This week, we featured in an article for The Irish Times, all about how schools are planning for and organising 6th class graduations. Caitríona spoke about the plans we have made for our current 6th class pupils and the alternative arrangements which are being put in place for this year's ceremony. Have a read of the article here - well done to Caitríona and all involved!
Each day over the coming weeks, our principal Caitriona will upload a video from a different place in our school building, creating a virtual tour through our building. We hope these videos help our pupils to stay connected to our school and also help those getting ready to join our community to get ready for that in the absence of the visits we would usually have around this time.
Our school has the most wonderful staff. For the last two days, they have worked in physically-distanced teams, each person accessing just one room or corridor and one assigned toilet, wearing face coverings and regularly washing hands. Together we have everything ready for Distribution Day next week, when we will again work in self-isolated bubbles to hand out books (for 280 children), laptops (for 9 children), art sets (for 25 children) and toys (for 9 children). What a team!
We are delighted to let you know that, thanks to huge determination and commitment from our staff, we have found a way to distribute books within insurance restrictions.
On Monday 25th May 2020, your child's books will be available for collection. Please see email sent from the school in relation to time and location for your collection.
Please note that it is not possible to be flexible with regard to the times. If you cannot come to the school at the appointed time, you can have another person collect your child's books. We will not be opening the school again for this purpose.
If you have books belonging to the school, please bring them with you. The book(s) should be in a bag or envelope or wrapped in a paper that has your child's name clearly written on it. A post box will be provided for parents to return these books.
If at all possible, please have just one adult per family come to the school on the day. If more in the family must come, please have everyone apart from one adult wait in the car. If this will not be possible for you, let us know in advance and we will have the books waiting in the car park so that no-one has to get out of the car.
If you applied for the loan of a digital device, you will hear the result of your application later this week. For those who are successful, you will be given a specific time to collect that at. It will be during the time given for your book collection so that you can do both in one visit.
Please bring your child's school bag with you so that you can put their books into it immediately.
Please don't touch anything else at the school.
Please stay distant from others at the school. We will have markings at every 2 metres so use those. Book distribution will go ahead, even if it is a wet day. You will not be entering the school building and may need to queue so please wear a warm coat and/or bring an umbrella. Unfortunately, we are not permitted to allow you into the building, even for a toilet stop.
Please know that the school cannot guarantee that it is safe for anyone to come to the school grounds. We are doing our best to support safety but you come at your own risk, same as you go grocery shopping at your own risk.
DO NOT COME to the school if you have had any symptoms or live with anyone who has had symptoms of Covid-19.
School staff will be wearing face coverings and gloves and will change their gloves regularly. You are welcome to wear face coverings and/or gloves. Please use the hand sanitiser available outside the building also.
We hope that this distribution of books is of support to families and we really appreciate the work of all school staff in making this possible.
*Please note that children in Infant classes do not have any books for collection. Book distribution is for children in 1st to 6th classes only, other than for those who are getting the loan of a digital device or the gift of an art supply pack - see email for details. Thanks.
Our Chairperson and Principal have been busy over the last week, working with our Patron, Educate Together, and with Dublin West Education Centre and local principals, in putting together submissions for the Department of Education (DES) on what school will look like when the buildings reopen.
We have asked DES for guidance on lots of different areas of school life, such as:
We look forward to reading guidelines from DES and to developing our own school plan in line with them. We feel lucky to have these networks to work with and we know that these groups will continue to work together to refine practice.
We are thankful to Stephen and to Caitriona for taking the time to be involved in groups like this - it is a significant commitment of time, energy and head space and we know our school will be all the better for it. Mile buiochas daoibh.
At the 2017 Educate Together AGM, Citywest ETNS Board of Management nominated the principal of our school, Caitriona Hand, for a position as Director of Educate Together. There were more nominations than positions that year and so Caitriona had to go through an election process. She was elected and served on the Board.
This is a volunteer position that requires a significant number of hours per month. The term is three years and Caitriona completed the full term. That term finished at the 2020 AGM, which was held virtually on Saturday 9th May.
Citywest ETNS is thankful to Caitriona for her work as Educate Together Director. It was a term of significant change and growth for Educate Together, with the appointment of a new CEO, the largest growth in the number of schools in Educate Together's history, a new strategy, the first ethos guidance document for Educate Together schools (prepared by a teacher from our school, Aoife Blood, who is on loan to Educate Together from March 2019 to August 2020), the first School Self Evaluation tool for Educate Together ethos and more.
Citywest ETNS has attended every AGM since 2015, including the virtual one in 2020. We are proud of the impact our school is having on the national situation, not only through Caitriona's work on the Board of Directors and through Aoife's work in the National Office but through motions we have put to the AGM over the past and through clusters our school leadership and management are involved in. Members of our Board of Management, teachers and parents have represented our school at the AGM in different years. This is democracy at work and we are delighted to play our part. We encourage community members to support the national movement as well as the local movement.
Society has been upended recently and, along with it, school and our other support structures. We miss each other and we miss checking in with each other.
So let's get focused!
Our very first focus when we finished was Online Safety. We encouraged everyone to think about how to be safe online and how to keep our families safe online.
(Anita is still updating this page weekly so please keep checking in!)
Next up is Mental Health. It is so much easier to learn, so much easier to help others, so much easier to be a force for good in the world, if our own mental health and well-being is cared for.
Over the next two weeks, we invite you to develop good habits for your own well-being and to take a few minutes each day to check in on yourself, see how you're doing and get to know what makes you FEEL and how it makes you feel.
Parents and siblings, we hope you get involved too.
And it's a great chance to ring your Granny or your uncle or your friend and invite them to be a part of our warm and friendly school community.
Our Parents Association have launched Our School Rocks to run alongside Well-being Fortnight. Our School Rocks is a great way of feeling connected and feeling like the caring and loving community that we are. It will also help us to heal from this time as a community as we create a piece of art collectively. Please get involved!
If you haven't watched The Home School Hub or Cula4 up to now, here's a chance to give just one part of an episode a try, one that relates to the activities your teacher has suggested for you this week. We hope this list helps!
For everyone - Well-being
As we celebrate Well-being Fortnight, here are the SPHE lessons that have been on The Home School Hub already. Though they are targeted at particular class levels, they should be fine for a few years either side of that too.
Aimed at 1st/2nd class:
Aimed at 3rd/4th class:
Aimed at 5th/6th class:
The Home School Hub is targeted at 1st class up. While Senior Infants could reach up to that, we don't think its fair to expect Junior Infants to. Feel free to watch it, though. Hopefully you will learn something new!
Cula4 is a good programme to watch. Its on TG4 each day at 10am. You're not expected to understand what's being said but listening to the language will help you to learn it more easily when you go back to the school building.
As Senior Infants go on a mini-beast hunt this week, you might also like to think about the birds in the local natural environment.
Here's an activity you can do about it too.
The Home School Hub covered The Children of Lir just last week! Watch the episode here and try the activity here.
2nd and 4th Classes
The Home School Hub looked at 2D and 3D shape last week. Watch the episode here and try the activity here.
3rd and 6th Classes
I can't spot any episodes that connect with what you are doing this week. Instead, why don't you take a look at our Book Club page? As you are reading 20-30 minutes a day, you might enjoy some of the quizzes linked there or you could let us know what you're reading and what you think of it. We'd love to hear from you!
The Home School Hub covered poetry last week, looking particularly at a type of poem called limericks. Watch the episode here and try the activity here.