Bulletin for Parents and Students
Friday March 28th 2020
Everything is Going to be All Right
How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.
Derek Mahon, from Selected Poems
I appreciate that this is a particularly testing time for everyone from a personal, professional and financial perspective. Each family will be affected by this crisis, and you are all in our thoughts and prayers. At the moment we are focusing on the welfare of our school community and ensuring the continuation of teaching and learning. Circumstances continue to evolve, and like many schools, we are making the best possible decisions with limited information and opportunities to prepare.
Challenging though it is for students to adapt to eLearning, we are committed to educating all of our students through to the end of the academic year in this way, if necessary. With this in mind our eLearning capabilities are keeping students motivated, in a familiar routine, and virtually connected to their teachers for support and engagement. If you having any difficulty accessing Office 365 please do not hesitate to contact the school on email@example.com
As I was listening to Morning Ireland in snatches yesterday I heard this poem Everything is Going to be All Right and I thought you might like it and it might bring a little much needed hope and a sense of perspective to people who are worried and concerned.
Read here by Philip King accompanied by Steve Cooney https://www.rte.ie/radio1/south-wind-blows/ PRESS ‘LISTEN’
I must encourage our students to put pen to paper and write their reflections on the last 2 weeks and I can put them on the website. I am sure there is an inner poet in everyone just waiting to get out!
Our teaching staff are working hard to ensure that they continue to deliver the highest level of tuition that they can in these challenging times. Teachers across all subjects and levels are currently supporting students through a variety of channels appropriate to the subject, level and needs of individual students.
- all teachers are contacting their students directly
- each subject has different needs and to that end teachers are using different strategies
- many teachers are teaching online classes or are setting work and communicating in various ways
- some of the resources and platforms teachers are using include: Office 365 which has an array of uses and ways of communicating with your son
- many are emailing work and receiving homework via email
- teachers are monitoring students’ engagement and are feeding concerns to both myself and the DP
As teaching and learning in this environment is new to us all we will learn over time that some strategies and approaches work well and others do not. I appreciate the warm feedback from both parents and students in the last week – it is lovely to read a message sent to one teacher after she asked the question, “How are you finding home learning via teams”? He replied: “Ah not too bad, bit of an inconvenience but it makes me a bit more independent”. Brilliant!
We will aim to tweak the delivery of lessons accordingly. Your feedback is key to assisting us to adjust and to deliver the best level of teaching that we can through these channels. We will continue to seek your input to ensure we are achieving the right balance of content, direction, assignments and homework for all students.
To this end we have set up a report on VS ware called “Current Levels of Engagement” which parents can access from Monday March 30th. Simply log on to Vs ware, select Term reports on the left, select “Update on Student engagement Week ending Mar27th” from the dropdown menu. Look for “engagement with e learning” and /or comments.
Here a parent/guardian can check in on teacher reporting-
- Whether your son is logging on to on line sessions
- If the student is taking part and level of engagement
- If the student is submitting work
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work to get through this together. I will update the school website with necessary information when relevant. Do remember, these days will pass, and there may come a time again when we would wish to be at home with time and our families. So try to make the most of them. Enjoy each other and take time for yourself. Take care and stay safe and remember the CLOCKS GO FORWARD this weekend!!