaded in time for the 2nd November. Please note the applications forms are not available yet. You will need to submit a scanned copy of your child’s birth cert to complete the application.

Remote Teaching and Learning Policy

The staff together with the Board of Management have been very busy over the last month working on developing a Remote Learning and Teaching Policy for our school. The policy has now been completed and was ratified at the Board of Management Meeting last Tuesday. A copy of the policy will be available on our school website from tomorrow.

Marshmallow Challenge

Congratulations to John Boulter, Félim Donnelly and Seán Doorly in Ms Walle’s 6th Class who were the winners of this years Marshmallow Challenge with their free-standing structure of 62cm. Well done boys. Some budding engineers in the making.

In eight short weeks the boys and girls have made really good progress with their learning. I am so proud of their ability to adapt to change and how resilient they are. As I said before they are an example to us all.

Finally, I hope you all have a lovely midterm and great Halloween. We are looking forward to seeing all the children refreshed and ready to take up the challenge of another term on Monday 2nd November. Normal closing time tomorrow.

On behalf of myself and the staff I would like to thank you for all your support and words of encouragement since we reopened. We are in this together. Mar a deireann an seanfhocal ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine’.

Stay safe, stay well and remember to keep washing those hands and keep your distance.

Máire Costello

Principal

********************************

16th October 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this email finds you well.

I know the Government’s announcement on Wednesday night of a nationwide ban on visits to homes or gardens in most circumstances is not the news that we wanted to hear. We are living in difficult times but if we continue to adhere to the HSE guidelines, and take on board the advice of Professor Luke O’Neil (to avoid the three “Cs” – closed spaces, close contact between people and crowds) and wear masks when we can’t maintain two metres, we can make it through this pandemic.

Pandemic or no pandemic, it is lovely to see the children skipping into school each morning.To hear them say that they don’t want to go home at home time is testament to the fact that they are really enjoying school. What more could we ask for?

The school is a hive of activity at the moment as you will see from below.

Writers in the making – Our two Senior Infants classes have just written their very first stories. We are so proud of them all.

History – Our third classes have enjoyed learning about the story of “The Wooden Horse of Troy “ and have learnt that story telling often results in different versions of the same tale being told. They have created beautiful drawings of the wooden horse that are on display outside their classrooms.

Maths Week

This week we are celebrating Maths Week at the school. Everywhere you look you can see maths in action.  Our message to the children for maths week is that to become good at maths you have to work at it like everything else in life. Developing a positive attitude towards maths in children is a priority for us here at St. Brigid’s. With that in mind, the staff have been busy this week designing challenges and games to bring fun to the learning of maths. I was also involved as you will see from below.

Principals’ Daily Puzzle – Knowing how much the boys and girls love a good puzzle, I have set puzzles for the children to solve each day this week. The children really enjoyed challenging themselves and were delighted when they managed to work out the answers.

Marshmallow Challenge – Several of our classes took on this challenge The challenge was to build the tallest free-standing structure in just 18 minutes using no more than 20 sticks of spaghetti, one metre of tape, one metre of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow had to be on top and could not be deformed to hold it in place.The winning team will be announced next week.

Maths in Action in our school this week:

  • Junior Infants – Forget about going on a bear hunt, the children in our Junior Infant classes have been going on shape hunts this week and they have been finding lots of interesting shapes.
  • Senior Infants – Ms Teehan and Ms. Smith’s Classes had great fun learning all about data, pattern and number this week using smarties. And they even got to eat the smarties at the end of the lesson. What a nice treat for our junior mathematicians!! Well deserved
  • First Classes – There is nothing quite like a good old fashioned  board game and the children in our First classes have been enjoying some of the old favourites.
  • Second – There were some great detectives at work in Second Class cracking the codes and solving lots of maths puzzles
  • Third Classes – The children in our third classes were also busy completing crack the code colouring sheets,  solving puzzles and playing lots of  fun maths games.
  • 4th  Classes –  The children have been having lots of fun playing board games, card games and online tables games. The children were developing problem solving skills without even knowing
  • 5th Classes – Marshmallow Challenge and clay art for Halloween
  • 6th Classes – The boys and girls in Ms. Hughes and Ms Walles classes have been  learning all about co-ordinates by  playing Battleships and by drawing mystery pictures. They will participate in our first ever maths week quiz later today. We wish the teams all the best and may the best team win. The winners are to be announced next week.

A huge thank you to Ms. Beausang who organised the week for us.

Halloween – Halloween has most certainly not been cancelled at St. Brigid’s. The decorations are all up, Ms. Hughes` class have painted their windows and the children are learning lots of Halloween poems and songs.

Friday 23rd Oct is fast approaching and we are really looking forward to seeing the boys and girls dressed up. If some children are not comfortable dressing up, they can wear their tracksuits to school on the day instead. No scary costumes, props or weapons please.

Traditionally the Parents Association and 6th classes would run a Halloween Bake Sale on the day to raise funds for the school. Unfortunately, this cannot go ahead this year so we are asking if you are in a position to make a small donation to the school, that would be very much appreciated.

Friday 23rd October is a normal school day and the normal school hour home times apply – Junior and Senior Infants go home at 1.40pm and 1st to 6th go home at 2.40pm.

School Website -The school website is a good window to keep up to date with the work we do in school especially now that you cannot come into the school.

Christmas Cards – The children had great fun designing their own personalised cards at school this week. A big thank you to all the teachers, Tara, Carol and the PA for organising this for us. The cards have now been sent on to the printers.

TEAM HOPE CHRISTMAS SHOEBOX APPEAL WEEK 9TH -15TH NOVEMBER

This year the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is going online. Due to the effects of Covid-19 restrictions, it is not possible to send gift-filled shoeboxes from Ireland this year, so they are asking schools, families, friends, communities and businesses to support their appeal by donating gift-filled shoeboxes online. Each gift-filled shoebox is €20. Please click on https://www.teamhope.ie/christmas-shoebox-appeal/ for more details.

Basketball – There will be no basketball after school on Fri 23rd October

Midterm Break – Monday 26th October to Friday 30th October. School will reopen on Monday 2nd November

Thank you – A big thank you from our Learning Support team to those of you who kindly donated mini trampolines and pilates balls to the school. They have been put to great use already.

We appreciate all the support and help you have given to us over the last seven weeks. Míle, míle buíochas.

Until next week. Slán sabháilte .

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

****************************

9th October 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all keeping well.

We are now six weeks back at school and the boys and girls are getting on really well with their learning. It is amazing to see how far they have come on their learning journey in just 30 days.  Our Junior Infants can already sound out, read and write the letters “s” , “a”  and “t”. Our fourth classes are learning all about “The Famine” and are delighted with themselves that they have mastered “Short Division” while our senior classes are composing amazing poetry inspired by that great Irish poet “Seamus Heaney”. There is  beautiful art work on the walls outside all the classrooms and the sound of music coming from the yard would lift anyone’s spirits.

Halloween – We are looking forward to seeing all the boys and girls in their Halloween costumes on Friday 23rd October. While  we are unable to hold a cake sale on the day this year, the children are welcome to  bring in a small treat on the day to celebrate.

Christmas Cards – I hate to mention the word “Christmas” so early but  over the coming week all children from Infants to 6th will be designing templates for  their own personal Christmas cards which will then be sent to the printers for printing. The children will do the templates  at school this year so it would be a good idea if you could get them to do a practice drawing or two over the weekend. No pressure.

Music Generation is back – The boys and girls from 1st to 3rd were delighted to welcome Joan back on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. She is a very talented musician and has a great rapport with the children. Though she has had to make some changes to  her lessons this year, I have no doubt that both the children and the teachers will learn a huge amount from her over the course of the year.

Cycle  Safety – Ruth and her Dad are doing a great job delivering the cycle safety course to our fifth classes. This course is something we will definitely continue to roll out (pardon the pun) considering the huge uptake in cycling in recent months  and the importance of road safety.

Maths Week – 10th -18th October. If you are looking for some fun maths activities, puzzles and games to do with your children for this week, please click here

After School Hub – Following on from the extremely popular Home School Hub, RTE 2 will be launching a daily after school show for children which is due to start next week. Múinteoir John, Ray, and Cliona will be back on RTÉ2 screens every day from 3 to 4pm with a huge range of activities in which kids can participate.

That’s all for now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch If you have any concerns.

Enjoy the weekend. Slán sabháilte .

Máire Costello

Principal

**********************************************************

2nd October 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Happy Friday. I can’t believe how quickly the week has gone by.

It was a quiet week here at St. Brigid’s as things have begun to really settle down and everyone is getting back into a routine.

I had the opportunity and great privilege to spend some time in an Infant classroom this week. It was lovely to see the children so engaged in their learning and when one little girl shouted out “I just love school“, it made my day.

Ms. Caffrey’s 6th class finally got to make their Confirmation last night in Kilcoole Church. It was a very special ceremony and a big thank you to Fr. John, Fr. Gerard and Paul Thornton for all the hard work they put in to ensuring that it took place.  It was lovely to be able to catch up with our past pupils to see how they are getting on in secondary school. Many of them said they missed St. Brigid’s which was nice to hear.

