St Aidan's Community School

Update for Parents/Guardians/Students

Update for Parents/Guardians/Students

To all students, parents, guardians

After such a long break I am sure that at this stage everyone is looking forward to schools reopening. We are delighted to be getting our students back to school and we look forward to working with them and with their parents and guardians. However we realise that you will all have concerns about the return.

I want to take this opportunity to let you know what we have been doing in St. Aidan’s to ensure the safe re-opening of the school and hopefully to reassure you if you are worried. We have been issued with detailed guidelines from the Department of Education and we are of course following these guidelines very carefully

  • The first thing to say is that the government plan, and therefore our plan, is to have all students back in school for full days. We are not changing our school start or finish time with the exception of the first week where year groups will return on a staggered basis. There is a schedule for this on this website.
  • One of the most important guidelines is in relation to social distancing. We must maintain a minimum of 1 metre between students in classrooms and other spaces. This has meant measuring and removing some furniture from classrooms. In St. Aidan’s we have always had very good pupil teacher ratios. We tend not to have big numbers in our classes. This has meant that we have been able to accommodate most lessons without too many problems. Where the numbers in a class are too big for the room, other arrangements will be put in place. This might involve changing the class to a larger room or putting in an extra teacher to create two smaller groups.
  • In second level schools movement between classes is unavoidable as students need to change rooms for options etc. Again we have an advantage in St. Aidan’s because we have always had a one way system upstairs. This lends itself very well to social distancing when students are moving between classes. We will also have a one way system downstairs and on stairways. We will have to make some changes to how the students exit the school to avoid gatherings at the main door. It is also helpful that we no longer have a morning break as that would have been very difficult to safely manage. The change to one hour classes has also worked in our favour as it reduces the amount of movement between classes.
  • We have been given additional funding from the Department and this is being used to further ensure safety in the school. We will have cleaning in the school throughout the day as well as when school finishes. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the school and should be used regularly by all staff and students
  • All staff and students will have to wear face coverings in the school. This can be a visor or a mask. The school will have supplies of these items but students may prefer to wear their own. If there is an issue in relation to a student wearing a face covering this can be discussed with the parent/guardian.
  • Sharing equipment such as pens, books etc. is unsafe and we will have to discourage this. Students will need to bring their own basic equipment to school. This was always best practice but now it is very important from a health point of view. In cases where equipment needs to be shared, such as in a practical room, strict sensitization procedures will be in place.
  • The health and safety of everyone in the school, and indeed their families, depends on everyone playing their part. For students this means abiding strictly by the school rules particularly when it comes to social distancing and movement around the school. We will help the students with this. Year groups will return to school on a staggered basis and we will work with students to help them to adapt to new systems.
  • Some changes will also have to be made in the canteen and so there will have to be some new arrangements for lunch-time. These have not been finalized yet but we will keep parents updated
  • We are also looking into a safe system for the use of lockers and again we will keep parents updated
  • We have always encouraged parents to come to the school to talk to us if they have any concerns in relation to their child’s education or wellbeing. We continue to welcome parents to the school. However in line with government guidelines parents will have to ring before coming to the school.
St Aidan's Community School,
Dublin 24,

01 452 4677

© 2020 St Aidan's Community School