Cork students take on challenge in response to teachers message of encouragement during lockdown

Cork students take on challenge in response to teachers message of encouragement during lockdown
Students of Our Lady of Good Counsel Special School in Ballincollig took on the toilet roll challenge in a response to their teachers.

A group of Cork students have responded to their teacher’s video as a means to stay connected and in contact with each other during lockdown.

Students of Our Lady of Good Counsel Special School in Ballincollig took on the toilet roll challenge in a response to their teachers who they are missing since the closure of the school due to Covid-19.

The school caters for primary and secondary school students and has a total of 68 pupils ranging from the ages of four to 18 who are missing their regular contact with staff.

Principal of the school, Aisling Power told The Echo that the teachers made a video for the students on Friday last as “a feel good thing” and to keep up communication with the students.

Staff including the secretary and the bus driver made a video message for the students and one of the teachers, Lorraine, compiled the video for posting on social media.

“We sent it on Friday and the students loved it. In response to that then the parents wanted to do something nice back for the staff. So the parents got together and took up the challenge and they did a better one.

“It’s a really feel- good video and it lifted us all up because it’s the social connection that's missing at the minute.

“In a special school especially, the communication and building relationships would be the primary focus of the curriculum and it is difficult to do that in isolation but that’s the challenge,” she said.

Ms Power said that teachers are in regular contact with students through daily Zoom sessions and a video sharing platform called Padlet is used to keep students engaged and up to date.

She said that the academic programme is still going “full steam ahead” and that junior cycle students will receive their certificates which they have “put a lot of work into over the last few years”.

“The feedback from parents is very good and we’re a very tight knit community and there’s a lot of communication going on, open communication with the families is the key to this so they don’t feel isolated and they still feel part of the school community and that they're supported and thought about,” Ms Power said.

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