The safety of the children around drop off and pick up times is always on our minds. Please consider  their safety when you park up in the mornings and afternoons.

I would encourage you to visit our school website regularly to keep up to date with all that is going on in our school and to avail of the many educational resources that are posted there.

And some good news to finish – Congratulations to Ms. Murray and Ms. Hickey on the recent births of baby Éabha and baby Darragh and to Ms. Smith on her engagement. We are so happy for them all and wish them well for the future.

Until next week

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

25th September 2020

Dear Parents Guardians,

I hope this email finds you well.

We are back at school for a month now and I have to say that despite the new routines and protocols, it feels like we never left.

The weather on the whole has been good this week so the classes have had lots of time to partake in some outside learning which I know they really enjoyed. Lots of great learning is taking place indoors too as is evidenced by the numerous displays on the classroom walls and corridors and from the informal chats I have had with the children

I would like to thank the boys and girls who have been GREAT following sanitization procedures and are working really hard to keep as socially distanced as possible.

Some information to share with you:

Photo Shoot for our Junior Infants – Our Junior Infants had their photographs taken by our school photographer this week. The boys and girls were very relaxed in front of the camera and I’m sure the photos will be lovely.

New Spelling Program for 2nd to 6th for 2020/2021 -We are very excited to be introducing a new approach to teaching and learning spelling this year, an approach where each child gets lists of spellings specific to their spelling need. This individualised approach ensures each child is appropriately challenged. Our 5th and 6th classes have completed their initial assessments and are ready to start working on their individualised spelling programs, 4th are in the middle of their assessments and 2nd and 3rd will start their assessments over the coming days. Feedback from the 6th classes has been very positive so far.

Absence from school Please continue to let us know if you are keeping your child home sick or if they are experiencing any COVID19 related symptoms. We are working diligently to continue to monitor all wellness related information and continue to keep our school healthy.

Thank you from our Infants teachers – Our Infant Teachers would like to thank most sincerely all those who sent in toy resources for our Infant classes. I can assure you that they will get lots of use over the coming year.

Confirmations – Last years 6th classes will eventually get to make their Confirmation over the next three Thursdays in Kilcoole Church. They have waited a very long time to celebrate this special sacrament and we wish them all the best and hope they have a lovely evening.

Homework – Thank you to those of you who emailed us in relation to homework. From the feedback we have received to date, it would appear that the majority of parents are in favour of no written homework, (excluding project work) for now. This discussion is still ongoing. If you would still like to contribute to this discussion, there is still time for you to do so. When we have reviewed all the responses and taken into account the research in this area and the considerations of the teachers, we will be back in touch. ,

School Lunches – We have a healthy eating lunch policy here at the school. Sandwiches, vegetables, fruit, water and milk are what we consider to constitute a healthy lunch. The following are not allowed – Crisps, chewing gum, nuts, lollipops, sweets, biscuits, popcorn, chocolate bars, cereal bars with chocolate and fizzy drinks. Because of the prevalence of nut allergies, please do not give your children nuts or food containing nuts. We would ask that you adhere strictly to this policy

School Holidays Document – I have attached a copy of the school holidays for 2020.2021 for your convenience.

Annual Admission Notice for the intake of Junior Infants for 2021/2022– It is a requirement of the Admissions to School Act 2018 that the board of management prepare an Annual Admission Notice outlining specific information in respect of the application process for admission to the school year in question. The notice for admissions for 2021/2022 will be uploaded to our school website today.

Cúla 4 ar Scoil – Cúla 4 are continuing with their school program for this year. The repeat programs can be watched daily Monday to Thursday on TG4, at 5pm. Watch anytime on Cúla4.com, or TG4.ie. Individual lessons from the programmes are available on youtube Cúla4.

A final word – I appreciate and value the many positive comments we have had from parents since we reopened our doors on the 27th August. – thank you so much for your support and encouragement of what we are doing. Our staff have worked very hard in the last few weeks to ensure that their care of your children, academically and pastorally, is the best care we can give them in this new learning environment that we find ourselves.

Well done everyone on another week at school. Have a lovely weekend.  Stay safe.

Kind regards,

Maire Costello

Principal.

****************************

9th September 2020

Re: Allocation of Homework/ Schoolwork when a child is Absent from School

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

I would like share some information with you in relation to the allocation of Homework / Schoolwork when a child absent from school.

Scenario 1

Our School Policy in relation to providing homework / schoolwork for children who are absent due to a short term illness or away on holiday during term time still applies i.e. they are not provided with work. We would encourage them to read while they are absent. There are also a number of useful educational links on our school website which they can tap into. The teacher will work with them when they come back to school.

Scenario 2

Awaiting on COVID Test Result – No homework/ schoolwork is provided. Again, there are educational links on the school website that children can use while they are absent from school.

Scenario 3

If your child has to quarantine due to a positive COVID test or is designated as a close contact of a person who tested positive – Homework/ schoolwork will be provided.

Scenario 4

If a child has an underlying illness and is not attending school, work will be provided.

On a personal note, I would like to thank all the parents for the part you are playing in keeping your children home from school when they are unwell. We are all in this together and the health and safety of the whole school community is a top priority for us all.

Thanks again for your support and cooperation as we adapt to new routines and protocols.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

***************************************************
4th September 2020

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

We have completed our first full week and I feel things went really smoothly.  Thank you again for your cooperation at drop off and collection times and for wearing face covering while on the school premises.   As I have said many times before we are all in this together and it is great that everyone is playing their part.

I know the boys and girls had a lot of new routines to get used to. But they are adapting like fish to water.  The congestion at drop off and collection has eased considerably.  Today was the first day our 1st and 2nd classes went in on their own and they are to be commended for how well they managed.

The staff would like to wish all the boys and girls who are making their First Communion tomorrow the very best and hope they have a lovely day.  They have had to wait for a long time for this and I know it is going to be all the more special.

Our PE teacher Cormac is all set and ready to start back next Thursday 10th.  The children really look forward to his classes and I know they will give them a big welcome back.   All classes will have two sessions of PE a week.  One with the class teacher and one with Cormac.  For this year PE will be outdoors as much as possible so we would ask you that your child has a rain jacket with them on their  PE days.

The Junior Infants are really settling into school.  I am so proud of them all.  They are ready to make their next big jump on ‘Independence Day’ Thursday 10th September when they will be in school for their first full day from 8.50 am -1.40 pm.  I know they will be great.

The children have worked really hard this their first week back and are deserving of a well earned break.

Have a lovely weekend.  Don’t forget we are here for you  if you need us.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

****************************************************
2nd September 2020

Dear Parents,

Thank you very much for helping us provide a safe, secure and happy environment in which your child can learn.

We are adjusting to the ‘new normal’. Our safety protocols are constantly under review.

We are close to having a good ‘drop off’ in the mornings at ‘Mrs. Mooney’s gate’ where the younger students are entering the school.

The children themselves have been wonderful. The Junior Infants excelled at arriving in unaccompanied on their third day and lining up with their teacher in the school yard.

However, the wet weather on so many mornings since the beginning of term has not helped.

1. Could we remind all adults to ‘drop and go’ because not doing so can lead to congestion on the footpath.

2. As difficult as it is could we ask parents not to congregate at the wall by Mrs. Mooney’s gate. We understand that you want to see how your child is doing, but social distancing in not occurring.

3. We would also ask you to cross at the Lollipop Lady. We do realise that brings you a little out of your way if you are coming over the bridge from the Church Road direction. However, crossing at that corner is a very dangerous place to cross. For this reason, we would like to get all students into the habit of walking down to cross with the Lollipop Lady.

4. Finally we recommend that your child dress warmly in school. In line with recommendations we are trying to keep the rooms ventilated and so the classroom windows are open.

Thank you again for your continued support. We are all in this together.

Ms. Costello and Ms. Beausang

***************************************************

31st August 2020

Dear Parents,

We are looking forward to our first full week in school since last March. Please find below some important information. At the start of each school year we experience some problems with drop off and collection. This soon settles down as parents and children adapt to the new routine. Again I would plead with you to be patient during this time.

Junior Infants

I just want to complement our Junior Infants on how well they did this morning saying goodbye at the gates. They were absolutely fantastic and an example to us all. Thank you, parents, for preparing them so well for this.

Drop and Go!

I appreciate it is early days and we are all still getting used to new routines. Thank you for cooperating with wearing face coverings when in the vicinity of the school. We would ask that you do not congregate at the gates so that the children can enter the school without having to step off the footpath. Ideally you could drop the children close to the school and watch them walk to their gate.

Gates

Gate 1: Main gate Trafalgar Road at Pedestrian Crossing. This gate is for Reception / Room 10, Room 11, Room 12 & Room 19

Gate 2: Wooden Gate beside Mrs Mooney’s. This gate is for Rooms 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 & 9.

