A Fhoireann dhíl,

Mar is eol daoibh: Teachtaireacht ón DES/ROS: Tabhair aire mhaith, Beir Beannacht, Máire Treasa.

24 March, 2020 - Covid-19 Statement from the Department of Education and Skills

All schools, pre-schools and further and higher education settings will remain closed to students until 19 April 2020.
The decision has been taken following advice from the NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) as part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
All young people and children are urged to practice social distancing, and to minimise physical contact to keep themselves and others healthy and to limit the spread of infection. This should include minimising social contact, avoiding meeting up and keeping physical space of two metres between each other. Parents and guardians are urged to support young people and children to follow those simple guidelines.
Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said: “This is an extremely difficult time for everyone, not least students and their parents.
“The decision to keep schools closed until after the Easter break is based on public health advice. It is a hugely important aspect of our continued effort to limit the spread of Covid-19.
“My message to students facing exams is that they should keep focused, keep working and try, as much as possible, to prepare as normal for the state exams. We are doing everything in our power to make sure those exams happen.
“Teachers and students have answered the call to remote learning with exceptional flexibility and adaptability. You are all a credit to the education system.
“I am also deeply conscious of significant work being done to ensure continuity of learning across our higher and further education institutions. The impact of emergency measures has not stopped education, it has inspired innovation and we are indebted to all those continuing to provide education in these trying times.”


Acmhainní gur féidir le foireann na scoile a roinnt le tuistí ar mhaithe le tacú le na páistí, más maith libh iad.  Fuaireas iad ar suíomh IPPN.


NCSE - Useful Tips
Published: 23 March 2020
In addition to the normal supports, the NCSE is providing online resources for children with Special Educational Needs who are at home as a result of the schools’ closure.
The following materials have been developed by Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists. More resources will be added in the coming days.
TOP TIPS! for Primary School Age Children

See combined SLT and OT Top Tips sheets for parents:

  • Click here for TOP TIPS! Junior and Senior Infants
  • Click here for TOP TIPS! 1st and 2nd Class
  • Click here for TOP TIPS! 3rd and 4th Class
  • Click here for TOP TIPS! 5th and 6th Class

Additional Occupational Therapy Resources

  • Click here for Parental Booklet on Sensory Processing
  • Click here for Parental Booklet for Home Activities for Fine & Gross Motor Skills
  • Click here for Parental Booklet for Home Activities for Motor Skills
  • Click here for useful websites

