To start our week of celebrations we would like to share with you a special recording made last term featuring our P6/7 Class singing “This Little Light of Mine” and “Rise and Shine”. This special Assembly will be played in schools across the Diocese this week, we are super proud of our performers and Mrs Mc Cann their accompanist!
Last week the Nursery walked over to the local Post Office in Spar to post a very important letter to the North Pole. Our sincere thanks to Grainne and Co for their warm welcome and for very kindly giving each child a selection box , the children were delighted. The speed of the postal service was extraordinarily fast because when we returned to the Nursery the presents we had asked for from Santa had magically appeared under the tree. This surprise caused huge excitement, our thanks to those that made the purchase of the toys possible. We look forward to lots of fun in the New Year with our new resources.
I writing to update you about an important project that our school is going to be involved in. We have been given the opportunity to take part in a pilot project of ‘Operation Encompass’. We are one of around 76 schools taking part in the Newry, Mourne and Down area. Operation Encompass is a partnership between Police and Schools and is aimed at supporting children who are victims of domestic violence.
Operation Encompass started in England ten years ago and is now coming to Northern Ireland. It is very simple idea, but one that will help us to support and protect vulnerable children. When the Police attend an incident of domestic violence where one of our pupils is present, they will inform the school’s designated teacher for child protection at the start of the next school day. This information is shared in strict confidence and school staff are only told on a need to know basis.
Following any notification from the police, our staff will provide immediate support to any child who has been the victim of domestic abuse. We know that when children do witness domestic abuse at home, this is a highly traumatic experience for them. By taking part in Operation Encompass we can provide tailored and compassionate support to our pupils, in line with our ethos. This builds on our existing commitment to child safeguarding.
Should you wish to find out more information, please contact the school’s Designated Teacher for Child Protection [Miss Mulkerns] or alternatively you can read more about Operation Encompass at www.operationencompass.org.
Signed: P Mc Donnell
I am writing to inform you of the “Poverty Support Fund” administered through the Bolster Community Group. This fund is available to meet the needs of vulnerable families in our community and referral for assistance can be made through school. Please see further information below and if you wish to apply for support please don’t hesitate to make contact for online referral.
P Mc Donnell
The Poverty Support Fund is accessible to all Family Support Hub partner agencies, trusted partners and health professionals and provides a responsive and flexible pathway for meeting identified needs across Newry and Mourne.
The Poverty Support Fund aims to provide support to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families struggling with poverty throughout Newry Mourne and Down area.
Support will be tailored to family circumstances based on current pressures, to include provision of essential items, furniture or white goods or address food, fuel and social, connectivity and digital poverty and will supplement existing outward referrals for financial advice, food banks or other community-based support.
Referral pathway: Access to the fund is either:
- Through a referral to the Family Support Hub or by completing an online “Request for Help Form” (available through school).
- Bolster Community will carry out a triage visit or call once referral form is received and we ask trusted partners who are making the referral to assess the need beforehand.
- Families must be identified by a trusted partner as being financially in need due to the impact of covid, this may be because of furlough, debt accrued during covid, need for home-schooling equipment, job loss, increased costs etc, when making the referral to fund referrers should highlight how Covid has caused the financial pressure.
- Bolster Community can only support families within the old Newry and Mourne Council area.
- Families should not be receiving support from any other organisation for the same thing they are requesting from us e.g. if they have requested oil from SVP then we won’t be able to help with oil but could perhaps offer electric top up.
- Families cannot self-refer and referrer should have consent from them.
• Financial – to those on low income and at risk due to financial stress.
• Food – access to food (whether due to cost or availability) for those most in need.
• Connectivity – to those living alone or in rural and border areas that are likely to experience greater challenges in accessing services.
We were delighted and honoured to be asked by Fr. Declan to provide music for a recording for Catholic Schools’ Week in February next. Our P6/7 class rose to the challenge and yesterday they travelled to Portadown for their recording. They sang beautifully and performed their choreographed actions perfectly, in addition their politeness and good manners were commented on by all those they met.
A big thank you to Mrs Mc Cann for preparing them so well and for providing the piano accompaniment and an even BIGGER WELL DONE to the boys and girls of our P6/7 class. Everyone at St. Mary’s is very proud of you and we are all looking forward to seeing your performance in February! 👏
Our P7’s were hououred to be asked to create two canvases for use in a ceremony to mark Catholic Schools’ Week later in the year. The themes were “ Spiritual” and “Cultural”. They had so many great ideas and worked together as a team to create these fabulous pieces. We are very proud of what they have achieved.
Here are some close ups showing some of the detail…
We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of our former esteemed colleague, Mrs Margaret Kelly. Fondly known to us all, as Peggy, she was for many years dinner/playground supervisor at St Mary’s. We would like on behalf of the Board of Governors, Staff and Pupils, Past and Present, to extend our heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam
Tuesday 14th September, 2021
11.15 – 12.00 noon
Bishop Michael Router
Will preside over an online opening School Liturgy from the Cathedral in Armagh
Students, Teachers, Parents, Guardians, Grandparents and other family members are encouraged to participate following the link below, as we pray for all the children who have returned to school for another academic year
We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of our former esteemed colleague, Mrs Helen O’ Hare. We have many fond memories of Helen’s time with us, working with pupils within the classroom and supporting them to access all aspects of school life. We would like on behalf of the Board of Governors, Staff and Pupils, Past and Present, to extend our heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam
Best wishes to all our P4 Boys and Girls who make their First Holy Communion tomorrow, the whole school community is very proud of how you have prepared for this very special day.
For all your family and friends who would like to share the occasion with you, a link is given below to the live stream from St Mary’s Church. The link will be the same for both ceremonies.