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Coronavirus Update 18 – Calculated Grades Student Portal – VERY IMPORTANT

Coronavirus Update 18 – Calculated Grades Student Portal – VERY IMPORTANT

VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE for all 6th Year and 5th Year LCA pupils.

Click here to view your guide on the Student Portal for your Leaving Certificate Grades.

Important Points:

· All 6th year and 5th Year LCA pupils need to do this;

· Use a personal email (not your school email) to register for this portal;

· The timeline is very tight;

It opens at 10 AM on Tuesday 26th May and closes at 10 PM on Thursday 28th May 2020; and lastly

· Please read the guide carefully.

Regards

Mr Corcoran


Coronavirus Update 17 – Minister announces publication of guidance for schools on Calculated Grades

21May, 2020 – Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD announces publication of guidance for schools on Calculated Grades

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (21 May 2020) announced the publication of detailed guidance on the new system of Calculated Grades for this year’s Leaving Certificate. 

The document is being sent to all post-primary schools today, to provide teachers and principals with information on the process of estimating marks for students to receive Calculated Grades. 

The guide has been produced in consultation with education partners following the decision to postpone Leaving Certificate 2020 examinations, taken as a protective measure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Minister McHugh said: “The guide is the result of intensive work and engagement by the Department, teachers and school management in recent days. 

“It is designed to give teachers and principals clear and precise guidance on how to provide the Department with an estimated mark and a class ranking for each Leaving Certificate student. 

“At all times we have put fairness and the interests of the students at the heart of our decision making. The guidance is very clear and strict on the issue of canvassing of teachers and principals. Canvassing would be unfair to students and to staff in a school, and it will not be tolerated in any circumstances. 

“I’d like to thank all of the members of the advisory group of stakeholders who have worked so hard on the whole question of the 2020 state examinations process and have contributed to the development of this guidance.” 

The document Guide for Schools on Providing Estimated Percentage Marks and Class Rank Orderings is available at gov.ie/leavingcertificate 

As part of the process of Calculated Grades, Leaving Certificate students will have access to an online portal from early next week where they will be required to confirm the subject level  at which they initially entered for the examinations or to change to a lower level. 

The guide provides detailed information on how the Calculated Grades process should be operated in schools. 

Among the information outlined in the guidance document is - 

:: Advice on the range of information that teachers should use to inform the school’s judgements about estimated marks 

:: Guidance on how teachers can work together to ensure alignment of marks across students and classes in schools 

:: Details about how principals will oversee the process within schools 

:: Rules around canvassing setting out how schools will be required to report instances to the Department. 

:: External candidates – the Department will look at these students on a case by case basis and will be flexible. Every effort will be made to provide an estimated mark where there is sufficient credible evidence of the student’s achievement.  

:: Indemnity – as teachers and school leaders will be implementing the Calculated Grades process in schools on behalf of the Minister, arrangements have been put in place to extend a State indemnity to them and to the boards of management of their schools. 

Further supports and information for students, teachers and principals in relation to the implementation of the Calculated Grades model are being provided. 

The system of Calculated Grades is being offered to all 2020 Leaving Certificate candidates. Students will have the opportunity to appeal their results. 

Students can also opt to sit the Leaving Certificate exams when they are held, which will be when public health advice permits. 

The timing of the results of the Calculated Grades process will run as close as possible to the usual results system.

Ends 

Notes to Editors  

On 8 May the Minister announced that a system of Calculated Grades will be offered to Leaving Certificate students in 2020. Further information on this process can be found in the document Guide to Calculated Grades, available at gov.ie/leavingcertificate 

The document published today, Guide for Schools on Providing Estimated Percentage Marks and Class Rank Orderings, can be accessed at gov.ie/leavingcertificate  

Updated FAQs are also being made available here

Under the system outlined in the guidance document, teachers will use their professional judgement, taking into account a range of evidence from a student’s past performance, to estimate the percentage mark a student would most likely have received had they sat the Leaving Certificate examination under normal conditions. 

The estimated percentage marks and rankings will undergo an in school alignment process, involving colleague teachers of the same subject, to ensure that the standard being applied is consistent and appropriate for the subject. The principal will oversee the process and will also oversee the submission of the school’s estimated marks and class rankings. 

The school’s estimated marks and class ranking will undergo a process of national standardisation. This will provide each student with a Calculated Grade. This process is outlined in the Department’s recent document: Guide to Calculated Grades. 

The Calculated Grades system will be overseen by an Executive Office in the Department of Education and Skills, established by the Minister for that purpose. 


Coronavirus Update 16 – Updates and Summer Assessments

8th May 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope that you and your family are keeping well and in good health.

