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Student Voices

Shay Ó Hainnín


Catherine Melia

Primary School Pupil

Ruby Cosgrove

Sixth Class Student, Scoil Bhríde, Clara, Co Offaly

Mo Eispearas i Rith Covid-19

by Shay Ó Hainnín

Seo é ailte faoi mo eispearas i rang a sé i rith Covid-19.

Ar an dara lá déag de mí na Márta Fiche Fiche, chuala mé an nuacht go mbíonn gach páiste ag mbrionglóid faoi. Ón dtríú lá déag de Márta, bheadh an scoil dúnta le haghaidh dhá sheachtain iomlán. Ach sa deireadh, ní bhfuair mé an rud a ndearna mé margáil air!

Nuair a tháinig mé abhaile bhí mé ar bís chun dul amach agus súgradh le mo chairde le haghaidh dhá sheachtain. Ach ansin fuair mé amach nach raibh mé ábalta dul amach le mo chairde. Ní raibh cead agam dul aon áit ar bith. Ní raibh aon bialann oscailte, ní raibh aon siopaí oscailte, ní raibh an pictiúrlann oscailte, ní raibh rud ar bith oscailte!

Ag glana na lámha go minic, ag úsáid díghalarán lámha agus ag caithimh mascanna aghaidhe a raibh an nós imeachta nua. D’fhoghlaim mé cúpla focal nua faoin coróinvíreas, mar pandéim, féinaonarú agus scaradh sóisialta. Bhí mé buartha láithreach faoi mo Mhamó agus mo ShinSeanmháithir, mar bhí orthu cocúnú a dhéanamh. Chuir mé glaoch ar mo Mhamó uair amháin gach sheachtain, agus sheolamar litreacha do mo ShinSeanmháithir. Chuireamar teachtaireacht chuichi san Evening Echo chun insint di faoin méid grá agus uaigneas againn di. Lá amháin labhraíomar tríd an bfhuinneog léi chun í a coiméad sabhailte.

Gach lá, nuair a bhíomar ag ithe ár ndinnéar, d’éistíomar leis an nuacht chun fháíl amach cé mhéad cásanna nua de coróinvíreas a bhí in Éirinn. Bhain mé an-taitneamh as ag fanacht sa bhaile. Rinne mé an obair ar an ríomhaire, ach bhí mo dhótháin de an t-am go léir. Chaith mé a lán ama le mo mham. D’fhoghlaim mé conas rudaí a chócaráil, agus d’fhoghlaim mé conas aipeanna a úsáid ar an ríomhaire, cosúil le Microsoft Excel, Word, agus Google Docs. Bhí mé ag déanamh cicdornálaíocht ar Zoom gach Luan agus Céadaoin.

Bhí an lá oscailte do mo scoil nua curtha ar ceal, mo scrúdú iontrála freisin. Chuala mé go raibh an teastas sóisearach agus an Aird téist curtha ar ceal. Bhí mo Comhneartú curtha ar ceal freisin, ach bhí cóisir beag le mo chlann agam ar aon nós.

Bhí gach saoire eachtrannach curtha ar ceal, mar shampla mo saoire go dtí an Spáinn agus go New Jersey in Mheiriceá. Ina áit sin beidh mé ag fanacht in óstán i gCill Airne ar feadh cúpla lá ag deireadh mí Lúnasa. Beidh mé ag dul timpeall Iarthar chorcaí.

Go hionraic, domsa bhí an dian glasáil níos mó spraoi ná olc, ach is trua liom na daoine a chaill a mbeatha. Ach mar a dúirt Leo Varadkar agus Samwise Gamgee, ”Ach sa deireadh, níl ansin ach rud a rith, an scáth seo. Caithfidh fiú an dorchadas imeacht uainn. Tiocfaidh lá nua. Agus an ghrian ag taitneamh beidh sé ag taitneamh níos soiléire.”

Táim ag tnúth leis an lá a bheidh an dianglasáil thart mar dá fhada an lá tagann an tráthnóna.

Is é sin deireadh mo aiste. Tá súil agam gur bhain tú taitneamh as.

Life Lessons

How lockdown affected me and my education

by Catherine Melia

When schools shut on the 12th of March, little did we realise it would be September before they reopened. In this article, a fifth-class student describes how she fared during those first few months

My name is Catherine. I’m eleven years old, and I am in fifth class. I go to school in Celbridge.

During the last few weeks of school, we got mini bins for tissues in each classroom. We washed our hands before we ate. We did a céilí, and it was the first ever céilí where we didn’t hold hands. On the last day of school, we were told that we would be back on the 31st of March. I had to leave early for a piano exam. If I had known then that I wouldn’t be back for a few months, I probably would have spent more time saying goodbye to my friends instead of running out the door after a quick wave.

