16th October 2020
I am sure you are aware of the decision taken by the Northern Ireland Executive to close schools for two weeks over half-term. I am disappointed that pupils will not be able to attend school and I am deeply concerned at the amount of time learners have missed as a result of the Corona Virus pandemic. However, I recognise that the decision to close schools is part of a wider effort to try to bring the spread of the virus under control, protect the NHS and save lives.
The Minister for Educations said in his most recent statement that remote learning will not be available for pupils and that the two-week period should be taken as an extended half-term break. Again, I am quite confused as to why remote learning could not be supported; however, that is the instruction from the Department of Education and we are obliged to cooperate.
Over the past two days, teachers have set home study tasks for pupils to complete at home next week. This will be marked by teachers after half term. Although pupils are not required to complete the work, we do believe that it is important that pupils continue to study, particularly in light of the days missed through school closure last year and as a result of self-isolation this term. Tasks and resources are available online, so I would ask you to encourage your child to engage in some level of study next week.
The decision to close schools could have long lasting implications for many of our senior pupils; however, I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to ensure that no student at Lisneal College is disadvantaged in relation to qualifications and awards. Given the high stakes involved in school closures it is essential that we each take personal responsibility to make the ‘circuit breaker’ work. Please ensure that your child abides by the restrictions put in place and remains at home. A failure to do this could result in a delayed return to school. This is the last thing our students and staff need in preparing for examinations in November, January and May of this academic year.
Please take care in the coming weeks and I look forward to seeing Lisneal College filled with pupils in the near future. #TEAMLISNEAL