Beginning of School Year

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We at St Mary’s wish to extend a sincere welcome back for our new school year 2021/22 and hope to continue with a very positive outlook for the months ahead, despite the persistence of the COVID-19 virus which remains with us.

Strategies adopted by the school have served us well and we can see no reason to abort the established routines and practices that we had in place prior to the summer holidays.

The arrangements planned for other schools and the multiple press releases from Ministers may have created some confusion. Each school is different in size, space, resources and staffing. We all have our unique features and specific concerns as to how our school can best manage a current or future situation. Our Procedures are:

  1. School Day

To reduce congestion in the morning and afternoons we will have four drop-off and pick-up points: Family Groups should all enter together through the entry point assigned to the youngest family member.

Drop Off Points

  1. Nursery car park for a Nursery child and older siblings
  2. Front of the school for Year 1& 2 children and older siblings
  3. Main School Car Park for Year 3 & 4 children and older siblings
  4. Ti Chulainn Car Park where children can enter school grounds at the green house entrance for Years 5, 6 and 7 (and were applicable older siblings.)

We are asking children to come into school between 8.45 am and 9.15 am. This should allow the children to filter into school.

Pick Up Points:

Home times and Pick-up Points are as follows: 

Siblings exiting school at the SAME home time should exit via the allocated exit for the youngest family member.  

  1. Nursery             1:30 pm via Nursery Car Park  
  2. Years 1 & 2       2 pm via Front Door 
  3. Year 3                 2 pm via Main School Car Park 
  4. Years 4 & 5       3 pm via Main Front Door 
  5. Years 6 & 7       3 pm via Ti Chulainn Car Park 
  1. Classes will operate in Social bubbles as far as possible.

Dinner times will remain as normal. Only those taking school dinners will eat in the Dining Hall, where pupils will be seated in their class bubbles.

Normal procedures for Nursery dinners will remain, where Nursery pupils will be served dinner in their own Classroom.

Break times and lunchtimes will be arranged in a manner to ensure that children are playing together in their Social Bubbles in the playground. Each Bubble will be assigned a separate play area.

We will continue to insist that children wash their hands at key times in the school day, i.e.when they come in, at break-time, before/after lunchtime and before home-time.

  1. Pupils uniform, school bags and homework

Pupils can attend school in full school uniform or PE kit. They should NOT bring in school bags but should take in a pencil case with their own materials, e.g. pens, pencils, a rubber, sharpener, Pritt Stick, colourings etc (this excludes P1’s). Pencil Cases will remain in school. Pupils cannot be sharing their equipment with others.

Pupils should bring in a packed lunch in a small bag and a water bottle.

There will be no homework issued during the month of September.

  1. Cash handling in school

Any payments should be placed in a sealed envelope and submitted to the class teacher by your child.

  1. Visitors/parents to the school

We will maintain the policy of no visitors/parents permitted into the school until further notice.

  1. School dinners. All payments should be made on the first day of the week.
  1. After school clubs and activities

The After School Club will run as normal. Please book a place in advance by contacting the School Office.

There will be no other “After School Activities”, during September, the situation will be reviewed at the end of the month.

  1. School buses

Buses will be running from the beginning of September.

Yours sincerely

Peter McDonnell