Normally at this time of the year we would get a chance to take our new pupils on a tour of our school. This year, for now, we have to take a virtual tour. The tour is aimed primarily at the little ones. We will be welcoming several boys into our older classes this year too. They will find this tour helpful but we will return again with another post showing our facilities for the older children.
My thanks to the technological wizardry of Ms Milne, the photos from Ms Campbell and the wonderful inspiration of one of our parents, Ms Aideen O'Neill, for all their work here!
Aideen runs LIttle Learners Montessori School in Coney Hall. She has been busy preparing booklet and powerpoints for her parents and children to help them with their transition to big school. And has kindly shared them with us.
We are really looking forward to meeting some of the Little Learners in our school as soon as we can safely do so. And perhaps have tours for safely distanced groups if allowed at some point before school reopens.
But, in the meantime, enjoy the slideshow, the gallery, and the video!
May brings sunshine, blossoms and, for all in Mornington parish, the First Holy Communion for our children.
This year, of course, it will be somewhat different. The Communion class of 2020 will always remember this as a very special occasion indeed, for it is definitely the very first time a Communion has been deferred in the parish because of pandemic!
They will have their special day, of course. Just not this term. But, as the parents of these children know already, Ms Smith and Ms Callan are already working away to create a special commemoration of 16th May 2020.
They have asked for photos from every boy in their class and will make a slideshow of photos for you all to see on their blogs.
This will also be a lovely way to remind the boys about their classmates as it has been so long since they were all together.
Fr Joseph really misses coming to our school to visit our classes. And we miss Fr Joseph too! But on Saturday morning he will say a special Mass for all the boys who should have been making their communion. And he will call them each of their names during the Mass.
Unfortunately the Church cannot broadcast the Mass live but will instead send me the link and I will notify you all when it has been uploaded.
It would be a nice idea to light a candle, and listen to that Mass with your family- a way to mark the occasion and also to support your son with his faith.
And this is not a time to be sad- our children will have their Communion day! Just not for another while.
It is a time to remember those who will never have another happy occasion, a time to remember those who are less well off, to think of our classmates, our neighbours, our friends. And those who are doing a magnificent job caring for the sick.
Let us a light a candle tomorrow,
Listen to the Mass(or say our prayers, or just be still)
And be grateful for another beautiful May day!
Thank you so much for your response to our recent survey!
And for taking the time to email us and respond to our phone calls.
As expected the survey revealed the broad scope of the challenges so many of you are facing and the inventiveness with which you tackle those challenges.
Our phone calls in particular revealed the depths of those challenges-people who are worried about loved ones with health issues, worried about grandparents feeling isolated, worried about the job loss and layoffs.
And we continue to be acutely aware of the many parents in our community who work as nurses, doctors, care workers and cleaners in our Health Services right now. We also have members of our staff who are directly connected with people working in the front line and staff members who have volunteered to work in support of the frontline.
Every Little Helps
Most of the boys spend between 30-60 minutes working each day. Some of you mentioned that your son can only work for short spurts-twenty minutes at a time, say. Or when the mood takes him.
That's fine. Often a little motivation can help-`do this first and then...`offering him some play with something he enjoys after or whatever little reward that will help build his discipline for work.
Setting up a routine and structure to the day is vital. Some days that will go out the window too but routine for us all can help us stay the course on days when we feel least like it.
Most of you favoured worksheets and working in books. The challenge of not having all of the school books at home is acknowledged. We currently are not allowed to access the school for those books but have plans in place to do so as soon as government restrictions are changed to allowed for this.
We have developed our blog pages to include audio and/or video tutorials in response to parent and teacher feedback. We have also revisited our Acceptable Usage Policy in relation to email.Suggested work is sent both via the teachers' blog pages and Aladdin. Most parents now are engaging with the class teachers via the class emails.
We know learning is not about school work but about the every day life experiences each of us have and our learning constantly adjusts according to the challenges we encounter.
We know the vast majority of respondents are appreciative of the work given by our staff but we know there are bigger challenges for you outside of having your son engage with work from school as this comment from one parent reveals...
"We are adjusting to this uncertain time...we are trying to keep a safe, happy home. The last thing we need is to be arguing with kids about school work. They are learning great life skills now about empathy, kindness, pulling together as a family"
Thank you so much for responding to our calls, to the survey and for your emails! And thank you for your supportive, kind and encouraging words! All of us are engaging with webinars and forums via Navan Education Centre, the Primary Development Support Team as we continue to grow and amend our supports as we steer through these unchartered waters.
Do encourage your son to comment on his class blog.