Gate 3: Laneway Gate Kimberley Road. This gate is for Rooms 14,15,16,17 & 20.

Late Drops Off

Gate 2 & 3 will be locked at 9.00 am sharp. The only entrance to the school after this time is through Gate 1. Please note it will be closed over but will not be padlocked.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

*****************************************************

30th August 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all having a nice weekend

On Thursday we were delighted to be able to welcome at last our new Junior Infants to the school for their first two days of formal education. The children seemed to really enjoy their time with us and are already settling into a little routine.

It was amazing to see the boys and girls from Senior Infants to 6th class walking back in through the gates of St. Brigid’s after almost six months.away. They seemed happy to be reunited with their friends and finally get the opportunity to meet their teachers. So far so good.

We are really looking forward to a full week this week and hope the children are too. The gates will open for all children including Junior and Senior Infants at 8.50am and classes will begin at 9.00am.

3rd to 6th class will enter the school grounds through their designated gates (Either Gate 2 or Gate 3) and go straight to their classrooms.

Junior Infants to Second class will be dropped at Gate 1 and enter the Basketball Yard where their teachers will be waiting for them.

By Wednesday we are hoping that our 1st and 2nd classes will have become familiar with their routes into the school and be able to go straight to their classrooms from Thursday onwards.

As I have said in previous emails, nothing is set in stone. We will be reviewing drop off and collection routines on a regular basis to ensure we have the best possible set up.

Finally, thank you for your co-operation as we implement these new routines. We could not do it without you.

Here’s to a great week ahead.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

******************************************************

28th August 2020
Dear Parents/ Guardians, Just some important updates to share with you.

Hand sanitisers have been installed in all classrooms and public areas throughout the school. It is not necessary for children to bring in their own personal hand sanitisers, nor is it recommended by the Department of Education and Skills. However, if you would like your child to bring in their own sanitiser it is important that they do not share it with anybody else. It is for their use only.

Travel & Restricted Movement: If you or any member of your household has returned from a country that is not on the ‘green list’ it is a requirement that all members of that household restrict their movement for 14 days. This includes children that may not have travelled to the country. This is the advice we received this morning from the HSE.

COVID 19 Testing: If any member of your household is being tested/awaiting testing for COVID 19 the entire household must isolate until a negative test result is received. If a positive test is received self-isolation for 14 days is required. Again, we received this advice this morning from the HSE.

Face Covering: We appreciate that it is difficult for parents to maintain the 2 m distance at drop off and collection times. We would therefore ask that you would wear a face covering to help ensure safety for all.

We really appreciate how you have cooperated with us since we reopened. As I have said in previous emails, nothing is set in stone and it’s an ever-evolving situation. We will be reviewing constantly the new routines and procedures and will make changes when and if necessary.

Have a lovely weekend. Hope this rain goes away!

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello
****************************************************
27th August 2020
Dear Parents / Guardians,

It was lovely to see you and all your children this morning. We have really missed the boys and girls. The school building was so empty without the sound of the children’s laughter and chat. I hope they enjoyed their first day back and we look forward to many more fun filled days.

Thank you for cooperating with our new routine for drop off and collection. I know our new routine will take some time to get used to.

Can I just remind you of the importance of maintaining a distance of 2 m and if you cannot maintain this distance please wear a face covering. This is in the interest of safety for all.

We are looking forward to a happy, healthy and safe first term.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

****************************************************
26th August 2020

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

We are almost there! Only one more sleep to the grand reopening! have big hopes for a good year ahead. Below is just some information that you might find useful. Looking forward to seeing the boys and girls in their full school uniform.

New Protocols for Parents and Guardians

Entry to School: No parents/guardians are permitted to enter the school building without a prior appointment with the Principal.

Dropping off Forgotten Items: Again unfortunately, parents/ guardians will not be permitted to drop off books/projects/ lunches to the office during the school day.

Late Drop Off: If you are late dropping off your child to school, enter the school via Gate 1 and make your way to Reception using the second door on the right of main building. Please use the buzzer and the secretary will let your child in. Please be patient if the door is not answered immediately as most of the time there will be only one secretary on duty.

Collecting Children Early: If you need to collect your child early you need to notify the teacher in writing stating reason for early collection via teacher email. Your child can be collected from the door at reception. Unfortunately, parents will not be able to enter the school when collecting their child. You will need to wait under the shelter outside. Again, we would ask for your patience with this.

At Drop Off and Collection: We would ask you not to congregate at the school gates and be mindful of keeping the 2m social distance at all times.

Bicycles

We have had a number of queries in relation to children coming to school on their bikes/scooters. We have given this a lot of thought and we consider it appropriate that children coming to school with bicycles / scooters should enter through Gate 3 on Kimberley Road. We will be reviewing this at the end of September.

Siblings Entering / Exiting Through Different Gates

We appreciate your cooperation in ensuring your child enters the school through their designated gate. We currently have 317 families in the school and we’re unable to coordinate all siblings entering through the same gate. We will review this on an ongoing basis.

PE & After School Activities

PE will start back the week of 7th September. You will receive an email with your child’s PE days. Full school uniform should be worn everyday except for PE days. Children may wear shorts for PE during the month of September. As we anticipate doing as much of our PE as possible outdoors this year please ensure that your child brings a waterproof Rain Jacket to school on PE days.
Basketball and GAA. We will need to update you on this next week.

Schools’ Response Plan to COVID 19 Requirements

COVID 19 Induction programmes have been completed by all staff.
Deep cleaning of the school was completed over the summer months with Liquid Guard applied to all high contact points including light switches, door handles etc.
Extra cleaning hours have been allocated with the hours increased from 40 to 65 hours per week for this year.
COVID 19 policy has been adopted by the Board of Management and will be put up on the school website over the coming days.
COVID 19 Risk Assessment Policy was prepared and completed with ongoing reviews in place.
COVID 19 Signage has been placed throughout the school.
Hand sanitisers are in place in all classrooms, offices and entrance of the school.
Masks/ visors will be worn by all staff.
Ms Heneghan and Ms Teehan have been appointed as our COVID 19 Lead Worker Representatives along with Helena Moore and Sharleen Hogan as Assistant Lead Worker Representatives. They will ensure compliance with statutory obligations.
If a child becomes ill in school showing symptoms of COVID 19 they will be brought to one of the two isolation rooms in the school. Their temperature will be taken using an infrared thermometer and parents will be contacted. The parents will be advised to consult their GP and update us of the situation. Should the child be confirmed with a positive test this becomes a Public Health matter. The HSE will do a full risk assessment and are responsible for carrying out a full contract tracing. It is Public Health who determine whether the pod/ bubble or school will close. This is not a responsibility of the Board of Management.
Homework

The focus for teaching and learning for the month of September will be Literacy, Numeracy and Wellbeing. We as a staff have decided that there will be no written homework for this month as the children adapt to the new routines of school. We see this as a great opportunity for parents to sit read as much as possible with their children. However, reading, tables, spellings will be given to older classes.

No Early Close Tomorrow

There is no early close for children from Senior to 6th Class. Please refer to previous emails for Junior Infant and Senior Infant start times and gates the enter the school.

We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow. We are all very excited to be reunited with the boys and girls after such a long time.
****************************************************
Dear Parents / Guardians,

The BoM and School Staff are looking forward to welcoming all our pupils and parents / guardians back to school for the 2020/2021 school year in three days time on Thursday 27th August.

We are satisfied that we have control measures in place to ensure that this will be a safe re-opening. It will take some time for all of us to get used to the “new circumstances” as we become familiar with the new routines and procedures designed to keep everyone safe and to prevent the spread of the virus. There will, undoubtedly, be some unforeseen challenges and we will deal with these as they arise.

We would like to thank you for your co-operation in making preparations to date and look forward to working with you as we assist the children adapt to the necessary changes. We are also conscious of the fact that our pupils have not been in school since March and that they are looking forward to coming back to school to meet their friends again. We are aware that our new pupils are beginning a school year at a challenging time and have made plans to ensure that their arrival will be as free from stress as possible.

Kind regards

Tom Sherlock                                    Máire Costello

Chairman Board of Management Principal

****************************************************

23rd August 2020

Dear Children,

As the summer holidays come to an end it’s hard to believe that you haven’t been in the school building in five months. We have missed you all so much and are really looking forward to seeing you again in four days time. We’re sure you’re excited to come back to St. Brigid’s to see your friends, teachers and other staff members but we also understand that you might be a little nervous about coming back and that is totally normal too.

St. Brigid’s will still be the school you know and love but there will be some changes that we have put in place to keep everybody safe. Your parents and teachers will talk to you about these changes Some of these changes include:

-New routines for coming into school in the morning
-New routines for leaving the school in the evening
-Designated Gate entrances for drop off and collection
-Designated Yard Zones for each class level
-Two separate yard times- One for Infants to 3rd and and one for 4th to 6th
-The staff will be wearing face coverings, masks or visors, like what you may have seen in other workplaces or shops. However, we will still be the same people, just five months older!!
-In the first few days and weeks we will be going back over key work that you might have done last year to help you get used to being back in school again.

