May Newsletter

Dear Parents/Guardians,

What a busy few weeks it has been! It’s hard to believe that we are now facing into the final weeks of this school year. I wish to thank you for your patience, understanding and support throughout this unprecedented period.


In school, our protocols around handwashing, class pods and ventilation all remain in place. Meeting and playing outside, we are advised, are the safest options and any social gatherings in-doors should be avoided. It is important that we continue to remain vigilant.

Additional Accommodation

At the end of April, we received the wonderful news that our application for additional accommodation was approved by the Department of Education. As our numbers continue to grow year-on-year, this additional accommodation will be of enormous benefit to the students attending our school. Space is at a premium at present and these additional rooms will assist the school in expanding alongside our growing pupil numbers. These works will be of great benefit to our students and teachers and we look forward to undertaking the works in the coming months.

Standardised Tests

The Department of Education have advised that standardised testing will go ahead this year. Testing in Maths, Reading and Spelling for children from 1st to 6th class will be carried out over the next few weeks. Standardised tests are just one form of assessment used in primary schools. They are a snapshot of how a child performs in Maths and English on a specific day and should be interpreted with caution. Because of school closures and remote learning, this is particularly true this year. As in other years, if a teacher has concerns, she will be in contact with you with advice as to how you can help your child. Results of your child’s standardised tests will be communicated on your child’s summer report, to be issued in June. I have attached an information leaflet from the NCCA in relation to the standardised tests.

Parent/Teacher Meetings

This year, our Parent/Teacher meetings are being carried out by phone. Parents and teachers of most of our children have already been in contact with the Junior Infant meetings taking place over the coming days. Never has the phone been in such demand! We thank you for your co-operation.

Return to School Declaration Form

A reminder that this form must be completed after each absence. The form can be accessed through the school website https://www.glounaguillaghns.ie/covid19

Enrolment

We are still accepting enrolment applications for September 2021. A limited number of places are available in our Junior Infant class as well as some of our other classes. If you would like any further information, please contact the school office on 066-9769402 or email us at glounaguillaghns@gmail.com

Next Year

It’s the time of the year when our attention turns to allocating next year’s classes. To that end, if you know your child will not be returning to our school after the summer (other than 6th class pupils), please let the office know as soon as possible.

Our growing class sizes are beginning to pose problems in allocating our class groups, in particular our typical class groupings of 3rd & 4th Class and 5th & 6th Class, etc. On the recommendation of our Inspector, we are working hard to try to keep our class sizes as close as possible to the Department recommendation of 25 children to 1 class teacher. This may mean having to “split” some of our classes to accommodate our growing numbers. We developed a “Split Class Policy” some years ago in the event of needing same. I am attaching this policy for your attention. Once we have finalised the projected numbers expected in each class group, we will be in contact with any further plans for September.

Sacraments

Fr. Kevin has confirmed that our Confirmation and First Holy Communion Ceremonies will not go ahead as planned this month. No new dates have been set by the parish as yet, but the likelihood is that ceremonies will take place in the August/September. This is disappointing, but we look forward to gathering in the Autumn.

Time to Read

The Time to Read programme is well underway involving some of the children in 2nd Class. We are extremely grateful to Business in the Community Ireland and Fexco for continuing with the programme this year, despite everything. Although things have to be on a smaller scale this year, the enthusiasm of the organisers and volunteers is just fantastic to see. We really didn't think the programme would be able to happen this year, and while we'd love to have a full programme involving all the children, we're so delighted to be able to continue in some form. A huge thank you to Eileen, Germaine, Cathal and our wonderful volunteers.

Headlice

A few cases of headlice have been reported to the school recently. There is nothing you can do to prevent headlice. However, you can help stop them spreading by checking your child’s hair regularly using a special fine-toothed comb (detection comb). You can buy these online or at pharmacies.

6th Class Hoodies

We had a nice surprise for our 6th class students last week. They each received a special school hoodie in recognition of their eight years here at Glounaguillagh. Thank you to our families for making it happen, to the Parents Association who contributed towards the cost of the hoodies, to The Brand Geeks for their help & assistance and to Tracy Murphy who coordinated it all! We look forward to the children wearing them to school for the remainder of their time here.

School Tours

No school tours will take place this year. Instead, we hope to do lots of fun activities during the last two weeks of June.

6th Class Graduation

While it will not be possible for us to carry this out in the traditional format again this year, we intend marking the occasion in-school towards the end of June. Unfortunately, parents/guardians won’t be able to attend in-person but we hope to be in a position to include you, as best we can, through the magic of technology. More details to follow.

Junior Achievement Ireland

Second Class are involved in this fantastic initiative. They have now completed a number of sessions with their volunteer and are thoroughly enjoying the lessons. Lesson 1 of 'Our City' involved learning about all the different zones in our cities. While during lesson 2, the children had great fun using blueprints and constructing their very own city. They are already looking forward to the next lesson!

Student Council

We feel it is important that our students have an active role in the organisation of the school and that their ideas and concerns are listened to and respected. We decided to trial a student council during this final term to allow the children to get a feel for what a student council is about. Going forward, we hope to elect a student council at the beginning of each school year. Lots of ideas were brought to our first meeting and the children offered some fantastic suggestions in relation to many aspects of school life. A very successful inaugural meeting!

Summer Uniform

The boys and girls are permitted to wear the summer uniform (navy school shorts) if they wish. Let’s hope we get some good weather.

Summer Holidays

We will close for our Summer Holidays on Friday, June 25th at 12 noon.

Finally, if you have any school related issues or concerns, please contact your child’s class teacher via the school office, 066-9769402 or glounaguillaghns@gmail.com. We would be more than happy to help you.

That’s all for now.

Sinéad Pigott

Principal

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