St. Rynaghs National School


Main St., Banagher, Co. Offaly   -   Phone: 057 91 51419

Junior Infants Sept. 2020


Thank you for choosing St. Rynagh’s N.S. for your child.  These are different times, however, the truths about how children learn and develop are the same and we as a school community are looking forward to welcoming your children in September.

We will be receiving guidelines for reopening from the Department of Education in the next few weeks.  We will work with enthusiasm to make the reopening work.  We will be in contact with you before opening to explain how the beginning of September will work when we receive the D.E.S. guidelines and put our own plan in place.

I would like to talk about the preparations that can be managed now to prepare for your child coming to school.

There are 26 children enrolled in Junior Infants for 2020.  Their teacher will be Ms. Garvey.  We have posted videos of Ms. Garvey and myself on the website so your children can familiarise themselves to us a little.  We have also posted pictures of the classroom, school gate and the yard where Junior Infants play.

You as parents more than any year may be nervous in September.  We as teachers and a school community will also be nervous.  It is imperative, however, that we do not transfer these feelings to the children.  We will have a reopening plan in place which we will communicate to you.  If you have concerns now or then you can ring the school, leave a message, if you do not get me,  I will ring you back.   This way we will try to make as confident a start as possible to encourage the feelings of confidence and openness necessary for children to thrive.

We have also included a picture of a pencil grip.  This is our preferred grip for children to use so you can practice this at home when your children are colouring.  Colouring with a crayon should be done with the same grip as writing.   If your child is starting to write their name, teach them to use a capital letter for the first letter then to use lower case (Mary, Tom).

This year more than ever it will be beneficial if your child can manage their lunch independently.  Practice opening their school bag at home, taking out their lunch, opening the lunch box themselves (some boxes can be quite difficult for them to open), opening the lunch and eating it without assistance.  A small lunch that they consume completely is the ideal.  I think for the moment yogurts could be left at home and fruit should be peeled or easily peeled.  We will help your child but the more we can minimise that help, the smoother the lunch time will be.

When you get the uniform later, please get your child to wear it, go to the toilet, and fix themselves up closing buttons afterwards.  They could also practice taking off and putting on their jumpers and coats themselves.  We will help them if necessary, however, the more independent they are the smoother the management will be.

I have included a video of me reading a story.  Read to your child.  The Libraries are due to reopen before the schools so join the Library, choose books together and explore the excitement and the shared enjoyment of books.   Children can find it very reassuring to hear the same story several times, this is one of the reasons why fairy tales are so successful through generations.  Albert Einstein said “If you want your child to be intelligent read them fairy tales, if you want them to be more intelligent read them more fairy tales.”  So if you only have a few books, they can be read again to your children.

Limit screen time to short definite times, so children are used to having to stop playing.  When it comes to September do not allow any screen time before school.

For numeracy talk to you child about numbers.  Count out biscuits, give them sand or water to learn about capacity.  Ask how many cups are needed to fill the jug.  If throwing a ball, ask can they catch the ball if they are 1 metre away, then can they catch the ball if they are 3 meters away.  Talk about time, differentiate between a short journey in the car 5 minutes and a longer one half an hour or 30 minutes.

Play board games as they teach turn taking, cooperation and strategy.  Toys such as Lego and jigsaws are essential for fine motor skills and spatial awareness.

Speech and language difficulties have become more of an issue in recent years and this year your children will be spending less time in playschool.  Learning Nursery Rhymes and saying them regularly is wonderful for speech and language.  All possible sounds are in nursery rhymes, regular repetition gives great enjoyable practice and the children develop a sense of rhythm.

These are the long term preparations we are asking you to take.  We will be in touch again when we have our detailed plan for September.  We are looking forward to welcoming your children to St. Rynagh’s N.S.



Click on images to enlarge