We are approaching the two month mark since we’ve last been in school. Everybody is working hard to adjust to the our new reality but it’s safe to say that we would all like to get back to normal as soon as possible.

Updates

There have been many announcements from the DES and I have tried to highlight the most important ones via our website. We are currently at Update number 16. Please consult our website regularly for pertinent information. There is a dedicated Covid-19 Section which has information on:

  • Microsoft Teams;
  • Educational Resources;
  • HSE Guidelines; and
  • School Updates.

These are live sections that we will update on an ongoing basis.

Feedback

We have surveyed staff; parents and a focus group of pupils to gain insights as to how everyone is adapting to teaching and learning in the current situation. Year heads, tutors and teachers are in regular contact with pupils to gauge how they are progressing. We use this feedback to inform our approach.

Wellbeing

The wellbeing of our school community is a key concern for us all. We have been working hard to maintain supports for our pupils:

  • We have surveyed all parents to seek their views regarding whether their child would like specific support;
  • We link in with our Peer Mentor teams via Microsoft Teams; and
  • We hold weekly online pastoral support meetings with our Key Support Staff to organise support for our pupils.
    • These meetings are guided by information that we gather through regular contact with our pupils (emails from year head and tutors; online tutor meets with year head and tutor etc.).

Please feel free to contact our school guidance counsellor or relevant Year head in relation to advice around supporting your child.

Guidance Counsellor       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1st Year                             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2nd Year                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3rd Year                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TY                                     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5th Year                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

6th Year                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Online Teaching and Learning

We are continuing to teach pupils online. The most common methods used are:

  • Email;
  • One-drive and
  • Microsoft Teams.

In line with feedback from pupils and parents, we have expanded the provision and usage of Microsoft Teams for our pupils. This is proving popular with pupils. As time goes by, we are all becoming more familiar and skilled with this platform.

I would remind pupils that teachers are putting in a lot of effort to make these online events happen. If a pupil is in any way disruptive to the online lesson they will be removed.

As I have stated previously, please don’t be under pressure to tick every box or try to get every single assignment completed – just support your child to do the best that they can.

End of Year Assessments

Having said that a special effort should be made by all pupils to ensure that Summer Assessments are completed to the best of their ability. Full details on Summer Assessments in each individual subject will be emailed to pupils by their subject teachers / departments. Some general guidelines are as follows:

  • The approach we are taking will help to take into consideration the disruption to teaching and learning that has occurred since the 12th March 2020;
  • There will be Summer Assessments for 1st; 2nd; 3rd; TY and 5th Years;
  • These assessments with be a mix of online exams; assignments; projects and so on. The exact breakdown will be emailed to your child by their subject teacher / department;
  • In each subject, the results of the Summer Assessment will be added to the results obtained in Term One and Term Two House exams. The overall average of these three results will be the result entered in the Summer Report;
  • The teacher comment in the Summer Report will also explain how the grade was arrived at;
  • Summer Reports will be available on Eportal;
  • If an assignment is part of the Summer Assessment, this assignment will be shared with pupils well in advance, ideally before the end of the school day, Monday 11th May 2020;
  • The online exam will only be on the material covered since Term 2 exams finished;
  • There will be a timetable put in place for all online exams. This timetable will be emailed to all pupils;
  • Online exams will start on Monday 18th and finish on Tuesday 26th May. Pupils will have 2 days to complete and submit each exam;
  • If access to a device is an issue in a household, it is perfectly acceptable to view the exam online, complete it on paper, take a picture of the completed exam using a smartphone and email that to your teacher;
  • If there are further issues with access that can’t be solved in the fashion detailed above, please email the school office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide details as to what the issue is, and lastly;
  • If your child, has any questions regarding their Summer Assessments, I would encourage them to email their subject teacher directly. Their subject teacher will be able to clarify any issues that they may have.

Our staff

I would like to thank our staff for their continued efforts to navigate this unprecedented situation.

Stop the Spread

Again, I must end by saying that the primary concern for all the members of our school community, and the citizens of our country is to play our part in stopping the spread of the virus. ‘Social Distancing’ is an absolute must for all at this time – I urge all parents and pupils to follow the HSE guidelines ( https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself.html ) in order to protect yourself and others.

Equally, it is imperative that we all remember the importance of minding our mental health during the coronavirus outbreak -

https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html

I wish you and your family good health over the coming days and weeks.

Yours sincerely

Brendan Corcoran

Principal


Coronavirus Update 15 - Information Links from DoEs for Leaving Certificate Students 2020

Please find below a link to information pages from the Department of Education and Skills for Leaving Certificate Students 2020. The offer a lot of important advice and information.

