26th June 2020
Congratulations on making it to the end of another school year.
There will be a ‘Virtual Half Day’ tomorrow to mark the start of the school holidays so make sure you sit
down, relax and have a well deserved rest! It has been a very challenging time but working in
partnership with our pupils and parents we have all made it safe and well to the end of term.
We are hopeful of a full return to school for all pupils in the new school year. However we are still
awaiting the specific Health and Safety guidelines from the Department of Education and Skills. These
guidelines will outline how schools can ensure a safe return and the Board of Management will be
putting measures in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of our school community. This will include
drafting a COVID Response Plan for our school and updating our school Safety statement and Risk
assessment. A ‘Deep Clean’ of the school building and installation of hand sanitizer units will also be a
priority during the summer holidays.
Currently our proposed start date for the new school year is Monday 31st August.
I will of course keep parents updated as soon as guidelines are published by the Department of
Education and plans are drawn up for our school.
In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our entire school community for their
support throughout the year.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful summer.
Keep safe and well !
Parents are reminded that payment now can be made for School Book Rental by clicking on the book rental link sent from the school office. A link for book rental payment was issued to all families by e mail.A receipt of payment will be issued when the payment is received.
Parents pay directly on Aladdin Payments and a receipt will be automatically forwarded on payment .I am very conscious that some parents may currently be out of work or experiencing financial difficulties so parents can make their payment at any stage before the commencement of the new school year.
We received a special message for parents, pupils and staff from the Green Schools office.
Please click on the link below to view the message:
Here is a message from our President, Michael D. Higgins to the 6th class pupils:
Our Building project should go to Tender before the end of this month and we have been granted replacement prefabs for the duration of the building project which is welcome news. Hopefully if everything goes to plan building work will commence during the summer holidays.
We were delighted to hear this week that we have been awarded our 10th European Green Flag from An Taisce. This represents 20 years of environmental projects and themes in our school. This is a wonderful achievement and well done to our whole school community. See the green activities in our school
All our pupils and staff are missing that connection which links us together.
Nowhere is that feeling of connectedness more tangible than when we are able to spend some time in nature.The bird song is amazing right now and everywhere in the hedgerows there are new wonders emerging,bluebells,hawthorn and cherry blossoms.When we stop to listen,to look and to appreciate the world around us we experience a real sense of ‘connectedness’.
Keep safe and keep well.
The Department of Education has recently issued this statement regarding Standardised Tests:
Department of Education and Skills
Standardised Testing in Primary Schools 2019/2020
As you will be aware, in normal circumstances primary schools are required to administer standardised testing during the period May/June for all students in 2nd, 4th and 6th classes in accordance with circulars 0056/2011 and 0018/2012. As all schools are currently closed under Covid-19 restrictions and with uncertainty as to when schools will reopen, the Department of Education and Skills has made the decision to cancel Standardised Testing for primary schools for the 2019/2020 school year.
The priority in these times is to support the learning and wellbeing of all our learners. This is not an easy time for teachers, learners and their families. When schools return the focus for teachers and the whole school community will be on settling the children and returning to normality in the classroom without the added pressure of having to undertake standardised tests. Standardised Tests are only one of a number of assessment tools that can be used to inform teaching and learning in primary schools.
I would like to share a poem written by school secretary and S.E.T. teacher Mrs Sinead Kelly.They both had the idea of a poem in their head and this is their collaborative poem and thoughts on ‘Quarantine.Well done to Heather and Sinead.I hope you enjoy it !
In Times of Quarantine
Our lives are a bit different from this time last year
When we could go about our business and live with little fear.
Now in the year 2020 we have to stay safe and stay home
No longer can we go to Penneys for a wee bargain and a roam.
Washing hands very often has become the new norm
And some days it’s hard to be in good form.
It’s not always easy to be cooped up in the same space
Some days we would just like to be in a different place.
Teaching and home schooling was never part of our plans
We are shop workers, farmers, doctors, nurses, mechanics, engineers, home makers, and people who drive delivery vans.
Now it’s “Will you listen to my reading?” “I’m stuck on number three!”
“Mummy, Mummy, will you help me?”
The walls are closing in, this is not an easy task
A little peace and quiet is all I ask.
With the kids all at home 24/7 the house can be like a tip!
Hiding for 5 minutes in the bathroom is as good as a day trip.
The jobs we did in our ‘normal’ pre-Covid daily life
We probably did, with little or no strife.
Now we are adjusting to this new way of life each day
It would be lovely if the kids could just meet their friends to play.
One day is good, another may be bad
But each day is a new one – for that I’m very glad.
It’s ok to feel happy. It’s ok to feel sad.
Feelings are normal – you are not going mad.
Sometimes we feel grateful and hopeful and delighted
The thought of the kids going back to school makes us feel excited!
Sometimes we miss our friends and even work and school
To visit parents and grandparents – now wouldn’t that be cool!
The running and racing has all stopped for a while
And we can recharge our batteries and try to keep a smile.
We can try new recipes, what’s app and zoom,
Exercise and board games to lift the gloom.
It’s nice to get out walking each and every day
But sometimes you get tired of your own 2K!
So if you’re feeling lonely, overwhelmed or a bit down,
Don’t be worried, it’s ok some days to wear a frown (and your dressing gown!!)
I know it’s hard for everyone, this hand we have been dealt.
But friends, teachers, families are ready to help.
Just reach out your hand – don’t be afraid!
And I guarantee that very soon these feelings will fade.
Try to count your blessings and don’t forget to pray
For if we have faith, hope and love, He will surely send comfort our way.
One day soon we will come out of this together and stronger
But for now we have to look after each other a little bit longer.
So until the day that we can hug and shake hands, don’t feel alone
Don’t forget we are in this together – you are never on your own!
By Heather Mc Carthy and Sinéad Kelly
Ballyraine NS is a co-educational primary school in the town of Letterkenny under joint Church of Ireland/Presbyterian management. While it is a school with a Protestant ethos, all pupils of whatever background or religious persuasion are equally valued and respected.
Ballyraine Rd, Ballyraine, Letterkenny,
09:10 – 13:30
09:10 – 13:30
First – Sixth Class