School remains closed on Monday 23 March 2020.  

20.03.2020 Contingency Plan: Coronavirus, Covid-19

Dear Parent/Carer

Over the last few weeks we have all come to realise that the months ahead are going to be like nothing any of us has experienced before. We are aware how anxious many of you are – for your children, for your partners, for your own parents. Here in school we feel the same.

When school closed yesterday we were aware that the children were very perplexed by what is going on. This is an unprecedented time for everyone. The children have been amazing over the last few weeks. It is important, now more than ever, that we all remain level headed and upbeat for the sake of our children and try not to pass on the extent of our worries about this virus.

I am so proud of all the staff that make up our BIPS family – they have supported each other, worked together and helped each other like never before. We are a close team and this has been evident in the concern they have shown for each other and the children in their care.   Thank you for the many emails you have sent to us and for the surprise food gifts left at school today – we appreciate these acts of kindness so very much.

Today and over the last week or so the teachers have been putting their minds to how best to support you as parents but more so your children, our pupils, over the coming months.

We have decided to focus on the weeks up to the Easter Holidays and will have some work available for collection on Tuesday 24 March 2020. We are in this for the long haul – you are not home schooling your child. We will provide you with some guidance on what to do and if you choose to do many other things then so be it.

The organisation of the collection of this work will be strictly controlled – as it must be. We are not dealing with a mild infection – we will do everything we can in our attempts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our community. Details of how this will work will be sent out via the School App on Sunday.

You will also have heard of the proposed arrangements announced by the Education Minister for schools to provide support for parents who are Key Workers. The information given to Principals has been scant and last minute. We, in Ballycastle IPS & NU, want to be able to support key workers but we can only do so when we have a well thought out plan as to how it will work successfully and safely for everyone.  

The announcement stated that this will be child care and not education. As yet we have not been issued with protective clothing or guidance on how to socially distance children yet keep them occupied for up to 6 hours per day whilst they come into contact with children from different families as well as ourselves.  

This is a key issue for us – we do not want to compromise the health and well-being of anyone in our school community or the wider Ballycastle community.

Therefore, we will not be able to offer child care on Monday 23 – school will remain closed to pupils on that day but we hope to be able to do so by Tuesday 24 March. I will be forwarding to you details about this tomorrow.

In the meantime information on Key Workers is available at https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/letter-minister-education-education-sector.

I hope that this situation passes more quickly than any of us anticipates and that very soon the sound of your children learning will fill our classrooms again.

My suggestion to you would be to take a step back and cherish those who are dear to you more than you have ever done before.

Kind regards

Mrs Diana Evans        Principal                20 March 2020

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Further Articles »

ETI Remote Learning Advice - March 2020

During this unprecedented time, the ETI is fully aware that schools are working tirelessly in the best interests of the children and parents to put in place creative solutions for remote learning.

The following document has been prepared to support children, voluntary playgroups, nursery schools, primary schools and parents with remote learning.  The document includes important reminders about staying safe when working online, information relating to daily schedules and a range of digital and practical learning activities.  It also emphasises the importance of finding a balance when timetabling the activities for each day. We trust the suggestions within this document will support you at this most challenging time. The document can be found by clicking  here.

Online applications for our Nursery Unit and Primary School - Sept 2020/21.

Online applications for our Nursery Unit and Primary School closed at 12 noon on the 30th January 2020.  If you would like to apply for a place in our Nursery Unit or P1 then please contact the school on

028 2076 2496. 

 

**Click here to download the criteria for our Nursery September 2020 intake.**

**Click here to download the criteria for our P1 September 2020 intake.**

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