Take care, Mr Corcoran. Principal

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2f07eb-leaving-cert-2020-information/

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/256911-leaving-cert-2020-practical-supports/

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/d8920c-leaving-cert-2020/#keep-learning


Coronavirus Update 14 - Revised arrangements for Junior Cycle 2020

Minister McHugh announces revised arrangements for Junior Cycle 2020

Published: 29 April 2020
From: Department of Education and Skills

All third year Junior Cycle students to be awarded certificates for the completion of Junior Cycle by the Department of Education and Skills

Schools given autonomy to assess students and all students to receive a report on achievement

Adult learners to be given opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations in autumn

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Wednesday 29 April 2020) announced revised arrangements for this year’s Junior Cycle.

The decision was taken following recommendations from an advisory group of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures and the decision that the Junior Cycle State Examinations will not run this year.

Minister McHugh attended the meeting of the advisory group and thanked the members for their work.

Minister McHugh said:

“In this difficult time for students I have listened to the very strongly-held and well-articulated views of students, parents and other stakeholders,”

“This decision has been made with the health and wellbeing of students, parents and teachers at the forefront of our thinking.

“It gives students and their families more clarity and certainty. It also gives schools freedom to decide how best to assess the progress of students following three years of hard work and learning.”

Under the revised arrangements and in light of the exceptional circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the work and achievement of third year Junior Cycle students will be recognised with a state certificate from the Department of Education and Skills.

As soon as possible after the end of the current school year, students will receive a written school report on their learning achievements in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit

Schools are also being given autonomy to decide whether to run school-based assessments and what form they take. Options to consider include school-designed examinations, tasks, projects, assignments, essay style questions, presentations, or other tasks agreed at a local level. Guidance for schools on reporting to students and parents, developed with the advice of the advisory group of stakeholders, will be published by the Department.

The State Examinations Commission is also being asked to put in place specific arrangements for adult learners to give them an opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations for which they are entered in autumn 2020.

Ends

Notes for Editors

For info on the advisory group see here

Further advice in relation to assessment options for schools will be issued by the Department.

Certificate of Completion

This will issue from the Department early in the next school year. It will provide each student with a certificate confirming completion of the Junior Cycle programme of study, including the list of subjects, short courses and/or priority learning units studied and the level at which the subject was studied.

Adult Learners

The SEC will put in place specific arrangements for adult learners who are studying a subject or subjects at Junior Cycle level within one academic year.

The specific dates of the examinations in autumn 2020 will be determined as soon as possible.

These examinations will only be available to students who meet the specific qualifying criteria.



Coronavirus Update 13 – Free Online Community Education Courses

LMETB are bringing you some more FREE Online Courses, below are the new courses starting next week, if you are interested in applying please click here to view details or on the relevant links below to register.

 

NEW FREE Online Course

Introduction to Microsoft TEAMS

Tutor – Barry Devlin

Times 7pm to 10pm -  Starting 7th May  Day Thursday  No .of sessions 1

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299440

NEW FREE Online Course

Introduction to Microsoft Word – QQI Level 3

Tutor – Barry Devlin

Times 10am to 1pm -  Starting 7th May Day  Thursday No .of sessions 13

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299434 

NEW FREE Online Course

Introduction to Microsoft Excel – QQI Level 3

Tutor – Barry Devlin

Times 2pm to 5pm -  Starting  7th May Day Thursday No .of sessions 13

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId

NEW FREE Online Course

Mindfulness - Morning

 Tutor – Elfreda Manahan Vaughan

Times 10.00am to 11.30am Starting Friday 8th May  Day Friday  No. of sessions 6

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299426 

 NEW FREE Online Course

Mindfulness - Evenings

 Tutor – Elfreda Manahan Vaughan

Times 7.30pm to 9.00pm Starting 6th May  Day Wednesday No. of sessions 6

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299425

NEW FREE Online Course

Positive Psychology

 Tutor – Elfreda Manahan Vaughan

Times 10am to 12pm Starting Monday 11th May  Day Monday No. of sessions 6

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299424

NEW FREE Online Course

Coping with Stress

Tutor – Elfreda Manahan Vaughan

Times 10am to 12pm Starting Wednesday 6th May  Day Wednesday No. of sessions 6

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299423

NEW FREE Online Course

5 SIMPLE STEPS TOWARDS NATURAL LIVING

 Tutor – Mary O’Brien

Times 10.30am to 12pm Starting Tuesday 5th May Days Tuesday & Friday No. of sessions 5