We will also be reminding you about catching coughs and sneezes safely in a tissue or your elbow, regular hand washing, use of hand sanitiser and social distancing which we’re sure you have become very familiar with over the last few months.

It has been a difficult few months for most people but we have been working hard to make sure that school will be a safe and fun place for you to learn and we look forward to seeing you all on the 27th of August.

If you have any questions or concerns that you would like to ask us, please email the school (get your parent(s) to help) and we will do our very best to answer them as best we can!.

Enjoy the last few days of the summer holidays. See you all on Thursday

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello and all the Staff

****************************************************

19th August, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please find below information I received from the Department of Education and Skills to share with anyone attending school who has travelled abroad recently.

Subject: Information for all schools: Reminder to anyone attending school who has travelled abroad

Reminder to anyone attending school who has travelled abroad:

Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas for everyone.

It is a requirement for anyone coming into Ireland, from locations other than those with a rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes school staff, parents and children or other students coming from abroad to attend school in Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.

Regards,

Reopening Schools Section

****************************************************

18th August 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Some information to share with you in advance of our return to school in relation to the wearing of uniforms, lunch boxes and school stationary.

School Uniform – The children will continue to wear their uniforms on uniform day and their tracksuits on PE Days. For the month of September the boys and girls may wear their school shorts for PE if they like.. Please note The Department of Education Guidelines on the Return to School do not make any reference at all to the need to wash uniforms on a daily basis. It is entirely up to each family to decide how often they want to wash the uniform.

Lunch Boxes – For this year, it would be a good idea if the children could bring their lunch to school in a paper bag rather than in a lunch box to lessen the risk of cross contamination between school and home.

Stationary – Children from 1st class to 6th class should have two pencil cases, one to remain in school and one to remain at home. Their class teachers will advise them what the contents should be when they return. The Junior and Senior Infants will be supplied with an individual filled pencil case in school and they will not need to have one for home.

We are continuing to work through the details of our return to school and will keep you updated.

Kind regards,
Máire Costello
Principal

****************************************************

17th August, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you all had a nice weekend.

Please find below an email detailing how we anticipate physical distancing and safe school attendance will work in our school. It is important to mention that all school personnel will be wearing face coverings and you will need to talk to your children about this in advance of our return to school. Also, any parent or visitor entering the school buildings will be required to wear a face covering. We would very much appreciate your full cooperation with this measure.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I will be in touch with you again on Thursday 20th August in relation to drop off and collection routines.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

****************************************************

RE: Physical Distancing and Safe School Attendance

Monday 17th August 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are currently working on upgrading our procedures and routines within the school to ensure that there is as much Physical Distancing as is possible in our building. We will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue.

Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: –

Increasing Separation. This will be achieved by re-configuring the classrooms to maximise physical distancing. Each class will be referred to as a bubble and we will ensure that there is as little contact as possible between children in different bubbles. Within the bubbles, children will be organised into pods. A pod is a group of children (normally 6) who will sit together and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom.

Decreasing Interaction. This will be achieved by decreasing the potential for children from different bubbles to interact. There will be marked routes for various bubbles to enter and exit the school and to access their classrooms. Bubbles will have different mid-morning and lunch-time access to the playground. We will make these routines enjoyable activities for the children, emphasising safety at all times.

While all children will be welcome back to school, we would remind parents that, where children are displaying colds, coughs or flu like symptoms, they should not be sent to school. Children who display such symptoms in school will be isolated and parents asked to collect them from the school.

Children who have travelled from countries not on the Green List should not attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period

Further information on COVID-19 symptoms in children is available HERE

Teachers will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing, coughing or spitting. We would be grateful if you could also emphasise safe behaviour in this regard to your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school.

Our aim remains to re-open the school in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the new school environment. This will be achieved by all of us working towards this common goal.

Kind regards,

Tom Sherlock Máire Costello

Chairman Board of Management Principal

****************************************************

13th August, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I apologise in advance for the number of emails and messages you will be receiving from me over the coming days but I really want to keep you as up to date as possible with what is happening with regards to the reopening of St. Brigid’s. I feel clear communications from the school giving up-to-date information is the best means of countering anxiety, re-assuring the entire community and giving staff, parents and children ownership of the return to school process.

Please click to this link to download a Newsletter put together by the Deputy Principal Mary Beausang detailing some of the information that you and your children need to know about returning to school. I think you will all agree that there is lots of valuable information to be found in this Newsletter and I would urge you to keep a copy of it close to hand.

I will be in touch with you again on Monday where the focus of my message will be on physical distancing and safe school attendance.

In the meantime, take care and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

****************************************************

12th August, 2020

Re-opening of St. Brigid’s NS, Greystones

Dear Parents / Guardians,

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

I will be keeping you updated over the next two weeks as the details of our return to school protocols become clearer.

We are planning to re-open our school safely on Thursday 27th August, in line with current guidance and recommendations. Our intention is that it will be a full return to school for all, albeit with some differences, details of which will be in later communications.

Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – Board of Management (BoM), School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.

We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now and will publish the Department of Education and Skills (DES) COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools on our school website later today. The Response Plan gives details of

  • Physical preparation, signage, hand sanitiser stations,
  • Advice, procedures and training for the safe return to working in the school for all school staff and pupils
  • General and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus

We will also publish our COVID-19 Policy Statement on the school website later today. Our BoM will keep you informed as to the progress of our re-opening plans and provide you with the information required by you to play your part in safely re-opening the school.

We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children. We will be in touch with you again shortly.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Principal

The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: –

****************************************************

8th August, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this email finds you and your family keeping well and that you are enjoying the summer break and the lovely weather we are having this weekend.

I understand  you may have questions and concerns regarding your children’s return to school at the end of August.

Following receipt of the  Department of Education’s Road Map  for the safe return to school of our pupils and staff, the Board of Management recently met to  discuss the document. The Board and Staff  are now busy working hard on drafting a COVID 19 Response Plan  to ensure we can all return to school safely. The plan, among other things, necessitates making some changes this year to include specific entrance/exit gates for specific classes,  restrictions  on parents and visitors entering the school, the mandatory wearing of face coverings for staff and split yard times.

I will be in contact with you again next week when the plan is finalised to make you aware of new procedures and protocols that will be put in place for the coming school year.

As I am sure you will appreciate all decisions made by the Board  will be based on best practice to ensure the health and safety of all in the school community.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

**********************************************

28th July 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all keeping well.

As you may be aware, the Government published its guidance for how schools can reopen safely and fully at the end August yesterday evening.

The school received a copy of this plan and a letter for you the parents/guardians from the Minister of Education late last night. I have attached below a copy of this letter for your attention,

The Board of Management is fully aware that the reopening of  our school is essential to the well being of our pupils. The board will be meeting to review the “Reopening Our Schools” 58 page document over the coming days and be in touch with you again in relation to procedures and protocols around the return to school

In the meantime, enjoy the remaining weeks of the summer holidays and spending time with family and friends.

Kind regards,
Ms. Costello

To Parents – Letter from Minister Foley

In this letter Minister Foley mentions that the Department of Education will provide age appropriate materials to help you prepare your child for their return to school in advance of our return. They will be on THIS link and we will circulate them as they become available.

**********************************************
Scroll down this post to see LETTERS SENT HOME since Thursday, 12th March 2020

26th June 2020

END OF TERM LETTER FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Dear Parents/Guardians,

We have made it through a rather interesting year. This year saw the closing of the school on the 12th March and the beginning of a new way of learning for our pupils. The closing of the school was certainly unprecedented and adapting to home learning was not without its challenges. We have however managed to weather these storms and can now focus on the summer holidays and everything that goes with it.

I would like to thank all of you for everything that you have done over the last three months.We could not have gotten to the end of this year without the help of everyone in the St. Brigid Community. I would like to acknowledge the great work of all the staff for their hard work and dedication after our initial leap into the unknown on March 12th.

To the boys and girls of St. Brigid’s, as the summer holidays begin, take this time to enjoy sleeping in late and going to bed a little later.Take this time to reflect on all that you have accomplished during the course of the lockdown. Enjoy taking trips, reading new and exciting books, visiting new places and catching up with family and friends.Most importantly take some time to relax and enjoy the summer weather and summer activities.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish our 6th classes all the best as they move onto Secondary school. We held al fresco graduations for them in the school yard yesterday. The sun shone brightly and it was lovely to be able to wish them well in person. A huge thank you to Aoife Murray, Louise Fenelon and the Parents Association without whose help and assistance the day wouldn’t have been possible.

Have a great summer and for all our sakes, let’s hope we never hear the words “home learning” ever again.

Take care and stay safe.

Kind regards
Ms. Costello

21st June, 2020

Dear Parents Guardians,

I hope you are all keeping well.

We are nearly at the finishing line. Five more days to go until the summer holidays begin. I can almost hear the sighs of relief.

