Junior Cert Annoucement

29 April, 2020 – Minister McHugh announces revised arrangements for Junior Cycle 2020

–          All third year Junior Cycle students to be awarded certificates for the completion of Junior Cycle by the Department of Education and Skills

–          Schools given autonomy to assess students and all students to receive a report on achievement 

–          Adult learners to be given opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations in autumn

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Wednesday 29 April 2020) announced revised arrangements for this year’s Junior Cycle.

The decision was taken following recommendations from an advisory group of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures and the decision that the Junior Cycle State Examinations will not run this year.

Minister McHugh attended the meeting of the advisory group and thanked the members for their work.

“In this difficult time for students I have listened to the very strongly-held and well-articulated views of students, parents and other stakeholders,” Minister McHugh said.

“This decision has been made with the health and wellbeing of students, parents and teachers at the forefront of our thinking.

“It gives students and their families more clarity and certainty. It also gives schools freedom to decide how best to assess the progress of students following three years of hard work and learning.”

Under the revised arrangements and in light of the exceptional circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the work and achievement of third year Junior Cycle students will be recognised with a state certificate from the Department of Education and Skills.

As soon as possible after the end of the current school year, students will receive a written school report on their learning achievements in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit

Schools are also being given autonomy to decide whether to run school-based assessments and what form they take. Options to consider include school-designed examinations, tasks, projects, assignments, essay style questions, presentations, or other tasks agreed at a local level. Guidance for schools on reporting to students and parents, developed with the advice of the advisory group of stakeholders, will be published by the Department.

The State Examinations Commission is also being asked to put in place specific arrangements for adult learners to give them an opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations for which they are entered in autumn 2020.

Ends

Notes for Editors

For info on the advisory group see here

Further advice in relation to assessment options for schools will be issued by the Department.

Letter from Principal

16th April 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

I hope you had a nice Easter in spite of the restrictions on movement that were implemented nationally since 27 March 2020 in line with public health guidelines.  We appreciate how challenging the current Coronavirus/Covid-19 crisis has been for families, and we are working hard to support all students and parents/guardians in our school community as the crisis evolves.  We know from feedback from our staff and interactions with students, that students and teachers miss school-life and attending classes.  The past few weeks have presented many challenges, but the resolve of our students, staff and parents/guardians to engage in this steep learning curve in working from home is truly admirable.  We are very proud that so many students and our staff worked very hard before Easter to minimize disruption to learning.  Everyone in the school community has embraced the new term called ‘Distance Learning’ in an effort to fulfil a continuity of learning.

As you are aware, schools have remained closed to students since 13 March 2020.  The current health advice is that all schools will remain closed to students until Tuesday, 5 May 2020 (after the May Bank Holiday weekend).

We have listened carefully to feedback from students, staff and parents prior to Easter.  We want to ensure that we focus our efforts for the next two weeks on teaching, learning and the provision of effective feedback to students.

To this end, we plan on holding an on-line staff meeting and subject planning meetings over the next few days to coordinate the most effective work-stream for the ensuing two week period and to provide for enriched feedback to your child/children.  Students are asked to revise subjects as per their regular timetable on Monday, 20 April 2020.

Students in Sixth Year and Third Year

We are especially mindful of the decision that affects students in Sixth Year and Third Year regarding the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate examinations.

Information on exam and assessment schedules, including the Leaving Certificate Applied and the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme is available on the website of the State Examinations Commission: www.examinations.ie/misc-doc/BI-SE-67826275.pdf

The Department of Education and Skills and the State Examinations Commission are making every effort to support all students through this challenging time.

Students facing examinations have been asked to keep focused and to keep working in preparation for the exams which are now scheduled for July.  More details will be forthcoming in the near future regarding the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate examinations and we will bring this information to your attention without delay.

Supports for Students including Internet Connections and Data Bundles on Mobile Providers

The Department of Education and Skills has been working closely with the tertiary education sector to address issues raised in relation to accessing online provision including broadband issues. 

Thankfully, we are seeing progress in some ways to help students with connectivity and data issues.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton T.D. announced on Wednesday, 15of April 2020 that all major telecoms providers have committed to a number of measures to help people stay in touch and work from home during Covid-19.  All major providers have signed up, including BT Ireland, eir, Pure Telecom, Sky Ireland, Tesco Mobile Ireland, Three Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone.

