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Knockavoe School 10 Melmount Gardens

5th June 2020

Hi everyone, 

As we approach the end of another week of school closure it is timely that we start to reflect on our experiences during the last few months. 

Every one of us will have had a different experience during lockdown; faced many challenges and difficulties adapting your normal way of life and routines. Some of you may have enjoyed the time at home and it is perfectly acceptable to say that. There have been advantages to lockdown too. Many of us have developed new skills, in particular with technology. A year ago I had no idea what Zoom was!! There have been new connections made through the weekly contact calls where we wouldn't normally have had this amount of contact. Relationships have been strengthened! 

Whatever your experience, I have no doubt that everyone of us will be looking forward to getting back into some level of routine. Home schooling does present significant challenges and from what I have seen and heard you have all done a fantastic job!!! That includes pupils, parents and carers, classroom assistants and teachers. Everyone has been so committed to doing the best they can and I thank you for that. It is like running a marathon without the medal!!! Not my words so can't take credit - heard those yesterday at a webinar. 

What lessons can we take from lockdown? In society, as a school community, in our classrooms, in our personal family spaces? This is the time to reflect so that we can plan for the successful transition of pupils back to Knockavoe School. You no doubt will have many concerns and questions at this stage as to what September will look like. Currently we are planning for the integration of all our pupils back to school in September which will most likely consist of a blended learning approach through partial school placement and a continuation of remote learning. We will plan with safety at the forefront taking into consideration guidance from DE and EA.

Continued communication is vital so I ask that if there is anything you believe has been successful over the past few months please let us know. We want to focus and build upon the strengths to help plan the recovery from this pandemic. 

As Nelson Mandela said:

'The greatest glory in living is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall. A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. After climbing a great hill'.

On that note I will wish you a good weekend 

Take care as always 

Sharon 

 

 

 
 

27th May 2020

Hello Everyone,

We are now in the last week of May with only 5 weeks left until end of term. I hope you are all keeping well and that our pupils are doing as best they can under the circumstances. Please continue to communicate with teachers through the weekly call and with all other support services at this time. We are here to help!

We have some exciting things happening this week that I wanted to share including:

Sigersons solo charity fundraiser on Sunday 31st May. It would be great if you can get involved to help us raise vital funds to support the delivery of mental health and wellbeing supports through the Koram Centre and in Knockavoe. More information on this can be found on the Sigersons Facebook page.

Knockavoe School will be open 15 years on 1st June. Happy Birthday Knockavoe!!! We will be celebrating in many different ways with lots of fun activities on the website. Please keep an eye on this and participate in whatever way you can.

Another award this week for Knockavoe. We have received a bronze level Eco School Award. We are delighted with this and will be working towards implementing practices to achieve the next level.

As you know Home Learning Pack 3 went out to our pupils on Friday of last week along with the 'kindness' packs. You will be aware that staff gave much time and effort to organise these and I very much appreciate the efforts to providing such an individual approach. I sincerely hope that our pupils enjoy these resources and little treats.


Following on from the Education Minister, Peter Weir's statement to the Executive last week we now know that schools will look very different in September. There is a working group currently developing guidelines for special schools that will provide more clarity and hopefully help us plan for the return to school for the vast majority of our pupils. I know you will have many unanswered questions, worries and concerns at this stage. We will plan with safety in mind at all times and proceed with extreme caution following specialist advice and guidance. We understand that transitioning back to school will be difficult for many of our pupils but please take some reassurance that this will be an individual approach with familiar staff.
Keep safe and well during these unusual times and know that we are thinking about you.


Sharon

 
 

18th May 2020

Hello to all our pupils and families. It really is hard to believe that it is mid May and over 2 months since we have all been at school. I hope you are all doing well and managing with the pressure of lockdown.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week and I know there will be some lovely resources on our Home Learning site for you. It is so important to communicate with family and friends at this time when social distancing is such a big part of our lives.
Our fantastic 'Be Brave' video and 'From Now On' video continue to gain more views and will be shared on the next High 5 edition from Primary Behaviour and Support Provision at EA. Thank you to all our staff for contributing to these beautiful messages. Always remember that we are thinking about you.
On Friday this week - 22nd May , there will be an opportunity to collect Home Learning pack 3 at the school. There will also be an extra special pack with some nice little treats.
Have a good week and let's hope the nice sunshine returns to cheer us all.


Sharon

 
 

11th May 2020

Hello everyone,

As the lockdown continues and pupils stay at home I can only visualise the day when I will get the opportunity to meet all our pupils, parents and carers, and the wider Knockavoe community. I am sure we are all looking forward to getting to that point when our children can safely return to school.

In the meantime, I want to let you all know that I appreciate and understand that home schooling can, for many of us, be challenging, frustrating and stressful. It can also be rewarding in many different ways having time to connect and help our children. I have two children myself so I understand that not every day will be positive and recognise that it can be difficult. You are doing a fantastic job and the feedback from staff phone calls every week supports that.


Please be assured that the Home Learning activities on the website are there should you wish to use them. The daily challenges are there too to help you if you want to partake. The photos and videos that have been sent in are great, please keep them coming.


It is not all about the school work in the midst of this global health crisis. Keeping our children safe, happy and protected is essential and our main priority. It is a good opportunity for our children to develop important skills of resilience as well as helping them to understand and safely manage risks. The concept of social distancing will be very difficult for many of our children to understand yet could be with us for a very long time. Please, where possible, reinforce this concept with your children at home. It will help enormously when we do return to school.


To our pupils, if you can try to relax, listen to music, have fun, play games, exercise, enjoy the good weather, sing, dance, bake cakes, paint a picture, help out around the house and remember that some day lock down will be a distant memory.


For our parents, carers and families - keep well and know that you are doing a great job and playing an important role in protecting your family and the wider community. I thank you all and wish you good health, good luck and god bless. 

Sharon