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Waterford and Wexford Education And
Training Board Newsletter!

 
Covid-19 Edition - April 2020, Issue 10.

 

WWETB Produces PPE Equipment 
                                        For Health Centres       
                      

WWETB was contacted by Zurich who asked for assistance in producing personal protective equipment for the healthcare sector. Zurich was in a position to provide Acrylic sheets and acetate sheets to the project and WWETB agreed to contact a number of health centres across the counties of Waterford and Wexford and to produce the protective headgear.


                                        
 

A committee was set up which included the FabLab co-ordinators Olga Donoghue and John O’Leary, Fablab programme manager Mary Walsh O’Shea, Unit Manager Shay Cummins, AEO Mary Walsh and the innovation and Development Manager Michael O Brien. This is an excellent example of co-operation across the ETB services - Enniscorthy FabLab is operated through Training Services and New Ross FabLab is operated through BTEI.

WWETB’s FabLab in Enniscorthy and New Ross set about designing the headsets for the visors on the sheets to maximise the number which could be attained from each sheet and a matching design to cut the acetate sheets in order to fit the headset.

In total, 25 acrylic sheets and 1400 A4 acetate sheets were donated by Zurich. A total of 255 headsets for the visors were produced. The PPE equipment was washed in alcohol and packed to ensure sterilisation and distributed to 8 health centres.

WWETB Chief Executive, Kevin Lewis asked to pass on his thanks to the committee and expressed his hope that the visors will make a real difference to the community groups to whom they are being supplied.


                           

       
           WWETB Wellbeing Video Playlist       
      

WWETB Communications has compiled the best videos which have been shared online from all sectors in the organisation since restricted movement began. The videos include art lessons, garden tips, exercises, messages of encouragement, music lessons and ditties, coping with Covid-19 through wellbeing, learning at home and managing stress.

               

Please view the collection on this playlist link and if you have any videos you would like to add please send the link to communications@wwetb.ie and mark it wellbeing video in the subject line. It would be great to add as many videos as we could not only use it as a great go-to resource for moments of frustration when we need inspiration but it will also be a great archive of efforts which took place during the pandemic to look back on in future and see how far we’ve come.

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel.. We would love to reach over 100 subscribers. If we do, we can customize our url. 

Click here to view our Wellbeing Playlist.  

        
   Kilnamanagh Community National 
             School Adapt To Learning Online           

Kilnamanagh CNS has been challenged during Covid-19 and has moved all learning online. Staff of the school are delighted to use Google classroom and video call to interact with the pupils and feel that it is wonderful to be able to say that they have achieved so much during this process.

                                  

The class teacher can upload lessons onto Google classroom and the children can complete this work by uploading the answers for the teacher to correct. They also get the chance to talk to their classmates and to their teacher using this technology. Pupils video call once a week for lessons and to also celebrate pupils’ birthdays. The children can say hello to their class mates, share something with everyone that makes them happy and let each other know how they are getting on. School Principal, Brona Kenneally commented that ‘We have had very positive feedback from parents. Class lesson plans are sent out every Monday morning for the week, giving parents the room to follow them as a guide’. The staff and the families are working really hard and doing the very best they can and everyone is really looking forward to being back in the school soon again.

       
    Online Classroom Transition Effortless
             For LTI (Local Training Initiative)  
 
    

 

The Covid-19 Pandemic has turned the traditional classroom into a virtual one. With the help of online classroom applications our LTI programmes in Wexford have been making the transition look effortless.  

Through the online classroom tutors have been able to record discussions and post them online allowing learners time to watch the videos and be prepared for the group class. It has allowed learners extra time to prepare for classes, which has been a great positive from this type of lesson delivery. These videos can also be watched at any time, so if a learner misses a live class, they can catch up later.


                                           
 

The online classroom application allows for all assessments and assignments to be uploaded, submitted and corrected as if normal classes were taking place. Learners can ask questions and receive feedback from tutors. Through live classroom sessions classes are able to continue and learners remain on their journey towards their certification. Tutors are also able to upload extra resources and quizzes for learners that will help with subjects. 


                                             
 

With online classroom groups have remained engaged but more importantly they have kept the level of camaraderie and connection that they had developed since they began. Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the isolation of learners from their communities, friends and classmates. The online classroom has helped in dispelling feelings of loneliness and isolation which is vital at this time. Since the learners started their journeys, they have developed in so many ways and it is so important to maintain that growth.

Tutors and learners have embraced this new way of learning and accepted that the virtual classroom may be the only classroom we have for some time to come and they must be commended for it. They have also proved that there are no barriers to learning except the barriers created for oneself.