These commitments will be implemented by operators as soon as possible. Each service provider will provide details and implementation updates on their own website. The commitments will remain available to consumers until 30 June 2020 and will be reviewed in advance of that date if needed.

The Covid-19 Consumer Commitments are as follows:

1. Any fixed broadband customers who do not have unlimited usage already as standard will be given the opportunity, if they require, to upgrade their package (which may be on a temporary basis), with their current service provider

2. Any customer who does not have fixed broadband and who relies solely on mobile access to the Internet will have the opportunity to avail of affordable unlimited mobile data access/package from their service provider

3. Fair usage policies will not be automatically applied to unlimited fixed and mobile data packages

4. Service providers may implement appropriate permitted traffic management measures to avoid network congestion

5. Access to healthcare and educational resource websites identified by the Government will be zero-rated for all customers where technically feasible

Customers experiencing issues should contact their service provider in the first instance, before contacting ComReg’s Consumer Care Team at consumerline@comreg.ie or 01 8049668 (from 8.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturday, excluding public holidays.

Wellbeing including physical activity

NEPS, the Department’s National Educational Psychological Service, has developed advice and resources for keeping Children and Young People well during Covid-19. These resources aim to support children and young people’s learning and wellbeing at this time.

In the context of wellbeing, NEPS has included a reference in its advice for young people and for parents of young children for the need for physical activity as part of everyone’s daily routine while schools are closed.

For information, the relevant text can be found at the following links:

Advice for Young People: https://www.education.ie/en/The-Department/Announcements/advice-to-young-people-while-schools-are-closed.pdf

Advice for Parents: https://www.education.ie/en/The-Department/Announcements/guide-for-parents-supporting-children.pdf

Supporting Students with Additional Education Needs

The National Council for Special Education has developed resources for parents of children with additional needs who may benefit from specific advice during the period of school closure.  All resources are available on the NCSE website and publicised through education partners and Twitter. The NCSE visiting teacher service continues to provide direct telephone/skype support to families and students.  The NCSE resources can be accessed at: www.ncse.ie/online-resources and include;

  • resources for parents and teachers such as class\age level activities
  • practical advice on how to take care of Assistive Technology in the Home and a suite of Occupational Therapy and
  • Speech and Language Therapy resources (including a social story animation on attending a Covid-19 test Centre prepared by the HSE).

Temporary reassignment of SNAs

Currently, SNA personnel are being reassigned to assist with efforts to support front-line health workers.  We will make every effort to ensure that students who have access to an SNA are receiving supports throughout the next two weeks.

Additional Information

A considerable number of announcements regarding schools and state examinations were made over the course of the Easter break.  The main points are summarised below;

Statements and Information:

  1. 10 April 2020: Minister McHugh Announces Postponement of State Examinations
  2. 09 April 2020:Briefing on Covid-19 responses in the Education and Training Sector

Assessing Teaching and Learning in our School

Our School’s Digital Learning Hub, which students are familiar with, is the main portal for accessing on-line classes and feedback from teachers.  Our staff has received support and guidance from Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board on the most effective strategies to manage on-line learning.  Several teleconferencing meetings of all Principals and Deputy Principals of all eighteen post-primary schools of our ETB have taken place since 13 March 2020 and this has proven invaluable in the sharing of best-practice and resources between all of our schools.

Our staff have received advice, guidance and peer support on managing learning, teaching and assessment in the current crisis and we are hopeful that this will help to mitigate the loss in class contact time and ‘Face to Face’ time in the current climate.

Acceptable User Policy (AUP)

Our school’s Acceptable User Policy (AUP) has been revised to reflect the increasingly popular use of teleconferencing platforms.  Our school only utilises platforms which fully comply with GDPR requirements.  It is important that students understand that the school expects all of its community to observe responsible and ethical use of such platforms in respect of other users – fellow students and staff.  Guidance and additional information about our school’s use of teleconferencing is available on our school website under the Digital Learning section.