When I first started working at home, I thought it was fun to get a change of scene. After a week, I started missing school, which I never thought I would. I didn’t find work too hard, and I got through it quickly. We had a routine for every morning. After breakfast, my parents, my two older sisters and I would work until lunchtime, and then we could do whatever we wanted for the rest of the day.

When we could only go within 2 km, I contacted my friends over email and FaceTime. My three best friends and I had birthdays over April and May, and we drove by each other’s houses. It was a pity that we couldn’t have a party, but it was still nice. My family and I would normally go on a big walk once a week, but now we walk and cycle a lot. My dad is usually at work for the day until seven o’clock, but now he is home all the time!

When we could go within 5 km, our walks got longer. When my books were collected from the school, I began doing extra work. I pick a topic that I am interested in, and I do a page or two from it. My mum goes through irregular Irish verbs with me and my sisters.

I have been keeping myself busy during my free time. I’ve been reading loads and have found many new books. I’m baking and cooking as well. I play board games and cards with my family. I’ve been outside on the trampoline and gardening as well.

The good things about lockdown are that it is better for the environment, with less cars, and the walks keep me healthy. I have lots of time to read and do arts and crafts. I’ve noticed things that I usually wouldn’t notice, and I get to spend more time with my family. The downsides are that I miss my friends, the work from home can be hard without a teacher explaining things, you can’t visit your relations, you have to social-distance, and there are no parties or shops.

Hopefully, things will get back to normal soon. This whole pandemic has taught me to appreciate the smaller things in life!

My Learning through Covid-19

by Ruby Cosgrove

At the beginning of 2020, little did we know that Covid-19 was about to become one of our most used words, impacting on all of our lives in many ways. The initial excitement of school closure soon gave way to adjustment and learning, and though we missed out on some experiences and memories, lockdown has taught us skills that will stay with us forever.

Covid is a word none of us were familiar with until the beginning of 2020. However, we all quickly learned that Covid-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, is a highly infectious and contagious disease leading to respiratory and other issues. For some there are mild to no symptoms, but for others it can be fatal. Little did we know that Covid-19 was about to become one of our most used words, impacting on all of our lives in many ways. Although we had heard about the virus spreading in other countries, it had not yet had a direct effect on Ireland.

On 12 March 2020, the government made a sudden announcement: All schools were to close. For my class and me, the news began to trickle through the church not long after our Confirmation ceremony began. Little did we realise that this was the last time our class and all other 2020 classes would be together as a group.

At first the news was greeted with lots of joy and happiness among students, as we felt that this time off would be like an extra school holiday, filled with lazy days and no schoolwork. It was not until about a week later that the reality and seriousness of the situation began to sink in. The whole country was now in lockdown. This meant we would have no days out, we could not mix with our grandparents, family, or friends, and we were only permitted to leave our house for exercise – even at this, we had to stay within a 2 kilometre radius of our homes. Rigorous handwashing and sanitising were the new normal.

The lockdown brought huge changes to education. We all knew that we needed to continue our education, and it was going to take a lot of planning and effort to make this happen. With this would come a lot of challenges, the first being to get everyone onto social-media platforms for learning remotely, such as Seesaw, Google Classroom, and ClassDojo.

To make sure everyone joined in, Scoil Bhríde put absolutely amazing efforts into making sure everyone who needed access to a device was provided with one, and people living in remote areas or in houses without internet were given prepaid Wi-Fi dongles. It took a while to get everyone on board and comfortable, but Scoil Bhríde were outstanding when it came to making sure everyone’s needs were met.

One of the things I enjoyed about this experience was getting to type out my work, as it helped improve my IT skills and my typing speed. I also really liked the fact that we all got to start our own routine. Working online meant that we could all get up a bit later and not have to think about putting on a uniform and the usual morning rush. Another great thing about remote learning was that we could all work at our own pace and do our subjects in our own order.

One of the harder things about the experience was the lack of interaction with our friends, teachers, and classmates. We went from talking and laughing with our friends in the classroom to sitting working alone at our kitchen tables. For our class, some of our last primary school memories were missed, such as our last school tour and getting our shirts signed. Instead of having our graduation in school like in other years, everything had to be done online.

This experience has taught us all so much. It has reminded us all that we shouldn’t take the little things in life for granted, such as going to school, seeing our friends, visiting our grandparents, going to shops, leaving our counties, or even travelling beyond a 2 kilometre radius. Before lockdown, these were such small things, but when they are taken away from us, it’s a whole other story. Going back to school, I feel like we have all learnt skills that will stay with us forever. Overall this experience has taught me so much, and I will always remember my Covid-19 lockdown 2020.