Update to Parents July 2020

10th July 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

I hope this short message finds you well and you are enjoying the odd glimmer of good weather we are experiencing. Understanding you may be anxious to hear how we will return to school I am in the position to relay some initial information to you. When Governors have had the opportunity to discuss and approve the finer detail of the return to school plan then I will also release that to you.

1. In September, we are planning that all children will attend school all week as normal. We have the luxury of large, spacious classrooms which allow us to ensure the children can be socially distant. School staff and I have also worked tirelessly to ensure numerous, well thought out safety measures will be in place for the children’s return. A video demonstration of our safety measures will be posted prior to the school reopening.

2. Staggered start and finish times will be in operation for the children’s and your safe movement around the beginning and end of the school day. Further detail to follow.

3. Proposed return to school dates (Dependent on Department of Health advice):
P7 children will return to school on Monday 24th August
P2 – P6 children will return to school on Thursday 27th August
P1 children have their own intake arrangements, and have been advised separately

Hopefully all reports have been received, summer packs are accessible and Accelerated Reading is available to our older children as previously.

Should you have any queries, please email the school office info@stmacnissisps.com

Thank you for your continued support. Please say hello to the boys and girls from all of us in school.

Yours sincerely

Mr J McComb
Acting Principal

RISE NI Resources

RISE NI (the Regional Integrated Support for Education NI), provide support to all mainstream primary schools in the Northern Health & Social Care
Trust (NHSCT) area to support staff and children in years 1 – 4.

They have produced an information leaflet detailing a range of basic activities suitable for children from P1 to P4 – some even the whole family can enjoy. These are activities that require very few resources, but that will support your child’s ongoing development in many different ways.

Have a look through, and see which ones would be of interest to you or
your child.

Click here to download RISE NI Resource for parents

Social Media Stories

The ‘story’ feature on social media platforms provides an outlet for children and young people to ‘tell their stories’ and update friends about their lives, by posting pictures and videos on their profiles, just like a digital diary. In this way social media has greatly enhanced the visual and symbolic representations of young lives.

Follow the link to a short guide, which will introduce you to the world of social media stories. The purpose of this guide is to give parents, carers and safeguarding professionals the tools and knowledge to ensure that children in their care use social media stories in a safe way.

Your Guide to Social Media Stories


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council: Virtual Summer Scheme

☀️ MID AND EAST ANTRIM BOROUGH COUNCIL VIRTUAL SUMMER SCHEME ☀️

From #aerobics to #art, #basketball to #baking, get ready, get set, for a summer jam packed with #activity inspiration for all ages.

Week 1 kicks off Monday 6 – Friday 10 July.
‘Take 5’ and tune in on Facebook at 9am, 12noon and 3pm each day for activities designed to help us to:

✨Connect
✨Be Active
✨Give
✨Learn
✨Take Notice

Check out week 1 timetable of activities and get ready for a fun filled virtual experience delivered by experts straight to your home!

Visit the @MEABoroughCouncil Facebook page for more info.

Parental Engagement Survey

Thank you for continuing to motivate, support and encourage your child/children in their online learning journey. To help us improve for the future, we have created a short survey for parents/guardians. There are 6 sections to complete. We would love to hear your feedback so that in the future we can make your child/children’s learning journey even better.

Click here to access the survey https://forms.gle/WJ1ZqEGVboKyDpHc9

or scan this QR code using your phone’s camera

Thank you for your feedback.

Children Looked After

Now, more than ever in an uncertain world, Children Looked After (CLA) need to feel safe, need to feel secure and need to feel hope for the future.

By addressing their worries, their anxieties at this time, but also their hopes for their future we can nurture and navigate them through this difficult time.

The CLA team are here to support you.

Action for Children, Family Support Hub

The Action for Children, Family Support Hub (based in Larne office) are a group of organisations including community, voluntary and statutory who deliver services to children and young people, and their families.

Types of support offered include

  • Family Support
  • Emotional health and Wellbeing
  • Behavioural Support
  • Educational Support
  • Mentoring
  • Plus many other types of support

They welcome any referrals directly from parents themselves or through the school.

