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St Mary'sPrimary School

Monthly Bulletin

September 2020





I would like to take this opportunity to welcome each and every one of you back to a new school year in St Mary's Derrymore. We are delighted to be back after the longest school closure ever. I would particularly like to welcome our P1 pupils and all our new families; I trust that their experiences here will be enjoyable, rewarding and successful.


We have been working hard to ensure everyone’s safety at this time and I would like to thank everyone for the support, cooperation and patience they have shown to date. Staff as always, have been professional, calm, patient and supportive and have ensured that the children’s return has been happy and smooth.


The children have adapted so well to changes in rules and routines and it has been a pleasure to see them all again. They have shown such resilience and adaptability and we can see from the happy faces that they are all glad to be back with their friends.


I extend a massive thank you to parents whose support, cooperation and words of encouragement have been greatly appreciated. During our first week, parents have made decisions to keep children at home who have been feeling a little bit under the weather with runny noses and colds. We really appreciate this as it minimises the risk to others and ensures that we don’t have to close class bubbles down if symptoms develop or worsen while in school.



Any child who currently requires medication such as Epi-pens or inhalers should ensure that the school has been informed, that a care plan is in place and that the appropriate medication is left in the school. If your child is currently on a care plan please contact the school as soon as possible.



As an increasing number of children in our school suffer from asthma, it is vitally important that the school is kept informed about all medical conditions. Children who use inhalers should have one in school at all times.




The school currently enjoys high levels of attendance and punctuality. You the parents play an integral role in supporting the school in its promotion of high standards in these areas, I would ask for your continued support. Please inform the school if your child is going to be absent from school and return the absence letter upon their return.


The side gate will open at 8.50. The school day begins for all pupils at 9.15 am. For health and safety reasons the door is locked shortly after this. It would be gratefully appreciated if all pupils could be in school on time each day. The school day finishes for P1-3 at 2 o clock and 2.55pm for all others. All children will be released from the front door by a staff member. Please ensure that your child knows their travel arrangements for going home. A bus operates at 3 o clock.



Pupils who arrive late must be accompanied by an adult to the front door.


Anyone wishing to make use of the Little Acorns breakfast club or after school club should contact Little Acorns directly as this is totally independent from the school. The contact number is 028 92650534



As the new school year begins, it is inevitable that the problem of head lice will arise. We would ask you to be very vigilant and to check your child’s head daily for the first few weeks. It is extremely important that you continue to check regularly.



The school currently operates a healthy eating policy. We depend entirely on parental support to ensure that the policy is effective. A considerable number of children are bringing chocolate bars and crisps into school on a regular basis. We would ask you to keep these treats for home and to send in healthier alternatives to school.

Please ensure when sending in snacks and lunches that pupils can open and peel whatever they have as we want to minimise contact where possible.

NO NUTS! A number of children suffer from nut allergies. Allergic reactions to nuts can be very serious and so no nuts or products containing nuts should be sent to school as snacks or in lunch boxes. PLEASE GIVE THIS YOUR URGENT ATTENTION.



We normally employ tutors, coaches or teachers for the above activities. Due to the current situation we are not allowing any outside coaches in the school at present. We will keep this under review.



We have extended our IXL licence for another year; this will allow all pupils to access this fabulous programme which will help them improve their Numeracy and Literacy skills. Further information will be sent in a follow up letter.



Throughout the year pupils normally make visits to the chapel for mass and for rehearsals for the sacraments. At present we have called a halt to these visits. If and when they resume we will not be sending out permission slips for these visits/trips. If for any reason you do not wish your child to attend please inform the school in writing.



We have previously issued information on the measures we have taken to mitigate risks. If you have any concerns, please contact the school.


None of us here are medical professionals and so we ask you to use your best judgement when deciding whether to send your child to school. If you have any doubt, you should probably keep your child at home. I will attach some information previously sent to you. If we have any concerns about Covid 19 cases or are made aware of someone being tested positive, we will inform you.



A holiday list has already been sent to you by email. This may be subject to minor changes as some staff training days have still to be confirmed.


We will continue to issue a monthly bulletin via email. You can also follow us on Facebook for reminders and additional information.


We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and remember all who have lost loved ones since this time last year. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.



'Children are the only future our world has. Teach them well.'


Mrs Caitriona McAtarsney



December Bulletin

November Bulletin