September re-opening? Online learning continues, Graduation, Reports, Natural history museum, Assembly theme: the Animal Kingdom. Animal report Competition details . Class get togethers
Newsletter May 25th 2020
It was lovely to see all the children and some of you, our parents, at our assembly on Friday. Great to keep up the communication and connection from us to you. What fabulous happy photos we got for our competition.
Re-opening of School
You will all have heard that the primary schools are now expected to be open in September. This brings some clarity to us all but we all know that there are still many questions to be addressed. There is much speculation in the media about schools re-opening earlier but you will always be given the most up-to-date and correct information in these weekly newsletters and on our website. As it stands, schools will re-open in September.
The safety aspects of opening the school are upmost in all our minds. We don’t know yet what schooling will look like in September- whether there will be a reduced pupil teacher ratio, for example and staggered re-entry or staggered days. Pupils, parents and staff will need reassurance that the reopening can and will be managed safely. Guidelines for the safe re-opening of our schools will be drafted by the Dept. of Education and Skills and the HSE along with other Partners in Education. The teachers’ unions and principal bodies, the Boards of Management and Patron bodies (Educate Together for us) and the National Parents Council are all involved.
All decisions will be relayed to you in a timely manner. As soon as we know, you will know. You can be re-assured that we, in Esker ETNS, will do what is asked of us to safely re-open and restore our school.
Here we are now in the last week of May, another five weeks on online learning to do before the summer holidays. The teachers are putting in enormous work on See saw and Edmodo, uploading video tutorials, preparing weekly and daily work schedules of core material and further extension work. I know many of you are working hard with your children to continue this work and together we are all doing the best we can in less than ideal circumstances. Thank you for your work in this. All the work you are putting in will greatly stand to your child.
Class get-togethers beginning this week should give the children the much needed connectivity with their classmates and teachers and SNAs. And hopefully these get togethers will be a chance to re-invigorate the effort in online learning.
I would like to appeal to the parents of older children here. I am not sure whether the older children are putting in the effort that their teachers are. Your children might be saying to you that the work is too easy, or too hard, or too boring. Be assured that there is plenty of work there for every child and all abilities. Your children might be saying that they are finished, when in fact a minimal effort has gone in. It is difficult for me to hear that teachers are frustrated with the hard work they are putting in and the lack of response from some (not all!) of the children in the senior classes. Children in 5th and 6th with access to devices should not need support from the parent to actually do the work, but I do that they need encouragement and supervision from you. Please show an interest in and encourage your children to engage fully with the work that is being set and be satisfied yourself that your child is doing their best. Make sure that your child is actually uploading work for the teacher to see. We know it is difficult circumstances for everyone but in reality we only have three to four more full weeks of school work before we start to ease off a bit in late June. So let’s all make the effort to give it one last push for the next few weeks.
Preparations for the online graduation are underway. The online ceremony will take place at 7 pm on Friday June 19th. As previously discussed we hope to be able to host an evening for the graduating pupils later in the year- if social distancing rules allow.
The Carambola lunch packs will be distributed next week, deliveries beginning next Tuesday after the bank holiday.
Reports will issue as usual in mid-June. They will be a bit different to the usual report as no standardised testing (Maths and Literacy) took place this year. The reports will reflect the work that your children did in school and their attendance record up to 12th March. Teachers may also reference some of the good work that the children engaged with in their online learning.
Class Get togethers and Assemblies
Encourage your children to get involved in these. Connectivity with their school community and their peers is really, really important for their sense of belonging and their well-being. Find out what day this week the class together is on and make sure they join and I hope to see another great turn out at our next assembly on Friday June 5th.
The theme for our next assembly is the Wonders of the Animal Kingdom. To prepare, we are looking for the children to research and present work on their favourite wild animal, from Ireland or abroad. It can be a mammal or a fish, a bird or an insect (not a pet this time).
Upload the completed work (one entry per child) to your child’s teacher, noting that it is for the competition. Each teacher will forward the best three to Catherine, Gemma and Colette and we will choose the winners from there. The quality of the drawings, neatness and the quality of the written report will be the criteria for selection.
Infants: Draw a picture of their favourite wild animal/bird/fish/insect with the name of the animal written on it.
1st and 2nd: Title (name of the animal) and detailed picture with three important/interesting facts about their chosen creature.
3rd and 4th. Report to include drawing(s) and ten important /interesting facts about the chosen animal, to include, where it’s from or in what country can it be found, habitat, diet, name of animal ‘as Gaeilge’, and any other interesting facts. Full sentences please.
5th and 6th : Fact file to be presented in whatever format you choose- to include drawings and many interesting facts. Be creative.
There will be winner in each of the four categories- a one-for-all voucher for €20! Nice!
For students in 4th, 5th and 6th class. Don’t forget the self-guided virtual tour worksheet for the Natural History Museum. I know students will find this resource both educational and enjoyable.
The lesson and worksheet can be downloaded from here - www.cliste.ie/natural-history-museum-virtual-tour/