Without doubt, these last few months have been challenging. Facilitating home learning was not in the job description when you signed up to be parents and I know that the experience has been very different in every household. I would like to compliment you all on the fantastic job you have done in guiding and supporting your children during this lock-down. While your children may not know it yet, you will have helped create cherished memories for your children to look back on fondly in the years to come.

Thank you to all of you who send in photos for our Home School Sports Day Video which is now up on the school website. From the looks of things, the children had a great day despite the poor weather.

The school reports were sent out last Monday via Aladdin Connect. Please get in touch with us if you have not received yours or are having trouble accessing it.

We have just finalised our booklists for next year and these will be sent out this week. At the bottom of the booklist is the name of the teacher your child will be with for the coming academic year.

Finishing primary school in lock-down has been difficult for our 6th class pupils. They left St. Brigid’s on the 12th March not realising they would never return. We feel it is important to mark the end of their time at our school before they move on to secondary school and so we will be having an outdoor Graduation Ceremony for them next Thursday 25th June in the school yard.  I’m sure it will be a very special occasion . Fingers crossed the weather holds up.

Many parents have been asking about a second hand uniform sale. The PA are in the process of organising this. It will take place on Friday 3rd July. More details to follow.

Finally I would like to finish with a poem by the laureate of the Harlem renaissance. It seems particularly apt for the times that are in it – The pointlessness and ennui we all feel after three months of lock-down.

Until next week,

Kind regards, Ms Costello

MOTHER TO SON

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Langston Hughes

************************************

15th June, 2020

Re returning book rental or library books & collecting 6th class photos

Dear Parents,

As the school year comes to an end, we would ask you to return any book rental, library or books belonging to the school this Friday 19th June from 10am -12noon.  Please click on THIS link a copy of the classes and the book rental books which need to be returned to the school.

We would also ask you to also check if you have any other books / library books at home that belong to the school and return them on Friday.

Steps to follow on Friday

  • Please place books in a sealed plastic bag labelled with your child’s name.
  • Please enter the school grounds via the old convent gate on Kimberley Road.
  • Please bring bagged books to the door of the Yellow Brick building (Room 14,15,16,17) and NOT the main school building.
  • Please exit the school grounds via the lane onto Kimberley Road.

For Parents of 6th Class Students

Parents can collect 6th Class photos which they ordered from Ian Young next Friday also from the door of the Yellow Brick building.  Please enter and exit school as above.

Second-Hand Uniforms

We anticipate having a second-hand uniform sale in early July provided it is safe to do so.  If you have a uniform in good condition and would like to donate it to the school, please place it in a sealed bag and drop it down to the school (yellow brick building) on Friday between 10-12.  It is important that the uniforms are WASHED & IN GOOD CONDITION.   Please enter and exit the school as above.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

***********************************

12th June, 2020

Boys and girls,

Today is a special day. It is the first home school sports day that we have ever had at St. Brigid’s. This is history in the making.

It is regrettable that we cannot celebrate this special day in the custom that we are used to but we have to make the best of things in the circumstances that we are in.

I know that you will enjoy putting the books aside for one day to engage in some exciting sporting events whether that be a fitness class with Joe Wicks or building and participating in your own obstacle course. I’m sure many of you have some great ideas for the day. However, dont worry if you haven’t. Ms Murray has sent your parents lots of interesting activities that you can do today. Whatever you do, be sure to have lots and lots of fun.

We would be delighted if you could send in a photo or two of what you get up to today so we can make a short video to put up on the website for everyone to see.

Now all we need is for the rain to stay away. Fingers crossed.

Kind regards,

Ms Costello

*************************************

11th June 2020

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

As you know tomorrow should have been our schools Sports Day. Unfortunately, we can not go ahead with the traditional Sports Day but have organised a virtual Home Sports Day instead.  You received an email last Friday with details of how this might work at home.

It is important that the children have lots of fun in whatever activities they choose to pursue.   Maybe Mum and Dad can join in ?.

On another matter I am very conscious that student’s interest in home learning is waning.  Traditionally, for the last two weeks of school the classes would have engaged in a more informal type of learning.  The emphasis would have been on a lot of outside activities, reading and a little bit of maths.  We would encourage you to keep this up as much as possible.  However, if it is causing stress, as the primary educator you are best placed to decide what works best in your child.

We can never underestimate how important it is to learn life skills.  Perhaps the children could take on some new tasks around the house over the coming two weeks.  These life skills which will serve them well in further years.  For example, learning how to sort washing, put on a wash, prepare a meal, setting the table, stacking the dishwasher, dying dishes, sorting the waste materials to be recycled, learning how to change their bed etc.

Enjoy the Sports Day.  Have fun.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

***********************************

8th June 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Thank you for your responses to our most recent survey. Your input is valued and welcome and the results can be viewed in the jpeg below.

September is just under three months away. A great deal can happen in that time. Three months ago none of us knew what was ahead of us.

There is a great deal of uncertainty. No one can predict what the situation will be in September. As a school we have no say in how and when schools will reopen but we are hoping to get some guidance on the from the Department this week.

We miss the children, spending time with them and helping them learn. We would love if we could start back in September as normal and work with the children, to see them back playing with friends, to hear all about how they have been doing, to address any gaps in their learning and to reassure them that all is well.

We have been watching what is happening in other countries when children return to school. ‘Blended learning’ seems to be a possibility, when because of ‘social distancing’ numbers are reduced in classrooms. We don’t know what the rules about ‘social distancing’ will be in three months time and we are hoping for the best. We are thinking about how we could make the best use of the space we have, but there may be some changes to the school week. We understand the inconvenience of this and would like to reassure you that we would bring in families on the same days.

At the moment we are just gathering the information that will help us plan for the best outcomes. We want to work together with you to achieve this. Many of the staff are homeschooling while they work, so they understand the challenges parents face. We want to address difficulties you may be having as best we can.

With 328 families in the school we got a wide range of answers. The key findings are;

  • 6% have no access to a device.
  • 61% are sharing a device with others
  • 29%  have no printer access
  • 20% have limited access to a printer
  • 4%  have no or limited internet access

Some parents find teaching hard, and some are enjoying it. While some parents would like more engagement online, others have requested the use of books and copies and minimal work online. Some prefer revision, while others would like to move on to new topics at home. Some parents would like ‘busy work’, others would like something that fulfils the curriculum. Some parents asked for more engagement and some have requested less.

Regarding parent concerns on blended learning, what we did learn was that parents have concerns about:

– availability of childcare, asking a child minder to home school

– safety, family members who are high risk

– the effects of school closure on children, emotionally socially as well as educationally

– difficulties children have with focus and distractions where they feel there is little accountability, worries parents have about children falling behind.

– Irish, Art, tin whistle, project work and handwriting can be hard. Workbooks like ‘Figure It Out’ are easier to do.

– concerns about Junior Infants, particularly with socialization,

– Sixth Classes preparing for secondary school

– Children with additional needs

There is shared agreement that parents would like a safe environment, with investment by the DES as necessary to reduce spread of virus. If there was to be a ‘new normal’ where the school environment was very different, parents wondered on the effect this would have on children. You would like if we could show flexibility and understanding of work commitments and home school. You would also like to see a more uniform approach across the school

Some of these lessons can be implemented immediately:

– Work will be sent home on a Friday, not a Sunday.

– Work will not require a printer.

We appreciate all you have been doing at home. With these responses you have given us a lot to think about. We have taken on board what you have told us. We will keep the lines of communication open. We will do our best. Parents and teachers have been on a sharp learning curve. Staff will continue to work on upskilling in the new circumstance in which we find ourselves. Please be assured that we will do our very best to make sure that the children’s return to school is a happy and healthy time for them.

Kind regards,

Ms Costello

************************************

2nd June 2020

Dear Parents, Please find attached details on the SCHOOLWEAR HOUSE REOPENING in June. Kind regards, Ms. Costello

1st June 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all having a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend. This year, it seems summer has arrived a little earlier than expected with beautiful days to lift our spirits.The weather has been absolutely gorgeous over the last few weeks and has afforded us the opportunity to spend quality time with family enjoying summer activities outdoors. La vie est belle.

As time goes on, and weeks have turned into months, I know that many of our children are finding learning at home consistently more challenging. From the correspondence we have been receiving of late, it is obvious that home learning fatigue is setting in. The fact that siblings in Secondary School have now finished up for the year, does not help matters. The fall off in engagement from the beginning of the lock down to now is to be expected.Taking learning outdoors will help with re-engagement.It is proven that being outdoors in the sunlight improves our mood and helps keeps us feeling balanced and focused. My advice to you therefore at this time is to allow the home learning take place as much as possible outside. Also, don’t forget the Home School Hub and Cúla4 are great resources to tap into.The links to this weeks schedules are here: RTE Home School Hub  and  Cúla4

School in the month of June is very different from all the other months of the year. While there continues to be a strong focus on Numeracy and Literacy, it is traditionally the month of summer activities, school tours and of course the all important annual school sports day. St. Brigid’s Sports Day, which was scheduled for Friday 12th June, will not happen this year in the format we are accustomed to. However, Ms Murray is busy working on a virtual sports day plan, which will be sent out to all families early next week. We hope as many of the boys and girls will commit to participating in our first and hopefully last ever virtual sports day and that they will enjoy the day.

