December Newsletter

Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian,
It is hard to believe that this time next week we will be settling into our Christmas holidays, this term has absolutely flown. 
As you know when we returned in September, the focus was to be on the core subjects and wellbeing of the children.  As we discussed with you at the parent teacher meetings, there is quite a bit of catching up to do and the children have put in a great term of work.  The parent teacher meetings were of great benefit to us as teachers and if there ever are any issues with your child, please contact your child's teacher to discuss. Patricia is in the office Mon-Thurs 9-11am, we are also contactable by email. 
While this year the run up to Christmas is a little different, we are having a lovely time in school creating Christmas art, practicing little plays and plenty of activities to get into the Christmas mood. 
Keep an eye on your child's Google classroom over the next few days to see displays of these. 

Christmas Fun Run
The senior classroom have been running a "Daily Mile" since Halloween.  On Monday 21st December at 1pm they will run a Christmas themed Fun Run. 
The route is as follows:
School Pitch, out the back gate, past Eyrecourt Hall, front of school, past library, Cloughbrack (lap), Main Street, right to River Street to end of footpath, back to Main Street, past Duffy's, turn left back up to the school. 
Ms McGrath and Mr Barretts class will be out supporting us at the front of the school. We would appreciate any support along the route as long as Covid/Social distancing restrictions are observed. 
The pupils will start running at 1pm and it should take about half an hour in total. We have had great fun preparing and we promise a few "surprises" on the day! Our aim is to spread the Christmas cheer through Eyrecourt village. The pupils have sponsorship cards with funds going towards the school and Tanzania. 

Christmas Jumper Day
We will host a Christmas Jumper day on the day of the holidays: Tuesday 22nd December.  Any Christmas themed jumper/outfit.  A donation of €2 or whatever you prefer towards the Simon Community (homeless charity) would be greatly appreciated. 

Christmas Holidays
School will close at 12pm on Tuesday 22nd December for 2 weeks. We reopen on Wednesday 6th of January. 

Christmas Toys
It's probably a bit late to be giving suggestions for Christmas presents but here's what we have noticed the children enjoy and also really helps their learning:

  • LEGO the basic set. It's great for their imagination and brilliant for Maths. With the themed sets, the child only makes what is on the box, in the basic set the possibilities are endless. 
  • Play dough
  • Colouring sets
  • Jigsaws
  • Board games
  • Cards: the pupils love card games. Unfortunately we don't have enough time at school to play them enough. Simplified picture cards for younger pupils. "Real" cards for older pupils. It is really good for their memory, problem solving and mental maths. 
  • Craft sets. I have been making crafts with wool in the senior classroom. They absolutely love making something from start to finish and following the instructions. Girls and boys.
  • Books. The libraries are back open too.
  • Puzzle books: colour by number, dot to dot, sudoku, crosswords, quiz books
  • Outdoor: basketball net,  target practice, balance boards etc
Thankfully the weather has been quite mild and I think most of us had enough electronics during the home schooling, however there is a lot of talk among the pupils about Snapchat, Tik Tok etc.  I teach lessons on internet safety each January on return to school but parents should be aware of what their child is doing online.  A timer is a good idea and certainly no electronics should be allowed upstairs in bedrooms. I am hearing of a lot of online bullying within primary school children in other primary schools. I would not like that to happen here. 

Covid Response Plan
The school Covid Response Plan continues to be adhered to and updated.  The most significant update was the wearing of facemasks from Halloween onwards. We adapt the plan in line with guidance from HSE.  Children continue to be in their class "pod" and classrooms continue to be seperate on the yard. No visitors are permitted into the school without face masks and must wait outside at the front door and communicate through the intercom. 
Pupils wash their hands at both breaks and sanitise every time they enter and leave the classroom. 
We have had a lot of pupils tested this term and thankfully had no case yet.  It is only by maintaining the "pods" and limiting mixing that we can ensure that the virus does not spread if we do have a case sometime. 
Our greatest fear is that we will have to go back to online teaching.  We want to be in school. This can only happen if everyone does their part and adheres to the school covid response plan and the HSE guidelines. We spend a lot of our teaching time ensuring the children wash their hands, we ask children not to stand too close to each other, we don't let the classes mix in the classroom, we keep the windows open to maintain ventilation. 
Over the Christmas holidays and the lead up, it is important everyone keeps to the guidelines of Level 3 so we can all return to school in January. 

I would like to thank you all for your support this term. I would also like to thank our teachers Mrs Barrett, Mr Barrett and Ms McGrath who have worked tirelessly since August. Special mention also to Patricia who does everything behind the scenes and David who was responsible for all the hand sanitisers, signage and yard markings along with the rest of his caretaking duties.   
Have a very happy and safe Christmas. 

Éilis Treacy
School Principal

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