February 2021 Newsletter

 

Remote Teaching and Learning. 

As you know St. Columba’s is a learning environment and we are constantly learning as we go along. Remote learning has been a steep learning curve for the whole school community over the past year. We understand remote learning is just not the same as being in the classroom and many of you are busy working from home or on the frontline yourselves. We would much prefer to be back in school with the children. We are delighted by the level of engagement with online learning but not surprised ! We are all in this together, all trying to do our best for the children. As we settle into this new rhythm of remote work and isolation, we need to be realistic in the goals we set, both for ourselves and the children. It is important to remember that every single person in the world is currently being affected in one way or another by what is going on with the coronavirus. This means that so many people are worried, scared and anxious at this time. We do not know what is happening in anyone’s life or how any of us are feeling. We just want to say many thanks to you as parents for your continued support for our staff at this challenging time. It is very much appreciated . 

Please contact us at principal@ionaroadschool.ie if you have any concerns about your child. Please do not feel any pressure to get through all of the online work with your children. We are all working in different situations with different difficulties and children can only work at their own pace. You know your child best and you know your personal situation best. 

We thank all of our parents who are frontline workers and we ask that all of our epic pupils who are working so hard take a bow. Well done girls and boys. We are very proud of you. 

 

Remote Teaching and Learning reminders 

  • Google Meets - for reasons of child protection Google Meets can only take place through the pupils @ionaroadschool username and password. It is not possible for any email address other than that to access the meeting.

  • Any difficulties with passwords/lack of devices etc please contact principal@ionaroadschool.ie and we will support you as best we can.

  • A Blended Approach: As live lessons do not suit everyone including teachers, due to very young children needing attention, work commitments, shared devices and a number of siblings needing help at the same time, the majority of lessons will be recorded. This facilitates the children working at a time that suits their parents and the ability to watch the lessons more than once which is very helpful to the children. Google Meets and Zoom meetings will continue in tandem with this. 

 

Online Coaching with the GAA

The Dublin GAA have started coaching sessions for Primary School children. Here is a message from them.

ALL SESSIONS WILL BE ON FACEBOOK LIVE

To fully engage in the #FitnessFrolics sessions – PLEASE Click the LINK below and LIKE our page

Dublin GAA Coaching & Games Development - Facebook Page

IMPORTANT NOTES TO BE ABLE TO WATCH THE #FitnessFrolics LIVE STREAM AND/OR COMMENT

You must LIKE the Dublin GAA Coaching & Games Development Facebook Page.

You must have a Facebook account for at least 2 weeks.

You must have followed the page for at least 15mins beforehand.

https://www.facebook.com/694378350579610/posts/4332077720142970/?d=n

 

Dublin City Libraries 

Please find links and details, on our home page on our school website for 46 storytelling and craft videos that staff from Dublin City Libraries have posted on library Facebook pages in recent months www.ionaroadschool.ie

 

Online Safety 

This week is Cyber Safety week #bekindonline

The pupils from 4th to 6th classes have already partaken in workshops from Cybersafe Ireland last term.

A webinar will take place for parents of children aged 8-13 on Wednesday 10th of February at 7.30pm. The webinar is hosted by Cybersafe Ireland and limited to fifty participants. The webinar has been booked and paid for,  for parents from our school exclusively. Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81340337642?pwd=VDc2MGFlSVhGVDl1b0JmNjhlRTJEQT09

Passcode: 656709

 

Cybersafe Ireland – Webinar For Parents 

The talk will include a section on parental controls and settings on the most popular devices and phones.   

The talk is about protecting and empowering children in the online world – It is for parents of children aged 8-13 This is our most popular session that gives an overview of the main risks on social media, messaging apps, and gaming. Our aim is not to scare parents, but rather to make them aware of what children are doing online and offer support.

The session will last one hour. 

 

School Improvements

While we are working from home some school improvements took place during the holidays.

Four new interactive white boards were installed in classrooms.

Merrion Security will upgrade our fire alarm and emergency lighting during the mid-term break (Wednesday 17th of February to Friday 19th inclusive).

 

HSE Health and Wellbeing Newsletter 

The Health and Well-being Newsletter is focused on "Wellbeing for Parents" and signposts to trusted resources to support parents and children’s wellbeing during school closures.

I would also like to highlight the free online Stress Control programme which is running again this February and March. For information and timetable see 

https://hse.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=8182a1ed5109c66c8a20b1fcd&id=cc6b6d4c25&e=645cc25412

 

This is a very challenging time for the whole school community and we realise that the children are missing out on interactions with their peers. It is lovely to see their lovely smiley, happy faces when they see each other on Google Meets or Zoom meetings. These interactions are important for the children’s well being.

We are all doing what is necessary to keep our families safe, but hopefully we can all get back to some normality before long and welcome the children back to the school premises.

Stay safe everybody,

Eileen Whelan