We would like to say thank-you for all your support to St. Mary’s over the past year and in particular over the past difficult few months. You have helped us to support your child/children by ensuring that they have engaged with learning, both on and off line, it hasn’t been easy, we know. It was a steep learning curve for everyone and we appreciate you will have encountered many difficulties along the way, but you stuck with it and this very much encouraged us to continue with and develop new ways of reaching out to our children and families. The whole experience will have taught your children many new skills and developed important life skills- not least not giving up! We are very proud, our whole school community very much lived up to our school motto: “Never settle for less than your best!”
We are currently working on a plan for return to school in September we hope to be in a position to share this with you by the end of next week.
Thank you for all your messages and emails of support, we hope all our families have a lovely Summer Holiday and we look forward to working with you in the Autumn Term.
On Tuesday past our very own Miss Crawley was asked to present at a “Showcase of Learning” organised through C2K the IT providers for schools in Northern Ireland. Collaborate Ultra the Video conferencing platform provided to schools was only launched in March and very quickly Miss Crawley had staff, pupils and parents using the platform. This didn’t go unnoticed by C2K support staff!
It was a great honour for Miss Crawley but also for the whole St. Mary’s Community, without the: enthusiasm of staff and pupils, the support from parents and ultimately the whole community who got behind our IT funding raising events 4 years ago it would not have happened.
Please see attached a flyer from Business in the Community NI with information on free assistance available for any one lacking the IT skills to complete necessary online transactions, or who is experiencing IT problems, e.g. with computer settings.
“Collaborate Ultra” is a video conferencing platform available through our C2k school IT system. Over recent weeks we have introduced its use with P6 pupils and are now looking to extend to our P5 and P7 Pupils.
This will begin with small group sessions where we will take pupils through the interface and functions on the platform, these will last 15/20 mins and will require a parent in attendance.
On Wednesday night @ 7 pm we have an opportunity for all KS2 girls- (P5, P6 + P7), to join us for a presentation by the very well known Armagh footballer and NI netball player, Caroline O’ Hanlon. Caroline will speak about her sporting achievements and life as a Doctor, there will be opportunity for Pupils to ask questions. The session will last for around 1 hour.
The following week we will have a similar session for KS2 boys but with a different guest speaker.
A User Guide for Collaborate Ultra and a Code of Conduct Guide, with a permission slip was posted to all P5 + P7 Google Classrooms. Please take the time to read, through the Code of Conduct with your child, please sign the slip and return to us through either uploading through Google Classroom or by email.
Once we receive a signed permission we will send the link to a familiarisation session, through Goggle Classroom.
Please note, you do not need to download any software for this platform, but you will need Google Chrome to run it.
Thank you and looking forward to Wednesday evening.
We had the first of our video conferences with P6 pupils today using Collaborate Ultra. A big congratualtions to all the boys and girls who took part, they all mangaged to join in and follow the instructions as we all became familiar with the platform.
We look forward to meeting 2 more groups tomorrow at 10 am and 11am. P6 Parents information was posted today in Google Classrooms if you haven’t been told about it! There are slots available tomorrow and Wednesday please let us know the day and time that suits.
During these times of social isolation we are all using free video chat Apps such as “Zoom” and “Houseparty”, to stay in touch with friends and family. But, did you know you can be “Zoombombed” or that complete strangers can make contact through Houseparty?
As many children are using these Apps, we ask Parents/Guardians to please read the information from the NSPCC at the links below. There you will find easy to follow steps to take to change the privacy settings within the Apps’.
We want everyone to stay safe, not only from the Covid 19 virus, but also whilst online!
Thank you for all coming today to pick up your packs, contained within will be log in Usernames and Passwords as well as web addresses for a variety of on line resources.
KS2 pupils will be accessing all materials/resources through their Google Classrooms. We are scheduling work to post to the Classrooms at 9 am each morning and we expect that at the very latest pupils would have completed their work for the day by 8pm, allowing plenty of “Blue light” free time before bedtime.
With increased access to the internet please be vigilant and ensure your child remembers the “E safety Code” – Be SMART!
See guidelines for both Primary aged pupils attached.
P5 are looking forward to a busy couple of days, as they begin their “Goat Project”. They will be welcoming as part of the project, staff and pupils from Dromintee PS and Mulranny National School, Co. Mayo.
Taking inspiration from our shared heritage, the herd of ancient wild goats, which can be found on the slopes of Slieve Gullion and other mountains here in the Ring of Gullion, as well as in Mulranny, pupils will be engaging in a range of activities. At one time South Armagh was known as the “Goat Droving Capital of Ireland” and the “Goat Men of South Armagh” were central to the Irish travelling herd trade, taking goats from the West and exporting to England and beyond.
Over the next couple of days, pupils will have the opportunity to work together alongside, professionals in the fields of ICT and Art: creating films, building virtual replicas of their villages and creating art works through the mediums of glass and felting.
So, if you see the Mayo flag, flying over school tomorrow, you will know it is to welcome our guests from the West who will be staying in Ti Chulainn over the next few nights. We hope they enjoy their first visit to St. Mary’s and South Armagh.
Following from my recent trip to Prague at the start of June, I am delighted to announce that our Nursery is eTwinned with a Kindergarten in Norway. The Scandinavian approach to play is extremely interesting and I’m really looking forward to introducing new ideas that I have learnt from our Norwegian friends and to continue developing our project. It is an honour to be part of the exciting eTwinning network.
Thank you for all the well wishes that I received on the school’s Facebook page, it meant a lot and showing it to other participants they all commented on what a supportive school community we have.