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P2 – P7 Return to School Arrangements

Posted on August 6, 2020

6th August 2020

Dear Parent


Following the long awaited guidance from Education Minister, Mr Weir, this letter is to clarify return to school arrangements for pupils for the next academic year.  Given that schools in the Republic of Ireland were allocated an additional €375million to help manage their return to school, we had naturally been hoping for some similar kind of emergency funding to alleviate class-size pressures etc but at this stage the Minister has made clear that no such funding is available.  Naturally this puts pressure on the school to deliver the curriculum effectively whilst at the same time, be as mindful as possible of the health implications.


Nevertheless, the school will endeavour to ensure that all pupils return to school for face to face teaching for the new academic year.  Given that P.7’s have already been asked to return to school, week commencing Monday, 24th August, we feel that it would be an ideal opportunity for other pupils (P2 – P6) to ‘dip their toes’ in a phased return and in doing so, enable us to assess the effectiveness of subtle changes to normal school life which will be introduced.  P1 pupils will start school the following week (week commencing Monday, 31st August).

So to summarise –


Mon. 24th, Tue. 25th, Wed. 26th August    P2 – P7 pupils    9.15 – 12.15pm (No dinner available)


Thurs. 27th, Fri. 28th August                          P2 – P7 pupils    9.15 – 2.15pm (P2)

                                                                                                            9.15 – 3.15pm (P3 – P7)


Mon. 31st August                                             P1 pupils              9.15 – 12.00pm

                                                                             P2 – P7 pupils    usual school day


At the time of writing, our Wrap-Around Care facility is not guaranteed as Melanie awaits further guidance; obviously this issue will be clarified asap.

In conclusion, this communication is simply to outline the return to school dates.  There will be further communication week commencing Monday, 17th August outlining other charges to what would have been considered ‘the norm’.


Yours sincerely

Jarlath McElholm



Posted on March 20, 2020

20th March 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

Re Supporting Children of Key Workers ,

Yesterday evening the Minister for Education made a statement outlining how schools will close from today Friday, 20th March.  The overriding priority is to reduce the spread of the virus using social distancing and effective hygiene.  That is why churches, schools, community, sporting and other organisations are closed.

However, the Minister for Education stipulated that schools should try to co-operate with skeletal staff to facilitate provision for vulnerable children or those whose parents are key workers and critical to the Covid-19 response who, otherwise would have no option but to stay at home to look after their children.  The earliest we can put these arrangements in place here in Sacred Heart P.S. is Tuesday, 24th March 2020.

As there is a limit to the number of places we can provide under current regulations, it is vitally important that we can provide for numbers who may require a place.

With this in mind, If you meet the Key Workers Criteria (see below) and wish to be considered for a place in this reduced provision, please email before 12.00pm Monday, 23rd March.

In the email, please include –

  • Your name & job
  • Your children’s names and classes
  • Days you will require childcare support

Refer to the job title below within each sector and consider if the following applies:

  1. You are a single parent, identified as a key worker – without another family member/trusted friend who could look after your child.
  2. A parent is identified as a Key Worker – working during school hours, without another family member/trusted friend who could look after your child.

NB Should this service be over-subscribed, a formal application form will need to be completed in order for us to prioritise.

Children of key workers cannot use this facility where they have a spouse or partner working from or at home.  If they are not actually working that day themselves or they have alternative provision, our service should not be called upon as we need to keep the number in the school to an absolute minimum and ensure that social distancing precautions can be adhered to. Unfortunately, this is not business as usual and medical advisers continue to stress that the safest place for children and staff is at home with as little social contact as possible.

Parents/Guardians are asked to note that we can only operate during normal school hours 9.15am-3.15pm.  Staff will only be operating in a supervisory role and not in a teaching capacity.  We already have a reduction in staffing and this will probably continue to get worse in time.  School staff must observe the advice regarding social distancing by keeping the number of children and staff very low and limiting contact between them as much as possible.  Additionally, the school will only be open if enough staff are available to work. 

In conclusion, keep safe and thank you for your continued support in these difficult times.


