Principal’s Newsletter June 2020

Dear Parents,

My final letter to you and who could have predicted how we would be reflecting on the 2019 – ‘20 school year!  

Thank you, parents, for your positive engagement with home-schooling. I recognise that it was an unanticipated task and required a substantial commitment in terms of time and patience, but I believe the benefit to your children is the silver lining to that initial cloud! 

I wish to pay tribute to all my wonderful teaching colleagues and classroom assistants for the positive and proactive way in which they rose to the challenges and supported the children’s learning whilst exploring and embracing new ways in which to adapt and teach the curriculum remotely. I commend their efforts to interact with the pupils in their care and to maintain a continuum of support using a variety of technological means.

A special thank you to our P.E. teachers Owen and Dave, the sports coaches from the various clubs, Marie and Kevin our Caretaker. 

This year I have to say an extra special thank you to our incredible school secretary Tara Keenan who worked tirelessly since the March closure date to ensure the school community remained connected every day. She is truly a gift to the Carysfort community!  

I want to pay special tribute to our Deputy Principal Aideen Kennelly for her ever-present support to me, to her colleagues and to the many students and parents she engaged with throughout this school year. She is an inspiration to us all! 

A special thank you to our school Board of Management, P.A. Chairperson Helen Galvin, all members of the Parents’ Association and the class reps for their work and support. I extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone for your generous support of fundraising events and to the many parents who volunteered their time to help out at school events.

Thank you Carysfort students for also rising to the challenges of distance learning and for adapting to the situation we all found ourselves in. The truest purpose of education is to empower others and to enable them to be adaptable to change; if these past months are anything to go by I can honestly say that the children showed an ability to change and adjust, to accept disappointment and to hope for the best. I am so proud of them! 

It is important to remember that we were in school for almost two thirds of the school year, so I want to commend all our students who participated in many school and afterschool activities during this time. From September to March great success was achieved in drama, Gaelic football, hockey, music, chess, debating and cross-country athletics. Congratulations to Mary He in Ms. Coonan’s fourth class on entering and winning the RTE short story competition in April and to Ciaran Holohan Badawi and Grace Lodge in 5th class who had their poetry lines included in Poetry Ireland’s Poemathon 2020. So, we have lots to be proud of and much to look forward to for the next school year!

To our amazing sixth class we said a fond farewell on zoom on Tuesday evening! We wish them the very best of luck in their secondary schools and to the families who are leaving us this year, we wish you all good health and happiness in the future. The pre-recorded section of the zoom graduation ceremony is available for viewing on our school website and the password is GRADUATION2020. Note their fabulous Covid-19 ‘This is Me’ farewell song at the end! 

Needless to say, we will be keeping a close eye on events pertaining to the re-opening of schools through the summer months and planning accordingly. As it currently stands, we are hopeful that our children will be returning to school on August 31st in as normal a manner as possible, albeit with additional structures around hygiene and large groups. All decisions taken will be relayed to you at our earliest opportunity to allow you to prepare your child. Be assured we will work hard to establish a system in which the children can flourish. I ask parents to maintain a hopeful and positive attitude with the children to counteract any anxiety they might be feeling as September approaches. Our goal in the first weeks of term will be to settle the children and get them used to being back in the school environment and ready for learning.

I understand that many of you are wondering if afterschool activities and The Club@Carysfort will be returning in September. While we hope that the childcare and all afterschool activities will return, we cannot give a definitive answer at this time but will relay decisions to you as early as possible. 

On a personal note I want to thank you for the many emails I received during the closure with words of kindness, encouragement, advice and understanding. This was much appreciated and made every day easier! It was lovely to meet so many of you in person over the past few weeks as you picked up your child’s belongings and dropped off rental books! 

Finally, please see below the link to my padlet with my special summer video message for our students.

On behalf of the staff of Carysfort N.S., I wish you all a very happy, safe and fun-filled summer holiday. I hope that the good weather continues to keep us outdoors and enjoying life! 

Le gach dea mhéin, 

Norma Linehan

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