Weekly Bulletin Friday 11th December

Dear Parents/Guardians. We hope that you are all keeping well. Once again some updates from SMC. We had a very festive day here today with our Christmas jumpers. Well done to all who contributed to our fundraiser!

Covid -19 Update

As you are aware, we have been working closely with the HSE over the last number of weeks in relation to contract tracing connected to positive cases of Covid-19 and the cluster that we have recently experienced in our school. These communications with Public Health officials within the HSE have taken the form of e-mails and phone calls,  in an attempt to identify the origin of the cluster and thereafter to identify how it spread. The questions asked are designed, not to finger point (this is not and will never be the function of examining what we do or how we do it), rather, to assist us in the prevention of future clusters in our school. Having tested all staff (over 50 people) and approximately 200 students, no positive cases have been identified.
To date we have examined the following with the HSE:
  • Covid-19 School Plan
  • Cleaning Schedule
  • Student Guidelines
  • Power point presentation used to communicate all information to teachers and students in August
  • Supervision Roster
In addition, throughout this year, we as a school have been constantly reviewing, amending and updating our Covid-19 related Health & Safety Procedures, Protocols and Policies.
School management have received a large volume of communications from both our staff and our parents, with the majority of communications being very supportive and complimentary of the way in which we have set about Covid-proofing our school.
However, having undertaken a comprehensive review of our Covid Plan, we identified some gaps and flaws in relation to its implementation and will be bringing these points to the attention of all within our school community in the hope of preventing further clusters. We are fully conscious that we have a huge obligation to safeguard the health and safety of all within the school community going forward, and to achieve this we need everyone to come together as a team to proactively prevent the spread of this awful virus.
Best of luck to all students, who will begin their Christmas exams next week
1st years begin their exams on Monday (December 14th) and finish on Wednesday (16th)at 11:45am, at which time they are free to go home on their Christmas Holidays!! 1st years will go straight to the Sports Hall on Monday morning (no tutor time in classrooms, roll call will be taken in sports hall) and need to be outside the hall for 8:40am. All student numbers (to determine their allocated seats for the exams) have been sent to all 1st year students by their tutors through Teams. We will go through protocols with the boys on Monday morning, particularly for those students who were absent.
2nd and 5th years begin their exams on Thursday (17th), with 2nd years finishing on Monday 21st and 5th years finishing on Tuesday 22nd.
Advent Blessing
Our chaplain Mr. Conneely carried an advent blessing over the intercom this afternoon. The blessing was a prayer for all within the SMC community, that we and our families will all remain in good health over the Christmas period. The blessing was beautiful, so quiet and serene, and as always the boys showed the utmost of respect while the blessing and readings were taking place. One of our students, Kieran English read the prayers of the faithful.
Best of Luck to Limerick 
Wishing the very best to all the Limerick players, managers, selectors, and mentors in the All Ireland Senior Hurling Final against Waterford in Croke Park on Sunday. A special mention to Donal O’ Grady, past pupil of SMC, who is a former player and current member of the management team.

Christmas Study for 3rd & 6th Years 

In response to the demand from our exam students and their parents, the College is once again offering Supervised Study during the Christmas Holidays . The details are outlined below :

4 days in total: Tuesday 29th, Wednesday 30th, Thursday 31stDecember and Friday 1stJanuary 2021 

Each day will consist of 2 Study sessions ; 10am to 12.30pm and in the afternoon 1.30pm to 4pm

Study Fees are €20 per student non-refundable.

If you wish for your son to avail of Christmas Study, please submit the €20 fee in an envelope with the Application Form below. Places will be issued on a first come first served basis as there are a limited number of places. Adequate social distancing will be in operation in all Study Centres.

Christmas Study Application Form

This form needs to be handed into either Mr. Barrett, Room (C2) or the Principal’s Office asap. 

#GRMA Day. We want to say a massive thank you to everyone in the school community. 
This Friday, 11th of December 2020, we asked everyone in the school to pause and say #GRMA ( Go raibh míle maith agaibh!) to everyone in our school community who have worked to keep schools safe since they reopened. This includes Students, Teachers, Principals, Parents, SNA’s, Caretakers, Admin Staff, Bus Drivers and everyone in between!

