Below you will find a letter issued by the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, yesterday. We apologise for being unable to provide a link.
Not unlike other years, preparations for back to school take place during the summer months. Covid 19 makes these preparations more challenging but be assured that we will do the best we can to ensure there is a safe learning environment for all in our school community.
In the meantime, we encourage everyone to adhere to official guidelines as detailed by the HSE and to stay safe while enjoying the rest of the summer holidays.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We will be inviting you to visit the school next week in order to return rental books, and to receive your child's end of year report and personal belongings left at school. As we are staggering times for dropping back books, you will receive a text message or email today with your allocated day and time. You will be asked to attend either the front or back door (beside Rang 1/2) where you will be met by a member of staff. Social distancing must be adhered to at all times.
All rental books given in the class lists below are property of Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, and must be returned for use next year. All class library books, readers, and novels must also be returned.
We are now approaching the final weeks of this school year. It has certainly been one that we are not likely ever to forget.
Once again, thank you for supporting your child/children in continuing following the teaching and learning schedule that our teachers have been preparing each week and posting on the respective class blogs.Following last Thursday's staff meeting ,we have decided our main focus will be on maths for the next fortnight.Over the past few weeks, teachers have introduced SeeSaw as a more user friendly means of communicating and sending completed tasks back to teacher.Of course you are welcome to continue using email to send completed work to your child's teacher if you so wish.
We will be in touch shortly re.collection of school books that were distributed and school reports.
On a more sombre note, we have learned of the passing of our Chairperson Geraldine Kirk's mother, Mrs. Maisie (Mary ) Mc Mahon, yesterday evening after being ill for some time.Our thoughts and prayers are with Geraldine, Caragh and her family at this time and indeed to all in our parish and school community who have lost a loved one of late.Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam.
Dear 6th Class Parents, Guardians and Children,
As parents/guardians and educators, we were all disappointed to hear last Friday evening that primary schools will not be opening again to pupils this side of the summer holidays. Whilst we were fortunate that our pupils had celebrated their Sacrament of Confirmation and completed their secondary school assessment tests, we were all looking forward to the final term, the term in 6th class that brings closure to the eight years that your child has spent here in Scoil Mhuire gan Smál since first enroling in September 2012. It is a term during which they celebrate their shared experiences and enjoy new ones and culminates with a graduation mass and a final goodbye to their teachers and classmates.
We hope that when it is safe to do so we will have the opportunity to invite you back for a proper 'Goodbye'.
Until then, continue with the work that Ms. Condron sets you, working to the best of your ability. It will stand you in good stead for your studies next year in secondary school.
Kind regards and best wishes to you all,
As you may have already seen in the Parish Weekly Bulletin:
Following government restrictions on the large gatherings of people, First Confessions and First Communions, planned for May 23rd in Kilkerley, remain postponed.
While this is unfortunate and disappointing for many, we will keep you updated with any new information.
We would like to draw your attention to the website of Our Lady Queen of Peace Pastoral Area, www.ourladyqueenofpeacepa.org, and in particular this page www.ourladyqueenofpeacepa.org/category/kilkerley-parish/ where you can find the Kilkerley/Knockbridge weekly news bulletins.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope that you and your loved ones are staying well as we face a more prolonged absence from school than originally anticipated. The new reality of distance learning has been challenging for everyone involved.
We are now beginning the third and final term of our school year. Our teachers and staff have been busy planning and preparing learning activities as per your child's curriculum. The suggested work for your child will be added to the individual class blogs on this page: https://www.kilkerleyns.com/school-life.html . We are currently sorting textbooks and copies for your child and will be in touch shortly re: collection of these. Some of these are the property of the school. They are clearly labelled as such and we ask that you take good care of them as they will be needed for next year's class. As before, don't feel under pressure to complete everything. Do the best you can, that is all anyone can do, given the present circumstances.
We as a staff are missing school and the routine of school life; the company, energy, curiosity and sense of fun that children bring to learning. But we know that the more we stay at home over this period, following the guidelines in place, the sooner we will be back together again in Scoil Mhuire gan Smál. This is something we can all look forward to.