Additional Speech & Language Therapy Resources

  • Click here for useful websites

Sampla de 2 lch de mholtaí do NB/NM ó Support Speech and Language Therapy:
Tionscadal Léirithe um Theiripe ar Scoil agus Tacaíocht na Luathbhlianta Demonstration Project on In-school and Early Years Therapy Support Speech and Language Therapy & Occupational Therapy Top Tips! For Junior and Senior Infants Attention and Listening • Call your child’s name to make sure he/she is listening. • Keep instructions short and simple. • Break up longer instructions into shorter ‘chunks’. • Support spoken information with visuals, e.g. gestures, pointing, pictures. • Encourage your child to listen to the world around them on Listening Walks, e.g. “what can you hear?”. • Support your child to match sounds and clap out the rhythm in a song or rhyme. Play · Give your child time to play every day. · Introduce your child to games you liked when you were a child, e.g. Ring-aring a Rosy. · Do puzzles, jigsaws, threading, sewing, or building together with blocks. · Take turns to act out roles – children love pretend play. · Give your child lots of opportunities to play games with rules, e.g. Snakes and Ladders, card games, bingo, etc. Language · Encourage your child to explore the world around them, e.g. o What shape is the book on the shelf? o What does the carpet feel like? · Encourage your child to describe events that have happened, e.g. o What did you see in the garden today? · Encourage your child to sort and categorise, e.g. o Name all the vegetables in the fridge. o Name all the items in the cupboard that are not in a jar. · Encourage your child to think about why we do certain things, e.g. o Why do you wear gloves in winter? o Why do we put food in the oven? · Encourage your child to think about time and use different tenses, e.g. o What will you do when you go upstairs? o What happens when we go to the shops? · Support your child to label emotions, e.g. o Cross - angry o Happy - delighted Tionscadal Léirithe um Theiripe ar Scoil agus Tacaíocht na Luathbhlianta Demonstration Project on In-school and Early Years Therapy Support Handwriting · Make sure that the table and chairs are at the appropriate height for your child’s size. · Your child must be seated with their feet on the floor or on an appropriate support (e.g. stool, footrest) · The table height should be slightly higher than your child’s bent elbow position. · Use very short pencils, chalks and crayons. Break regular crayons to 1” size. Adult sized pencils can be difficult for children to control. It is better to use a shorter pencil. · Have your child say the word “space” or “nothing” as they write the word. · Gross Motor Skills · Running- Pump the arms, and lift the heels off the ground. Stop (before hitting the wall/object/person) and turn. · Galloping-Hold the reins (join hands in front, peep out through the reins), lead with one leg and foot facing forward. · Skipping- Aim for high knees. Practise the sequence of ‘Step, Hop and Step, Hop and Step’, and so on. · Animal Walks are an excellent activity to develop gross motor skills and can be found with visuals online. · Provide your child with as many multiple movement experiences as possible to provide them with the opportunity to try a variety of different experiences. Screen Time · Swap screen time for games you played when you were a child. · Make bedrooms a ‘screen-free zone’ so remove TVs, computers and all devices. · Set routine limits with your child(ren) on the amount and type of daily screen time. · Children like to copy what others do so if you’re spending a lot of time on devices or screens, chances are they will want to do that too. · Have screen-free times as a family. Turn off the TV and devices while eating meals and maybe set other times as screen-free times that suit your family. Literacy · Read with your child every day. · Ask your child to predict what they think might happen in a story as you read it. · Encourage your child to make marks using a range of materials (e.g. pencils; paint; crayons; chalk). · Support your child to reinforce the sounds that they are learning in school (e.g. playing ‘I Spy’; finding words that begin with the same later; matching the sounds and the letters). With information from www.ncca.ie; www.pdst.ie; www.into.ie



PDST Technology in Education - new online course for teachers

Published: 23 March 2020
'Teaching Online for Primary and Post Primary Teachers'
Just a note to let you know that PDST Technology in Education have just launched a completely new online course aimed at teachers who are teaching online or remotely at the moment: 'Teaching Online for Primary and Post Primary Teachers'.
The course is available Here

The course focuses on how to get started teaching online, finding suitable online resources and how to use them (including Scoilnet, Webwise and World Book online), communicating with students and creating your own content. The course includes:
- lessons on False Information (particularly relevant at the moment) from Webwise
- useful features of World Book Online, such as the ability to translate all content to Gaeilge and other languages
- how to create a Scoilnet Learning Path
- how to use Scoilnet to find resources
- creating audio presentations, videos, screencasts
- digital copyright
- where to find information on school Learning Management Systems and much more
- ideas on activities that can be mediated in an online setting, what works well and tips on how to overcome challenges

We encourage teachers to share their resources and knowledge with colleagues, as well as to ask colleagues for help.

The course draws quite a bit on the content of the two excellent distance learning pages at www.pdst.ie/distancelearning and www.pdsttechnologyineducation.ie/en/Technology/OnlineLearning 



Scoil Raifteirí: 
Beimid ag tabhairt aire mhaith agus ag cabhrú le chuile dhuine sa teach in am an gháthair!  Is féidir linn na jobanna beaga tí a dhéanamh gan stró!
Nigh na lámha go minic: Fán amach 2 mhéadar óna chéile: Úsáid an chiarsúir.
Plean/Menu oibre a bhéas indéanta ag na páistí scoile:  curtha ar fáil do ranganna NB-R6 ar suíomh idirlíona na scoile.
‘Ní neart go cur le chéile!’
Message from IPPN President Damian White 20 March:
Published: 20 March 2020
Description: Damian White IPPN DAMIAN WHITE 1SH 900 x 647
A cháirde,
It is fair to say that what we are experiencing with COVID-19, a situation we could never have previously imagined, is unprecedented, and the consequences and the time over which it will play out are still far from clear. It is affecting billions of people across the world and each of us, in our own way, must deal with it to the best of our capacity, in our own context. Our first responsibility is to do everything we can to prevent it spreading further, to take HSE advice and to support those agencies who are in the front line of dealing with it.

