Newsletter – February 2021
Dear Parents & Guardians,
It is hard to believe that we are in our fifth week of remote learning in lockdown two. With the mid-term break nearly upon us, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect of these five weeks and to celebrate our school community achievements during this very difficult time.
We acknowledge that the second time around this lockdown has been extremely difficult for children, parents and staff alike. I cannot stress enough, how important it is to look after the Health and Wellbeing of your children and of course to look after yourself. While the teachers have been focused on your children, Linda has been focussed on you these last few weeks. Despite the school building being closed, February has been a very busy month for us. I have said many times before that a building does not make a school, it is the people inside it. Our community is still knitted together and we are here to support you.
Parent Teacher Meetings:
Our Parent teacher meetings have been taking place this week by Zoom. We have had a very good attendance so far, thank you for taking the time to attend. It is vitally important that you meet with your child’s teacher to get feedback on their progress this year. If for any reason you were unable to attend, please contact your class teacher by e mail or Linda (ph 086 026 1061) and we can arrange a phone call at a later date.
When will school re-open?
As yet, we still have not received guidance from the Department of Education regarding a time frame for reopening of mainstream classes. We are however, opening for our special class in February. Children with additional needs in mainstream will continue to learn remotely with support from our SET teachers. This will be complimented by the In Person Supplementary Programme (similar to July provision). Families have already been contacted if your child is eligible. As soon as I received any details from the Department of Education regarding reopening of the school, I will be in touch.
See Saw & Google Classroom
I must commend all the children on their use of the online platforms used to provide remote learning. They really are working hard at becoming independent learnings. The teachers have noted a significant increase in engagement from their students. Teachers are also providing more work, guided lessons, videos and class zooms this time. Remote teaching takes a huge amount of planning and preparation. Our teachers are working incredibly hard at home. I am delighted to see that our children are too! Of course nothing replaces face to face teaching, but we are trying our best. We look forward to being together in the very near future.
Weekly Assemblies and Class Zooms
Research has shown that a sense of connection is vitally important for children during lockdown. Children need to see their peers and teacher, be it virtually and be part of their school, which represents normal in their lives. There has been a great response to the class Zooms. It is a great social outlet for all the children. We have had huge turn outs at our weekly Learn Together Assemblies which are held every Friday at 11am. We choose a theme each week from the Learn Together Curriculum to highlight. Susan sets an outdoor challenge to encourage the children to go outside and be with nature and we celebrate all the wonderful learning that takes place each week. This week we will be celebrating Chinese and Vietnamese New Year. See you there! Assemblies can be found on our website www.eskeretns.ie or on Twitter @Esker_ETNS.
Carambola food packages
Huge thank you to Carambola for offering food packages again in lieu of school lunches. A delivery of over 300 boxes was made in January. A second deliver will be made in February. I hope these packages have helped a little bit at home. If anyone is struggling at all, please get in touch with me by e mail email@example.com
HSE Health and Wellbeing Newsletter
Please see below the monthly newsletter from the HSE regarding your health and wellbeing https://spark.adobe.com/page/AKbH02yz6HeWh/ , it also gives you useful resources to use with your child. In February and March the HSE are running workshops free online Stress Control programme For information and timetable see stresscontrol.ie.
I know many of you have been in touch with Linda over the past month. Linda is our home school teacher and is your link to school. She is available on 0860261061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month she has organised:
Our PTA is still active during lockdown and Maureen has organised a PTA coffee morning on Friday 12th at 10am on Zoom. Please see their Twitter page @Eskeretnspta1 for more details.
Mid Term Break
The school will be closed from 15th – 19th February inclusive. This means that there will be no remote learning. We encourage you and your children to take a well-earned rest, they have been working hard during the past five weeks. Enjoy some family walks, movies, meals, reading, outdoor challenges, drawing, baking, creating, making and sleep!
Tania has put up a link on See Saw for an art competition for all children. This is entirely optional. This competition is in aid of the Jack and Jill Foundation, which offers support and care to children with severe neurological development issues. It offers respite directly to parent and families. If you would like to take part all the details on how to enter and donate are on See Saw and our website www.eskeretns.ie
It is amazing how much is still going on in Esker despite the school being closed. Again, well done to every child, parent and staff member for keeping it all going. Every week that passes means it is one week closer to reopening. As soon as I have more details, I promise to let you all know.
In the meantime, you can reach me at email@example.com or the school office at 01 6241462 if you need anything at all.
Be Safe, Be Well and See you all soon!
Updates from Gemma about our school.