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299441

NEW FREE Online Course

How to Create French Plaits

Tutor – Caroline Tierney

Times 10.00am to 12pm Starting Friday 8th May Day Friday No. of sessions 1

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299442

NEW FREE Online Course

Draw & Design your own Homemade Greeting Cards

Tutor – Simone Clavin

Times 11am to 1pm  Starting Friday 8th May Day Friday  No. of sessions 2

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299413 

NEW FREE Online Course

Beginners Art

Tutor – Marena Casey

Times 11am to 1pm  Starting Monday 11th  May Days Monday & Wednesday No. of sessions 6

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299411

NEW FREE Online Course

Intermediate Art

Tutor – Marena Casey

Times 11am to 1pm  Starting Tuesday 12th  May Days Tuesday & Thursday No. of sessions 6

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299410

NEW FREE Online Course

Sewing Crafts

You will need: material/recycled clothes, thread, needles, scissors,

ruler/measuring tape optional sewing machine

(can be purchased from Boyds)

 Tutor – Mary Kirwan

Times 4pm to 5.30pm Starting Tuesday 5th May  Days Tuesday & Friday No. of sessions 6

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299409

NEW FREE Online Course

Knitting & Crochet Crafts

 You will need: wool, knitting needles size 4, crochet needle size 4, scissors, thread

(can be purchased from Boyds, Dealz, Mr Price & Tiger)

 Tutor – Mary Kirwan

Times 2pm to 3.30pm Starting Tuesday 5th May  Days Tuesday & Friday  No. of sessions 6

To Register Click on Link https://www.fetchcourses.ie/course/finder?sfcw-courseId=299408

Contact Details

Jackie Breen

Community Education Facilitator

Louth and Meath Education and Training Board

 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - 087/9377636 


Coronavirus Update 12 - Department of Education and Skills statement on stakeholder engagement in relation to the State Examinations

Coronavirus Update 12 - Department of Education and Skills statement on stakeholder engagement in relation to the State Examinations

The Department of Education and Skills today (Friday 24 April 2020) hosted a third meeting with a range of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures.

The advisory group of stakeholders includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission, the National Educational Psychological Service, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and the Department.

The Higher Education Authority attends meetings in an observer capacity, to assist feeding back to consultations it is involved with across the third level sector.

The meeting reviewed progress being made in relation to the development of a range of supports for the wellbeing of students, and welcomed the launch today by the Taoiseach of the #InThisTogether Campaign to support the wellbeing of all of our citizens at this time.

The SEC provided an update on the work in progress on the holding of the Leaving Certificate examinations scheduled to commence on 29th July.

Today’s meeting also considered issues concerning Junior Cycle Assessment, in the context of the decision that the state Junior Cycle examinations will not run this year. These discussions will continue when the group meets next week.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said: “I am grateful to all of the stakeholders who are working so closely with the Department and the State Examinations Commission to ensure an outcome that has students’ best interests at heart, and we will continue our discussions over the coming days and weeks.

“I welcome the progress made in several areas today, including issues concerning the Junior Cycle final examinations. As I stated earlier this week, I would urge schools not to make any local decisions concerning assessment at junior cycle level until the Advisory Group has concluded its discussions on that part of its work.”


Coronavirus Update 11 –Minister’s announce school transport arrangements 24th April 2020

 Refunds to be issued to families at end of school year

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and the Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan have announced that families will receive refunds for school transport fees for periods of schools closures. 

The payments will issue at the end of the school year once the exact period of closures is confirmed. 

The Ministers also announced that school bus contractors will continue to receive a 50% payment while schools are closed in this academic year.

Following the initial announcement that schools would be closed until 29 March 2020, and in light of the exceptional circumstances, it was agreed that school transport contractors would be paid at the normal or full rate for that period. 

It was then decided that a payment of 50% would be afforded for the week commencing Monday 30 March 2020 until now. This 50% payment will be extended whilst schools are closed in this academic year as a result of the public health restrictions.

Parents are also reminded that applications for the school transport scheme for the next school year close today, Friday April 24.

Minister McHugh said: “We know that parents, particularly in rural areas, were seeking clarity in relation to refunds while schools were closed. I am happy to confirm refunds will issue later this year when we know the precise amount of time lost in schools.”

Minister Halligan said: “Today’s announcement brings certainty to parents and to operators of the school transport scheme. It is only right that parents and contractors are compensated due to this unprecedented chain of events.”

https://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2020-press-releases/PR20-04-24.html


Coronavirus Update 10 – Advice around coping with Contingency Measures.

Please find some advice for pupils and parents around coping with contingency measures recently introduced by the Minister of Education.

