BUNSCOIL BÉAL AN ÁTHA
BALLINA PRIMARY SCHOOL
Ballina, Killaloe, Co. Clare. (061)376340
11th May 2020
Dear Parents and Pupils,
We are going to begin a new project for anyone who is interested, which is to learn some Lámh sign language and Irish Sign Language. Lámh is a simplified version of Irish Sign Language and is derived from Irish Sign Language.
Irish Sign Language is now recognised as an official language in Ireland and is more complex than Lámh. I will be speaking in English and the signs will be matched to the English words.
Learning sign language will allow us as a whole school community to be able to include all children in reaching their potential with regards to communicating.
This is open to anyone who would like to get involved: pupils, parents, grandparents, guardians, siblings, and the whole school staff. Hopefully when everyone returns to school you will have a bank of signs that will allow you to help the children most in need. It will also help develop friendships further and give you an extra skill of communicating with people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have additional needs in the wider world.
Stay tuned for our first little sign language video. They can be found on the Ballina Primary School website at www.ballinaprimaryschool.com under the tab named “Lámh Lessons”. These videos were created initially for the staff and pupils of Le Chéile NS, Limerick and so may make reference to teachers from that school from time to time but the lessons are applicable to all schools.
Please start on Week 1, Lesson 1 and continue on from there each day.
Included under the tab “Lámh Lessons” is some background on Lámh sign language, some links and websites to get your interest going and guide you along the way too.
In the meantime, mind yourselves, cherish those whom you love and stay safe.
Niamh O’ Sullivan Costa Pinto (Aidan Costa Pinto’s mother)
Dear Parents and Pupils of Rang 4, 5 and 6,
On Tuesday morning we will begin to use Microsoft Teams to improve the provision of distance learning in the senior end of Ballina Primary School. The teachers completed online training over the last fortnight on Microsoft Teams and have been supported in this set-up and training by IT Systems, Killaloe.
Thank you for your continued support and feedback.
Príomhoide Bernice, Múinteoir Deirdre, Múinteoir Michael, Múinteoir David, Múinteoir Claire, Múinteoir Ciara O’ S and Múinteoir Cathal.
For further help and guidance to Teams setup please use the links below:
29th April 2020
I hope this letter finds you all well and safe. Thank you to everyone who responded to the recent Distance Learning Survey. The results and feedback have been shared with all the teachers. We found the feedback extremely valuable to inform future planning of how best to support our pupils during this unprecedented school closure while being cognisant of the needs and demands on families as many parents continue to work from home. We were glad that the vast majority of parents were happy with the amount of work given each week. We recognise that parents continue to want a balance between online and pencil-and-paper work. We know that there remain issues with connectivity, access to online resources, collection of books, and other issues raised and we will continue to try to devise the best strategy in planning going forward that suits the majority of pupils and their families. We would love to allow for collection of books; however, we have been advised by the Patron’s Office that this is not permitted at this time. Should circumstances change, we will review this.
I have met with all the teachers this week online. The following changes were agreed and will be implemented from this May bank holiday weekend.
In the next few days, you will receive a text message containing your registration link. There will be one link per parent which will allow the parent to access information for all their children in the school from one user account. Please do not forward this text or share this link as this is a unique registration code for each parent for your child/children in this school. During registration you will choose a password that will be used in conjunction with your email address to securely access the Aladdin Connect going forward. Once you are registered you will be sent an email with links to download the Aladdin Connect App for your mobile device. The main advantage of using the App is to receive immediate alerts for app messages sent by your school. Downloading the App is highly recommended to enhance both the parent and school's Connect experience.
Aladdin Connect is a fantastic way to enhance a school's communication with parents. It enables parents to stay connected and informed about their child's education by:
Finally, do not forget that our Active Schools Committee has asked us all to take part in the “Active at Home Week” this week to help us achieve our Active School Flag. There are plenty of ideas and activities under the Active School section of our school website and clips of some teachers taking on the challenge to become more active. You can use the link http://www.ballinaprimaryschool.com/active-school-week-2019-2020 to view them. If any parents wish to send pictures, video clips or emails of our active pupils please send them to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We congratulate all the pupils for their efforts to complete their work at home during this closure. We sincerely thank the parents for encouraging the children to continue some study at home at this time. Having spoken to many parents over the last fortnight, we understand great learning is taking place other than the academic work set out. Families are enjoying quality time together and undertaking many different activities such as learning to cycle, enjoying some story books, learning new sports skills, baking, cooking, and gardening. We have enjoyed hearing about these new skills and look forward to more news from you all in the coming weeks. The well-being of school community is of paramount concern and importance to us all at this time.
Attached please find a letter received on Friday evening last (24th April 2020) from Archbishop Kieran O' Reilly regarding preparation for Communion and Confirmation . Fr. Tom Lanigan- Ryan has asked me to share it with you all.
The staff of Ballina Primary School were very disappointed that the Confirmation had to be postponed on Friday. However, please be assured that the hymns, prayers, and mass booklet had all been finalised in conjunction with the staff of Boher National School before this unexpected school closure. We will be ready to assist the families and the parish to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation when a new date has been rescheduled.
The same is true of the First Holy Communion and we look forward to celebrating this special day in the parish also.
Letter from Archbishop Kieran O' Reilly
Our school were hoping to receive the Active School Flag this year, but this has been put on hold. However, we can still participate by doing the National ‘Active At Home Week’ organised by the Active Flag Committee. The idea is that everyone is challenged to find at least 4 different ways of being active everyday making sure that this adds up to 60minutes or more. Ideas for being active: Garden obstacle course, balloon volleyball, penalty shoot out, running races, egg and spoon races, family 3 legged races, wheelbarrow races, 10 minutes Go noodle/Just Dance for kids, any dancing you like, marching, hopping, skipping, etc.