I said in a previous email that it is important to continue to have high expectations for your children, to remain positive, to keep up with a daily routine and to engage with learning activities that the children enjoy. It is important to remember that children learn best when they are happy.

Finally, a huge thank you from all the staff for the support and encouragement you are giving to your children in the times we are currently living through. I know many of you are working full time and it is not easy juggling home and work life. Continue doing what you are doing. Rest assured you are doing your best and your best is good enough.

Until next week, take care and stay safe.

Kind regards,
Ms. Costello

************************************

29th May 2020

LETTER FROM THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all keeping well and safe in these exceptional times and are not finding things too stressful. Our school Principal Ms Costello has kept the Board of Management aware of the work that the teachers and SNAs have been doing, to assist your children continue their learning despite the school being closed and of the huge efforts you the parents are making to support this. The Board greatly appreciates the work being done by everyone and is anxious to support you in any way possible.

Re-opening of school

You will be aware that the current Government advice is that schools will remain closed until 1st September. I think everyone is very anxious to ensure that the schools will in fact open on that day. This will of course be subject to it being safe to do so. The Board of Management and the teachers and school staff are very keen to be able to return safely on 1st September. We have already started to look at what a return will look like in light of Public Health advice, social distancing etc. and trying to anticipate what arrangements we will have to make and any measures we may need to put in place to ensure we can open.

We are also aware that the Department of Education and Science in consultation with the education partners and public health experts are considering what the “new normal” will be when the schools re-open. We expect to receive guidance from the Department on this in the next few weeks and this will assist our own planning. I want to assure you at this stage that the Board the teachers and the staff are very anxious to get back to school as soon as possible and we are fully committed to doing everything possible to achieve this. We will keep you informed of progress as we go on and if it will be possible to have a full return or whether some form of ‘staggered classes’ will be necessary. Our objective is to achieve normality or as close to it as possible.

Bereavements

The Board of Management has learned that a number of families and staff have suffered bereavements since the closure of the school. Unfortunately we have been unable to offer support and sympathy in the usual way so I take this opportunity on behalf of the whole school community to offer our condolences to the bereaved and to pray that their loved ones are safe in the arms of God.

First Communion, Confirmation, Graduation

Unfortunately it has not been possible to celebrate any of these important and always joyful events as we had planned. Fr Gerard and Fr John have used the Morning Mass on the parish webcam and the Evening Prayer on the Zoom App to pray for the boys and girls on the appropriate dates and I know that the Principal and class teachers were also in touch with special messages for the occasion. The parish and the school are committed to celebrating the sacraments when it is possible to do so.

It will not be possible to celebrate the 6th class graduation in the normal way either. We are aware that some schools have held virtual graduation ceremonies on the Zoom or other platforms. The Board and the teachers have considered this and we feel that a virtual celebration is not a satisfactory substitute for the usual graduation mass and celebration in the parish hall and we do not therefore intend to arrange one. We feel it is preferable to wait until we can have a proper graduation ceremony and we are committed to arranging this as soon as it is possible. We are considering whether it might be possible to arrange a less formal get together of the girls and boys before 1st September, within Public Health guidelines – possibly sometime in August.

Conclusion

Finally I want, on behalf of the Board of Management, to thank you for your help and support for the school and the staff throughout these extraordinary times. I hope the next few weeks when ‘distance learning’ will continue, to whatever extent is possible for each family, will not be too stressful and that you and your children will be able to enjoy the good weather. Enjoy the summer holidays. Please stay safe and well.

We look forward to seeing you all when we re-open.

Tom Sherlock

Chairman

Board of Management

************************************

25th May 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Click on ‘Read more’ below to see an audio message for the children for this week.

Kind regards, Ms. Costello

*************************************

24th May 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Week 9 of Home Learning. It is strange how the days seem to be going by so slowly while the weeks seem to be flying by.

It was so nice to catch up with some of you last Wednesday when you were collecting your children’s books even if it was from a 2m distance and even if it was only briefly. Your cooperation on the day was very much appreciated and ensured we could distribute the books in a safe manner.

I  know the boys and girls have been trying really hard to keep up with their weekly school work and I am so proud of all that they have achieved over the last two months. I have enjoyed hearing about all the new skills they have been acquiring from learning to ride a bike, to baking cakes, to painting fences, to learning to read.  Skills for life indeed. I particularly like hearing about all the books they have been reading.  I know some children say they don’t like reading. It is my firm  belief that they just haven’t found the right book. What better gift can we give a child than a love for reading !!

Spare a thought for our  6th classes who  were due to make their Confirmation next Thursday 28th May in Holy Rosary Church surrounded by family and friends.   However, due to the  Covid 19 pandemic this has been put on hold for now. This is hard on our 6th class students but it will be all the more special  when it does eventually happen.

If you haven’t already seen the special  video the boys and girls in Ms. Smith’s Junior Infants made  to thank our front line staff for all they do on our school website, I urge you to do so. It would melt you heart and will certainly keep you smiling. One of the children is even wearing a white coat. How cute is that  !!

I love hearing from the boys and girls so if they have anything work they  want to send me, I would be delighted to see it.

Finally, I know that many of the children are enjoying the  RTE Home School Hub and Cúla4 programmes. Below are the links to this week schedules for your convenience .

RTE School Hub     Cúla4

Until next week, stay safe, stay well and stay home.

Le meas,

Ms. Costello

21st May 2020

Dear Parents /Guardians,

Thanks for picking up your child’s books yesterday.  It went very smoothly.  Some people couldn’t make it yesterday.  We are opening one more slot to collect your child’s books on next MONDAY 25th MAY from 9.30 am -11.00 am.  Entrance to the school will be via the old convent.  Please come to the school office to collect books. We would ask you to keep social distancing in mind when entering and exiting the school on Monday.

Kind regards,
Ms. Costello

19th May 2020

Dear Parents,

As a follow up to the email sent last Thursday.

Just a quick reminder that the book collection is taking place tomorrow Wednesday 20th May.

All classes have been allocated individual timeslots.  Please note, you will collect all books for your family, at the time allocated to your oldest child if you have more than one child in the school.

Click HERE to download the collection schedule for Wednesday.

We will not be in a position to take back, schoolbooks, book rental books or library books tomorrow.

We would appreciate your co-operation in the one-way system which will be in operation when entering and exiting the school grounds tomorrow.  Please note the entrance and exit point for your family.

We would urge you to leave the grounds as soon as you have collected your books to ensure everyone’s safety.

Stay safe and stay well.  See you all tomorrow.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

************************************

Sunday 17th May, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Tomorrow marks a new beginning for us all as we enter Phase 1 of the lifting of restrictions. This is good news and a positive note to start the new week.

I know every family’s experience of home learning is different but whatever your experience has been over the last number of weeks. it certainly was an opportunity to spend some more time with your children and this has got to be a good thing. You will never get these days back so enjoy them while you can.

Saturday was to have been a very special day for the boys and girls in Ms. Murray’s and Ms. Staunton’s 2nd classes. They were to have made their First Holy Communion in Holy Rosary Church surrounded by family and friends. Unfortunately as you know this could not go ahead due to the Covid 19 Restrictions that are currently in place.. However, our families are made of tough stuff and the boys and girls together with their families managed to mark the day in their own special way and create memories for the future. From the photos I received, it is obvious that the children enjoyed their day in spite of everything. And can I say , that they all looked really beautiful and really happy. When they do eventually get to make their First Communion, it will be an extra, extra special day.

A quick reminder that you can collect your childrens’ books from the school on Wednesday 20th May. It is important that you adhere strictly to the times allocated to ensure everything runs according to plan.

Please find below the links to the Cula4 and Home School Hub.schedules for the coming week.

For the Home School Hub from Monday 8th May to Friday 18th May to Friday 22nd May Click HERE to download

For Cula4 scroll down the link to see the lesson content planned for the week.

Finally, I know the enthusiasm for home learning may be waning a little, but just remember we are all here to help you should you need us. The teachers are keen to know how the children in their classes are getting on with home learning so I would encourage the boys and girls to send in one piece of work to their teacher each week. Alternatively, an email to say they are getting on fine would be very much appreciated.

Say hello to the boys and girls for me and tell them I am so proud of them all.

Until next week,

Slán go fóill,

Ms. Costello

*************************************

14th May 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are organising to distribute your child/children’s school books on Wednesday 20th MayThe collection will take place at designated collection points A , B, C, D and E in the school grounds Attached please find the Timetable for Book Collection

The following guidelines MUST be strictly adhered to:

  • Please adhere to your allocated time. Times are final and cannot be changed.
  • No children are allowed on the premises.
  • There is a strict one-way system in place for entering and leaving the school grounds.
  • Teachers will have organised siblings’ books to go to their older brother/sister’s class for collection so please note time of your eldest child’s class collection only
  • Bags will be ordered alphabetically to speed up the collection.
  • A staff member will leave your child’s bag on the table for you.

