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Message to our school community.

Dear Parents, Staff and Students of Thornhill College,

I would like to provide you with an update of activities we have been engaged in since the start of the Summer term.

Over the Easter break our staff members participated in a heartfelt video message, articulating how school is simply not the same without the staff and children present. We were really overwhelmed by the positive response we received on our Twitter feed and whilst we would rather have the girls in front of us, I am sure it was nice for them to see their teachers again. This was closely followed by a lovely message from our Junior Head Girl, Erin Irvine who talked about the opportunities that lockdown has provided for her to learn new skills and become more creative- even cutting her dad’s hair and shaving the dog!

Our fundraising efforts have well exceeded our original target and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your generosity. We have given recognition to many of our past and present pupils working as key workers, providing vital services and skills at this challenging time. Our ‘Help Our Heroes’ Just Giving campaign, acknowledging all they are doing, will be coming to an end this week and we will be delighted to forward the funds raised to our local Altnagelvin hospital. As a follow up this week we have challenged our Key Stage 3 pupils to show their thanks to everyone currently providing essential services through the ‘Windows of Gratitude' competition. Girls, I hope you will all take part, there will be some Amazon gift vouchers for the best ideas.


Last week we had the pleasure of writing Praise Postcards based on teacher nomination for your wonderful engagement with Google Classroom tasks. We were astounded by the creativity exhibited by a number of our girls and I am sure that you too were impressed by the Art Lockdown projects created by Tara Murray, Niamh O’ Kane and Emma Corns. Our very own Year 8 Princess Leia Whitman designed her Star Wars puppets, a fabulous effort indeed.


 

As we commence the month of May – with devotion to ‘Our Lady’, the RE department has been celebrating the beautiful May Altars created by our students. Miss Lynch and the JPII Award students will also participate in a weekly Rosary during this month with special intentions being offered for our whole school community. Our Mercy Moment award this week has been given to Lauren Sweeney for her efforts to supply key workers with face masks and wash bags. This is a fine example of true faith in action and a positive response in assisting with the on-going PPE Crisis.


This week in May would normally have been the official leaving date for our senior girls and we had been busy preparing a host of activities to celebrate this important milestone for our students. We are of the opinion that now, more than ever, in these unprecedented times, our students need to feel connected to their school community and supported by us. We appreciate there are many pupils experiencing anxiety during these challenging times and it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to support their mental health and well-being. Therefore, we have decided there will be no formal leaving dates as such. We will acknowledge ‘Leavers’ and those transitioning to the next Key Stage in a future celebration of some sort whenever we have more clarity and will create wonderful memories that our students can take on their next journey.


With the cancellation of our exam season we would encourage our girls in Year 14 and 12 to use the time remaining as a wonderful opportunity to be creative beyond the strict confines of the exam syllabus. Students can engage with each other in producing ideas of how they would like to celebrate their 7 and 5 year journey to date in Thornhill College and share perhaps poems, images, or videos with form teachers and Pastoral Leaders.

For our Year 13 students it will be crucial to commence preparation for their A2 studies in the coming weeks and teachers will provide direction in due course.


I would like to remind our essential key workers that should you require educational supervision for your child in Years 8-10 you can contact us via our school info account info@thornhill.derry.ni.sch.uk. and we will respond as soon as we can. A reminder that Friday 8th May is a bank holiday and school will be closed. I hope that you all have a restful long weekend and enjoy the wonderful weather that we have been recently experiencing.

Warmest wishes

Sharon Mallett

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