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‘Great relief’ as Our Lady of Fatima School reopens


Pupils from Our Lady of Fatima School were glad to be back to school on Thursday

Pupils from Our Lady of Fatima School were glad to be back to school on Thursday

Pupils from Our Lady of Fatima School were glad to be back to school on Thursday


After an unexpected extended Christmas break the students and teachers of Our Lady of Fatima School returned to the classroom last week.

Operating under new guidelines, which will see the students separated into two groups and attend class on alternate days, the children were welcomed back into the fold by Principal Rita Waters and a staff which had been patientily awaiting their return.

'It went brilliantly, everyone was happy to be back - I actually don't know who was happier, the students or the teachers! It was a great relief for everyone,' said Ms Waters.

Although the pupils will continue to learn remotely every second day, Ms Waters said being able to see them in person would make a huge difference in their progression.

'It makes such a difference for us to be able to see them in person, it's so much easier to take a quick look over a student's shoulder and help them with something and to be able to talk to them in person,' she said.

Currently on mid-term break, the pupils will be back next Monday and Ms Waters said every effort is being made to ensure the school is a safe environment.

'Because we only have 50 per cent of pupils on site there will be much less mixing than usual. We have the cleaning staff in here every day, the place is spotless, so long as everyone is sanitising and adhering to the guidelines there's very little more we can do,' she said.

Ms Waters admits she is worried about the possibility of someone contracting Covid-19 but says that, in this instance, being worried is perhaps a good thing.

'You can never say you're not worried, we have students from all over the county and, there's pockets of the virus everywhere, so we just have to hope the parents and the students are staying at home apart from when they come in here,' she said. 'Being worried means you're trying to keep everyone safe, but you have to get on with life too, you have to keep going.'

She also wished to pay tribute to a recently departed member of the Our Lady of Fatima's community.

'Fr Aodhán has moved parishes and he's a very big loss to us here, but we're hoping Fr Billy will be just as good.'