Preparing for the Start of Term FAQ'S
Can my daughter bring in a packed lunch?
Yes, your daughter should bring in a packed lunch, snack and a drink as in previous years. Lunch and break will take place in designated areas/base classrooms.
I noticed on the start of term induction programme that the School Council has an induction on Wednesday 26th August. My daughter was a class perfect last year. Should she come into school for the induction on this day also?
No, the induction on this date is for 6th Year School Council members only. Election of class prefects will take place during first number of weeks of term.
My daughter is in 3rd Year and her book list outline that she should buy exam papers in certain subjects. However, she does not know what level she is taking – what should we do?
Please do not buy any papers until your daughter speaks to her subject teacher when she returns to school. Teachers will let all students know what level they will sit during the first weeks of term.
I have heard that 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year students won’t have access to lockers. What about senior cycle students?
In line with social distancing guidelines, we are able to facilitate locker access for senior cycle students. Lockers will be adequately spaced apart, however, the success of this will depend on the cooperation of the students in ensuring they maintain social distancing with their friends.
I hear that some schools are operating a staggered start to the school day. Will this happen at the Ursuline Secondary School also?
No, school will begin at the same time for all students (8:45am registration). As students arrive they should go directly to their Base Classroom or Class Tutor’s room. Students will not be permitted to gather in the corridors.
School will also finish at 3:30pm for everyone, but each year group has a designated exit.
Will my daughter have to wear a mask at school?
Yes, all students are required to wear a mask whilst in the school building. Given the length of time your daughter will be wearing a mask it is important that the mask she uses is comfortable. Some of the elastics that go around ears can be thin and painful after a short period of time.
In line with all post-primary schools, we have developed a school COVID-19 School Response Plan. A COVID-19 Policy Statement agreed by the Board of Management will be posted on the school website later this week. The main focus of the plan is to reopen schools for all students while making every effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
a) Increasing separation
b) Decreasing interactions between everyone in the school e.g. students with each other, students with staff, staff with staff
One of the significant changes for some students will be that they will not move around the school at the end of each class.
Individual classes in 1st, 2nd, 3rd year & LCA will each have a ‘Base Class’. This is the room where students will be for most of the day with teachers teaching the girls in this room, rather than students moving rooms between classes. Students will, however, have to move for option subjects such as Art, Science, Music, PE and Home Economics.
Each girl will have an assigned seat in the base class.
Students without a base class i.e. TY, 5th and 6th Year students will continue to move from class to class, although they will be given a clearly defined base area within the school.
Where possible students will have double lessons (2x 40 minutes) as opposed to a single 40-minute lesson. This is to reduce the movement of people around the school between classes.
We will be prioritising TY, 5th Year and 6th Year for double classes as they will be the year groups who will be moving around the school most.
Book leasing will operate as planned. Books will be given out to students during the induction programme.
School Opening Time
School will continue to open at 8am.
On arrival students who have a base class will go directly to their base room (1st, 2nd , 3rd & LCA)
Students who do not have a base class (TY, 5th and 6th Year) will go to their class tutors classroom for morning registration.
Arrival & Departure Times
Each year group will be given a specific point of exit from the school at the end of the day. This is to reduce any chance of congestion taking place at the end of the school day.
We do not anticipate issues with arrival times as students tend not to arrive in large groups and we do not have to manage a school bus service.
Masks & Visors
The most up to date guidance from the Department of Education is that where 2 metre distancing cannot be achieved students should wear masks. Given this. all students should come to school with a face-covering/mask.
Students who have difficulty wearing a mask can wear a visor should they wish.
Whilst the school will have a small stock of spare masks and visors for students who forget or misplace these, we ask that parents purchase a mask/visor for their daughters and ensure they bring these items to school with them each day.
All teachers will wear a visor in class
The school will have hand sanitising stations in every classroom and around the school.
The bathrooms will be stocked with bactericidal hand soap.
There is no need for students to bring their own sanitizer to school unless this is something they would like to do themselves.
We encourage students to carry a packet of tissues in their bags.
We have increased our school cleaning provision and have employed an external cleaning company to carry out Electrostatic Disinfection of the entire school building twice weekly.
Calling to the school
All visits that require parents to enter the school building must be by pre-arranged appointment only.
Please contact Miriam in the school office on 021 4358012 should you wish to meet a member of staff or enter the school building for any reason.
Visitors will be asked to complete a contact log at the time of their visit.
Parents will still be able to visit the school reception to pick up their daughter for a doctors appointment.
Dropping off lunch/gear/forgotten books etc
Should you need to drop off something for your daughter you may leave it in the reception area.
The school secretary will not be in a position to accept these items or distribute them.
Please clearly mark any items dropped off at school with the name and class of your daughter and identify what the item is e.g. lunch, Home Economics Ingredients etc. Your daughter will collect her items from this area.
After School Sport
We anticipate that after school sport will continue as normal with teams adhering to the COVID-19 safety guidelines outlined for that particular sport. At present, our Hockey coach is compiling a COVID Response Plan to ensure the team can continue to train. Similarly, measures are being taken by our other sports coaches.
We will provide additional information on after school sport in due course.
There has been some suggestion on social media that school uniforms would not be required. This is incorrect and it is expected that all girls will attend school in full uniform.
A reminder that the school uniform pop up shop will take place in School next Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th August. If you would like to purchase items of uniform you can make an appointment by contacting 4ORM at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 021 4372969. All orders made in June will be ready for collection over these two days. You do not need an appointment to collect an order.
On the day your daughter has PE she should come to school in her PE uniform and wear here PE uniform for the duration of the day. There will be no need for her to change back into her school uniform after PE.
After School study
We will continue to offer after school study, but space will be limited.
We will send out a notification on the school app in due course where parents can book their daughters a place.
Given social distance guidelines the use of lockers in school will not be possible for every year group. We are conscious that this will pose a problem for students carrying large amounts of books to and from school. We are currently working on a solution to this problem and will update you soon.
Updating Medical Information on the App
It is essential that parents complete the medical information page on the school app. This may be required in the event of a medical emergency.
Summer Holidays to Non-Greenlist Countries
Whilst most families remained in Ireland this summer, it is important that students who have travelled abroad to non-green list counties self isolate for 14 days upon their return. In some cases, where trips abroad have taken place in mid to late August, this will mean a student will not be able to attend school in the early part of the term. If you are affected by this guideline, please contact the school office.
Student Specific Information
COVID-19 has affected families in many different ways. If your daughter has been impacted by COVID-19 in any way that may affect her smooth return to school, please do not hesitate to contact your daughter’s Year Head.
Communicating with Home
All updates and information regarding preparing for the start of term will be via the school app. It is essential that all parents have access to the school App for this reason.