General Pointers For All 

During this school closure there are some important things we would like parents and pupils alike to remember:

1. Being helpful and staying well is our main priority.

We fully understand that the onset of the Covid 19 virus will bring different demands and experiences to every household. Each student of Ardagh NS must do their best to stay well, practise good hygiene and do our best to be helpful at all times by for example not falling out with our siblings!!

For parents who are working full time and worried about keeping up with school work please rest assured that the majority of work we assign will be focused on independent learning. 

2. There is no excuse for being 'bored'.

There are a lot of challenges involved in staying at home and many of us have to learn how to find things to do. As mentioned above  being helpful around the house and taking responsibility for daily chores might be one positive contribution all  pupils can make. 

Being creative and playing games, building, crafting from imagination  might be a bit messy and  need parental and weather permission but if we haven't played and explored by ourselves in a while now is the time to do it. This wont come easy but it is worth persisting with.

 Aimless screen time can consume hours  and minutes on us, and like fast food leave us surprising unfulfilled. A better approach set ourselves a purpose or a goal for going online. EG  Project work, reading texts online, learning a new tune on the tin whistle, learning how to cartoon.

3. There are great opportunities to learn at home.

Parents are rightly regarded as the primary and most influential educators and during this  closure period there are some areas we could really do with your help in order to  get the full benefit from this unusual situation.

Reading:

If you can regularly take time to read to or with your child and discuss what you read be it a book, comic, newspaper, Wikipedia page or whatever it will really help. Due to the time constraints of our classrooms, we as teachers always feel that we would love just a little more time to  hear your child read,  question what they are reading etc but maybe at home you can deliver this. Reading to an audience even if that audience are siblings also helps build confidence and competence.

Maths 

Often in class we improvise real- life scenarios to  demonstrate the practical applications of the maths curriculum we teach. Concrete materials make it easier to demonstrate concepts that are tricky for example cutting an apple to demonstrate fractions: in school it is hard to furnish a full class with their own apple never mind the supervision of cutting implements! At home though these explorations might be more practical 

For younger learners counting and sorting using every day items is really valuable while for older pupils calculations involving money , time  weight capacity or length. We would encourage you to ask mathematical questions and challenge  your child to think mathematically.

Language Learning.

Be it English, Gaeilge or any other language it is again so evident that when we give the learner a reason to use the language and explore new vocabulary then the learning sticks with us more effectively. Encourage your child to chat in  both languages. Explore phrases and new vocabulary and above all have fun with the language!

Physical Education

Possibly the hardest loss to mitigate at the minute is the loss of team sports or group training but again this might be an opportunity to practice skills from throwing and catching to  striking a sliotar to perfecting a yoga stretch. Creating our own games is also a key facet of the PE curriculum that might be equally  suited to ones own back yard as a classroom.

Skipping or other aerobic activities might also help alleviate the affects of cabin fever!

Other Curricular Areas

Suggestions for work at home in  other subject areas will be shared with you here on the school website by the teachers but please rest assured that your ideas are equally if not more valid in your homes. As the final paragraph below suggests please feel free to share your ideas by sending them to us on  ardaghnationalschool@gmail.com

4. Social Distancing does not mean we cannot stay connected.

Often there is a tendency to  be suspicious of social media and the internet but during our enforced absence from the physical classroom we  are going to  do our best to  create a hub here on the Ardaghns website to act as a virtual space where work/ activities can be suggested by teachers, completed work can be shared and maybe even some prizes awarded!!

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