COVID-19 Back to School Advice for Parents


August 2021





August 2020

Dr Abigail Collins Return to in person learning at primary schools

March 2020


Isolation quick guide for parents and guardians of children older than 3 months and up to 13 years of age


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 Letter from Deputy Chief Medical Officer to parents and guardians

Friday, 26th February 2021

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Wednesday, 24th February 2021

Letter from Norma Foley, T.D., Minster for Education, to all parents/guardians of students.

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Thursday, 31st December 2020

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Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,

Primary and Post-Primary schools will continue to remain closed until Monday, January 11th, 2021.

It was anticipated schools would reopen from January 6th, 2021, however, based on information provided by the National Public Health Emergency Team, the Government of Ireland has issued all schools to remain closed until Monday, January 11th and keep the rest of the country under Level 5 restrictions until January 31st.

The Government is asking families to use this extended time to reduce their social contacts before a full return to school. As a result, Level 5 restrictions require us to have no visitors/indoor gatherings in our homes and to stay at home unless it’s for essential travel or exercise within a 5km radius.

When our school reopens to students and staff, we will continue to make use of hand sanitiser, keeping a distance of 2 metres, where possible, when in the schoolyard and visits to the school are strictly by appointment only.

Please stay safe at this time, for more information regarding COVID-19 and its symptoms please click here and for information regarding Level 5 restrictions click here.

Further updates will be provided through our  website,  Facebook  and  Twitter.

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The school will open on Thursday 27th August.


Wednesday, 26th August 2020

A Special Welcome for our new 3rd classes tomorrow.


Wednesday, 26th August 2020

Looking forward to welcoming everybody back tomorrow

Dear Parent / Guardian,

The BoM and School Staff are looking forward to welcoming all our pupils and parents / guardians back to school for the 2020/2021 school year, tomorrow morning, Thursday 27th  August.

We are satisfied that we have control measures in place to ensure that this will be a safe re-opening.  It will take some time for all of us to get used to the “new circumstances” as we become familiar with the new routines and procedures designed to keep everyone safe and to prevent the spread of the virus.  There will, undoubtedly, be some unforeseen challenges and we will deal with these as they arise.

We would like to thank you for your co-operation in making preparations to date and look forward to working with you as we assist the children adapt to the necessary changes.  We are also conscious of the fact that our pupils have not been in school since March and that they are looking forward to coming back to school to meet their friends again.  We are aware that our new pupils are beginning a school year at a challenging time and have made plans to ensure that their arrival will be as free from stress as possible.


  Eimear Berry, Chairperson, BOM                                                  

Jim Ryan, Principal


Tueday, 25th August 2020

St. Bernadette’s S.N.S. welcomes everyone back to school on Thursday, August 27th!



Monday, 24th August 2020

Back to school information videos

You can also view these Back to School videos in:

Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Cantonese, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, English, French, Georgian, Irish, Italian, Hungarian, Kurdish Sorani, Latvian, Lingala, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Ukranian and Yoruba.

Click on this website link below to watch the videos in other languages.


                     Drop-off and Collection Routines

Thursday, 20th August 2020

Dear Parent / Guardian,

St. Bernadette’s Senior N.S.  appreciates your support as we try to safely reopen the school building.

If possible, we request you not to come onto the school grounds or into the school building unless it is essential. We understand and appreciate that dropping off the Junior & Senior Infant pupils to their line in the yard is essential, but for the older pupils in the senior school a drop off at the school gate is desirable to limit the numbers in the yard. Working together, we can make the reopening of schools as safe as possible for all.

We would ask all parents to familiarise themselves with the following drop-off and collection routines for the safe delivery and collection of pupils from school.  Please be patient as we implement these necessary precautionary and protective practices at the beginning of the school year.

It is important that

  • adults do not come within 2m of each other
  • Parents do not try to have meetings with members of staff in the playground at drop-off and collection times – meetings between parents and teachers can only take place by prior arrangement. (The recommendation is for remote meetings/telephonic communications, if possible)
  • all parents adhere to the drop-off and collection plans as outlined below
Start time classes Finish time
8.50 am 3rd classes  (boiler  house yard) 
  6th  classes (playing pitch  yard)   
2.30 pm
9.00 am 4th classes  (boiler  house yard)   
5th  classes (playing pitch  yard)   
2.40 pm

On the first day in the Senior School, the two third classes can start at 9.30 am.                  

Their parents can accompany them to the yard on this first morning.