Contacting the School during Closure

Please do not hesitate to contact us at the school via this email address hazelc@hazelc.ie  and we will do all we can to address your query as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please follow the advice of the HSE and the Government;

Everyone needs to stay at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

You should only leave your home to:

  • shop for essential food and household goods
  • attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products
  • care for children, older people or other vulnerable people – this excludes social family visits
  • exercise outdoors, within 2 kilometres of your home and only with people from your own household – keeping 2 metres between you and other people
  • travel to work if you provide an essential service – be sure to practice physical distancing

Follow this advice to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Read a step-by-step guide from the HSE on how to clean your hands.

Take care of yourself and stay safe

Kind regards

Brendan Burke

Principal

Dept of Education – Press Release

10 April, 2020 – Minister McHugh Announces Postponement of State Examinations

Changes follow updated health advice regarding school closures until further notice

  • Leaving Certificate written examinations postponed until late July/August
  • Junior Cycle examinations in June replaced with school-based exams and assessments early in the new school year

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Friday 10 April 2020) announced a series of changes to the 2020 State Examinations as part of measures to respond to Covid-19, including postponement of the Leaving Certificate examinations.

The decisions have been taken on foot of updated advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Minister McHugh said plans were being put in place for the postponed Leaving Certificate examinations to begin in the last week of July or early August, subject to public health advice.

Junior Cycle final examinations due to take place in June will be replaced by school-based exams and assessments held early in the new school year.

A series of other decisions has also been taken –

  • As part of the wider public health measures, schools are closed until further notice.
  • Practical examinations for Leaving Certificate students which were due to have been held in May are deferred. They will be rescheduled for late July/early August.
  • The new Leaving Certificate exam timetable will be confirmed in early June.

Minister McHugh said: “All decisions we are taking in relation to rescheduling exams are based on current public health advice and put the best interests of students first. The welfare of students and that of their families is front and centre in all decision making.

“The final arrangements for the exams, the exam centres, social distancing and other measures will all be determined by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) on foot of public health advice in June. I want to thank the SEC for its efforts to put in place these revised arrangements.

“Students and their families have been seeking clarity. Today’s announcement addresses that. It also provides them with several weeks of advance notice to prepare for the examinations. I hope it helps to alleviate some stress being experienced by students and their families at this time.

“Asking Leaving Certificate students and their families to refocus their attention from June to August is not something we do lightly. I know it will not be easy. However, I believe it is the fairest way of assessing students and giving them certification of achievement in school and a pathway to higher and further education and training, apprenticeship or work.”

Minister McHugh also said: “Students with special educational needs will be fully supported in sitting the rescheduled Leaving Certificate examinations in line with the reasonable accommodations as already arranged for them.”

Minister McHugh said the intention was to allow at least two weeks of class time, in school, before the Leaving Certificate examinations begin.

“Great work is being done by schools and teachers to connect with students and to keep them learning. We must give teachers, principals and school staff huge credit for their commitment to supporting students, in their schoolwork and in their wellbeing. And we want to provide students and teachers with an opportunity to build on that,” the Minister said.

As part of the changes to the Junior Cycle, discussions will take place with teacher unions and school management to allow these examinations, linked Classroom-Based Assessments, Assessment Tasks and project work to be completed as school-based assessments early in the next school year.

Minister McHugh acknowledged the positive engagement he has had with unions, management bodies, the further education and training and higher education sectors on all of these issues.

“I am grateful for the co-operation shown by all concerned, in what is a very challenging situation for our young people, their families and teachers. I am confident we can continue to work together in a supportive spirit to help secure the best outcomes for students,” the Minister said.

Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “The third level institutions look forward to welcoming this year’s Leaving Certificate students who have applied to enter their courses. I appreciate the particular challenges these students have had to face and I welcome the flexible approach indicated by the sector to enabling these students to take up a place in the year ahead.”

The admissions process for higher education, managed by the Central Applications Office (CAO), will operate as closely as possible to the usual timeframe for offers and the entry date for first year students will be delayed.

The Department has asked the Higher Education Authority and the higher education sector to explore ways of assisting access to higher education for students from under-represented groups.

Ends

Notes for Editors

School closures

  • Schools were closed on public health grounds at 6pm 12 March and remain closed until further notice.
  • Students have lost 15 classroom instruction days to date, since the closure of schools.

Leaving Certificate statistics

  • More than 61,000 students are expected to sit the Leaving Certificate or Leaving Certificate Applied in 2020.
  • This includes 44,396 students sitting the established Leaving Certificate and 13,668 for the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and 2,999 sitting the Leaving Certificate Applied.

