New Term begins of Online Learning

Tomorrow, the 20th April, is the start of the final term of the 2019-2020 school year. This is normally a very busy term with exams classes preparing for final exams, practicals, project deadlines, and the more enjoyable aspects of planning for the end of year awards, graduation ceremonies etc. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic and current lockdown, it will no doubt be a very unusual and different term.

The three weeks in the run-up to the Easter were a learning curve for us all, with everyone adjusting and upskilling with online learning and staying isolated at home. Thankfully our staff, students and parents/guardians embraced this change so positively. Thanks to all who completed the survey at the end of the last term, your feedback was very much appreciated. In response to the feedback and comments from students, teachers and parents/guardians we have developed a set of guidelines that will hopefully make the next few weeks more structured and sustainable and address some of the issues that were occurring. Parents/guardians should have received a text earlier with a link to a letter outlining the guidelines, but I am attaching them here in case you didn’t.

It is vital that our students keep engaging with the material teachers are setting, both from an educational point of view, but also for a focus each day for them. We do understand the issues of poor ICT facilities, poor Broadband etc and we would encourage you to let us know if there are ways we can assist/advise. I know some of you have issues of several children in a home using the same laptop, hopefully the more structured approach to assigning work will assist in this regard. I would also encourage your child to install the Team app on their phone.

Of course, there is no real replacement for the classroom environment, but we will do our very best to assist our students as we head into the final term. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance over the next few weeks.

Kind regards and keep safe, DQuinn.

Student Enterprise 2020

Well done to all our students who took part in the Galway Enterprise Awards recently.

In the Senior Category (TY) we came 1st with the company What About Me? and 3rd with Agri Attack. (Daniel, Pasha, Gerard, Darragh and Andy.)

In the Intermediate category (2nd Years) we came 2nd with Top Songs From Beginner to Pro . (Ella, John, Job, Sarah and Alicia.)

Finally in the Junior Category, our 1st Year Team Jazzy Jars came 1st.

Well done to all who took part, and who supported the companies by purchasing their products, and to all that helped prepare them for the competition.

Senior Student Enterprise Award Winners

Meet the What About Me? team…. 

Tomas Ronayne(TL), Niamh Nestor (Mid), Dylan Coleman (TR), Katie Heneghan(BL), Molly Martyn (BR). They are delighted with the support they are getting with their sales on http://wam.dunmorecs.ie/ & they have just won the Galway Senior Student Enterprise Award for their company!! They now represent Galway in the National Student Enterprise finals. 

Junior Enterprise Winners

Well done to our First Year Mini- company Jazzy Jars & their Transition Year mentors who won the Junior section of the Galway Enterprise Competition. They now represent Galway in the National finals. They set up their company in September and used recycled jars to create candle holders, desks tidies or trinket holders.  They designed the jars for different occasions & themes. Jazzy Jars will continue with their orders when they return to school. 

State Examinations Update

This is the latest update from the Minister for Education detailing that the Music Practical, Home Ec Practicals and the French, Irish and German orals are now cancelled. I am well aware that this will be a very upsetting time for our exam students, if you would like to speak to one of us, please feel free to email mscarry @dunmorecs.ie, bclesham @dunmorecs.ie, principal@ dunmorecs.ie or deputyprincipal@ dunmorecs.ie with your number and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Thursday 19 March 2020) announced the cancellation of oral and practical performance tests of the state examinations which were originally scheduled to take place from Monday 23 March to Friday 3 April 2020. 

All students who were due to take these tests will be awarded full marks for this portion of the exam. 

The decision was taken in light of the closure of schools as a result of the Covid-19 virus and it will be implemented by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). 

Minister McHugh said: “This is a difficult time for all. Students are facing a challenging period out of school and our decision on this element of the exams is being taken with their best interests at heart. 

“It is the fairest response we could take in the circumstances. It guarantees that no student will score less than they would have if schools had been operating as normal. 

“We have seen a new emphasis on remote learning amid the uncertainty about the impact of Covid-19 and the closure of all schools. I hope this decision will ease some of the pressure that students are feeling and allow them to focus more clearly on completing project work and preparing for written exams.” 

The change to the 2020 state examinations means all students who were due to take oral and practical performance tests in the following subjects will be given full marks for this part of the examination: 

  • Oral tests in Leaving Certificate Irish and the Modern Languages of French and German.
  • Practical performance tests in Leaving Certificate Music.
  • Practical performance tests in Junior Certificate Music and Home Economics. 

Minister McHugh also confirmed changes to deadlines for students to complete project work and coursework in a number of subjects. 

Students were originally scheduled to complete these elements of the state examinations on a number of dates from Friday 20 March to Friday 24 April 2020, depending on the subject. 

Students will now be given until Friday 15 May 2020 to complete this work. 

Minister McHugh said: “We know we are asking a lot of people in order to stem the spread of Covid-19. In response to that I want students and their parents or guardians and teachers to be given flexibility as they work towards the exams. 

“All of Government is hugely grateful for the effort, commitment and energy that students and teachers are putting in to continue education in difficult circumstances. I urge you all to keep up the momentum and focus on preparing for the exams.” 

Minister McHugh also said the Department will continue to work with the State Examinations Commission to monitor the Covid-19 situation in terms of its potential impact on the other later scheduled components of the state examinations. 

“We will continue to respond at the right time and in the right way, with the impact on our students at the forefront of our minds,” Minister McHugh said. 

The Minister also advised of steps taken by the Department to minimise the impact on teaching and learning of the current school closures. All schools have been asked to continue to plan lessons and, where possible, provide online resources for students or online lessons where schools are equipped to do so. Schools have also been asked to be conscious of students that may not have access to online facilities and to consider this actively in their responses. School buildings are available to staff if they wish to access the facilities in order to provide online delivery, or essential services once this is in line with Health Service Executive (HSE) advice.  

The Department of Education and Skills will continue to provide supports to the education sector at this time, particularly schools with students taking State examinations. 

The Department of Education and Skills has been liaising closely on a continual basis with the Department of Health in relation to Coronavirus/Covid-19 since early January. This will continue. 

Senior Cycle Enrolment 2020-2021

Unfortunately, we will be unable to hold our annual Senior Cycle options night this year due to the uncertainty of COVID-19. Therefore, we will be using an online application process. The link to the application form will be sent to all 3rd year and TY student school based email accounts tomorrow morning. The form requires both the student and parent/guardian to complete and I would advise doing so from a laptop or computer. The form can only be filled in from the link sent to the students’ email account. I will text parents to notify them when this link has been emailed.

Prior to the filling in the application form, please have a browse of the presentations from last year and some websites of relevance that will assist you in making the decision on what option your child should apply for.

Please get in contact if you have any queries at principal @dunmorecs.ie or mscarry @dunmorecs.ie or deputyprincipal @dunmorecs.ie

PLEASE NOTE: DEADLINE FOR COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM IS THURSDAY the 26th MARCH.

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