Author Archives: Maggie Owens

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Visual Arts

Category : Post Primary

Well done to our 6th years who created these beautiful collages of Art as part of their LCA elective subject ‘Visual Arts’.


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Golf Classics Postponed

Category : Post Primary

Dear Golfers,

I am emailing you to inform you of the update regarding our Golf Classics Fundraiser 2021 in aid of Holy Family School for the Deaf. Due to the current lockdown, we, unfortunately, have to postpone the Golf Classic on the 9th of April 2021 to Friday the 10th of September 2021. We like to apologise for this delay and thank you for your patience and support for our school. If this date does not suit you and you like a refund, please let us know. If you are happy with this new date, we can carry forward your deposit for the 10th of September. It will be a great event for all to enjoy.

We will let you know if any changes closer to the date,

Please keep safe and well,

Thank you,

Maggie Owens
on behalf of 
Holy Family School Fundraising Committee


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Campaign to save the in-school Speech & language Therapy Support for Holy Family School for the Deaf

Category : Post Primary

Principal Eimear O’Rourke was notified by the HSE that due to the re-organisation of services for children with special needs, Holy Family is to lose our in-school Speech & Language Therapist. 

Our Speech & Language Therapist is funded by the HSE and has working in the school for over 10 years. 

Her work is very important in supporting our pupils to development language both ISL and speech. She is the only SLT in Ireland who has the competence to carry out specific Irish Sign Language assessments for Deaf students who communicate through ISL. 

All pupils need SLT support at some stage during their time in Holy Family. Our SLT also works closely with our teachers and parents. 

Under the new HSE Model of support our pupils must go outside the school to access Speech & Language Therapy. Only 6/140 will access this support close to the school – from the local Children’s Disability Network Team CDNT. All other children must get this support close to their home address- i.e. in their own local HSE primary care centre. 

This loss is huge for our school because: 

  1. The loss of specialist SLT provision in deafnessOur pupils will receive SLT from therapists with little or no experience of deafness and who have no training in deaf communication. This unjustly forces parents into the role of educator and often interpreter. Pupils and Deaf parents who require ISL interpreting support to access SLT in the Community will be disadvantaged due to the limited availability of ISL interpreters nationally.  
  1. Poor access to SLT services nationally: Our pupils will be forced onto the current excessively long caseloads waiting lists for Primary Care SLT.. This may mean less time with the Speech & Language Therapist 
  1. Loss of school time as pupils in Holy Family travel long distances daily on school transport or are boarding it will not be possible for them to attend appointments without missing school time.  This seriously disadvantages our pupils and will impact negatively on their educational outcomes. Our pupils access the mainstream curricula at primary and post primary level and must be enabled to achieve equal terms with their hearing peers. 
  1. Loss of teacher training and support & family training and support– Over 50% of our in- school SLT’s time is dedicated to this support. By your own admission you will be only able to provide ‘some in-school supports and training’ We will be forced to compete for this support with other school settings and with no guarantee that the clinician will have any competence to deliver in our specialist setting. 
  1. Equity with other specialist education settings: why is our school and schools for the deaf to lose out under this new model of provision? Some non -deaf specialist education settings have been allowed to retain their clinicians and have been afforded the opportunity to present their case for continued support. 
  1. Lack of consultation and evidence- based dataThe HSE has not provide evidenced based data on how community-based Speech & Language therapy is preferable to the current in-school model of provision. The lack of consultation with parents of deaf children and experts in the specialism is unacceptable and leaves this group of children highly vulnerable to education disadvantage. 

The Campaign must continue until the HSE give a commitment that they will continue to fund an in-school SLT for Holy Family. 

Thank you for your support to date. I will keep you updated and informed on our progress. 

ISL Translation of the Open Letter below

https://mailchi.mp/a5dae771cbaf/holy-family-school-for-the-deaf-open-letter


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Redeployment of our Speech and Language Therapist is unfair and unjust.

Newspaper Article on losing our SLT
18/03/2021

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/redeployment-of-therapists-away-from-special-schools-unjust-and-unfair-principals-say-1.4512998?fbclid=IwAR32zu2Iunj95kROnk6xGqYbSb8ufwq3hnx_66RO0shV8HEJo_eU_tEdiwk

Thank you to Marie Sherlock for highlighting our concerns

Sunday Independent Article 21/03/2021


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Pi Week Maths Challenge!

Category : Post Primary

It is Pi Week! 

How many digits of Pi can you remember off by heart?
Why not practice this week and on Friday you can show us how many you remember!

Digits: The first 50 decimal digits are 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510

Today’s Maths Challenge! Try this challenge by yourself or with your math teachers or parents. 
Send you answers on this google form = https://forms.gle/56YfveuUzjWUjmXa7


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World Book Day 2021 (Primary)

Category : Primary

Well done to all the primary students who dressed up for World Book Day 2021. The Mr. Men and Little Miss seem to be a popular choice in Holy Family School this year!


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World Book Day 2021

Category : Post Primary

Super fun in Holy Family School today as students and staff dressed up for World Book Day 2021. There was even a surprise Jerusalem Dance by Snowwhite and the 7 Dwarfs! After watching this dance all the students were then inspired to partake in the Jerusalem dance.
This afternoon we had Students read poetry and extracts from their favourite book for Literacy week and then we had an online conversation with bestselling author Sam Blake, who wrote the book ‘The Dark Room’. Sam answered our students and staff questions about her books, her writing, and her characters. It was a really interesting discussion. Overall a productive World Book Day!

Conversation with Sam Blake


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GREEN SCHOOL Competition

Category : Post Primary

Green School Committee would like to share a home challenge for our students to enter a competition @greenschoolsire #LitterLessCampaign. 

There are two challenges they can choose from:

  1. Be a Bin Detective – They must add up how many bins they have in each room at home. Are they rubbish bins? recycling bins? compost bins? They can download the Bin Detective table attached to fill out.


  2. Interview Older Family about Litter – Find out what they knew about litter when they were young. They can ask grandparents, parents, an aunt or uncle. They can download the Eco Interviews attached and circle or type their answers.

Click on the links below to download the template for Bin Detective and Eco Interviews.

The deadline for this competition is next Friday 12th March.

You can share photographs of them counting their bins or interviewing family on  @greenschoolsire #LitterLessCampaign. We can also share these on our school website, social media, or newsletter!

Thank you from

Holy Family Green School Committee


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Drop Everything and Read (Day 3) and ‘Guess your Teacher’s favourite book’

Category : Post Primary

Day 3 Day 3. Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) 10.30am to 11am. We noticed that the students and staff are looking forward to this reading time and the positive effects it has on everyone’s well-being. We feel more relaxed & content after DEAR time. It is a proven fact that reading can help reduce stress. Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate. Congratulations to Roisin for winning the best DEAR participant.
In the afternoon we had an online ‘Guess your teacher’s favourite book’ and general knowledge quiz which was great fun and exciting! well done to a sixth-year student who won the overall quiz. One initiative we also have as part of literacy week is a ‘Poem in your Pocket’. A student is to have their favourite poem in their pocket and if a teacher stops and asks them to show them their poem and to read it, they will earn 1 cream pie that they can hit a teacher in the face with! God help our teachers!! Well done to English Teachers on organising a brilliant Literacy week and it is not over yet! Tomorrow is World Book Day and we are looking forward to seeing everyone’s costumes!


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