Orals and Practicals

  • Leaving Certificate oral language and some Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle practical performance examinations had been scheduled to take place between 23 March and 3 April.
  • These were cancelled and candidates awarded 100% for these components.
  • Today’s announcement does not change that position.

Practical projects and Course Work

  • A range of subjects involve these elements – Computer Science, PE Performance, Technology, Art, Agricultural Science, Agricultural Economics, History, Geography, RE, Politics and Society, Music Composition, Construction Studies and Home Economics (Textiles).
  • The deadline for submission of work will now be immediately prior to the commencement of the written examinations in the late July/August period.

Practical examinations

  • A number of practical examinations, supervised by school appointed superintendents and scheduled for 27 April to 8 May in Engineering, Art Life Sketching and Construction Studies and a practical and written examination in Computer Science scheduled for 27 May will now take place in the late July/August period.

Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) and LCVP Link Modules

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life.

LCVP is a Leaving Certificate programme with a Strong Vocational focus. It may be taken alongside other subjects.

  • LCA Personal Reflection Task, scheduled for completion by 1 May, will now be completed by the commencement of the written examinations in the late July/August period.

The following will be rescheduled for the late July/August period.

  • LCA Oral Examinations
  • LCA practical performance tests in Hotel Catering & Tourism; Office Administration and Customer Care; Active Leisure Studies; Hair & Beauty; and Agriculture/Horticulture
  • LCA ICT practical performance and written examination.
  • LCVP Link modules written examination.

School Closure Update

In line with the new instruction received from Government yesterday the school will now remain closed until April 19th.

Also inline with yesterdays ‘work from home where possible’ instruction from the Government, the school office and buildings will now also remain closed until 19th April. Phone calls to the school will not be answered. Should you wish to contact the school, you will need to email the school at the following address:

hazelc@hazelc.ie

Free Revision for JC&LC

Edco are offering their ReviseWise revision books free during the Covid19 closures. If you followed the steps from our post on Friday the books are already included. If you already had your own Edco account here are the steps to add them to your existing account.

Busy Week – Covid19

It has been an unusual week in so many ways, the closing of the schools took most of us by surprise, maybe not that the schools closed but how quickly it happened.

The staff have been busy at home creating online classes, training up in new technologies and getting used to a whole new way of thinking.

Here are some of the stats from the week from the IT side, it shows how quickly students and teachers have been adapting.

This graph shows the volume of work being created by the students and returning of that work to the teachers.

Some teachers have begun trialing webinars with some of their classes. Over 100 webinars have taken place / been attempted in the last week. Some more successful than others due to the rural location and broadband accessibility.

Not all teachers are using Google Classroom. Some feel more comfortable with email. All students should be regularly accessing their school email here or by clicking the email and docs cloud on the front page of this website. Also when a teacher sets up a Classroom the invite is sent to the students email. Students should check their emails to make sure they are not missing out on any classes. An important email on how to use Google Classroom and see a particular type of teacher feedback that some are using has been sent to all students.

Google Classroom can be accesssed here https://classroom.google.com or via the free app available on the Android and iOS app stores.

Free eBooks

Many companies are offering their premium software for free during the Covid19 period. Here are two which may be of help.

Both Folens and Edco are offering both their Primary and Seconday schools free online. Details as follows:

Folens

Register as a teacher & use the special code below for Roll Number

Primary school resources: Prim20
Secondary school resources: Sec20

https://www.folensonline.ie/registration/?r=t

Edco

Displaying free ebooks.jpg

Leaving / Junior Certificate Update

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Thursday 19 March 2020) announced the cancellation of oral and practical performance tests of the state examinations which were originally scheduled to take place from Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April 2020. 

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Thursday 19 March 2020) announced the cancellation of oral and practical performance tests of the state examinations which were originally scheduled to take place from Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April 2020. 

All students who were due to take these tests will be awarded full marks for this portion of the exam. 

The decision was taken in light of the closure of schools as a result of the Covid-19 virus and it will be implemented by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). 

Minister McHugh said: “This is a difficult time for all. Students are facing a challenging period out of school and our decision on this element of the exams is being taken with their best interests at heart. 

