February Newsletter

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope that you and your family are keeping well.

Reopening of School Buildings:

Special schools and schools with a special class/classes are scheduled to open shortly. Unfortunately, we do not have a definite date of when a return to school buildings will take place for mainstream schools. As soon as we receive information from the Department of Education in relation to this, we will let you know. We sincerely hope we will be able to welcome all our wonderful pupils back to our school building in the not-too-distant future.

Pupil Engagement:

A huge thank you for all the support and encouragement that you are giving to your children in helping them to engage in our distant learning programmes. 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. I appreciate how difficult it is for you and also for our staff to work whilst also looking after the demands of family life. Remember to be kind to yourselves over the coming days and weeks. If you think we can help your child with anything please do not hesitate to contact us.

In-Person Supplementary Programme:

The Department of Education has announced an In-Person Supplementary Programme to support the education or care needs of pupils with complex needs during this period of school closure. This supplementary programme of in-person support is intended to enhance the remote learning experience for pupils with complex needs during the school closure period through the provision of 5 hours per week in-person teaching or care support to be delivered in homes. The Department will allow parents to arrange for the delivery of any of the unused hours of support during the Easter holidays. Please click here to read more information in relation to the programme. We will be in touch over the coming days with the parents of pupils who are eligible to partake.

Mid-Term:

This is the last full week of Online Learning before our Mid Term Break. There will be no activities scheduled via Seesaw, Google Classroom, Google Meet and/or Zoom during the Mid Term Break (Thursday 18th February & Friday 19th February). Online Learning activities will resume on Monday 22nd February.

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.

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.

The pdf resource guides are available here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af24b-wellbeing-guidance-documents-for-parents-students-and-schools/e

The videos are available here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af24b-wellbeing-guidance-documents-for-parents-students-and-schools/e

Supports for Parents of Children with Special Educational Needs:

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) 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 www.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.

PE at Home

A new series of online PE classes for primary school children in Kerry, is being launched under Kerry County Council’s Keep Well Kerry initiative. From this Thursday 11th February, children in classes from Junior Infants to 6th Class can log on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s for twenty-minute sessions as provided by a PE Teacher. The aim is to offer this opportunity and support to children (and parents) to maintain physical activity levels and skills, while home-schooling, during COVID-19 level 5 lockdown. To sign up and get your link to the classes, please click on the following link: https://edcentretralee.ie/news.html

School Fitness Ireland

School Fitness Ireland are offering parents free access to their After School Club until the 28th of February. Click on the link to register your child. https://club.schoolfitnessireland.com/register/free-access-until-feb-28th-2021/

The Kids Are All Right Podcast

A fantastic listen for any children that are worried or anxious during this lockdown. Listen via all the Popular Podcast Apps https://the-kids-are-all-right.captivate.fm/listen

Contact

If you need anything please just let us know via your child’s teacher email or via the school email address, glounaguillaghns@gmail.com.

Finally, thank you so much for your continued support and cooperation.

Take care everyone - be sure to wrap up warm this week, stay home and stay safe.

Sinéad Pigott

Principal

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 Glounaguillagh National School 2021

Caragh Lake, Killorglin, Co. Kerry

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