I hope this letter finds you and your families in good health as we fast approach Christmas Day.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the patience, understanding and support demonstrated over this past turbulent year.
What 2021 brings us remains to be seen, it would however, be reasonable to assume there will be further shutdowns, isolation periods and continuing restrictions.
Despite everything you and your children have gone through I can report that early indications of the assessments, carried out here in school, indicate that pupils have exceeded expectations scoring highly in Numeracy and Literacy. We have been able to assess most, but not all pupils from P5 to P7 but if this pattern of achievement holds through for the remainder of the school, then we have achieved something remarkable. I would like also to report that St Mary’s was a participating school in the international assessment, “TIMMS: The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study”, the results of which were recently reported on in the national media.
I must pay tribute to the wonderful work you do for your children. The provision of online learning and activities provided by the teachers and classroom assistants combined with the support given at home is very significant and demonstrates the benefit of high-level teamwork.
I appreciate all that you have done and continue to do while there are so many negative factors impacting on work and home. This is without doubt testament to your resilience. There is however a downside to the COVID-19 pandemic experience for some of our children. The assessment results also recorded higher levels of anxiety than usual among pupils and this is something we all have to be mindful of. It is important that we continue to monitor emotions and feelings of our youngsters and to help them manage stresses they may feel.
In short, teamwork has maintained the high academic standards associated with pupils here and it is this collaboration which will allow us to support children through this emotionally challenging time for our youngsters. Do not hesitate in contacting us if you see a change in your child or indeed anything that you may need some advice with. We may not have all the answers but we may know where to get the solutions from.
Finally, on behalf of the Governors and all staff at St Mary’s P.S. I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year.
We will see you all again on Tuesday, 5th January 2021.
P Mc Donnell