“It is the fairest response we could take in the circumstances. It guarantees that no student will score less than they would have if schools had been operating as normal. 

“We have seen a new emphasis on remote learning amid the uncertainty about the impact of Covid-19 and the closure of all schools. I hope this decision will ease some of the pressure that students are feeling and allow them to focus more clearly on completing project work and preparing for written exams.” 

The change to the 2020 state examinations means all students who were due to take oral and practical performance tests in the following subjects will be given full marks for this part of the examination: 

  • Oral tests in Leaving Certificate Irish and the Modern Languages of French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese.
  • Practical performance tests in Leaving Certificate Music.
  • Practical performance tests in Junior Certificate Music and Home Economics. 

Minister McHugh also confirmed changes to deadlines for students to complete project work and coursework in a number of subjects. 

Students were originally scheduled to complete these elements of the state examinations on a number of dates from Friday 20 March to Friday 24 April 2020, depending on the subject. 

Students will now be given until Friday 15 May 2020 to complete this work. 

Minister McHugh said: “We know we are asking a lot of people in order to stem the spread of Covid-19. In response to that I want students and their parents or guardians and teachers to be given flexibility as they work towards the exams. 

“All of Government is hugely grateful for the effort, commitment and energy that students and teachers are putting in to continue education in difficult circumstances. I urge you all to keep up the momentum and focus on preparing for the exams.” 

Minister McHugh also said the Department will continue to work with the State Examinations Commission to monitor the Covid-19 situation in terms of its potential impact on the other later scheduled components of the state examinations. 

“We will continue to respond at the right time and in the right way, with the impact on our students at the forefront of our minds,” Minister McHugh said. 

The Minister also advised of steps taken by the Department to minimise the impact on teaching and learning of the current school closures. All schools have been asked to continue to plan lessons and, where possible, provide online resources for students or online lessons where schools are equipped to do so. Schools have also been asked to be conscious of students that may not have access to online facilities and to consider this actively in their responses. School buildings are available to staff if they wish to access the facilities in order to provide online delivery, or essential services once this is in line with Health Service Executive (HSE) advice.  

The Department of Education and Skills will continue to provide supports to the education sector at this time, particularly schools with students taking State examinations. 

The Department of Education and Skills has been liaising closely on a continual basis with the Department of Health in relation to Coronavirus/Covid-19 since early January. This will continue. 

Ends 

Notes for Editors  

Orals & Practical Performance tests (originally scheduled from Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April) are cancelled. These tests are in the following subjects: 

  • Leaving Certificate Irish and the Modern Languages of French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese
  • Leaving Certificate Music
  • Junior Cycle Music and Home Economics

Students who were due to sit the orals or practical performance tests in the affected subjects will take their final written examinations in these subjects at the level they have indicated when confirming their subject choices to the State Examinations Commission earlier this year. 

Project and Course Work completion deadlines are extended to Friday 15 May for the following subjects: 

  • Leaving Certificate Computer Science, Physical Education, Technology, Art, Agricultural Science, Agricultural Economics, History, Geography, Religious Education, Politics and Society, Music, Constructions Studies and Home Economics;
  • Junior Cycle Metalwork, Materials Technology Wood, Technology and Religious Education;
  • Junior Cycle Assessment Tasks in English, Irish, Modern languages, Science and Business Studies. 

Second phase of practical examinations remain as originally scheduled from Monday 27 April to Friday 8 May, as well as the final written examination in the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scheduled for Wednesday 6 May, a range of oral and practical tests in the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) programme, along with the first examination in Leaving Certificate Computer Science on Wednesday 27 May, and the final written examinations commencing on 3 June. 

Weighting of the marks for the oral and practical tests in the subjects included in today’s announcement, as a percentage of the total examination marks for those subjects, is as follows:

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Thursday 19 March 2020) announced the cancellation of oral and practical performance tests of the state examinations which were originally scheduled to take place from Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April 2020. 

All students who were due to take these tests will be awarded full marks for this portion of the exam. 

The decision was taken in light of the closure of schools as a result of the Covid-19 virus and it will be implemented by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). 

Minister McHugh said: “This is a difficult time for all. Students are facing a challenging period out of school and our decision on this element of the exams is being taken with their best interests at heart. 

“It is the fairest response we could take in the circumstances. It guarantees that no student will score less than they would have if schools had been operating as normal. 