Here is an information sheet for parents 2._info._document_for_parents__schools_working_towards_asf_.pdf
and a page with other ideas for being active 3._ideas_word_cloud.pdf
In order to submit this Active at Home week into our Active School Flag application, we need to provide proof of completing activities, so please fill out this Challenge card 5._challenge_chart__schools_working_towards_asf__fillable_pdf.pdf (can be filled in directly into the document) and send completed chart along with pictures/videos via email to firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the following link for information on an interesting art competition for primary school children in county Clare. It may help pass a few hours!!
Clare Kids Art Competition.
The Department of Education and Skills have confirmed that, following advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team, all schools will remain closed until the 19th of April 2020.
It is a time of great uncertainty and worry for us all. It is important to keep some structure and routine to our days, for everyone’s benefit. Therefore, we hope that the work we have sent home for pupils thus far has been of help in this regard. As this exceptional closure continues, the teachers have created more plans for each class to work on at home. These are in line with their monthly short term class plans. Please try to complete the prescribed activities over the course of the week for which the work is allocated. Plans have been uploaded to the school website www.ballinaprimaryschool.com for pupils from Senior Infants to Rang 6 under the “Class News” section for the respective class group. There is a recommended scheme of work for each class level. However, it is important to remember that each pupil has differing abilities/needs and therefore only complete as much as is reasonable and practical for your son or daughter. Next week’s plans cover work from Monday March 30th to April 3rd. There is then a two week break from school work for the Easter Holidays. Should the school remain closed after April 19th, more plans will be made available on the website. Some have been uploaded already to cover the two-week period April 20th to May 1st. Junior Infants work has been e-mailed directly to parents.
Please see below an email address for each class teacher should you need to contact them in relation to the work outlined in the plans for the weeks ahead. Also see some further ideas and links with tips for home learning.
On behalf of all the staff of Ballina Primary School, I would like to wish you well over the coming weeks. Our priority is to keep our pupils and extended families safe and healthy. We especially think of family members, friends, and colleagues who are particularly vulnerable and we will continue to do all that we can to protect them. We have many parents who work in the health service and other front line services. We thank them and wish them well over the coming weeks.
To the fantastic four hundred and twenty three pupils who are the most important members of our school community I would like to say well done for keeping up with your studies at home over the last two weeks. I know that you will continue to work as hard in the coming weeks. All the staff miss teaching you at this time and we look forward to having you all back in Ballina Primary School as soon as we can! Be kind and helpful to the adults at home and make sure that you do at least one job to help them around the house every day.
I would like to thank our own staff as they continue to deal very professionally with this unprecedented closure. Thanks also to Múinteoir Adrian who has kindly set up a school Twitter page. If you use Twitter, our handle is @BallinaPrimary. We will be adding to it in the weeks ahead with useful links, websites and activities that may be of value to our school community. We support each other in this uncertain time.
Tips and Tricks – Home Learning https://www.into.ie/2020/03/18/tips-and-tricks-home-learning/
Online Resources for Children with Special Educational Needs: https://ncse.ie/online-resources
Múinteoir Áine McLoughney: email@example.com
Múinteoir Ciara Slattery: CSlattery@ballinaprimaryschool.com
Múinteoir Michelle Nicholas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Múinteoir Michelle O’ Gorman: email@example.com
Múinteoir Patricia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Múinteoir Laura: email@example.com
Múinteoir Mary Clare: firstname.lastname@example.org
Múinteoir Yvonne: email@example.com
Múinteoir Michelle Ryan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Múinteoir Máiréad: email@example.com
Múinteoir Eoin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Múinteoir Ciara O’ Sullivan and Múinteoir Cathal (as Múinteoir Fiona begins maternity leave)
Múinteoir David: email@example.com
Múinteoir Claire: firstname.lastname@example.org
Múinteoir Deirdre: email@example.com
Múinteoir Michael: firstname.lastname@example.org
Múinteoir Róisín’s Class: email@example.com
Múinteoir Mark’s Class: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope this message finds you healthy and well, and that your families are keeping safe during what is
a difficult and surreal time for everyone.
I hope that all pupils are following the programme of work as laid out by teachers. This was sent
home with pupils in hard copy on Thursday last. Please try to complete the prescribed activities over
the course of the fortnight for which the work is allocated. It is important to realise that children
cannot be expected to do the same volume of work at home as they would do in school. Technology
is a very welcome and useful resource at this time. However, we must bear in mind that not every
family has sufficient access, particularly when there are a number of school-going pupils in a
household and/or parents also using technology to work from home. We understand that this is a
very stressful time for many and we do not wish to burden you with copious amounts of work.
The school awaits notification of an extension to our current closure from the Department of
Education. This looks very likely at this time. Staff are working together to put a system in place
should this arise, although social distancing restrictions make this more challenging so please bear
with us. In an effort to be proactive, we are putting in place contingency plans, should the current
school closure period be extended. If this were to happen, class teachers will be posting lists of work
and activities via the school website for pupils from Monday March 30th to Friday May 1st. We
await advice from the Minister for Education in respect of this, and I will be in touch with you if and
when there are any developments.
While the current situation is far from ideal, it also presents many opportunities for children to learn
in an engaging way, in their home and local environment. We look forward to a return to normality
and will continue to support and facilitate learning as best we can in the intervening period.