He may also email teachers with his parent`s email address. Reponses will be addressed to parent and son.
The following are the email addresses of each class. Click on the link! :-)
And all our class blogs are here!
Hi All! We are just delighted to get so many emails to our teachers and hearing about how all our pupils are getting along. Thank you so much for that! We really working together to find the best ways to keep in touch with you.
We have had a really good response to our suggested assignments on Aladdin. We have stressed the importance of setting up a good routine for each day. But we don`t want the Mams and Dads to be under too much pressure either.
Please get in touch with the class teachers-they're delighted to help and contact details are on all of their blogs.
Here we are at one of our Zoom meetings! We're all meeting regularly. Just like you we miss meeting one another face to face but we know we have to stay at home for now so, just like you, we meet online, whatsapp and email. But we would still prefer to meet each other and all of you in person!
Meanwhile our garden is growing in school! Brian took these pics. He is watering the plants every day. Our onions are really coming on. And, if you hover over the pics, you might find the weeping willow tree which the Students Council were presented with at their last meeting.
And here's our Communion class from last year! The First Holy Communion was scheduled for the 16th of May. Just three weeks away! Lots of parents have been asking us when it is going to take place. We promise we will let you know as soon as we know!
In response to feedback we have got from Mams and Dads, we made some changes to our assigned work for our boys. We have been contacting parents to see how they have been faring out this week and have also created a survey to get more responses.
Anyone filling this survey will remain anonymous. We really want your honest responses. You can flesh out that reponse in the comment section. We're keen to do the best for our boys, even from this distance, and need your feedback on the challenges and on what's working well.
The survey will be sent via Aladdin. If you cannot access Aladdin please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, head on over to our fantastic blogs! Lots of ideas there...and keep those pics rolling in!
Welcome back everybody after the Easter break! I hope you all had a lovely time in the sunshine. We've all been doing just GREAT with social distancing and hand washing so it's been good to hear that Ireland are doing so well in flattening the curve and preventing a lot of suffering from Covid-19! Still, we've got to keep up the work.
And hopefully keep up all the learning too!
...has been working his magic, delivering suggested work for every class. There were a couple of technical glitches with Aladdin's magic lamp this morning but they have been sorted now. If you have any Aladdin issues contact email@example.com
We're still happy to get feedback and pics at that email too. But we also have beautiful class blogs on our website! You can drop over there to look at them and each blog has an email address for parents to contact the class teacher directly.
The teachers really want to add lots of pics of your son's activities on their blogs too, so email them on directly to the teachers please. It can be a great motivator to see your work up online!
So how is your new routine going today? We hope you're mixing up the more challenging work with fun stuff.
We hope you're getting lots of exercise. Don't forget Joe's live sessions on TV and also on youtube.
And enjoy this really lively and inspiring series of programmes from TG4-a fun way to learn Irish!
If you've missed any programmes from RTE's Home School Hub you'll get them here It's on at 11am every week day morning.
And remember there also has been no better time to enjoy nature. You will learn a lot from getting out there watching wildlife, drawing what you see, or taking pictures.
Why not add them to your journal of this very special time in our country?
The very best thing you could do right now is get an ordinary blank writing copy and use it for your own daily observations on what is happening around you. You can keep that diary for yourself to look back on in years to come. Or you and your parents might be interested in the following project from Meath County Council....
Meath County Council are very interested in receiving diaries from everyone-children and adults-on life in these times. These diaries will be a great source of history for everyone in years to come. Read all about this initiative here.
Don't forget......SET UP A SCHEDULE for your weekdays!
Include exercise, art time, English and Irish, Maths, Science, prayer time, quiet time.
A random act of kindness!(or two!)
Now, head over to your teacher's blog for lots more suggestions on activities that you can fit into your routine this week.
Our teachers are all beavering away meeting together online, working on their blogs, responding to emails and planning for the future. And thinking of you all!
Are you getting out and about? It can be difficult to stay away from your friends and your relations but why not focus on some gardening over Easter?
Check out the Incredible Edibles website for free resources and gardening tips!
We have been just thrilled to see the work that you boys have been doing at home for the past while. Don't forget to switch off over the Easter break and relax. The teachers will have lots more activities for you to work on and will post them via Aladdin Connect on the 19th April in time for your new routine to kick off on Monday 20th.
And your parents can email your teacher directly about what is working well for you, and what you are finding difficult. Plus pics of any activities you want to share on the class blog.
Of course lots of the activities you have been doing are just great fun! Lots of you have really enjoyed Science experiments just like these two brothers here. Some of you have enjoyed baking and cooking. And, of course, Art and Music have been popular activities too.