J McElholm




  • Health and Social Care. This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, home carers and staff required to maintain our health and social care sector
  • Education and childcare. This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who will remain active during the Covid-19 response
  • Public safety and national security. This includes civilians and officers in the police (including key contractors), Fire and Rescue Service, prison service and other national security roles
  • Transport. This will include those keeping air, water, road and rail transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response
  • Utilities and Communication. This includes staff needed for oil, gas, electricity and water (including sewage) and primary industry supplies, to continue during the Covid-19 response, as well as key staff in telecommunications, post and delivery services and waste disposal
  • Food and other necessary goods. This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution and sale, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (e.g hygiene, medical etc)
  • Other workers essential to delivering key public services
  • Key national and local government including those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response

Monday, 9th March 2020 Weekly Note

Posted on March 9, 2020


A big well done to our quiz team who finished runners-up at the Allianz Cumann na mBunscoil quiz at St. Conor’s P.S. on Friday. Our team of Finbar Darcy, Patrick Harley, Cormac Darcy and Tristan McKnight were in the mix throughout the event before being edged out by St. Ronan’s P.S. Recarson in the end. Nevertheless a valiant effort – well done boys!


All school photographs must be submitted no later than Wednesday of this week. If anyone is planning to order directly online please be advised of a small error in the code which should commence with the digit ‘1’ – but this only applies for direct online orders; usual orders should just be returned to the school in the normal fashion.


Tickets are now on sale for our upcoming show of ‘The Yellow Brick Road’ on Tuesday, 24th and Wed. 25th March. Tickets can be ordered online at or by phoning the Strule Arts Box Office on 8224 7831. The children have been working extremely hard towards this event and look forward to your support.


The school will be closed from next Mon – Wed (16th – 18th March) for our St. Patrick’s Day holiday. School resumes as usual on Thursday 19th.


Monday, 2nd March 2020 Weekly Note

Posted on March 2, 2020


Our girls’ football team were off to the Station Centre this morning to participate in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscoil Indoor Gaelic competition. The girls put in a fantastic effort winning their group section before losing out to St. Patrick’s P.S. Gortin in an epic semi-final. Well done to our female footballers on a fine effort!!


As part of our ongoing Environmental Work towards our Eco Schools Application a group of actors from the Lyric Theatre Belfast performed in the school this morning. The show continued to raise awareness and positively change behaviours on issues of littering and plastic pollution.


A Lenten Mission has commenced in the Parish this week. A group of P.7 pupils will attend 10.00am Mass tomorrow morning (Tues) in Sacred Heart Church along with other schools in the parish. Any parents/grandparents interested in attending are more than welcome to do so.


Good luck to our participants in the Cumann na mBunscoil quiz which will be held in St. Conor’s P.S. on Friday morning.


This Thursday is World Book Day. To mark this event, all pupils throughout the school are invited to come to school dressed as their favourite book character. Please note that parents are asked not to go to any expense for this. It is purely for a bit of fun to promote reading as an enjoyable pastime.


Our Parents’ Association have organised a fund-raising Table Quiz to be held in the GAA Club on Saturday night at 8.00pm. This Quiz night is to raise much needed funds towards our production of ‘The Yellow Brick Road’ later in the month and obviously your support would be much appreciated.


Tickets will be on sale from Wednesday for our upcoming production, ‘The Yellow Brick Road’ which will be held in the Strule Arts Centre on Tues. 24th and Wed. 25th March at 7.30pm. Tickets can be booked by phoning 8224 7831 or by booking online at Tickets are priced at £6 for adults and £4 concessions. The children have been working very hard for this event and look forward to performing in front of a big crowd on both nights so your support will be greatly appreciated.


Hard luck to our Credit Union Quiz team who performed gallantly at Friday night’s Chapter Final but ultimately missed out on qualification for the All-Ireland Final in Dublin.

Monday, 24th February 2020 Weekly Note

Posted on February 24, 2020


Good luck to our P.6 quiz team who, by virtue of their recent success in Fintona, have qualified for the Chapter final in Kelly’s Inn, Garvaghy on Friday (28th Feb) at 7.00pm. The pupils involved should arrive no later than 6.45pm in their school uniform.



The girls’ football team will be in action next Monday in the Station Centre in the Allianz Cumann na mBunscoil competition. The girls involved will be notified this week and should wear trainers.



Pupils in P3/P4 are off to Ecclesville Forest on Friday morning as part of a series of Shared Education visits. Hopefully the poor weather will pick up to enable a more pleasant learning environment.



We welcome along Miss Orla Dolan a student from St. Mary’s University who will be based in the school for the next 6 weeks. We hope you enjoy your stay Orla!