The Department of Education has announced contingency measures for the Leaving Certificate exams, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Many of you (46,000) have spoken out about your concerns and preferred options through ISSU Irish Second-Level Students’ Union #ClarificationNow survey. ISSU has represented students views in meetings with the Department of Education as part of the Department’s consultation meetings. As with all decisions, some of you will feel this decision is the best option and others will feel it is the worst. Either way, we at least know what is ahead of us. UNICEF asked guidance counsellor Jenny Crampton to offer her advice to all of you.

Advice on how to cope with Leaving Certificate contingency measures

The measures that have been put in place to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic over the past weeks are creating new challenges for us all. We are facing different stressors and different pressures as we do our best to adjust to these new measures. You have now been thrown an extra challenge, trying to continue working towards the exam that will now take place in late summer.

Many of you will be feeling very angry, upset and frustrated at hearing this news. These are normal reactions and very understandable ones. Some of you may be wondering why they made this decision, others may be asking themselves “how can I keep this up until July or August”.  My advice to you is to take some time out now over the holidays and allow yourself to process these emotions of anger, frustration etc and then take some time to do things that you enjoy, within the present restrictions.

You need to mind your mental health during this time and keep a realistic perspective on what you can or cannot do. There are a lot of websites offering support and advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing.

There are many free online services that offer audiobooks, meditation apps, music lessons, yoga classes, national theatres, live stream gigs, and lots more. Here is a helpful collection GiveBack Directory.

Remember only to use reliable and trustworthy news sources. If you want information and updates on education and the Leaving Certificate use the Department of Education and Skills website.

The full details on logistics or what academic supports are going to be put in place for you will become clearer over the coming months.  We will respond to those updates and your concerns when more is known.

Remember that you are all in this together, all 60,000 doing the Leaving Certificate exams. Most of you will be having the same concerns and upsets. You have a lot of support, your teachers, guidance counsellors, school management team, family and friends. Ask for support if you need it.

And finally, stay connected and keep in touch with one another.

If you feel you need more support, AwareJigsaw and Spunout are continuing to provide services.

Remember…

  • It is normal to feel overwhelmed, helpless, angry, or frustrated.
  • Understand that you are not alone, there are over 60,000 students in this with you.
  • Talk about how you’re feeling, it can help defuse the intensity and process your emotions, find a friend or family member that is a good listener.
  • Seek the support of professionals if you need more help.
  • Know that even though this is very upsetting, this will pass and you are resilient and you will get through it.
  • Find out ways to reduce your stress and anxiety, and do these things regularly.
  • Do things that you know you enjoy, even if you don’t feel like it. It will divert your attention.
  • Focus on what is in your control instead of worrying about the future.
  • Take care of your body, exercise releases stress and boosts feel-good endorphins, healthy food helps regulate your mood and energy and sleep resets your mind and body.
  • Take a break and regroup, everyone deserves a holiday or time off from work, you do too!

Helpful reminders for parents…

  • Be aware of your own stress levels and find the right time to offer support.
  • Listen without judging or giving advice, sometimes it is not a solution that is needed but just understanding.
  • Help find ways to relieve their anger and stress and lift their mood.
  • Give them space to retreat and feel their emotions.
  • When holidays are over, help them create a structure to the day, through mealtimes and time together.
  • Encourage regular breaks, exercise, healthy eating and sleep routines.

Coronavirus Update 9  - 10th April 2020 Postponement of State Examinations

For the attention of all school stakeholders.

On the 10 April, 2020 - Minister McHugh Announces Postponement of State Examinations. Over the coming weeks, we will be planning how best to implement these new and unprecedented measures. Please below, for full details of the Minister’s announcement.

Stay safe,

Mr Corcoran

Principal

 

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Friday 10 April 2020) announced a series of changes to the 2020 State Examinations as part of measures to respond to Covid-19, including postponement of the Leaving Certificate examinations.

The decisions have been taken on foot of updated advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Minister McHugh said plans were being put in place for the postponed Leaving Certificate examinations to begin in the last week of July or early August, subject to public health advice.

Junior Cycle final examinations due to take place in June will be replaced by school-based exams and assessments held early in the new school year.

A series of other decisions has also been taken –

  • As part of the wider public health measures, schools are closed until further notice.
  • Practical examinations for Leaving Certificate students which were due to have been held in May are deferred. They will be rescheduled for late July/early August.
  • The new Leaving Certificate exam timetable will be confirmed in early June.

Minister McHugh said: “All decisions we are taking in relation to rescheduling exams are based on current public health advice and put the best interests of students first. The welfare of students and that of their families is front and centre in all decision making.

“The final arrangements for the exams, the exam centres, social distancing and other measures will all be determined by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) on foot of public health advice in June. I want to thank the SEC for its efforts to put in place these revised arrangements.

