First of all allow me to wish you all well during these very challenging times. I understand well that we all would prefer to be back in school and carrying on with our normal lives. Unfortunately these are not normal times and the restrictions placed upon us are there for the health and well-being of everybody.
The teachers of Scoil Íosa are determined to continue to provide opportunities for our pupils to continue accessing the curriculum in as effective a way as possible. Unfortunately due to social distancing concerns we are unable to meet any parents or children face to face and as such we must strive to use the technology available to us to provide guidance and practical work for the children. The school website (www.iosaballyhaunis.com) is central to our efforts and we ask that parents check in regularly to the news section to keep up to date with the ongoing work undertaken by the teachers. To this end we have published a link to a Google Drive folder called Covid-19. Once you open this folder you will find a sub folder named with your child’s year group. This folder will contain files uploaded by the class teachers which will contain work to be covered by your child. This will mirror broadly the work to be covered in class in numeracy and literacy predominantly. The teachers will keep this work on file to inform our work on return to school. In the Covid-19 folder you will also see a subfolder entitled, ‘Reading for Second Class and up’. We ask that all parents should access this file and follow the instructions to register for a
programme entitled ‘readtheory.org’. This is a magnificent resource which works on the children’s reading and comprehension at an appropriate level for each child. It allows the teachers to track the children’s progress and gives feedback to the individual teacher on each and every pupil’s engagement with the programme. This programme has been piloted very successfully by Mr. O’Brien’s class and is proving to be a valuable addition to our school curriculum.
You will also see another folder entitled ‘Maths Work for All classes’. This contains access to Khan Academy. Khan Academy is an online mathematics platform which will have tasks uploaded by the teachers based on revision of work completed in mathematics with the relevant classes. The work is completed online and is corrected by the teachers. Please refer to this for work for your children. We hope that this will be operational by the end of the week.
A very important area of the children’s school curriculum is the area of physical activity, well-being and health education. It is vitally important that the children are given the opportunity to exercise on a daily basis. The World Health Organisation recommends that each child should exercise for a minimum of One Hour daily. This may be playing sports, interacting with YouTube activity videos or just taking a walk. Please try your best to give your children the opportunity to engage in some physical activity daily. To this end limit the amount of time spent on online gaming, social media or games consoles. I appreciate that alleviating boredom in the children is a challenge and that technology may provide respite but over exposure to gaming, consoles, social media etc has been
proven to be detrimental to children’s health.
The school website will include a number of web links to allow parents to access resources to help with keeping the children meaningfully occupied. Among these will be sites for all core subject areas as well as access to the restricted areas of websites belonging to the main publishing companies utilised by our school. The teachers will direct you to the appropriate content from these sites which will be of practical assistance to your children.
“Ní neart go cur le chéile
(”Our strength is in our unity)
As you will appreciate this enforced break is not an extra holiday and is not being viewed as such by our staff. We will do everything in our power to assist you with keeping the children engaged in their learning and should you have any queries, questions or need assistance please address this to your teacher and forward by email to the school email address firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward this to the teacher for consideration and reply. Do not overload the children with meaningless work or work for works sake. Use the websites sensibly and if possible with guidance from your teachers.
In the meantime please keep safe and heed the directives from the government and informed authorities regarding social distancing and measures to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Please ignore gossip sites or hearsay messages featuring false and misleading content. It is important that everybody stays calm and positive. We have no indication as to when the schools will reopen. At present we are still informed that it will be March 30th. This is not realistic in the current climate and will most likely be extended to at least May 4th. As such it is vitally important that the children’s education is catered for and rest assured that we at Scoil Íosa will endeavour to provide continuity in this regard.
Thank you most sincerely for your continued help and support and we will keep in touch. Please ensure to keep checking the website for updates. I will inform by text as soon as new content is added.
Le Gach Dea Guí
On behalf of all staff at Scoil Íosa
The above is the link to the folder entitled covid-19 which contains the work uploaded by each teacher as well as the online reading and maths platforms.