Tuesday, 09 February 2021 15:17

Spring Newsletter

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s)

Small signs of Spring are evident around the school as we approach the Mid-Term break. The yellow Crocuses planted to commemorate the Holocaust are flowering, the pitch looks ready for its first cut and birds can be heard singing outside the office window these mornings. What is sadly missing is the sound of the students as they continue to learn from home.

COVID-19 numbers are steadily reducing and if we can all continue to reduce our contacts and obey restrictions for the coming weeks, I am optimistic that we can return to school in March. Returning to school is certainly what parents, teachers and even students are looking forward to right now.

The cycle of the school year continues though and preparations for next year are already underway. Our guidance teacher has provided an information evening for TY parents and their sons on 5th Year Subject Options. The boys now enter their preferences on VSware and the Option bands will be produced by the software.

First Year students also face decisions now as their taster program of options comes to an end. Students submit their choice on a Teams Form following guidance classes and resources provided by the Guidance Dept.

Leaving Certificate students continue to work hard preparing for the L.C. in whatever format it turns out to be. Since it is not possible to sit Mock exams at this time, it has been decided that exam students will have three class-based assessments this term. The L.C. class just completed Mock German Orals on Zoom and Mock LCVP interviews on Teams.  Their Mock Irish Oral will take place the first week in March.

The TY students have signed up for the LIFT leadership course which looks like a great opportunity for them. The TY Co-ordinator has provided them with many great online courses to make the most of their time in lockdown.

Teachers & SNAs who are already working hard upskilling, preparing classes and assessing students online have signed up for 12 hours of training online in Restorative Practice after school for the coming three weeks. This is a big investment in the boys future and shows their commitment to the school.

Technology has allowed us to provide information, collect data and continue with all aspects of school business. While it sometimes challenges and frustrates us, we realise more than ever how much we depend on it for every aspect of teaching and learning at this moment in time. Surface Go devices have been loaned to several students who were in need of a device to properly access their online classes. We encourage students and parents to let us know if there is anything we can do to help to ensure that the boys can keep up with the learning while working from home for a few more weeks.

Students and parents deserve great credit for the way they have engaged with online learning over the past four weeks. It has not been easy for anyone but the boys are showing great resilience and commitment to their education.

Student Well-being is paramount to learning and to this end we are very lucky here at the CBS to have a great group of teachers and SNAs in the Well-being Team. This week the Team have planned a Well-being day for Wednesday, February 10th.  There will be cooking, baking, origami, card making, yoga, meditation, pet circle, photography followed by a 5K walk or run or a 12K cycle in the afternoon to get everybody moving.

There will be no classes after 11:00 am so I encourage everybody to sign up for some of the workshops and activities in the program. We all need a break from the screens.  Let’s see which class has the greatest participation.  There will be a class prize when they return.

I hope all students and parents take a well-earned break from school over the midterm to recharge the batteries and return on the 22nd ready for work and hopefully return to the classroom in school not too long afterwards.

Mary Lyons