“Students and their families have been seeking clarity. Today’s announcement addresses that. It also provides them with several weeks of advance notice to prepare for the examinations. I hope it helps to alleviate some stress being experienced by students and their families at this time.

“Asking Leaving Certificate students and their families to refocus their attention from June to August is not something we do lightly. I know it will not be easy. However, I believe it is the fairest way of assessing students and giving them certification of achievement in school and a pathway to higher and further education and training, apprenticeship or work.”

Minister McHugh also said: “Students with special educational needs will be fully supported in sitting the rescheduled Leaving Certificate examinations in line with the reasonable accommodations as already arranged for them.”

Minister McHugh said the intention was to allow at least two weeks of class time, in school, before the Leaving Certificate examinations begin.

“Great work is being done by schools and teachers to connect with students and to keep them learning. We must give teachers, principals and school staff huge credit for their commitment to supporting students, in their schoolwork and in their wellbeing. And we want to provide students and teachers with an opportunity to build on that,” the Minister said.

As part of the changes to the Junior Cycle, discussions will take place with teacher unions and school management to allow these examinations, linked Classroom-Based Assessments, Assessment Tasks and project work to be completed as school-based assessments early in the next school year.

Minister McHugh acknowledged the positive engagement he has had with unions, management bodies, the further education and training and higher education sectors on all of these issues.

“I am grateful for the co-operation shown by all concerned, in what is a very challenging situation for our young people, their families and teachers. I am confident we can continue to work together in a supportive spirit to help secure the best outcomes for students,” the Minister said.

Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “The third level institutions look forward to welcoming this year’s Leaving Certificate students who have applied to enter their courses. I appreciate the particular challenges these students have had to face and I welcome the flexible approach indicated by the sector to enabling these students to take up a place in the year ahead.”

The admissions process for higher education, managed by the Central Applications Office (CAO), will operate as closely as possible to the usual timeframe for offers and the entry date for first year students will be delayed.

The Department has asked the Higher Education Authority and the higher education sector to explore ways of assisting access to higher education for students from under-represented groups.

Ends

Notes for Editors

School closures

  • Schools were closed on public health grounds at 6pm 12 March and remain closed until further notice.
  • Students have lost 15 classroom instruction days to date, since the closure of schools.

Leaving Certificate statistics

  • More than 61,000 students are expected to sit the Leaving Certificate or Leaving Certificate Applied in 2020.
  • This includes 44,396 students sitting the established Leaving Certificate and 13,668 for the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and 2,999 sitting the Leaving Certificate Applied.

Orals and Practicals

  • Leaving Certificate oral language and some Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle practical performance examinations had been scheduled to take place between 23 March and 3 April.
  • These were cancelled and candidates awarded 100% for these components.
  • Today’s announcement does not change that position.

Practical projects and Course Work

  • A range of subjects involve these elements – Computer Science, PE Performance, Technology, Art, Agricultural Science, Agricultural Economics, History, Geography, RE, Politics and Society, Music Composition, Construction Studies and Home Economics (Textiles).
  • The deadline for submission of work will now be immediately prior to the commencement of the written examinations in the late July/August period.

Practical examinations

  • A number of practical examinations, supervised by school appointed superintendents and scheduled for 27 April to 8 May in Engineering, Art Life Sketching and Construction Studies and a practical and written examination in Computer Science scheduled for 27 May will now take place in the late July/August period.

Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) and LCVP Link Modules

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life.

LCVP is a Leaving Certificate programme with a Strong Vocational focus. It may be taken alongside other subjects.

  • LCA Personal Reflection Task, scheduled for completion by 1 May, will now be completed by the commencement of the written examinations in the late July/August period.

The following will be rescheduled for the late July/August period.

  • LCA Oral Examinations
  • LCA practical performance tests in Hotel Catering & Tourism; Office Administration and Customer Care; Active Leisure Studies; Hair & Beauty; and Agriculture/Horticulture
  • LCA ICT practical performance and written examination.
  • LCVP Link modules written examination.

Coronavirus Update 8  - 7th April 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope that you and your family are keeping well.

We are approaching the four week mark since we’ve been in school and it’s safe to say that we miss being in our classrooms. The DES statement published on 24 March 2020 confirmed that schools are to remain closed to pupils until 19 April 2020. While we are hoping for a return to school after Easter, we are planning for school closures to continue. In the likely event that school closures will extend beyond 19th April our teachers are busy preparing learning activities for after the Easter holidays and are working hard to make this material as accessible as possible. We will certainly be making efforts to expand the provision and usage of Microsoft Teams.

Please don’t be under pressure to tick every box or try to get every single assignment completed – just do what works best for your family. Families face new challenges these days and have new priorities. I’m sure many parents are working in front line services, in health care, in shops, delivery services and many more – we are so grateful to you…thank you.