       
      Community Education and BTEI
practice social distancing
through An Post

           

Since Public Health restrictions have paused face to face communication with learners, WWETB Community Education Programme has been working hard to continue connecting with learners by using other methods such as texting, phone calls, emails and Facebook etc.
However, due to issues with access to mobile technology and broadband for a number of learners, Programme coordinators had to adapt.

Some time ago WWETB had produced a set of 4 postcards showcasing learners work. The Community Education Programme happened to have a box of postcards left over. The opportunity to not only practice communication through social distancing but also increasing our footprint by using the postcards presented itself.

 
                              

In accordance with public health guidelines, 370 postcards were delivered to Community Education learners in Co. Waterford, Waterford City and Co. Wexford on 3 April.
 
The personal message of the coordinators was the importance of checking in with learners, to ensure they were safe and well and to let them know that their coordinators and tutors looked forward to seeing them again soon. The feedback has been amazing; comments include:
 “Got mine today Ladies, thank you for caring about the community and stay well”, “Thank you for my post card which arrived this morning”, “Fantastic, your passion for Community Education and keeping everyone linked in is so evident. Keep up the great work”
WWETB Adult and Community Education Facebook post was picked up by Aontas (The National Adult Learning Organisation) which sparked discussion regarding postal services in rural areas:

“The importance of the postal service is something that successive governments have tried to eradicate, in rural areas particularly, we now see its relevance and importance. It is only through post that we have been able to send course work to our learners in order for them to complete their programme” (Aontas FB Page Comment).
So our simple postcard is starting a conversation regarding access to technology, rural broadband and Irish postal service. Community Education at its best – new conversations, new ideas, new ways forward.
 
Community Education Facilitator, Sarah Lavan commented that ‘We are continuing to develop creative ways for community connection and remote learning while face to face classes are suspended and over the coming weeks, we will be busy planning for the future of Community Education.
If you are a current learner with us we will see you all again soon, and to those of you that are not yet a part of the Community Education family, we look forward to welcoming you!’
 
A staff member of WWETB BTEI is also using An Post delivery to ensure learners have access to the learning resources they need.
 
BTEI Resource Worker, Anne McDonnell says ‘BTEI is putting in place a number of supports for learners who are continuing to take part in their part-time BTEI courses at home, through remote learning and teaching. One priority for the BTEI programme is to ensure that learners have the resources that they need to learn, including course readings and information. An Post delivery of course-related documents has proven really useful for BTEI learners who do not have access to printing at home. Sometimes reading from a screen is useful, and other times it's just lovely to have the paper in hand.’


                                              

One of the BTEI Level 5 Healthcare learners in New Ross told Anne, ‘As I am not very up to date with technology and a lot of the course work is being done online due to Covid-19 this was all very alien to me. I found that by having the information printed and sent to me made a huge difference. It meant that I could hold the work in my hand to read it, make notes on it and I did not need to keep going back to the laptop and through emails to find what I was looking for which to me personally was causing alot of extra stress and anxiety. I feel that WWETB New Ross really understood my level of learning and has done everything possible to facilitate me’.
 
BTEI Level 5 Business Administration Learner noted that; ‘I found the first lot of printing BTEI posts very helpful, but now that I am more familiar with MS Office 365 I can get all notes I need there. It’s very accessable and straighforward’.

             
                         Lismore Women's Group

 

Lismore No Limits Women's Group from Co. Waterford  has a great way of staying connected while apart. They have a WhatsApp group page and every Friday night at 8 pm they all light a candle in their windows. They share funny pictures, memes and quotes and share things that they are doing  to keep up their spirits. They also have small videos of Tai Chi exercises that are sent to them from Anne Marie, a Tai Chi instructor. 


                                 



                                                                 Click link to view video 👇 

               


WSTCYS have set a 30 day
#QuaranTEEN challenge


Waterford and South Tipperary Community Youth Services have continued their groups online and are continuing to connect with young people by phone, email and through social media.

WSTCYS set up an exciting 30 day QuaranTEEN challenge in April. The calendar proved a real focal point for motivation through the tough time of lost routine and difficulties. It was a great way to try some new ideas while having fun.



          

 

                   International Roma and Traveller Day


Each year International Traveller and Roma Day is celebrated on April 8th. The date is significant in that it marks the opening day of the first World Roma Congress in 1971 in Orpington, England. Today, almost 50 years later, this day is still celebrated by Traveller and Roma communities throughout the world as an opportunity to highlight issues of inequality and celebrate achievements.