“We have seen a new emphasis on remote learning amid the uncertainty about the impact of Covid-19 and the closure of all schools. I hope this decision will ease some of the pressure that students are feeling and allow them to focus more clearly on completing project work and preparing for written exams.” 

The change to the 2020 state examinations means all students who were due to take oral and practical performance tests in the following subjects will be given full marks for this part of the examination: 

  • Oral tests in Leaving Certificate Irish and the Modern Languages of French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese.
  • Practical performance tests in Leaving Certificate Music.
  • Practical performance tests in Junior Certificate Music and Home Economics. 

Minister McHugh also confirmed changes to deadlines for students to complete project work and coursework in a number of subjects. 

Students were originally scheduled to complete these elements of the state examinations on a number of dates from Friday 20 March to Friday 24 April 2020, depending on the subject. 

Students will now be given until Friday 15 May 2020 to complete this work. 

Minister McHugh said: “We know we are asking a lot of people in order to stem the spread of Covid-19. In response to that I want students and their parents or guardians and teachers to be given flexibility as they work towards the exams. 

“All of Government is hugely grateful for the effort, commitment and energy that students and teachers are putting in to continue education in difficult circumstances. I urge you all to keep up the momentum and focus on preparing for the exams.” 

Minister McHugh also said the Department will continue to work with the State Examinations Commission to monitor the Covid-19 situation in terms of its potential impact on the other later scheduled components of the state examinations. 

“We will continue to respond at the right time and in the right way, with the impact on our students at the forefront of our minds,” Minister McHugh said. 

The Minister also advised of steps taken by the Department to minimise the impact on teaching and learning of the current school closures. All schools have been asked to continue to plan lessons and, where possible, provide online resources for students or online lessons where schools are equipped to do so. Schools have also been asked to be conscious of students that may not have access to online facilities and to consider this actively in their responses. School buildings are available to staff if they wish to access the facilities in order to provide online delivery, or essential services once this is in line with Health Service Executive (HSE) advice.  

The Department of Education and Skills will continue to provide supports to the education sector at this time, particularly schools with students taking State examinations. 

The Department of Education and Skills has been liaising closely on a continual basis with the Department of Health in relation to Coronavirus/Covid-19 since early January. This will continue. 

Ends 

Letter to Parents – Covid19

Dear Guardian/Parent

I hope you are doing well during these unprecedented times. Further to the Government’s decision to close schools to support efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, I am writing to advise you of school continuity measures taken to date by your school

• Wednesday 11-03-2020

We advised all students to empty all of their personal belongings from the school.

• Thursday 12-03-2020

Students were given codes for google classroom. Teachers issued revision guidelines to support students’ continued engagement with the curriculum during the closure. The school closed following a directive issued by the Department of Education and Skills (DoES).

• Monday 29-03-2020:

Provisional return date to school. In the interim, the school will continue with actions to prepare for our return to the campus. The following guidance is to support students as they prepare for their summer/state examinations.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) will circulate guidance on contingency arrangements if they are required. The school will communicate any such arrangements through normal channels such as SMS, student emails, VSware, and social media. 

If the practicals and orals are postponed for our students, it is essential to note they will be delayed for all students across the country.

Please check for accurate updates on the SEC website. In the interim, Leaving Cert students must prepare for the orals/practicals as if they are going to proceed as planned.

Examination Years: :

Our teachers will endeavour to support you as a matter of priority through blended learning (online support & work assigned to you before closure). Generally speaking, online classes will be created via whatever platform you are currently using on existing class structures within the school.

Your current school timetable provides you with an excellent structure to organise your day.

If parents could encourage their daughter(s)/son(s) to submit assigned work, we would be most grateful.

Please urge them to do so within agreed timeframes. 

Other online supports available:

www.khanacademy.org

https://irevise.com/ie (Additional notes and tutorials)

www.studyclix.ie (Exam builders)

www.examinations.ie (Past exam papers and marking schemes)

www.careersportal.ie

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

www.education.ie – (Education related news)   

Non-Examination Years:

Over time as teachers build their capacity for online engagement, they will issue guidance to students in non-exam years to support their ongoing engagement with the curriculum in due course. Parents are encouraged to get their son(s) or daughter(s) to organise and create a bank of flashcards, mind maps and other suitable study aids.