You will need more indoor activities than usual for this Easter. So keep playing away with the activities you enjoy over the Easter break.
Of course the reason for the Easter break is to celebrate Easter! You might like to follow the story of Easter here on youtube
Don't forget to do a few chores for Mam and Dad every day. Every little helps!
And, most of all-smile whenever you can! You smile brings happiness to everyone!
I can see some of you boys are growing and changing so much in just couple of weeks. Great to hear about the progress you have been making!
Click on this link for twenty five Easter Craft Ideas! And have lots of fun indoors!
Wash your Hands
Keep your Social Distance
And enjoy your Easter Eggs!
Along with sharing some of our families' pics today, we've got a fresh crop of links and ideas to keep you going right through the Easter holidays!
We are definitely living through astonishing times. Huge, huge changes are happening all around us-and to us! If you haven't started already, get your own blog or journal going to record the day to day events.
Or just sign up for the initiative from our local History Society and Millmount Museum!
They would LOVE to get a story, a poem or a drawing from you about what you are doing during this Corona Virus Emergency. Ask your Mam, Dad or guardian to submit it via email-details below!
You could always do a session of birdwatching in your garden. Some of you guys are already keen birders. If you put out a few crumbs or nuts for the birds its amazing to see what birds you can attract. But put the food up high and close enough to a tree or a bush where the birds can shelter. Then you can play this game of Bird Bingo!
And here's a really popular birder and artist: Don Conroy. He's on TV and also on youtube. And, if you think we've mentioned him before, well, you're right! We really like what this guy does and we think you will too!
Just click on the links below!
There's lots of free maths games here
And David Walliams reads his stories at 11 am every day here.
Click on the link below for a raft of free worksheets.
These boys are keeping up with their Gaeilge, Music and the fitness through RTE's education hub. Their Mum joined in the fun too! We're just waiting for the photo to prove that though! :-)
You don't have to print sheets off either-why not make your own? It's amazing what you can do with a blank sheet of paper! Some GREAT maths practice here!
There's lots of resources for all parents on the NCSE website. It also includes support for Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and a great social story for children on the Covid-19 virus.
I havejust got to say... I love this! What a time we're are having now-with a right mix of the good and the bad and the challenging for all. But can also be a great time for family. It's a great time to pull together, get all hands on deck AND create a memento of this time together.
So, you might like to keep a journal, write a poem or draw a picture to remind you of this unique time in our history. Or just get your paints out and put all hands together.
Check out our class blogs here everyone! The teachers have been busy getting their blogs set up. You'll be able to send on your pics and your activities to your teacher right away!
Pics intended for publishing on the blog MUST be sent by parents or guardians.
Your identity or address will not be shared online.
Teachers are also on hand to answer questions or queries via email, tomorrow and after the Easter holidays.
Email Addresses at the end of yesterday's blog post here!
They will upload the next round of suggested activities for their classes on Sunday 19th April via Aladdin Connect so you're all good to get back into your learning routine from Monday 20th April.
THANK YOU! for the great response for pics and project yesterday!
Here's the news today.....
Great to see you trying different techniques at work and at play....
Cutting, colouring, drawing, reading, digging...
...learning is even better when it's FUN!
Why not Sing Your Tables?
Use whatever books you have in your schoolbag or at home. Or what you can find online...
If you haven't got all of your school books, remember to check out for FREE books online at CJ Fallon and Folens.
Our school roll number is 18762D-you may need it to access some sites.
It is really wonderful to see you following an interest that gives you joy and pleasure. And what better pleasure is there than the taste of home made bread? Hmmmm.... now if only we could convey the aroma on this blog!
But at least we can follow the story! Click on the link above to see some fantastic descriptions and also the science behind this bread making project!
Weaving Wellbeing has been a wonderful addition to the curriculum in our school. It's great to see you writing about your emotions! And writing your own book is great for your imagination and creativity.
And look at this as a Lego project on Social Distancing? Well done to that football team!
We know you are finding new ways to play on your own. It's kinda sad that we cannot be with our play mates right now. But it's the right thing if we are to help everyone to keep healthy. Thanks guys for the great pics!
Tips for Parents:
The National Educational Psychological Service have developed tips to help parents during this challenging time. The Plan for the Day document and Relaxation Techniques document can be downloaded here or from the files below.
We have had lots of feedback and encouragement from you parents over the past two weeks via phone and email. It has been a challenging time for all as we try to stay well and also keep up with our good routines.