As all other pupils will be in their classes and settled, this will give the two 3rd class teachers and the two 3rd class Resource teachers a chance to talk to the new pupils and parents, in the yard, show them where to line up, and explain some Senior School routines.

Every other morning, after this first morning, 3rd class pupils can line up in their designated line at 8.50am.


Eimear   Berry  Chairperson, Board of Management                                               Jim Ryan,  Principal


Monday, 17th August 2020

Physical Distancing  and  Safe School Attendance

Dear Parent / Guardian,

Social Distance in School:

 We will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue.

Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: –

Increasing Separation.  This will be achieved by re-configuring the classrooms to maximise physical distancing. Each class will be referred to as a bubble and we will ensure that there is as little contact as possible between children in different bubbles.  Within the bubbles, children will be organised into pods.  A pod is a group of children  (normally 4 – 6)  who will sit together and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom. 

Decreasing Interaction. This will be achieved by decreasing the potential for children from different bubbles to interact.  Each bubble will enter and exit the school through their own block to access their classrooms.  Bubbles will arrive and leave the school at different times. They will also have different mid-morning and lunchtime breaks on the playground.  Each bubble will also have its own separate area on the playground where they can play. Therefore, for example, when the three 5th classes are out on the yard on their break they will have their own yard. There will be no other classes on that yard. Furthermore, on that yard the three classes will have their own separate area to play on. Pupils will only play with other pupils in their bubble – not with any other pupils in the other 5th classes. We will make these routines enjoyable activities for the children, emphasising safety at all times. Social distancing will also be observed when lining up and walking in from the yard.

Safe School Atttendance:

Displaying Colds, Coughs or Flu Like Symptoms

While all children will be welcome back to school, we would remind parents that, where children are displaying colds, coughs or flu like symptoms, THEY SHOULD NOT BE SENT TO SCHOOL.  Children who display such symptoms in school will be isolated and parents asked to collect them from the school.

Return home from holidays

Children who have travelled from countries not on the Green List should  NOT  attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period

Further information on COVID-19 symptoms in children is available at: –

Teachers will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing, coughing or spitting.  We would be grateful if you could also emphasise safe behaviour in this regard to your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school. It would be great if pupils also had their own packet of tissues and sanitiser.

Our aim remains to re-open the school in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the new school environment. 


Eimear   Berry, Chairperson of the Board of Management                    

Jim Ryan, Principal

e-mail received from Dept. of Education & Skills today



13th  August 2020

This is our school Reopening Plan that has been formulated after much deliberation, consultation and research. It has been put together with the sole intention of opening our school safely and keeping it open.

Both the staff and the Board of Management of the school, with the help of the parents/guardians, pupils and the wider community, will make every effort possible to keep our school safe and open.

As this is “living document” it is subject to change with future advice from the Department of Education and Skills and from H.S.E. to keep it up-to-date.

We are looking forward to seeing everybody on Thursday 27th August.

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Letter for Parents / guardians

13th  August 2020

As our plan for reopening the school is long – 15 pages – we have put together a two page summary below of the main points for parents / guardians.

Click the black download button below to download and save.


5th  August 2020

RE: Re-opening of St. Bernadette’s Senior N.S.

Dear Parent / Guardian, Staff Member,

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

As you are aware, our school has now been closed since 12th March due to the COVID-19 situation.  We are now hoping to re-open our school safely, in line with current guidance and recommendations.

Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, School Leadership, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.

We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now and have published the DES COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools on our school website (below).  The Response Plan gives details of

  • Physical preparation, signage, hand sanitiser stations,
  • Advice, procedures and training for the safe return to working in the school for all school staff and pupils
  • General and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus

We have also published our COVID-19 Policy Statement on the school website (below). Our BoM will keep you informed as to the progress of our re-opening plans and provide you with the information required by you to play your part in safely re-opening the school.

We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children.

We will be in touch with you again before school re-opens.


               Eimear   Berry, Chairperson, Board of Management.                             Jim  Ryan,    Principal

The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: –


During the summer builders were in the school to:

(a) insulate the outer walls to retain heat

(b) install solar panels on the boiler house roof to heat hot water for taps in all toilets and classes

(c) Replace all bulbs with energy efficient LED lights

(d) Replace the oil central heating boilers with efficient Gas boilers

(e) upgrade the campus security spotlights to energy efficient LED bulbs


COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools


COVID-19 School Policy Statement



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