This week Mrs. Murphy and most of Primary4/5 will be working from home as they are self-isolating. The pupils’ work-at-home packs, complete with a Google Classroom guidebook, are ready for collection. Siblings may take the packs home with them or parents can collect them from the front door during the hometime period 2 – 2.30pm tomorrow. The 5 pupils who were absent last Tuesday, and who therefore do not have to isolate, only need their GC guidebook brought home, as they may return to class this Wednesday 14th October after the deep clean. All other pupils and their teacher are due back at school on Wednesday 21st October. Shortly after this date it is anticipated that Mrs Murphy’s P5s will celebrate their First Holy Communion. Fingers crossed it’s Third Time Lucky!!
As of today, 6/10/20, both First Holy Communion services scheduled for the 10th and 17th October are still expected to take place. Naturally this is assessed on a daily basis as the health and well being of every pupil and member of staff is our paramount concern. We have no control over community transmission of Covid 19 but we are doing everything within our power to keep our school a safe place of learning.
To date one pupil and one staff member have tested positive for Coronavirus. A very small number of other staff and pupils are isolating at home under PHA regulations following “close contact” or negative results.
Fortunately, the one positive pupil was not at school for several days prior to showing symptoms and being tested. Accordingly, the PHA said their considerable absence from school ruled out the possibility of transmission. However staff took the precautionary measure of deep cleaning their classroom as well as toilets, cloakrooms and the Main Hall.
One member of staff, who had limited direct contact with a small number of pupils also tested positive at the weekend, again this followed an absence from school for a number of days. Under PHA guidance the parents of those pupils involved were directly contacted yesterday and informed of the situation and are subsequently following the regulatory advice to self isolate.
Pupils and Staff have been and continue to work in “class bubbles”. They avoid entering other classrooms and are undertaking daily additional cleaning of their work areas. We have taken direction from the EA cleaning services and have had an onsite visit from their consultant cleaning officer who further advised on every aspect of contact management.
Some parents have informed us of the decision to keep their own children at home due to concerns over rising cases in the community, or indeed due to someone in the family testing positive and we thank them for keeping us fully aware of all developments.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected and we wish our pupils and colleagues a safe return to school when the full isolation period has been exceeded.
As yet, Primary 5 remains unaffected, and 44 children are pinning their hopes on two momentous occasions being able to take place very soon. We ask our patrons to keep assumptions and speculation at an all time low to spare these families undue stress on the lead up to these dates. Please keep checking our school website where information will be posted as soon as anything changes and /or contact the school directly to speak to Miss Mulkerns or Mrs Murphy if you have further questions.
We will continue to keep the situation under daily review and update you if there are any changes in circumstances.
Stay safe, and help keep each other safe. We really are in this together.
The groups for First Holy Communion on Saturday 10th and Saturday 17th October have now been assigned. Please check the document attached here. Written confirmation will be sent out as soon as possible and details about the ceremony will follow. If you have any problems concerning your child’s sacramental date please contact Mrs. Orla Murphy by telephoning the school.
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.
Stay safe, Stay well.
The Staff of St. Mary’s.
If your child left a coat, hat, lunchbox, football boots etc. in school, there is an opportunity tomorrow from 10 am to 12 noon to pick these up. Weather permitting they will be laid outside the main entrance on tables for collection. If weather does not allow tables will be placed in the dinning hall.
Please observe social distancing rules and if entering the school there will be a one in, one out policy, remember to use the hand sanitising station on entry.
Any items not claimed tomorrow, will be bagged up and sent to charity.
Thank you for your co-operation
Good morning everyone and welcome to St Mary’s Sports Day 2020!
As explained at the start of the week, some members of our P7 class will demonstrate 8 activities for you in the video below. Written instructions are also available through the link at the bottom of the post. You can do as many or as few of these as you please and at a time that suits your family’s schedule. The video will be available all day. You may even wish to create your own programme of events instead. There is no pressure to run a big event at home, do what you can. Today is all about having fun, whatever you get up to. Hopefully, pupils in the older classes will help their younger siblings out if they need. If you do any physical activity today, please capture it and upload photos to your online classroom. Your teacher would love to see them.
