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St Patrick's Primary School, Saul, Downpatrick
Summer Holidays! Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you in August.
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Friday 26th June 2020

26th Jun 2020

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you are all still well and staying safe.

This is my last virtual daily message of this academic year. When I started writing these I never thought that I’d still be writing them in June. The first one was on Friday 20th March when I walked around a completely silent school with every classroom in darkness and your books and work all sitting on your desks.

Schools are places that rely upon you all to create the atmosphere for learning. The noise and the buzz have been sorely missed. We rely upon everyone to ask and answer questions. We rely upon you to let us know that what we are doing is right or wrong with a smile, a frown, a moan, a laugh. We rely upon you to tell us what you like, what you don’t like, what we have made a mistake with. We have missed all of this. You have been brilliant at keeping up to date on Seesaw and with some great photos. Our first photo way back on 24th March was Jessica drawing a rainbow outside her house using chalk. I’ve got to see dancers, runners, footballers, hurlers, painters, gardeners, bakers, mechanics and even go kart racers!

Since then you have been so busy with your home learning and you have learned so much. Your new teachers have done a great job and hopefully have some of their sanity left. Thank you mums, dads, siblings, carers for your wonderful support during this time. You have had so much extra to do on top of working and looking after your families and dealing with the added pressure this lockdown brought upon us. Our children will hopefully have some happy memories as a result of this prolonged period of time spent together. Remember the good days as much as possible!

I’d like to thank all of our staff who have been so busy during this period as well. Between online learning, providing cover in school and looking after their own families, they have been busier than ever. When this crisis started, very few schools were prepared and the advice was either slow in coming or non-existent as the authorities also struggled to come to terms with such an unprecedented event. We have learned so much during this time and this will benefit us as we move forward into the 2020-2021 school year.

Perhaps this period has given us some time to pause and assume different priorities? When we return to school we will be prioritising the health and safety of all of our children and staff. Their emotional health and wellbeing will be extremely important and then we can work on the essential academic progress you will all be looking for. This may take a different approach to the school week in accordance with the many regulations and advice from the authorities. With so many changes happening so quickly, what we decide on now, may change completely by our return to school on the 24th August. You will receive information before the end of next week on what our plans are and this will hopefully allow you to prepare in good time.

Thanks to everyone who has returned school books over the last few weeks. We would appreciate any reading or text books to be left in before the 1st July. Books should be placed in a bag with your child/children’s names on the outside. They can be left in to school via the front doors and placed in the large trunk. Any books that your children do not use any more would also be very welcome.

Mathletics should be available for P2-P7 until mid-July. I will do my best to check in and see if you’ve been awarded your certificates.

Accelerated Reader is for the P4-P7 children until the end of July. You must use the link specific to our school:

During this time many of you will have lost loved ones and friends, we ask everyone to pray for those who have suffered loss, not just during this period but also during the last school year. Take a moment and remember them and their families.

Remember to keep praying for those who are sick or alone and those people who are working so hard to look after them. Pray for everyone who is so busy looking after you and still working to ensure we have everything we need. Pray for all of the children in our school and their families. We are so grateful to them all.

Stay safe and well and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

M McGrath