Dear 6th Class,
I hope you are all doing the best you can in these very unusual and difficult times. It must be a challenge at this stage to keep motivated. I encourage you to keep going for the last few weeks of term and just do your best. Use your time constructively and positively to pursue your interests and set little challenges for yourself. Read lots, get some exercise and help around the house. Be kind and keep smiling.
I am delighted to hear you are doing a few pages from the book ‘Mind the Gap’. This is a great way to start preparing yourself for the big jump to Post Primary. I know even though you missed the final term you are ready for the challenges which lie ahead and you will do very well. It would be a good idea to reach out to past pupils of Ard Rí, or neighbours, or friends who attend your particular school and ask them any questions you might have. They would be delighted to support you. You are not alone. I have now spoken to the Principals of all the Secondary Schools in the town. They know that this September will be different and they will have to do some extra work to support you. They have promised to take good care of you. If you have any questions please ask Jack on Seesaw or email the office on email@example.com. We will do our best to help.
Myself and Jack are planning for your graduation night. We will hold a ceremony on Zoom on Thursday 18th June at 7pm. You can start to plan a nice party with your family. The hoodies are ordered and we will deliver them to you before the big night. Jack will be holding a meeting on Zoom for you all next Thursday so you can plan and organise the event. He will send more details to you closer to the time. We know it will not be the same but you will always be remembered as ‘The Lockdown Class’.
We are very proud of you all.
Below is a beautiful message from President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins.
Always do the best you can. No one can do more than that.
MESSAGE TO SIXTH CLASS STUDENTS
PRESIDENT MICHAEL D. HIGGINS
May I send my very best wishes to all of you children as you enter the final weeks of
your primary school years.
I know that these last two months have been difficult for you, for your teachers and
your parents. To those of you who have lost loved ones may I offer my deepest
sympathies. Many of you, I know too, are worried about relatives who are ill or maybe
lonely. I know, from so many who have written to me, that you are of course missing
grand-parents, cousins or neighbours that you haven’t seen for some time.
All of you will have greatly missed being with all your school friends and teachers.
For example, the cancellation or postponement of Confirmations, sports days,
school concerts, graduation ceremonies and other events which would traditionally
mark and celebrate the end of your time in primary school will, no doubt, have been a
source of disappointment for so many of you.
As President of Ireland I have been very impressed with the way in which all of you
have responded, risen to the challenges, continued to learn at home, working with
your teachers and parents.
You have found all sorts of imaginative ways to remain in touch with your friends and
pursue your hobbies, while at the same time always putting the safety of others,
including your relatives and neighbours, ahead of your own wishes and plans.
Those are achievements of which you can all be very proud indeed.
While this last term in primary school has, in many ways, been difficult for you, it is
my great hope that it has also allowed you to experience something very important
about your school days. You have learned that your school is not just a building
containing a series of classrooms where lessons are held, tests are sat and homework
is corrected. A school is so much more than that.
School is where you have been making friends, working together in teams,
discovering your talents and developing them to the best of your ability. School is
where we celebrate all that we have in common with each other while recognising and
respecting the differences that make each of us unique.
School is where we learn how to be part of a community and, most importantly,
how to include others in that sense of community, by being kind and supportive and
School and home are places where we release our creativity and begin to realise our
great potential as citizens, and the importance of becoming a person who works with
others to make our society a better place.
Although your school buildings have been closed now for many weeks, the fact that
you have remained united has shown that there are some things that no lockdown can
ever postpone, shut down, cancel or take from you, including the connection you
share with your fellow pupils, your teachers, and with all those who have made school
and your community such an important part of your life.
In September you will be commencing a new and exciting chapter of your lives during
which I hope that all of you will be able to look back on your years in primary school
with gratitude, affection, and humour too.
As you now say goodbye to your primary school years, and look forward to your first
year in secondary school, may I wish each and every one of you every happiness as
you continue your educational journey.
Beir beannacht d’on todchaí
Michael D. Higgins
Uachtarán na hÉireann
President of Ireland