To get Sports Day underway, the teachers have come together for a relay race. Check it out in the video. Enjoy the day off school work everyone and have fun whatever you get up to!
As mentioned at the beginning of the week, 79 pupils registered for the Healthy Kidz Virtual Sports Day which is due to take place tomorrow (Saturday) @2pm live on the Healthy Kidz facebook page. We wish anyone taking part in the live event good luck for tomorrow. As of 3pm on Thursday, 15665 points had been registered on the app from 1644 activities by pupils in our school. 23 of our pupils have achieved certificates for logging their activities since the app was launched. Well done to all of these children. Your teachers will upload your certificates to your online classroom for you to download.
A special mention must go to Anya Gartland, Una Kilkenny, Danny Murchan & Canlaoch McNulty who have each recorded a 20-day streak for logging activities on the app. As was outlined in the information shared at the beginning of May, these pupils will be entered into a prize draw for a £20 SPAR voucher. More details for this draw will be available next week. Indeed Anya & Una are the pupils who logged the most points in the entire school (over 2,200 points each). There will be a special prize waiting for the two girls when school re-opens.
In normal times, as we would approach the middle of June our attention would duly shift towards Sports Day. Despite the school building being currently closed, we hope this can still be the case this week.
Since we launched the Healthy Kidz / SPAR Virtual Sports Day on May 11th, 79 St Mary’s pupils registered on the app to take part. Well done to all of these pupils and we wish them luck. As explained at the beginning of May, any pupils who log activities for twenty consecutive days on the app will be entered into a special draw for a £20 SPAR voucher. More details on this will be announced on Friday. The Healthy Kidz Virtual Sports Day will be streamed live on the Healthy Kidz facebook page this Saturday, June 13th @2pm. It will consist of the 8 activities which the children were given the opportunity to practise over the past month (Sprint, Long Jump, High Jump, Egg and Spoon Race, Welly Boot Toss, Superstrong Challenge, Marathon Challenge & Create your own Obstacle Course). As we explained at the time, entering this event was entirely optional and parents / guardians did not have to register if they did not wish.
As a school staff, we felt it was important to mark a school day on the calendar for Sports Day. Therefore, this Friday June 12th has been earmarked for our own St Mary’s Sports Day. For the 79 pupils registered for the Healthy Kidz live event on Saturday, this will serve as a great practice run as the activities we post will follow the same format. If you are not registered to take part in the Virtual Healthy Kidz Sports Day on Saturday, that is no problem at all. You can still have a go at the activities at home on Friday for a bit of fun.
There is no pressure to organise a big event in your garden on Friday. We know how busy you, as parents / guardians, are at home in lockdown. The good news is that there will not be any school work posted to any online classes from Nursery right up to P7 this Friday. A video of some our P7 pupils demonstrating the 8 activities will be posted into all of the online classes @9am on Friday, but please remember that you can do as much or as little of this as you please. You can do it at a time that suits your family. You don’t have to follow the same format as suggested in the video and you may even wish to create your own events instead. Friday is designed to be a day for us to come together as a school community for some fun in our own homes.
A link to the Healthy Kidz guidance booklet which outlines the instructions / coaching tips / equipment needed for the 8 activities can be found below if you want to get a head start. This is the same booklet that was shared on May 11th. All of the information will also be posted into the online classes by class teachers tomorrow. Whatever you get up to on Friday and/or Saturday, we hope that you enjoy it and that the sun shines. If you do any physical activity, make sure to capture it and upload it to your online classes to show your teachers. Have fun!
On Sunday 17th May, Archbishop Eamon Martin broadcast a special mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, for all the children in the Armagh diocese who had their 1st Holy Communion cancelled due to Covid 19.
He asked them to draw a picture of Jesus and send it to their school.
So they did.
Straight after playing a song request for Primary 4 this morning, Q Radio DJ Declan Wilson, took time out during his set, to broadcast a personal post for our pupils who should have made their 1st Holy Communion today. It was a unique and unexpected generous gesture from the big-hearted presenter, who went out of his way to give the children a great shout-out and special celebrity post. Declan – you’re a legend in Mullaghbawn!