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Covid 19

Flowchart for PARENTS based on NI Direct website guidance


6th January 2021

Dear parents

It is with deep regret that we enter the second period of lockdown and acknowledge that this is a stressful time for everyone especially those trying to balance work and caring responsibilities with home-schooling. The guidelines from DE are changing daily but we will provide updates as the circumstances change. We aim to support your children through this period by building on the many positive aspects of the previous period of remote learning. To that end, we will:


  • Provide fortnightly printed packs with clearly labelled Literacy and Numeracy work for each day and Nursery children will receive weekly activity suggestions from Miss McElduff;
  • Share Reading books to specific year groups which will be exchanged each fortnight;
  • Post weekly schedules of work and daily instructions on Seesaw;
  • Support children through new concepts using tutorials and video messages, as appropriate;
  • Be available each day from 9.00am to 3.30pm via Seesaw for online support.
  • Respond to children’s work with praise and ideas for further learning.
  • Support keyworker children who have no alternative provision and vulnerable children. These children should bring their learning packs and packed lunches to school every day. School transport for key workers’ children is available at present but this may change.
  • Provide additional learning opportunities for children with Specific Literacy difficulties through the ‘Engage’ programme.


 We ask that parents:

  • Collect the first set of learning packs from the school on Friday 8th January from the covered area in the playground. To facilitate social-distancing, we have allocated times for collection:



Time slots

A to F

9.00 am to 10.00 am

G to L

10.00 am to 11.00 am

M to O

11.00 am to 12.00 noon

P to S

1.00 pm to 2.00 pm

T to Z

2.00 pm to 3.00 pm

Open session

3.00 pm to 5.00 pm

After 5.00pm, packs will be available in the school's reception hall until 9.00pm.


  • Share your child’s progress at home via photos and videos;
  • Return worksheets and reading books to the school at the end of the two-weekly block when collecting the next work pack;
  • Don’t stress or worry if your child isn’t engaging well with the work sent home or if you feel we are bombarding you with work that you don’t have time to look at.
  • Look after yourselves and minimize stress as much as possible.


In the interim, keep safe and thank you for your continued support in these most challenging times. If you would like further clarification on any aspect of the school’s provision, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Yours sincerely


Peter Cush


Dear parents
The school's first case of pupil with Covid 19 was confirmed today, Friday 18th December 2020.

We have informed all parents whose children have been identified as 'Close contacts' of the pupil.


What is a Close Contact?

Close contacts are people who had direct face to face contact within one metre of a person who has tested positive for any length of time, including a face to face conversation, being coughed on or having direct physical contact (skin-to-skin). People who spent more than 15 continuous minutes within two metres of the infected person are also close contacts.


If your child has been identified as a close contact, please read the letter using the link below.


Unfortunately, children who are close contacts should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the last contact with the case, which is up to and including 25th December 2020. This is not the Christmas we had hoped for but we pray that we will all get through this difficult time.


In the event that your child, who is a pupil at St. Colmcille's, should test positive for COVID-19 up to Sunday 20th December 2020 or if you have any concerns you would like to discuss about Covid 19, please email me at marking your email 'URGENT COVID-19'  and I will make contact with you.  


Wishing you and your families a safe, happy and peaceful Christmas, with God’s blessings for 2021


Peter Cush


Emergency School Contact (COVID-19) during the Christmas Holidays

In the event that your child, who is a pupil at St. Colmcille's, should test positive for COVID-19 up to Sunday 20th December 2020, please email marking your email 'URGENT COVID-19' and the Mr Cush will make contact with you.  
Take care everyone. 

Free School Meals: Provision of food to children self-isolating for 10 day or more

Update: 14 October 2020

Statement from Education Minister Peter Weir on COVID-19 restrictions


Education Minister Peter Weir said that schools will:

  • have the half-term holiday break extended from 19 to 30 October and 
  • reopen on Monday, 2 November.
  • be closed to all pupils during these two weeks including for children of key workers.
  • not be providing for remote learning as this is an extension of the half-term break.


Concluding Peter Weir said: “This year has been a stressful time for schools, pupils and parents.  I want to thank principals, teachers and school staff for their dedication and commitment to keeping schools a safe and welcoming place for pupils to learn.”


Camowen Smart kids

Camowen Smart Kids aims to provide support for children throughout the half-term break. If you would like to register your child for this service, please contact Tressa on 079 0171 1180.

From: Education Restart Programme
To: All Schools, Education Sector Partners
Date: 29 September 2020


Dear Colleague




PHA have asked us to emphasise to schools that pupils and staff must only be advised to seek a COVID-19 test when they are symptomatic of the virus – that is a new continuous cough, a fever or a new loss of taste and/or smell. Early evidence from the Contact Tracing Service is that available testing capacity is being utilised to test many children and school staff who are showing no symptoms and in doing so make it more challenging for genuinely symptomatic individuals to access a test.


Tests must only be recommended for a staff member or pupil where they are clearly symptomatic or where PHA specifically recommend a test for any reason.


Update to Coronavirus (COVID-19) : Guidance for Schools and Educational Settings in Northern Ireland


On Thursday 24 September, schools were provided with updated guidance on managing the impact of COVID-19 within schools.


Subsequently as you have been advised, an issue was brought to our attention by school leaders in relation to the practical implications of several paragraphs in Section 8 of the revised guidance. These paragraphs had advised that schools operating classes in bubbles would need to protectively self-isolate whenever a class member became symptomatic.  In practical terms this would have meant that anytime a child got COVID-19 symptoms, for most primary schools and many post primary schools, the entire bubble would have been sent home.


We have worked closely with the Public Health Agency who lead on public heath advice to rectify the issue.  PHA has advised the correct position is that only when a positive case has been identified in a symptomatic child, young person or member of staff do schools need to consider self-isolating close contacts of that individual. Close contacts must stay in isolation for the full 14 day period.  They should not return to school before the 14 day isolation period as they may still be incubating the virus – regardless of a lack of symptoms.


An updated version of the guidance is attached here and has been published on the Department’s website.




Education Restart Programme

Covid 19 - Updated advice

"My child is unwell, what should I do?

DE guidance for parents and carers