Welcome

Dear Parents of St Brendan’s PS Birr 26th March 2020

As outlined in our recent text message the TAOISEACH has directed all schools to remain closed until April 19th at the earliest as the whole country tries to do its bit to stop the spread of COVID19 and save lives. We have spent this week planning for the new phase in this closure and how we can support our pupils through distance learning which we (like the majority of primary schools) have not been set up to operate. Each school is different in its context and we are confident of our plan going forward.
Tomorrow (Friday 27th March), our teachers will operate a book collection for families who wish to avail of this. This is not a signal from us that you have to turn your home into a mini school. Don’t over worry about your child’s learning. Worry about your children. They need your love, your calm, your courage, your sense of humour, your patience and your gentleness. The rest will take care of itself.
Teachers sent home work-packs back on Thursday 12th March which were to keep some routine and learning going for 9 school days until Monday 30th March. These school books that we are giving out now will help support each pupils learning for another week. Then we have Easter holidays but we feel that schools may not open again until May so we need to be able to support distance learning until we return whenever that happens.
• Book collection times and safety advice- see website / Facebook page
• Work plan for classes- To be posted onto DISTANCE LEARNING section of school website.
• Teachers contactable via new school email addresses.
However we also need to supply a bit of perspective. There is enough stress in the lives of parents and children without our school adding to it. With worries about health, jobs and family members the last thing we want is parents worrying about their chid falling behind with school work.
So, don’t panic and turn your home into a mini school and yourself into the pretend teacher. However do try to set up the school books for an hour or two each morning where your child can work away with writing , reading , colouring and maths. This is to give them some routine away from technology as well as giving mam/dad a well-deserved break ! Then allow them to play ( keeping social distancing advice) and make sure they get fresh air and even try some of the hurling skill challenges that are going around!
Some teachers have set out apps and programmes to work with and these can be useful to try if you wish. There are also some stories and magazines available online too and each family will tailor the work to what they can do and what their child needs.
Do follow your child’s interests; play their video games with them and talk about them, read and critique their History and Geography books with them, use a cúpla focal timpeall an tí, let them cook a meal with you as their assistant, pay them with real money for doing jobs around the house and garden. In the midst of all this chaos which we have been thrust into- family time; which can sometimes be bypassed in our busy lives; can be the golden light !
Dear Parents, I offer the above guidance and advice in solidarity, humility and sympathy for what you are all going through. You are the best judge of what your child needs, emotionally and educationally – not me or our staff. Please God the country as a whole will unite through these emergency measures and social distancing to stop this virus in it’s tracks.
In the interim our thoughts are with you all, keep sane and safe !

Niall C and Staff.