Scoil Aireagail Update April 2020

First and foremost, Scoil Aireagail would like to take the opportunity to recognise the service of all those ’front line’ workers in our school community who are caring for people in our community and maintaining the essential services which we all need for life to continue as normally as people.

We hope that all in the school community are keeping safe and well. In these unprecedented times we hope that you are coping with the many challenges facing us. Apart from the threat to our physical wellbeing, there is also the need to look after our mental health. The wellbeing of our students is foremost in our minds. If, for any reason, you feel you could do with some support for your child, do not hesitate to contact the school, we will do all we can to support you.

It is very difficult for students to maintain their motivation to continue with course work and to prepare for exams outside of the school environment where they have the support and stimulation of their teachers and classmates. Scoil Aireagail has endeavoured to fill this void through the use of Microsoft  Teams and other remote learning technologies. We would like to thank students and parents for their engagement. It is hugely important however that this engagement in maintained for the remainder of the school term. There is a distinct possibility that schools may not reopen. Nonetheless, it is necessary for teachers to continue to cover their respective courses. To succeed in our objective of ensuring that our students develop and learn, and are prepared for their state exams, it is more vital than ever that we work together. Please continue to monitor your child’s/children’s school work and support them in establishing a routine for their work. Again, please don’t hesitate to contact the school or the subject teacher if you need any support.

This is an especially difficult time for exam year students. In addition to subject teachers supporting teaching and learning, our pastoral care team (Year Heads, senior management and mentors) have been in regular contact with students and parents. We hope this support has been of benefit. School principal, Mr. O’Brien, has met (remotely) with both 3rd and 6th Year groups offering his support and advising on the latest developments regarding the Junior Certificate (JC) and Leaving certificate (LC) exams.

The Minister for Education, Mr. Joe McHugh TD, announced that the LC will begin on 29 July, with a timetable expected in early June. The uncertainty surrounding the LC has certainly caused anxiety among the LC students across the country. And this is important to remember for Scoil Aireagail students; all LC students across the country are in the same predicament as you. They are facing the same difficulties around a study routine, missing sport, missing socialising with friends and so on. It is hugely important to utilise your support networks; friends, family, a teacher you may get on especially well with etc. This lead up to the LC is not easy, but it too will pass. There is no doubt that examiners will be told to take the school closures into account when correcting your exams and you will be treated fairly. The time will come, in the not too distant future, when you will be packing your bags for college, starting your apprenticeship or your first full-time job. Hang in there, it will be all worth it in the end.

As regards the 6th Year graduation ceremony the school has decided to postpone the ceremony until such time as restrictions are lifted. This may be in the next school year. Nonetheless, the school feels that it is such an important rite of passage that the current LC year, which also happens to be a very positive and likeable group, should not be denied this experience.

There has been a fair degree of uncertainty around the JC exams. Originally it was announced that the exam would take place in September. This decision has been reviewed. Scoil Aireagail will hold exams at the end of May for 3rd Year students. These exams will be similar to the JC exams and the results will appear on the students’ Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement, along with their CBA results, which will be issued by the school. Students have been notified of this. This is a welcome development that will assist students in focussing on their school work for the next five weeks and then take a well-deserved summer break.

We wish all our students the best in the coming weeks.

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