5th & 6th Year Orientation

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

As the first week back to school draws to a close, we thought it would be nice to share some of the highlights with you.  It was an unusual week in some respects, but we are thrilled to be getting back to business and we were delighted to welcome all of our new and returning students.  Students have been extremely cooperative in adhering to the new safety measures in place, and have greeted the changes with good humour and positivity.

Chris Lauder and Lorraine Lee pictured during our Orientation Day for students at The Dublin Academy of Education

As you are no doubt aware, our 5th year students had their Orientation Day on Monday, and our 6th year students joined us for their Orientation on Tuesday.  I spoke to the students about the unique school culture and environment here at The Academy, and a little about our response to the ongoing pandemic.  Our 5th Year Head, Tracy, also spoke to the 5th year students about how to make the most of their time here, and they met their tutors for some bonding time, a quiz, and some tasty treats! The 6th Year students were addressed by their Year Heads, Rob and Lorraine, who gave them some helpful tips and advice about the year ahead.  They also had some informative and inspirational talks from our founder, Chris, and a number of other speakers.  

Our team have prepared this short video below for you to sample the atmosphere here over the two days of orientation. 

Our students are now back in class full-time and working towards their first Continuous Assessment report, which will be available to view on Friday the 9th of October.  This first report will reflect work assessed since the start of September and will be of help to parents and students in gauging how well they are managing the workload and the return to school. Students have had almost six months away from conventional education, so we encourage parents to identify and celebrate those results that reflect an increased application and an improved approach to academic work.

VSWare is the online platform that our teachers use to record results and offer feedback to parents and students.  It is a powerful tool for tracking student performance, and it is important that parents use it as required, as it will enable you to keep up to date with assessment results as well as attendance.

We are also happy to announce that our after-school study facility will be available in the Study Hall for students from next Monday, 7th September.  For contact tracing purposes, students will need to register for study in advance, and attendance will be taken. Students can register through their Moodle platform. Parents/Guardians will be notified by email that their son/daughter is present in after school study. I would ask that, in the interests of efficiency, students only register for study session which they are certain they will attend.

In the interests of promoting physical and mental health, we continue to allow students to incorporate gym use into their timetable.  This is subject to approval by a parent/guardian and me, but as Physical Education is not built into the timetable, I advise students to take advantage of this amenity.  An active lifestyle forms a very important part of a student’s wellbeing, and is a vital ingredient in academic success.

As in previous years, students can also build in an early finish or a late start to their day.  This year especially, in order to reduce numbers in the building, and to reduce pressure on public transport networks, I strongly encourage students to consider using this facility.  It also reflects an important part of our philosophy here at The Academy, a belief that students ought to be encouraged to manage themselves and take control of aspects of their educational experience. 

Finally, I urge all students to continue to please be mindful of physical distancing and wearing a face covering at all times.

Kind Regards,

Ciarán Hartigan
The Dublin Academy of Education

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