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A message from our Principal, Ms. Anne McCabe

Dear parent/guardian,

Happy New Year to you all and I hope 2021 brings some comfort to you and your families after a traumatic 2020.
You will have seen and heard the announcement regarding resumption of remote learning from Monday 11th January as a result of the enforced closure of our school.

Throughout the lock down of 2020 and the subsequent new ways of operating our school from September until now, so many of you have contacted us and acknowledged the wonderful work the school teachers and staff have done in making sure the boys continue to receive the very best education and support.

While returning to remote learning is not good news for any of us, we have the consolation of knowing that we have supported learning at home remarkably well from March to June and that we can do it again during the weeks ahead. We also now have learned how incredibly resilient our boys are and that they can rise to this challenge of learning at home for a second time. Another comforting finding that our teachers have noted is that the boys were able to catch up on any areas they missed out on during the last lock down at a much faster pace than anticipated.

I would strongly urge our school community of school staff, parents, guardians and pupils to trust what we put in place and what has worked for us up to now. We have taken note of all the input from our school community: from our teachers and staff, from our parent body through their correspondence and survey which was completed during the last lockdown, and from our pupils who voiced their views upon their return to school last September. We have engaged in and mastered extra IT solutions and are able to support our pupils learning by digital means. We will now be returning to these forms of communication with you all.

The school team has met remotely to finalise our remote learning plan taking all of the above into account.

Here is a summary of the plan for you at home so we are all on the same mode of thinking. The class teacher will be in touch with specific details of the support for your child’s learning.

Our main aim is keeping the learning going at home, keeping the children engaged with learning from a distance.
We will be setting tasks for the pupils via our existing portals eg. Emails, Google classroom for 3rd class and above, , See Saw for 2nd class and below, Zoom, and Loom.
We are taking a realistic approach as we are catering for different home learning/parenting environments and supporting the needs of pupils who all learn at different speeds and have different learning strengths and needs. Our pupils with SEN will continue to be supported by the SEN team alongside their class teacher.
We will try to keep our communication simple and routine so that you are not overburdened or bombarded with emails, apps, activities etc.
We will try to sustain a manageable pupil workload, a realistic aim is for 2 hours a day (broken up into 3 chunks) for midlevel pupils, a little lower for younger and a little higher for older boys. We advise you to use resources such as RTE School hub as part of the learning plan at home.
We will provide a balance of on line and off line tasks, as we need to consider computer access and screen fatigue for our pupils.
Feedback on tasks is very important for all our pupils to give purpose and keep them motivated. and for our younger pupils it is especially needed at the time of completion of said task. Self-assessment helps learning immensely so at times we will ask that the boys self-correct some of their tasks, and/or correct work with their parents/guardians leading to more learning. This completed work can be kept in a folder until the teacher can see it upon return to school. The teachers will be communicating regularly with the boys where they can then show and discuss what they have learned in a more meaningful way. Of course some completed tasks and work may be submitted through Google classroom or See Saw or Email to the teacher who will give feedback at a later stage. Each teacher will let you know how they plan to do this.
Learning will consist of many options such as watching films and giving reviews, reading books and giving reviews, cooking, art and crafts, scientific experiments, learning a new skill such as playing an instrument or creating a piece of music, song, poem etc. As an active school, there will be a focus on building up fitness levels and improving fine and gross motor skills through skipping, throwing and aiming, running, dancing, hurling and football skills etc, – again your teacher will advise here.

I hope this email has allayed any concerns you have about school. Of course you will have other pressing concerns for your own family and loved ones at this time. For some this will involve caring and supporting elderly parents and vulnerable family members and/or young children. Some of you will have experienced and are experiencing the terrible sadness of losing a loved one.

If we in St Joseph’s can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to communicate with us.

These are difficult and challenging times but by supporting each other, we will get through it.

Kind regards

Anne McCabe

School Principal

Christmas Newsletter 2020

To all our pupils, parents and the wider school community.  As we approach the Christmas break we would like to thanks you for your continued support and wish you all a very peaceful break – we’ve all earned it!

 

You can access our school Newsletter via the link below.

Xmas Newsletter 2020

We look forward to seeing you all healthy and hearty in 2021!

 

Harry Clarke Virtual Art Workshop

Third class recently had the opportunity to participate in a virtual workshop with the Hugh Lane Gallery exploring the work “The Eve of St. Agnes” by Harry Clarke. The artist Megan Scott provided a very interesting introduction to the work of Harry Clarke. The Gallery sent us sketch pads where we used Harry Clarke’s stained glass window “The Eve of St. Agnes” to inspire our own sketches. Meghan then taught us the technique of sgraffito to create our very own stained glass windows.

 

Dance Party Projects for Hour of Code

Our students have been getting creative with Coding!

Pupils from 3rd to 5th class have been doing Dance Party Projects on the Code.org platform. In this Course the boys learn to create dancers and programme their dance moves,  their size and colour, while changing the backgrounds and the choreography to match the music.

We think you’ll agree that they are impressive, We hope that you enjoy them as much as we did making them!

All of the Dance Choreography Projects can be seen here (click on a link to your class) 

Ms Rooney

Ms Tynan

Ms Byrne

Ms Molloy

Ms Maher

Some of our Dances!

  Firework by Alex (Ms Rooney’s Class)

 

 

If I Can’s have you by Hugh

(Ms Byrne’s Class)

 

     Take on Me by Bobby D (Ms Molloy’s Class)

 

 

Well done Eric!

Congrats to past pupil Eric O’Sullivan who made his debut for Ireland versus Scotland last Saturday. Eric plays for Ulster and can be seen here, top right, on our school football team in 2008. He is the third past pupil to recently play for Ireland following on Jack McGrath and Niyi Adeolokun.

‘Active Break Every Day’ November Challenge

Joey’s boys love to be active and so we took part in an active challenge for November. Every day from November 9th until December 4th each class in St Joseph’s was asked to have a ten minute active break. These active breaks were done indoors and outdoors including activities such as running, dancing, exercise breaks, etc. Every single class did an excellent job and the active breaks seen across the school were spectacular. Well done boys!!