Communication to parents/guardians of Second Year students 24th Sept. 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian,

I hope this letter finds you and your families well. Firstly I would like to complement our Second Year students on their great co-operation since returning to school in September. Our school environment and many of the normal routines of schooling have changed as per our Covid-19 Response plan –  the students have risen to the challenge of adapting to these necessary changes and we thank them for this. I would also like to thank you, parents and guardians, for playing your part in supporting students and encouraging them to co-operate fully with our response measures.

As we finish our first month back at school, I would like to bring to your attention some work we have done with students around the area of homework and study.  As part of our Tutor Group class this week, all students were spoken to and shown a presentation on homework. The importance of homework has been highlighted to students and we are asking for your support around this. Students in second year can expect to spend two hours each evening on homework. Please note that homework is not just ‘written work’ – students also need to spend time revising classwork and learning or studying new information . Parents are strongly encouraged to check their child’s journal each evening and we kindly ask you sign the student journal weekly. Journals are checked by form tutors on a Monday morning.

A study by the NCCA Pathways Through the Junior Cycle raises some interesting information regarding their research of Second Year in secondary schools.

  • Second year of post-primary education has often been one in which students ‘drift’ and is seen by school staff as the most ‘difficult’ year in the Junior Cycle. Students have settled into the new school setting but are not yet faced with the Junior Certificate examination. Compared to first year, second year students are less positive about school and their teachers, are less likely to receive praise from their teachers and are more likely to be ‘given out to’ by teachers.
  • Second year emerges from the study as a crucial time in young people’s schooling career. Two distinct groups of students emerge at this stage, one investing more time and effort in their studies, the other drifting or even actively disengaging from school life. Student disengagement at this stage of the Junior Cycle is likely to have longer-term implications for achievement and retention.

Our Second year students will also be continuing the “Learning to Learn” programme that they started in First Year as part of their SPHE class. This programme focuses on homework and study skills as well as organisation. Their workbook “Learning to Learn” is a very valuable resource as they progress through second year and into third year.

If there are any issues you wish to discuss in relation to your child you are welcome to contact us at the school on 061 921083.

Thank you, Ms. D. Sheridan (Year Head)