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End of Year message from School Principal Ms Sheeran

posted Jun 25, 2020, 7:28 AM by Owen Breslin
Dear Parents,
I hope that this email finds you and your family well. It is so hard to believe that this is our last day of school for this year. Had we been in school today we would have been celebrating the end of the year with parties and games in our classes. The 6th class would be running around trying to get as many signatures as possible on their t-shirts and we would have given them our traditional Killeigh N.S send off. We will indeed give our 6th class the send-off that they so rightfully deserve, but it will be different to what we are used to.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our parents for their support and cooperation over the last 4 months. It has been very difficult and stressful at times and I appreciate that some families have struggled for various reasons over the past few months. We all did our best with the situation and I am very proud of how well everyone adapted and how excellently you all got on with distance learning. Please take a well-deserved break over the summer, recharge the batteries and give yourselves a huge pat on the back for a job well done! Distance learning may be a feature of our children’s education that we will continue to see in September, but we will have wait and see. We are still awaiting guidelines on what may happen when we return to school but we are working hard behind the scenes planning and making preparations for a safe return to school. We are looking forward to seeing all our children again and getting back to some normality. I will keep in touch with you all with any updates or changes to our plans.

We have compiled our booklists and classes after a lot of consultation and based on the best information that we have at present. You will see that we are introducing an online reading and spelling system this year which will replace our guided reading scheme for foreseeable future. We have decided to go with this in order to reduce sharing of books and also it allows for blended learning if the need arises.  We are trying to make the best decisions and plans for returning to school with the information that we have at present, and that is difficult. We have put quite a lot of thought and planning into everything and we are confident that we are doing the best for all the children in our school.

I would like to thank our wonderful staff for the exceptional work that they have done in the last 4 months. Our teachers adapted so quickly to distance learning and within a matter of weeks they were planning and correcting work for their classes, engaging daily with their children and getting to grips with new teaching methods. I am so proud of them all, and the commitment and dedication that they demonstrated to their classes and our school is to be admired. I appreciate that this has been a difficult time for our staff also as they continued to work from their own homes, whilst juggling babies, their own children’s home schooling, elderly parents and busy family lives. They spent a lot of time motivating the children and keeping them engaged with learning during the closure and they organised lots of fun activities such as Active Home Week, Nature and Art Week, Baking Week, Zoom meetings, STEM activities and much more. I am so grateful to each and every one of them for their hard work and dedication and I hope they have a wonderful, relaxing, summer break.

Fr. John Stapleton would also like to extend his thanks to the families who joined him online and participated in celebrating mass with him. We are very grateful to Fr. John for all his efforts during the closure. He celebrated mass for our school on numerous occasions and added his own personal touches with his singing and guitar playing. He also included our school choir music in special school masses and we are so thankful to him for all he does for our school.

Last but not least, I want to say a huge well done to our fantastic pupils. They really are super stars and one of the many heroes of this pandemic. On March 13th, they were sent home from school where they isolated for almost 3 months, and many did not see friends, grandparents, family members. They also adapted to a new way of learning, they remained at home, and their efforts saved lives! All of the staff in Killeigh are so proud of how resilient they are and the skills and lessons that they learned over the past 4 months will stand to them for the rest of their lives. We were blown away with the amount of engagement and learning that occurs as almost 80% of our pupils engaged daily with online learning. We are really looking forward to seeing them in August. I am sure they have grown so much that we will hardly recognise them when they come back. We hope they have a wonderful summer and that they have lots of fun and laughter. They really do deserve it! P.S. Don’t forget to read every day.

 

If you have any queries you can contact me on sandra.sheeran@scoilshinchill.com

Thanks to you all for your continued support and kind words of encouragement, we really appreciate it.

Have a great summer and we hope to see you all on August 27th.

Tabhair aire agus fan slán,

Sandra Sheeran

Principal


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