As we all gathered in one classroom on the 12th March to hear our Taoiseach announce the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 crisis little did we know that we would not be seeing this classroom or hearing the sounds of the children in it until September. After the initial shout of excitement went up, an eerie silence descended on us all as even the youngest child seemed to realise that this was a momentous time in Irish history, indeed in world history.
Some tears were shed, children comforted children, teachers began to gather work to send home all through a haze of disbelief. We all thought we would be back after Easter but as we know now that was not to be. We all have faced many challenges in the last few weeks - not seeing loved ones, missing friends, parents working from home and trying to home-school at the same time and the constant worry that someone we know could catch the virus. But I think I can safely say that this school community has faced these challenges and have come through them magnificently. I have never been so proud to belong to the community that is Cloghogue N.S. The actions of the staff, the parents and the children have never ceased to both amaze and delight me and I welcome the opportunity now to applaud these actions through this yearbook.
Firstly, to the staff. I am blessed to be surrounded by such a willing and able group of colleagues and I want to thank them for getting me through these strange times. The staff took the news of our closure calmly and immediately their thoughts went to how they could facilitate the children’s learning at home. Over the Easter, as it became apparent that we were in this for the long haul, teachers took webinars and explored different methods by which they could communicate with parents.
As enthusiasm for home-schooling started to wane they organised Active week and were excited every day to receive the numerous videos and photos of the children taking part. Above all, it was obvious that the staff simply missed the children and would have given anything to be back in the classroom with them. I also have to mention Valerie and Cathal who have been immensely supportive and are always available to help out. I couldn’t ask for better.
A word of thanks also to our new Board of Management who have been thrown in at the deep end and have risen to the occasion with their unwavering support and advice.
Next to the parents. I think I can safely say we have one of the best community of parents in the country. The level of
support we have received and the patience that has been shown to us by you all has encouraged us every day. We know how hard it has been for you all and yet all your communications have been upbeat and hopeful. From making tear jerkers of videos for the Communion class, to sharing exploding volcanoes with us, to participating each and every day in Active week and to the myriad other insights to your family life that you have shared with us, thank you.
To the children, the centre of our lives in this community, you have faced this time with courage and smiles. Although loving being at home with your family, we do know that you have missed your friends and the simple routine of going to school.
Maybe even, on occasion, you might have missed your teachers as much as they missed you! I have never been as proud of you as I am now and I look forward to seeing you all in September so that I can tell you all this face to face. Well done and thank you.
Of course, I would not have the opportunity to properly express my gratitude if it were not for this yearbook that our wonderful PA produce every year. Their constant support and their continuing efforts to provide new experiences for the children, music generation and drama to mention just two, are greatly appreciated by all the staff.
There is an Irish saying, "Gíorraíonn beirt bóthar" – two shorten the road. On the journey that we have undertaken in the past few weeks and the journey that is still ahead I can say that I was lucky to have more than two on my journey, I had a whole school community, and that has made the journey easier.
Go dte tú slán .
As the school year comes to an end, as mostly new Parents Association members, we have thoroughly enjoyed our roles as part of the Committee. We would like to thank parents, teachers and staff for all their help and support throughout the school year, without which our job would be a lot harder.
With this in mind, we have now successfully held a number of fundraisers, including Christmas cards, the coin collection, the clothes collection & our family fun day. As a result of these very important events and your generosity, we have been able to fund Music Generation, drama classes, new guided readers, much needed sports equipment and playground markings for the children of 2018-19. Many thanks for all the goodies sent in for Christmas plays, Grandparents’ mass, afternoon tea
for coin collection winners and family fun day.
As our children come to the close of another school year, and are that small bit wiser, older and taller, we would like to thank all the staff of Cloghogue for all the dedication, support and kindness that they have shown to our children.
We would like to wish the sixth class students the very best of luck as they begin an exciting new chapter in their lives, starting secondary school in September.
We look forward to resuming our roles for the new school year.
Cloghogue Parents Association