Please see attached information leaflet for more information.

Healthy Me

‘Healthy me’ Zoom sessions for parents and carers 💻

These online classes include:

👉 Identifying issues you are facing during lockdown

👉 Raise awareness of mental health

👉 Highlight self-care techniques for building resilience and confidence

👉 Show how and where to access support

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Click here to register: https://crowd.in/BgUWtH

Super School Starters

Super School Starters

The South Armagh Therapy Clinic are offering online parent training for children progressing from Preschool to Primary One.

Practical, speech and language based strategies to help your child cope with the demands of the classroom and ready them for their first steps into literacy, delivered by an experienced Speech and Language therapist via Zoom.

For more information, please contact:

𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 @𝗌𝗈𝗎𝗍𝗁𝖺𝗋𝗆𝖺𝗀𝗁𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗋𝖺𝗉𝗒𝖼𝗅𝗂𝗇𝗂𝖼
𝗙𝗮𝗰𝗲𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝖲𝗈𝗎𝗍𝗁 𝖠𝗋𝗆𝖺𝗀𝗁 𝖳𝗁𝖾𝗋𝖺𝗉𝗒 𝖢𝗅𝗂𝗇𝗂𝖼
𝗘𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗌𝖺𝗍𝗁𝖾𝗋𝖺𝗉𝗒𝖼𝗅𝗂𝗇𝗂𝖼@𝗈𝗎𝗍𝗅𝗈𝗈𝗄.𝖼𝗈𝗆
𝗣𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲/𝗧𝗲𝘅𝘁 07517 396452

Ni4kids Magazine

A digital version of the Ni4kids magazine is now available to view online.

May’s edition is packed full of fantastic craft ideas, recipes and relevant editorial pieces for mums and dads to use at home during this uncertain time.

Please click the link below to view this month’s edition

https://tinyurl.com/y9lh9xgo

Safer Schools App (for children)

A ‘Safer Schools’ digital safeguarding app is now available for children and young people.

Children and young people will be able to access advice on a range of digital issues, including safeguarding on social media platforms, bullying, sexting and emerging online trends.

Pupils receive different content depending on their year group.

The app was previously available to teachers, parents and carers.

Visit https://bit.ly/2T5iIZi for more information.

Primary 1 Admissions 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

You should, by now have received confirmation from the Education Authority regarding your child’s primary school placement for September 2020.

Thank you to those parents who have emailed us to confirm their place.  If you haven’t already done so, please email the school office at info@stmacnissisps.com to confirm your child’s place.

Due to present COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to confirm induction arrangements at this time.  We will write to you at a later date to confirm these and the arrangements for admission.

In the meantime, stay safe and keep well.

Mr J McComb
Acting Principal

Helplines NI

Helplines NI is a membership–led organisation consisting of over 30 different helplines operating across Northern Ireland. The helplines provide a variety of vital support services including, information, advice, counselling, a listening ear and be-friending, and offer immediate support to those with a wide-range of health and wellbeing needs.  Visit the website for more details and to access the contact information for any of the organisations listed.

>>> https://www.helplinesni.com/ 

EA High Five Newsletter

Information for parents!

EA’s High Five newsletter is packed with lots of suggestions linked to the five steps of wellbeing – Give, Be Active, Connect, Keep Learning, Take Notice and the Nine Magic Minutes.

Check out https://bit.ly/2KxOKsh

They’d love to hear your feedback, and if you want to share pictures of activities completed from the newsletter or make suggestions please email primarybsp.enquiries@eani.org.uk

How to NOT go to School

A primary teacher originally from Larne, but currently working across the water in Yorkshire has penned a story called “How to NOT go to School”.
Mike Forde wrote the story for his class to help them deal with school shutdown and now it’s been shared and read by thousands of families across the world (as well as featuring in the Larne Times!)
Mike has kindly offered free access to his book – read and download the book for free at www.parsleymimblewood.wordpress.com
A bit about the book…
Parsley Mimblewood is a home-schooled kid who sees herself as something of an expert on “How to NOT go to School”. The story follows her daily whimsical adventures along with her 11 animals and 7 imaginary friends. Each chapter explores an issue that might be weighing on children’s minds at the moment such as missing friends, dealing with emotions and learning at home.