We want to celebrate the enormous work that all members of the school community have done since they reopened this year. 

We asked everyone in our school to pause, celebrate the hard work done since our return and air a video of collective acknowledgement from Ireland’s political leaders, media and sports personalities.

All tutors played a 5 minute video which included clips from both our President and An Taoiseach……https://www.ippn.ie/

In addition, we organised the following:

  • Had some photographs taken of students saying GRMA to various Staff 
  • Made a video of people saying thank you in different languages
Thanks so much to our Student Council for organising all events. Well done boys!

Christmas Jumper Day (Poster Attached) and Team Hope Shoebox Appeal (thank you for your support)

Thank you to everyone in our school community today who donated towards our fundraiser held in aid of Crumlin Children’s Hospital. We raised €1,000 which will no doubt be greatly appreciated by all in Crumlin. Many of us here in the College have ourselves been lucky enough to be in a position to attend Crumlin with our children when they were unwell. We know that many of you reading this will have yourselves been thankful to be able to attend Crumlin with your child when needed. (Photo attached of Mr. Quilter, Eoin Price , Shane Browne (5th year students who coordinated the activity, with their teacher Ms. English, also included in the photo). Our teachers who won best dressed were Ms. Fay and Ms. Maxwell and our student winners were Tony Foley (3rd year) and Sean Falvey (6th year)- (Photo attached).

Thank you also to students and parents who kindly donated to the Team Hope Christmas Shoe Box Appeal. 

Children’s Grief Centre
Westbourne, Ashbourne Avenue, South Circular Road, Limerick

The Children’s Grief Centre is a registered charity and was founded in 2009 by Sr. Helen Culhane. Today the Centre is well established within the Mid-West region, serving counties Clare, Tipperary and Limerick.  There is a team of seven trained, part-time volunteer Support Workers and one full time Support Worker with experience in a diverse range of specialist fields including education, nursing, social work and psychotherapy. The Children’s Grief Centre provides a safe, non-judgmental space for grieving children and teenagers affected by loss through death, separation or divorce. The children who avail of this service range in age from 4 to 18 years. 

The centre supports approximately 20-25 children per week in one to one sessions. In these sessions children have the opportunity to express their feelings through art, play, stories, workbooks, sand and most importantly by being listened to. 

The way in which children adapt to loss is to a great extent dependent on the support they receive from those around them. Providing formal services for children and young people such as the Children’s Grief Centre allows them to feel listened to and understood, and also gives them a better understanding of their own situation as they realise that other young people share similar experiences. 

Research into the work of the Centre shows that there have been significant emotional and resilience benefits for the children and young people who have been supported by the Centre. Many of these young people and their parents have commented on the ways in which that they feel stronger, better able to deal with lfe, happier in themselves and less sad as a resut of the positive experiences they have had with the service. 

The staff and volunteers of the Children’s Grief Centre, know how difficult it is for everyone who is grieving at this time of Covid19 but especially for children and young people. They continue to respond to those grieving by keeping the Centre open remotely.  What they have learned from their 11 years of experience serving grieving families, is that holding a safe space for difficult experiences and feelings can bring about transformation.  During these uncertain times, the Children’s Grief Centre is just a phone call away. As always, the Children’s Grief Centre will be available in the aftermath of this pandemic to provide hope and healing to children and young people impacted by grief and loss. 

The Board of Management of the Children’s Grief Centre is now planning to expand the Centre’s reach in the community with ambitions for a larger centre.  The year ahead marks the start of a planned new campaign to raise funds for the new premises. This dream would not be possible without the involvement and goodwill of the many people who have shared and continue to share the journey with them. 

St. Munchin’s College is delighted to support the terrific work being done by Sr. Helen and her team and recently organised a special student fundraiser which raised just over €900 which we all hope will help in assisting the expansion of the centre. 

We hope that you all have a lovely weekend,

Kind regards,

David Quilter   Lorraine Shiels