Good afternoon all Parents and Guardians,
Thankfully we have all reached mid- term! Everybody needs the break at this stage, students, teachers and parents. It has been a long nine weeks and everyone has invested their best effort into following and complying with all procedures and instructions introduced in relation to Covid -19 so as to ensure that we all remain as safe and healthy as is possible.
We have a few updates that we wish to draw to your attention to before breaking up for Mid Term.
Students Leaving the School Grounds for Lunch (all year groups)
As you are aware, we are constantly, monitoring and in some cases amending, existing policies and procedures to align to and comply with, HSE/DES guidance on reducing the spread of Covid -19. We have, in the past, always permitted our senior students to leave the school building during lunch break to buy their lunch in local shops. In the current climate however, leaving the school to mix with community members may cause an increase in the spread of the virus. Therefore, having reflected on what is best for all (at the moment), we will not be permitting students to leave the school grounds during the school day, to visit shops etc.
As and from Monday, November 2nd , ALL STUDENTS MUST BRING THEIR SCHOOL LUNCH WITH THEM, AS NO STUDENTS WILL BE PERMITTEED TO LEAVE THE SCHOOL GROUNDS AT LUNCHTIME OR ANYTIME DURING THE SCHOOL DAY. We will review this decision after the Christmas break.
Mobile Phones (2nd & 3rd Years)
At the beginning of the school year, we notified parents and students, of the fact that, students would need their phones to school in order to ensure that they were properly set up on Microsoft Teams in addition to using their phones to both view and submit assignments. Our rationale, behind this, was that, while many students do not have electronic devices such as I pads and tablets, at their disposal, all students have and use mobile phones.
Over the last few weeks, what we have found is that many of our students continue to use their phones, inappropriately and immaturely. To remedy this issue within the 1st year cohort, we have stopped using the phones in class as a learning device. Therefore, while 1st years will continue to view and submit their homework using their phones (at home), our Mobile Phone Policy of NOT SEEN, NOT HEARD, NOT CONFISCATED remains in place.
We are now looking at 2nd and 3rd years and their use of their phones during school time. Many of our teachers are finding that some students, are obsessed with checking their phones, for time, messages, updates, notifications etc. etc. …..In short many of our colleagues feel that permitting Junior Students to bring their phones to school under the guise of using it as a “Learning Device” is not working and what is happening is that students are just being distracted from their learning by having their phone on their person.
This is an issue that we will be looking into after the mid- term break. While for now there is no change for 2nd & 3rd years, we wanted to flag a potential change that may take place once we return after November 2nd. As always, we will notify parents and students, should any change be warranted.
Anti- Bullying Week
We have once again run a very successful and productive Anti Bullying week. Thank you to Ms. Deirdre Collins and the Anti -Bullying Team for collating the resources that were used by tutors and year heads at tutor time. Thank you too, to all of you as parents who supported us in teaching Anti Bullying strategies to our boys. Many of you e- mailed such positive feedback regarding our Anti-Bullying initiatives and also communicated the impact that many of the video clips had on both you and your son’s. The education that we pass onto them has to be more than just academics. It has to be that holistic education where we equip them with life skills. Bullying is Anti -Social behaviour and the boys must learn that now to ensure that they have the skills to survive in the world of College and Work. Equally the victim needs to be encouraged and supported to tell someone if there is a student bothering him or upsetting him. As we so often tell the boys, the aim of our Anti Bullying programme is to ensure that all of our boys come through our school gates in the morning feeling safe, happy and comfortable and that they leave in the afternoon felling the same way.
Thank you to everyone (and to those of you who donated at the gate) for your wonderful support of our TY (YSI) led fundraiser in aid of Adapt House. Everyone was so generous and we are certain that Adapt House will be more than grateful to receive our donation of just in excess of €1000. Thank you to all who contributed.
It is our intention to resume after school training in a sports following the mid -term break. School boy training is permitted and all protocols and guidelines will be observed to ensure the safety of all participants.
Finally, thank you sincerely for your continued support. We hope that you all enjoy a well -deserved Mid Term break.
David Quilter Lorraine Shiels