Primary 1 Admissions

Could I ask that you please pass this information on to any families who are hoping their child/children will be starting our Primary One class in September 2020…

The Education Authority has made arrangements to prepare and issue notification of placement letters for P1 to parents for receipt on Wednesday 29 April 2020. The letter will outline the application outcome, provide information on the appeals process and link to the EA website for more information.

As it is possible that due to Covid-19 that some post may take longer to deliver than usual, the Citizen Portal will be opened on Wednesday 29 April and parents / guardians who had applied online can log in to view their child’s primary 1 placements. Guidance on how to log in and access placement offers will be accessible on the EA website.

Should you have any queries please email the school office at info@stmacnissisps.com

Mr J McComb, Acting Principal

EA “Eat Well Live Well” Programme

Today the Education Authority has launched the ‘Eat Well Live Well’ programme targeting young people aged 4-25 years who need access to a 5-day food box providing breakfast & lunch as part of a safety net to the provision of free school meals during Covid-19. Anyone aged 4-25 years can access a five day food box providing breakfast and lunch, Monday to Friday.

For more information and to register visit >>

https://www.youthonline.org.uk/eatwelllivewell/

BBC Bitesize

The BBC Bitesize website has introduced daily lessons.  There are daily lessons for homeschooling in Literacy and Numeracy for each year group (excluding P1) as well as regular World Around Us lessons.

These are short 20 minute lessons and should only be used to support (not replace) the work your child’s class teacher has set.

The lessons are organised into year groups, but be careful as it the English year group system e.g. for P4 select Year 3/P4.

To access the lessons, visit the BBC Bitesize website at https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons

 

NSPCC / Childline

The NSPCC have updated their website and have provided advice for parents and carers…whether you’re working from home with your kids for the first time or supporting children with anxiety due to coronavirus, they’ve got tips and advice for you.

Visit https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/coronavirus-advice-suppport-children-families-parents/

Childline also have advice for children and young people who may need support at this time, including 10 tips to cope during lockdown.  Visit  https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/anxiety-stress-panic/worries-about-the-world/coronavirus/

COVID-19 Community Helpline

The EA Child Protection Service have asked schools to share this information:

The Covid-19 Community Helpline went live on Friday 27 March and operates 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week initially, although this will be kept under review and the service can be increased if necessary.  The Helpline has been taking calls from members of the public who need advice and support relating to the COVID 19 emergency, initially linking people into local services.

Some of the services which can be accessed via the helpline include:

  • Delivery of food parcels to vulnerable people including those in the shielded group who have no other way to access food deliveries;
  • Information about retailers offering delivery in a local area;
  • Help from the voluntary and community sector to deliver prescription medication
  • Advice on claiming benefits. 

Advice NI have put in place a detailed directory of community and voluntary organisations at both a local and regional level covering everything from domestic abuse, to mental health to local sports groups willing to walk dogs for vulnerable people. 

Helpline staff will provide a warm handoff to the relevant service if they are unable to deal with a query themselves, and are aware of the need for a warm handoff to the Nexus service if a caller reports domestic abuse during the course of the conversation.

The helpline is for vulnerable people who have no other method of accessing support.  If a vulnerable person already has sufficient support in place, either from family and friends or from a voluntary organisation then they should continue to rely on that in the first instance.

On the question of whether representatives could call the helpline on someone’s behalf the answer is yes, as long as the person has given permission to the representative to share their details and act on their behalf.

The Helpline service also offers e-mail and text message response facility.

Telephone:         0808 802 0020                  

Email: covid19@adviceni.net                    

Text: ACTION to 81025

CYPSP E-Resource

The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) have produced an excellent e-resource with information on resources and activities for children and young people.