Le gach deaghuí,
Letter from Mrs Kirby
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope that you and your loved ones are keeping well. The last three weeks have been unprecedented in Irish society and in Irish education. These are challenging times for us all. As a mother of four, I am very aware of the challenges faced by families regarding this new way of learning. Some parents may be working from home, balancing childcare, time constraints, maybe having to self-isolate, have limited IT facilities to accommodate everyone's needs at this time, interrupted broadband connection, or living with children very anxious about Covid-19, state exams, and their future.
Despite all this, since our school closed, you have been working with your children and engaging in activities, curricular and extracurricular, as suggested by your child's teacher. I would like to thank you for your hard work and positive attitude while doing this, as we have all had to adapt to working in a very different way, working together though remaining apart and following the Covid-19 Guidelines fully. By doing this, we are all playing our part in keeping each other safe.
I would ask that we all remember in our thoughts and prayers everyone who is struggling at this time for health, family or work reasons, and for all those who protect us and care for us through their work. We should especially remember those who have lost loved ones over the past few weeks. They are having to deal with their loss without the usual support and presence of family, friends and community.
On our school calendar, Friday April 3rd signals the start of our Easter holidays. Easter is a time of hope and joy. Our Easter this year will certainly be different. But let us pray that with God's help and our own efforts, we may all get through this and look forward to returning to school as soon as is possible.
Le gach dea-ghuí,
Message from Fr. Brian
Dear boys & girls and parents/guardians,
This is a very different kind of Easter for us all this year.
We won’t be able to go to the church for our celebrations.
But we can pray at home with our families.
We can join with Fr. Gerry on the church webcam ( mcnmedia.tv ).
In Holy Week and Easter we remember in a special way that Jesus died for us and rose from the dead.
On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered the Holy City of Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. The people cheered and waved green branches.
On Holy Thursday, Jesus had the Last Supper with his friends. He took bread and wine and blessed them. He said: “Take this. This is my body. This is my blood. Do this in memory of me.”
On Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross on Calvary. He was buried in a tomb.
On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. They believed in him.
This Holy Week and Easter, thank God for your family.
Thank God that you are together.
I pray that God will watch over you and keep you safe and well.
Have a joyful and holy Easter.
With every blessing,
Easter Resources for Family Prayer
The Archdiocese of Armagh has a wonderful website with lots of prayer resources for children, for example the Palm Sunday page here https://www.armaghprays.com/childrens-prayer-palm-sunday
While there are no public church ceremonies at the present time, we are very lucky in our parish in that Fr Gerry is celebrating the ceremonies listed below and they are all available via webcam. You just need to go to:
Holy Week Ceremonies via webcam:
Palm Sunday 5th April
Vigil Mass: 6pm Kilkerley
Sunday Mass: 11:30am Knockbridge
Holy Thursday 9th April
Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7:30pm Knockbridge
Good Friday 10th April
The Passion: 3pm Knockbridge
The Stations: 7:30pm Kilkerley
Easter Vigil 11th April
Easter Sunday 12th April
Also, during this time, Sunday Masses are available on these links (6pm Saturday vigil Mass in Kilkerley and 11:30am Sunday morning Mass in Knockbridge).
As you are all aware, our school is closed following advice from the HSE and the Dept. of Education and Skills.
We fully understand the you are concerned about your child’s welfare and education during this closure. With this in mind, our teachers have given work to your child to enable them, with your help, to continue learning at home. We recognise that this is not a substitute for actual teaching, but it will help your child to practise some of the skills that they have been working on. We acknowledge that some children will find it more difficult to work in a non-school environment, so please don’t feel that all work must be completed.
Teachers have listed useful websites to engage the children. Many of these websites the children will be familiar with, having used them in school. Teachers are updating work for their class under their class blog on the school website (see https://www.kilkerleyns.com/school-life.html). Teachers will communicate with their pupils in this way.
We look forward to seeing all our pupils and families back in school when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we wish you and your family continued good health.
Donna Kirby and all at Scoil Mhuire gan Smál
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This morning, the government has announced a series of measures aimed at addressing the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ireland.
Effective from 6pm this evening, until 29 March, all primary schools in Ireland will be closed.
Click here to read the statement from the Department of Education and Skills
All children in our school have been given homework to progress their learning during this time of enforced closure. Further information regarding progressing teaching and learning during this closure will be communicated by class teachers on the school blog on our website https://www.kilkerleyns.com/school-blog
We are taking this opportunity to arrange a deep clean of the school while it is closed.
Please be assured that we will keep you updated with further information as we have it.