On April 8th many locally based organisations across Ireland host events that shine a light on the reality of  inequality while highlighting the unique and rich cultures and vital contribution that Roma and Traveller communities contribute to Irish life. This year, due to the current Government guidelines on restricted movement due to Covid-19, Pavee Point, the representative body for the Traveller and Roma communities, ran an online campaign asking organisations and members of the public to show their solidarity with Roma and Travellers, in particular, during this current pandemic.

WWETB is determined that the work we do and the programmes we provide reflect our values as laid out in our Strategy Statement 2018 - 2022. Respect, Accountability, Learner focus and Quality. We are actively working towards equality of educational opportunities and outcomes for Roma and Travellers though our many schools, centres, FET programmes and Community Education learning initiatives. In addition, we are proud to support and work alongside the many community based and state organisations in County Wexford, Waterford City and County Waterford, that are working for equality and better outcomes for members of the Roma and Traveller communities.

On April 8th, WWETB Community & Further Education dedicated social media channels to marking this important day. The campaign was led through the hashtag #TravellerandRoma2020. Through posts of Solidarity and Celebration we sought to raise awareness to both the on-going needs and huge accomplishments and achievements of Roma and Travellers in Ireland and in our region, both collectively and individually.


                                                           Click link to view video 👇 

       
 


Community Education Connecting with Learners

                                                                    
WWETB Community Education Programme are working hard to continue connecting with learners using other methods, texting, phone calls, email and Facebook. However, due to access to mobile technology and broadband some learners are finding it difficult to navigate ways of staying connected.

Some time ago WWETB had produced a set of 4 postcards showcasing learners work. There was a box left over and being environmentally aware we decided to recycle and send to learners. On 3rd April 2020, and in accordance with public health guidelines, 370 postcards were delivered to Community Education learners in Co. Waterford, Waterford City and Co. Wexford. Our personal message was to check in with learners, to ensure they were safe and well and that we looked forward to seeing them again soon.

The feedback has been amazing; comments include: “Got mine today Ladies, thank you for caring about the community and stay well”, “Thank you for my post card it arrived this morning”, “Fantastic, your passion for Community Education and keeping everyone linked in so evident. Keep up the great work”
WWETB Adult and Community Education facebook post was picked up by Aontas (The National Adult Learning Organisation) and sparked discussion regarding postal services in rural areas:

“The importance of the postal service is something that successive governments have tried to eradicate, in particular in rural areas, we now see it relevance and importance. it is only through post that we have been able to send work to our learners in order for them to complete their programme” (Aontas FB Page Comment).

So our simple postcard is starting a conversation regarding access to technology, rural broadband and Irish postal Service. Community Education at its best – new conversations, new ideas, new ways forward.


                                          


Waterford Women’s Creative Cocoon
 

Building on the success of our wonderful International Women’s Day event last month, WWETB and Waterford Area Partnership are joining forces again with a new project called “Waterford Women’s Creative Cocoon” for our women’s groups across the county of Waterford.  


                            
                                           Co Waterford International Women’s Day Event  3rd March 2020.

The aim of the project was to keep women connected while apart through Covid-19 by capturing all the creative ways in which women groups are keeping themselves occupied.

Although  already aware of some of the fantastic creations that women have been producing and the interesting and funny ways in which women have been keeping themselves occupied,  it’s wonderful to share these with other Waterford Women through the newly created Facebook page “Waterford Women’s Creative Cocoon.” Towards the end of the year, the group aims to run another big event to bring everyone back together, to share and showcase experiences in person.

They also intend to make a short documentary of the process as they feel it would be remiss not to record this remarkable time in everyone’s lives, as we are living through a piece of history. In the future our children and grandchildren will see how we occupied ourselves.

We will be asking all groups to post photographs, poems, stories etc. to our dedicated Facebook page called Waterford Women’s Creative Cocoon.  Creativity and connectivity is vital for all our well-being during this time of social distancing. Some ideas of what may be posted include
  • My garden
  • Look what I knitted, sewed, crocheted
  • Look at what I baked, cooked 
  • Look what I painted, the house, bedroom, or a picture 
  • Look what I found while spring cleaning
  • Post a poem, short story, or the beginnings of a novel maybe
  • Post an inspiring message,  
  • Make your own video clip, singing or playing music in the garden, showing off the vegetable patch, we’ll love whatever you decide.                           


Creagh College Wellbeing

                                                                   
The wellbeing of our staff and students of Creagh College is of the utmost importance to us. It is at the core of the work that we do in our school. We believe wellbeing is a foundation for learning and personal growth and development and something we strive to foster in our staff and students alike.

‘Student wellbeing is present when students realise their abilities, take care of their physical wellbeing, can cope with the normal stresses of life, and have a sense of purpose and belonging to a wider community’, (NCCA Guidelines for Wellbeing 2018).