• Wellbeing: We would encourage you to stay in contact with your friends. Peer learning is one of the most effective methods to support curriculum engagement. Use technology sensibly to connect and learn together. Breaks, exercise and healthy diets are crucial to staying healthy.

This is an unprecedented situation, and the school community is conscious that in these difficult times, we will come together to find solutions.

We always work in the best interest of our students.

It is an unusual time for us all, and we need to work together to delay and limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

We encourage parents to emphasise the importance of social distancing to all in their care, so we as a nation can protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

I also want to acknowledge that many of our students might find the uncertainty of the forthcoming weeks quite unsettling. I want to take this opportunity to reassure parents and students alike that the SEC and DES have always made decisions which are student-centred and mindful of the immediate environment. 

We have no control over what decisions the state agencies make; we do, however, have control over what actions we can take. So please remain focused on your study schedules and your preparations for the state examinations. 

Finally, I would like to thank our staff for their assistance and proactive actions to support your daughter(s) and son(s). The staff and your daughter(s)/son(s) are a credit to our school community.

If you wish to contact me, I am available at 063 83121.

We will make every effort to respond to your query promptly and support you in any way we can.

Yours sincerely,

Brendan Burke, Principal

Covid-19 Update

The Government has announced that Ireland’s schools, colleges and childcare facilities are to close in response to the threat Covid-19.

From 6pm today, there will be no further school related activities, including work experience, until the 29th of March.

In the meantime, we have done our very best in recent days to prepare students for an announcement such as this. Classes have been allocated work, project work, study plans and many classes have now joined up Google Classroom which will allow them to interact with their teachers and submit work for correction where required.

This certainly is a time of uncertainty for our exam students in particular, but hopefully these strategies will allow their learning and preparation to continue over the coming weeks..

Any further information will be passed on to you as soon as we receive it.

All Ireland Champions

Congratulations to our U16 Ladies Basketball Team who beat Castletroy College in the All Ireland Final

Here is a match report as reported in the Limerick Leader recently

Also in the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Hazelwood College, Dromcollogher had too much for Castletroy College in the final of the U16 B Girls League final.

Hazelwood College, Dromcollogher 52
Castletroy College, Limerick 38

In this all Limerick affair, both teams got off to a fast start. Kiera Shyne opened the scoring for Castletroy before Saoirse McCarthy hit two free throws to get Hazelwood off the mark. Sorcha Cronin had five points with Shyne getting another elbow jumper to bring Castletroy to eleven points for the quarter.

Hannah Cremin made her free throws when on the line before the Fahy sisters, Keelan and Niamh contributed as well to give Hazelwood a one-point lead 11-12 going into the second.

Castletroy started the brighter with Emma O’Sullivan finding her range on the way to 6 points in this quarter. Shyne was a threat the whole time in transition with Azeezat Muniru getting on the scoreboard. Limiting the second attempts held Hazelwood to just eight points with Cremin, McCarthy and Niamh Fahy the scorers. Castletroy lead 23-20 at the half.

The third quarter saw Hazelwood flip the script, Niamh Fahy had seven points with Cremin and Meabh Magner scoring in the lane as well to erase the deficit and push Hazelwood in front. O’Sullivan and Cronin kept the scoreboard ticking but the writing was on the wall for Castletroy.

It was 33-37 going into the last quarter. Hazelwood came out as they finished the third, Cremin was unstoppable on her way to a game high of twenty-one points and Castletroy had no answer to her. Shyne and Nofeesat Muniru did find they basket but it was not enough to stop Hazelwood College taking the win 38-52.

Hazelwood College Hannah Cremin 21, Laura Sexton, Maebh Magner 4, Katie Burke 2, Saorise McCarthy 10, Keelan Fahy 6, Katie Coughlan, Grace Noonan, Orla Bennis, Sarah Kate O’Connor, Niamh Fahy 11, Keelin O’Brien.

Castletroy College Kiera Shyne 11, Emma, O’Sullivan 11, Sorcha Cronin 8, Gandy Malou Mamel 1, Nofeesat Muniru 5, Azeezat Muniru 2, Tawaklit Musa, Julia Cuneen.

MVP: Hannah Cremin, Hazelwood College.