When you collect the bags, please leave the school grounds quickly and safely.

  • Parents must not stop to chat to other parents at any time during the collection.
  • Please adhere to HSE social distancing guidelines at all times.

Collecting multiple bags from your child’s class only

To promote social distancing and maximise safety for all, whilst supporting parents who cannot collect their child’s books, we would ask parents to liaise with each other when organising the collection of multiple bags.

We thank parents who are collecting multiple bags for other children but please ensure that the bags are from your child’s own class as these are the only bags that will be available at that time slot.

Myself and some staff members will be in the school on Wednesday to facilitate the collection. The Gardaí will monitor the collection to ensure that the guidelines are being adhered to.

I would strongly advise all parents to follow the strict rules set out above.

I would appreciate your full cooperation to ensure we carry out this task safely.

***********************************
Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

Principal

MONDAY MORNING AUDIO MESSAGE for CHILDREN from MRS COSTELLO: 11th May 2020.

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope all the home learning goes well this week. I know it is not easy.

Please find attached an audio message from me for your children. It is an MP3 file so you should be able to open it on any smart device or laptop.

Kind regards,.

Ms. Costello

10th May 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this email finds you well and safe. I don’t know where this week has gone to.

We have been blessed with some beautiful weather over the last few days. I know that a  lot of learning has been taking place outdoors this week and that is exactly as it should be. Children learn best by doing and there is no better place to be active than outdoors.

This week I have enjoyed looking at some of the fantastic work your children have produced as part of this week’s home learning. The teachers have been sending me on some of their projects, stories, book reports and drawings. I am in awe at all of the new knowledge and skills they are acquiring. I am looking forward to meeting the next David Attenbourgh, the next JK Rowling when we return to school. The boys and girls are a credit to you all, to themselves and to their teachers.

To keep up to date with everything that’s happening in the school I would encourage you check out the school website. The video clips of the younger children will bring a smile to you face.

I know the thought of sustaining home learning for the foreseeable  future can appear daunting but I would like to reassure you that the teachers and I are here for you every step of the way and are eager to help in any way that we can.

Here are the links to the RTE Home School Hub  and Cula4 ar Scoil schedules

If you are looking for some more material to occupy your child, I recommend “The Childrens Times” that comes with the Sunday Times.

Stay well and stay safe.

Ms Costello

*************************************

NEW:’Morning Boys and Girls, I hope you had a nice Bank Holiday Weekend and are ready for another week of home schooling. You are used to hearing me at 12.15pm on the Intercom at school each day so I decided to surprise you with a short audio message today’. Click HERE to download it so you can listen it on your laptop or tablet.

The following version you can play on your phone:

Audio Message to Children 4 May 2020 (online-audio-converter.com).mp3

***************************************

5th May 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,,

We are currently planning for you to come and collect your childrens school books. However, this will not take place until after the 18th of May in keeping with the Governments recent guidelines on the opening of school buildings for school staff. As you will appreciate the logistics of, organising the collection of the books while ensuring that social distancing is maintained will be challenging. We will be in touch again with you with your date and time for collection when we have the plans finalised.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

*************************************

3rd May 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians.

I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather we are having this Bank Holiday Weekend and availing of the opportunity to get outdoors even if it is within a 2km limit. Thank you to those of you who have been in touch. Your messages are very much appreciated.

I know that two emails within two days may seem a bit excessive. However, in light of the Taoiseach’s announcement on Friday that schools would remain closed until the Autumn, I thought it was necessary.

Tears have been shed in many a household within our community since this news broke. Dreams of the longed for school tours, Sports Day and the Basketball League have all been shattered not to mention the disappointment for our 2nd and 6th classes who will not be making their First Communions and Confirmations this year. My heart goes out particularly to our 6th class students whose time in Primary School has been cut short so abruptly. However, I guarantee we will mark their time at St. Brigid’s with a very special celebration when it is safe to do so. And that is a promise you can hold me too.

Covid 19 has had a huge impact on us all. Despite all the turmoil, there is cause for hope. There is no doubt that our children have been asked to sacrifice a lot but they will emerge a more resilient, empathetic generation from this pandemic.

Finally, I would like to assure you that the staff of St. Brigid’s will continue to deliver the high standard of teaching and learning that you have come to expect from our school . I can’t speak highly enough about my staff and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge their professionalism and dedication publicly. A huge thank you to Tara also who has been keeping things going behind the scenes as usual.

Say a big hello to the boys and girls for me and remind them ” to always look on the bright side of life.” I will be sending them their own special message tomorrow.

Fan sabháilte.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

**************************************

1st May 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Today marks the end of another five days of home learning.

I know for some, the week has not been without its challenges. I am conscious of the fact that the novelty of home learning may be wearing thin and that home learning fatigue may be setting in. This is perfectly normal and to be expected. The children are missing their friends and would like to get back to learning as they know it.

My advice at this time is not to stress about schoolwork. When school returns to normal, we will get your children back on track. We are teachers and that’s what we are trained to do. In the meantime, continue to have high expectations for your child/children, remain positive, keep up with a daily routine and engage with learning activities that the children enjoy. It is also important that the children link in with their teachers at least once a week so the teachers can see how they are getting on and offer any support they may need.

Can I let you in on a little secret? The teachers are really missing the children and are really anxious to hear their news and all about the new skills they have acquired.

While today marks the end of five weeks of home learning, it also marks the beginning of a new month, the beginning of Summer, the beginning of new experiences. Thinking about this has brought to mind the poem “Begin” by Brendan Kennelly, particularly the last four lines.

“Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.”

Our children will not give in. They will continue to grow and be the best that they can be.

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend. Enjoy this special time with your families. Talk to you all again next week.

Le meas,

Ms. Costello

*************************************

1st May 2020

Dear Parents,

FYI – The timetables and details for Week 3 Cúla4 ar Scoil  and for the Home School Hub from Tues 5th May to Friday 8th May.

https://www.rte.ie/learn/2020/0418/1132305-home-school-hub-teachers-lesson-plan/

Ms. Costello
*************************************

26th April, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As promised, here are the details for this weeks Cúla4 ar ScoiL and RTE Home School Hub. I hope they are of some help.

For those of you want to support your childs learning of Irish at home, Cúla4 ar Scoil is a school program on TG4 covering elements of the primary curriculum with different themes each week. This weeks theme is Éadaí (Clothes). It’s airs daily at 10 a.m. Details of the timetable are at https://www.cula4.com/en/shows/cula4-ar-scoil/

Regards.

Ms. Costello

RTE HOME SCHOOL HUB Week: 27 – April 1 May

Date Subject

1st & 2nd

Subject

3rd & 4th

Subject

5th & 6th

Monday 27 April History (Children of Lir) Gaeilge (Ócáidí Speisialta) Science (Lava Lamp)
Tuesday 28 April Geography (Local Natural Environment) Maths (Data) History (The Normans)
Wednesday 29 April PE (Gymnastics) English (Poetry – Limericks) Music (Alouette)
Thursday 30 April Maths (Algebra) ISL (Irish Sign Language)  Visual Arts (Viewfinder)
Friday 1 May English (Grammar) Maths (Lines and Angles) Geography (Flora & Fauna)

24th April, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians

You have come to the end of another week of supporting home learning.

It is not easy I know, but from the emails and communication we have been receiving, it would appear that the children are coping well over all under the circumstances. Children are very resilient and a great example to us all.

I know that many of you are taking advantage of the good weather we are having of late and that a lot of learning is taking place outdoors in back gardens. This is to be encouraged. After all,a book is no substitute for nature.

There are some in our school community who have lost loved ones recently. We keep them in our thoughts and prayers at this time.

FYI

  • Barnardos have launched a national telephone support service for parents in response to the challenges they are facing during the Covid 19 Pandemic 1800 910 123. They are providing support and advice to parents on a range of issues issues
  • Ms. Beausang updates the Junior and Senior Webmixes on the school website every Monday morning. Be sure to check them out.
  • Home School Hub & Cúla4 ar Scoil -Unfortunately, I have not yet received the scheduling for next week but I will send this on as soon as I receive it.

A final word, I feel it is important to remember to take one day at a time, try to focus on the positive and do what works best for your family.

Have a good weekend. Stay safe and stay well

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

************************************

20th April, 2020

Hello Children,

It feels strange to be welcoming you back after your Easter holidays via email rather than in person in your classroom,  or on the corridors or in the playground.

I do hope you enjoyed the last couple of weeks, especially  the wonderful weather and perhaps a little  chocolate was consumed.

It is back to home learning today for the next couple of weeks at least. Please do what you can in agreement with your parents / guardians. Remember,  try and read a little bit everyday, and if you read a particularly great book, send me an email with the name of the book and a short blurb along with the reasons you enjoyed the book.

Finally, remember, we are still all trying to stay healthy by washing our hands regularly, maintaining social distance and exercising good cough & sneeze etiquette.

Take care and continue to make me proud by being the best that you can be.