                                                     

At Creagh College, we aim to enable every student to flourish, to be the best they can be. Human flourishing is based on the five pillars. These are Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment (PERMA).

There is no denying we are currently experiencing tough times; we may not be physically together, but we are still connecting daily. We are continuing to support and encourage our staff and students to get their 5-a-day.

Remember please take care, mind each other and know that we are all in this together and we will get through this – one day at a time.                            


St Declan's Community College
Reflect on the Highlights of their Community


As we reach the milestone of the Easter break let us take a minute to spare a thought for all those who have been affected by Covid-19; families near and far!
 
The whole school community has worked tirelessly since the building closure to ensure teachers and students can stay connected online and engage in teaching and learning. For this we are very grateful.
 
Remember we are not stuck at home; we are safe at home. Whilst we cannot physically be together at present, we look forward to when we can be reunited as a whole school community. In the meantime, let us take a moment to reflect on the wonderful community that is St. Declan’s!
 
Thank you to Ella Moran for allowing us to use her stunningly beautiful music as the backdrop to our reflection. Stay safe and well and remember do your part by staying apart.


 
             
                                                                         Click link to view video 👇


       


A Message from the Iain Wickham,
Principal , Enniscorthy Vocational College

 

I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. The last few weeks have been extremely challenging for everyone, I want to take this opportunity to thank students, parents, teachers and other staff in the school. The old Irish saying Ní neart go cur le chéile (There is no strength without unity) has been particularly appropriate and it has been a real team effort involving all stakeholders.
 
The Covid-19 virus has had a major impact on all our lives and while there have been many negative consequences associated with it, there have also been positives. It has given teachers and students the opportunity to further enhance their on-line skills and has demonstrated to both parties what can be achieved through this method of communication. I have been particularly impressed by the positive manner which everyone has adopted to during the situation, ensuring that teaching and learning continues for all students. Life is full of challenges and one never  knows what is around the corner but everyone, particularly students have further enhanced their key skills during the closure namely, IT, communication,  time management, planning, meeting deadlines, maintaining routine along with a balanced lifestyle.
 
I want to emphasis to all students the importance of doing quality work during the day and avoiding wasting time on social media and on-line games. I am aware that it has been a very stressful and anxious time for everyone particularly those students sitting state examinations later this year. My advice to you is to remain calm, remain focused by sticking to your study plan and regularly communicating back to your teachers with work. The study and effort that you are putting in now will be rewarded later when you get your examination results. Finally, I look forward to seeing you all when school returns.

Take care,
Iain Wickham, Principal

       


Pobal Ceoil During Covid



As a Digital Cluster, our Community of Practice of Music Teachers, Pobal Ceoil continues to use digital platforms to collaborate, plan, share and support each other wherever possible. Since school closures, teachers have been sharing a broad range of resources to support remote teaching, learning and assessment. They are also planning ahead for Back in Harmony 2021.

The group recently completed an assessment of training needs survey to identify ways of further developing their skills both within the Office 365 Suite, and other apps and programmes which could enhance engagement and enjoyment for students. This training was led by Eileen Creevey of Bridgetown College. Eileen planned and delivered an extensive workshop to the group on Teams, with contributions from other teachers. This Community of Practice actively engages in peer to peer training on specific digital tools on a regular basis. The successful collaboration between colleagues in Pobal Ceoil, our Digital Learning Team and our Education Team has been of great benefit to students across all of our post-primary colleges during the COVID 19 closure. 

 
 


Waterford College of Further Education
adapting well to the online switch

                

                                    "Keeping Together" while "Staying Apart” in WCFE
 
Message from the Principal, Noreen Reilly: ‘As Principal of WCFE it is my great privilege to lead this amazing group of staff as we are living through such an unprecedented situation as the current Coronavirus pandemic has given us. Not only is it challenging our very ways of being, but it is isolating us from those we love, our colleagues and our learners at a crucial point in the FET academic year.

This virus shows us that our behaviour impacts in a very real way on others, what we do and how we do it affects others. In the working environment it affects colleagues and learners. This is where the indomitable team spirit of the staff in WCFE comes into play, with colleagues supporting each other in the many challenges that Covid19 presents connecting with, engaging with, continuing teaching and devising alternative assessments for our learners remotely. Challenges with IT skills and infrastructure were resolved inhouse with the unrelentless support of Ger & Eoin and with the expert assistance of the IT Department in WWETB to whom we are eternally grateful, and to the other centres in the scheme that loaned laptops to us.
 
Conscious that all the while the WCFE team was getting to grips with this new and challenging way of working, for some on the team they may also be managing the care of little ones and not so little ones, sharing technology at home, while struggling with broadband issues and the myriad of other challenges remote working asks us to resolve.
 
