I wrote my last letter to you just before last Friday’s stricter regulations came into being.
Life is getting more and more strange for us and yet we are all coping with it and becoming used to our new routines. We will never ever forget these days as they will be etched in our memory.
I continue to be so delighted with our students’ work ethic and how well they have managed and applied themselves to learning online. Who would ever have said we would all have managed the changeover in such a short time! It is back to this idea I mentioned in my last letter to you of human resilience.
Thank you to you, the parents who are supporting your daughters and your families so well during this time. It is not easy and it does test our human endurance. I want to especially thank you for your lovely emails and letters of thanks to me and the wonderful staff of St Dominic’s College. They are much appreciated and they help lift the spirits of the teachers and other staff from day to day. So thank you for taking the time to write to us.
I would like to acknowledge the great team that work in St Dominic’s College. The teachers are a very professional group of people who have your daughter’s wellbeing and academic education at heart. They do this while balancing their own lives at home in these tough days. Some have very young children, some have busy households of teenagers, some look after elderly parents and some are coping with illness in their houses. Just like all of you everyone has difficulties and yet we all do our best to overcome these obstacles to do the right thing. Thank you also to the team of SNAs who are checking in with students also.
I would like to thank and acknowledge the work of other staff too. Katie our Librarian has been busy making amazing resources available to all of the students and to the teachers for teaching support resources. This work has really helped students with their own creativity and now they go looking for new reading material which is free to them.
Thank you to Chris and Paddy who are minding the campus, cutting the grass and keeping it looking fabulous as the flowers come out to bloom. Thank you to all the admin staff Patsy, Karen and Elise who are keeping things ticking over and supporting me every day in my work. Brendan, our IT back up person keeps in touch with me and helps resolves any problems we meet. Best wishes to our Chaplains, Sr Suzi and to Sr Odhran also. Best wishes to the cleaning and canteen staff also.
The Easter holidays will begin on Monday. I strongly advise the whole school community to now take a well-earned rest. Do not underestimate the immense work that has been done over the last three weeks. It is important to have a work life balance so I have asked teachers to give students a break from work for the two weeks and I have asked students to give teachers their well-earned rest also until Monday 20th April.
Teachers may on occasion check in with exam classes but many of them will also assign work to exam classes to allow them work ahead. In order for students to still feel busy and occupied we have compiled a Wellbeing pack for all students and indeed for your whole family. It consists of games, quizzes, links to music, links to art, competitions, gaming, mindfulness, brain training, online games, physical activities, family activities, a section for parents, reading and writing activities, recipes and lots more. Students have all received a link to this St Dominic’s Wellbeing Pack in my Friday morning email. There is enough to keep everyone going well over Easter and longer if necessary.
I had great support in compiling this Wellbeing Pack. Mr Murphy coordinated the whole pack and he was helped by a great team who sent him resources with our students and your whole family in mind. I hope the whole family will enjoy it very much. I have given all the students and teachers a link to the Wellbeing pack and here is a link to it for you to use.
I will keep in touch with you and inform you of any further notifications from the Department of Education. I want to wish you and your families a very happy Easter. I wish you strength to deal with what is ahead of all of us. If I can be of support to anyone please do not hesitate to contact me. I have a wonderful team with me to support you and your daughters.
‘Ní neart go cur le chéile’. This lovely seanfhocal, or old Irish proverb says that ‘together we are strong’.
Guím beannachtaí na Cásca oraibh go léir. This Irish greeting wishes you all a very happy Easter.
Is mise, le meas,
Ann Cameron, Principal