Thank you to the 274 parents who completed our survey. It gives a very good insight into the reality you are all facing in trying to support your child’s learning at this time. We will very much take your feedback on board moving forward. The same sentiment applies to our staff. I feel there is an important distinction that has to be made between working from home, and what we are currently experiencing: being at home during a crises and trying to work. Our staff are juggling their own personal commitments just like everyone else, and at the same time attempting to support their pupils’ learning. This is an unprecedented situation, but one we are all doing our best to respond to. DES guidance around continuity of schooling only issued to schools on the 2nd April 2020: so in many respects schools have been left to make their own way.

There is a huge amount of information and resources swirling around at the minute. Indeed, it is a challenge to see the wood from the trees at times. In order to help, we have created a section on our website dedicated to Covid-19 information (CV19 Updates). Here you will find information on:

·       Microsoft Teams;

·       Educational Resources;

·       School Updates; and

·       HSE Guidelines.

These are live sections that we will update on an ongoing basis.

In terms of State exams, all the information coming to us indicates that the chief aim of the DES and SEC is that the examinations would transact in a normal way, as far as possible. The advice from the Health Authorities will continue to inform what this will look like. Further communication will issue to schools as soon as possible offering advice around examinations scheduled for April/May. Understandably, uncertainty around the state exams is a major issue for our 3rd and 6th year pupils. Please feel free to contact our school guidance counsellor or relevant Yearhead in relation to advice around supporting your child.

Guidance Counsellor       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1st Year                             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2nd Year                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3rd Year                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TY                                     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5th Year                             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

6th Year                             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Again, I must end by saying that the primary concern for all the members of our school community, and the citizens of our country is to play our part in stopping the spread of the virus. ‘Social Distancing’ is an absolute must for all at this time – I urge all parents and pupils to follow the HSE guidelines ( https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself.html ) in order to protect yourself and others.

Equally, it is imperative that we all remember the importance of minding our mental health during the coronavirus outbreak -

https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html

I wish you and your family good health over the coming days and weeks. I hope the Easter break will give children time to relax, and to take a break from the more formal aspects of schoolwork.

Yours sincerely

Brendan Corcoran

Principal


Coronavirus Update 7 – Schools to remain closed to students until 19 April 2020

 FAO of all school stakeholders. There was a statement from the Department of Education and Skills on COVID-19 published on 24 March 2020 which confirmed that schools are to remain closed to students until 19 April 2020. Please see full text of statement below and link to statement on the department’s website. Students are to continue to engage with work sent to them remotely by their teachers. Remember we must all connect socially but disconnect physically. Regards, Mr Corcoran. Principal.

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.”

ENDS

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/4366e7-statement-from-the-department-of-education-and-skills-on-covid-19/

 


Coronavirus Update 6

Today, Thursday 19th March 2020, Minister McHugh announced the Cancellation of Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Oral and Practical Performance Tests. Extension to the deadlines for completion of project work and coursework in a number of subjects. Please click on link below for full information.

Regards

Mr Corcoran

Principal

https://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2020-press-releases/PR20-03-19.html

 


Coronavirus Update 5

 

To all Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff

I sincerely hope this communication finds you in good health.

It goes without saying that at this moment in time, we find ourselves in unchartered waters. As an educational institution we will do our best to deal with the challenges that face us.  While our contingency plan has been shared extensively (please see earlier update on our website), I would like to re-iterate some key points and to introduce some new information.

·       As per government instruction the school will remain closed to students and learners until Monday 30th March 2020. On this day we are due to re-open for a full school day. This will only change if we are instructed to do so by the relevant Government departments.

·       We will keep in touch via text and email as information comes to our attention. We will also communicate via our school website. Please check it regularly for updates.

·       Teachers have commenced sharing work with pupils by email, and will continue to do so at consistent; regular intervals over the coming fortnight.

·       We would ask students to be respectful of the times they contact our teaching staff i.e. between 9.00am and 4.00pm, and to be please be mindful that as the virus spreads, teachers may also be sick or have sick family members.

·       For examination classes it is essential that study, revision and learning work takes place and that students continually practice their exam techniques. Most of the courses are now completed so students are at a point where they can learn independently.

·       LMETB are working hard to fast-track the introduction of Microsoft Teams for our 6th and 3rd year pupils, in order to give more options to the scope of the remote teaching that our staff can engage in. I will share further information regarding Microsoft Teams when I have it. Click on this link to get an idea of what it is all about - https://support.office.com/en-us/article/distance-learning-with-office-365-guidance-for-parents-and-guardians-89d514f9-bf5e-4374-a731-a75d38ddd588?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US.