Included within the e-resource are:-

  • Resources and activities for children and young people with a disability including SEN and Autism resources
  • Resources and activities to support children and young people’s mental health
  • Other resources and activities for children and young people to complete at home

Click here to download: CYP Resource Pack – April 2020

EA Literacy Service – Guidance for parents

The Education Authority Literacy Service has produced a range of guidance for parents supporting a child with literacy difficulties at home:-

Guidance for parents supporting children with literacy difficulties at home: https://www.eani.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/Covid-19%20school%20closures%20-%20Guidance%20for%20parents%20supporting%20children%20with%20literacy%20difficulties%20at%20home.pdf

Ideas to support a pupil with reading difficulty at home: https://www.eani.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/Ideas%20for%20Parents%20to%20Support%20Reading.pdf

Ideas to support a pupil with a writing difficulty at home: https://www.eani.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/Ideas%20for%20Parents%20to%20Support%20Writing_0.pdf

Ideas to support a pupil with a spelling difficulty at home: https://www.eani.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/Ideas%20for%20Parents%20to%20Support%20Spelling.pdf

Using assistive technology to support a pupil with literacy difficulties: https://www.eani.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/Using%20assistive%20technology%20%28AT%29%20to%20support%20a%20learner%20with%20literacy%20difficulties.pdf

Accessibility features on electronic devices to support literacy difficulties: https://www.eani.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/Accessibility%20features%20on%20electronic%20devices%20to%20support%20literacy%20difficulties.pdf

Safer Schools App

The Education Minister has launched an app which provides useful advice about keeping your child safe online.

Simply download the app and then scan the QR code below to access the information.

Word Millionaire Congratulations

Congratulations to the latest pupils to join our word millionaire club…Jaz and Fern from Primary 7.  Well done girls!

Jaz and Fern join fellow Primary Seven classmate Conor , along with Katie and Amber from Primary Six in our word millionaire club.

I, along with all your teachers remain super impressed with all your efforts. Collectively, as a school, you have now read an amazing 11,317,686 words!!  Over 11 million words, what an achievement!

I cannot wait to see who joins our millionaire club next…it could be you!

Mr J McComb
Acting Principal

🌻 Tallest Sunflower Competition 🌻

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council are running a “Tallest Sunflower” competition.

The Competition is open to all young gardening enthusiasts aged 16 and under living within Mid And East Antrim borough boundary.

Essential stores supplying sunflower seeds, free of charge, include:

🌻 Hagans Fruit and Veg, Riverdale, Larne

🌻 The Fruit Centre, Main Street, Larne

🌻 Spar, Ballygally

Share your pictures to keep spreading the joy.

You can also email pictures to: InBloom@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

🌻

Free School Meals

The Education Authority have compiled some Frequently Asked Questions on their website to assist parents/ guardians who may have queries regarding Free School Meals provision.

For further information click here:

https://www.eani.org.uk/covid-19-questions-and-answers

If you already submitted your bank details previously to the Education Authority and they have not changed then you do NOT need to complete the form below:

If your bank details have changed from those previously advised to the Education Authority, then you need to complete the form below in order to update them:

https://www.eani.org.uk/getfsm

Payments will commence week commencing 30th March and continue fortnightly. Not all payments will be made on the same day and it is expected it will take 10 days for payments to reach all recipients.

If you have any queries in relation to free school meals payments please email: MealsandUniforms-Omagh@eani.org.uk

A message from Mr McComb

I miss you!

One week over and wasn’t it weird? It certainly was for me. It is so strange not being in school with you all. I miss school. I miss you. I miss how proud I am of you all when you walk so well through the school, when you use such wonderful manners, when you have such fun in the playgrounds with your friends from your class and from other classes in school too. I miss our chats in the canteen and calling into your classroom to speak with you when there’s important news. I miss working with you in your classrooms or covering your teacher when they have to go to a meeting. Friday assembly is something I really loved. Being able to see everyone together was first class. Awarding lots of you with our Star Awards, Principal’s Award and many other awards was a very important part of school for me. Special assemblies were my favourite. Seeing each class deliver a very important message in front of their very proud families was amazing. The “You’ve Been Framed by Mr McComb” awards only happened a few times but we’ll get back to them when everything gets back to normal. Everything will return to normal, but for now we’re doing what we’re told and we’re staying at home. Please stay at home.

Continue reading A message from Mr McComb