Your virtual Principal,

Ms. Costello

19th April, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

The teachers have organised some home learning for your children for  this coming week. You know your child  and what works best for them. Listen to them and be guided by them.

I came across some good advice in this regard from a lecturer in Digital Education from Marino Institute of Education who says “Parents should focus on routine and not productivity”

For your convenience please find below the timetable for this weeks RTE Home School Hub and a link to the materials from previous episodes. This might help a little in organising the home learning.

We are all here to help you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need us.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

Worksheets and supporting material from previous episodes can be found at https://www.rte.ie/learn/

RTE HOME SCHOOL HUB Week: 20-24 April

Date Subject

1st & 2nd

Subject

3rd & 4th

Subject

5th & 6th

Monday 20 April Gaeilge (Éadaí) Art – Marbling SPHE (Worry)
Tuesday 21 April SPHE (Helping at Home) SESE (Counties of Ireland) English (Haiku)
Wednesday 22 April Art (Stencils) English (Biography) Music (Carnival of the Animals)
Thursday 23 April Maths (Data) PE (Circuit Lesson)  Science (Solar Oven)
Friday 24 April Drama (Exploring) English (Poetry) Gaeilge (Dul Siar ar Éadaí)

17th April, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you all had a nice Easter and an opportunity to spend some quality time with your children and just be.

I know the news that schools would remain closed for the foreseeable future was not the news you wanted to hear from Minister McHugh last week. It is not the news we tthe staff at St. Brigid’s wanted to hear either. We are anxious to get back to school to engage with teaching and learning as we know best. We miss the children terribly and the unique atmosphere of the school setting.

However, this is not to be for the time being. To stay safe and stay well, we must stay at home.

Trying to work from home whilst entertaining children and refereeing sibling quarrels, all the while facilitating home learning is undoubtedly challenging. Not to mention the worry of a sick relative or concern for a member of the family who has just lost their job due to the Covid crisis. If any of the work being sent home by teachers is causing stress and anxiety for you or your child/children, you don’t have to do it. As I have said many times before, you know your child best. Be guided by them.

I would like to reassure you of the teachers commitment to support your child’s/childrens’ learning over the coming weeks. . I want you to know that we are all here for you. If you any problem, no matter how small, please don’t hesitate to get in contact. .

Finally, I want to commend you on the excellent job you are all doing in supporting your childrens’ learning at home and reassure you that your children are learning even when they are not learning.

Be sure to say hello to all the boys and girls from all the staff.

Regards,

Ms. Costello

8th April 2020

EASTER NEWSLETTER

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please find attached our Easter Newsletter.

Happy Easter to one and all. Say a special hello to the boys and girls for me.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

Easter Newsletter 2020

***

26th March 2020
Boys and Girls, I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

You are now at the end of two weeks of home learning. I know that this type of learning is very different from what you are used to but I am confident that you will continue to be the best that you can be no matter where the learning is taking place.

I am excited to hear about all the new skills and knowledge you will have picked up over the last while. The world is such a wonderful place and there is so much out there to explore.

It is important to keep up with your reading during this time even it’s only for 10 mins a day.  Getting out in the fresh air is also really important along with washing your hands, keeping your physical distance and doing everything else that your parents tell you to do. Mum and Dad know best !!

I know that you are really missing your friends right now but it will make meeting up again when we return to school all the more special.

The school is a very lonely looking place right now.  Myself and your teachers are a really missing you and hopefully it won’t be too much longer until we are all back together again.

Bye for now, Ms. Costello

***

3rd April 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this email finds you well and safe.

Let me begin by thanking you for the lovely messages of support and good wishes that we have received from so many of you over the last few weeks.. I can’t tell you how much it means to us all. It is very much appreciated

I take my hat off to you the parents for the part you are playing in supporting your children’s learning at home at this difficult time . I know that none of you signed up for the job and I appreciate how difficult it can be managing home and school life under the one roof. It is great to hear that many of your children are engaging fully with this new form of learning and that is a testament to just how resilient our young students are.

However, for others, it a proving to be a bit of a challenge. This is to be expected as many children require the routine structure of the school day, the physical environment of the school building and the face to face interaction with the class teacher to learn best. As I have mentioned before, please don’t let any school suggested activities add in any way to what is an already stressful and testing time for many.. You know your child/children best. Be guided by them.

Like you, all of us at St. Brigid’s are trying to manage and cope with the many changes imposed upon us since the forced school closure three weeks ago..As teachers we are committed to supporting your child/children from a distance, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can support them further.

On another note, there has been a whopping response to the online St. Brigid’s Home Learning Survey. Mile buíochas to all who took the time to complete it. It will help greatly with the planning for home learning going forward. I will analyse the data over the Easter and send a report on to you of the findings. Thanks again for your participation. We are all in this together.

I will be sending out the Easter New Letter over the coming days. A nice way to stay in touch with the Community I think.

Say a big hello to your children from me. Tell them that I am really missing them all. i hope it’s not too long before we meet up again and get the opportunity to share experiences and new skills learned over this time

Finally, on behalf of the Board of Management, the Staff and myself, I would like to wish you all a very happy Easter. Put the books away, enjoy this down time with family and take the time to appreciate the wonderful world we live .

Slán go fóill.

Ms. Costello

24th March, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardians,

I hope you are all keeping well and remembering to practice social distancing.

The last two weeks have been particularly challenging for families of school going children and with the Minister for Education confirming today that schools will not be reopening in the short term, it looks like these challenges may continue for some time.

We as a school, do not want to add to the stress and pressure that parents/guardians may be feeling right now. We understand fully that the teaching and learning that take place in the classroom cannot be replicated in the home nor would we expect it to. We appreciate how difficult it is to motivate children to do school work when they are not in the school setting. The children have had to adapt to a new way of learning and this takes time. Add to this the many distractions at home and it is easy to see how quickly routine can go out the window.

The teachers have assigned work to our pupils in attempt to ensure continuity of learning and to help provide some structure and routine to the childrens’ day. However, you as the parent/guardian and  primary educator, are best placed to know what is and what is not working for your child/children in your home setting. Remember there are many forms of learning and school work is just one of them. We are really looking forward to hearing all the different skills and knowledge that the children will have acquired by the time we return to school.

To summarise, my message to you is to use the school work provided if it is working for you as a family. If it is not, I am confident that you will think of other activities that will keep your children occupied and engaged during this time. Don’t forget , there are lots of useful links and information  on the school website for both online and offline activities.

Stay well, stay safe and remember we are here to help and support you.

Kind regards,

Ms. Costello

20th March, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this email finds you all well. We are indeed living in unprecedented times.

I understand that juggling and balancing life’s demands is particularly difficult at present. There is also the added worry for some of caring for elderly or vulnerable relatives and a real fear around losing jobs and the fear of contracting the dreaded virus.

Our education system is designed around the norms of classrooms where we as a community trust a small number of adults to deliver a curriculum that enables each child to reach their full attention. Now, parents/guardians are being asked to work from home and home school their children at the same time. No easy task I know.

I am aware that your own family circumstances will dictate what you can provide for your child or children in the home at this time. I know that for some, getting to the teacher assigned work can be a difficult task. So my advice is that education happens in lots of different ways so don’t be hard on yourself or feel guilty if its not happening daily. There is more to education than the curriculum. Our children will bounce back and may indeed pick up many other useful skills during these weeks. You focus at this moment for your family will likely be to keep everyone safe and happy.

Rest assures that the staff are continuing to prepare resources and materials to support the learning that will be taking place at home over the coming days and weeks. Don’t forget that if you are looking for ideas to keep enquiring minds busy, there is a wealth of really useful information and links on the school website.

Please don’t be afraid to reach out to us if there is a concern or question that we might be able to help you with. We may not be able to get back to you straight away but we will do our very best to help and support you. You the parents can support each other by sharing strategies that you have found useful.

We are missing the daily interaction with your children and look forward to re-opening the school when it is safe to do so. Stay safe, stay well and remember when we do come back from this – and we will come back from this – we will come back stronger.

All the best.

Ms Costello.

12th March, 2020

The teachers have prepared SCHOOL WORK for your children to do during school closure. They are contacting their classes on the ‘platform’ they use most frequently and that parents are most used to. This might be Aladdin Connect, Seesaw, Class Dojo, email or Google Classroom. Please note that replicating the classroom learning environment for your child at home would not be possible. So much of the teaching and learning that occurs in the classroom is rooted in oral language e.g. direct teaching, class discussions, partner work and group work. Written work is always built upon an essential foundation of oral language. Therefore, it is not possible or relevant to provide enough ‘written work’ to keep your child busy for the entirety of what would be a school day. What we have tried to do, is provide what we feel is enough work to sustain and reinforce learning until we can return to normal. Teachers will be in touch over the length of the school closure. We will supplement this work with some further suggestions here on the school website, which we hope you will find useful. We provide this work to be helpful and not to put families under any pressure. Routine will be reassuring for your child at this time. These are suggestions only. The work provided is not compulsory.