·       In the meantime, I advise that students follow their timetable from home and work at each subject as per their school timetable. It is important that they maintain a structure to their day. I also advise that while students are working that they do not have distractions such as mobile phones and TVs at hand.

·       At this time the State Examinations Commission has not provided us with any information about how these events will impact of scheduled examinations. As soon as I have definite information, I will pass this on.

All educational stakeholders are responding to this evolving situation. Below are a list of initiatives being promoted on various social media platforms that may be of interest to you. Please practice due diligence if accessing any of these resources.

iRevise.com

·       With the recent news of the closure of schools until the 29th of March due to COVID-19, we at iRevise.com are giving premium memberships to all students for one month for free. Tap below for more information.

·       https://promo.irevise.com/covid-19/

Libraries Ireland

·       Great news! It's now possible to join the library online & use @BorrowBox straight away!
Just go to www.librariesireland.ie/join, complete the registration, set a PIN and you'll be able to log in to Borrowbox with those details to download eBooks and audiobooks #TakeACloserLook

Scoilnet Post Primary

·       To support the learning process for Irish schools, World Book Online just made available a collection of all their eBooks. There are about 700 proprietary World Book titles for ages 4-18 and over 2,500 Project Gutenberg titles. @worldbookinc #FREE #HOMEaccess PDST https://www.scoilnet.ie/scoilnet-services/world-book/

Pocket Papers

·       Revising from home? Check out the FREE 'Pocket Papers' app which contains all past JC and LC exam papers. As well as log tables, points calculator and state exam timetables.

Having said all of the above, the primary concern for all the members of our school community, and the citizens of our country is to play our part in stopping the spread of the virus. It is certainly true to say that ‘Doctors treat the sick, People stop the spread’. ‘Social Distancing’ is an absolute must for all at this time – I urge all parents and students to follow the HSE guidelines (https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself.html) in order to protect yourself and others. Equally, it is imperative that we all remember the importance of minding our mental health during the coronavirus outbreak -

https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html.

I wish you and your family good health over the coming days and weeks.

Yours sincerely

Principal

Brendan Corcoran


 Corona Virus Update 4 - School Closure

 

Re: St Oliver Post Primary School COVID-19 Contingency Plan

To all Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff

In line with the Government announcement today, Thursday 12th March 2020, St Oliver Post Primary School will be closed from Friday 13th March to Friday 27th March 2020. In line with Government instruction, we are due to re-open on Monday 30th March 2020 for a full school day. This will only change if we are instructed to do so by the relevant Government departments.

We will keep in touch via text and email as information comes to our attention. We will also communicate via our school website. Please check it regularly for updates. We ask you to ensure that we have up to date contact details for each student: address and parent’s mobile phone number. If any of these have changed recently please let the school office know by email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Obviously, the health and safety of our school community is our priority. Having said that, we want to assure you that we have a solid contingency plan in place to support students’ Teaching and Learning.

·         All students and staff have a school email. This will be used for communication purposes. All students should be prepared to receive and return work for correction via their school email account.

·         All teachers have been issued with suggested guidelines for sharing work with their pupils.

·         We advise that students prepare by bringing home study materials, especially those in exam years.

·         We would ask students to be respectful of the times they contact the teaching staff i.e. between 9.00am and 4.00pm.

·         The State Examinations Commission will direct us on the timing of the State Exam Projects and Orals. We will communicate this information to you as we receive it.

This is an unprecedented situation that will certainly raise questions for our students. I would like to direct your attention to updated guidance issued recently on talking to children and young people about Covid-19. You can access and download this guidance in both Irish and English from the Department of Education and Skills website below under the heading ‘Talking to children and young people about Covid-19’ www.education.ie/covid19

Yours sincerely

Brendan Corcoran

Principal


Corona Virus Update 3

 

Please click on the link below to access the latest information for schools from the Department of Health.

https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/National-Emergencies-Public-Health-Issues/ltr_cmo_schools_100320.pdf


Corona Virus Update 2

 

Letter from Dept of Health re Covid-19 Virus

Click here to see the latest communication from the Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer in relation to the Covid-19 virus.


Corona Virus Update 1

 

Schools and Guidance on the Corona Virus

You will be aware that a case has been confirmed in northern Ireland. Notwithstanding same the guidance to protect yourself remains as has been outlined by the HSE  https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html  

That advice recommends that you:

·         Wash your hands properly and regularly

·         Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.

·         Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.

·         Follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/

The HSE currently lists the Covid-19 affected regions as mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Iran and the following regions of northern Italy - Lombardy, Veneto Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont.

Oral Exams

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