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Moving On to Post Primary School

Moving On to Post Primary School:

A Transition Programme for 6th Class Pupils

Dear Parents,

I hope that you and your family are all keeping well. We are all coming to terms with the very changed reality of Covid-19 and its impact on our lives. As principal, I am acutely aware of how this has impacted on the children in our school, and in particular our 6th class pupils.

Our 6th class pupils and teachers alike had such high expectations for the final term in the Senior School. It is traditionally a very reflective time for them, where they look back and reflect on the past eight years of primary schooling while also looking ahead to moving to post-primary school.

A different experience for the class of 2020

While their transfer to post-primary marks a new and exciting phase in their young lives, they will experience this transfer in a very different way to any other year group that has gone before them. We all recognise the feelings of disappointment and upset amongst our 6th class children at missing out on their last term in the school. And yet I know that they are also resilient and resourceful, and we will work hard with them to create different memories for them of their last term with us. I want to commend them for their resilience and good humour throughout this period, and for the care and support they have shown each other. They have also made a valuable contribution to the national effort of staying home, staying safe and stalling the spread of Covid-19 infection in their community. All of these are valuable life skills that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

That is why we, as a school want to do our best in supporting our 6th class children in the weeks ahead in preparation for their transfer to post-primary school. As in other school years, we have devised a Transition Programme for our 6th class pupils which will be delivered in the coming weeks. There are many strands to this programme, which has been developed over the years. In the following sections I have set out a summary of the main elements of the programme.

Transition Programme

Since they started primary school, our children have received a broad range of supports under the umbrella of Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE). As part of this, the 6th class teachers and our SEN team have devised a comprehensive Transition Programme for 6th class pupils. This explores with the pupils their hopes, fears and expectations as well as the challenges involved in moving from primary to post-primary school. The children will complete this programme as we progress through the final term.

We will be using a specially designed programme called ‘Mind the Gap’, which we are posting out to arrive in your homes this week.

In this process we will be exploring issues such as:

  • SelfEsteem

  • Selfawareness

  • Managing oneto-one relationships

  • Managing friendships

  • Dealing with peer groups

We hope to actively engage the children in an exploration of and reflection on their social world. In so doing, we hope to better equip them with the skills they need for the next stage of their lives.

Preparing children at a practical level

Life in post-primary school can present many organizational challenges to pupils.

This includes:

  • managing timetables

  • planning homework assignments that have different completion dates

  • organising their books

  • organising their lockers.

These topics are all dealt with in the Mind the Gap programme. This will help our pupils become more prepared for the organisational challenges which they may meet in September.

Transfer of information:

This involves a sharing of information in relation to our pupil’s academic performance, ability, learning style and any special needs they may have. We share this information with your child’s post-primary school in order to ensure that our pupils have their best possible start in Second-Level.

Parent and Pupil Profiles

A novel feature of this transfer of information, is the completion of the Parent and Pupil profiles. This gives parents and pupils an opportunity to introduce themselves to their new post primary school ahead of transferring in September. This will also be included in the mailing. When it is completed, you are asked to put it into the stamped addressed envelope that will be provided and return it to us. We will pass it on to your child’s post-primary school.

Parent Support

We are also anxious to support parents in this important time in their children’s lives- never more so than in these challenging times. To this end, we have asked Clare Ryan to talk to the parents of our 6th class children about their transition to post-primary. Clare is the former principal of St. Leo’s College, Carlow and is currently the Chief Executive of CEIST Education Trust and has many years of experience working with parents and helping to support them in the job of bringing up and educating their children.

We are delighted that Clare has agreed to host a special webinar exclusively for our parents tomorrow evening, Thursday the 28th May, at 7pm. I will send a reminder and a link to the webinar on the day. I would encourage all of our 6th class parents to join in- she is a highly re-assuring voice in this time of challenge, and always delivers her message with good humour as well!

Graduation 2020

We have been actively planning how we will mark graduation. While it will be a virtual experience, due to Covi-19 restrictions, we will endeavor to make it a special one for the class of 2020. We will have more information in this regard when we get closer to graduation!

I hope that you will see from all of

this that we are deeply committed to making sure that our pupils in 6th class are fully supported, prepared and equipped for their move to post-primary. We miss them dearly, and send our very best wishes to them. Together, I believe, we can work together to ensure that in the midst of all the uncertainty, all of our pupils will successfully make the transition to the next exciting phase in their lives.

Take care and stay safe,

Yours sincerely,

Enda McGorman

27th May 2020

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