Our teachers have set up temporary emails for queries about assignments. We have also got class blogs on our school website. The teachers would LOVE to receive photos for those blogs from their class pupils. So send them on to their class email.
Junior Infants firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Infants: Seninfsdonacarney@gmail.com
First Class: email@example.com
Second Class: firstname.lastname@example.org
Third Class: email@example.com
Fourth Class: firstname.lastname@example.org
And, as always, your comments and pics also welcome here email@example.com
As you know, all of the teachers have added work to Aladdin for everybody. It would really bother us though if you felt you have to do every bit of it.
A lot of you are already in very good routines. We know that from feedback we are getting from parents.
You have a nice mix of written work, reading, Irish and Maths going.
Some of you are doing amazing Science experiments. Some of you are writing books. Some of you are working on projects about your favourite teams or players or heroes.
We know this is a very challenging time for all of you. And in a variety of different ways. So we don't want to add to that stress! Just do what works for you and your Mam and Dad.
Your parents are the bosses that you are working for right now!
Get 'school' set up for earlier in the morning. And just get done whatever your parents think you can manage.
It's not all about books either. This young chap is growing seeds. And he also made this salt dough plaque. You could make one too. Then bake it and paint it. It will remind you of this special time for as long as you keep it! Or could be a nice gift for Mam or Dad!
Baking is a great learning activity. And here's another nice idea: Why not enjoy a Zoom or Facetime lunch with your grandparents? Or send them a card or a letter or a ring them?
Can't get out to play with your friends? Set up your bike on blocks and pedal while you keep up your hurling skills!
Or explore history with a visit to Mornington Tower. This is only recommended of course if you live within a two kilometre radius of it. You can check the 2km radius from your home here.
And that marvellous wood work and willow weaving project we saw yesterday? I forgot to mention what it is! It's a crannóg-an ancient Irish settlement located in a lake which were numerous in Ireland over a thousand years ago.
This really can be a special time to work on a project that you will keep forever. Your mam or dad may have time to work on a special project with you. Or they may have no time at all! Please try to understand that if you can!
Very many of our Mams and Dads and families are working in our hospitals and care homes at this time. They are under a lot of pressure. We really appreciate all they are doing for us!
The Primary Planet, Eipic and News Flash are three magazines aimed at 7, 10 and 12+ age groups and are all available online and free!
Or you might like to read some of the magazines in this free site.
RTE have started broadcasting their primary school hub every morning at 11 am
But learning through play is something we all can do. Keep it simple-water and a few containers can teach you about capacity. Or about sinking and swimming. Or about using your imagination and creativity.
Great to see your pics here! And to hear how you are getting along in this challenging time. Maybe you are working on a special project that you would like us to see? Or have a story that you have written that you would like to share?
Send it on to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow! Some of you boys and your parents are sharing some really great ideas with us for today's blog.
I love this one: two boys tucked up in bed listening to their Granny telling them a story via Facetime! So good for the grandparents to be with their grandchildren in this way. And what could be better than a nice story before you go to bed?
Here's another idea. This chap's mam outlined shapes for him to fill in with paint on his window. It must have kept him busy for hours.
And here's another great idea from another Mam...
Time To Come In Bear: A story about social distancing on youtube
There are some very skillful families in our community who can work a jigsaw and also weave. We will be calling on your skills when the school reopens again! Lovely for your children to watch that handiwork in action-and to enjoy the finished results.
It's also great to see families enjoying boardgames and construction kits together.
And who doesn't love this time to sort out all the things we have been meaning to get to but don't? LIke our great big football card collection! Now is a golden opportunity to sort out those Match Attax or GAA cards!
Or something as simple as a scrap book. Or-if you cannot get to the shops-a few pages stapled together, can be the start of a project for your favourite band or team. Or anything you want.
.And the written work and reading continues. Maybe get that done first before you play with your favourite toys?
Our Teachers have given work in the Aladdin app today for every class. These are suggestions-your parents will decide what works best for you for learning at home. This chap has free worksheets from Twinkl.
Don't forget to keep reading! Roald Dahl is a particular favourite for lots of you and here's a link to some indoor activities from the Roald Dahl website.
Help around the house as much as you can. And take this time too to have fun with your family!
We know you miss your classmates and play mates. And that birthdays are quieter affairs during these challenging times. But maybe we are learning too that our families are very precious and create some very special memories for our memory box during this unique time.
Happy Birthday to You!
When all the work is done, get out there, keep your social distance. And keep sharing your great ideas and pics on email@example.com
Great to see familiar faces here today and some new ones too!