School NewsUncategorized

Coláiste Fionnchua Re-Opening Updates

It is very much apparent that returning to school this year will be unlike any other year and will present us all with a number of challenges. There will be many new practices and procedures to be followed to ensure we do our best to keep our school a COVID free zone. I believe that this daunting challenge will be made easier with the help and support of our school staff, teachers, students and parent/guardians.

  • 27/8/20 First Years Only
  • 28/8/20 First Years Only
  • 31/8/20 First & Sixth Years
  • 01/9/20 First, Third & Sixth Years
  • 02/9/20 First, Third, Fifth & Sixth Years
  • 03/9/20 First, Second, Third, Fifth & Sixth Years
  • 04/9/20 First, Second, Third, TY, Fifth, Sixth Years & LCA

Below you will find information pertaining to reopening of our school.

1. Student Health & Safety with Covid-19 Requirements (Masks)

All students will be provided with a PPE pack which will consist of a visor, two disposable facemasks. Once these become unfit for purpose it will be up to each student to provide their own PPE as required. It is advised to begin to purchase these over the coming weeks- They should be plain in design with no inappropriate imagery on them. It will be compulsory that all students wear the visor while in the building and a facemask is optional while on the corridor.

2. School Transport

In tandem with the safe re-opening of our school, a key issue will be the provision of safe transport and the need to adhere to all Covid-19 guidelines relating to same. The following instructions were issued by Bus Eireann for school transport:

· A student is not to use school transport if they are displaying symptoms

· Students are to maintain physical distancing while waiting for transport

· Students are to always sit in pre-assigned seating and next to a sibling or child from their class group (this should be the same child at all times)

· Students to use hand sanitiser on boarding the bus

· Students observe respiratory etiquette at all times while waiting for and on-board transport services

· To disembark the bus one by one in an orderly fashion

· With the exception of those children who for medical or special educational needs reasons are not in a position to wear a face mask or face covering, all other students travelling on the post-primary scheme are required to wear face masks while waiting for and on-board transport services.

We are encouraging any students that can walk or cycle to school to do so. If you are dropping a student to school, please set down outside the school grounds and delay no longer than required.

When students arrive at school, they can use the school canteen which will be supervised, and social distancing will be implemented. If a student does not go to the canteen they will have to proceed directly to their base classroom. They will not be permitted to congregate in groups around the school building.

3. School Uniform

Students are expected to follow our uniform rules as outlined on the school website. Uniforms should be washed regularly to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

4. School Bags/Books and Lockers

Students are encouraged to pack smartly for school, they should only bring the required items for the classes they have on their timetable. Teachers will outline what is required in the first week. The need to bring  workbooks, etc. to class will be kept to a minimum. Students will receive access to lockers

5. Student Movement (Year Group Pods, Base Classrooms, Practical Classes, Toilets, etc.)

Movement around the campus will be greatly reduced when we return to school. First, Second and Third, TY and LCA students will have base classes. Fifth- and Sixth-Year students will move as normal. Here are the preliminary details of the base classes.

Class groups will have base classrooms assigned to them and teachers will move between classrooms.

Students will also have assigned seating in each classroom to ensure they sit at the same table as much as possible.

Students will only move for options within their assigned group or for subjects that require access to specialist rooms.

A one-way system of movement will be in operation in the building.

Access to toilets will be as before and they will be cleaned regularly due to the enhanced cleaning schedules we will be implementing.

6. Breaks and Lunchtime

Lunchtimes will take place at the same times as normal and will not be staggered. However, year groups will be allocated a zone to keep contact between different groups to a minimum.

Students will have access to our school canteen as well as other designated areas and we have purchased a number of new seats for use around the building.

Students will be encouraged to be outside as much as the weather permits.

The school canteen will be in operation during break and lunchtime. A new process regarding ordering and collecting lunches will be in place. A limited menu will be operated due to Covid related restrictions.

7. School Curriculum, Timetables, & Homework

There will be many changes to the curriculum. These will take place at a national level and the school will keep you fully informed of same. School staff will continue to do their best to help students reach their full potential.

Work is ongoing on the school timetable. This is a significant undertaking each year, but this year many new challenges are arising as a result of the re-opening of school’s guidelines. Timetables are now available on VSware.

Homework, assignments, projects will still be set but students will be submitting these online where possible to limit the exchange of books, copy books, etc. We will continue to evolve and develop our digital strategy and the use of i-Pads and Microsoft 365 accounts for all students will greatly support this.

8. Student Care and Wellbeing

The wellbeing of our students is of paramount importance to our school community. When students return to school, all students will be provided with a programme around wellbeing that was developed at national level and designed for all post primary schools. Students will also have support from the following:

· School Guidance Counsellor


· School Completion Co-ordinator

· Pastoral Care Team

· School Management

9. Restricted School Access

Public Health guidelines state that schools must restrict access to building outside of students and staff. Only in very exceptional circumstances should students be collected from school during the day. Appointments for students should be made outside of the school timetable if possible. If you wish to call to the school, please contact the school office for an appointment.

Access to the building will not be allowed on an ad hoc basis, if a parent/guardian is dropping items to the school during the school day they will have to be left outside the front door and can only be collected at break times.

10. Extra-Curricular Activities/Homework Club and Supervised Study

The future of extra-curricular activities is still very much unknown. We are proud of the range of activities we offer, and we look forward to returning to these when it is safe to do so.

Homework Club for all first and second years will continue as normal. Once the last bell of the day rings, all other students will have to vacate the building to allow for cleaning. It is important that arrangements are in place to collect your son/daughter after school.

Although, school will be a much-changed place this year, we hope that the same warmth that has always resonated within our school walls will be evident and that students will be happy and safe when they return.

More updates will follow in the coming days.