Dear Parents and Guardians,
It has been a very difficult few weeks for all of us. It seems so long ago since we had the school open, since we could go shopping any time we wanted, since we could watch or take part in sport and since our futures looked stable.
In the few weeks, I know that the world has been turned upside down for many of you. Some have lost their jobs, many face uncertainty and everyone is anxious. In an effort to control the spread of the virus, we have had to carry a heavy burden: financially, socially and personally. We have never seen the likes of this before and we have no one available to us who has lived through something like this and who can advise us on what to do. It’s hard for us adults at the moment.
How much harder it must be for our children who pick up so quickly on the atmosphere, the energies and the realities which surround them. When your child, or someone else you love, has an underlying medical condition or additional needs of any type, the anxiety is multiplied. Even in the presence of the threat of the virus, the personal situations, medical conditions and other things with which we live, all still need to be managed. We still need to keep flying the plane.
The re-opening of our schools has again been postponed. We are told that the restrictions on movement, which we have lived with for one week now, may be extended to three weeks in total. Our older friends and relatives may need to cocoon themselves for a while longer.
From the start of the school closure, I have been very clear that your child’s education, important as it is, is not the main priority at this time. It is far more important that your family stays well and healthy and that any suggestions of tasks from the school should be seen as something that can be done as part of keeping your child’s routine as close as possible to normal, if you have the time and resources to help the child to do so and if doing so is a positive experience for the child.
Today marks the start of the Easter holidays. Every period of school holidays is welcomed by children as a break from school work. These holidays should be no different. With whatever time you have available in your very busy lives, concentrate on fun activities which your child can enjoy. Try to make sure your child has a healthy diet, gets some exercise and has some kind of routine. In times of stress and trouble, the best advice is to take things one day at a time. Do your best today and let tomorrow take care of itself.
We will stay in contact with you, but please make sure that our e-mails are seen as a support to you and a welcome contact to your children. Again, I remind you that our aim is to help and support your family including your child. It is in no way an attempt by us to educate your child from our homes.
Despite the worrying numbers we see every day on our television screens, there is now good reason to hope that our country is doing very well in the management of the situation. For another week or so, we will not see the results of the hardship we are now suffering by staying at home. Let us hope that by the time the Easter holidays are over in two weeks’ time, we will be in a much better place, that some of our restrictions will be lifted and that we will be able to look forward with confidence to a return towards the lives we lived before the beginning of March.
Do take care of yourselves and of each other. As far as is possible, please try to enjoy the longer days and take notice that nature is coming to life all around us.
Let us all stay safe and I hope you have a happy Easter
Please see three items below, any one of which may be of interest to you
1.Virtual tours of Museums
Maybe you might take a trip to Florence or London during the holidays? Or maybe check out the London Natural History Museum’s new exhibition of the legendary beasts from Harry Potter’s wizarding world.
2. The Parents Association bought Easter Eggs for the Annual raffle. It won’t now take place. However, they invite your child to enter a competition.
The drawn picture is for the children in classes Third to Sixth to colour.
The children in classes Junior Infants to Second class can decorate and colour the drawn egg.
If you cannot print off the picture you can get your child to make an Easter decoration and take a photo of it. When we get back to school the children can bring in their colouring or photo of their creation and there will be prizes for some.
Thanks again to the Parents Association and their creative way of getting around the school closure.
I know there is no homework for the holidays but if your child would like to write or draw about what it’s like being in lockdown…one page or one picture… we will collect them when we get back to school and put them in an archive for future generations of St Columba’s school children to read.