Thank-You

Thank-You

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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.

P6 Parents

P6 Parents

Dear P6 Parent/Guardian,

You may find you have a missed phone call (or two) from school. Over the last couple of days we have been trying to make contact with all P6 Parents to give details of a 2 week Summer Scheme being put in place by the Government for current P6 pupils over the Summer holidays (dates to be confirmed).

This would take place in small groups in school and will focus on Literacy and Numeracy. As there are only a limited number of places, if you are interested please make contact with school asap.

Thank You,

Miss Mulkerns + Miss Crawley

Lost Property

Dear Parents/Guardians

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

Miss Mulkerns

P6- Virtual Pet Show

P6- Virtual Pet Show

Dear P6 Parent,

As you are probably aware tomorrow P6 are to have their “Virtual Pet Show” + Showcase of  Websites.  As explained to the children this morning, we have had to change the time of this event, it will now start at 11.30 am and will run probably until 1.00 pm. A link will be posted in their Google Classroom in the morning. There will be no Live Lesson @10 am. 

We will start with the showing of Pets, as pupils arrive into our virtual class at 11.30 we will draw up a running order. Each child will be given advance notice of their turn to show their pet, when prompted they can turn on their camera and introduce them. We will try to keep this section as brief as possible!

Following this we will have break out groups and pupils will have the opportunity to discuss the websites which they have created around the theme of Pets, in a small group setting. They should have received links to the sites created by other members of their Group through email.  Alternatively, if they go to “Google Sites” through their My School account and click on “New Google Sites” on the left hand-side of the launch page, they should see all the sites they have been allocated to view before our virtual meeting.

If you could please spread the word about our change of time that would be much appreciated.

Looking forward to a “lively” virtual class tomorrow,

Miss Mulkerns + Miss Crawley

P5, P6, P7 Parents/Guardians

P5, P6, P7 Parents/Guardians

Dear Parent/Guardian,

A reminder that tomorrow evening, Wednesday 23rd of June @ 7 pm we have a fantastic opportunity for Parents and Guardians to join virtually in a presentation to be given by Action Mental Health. The presentation will cover important issues such as supporting and improving social and emotional well being and self- care techniques.

A link will be posted in your child’s Google Classrooms- P5, P5/6 P6 and P7 tomorrow afternoon, the room will open 10/15 mins before the start time. Simply copy and paste the link into your Google Chrome Browser- other browsers will not support our video conferencing platform, Collaborate Ultra.

We look forward to welcoming you virtually:

KS2 Teachers

Mr Mc Coy     Miss Mulkerns    Miss Crawley    Miss Mc Ardle

Parents’- Workshop

Dear Parent/Guardian,

I am delighted to offer you, the opportunity to take part in a “Healthy Me” -Virtual Workshop, this coming Wednesday, 24th June @ 7pm. This workshop is suitable for Parents, Carers and Teachers of children aged 8-11 years, (P5-P7). It will last around 1 hour and will deal with important issues such as:

  • How to start conversations about Mental Health
  • How to recognise signs/symptoms of mental ill-health
  • teach self care techniques building resilience and confidence
  • How and where to access support.

A link will be posted to your child’s Google Classroom on the day. Please ensure you use Google Chrome for the workshop, copy and paste the link into your Google browser.  I look forward to welcoming you “Virtually” on Wednesday evening.

P Mulkerns

P6 Parents/Guardians- Transfer Information

P6 Parents/Guardians- Transfer Information

Dear P6 Parent/Guardian

It is come to my attention that some of you may be uncertain of the transfer arrangement for your child when they move into P7 and prepare for Secondary or Grammar school.

On 19th May 2020 the Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin asked that the Post-Primary Transfer Test be suspended this year in Northern Ireland due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the Education Minister Peter Weir rejecting the Bishop’s plea, on 29th May, the Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar School, Our Lady’s Grammar School, Sacred Heart Grammar School, and St Colman’s College which are all in Newry, and St Louis Grammar School, in Kilkeel, announced they would act on the request of Bishop Martin and suspend the transfer test for this year.

Therefore, no Catholic pupils in the catchment area of these schools will be sitting the Transfer Test in the next academic year. The above named schools organise for the sitting and administration of the transfer test but next school year 2020/2021 they will not be producing a test.

The selection of pupils for the schools named will take place and these schools have outlined their selection criteria for the incoming year given the absence of the Transfer Test. The criteria laid out by individual schools should be available on their School Websites. Although there has been no mention of any test related criteria, including records of performances from Primary Schools, this could be a possibility. Key Stage 2 (P5/P6/P7) results have been requested in the past for the purpose of transferring to Grammar School. It could be the case that the Grammar Schools will look towards the standardised scores from previous years to make their selection.

Therefore, our focus for the pupils who will be entering into P7 this September 2020, will be to work towards the internal standardised tests that will be administered in the Spring term within our own school.

I hope that this communication goes some way to removing any misunderstanding you may have had in relation to transfer arrangements for this incoming P7 year 2020/2021.

Yours sincerely,

Peter McDonnell

Principal

St Mary’s Sports Day 2020

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.

HK Sports Day 2020

Sports Day 2020

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!

HK Sports Day 2020

 

Thank -you, Eoghan and Jarly Og

Thank -you, Eoghan and Jarly Og

We had a packed “virtual” house last night as our keen KS2 footballers tuned in to listen to and ask questions from two members of the Armagh County Squad, Eoghan Mc Donnell and Jarly Og Burns. Thank you very much to Eoghan and Jarly Og, who spoke about their own sporting careers as well as answering many questions from the floor, inspiring and encouraging the next generation of players.

Well done also to the KS2 children whose skills at asking questions, talking and listening have really developed through this new medium for teaching and learning, “video conferencing”. Our guests were very impressed by not only the questions asked but also the confidence with which the children can use our video conference platform, Collaborate Ultra. Well done all.