Letter from the Principal to 5th Year Parents

27-January-21
Letter from the Principal to 5th Year Parents

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It is now clear from the statement of the Taoiseach last evening that we will not be returning to in-class teaching on Monday next and our date of return will be determined by the numbers with the virus in society. We can only but hope that the transmission rates continue to decrease and that we will gather again as a school community in the coming weeks. In the interim, we will continue with our programme of remote teaching and learning.

I wish to commend the Fifth Years on their engagement with online classes and their work ethic at what is a very challenging time. We are continuing our efforts to keep the girls connected with each other and with the school community. Our morning prayer is podcast and the Dalkey Digest is published daily. Ms Coyne is circulating weekly videos with online competitions and the Fittest Friend Group challenge has taken off. No virtual experience is a substitute, however, for physical presence and there are many students who are finding the current lockdown difficult. To help parents support their daughters at this time, The National Educational Psychological Service has developed resources in the area of positive mental health which I attach for your information. These are:

I wish to remind you that the student support structures within the school are operating as usual and I would encourage any parent concerned about their daughter to contact any of the following and support can be arranged:

Principal: robert.dunne@loretoabbeydalkey.ie

Deputy Principal: marie.breen@loretoabbeydalkey.ie

Year Head: bernard.oboyle@loretoabbeydalkey.ie

Chaplain: mary.delahunty@loretoabbeydalkey.ie

Guidance Counsellor: guidance@loretoabbeydalkey.ie


Following evaluations with focus groups of students, we are generally happy with the system in place. We are aware, however, from communication with parents and students of some difficulties and are working to address them. There are many positives to following a virtual school timetable but there are also negatives, one of which is the intensity of the experience. Students are coping with a significant amount of screen time during the day and then can spend more time completing homework. It is not easy to find time to exercise in daylight given the early evenings. In an effort to address some of the difficulties:

  • We are reminding staff that classes should be of 30 minutes duration which allows for a turnaround time for the next session. As much work should be completed within that time as possible and as little homework given as is practical to allow progress in a subject. We are encouraging the girls to contact their teachers directly if they are finding the amount of homework to be excessive and to try and ensure a balance between work/leisure at this time.
  • We are having a zoom free afternoon on Thursday next from 12.30. This free time is there to be enjoyed and may relieve some of the pressure on students.
  • We have cancelled our February examinations. While we have a facility to complete them online, we consider the stress caused by taking assessments would be disproportionate to the benefits of them at this time. A Spring report will be issued to parents in February and Summer examinations will take place in May.

We look forward to our return to school in the coming weeks and I assure you of our continued support for your daughter at this time.

Below is the link to a beautiful reflection entitled "You do not walk alone" by Elaine Hagenberg which you might enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNCj2KW-JFk

With kind regards,

Robert Dunne,

Principal.

Mar 15
2021
5th Years Return
Mar 17
2021
St Patrick's Day - School closed
Mar 26
2021
Easter Holidays 29 March - 9 April
Apr 12
2021
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