On Thursday last, during the school day, the government issued a declaration closing the schools until the 29th March. Schools and school leaders were forced to act quickly to come up with a plan to support children with their learning at home, for at least two weeks, and, very likely, considerably longer.

It is important to remember that every school and school context is different. Indeed, while we are all school leaders, all of us have our own contexts, not only at school, but also within our communities and within our homes and families. While some schools have digital systems and capacity to deliver content online, others chose a different path, preparing packs of work which would last two weeks for the children in their classes. Some schools used email to contact parents with a list of work, some outlined the work for the children before they left school in their homework journals. Many schools shared information with parents about websites such as scoilnet and twinkl, which support the work we are doing with our classes. People shared information about publishers who have kindly made access to textbooks free online.

Whatever a school’s digital capacity or whichever path it chose to distribute learning activities, it is important that each school makes a plan – a plan which they are happy with and of which their teachers, pupils and parents are supportive. As school leaders, we are in the best position to decide what kind of plan is best for our school, in the context of what supports we can offer and bearing in mind the unique circumstances and capacity of our school to deliver. A plan for a school with 700 pupils may be different, but no less effective, than a plan for a school with 70 pupils or fewer. A plan for a Special School, or work for children with special needs, will be very specific to the needs of individual children and their families. If you and your staff are happy with the plan for your school, and your children and parents know what it’s about, you don’t have to worry about the plan being put in place by any other school.

For those schools that have the capacity to deliver online, there have been numerous suggestions on our network and elsewhere of how this can be done most effectively. In many schools, principals and staff have outstanding digital capabilities which are of great benefit to their schools in supporting off-site learning seamlessly. It is important always to bear in mind, however, that not every home is equipped with multiple digital devices and Internet access varies wildly from home to home and from area to area.
Those who choose to send homework packs or to email parents with a list of work to be done, those who share lists of work on school websites, or whatever works for them and their school, are dealing with this issue equally as well, and supporting their pupils and their families in the best way possible. If you are a school leader struggling to come up with the best way of supporting the children in your school, my advice is to take a straightforward approach, using one of these or other ideas to ensure that you have a plan in place and that your staff, children and parents understand what it is and are ok with it. If children have gone home without their school books and need them to complete work, there should not be a problem placing their books in a plastic bag and asking their parents through www.TextaParent.ie to collect them from outside the school at a given time. Many school leaders have shared very practical ideas, websites, lesson plans etc. on the IPPN networking mailing list, which can be shared with parents via the school website, by email or in hard copy. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the mailing list, now might be a good time – sign up on www.ippn.ie and go to Supports -> Mailing Lists -> Manage My Mailing Lists, ensuring you ‘submit’ at the bottom of the webpage.

We as school leaders must be cognisant of the stresses in many homes at the minute. Many parents are working in frontline services or, in thousands of cases, have lost their jobs because of the closure of shops, pubs, restaurants and other places of employment as a result of the COVID-19 virus. In many homes, older brothers and sisters are stressed because of Leaving Cert or Junior Cycle issues compounded by the current crisis. Many are also catering for elderly parents, relatives or neighbours. Consequently, work we share with families should be more ‘menu’ than ‘prescription’. Parents will welcome any support we give, but being overly prescriptive about how much work is expected to be completed may cause undue stress in many homes and ultimately defeat the purpose of the exercise.

I would emphasise, in coming up with any plan, to do so in consultation with your school staff and mindful of feedback from parents, where possible or appropriate. Provide email addresses through which parents can communicate during specified times. Such an email address could, if desired, be also used for submission of school work, bearing in mind advice in the previous paragraph about prescribing such work. For younger students, encourage play with toys as part of any work schedule. For senior classes, it presents an opportunity for project work in history, geography, SPHE or science. Encourage keeping a diary, regular exercise and good eating habits for all.

As time progresses, we will know more about what lies ahead and we may have to make plans beyond March 29th. In the meantime, be assured that once you have a plan for supporting your pupils, in their context and in your school’s context, you will be providing great reassurance to all at a time of unprecedented challenge.
Beir bua
Damian White


Other Key Resources - Covid19
Published: 20 March 2020