We have come to the end of a most unusual first term, this time last year we could not possibly have predicted what lay ahead for us in 2020. The changes that have taken place in our lives, both inside and outside school, are unprecedented. I am extremely proud of how our school community has worked together to successfully overcome the challenges of the past few months. From remote schooling to schooling whilst masked and maintaining social distance; students and staff have shown remarkable good will, good humour and resilience.
We have welcomed 63 new students and 9 new staff members, all of whom have settled in extremely well and enriched our school community and we look forward to welcoming 72 new families next year.
Students and staff have been extremely busy, not only learning and teaching but also running events such as the Halloween fundraiser, dyslexia and college awareness weeks, producing the newspaper, the student council elections, gaining entry to the BT Young Scientist competition and running and taking part in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities – art, upcycling, soccer, athletics, basketball, ultimate frisbee, GAA, linguistics, music, board games, maths club, homework club and more.
Well done in particular for the huge effort invested in reaching out to the community with the food drive for St Vincent De Paul and carol singing at local nursing homes. These activities truly demonstrate our values and remind us that putting ‘we before me’ is now more important than ever.
Our Covid procedures have become second nature and thankfully have protected us from a school based Covid outbreak to date. Despite the limitations placed on us by these procedures we have manged to maintain strong connections and have seen our students progress in their learning and development. In Sandymount Park ETSS we aim for teaching and learning excellence in an environment enriched by positive relationships and the contributions of students to all aspects of school life. We focus on providing students with opportunities to develop their identity as individuals and as learners and on building strong bonds with others and the wider world.
We have high expectations for everyone within our community and took the time today to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of students academically, on their contribution to school life and for demonstrating our school values of kindness, respect, empathy, hard-work, participation, curiosity, democracy and community. We had 21 awards today and it is always a difficult task to select out some from a group of such amazing students. Every day I am delighted and proud of all students; their dedication to their learning, their sense of fun and enthusiasm and their motivation and commitment.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff for their dedication and hard work and to parents for your ongoing support.
You can access the latest edition of The Sandymount Park Press here I encourage to read the excellent articles and contributions from students and staff. It’s a great way to stay up to date on all that is happening in our school.
Wishing you all a safe and restorative Christmas break and I look forward to welcoming students back on January 6th.