As we grappled to make sense of the situation that Covid 19 presented, because of its enormity, staff wellbeing was an important piece of this new patchwork for WCFE Covid response.
We began by reminding the team of the Inspire our Employee Assistance & Wellbeing Programme and shared a list of free courses to occupy everyone with a menu of many different experiences for the entire family to enjoy. These inlcude…
The New York Metropolitan Opera will stream free performances each night at 7:30 pm EST a new opera will be shown and will be available for 20 hours.  
The Berlin Philharmonic opens its home for free, due to the coronavirus epidemic allowing free access to its Digital Concert Hall for one month 
The Spanish National Institute of Performing Arts and Music has made lots of free performances available online. 
Movistar lite will be free for one month * due to the coronavirus
The Italian video game company runehead, can also be accessed on
Public library members can access the catalog of efilm online. 
londonist.com has lots of free streaming sources listed, including some great plays.

                 

 
Looking after WCFE Learners during Covid-19 restricted movement

For many learners and their families, the unprecedented shutdown arising from the Covid-19 situation called for a great deal of adjustment. Learners continued with their courses while juggling childcare, family care and the many other new and unexpected demands arising from this unprecedented situation. Complex situations call for complex solutions and WCFE began looking at solutions for learners.

As our very dedicated staff in WCFE came to grips with teaching remotely, and converting examinations to assessments, huge efforts were undertaken by all staff to make contact with all our Learners. This was to try to ensure that learners continued to engage with their College work and assignments, thereby giving learners the opportunity to complete their courses and achieve timely certification, enabling progression to FE/HE and or employment.

WCFE Staff are to be congratulated for their ongoing efforts to make contact with learners which included copious messages by Text, Email, Facebook, Twitter, on WCFE Website, Moodle and also through class reps making contact through class WhatsApp groups. A video was also uploaded over the Easter holiday period reminding learners to check into WCFE Moodle for assessment details.

Learners were also loaned devices and individual arrangements were made by post for any student with a broadband issue. Staff provided IT support remotely for any learner that identified as requiring it. Guidance and learning support advice and contact details were also provided to all learners through our website and Moodle.WCFE concern for student’s wellbeing stretched beyond their academic wellbeing, with Philip on day two of shutdown providing the following advice which was circulated to all learners.
 

 

                            BTEI and Community Education 
                                        Horticulture Clongeen


While Government restrictions pause our programmes, learners are adapting and continuing to develop their skills while practicing social distancing. Without attention these plants would not be able to thrive. Great skills to have at a time like this. Well done for keeping everything growing in the polytunnel.

Here are some images of the brilliant work by Suzie and Mary at Clongeen Horticulture, a WWETB BTEI and CE part-time course.



                         
 


Message of Hope From Youth New Ross
During The Health Crisis.


 
Over the last few weeks New Ross families and young people have endured unprecedented hardship but, despite all the challenges, our team of youth and family workers have seen those families and young people support each other, reach out to help in any way they can and spread messages of positivity across the community. 
 
Youth New Ross staff have engaged in daily phone calls, video conferencing, virtual group work and messaging with all who need their services and continue to update their Facebook and Instagram pages with tips, videos, competitions, games and health information.  If you know of any family or young person in difficulty during this time, please contact us.
 
The board, volunteers and staff of Youth New Ross are hopeful to be back in person as soon as health restrictions allow and in the meantime we wish everyone across our community good health and thanks for the continued effort to keep New Ross well. 
 


FDYS Share Top Tips For Learners

 

FDYS has really put in the effort on going digital during the Covid-19 crisis and everyone has created great tips on learning from home and managing stress during these times. Click the below image to view the Learning From Home page.  

                                                                                   

FDYS has gone digital

Click link to view video 👇
                                       



Congratulations to Enniscorthy Vocational College
sixth year student, Jessica Doyle Taylor for winning 1st prize in the over 12's 
FDYS Poetry Competition 

 

HOPES FOR THE FUTURE

By Jessica Doyle Taylor, age 17.

 

Counting all our blessings

Wishing on a star

Praying for the safety

Of people near and far

 

Not knowing what is coming

In the life of you and me

In touch over call and text

With loved ones we can’t see

 

Still we hope that one day

All of this will change

That we’ll be told its all okay

And life can be again

 

I have learned we must appreciate

Everything in the world we live

Try and show more love than hate

And do less take than give

 

Hoping for the future

Is now what we have to do

Stay at home and isolate

For the good of me and you

 

Begin to look around yourself

And see the magic nature provides

Can become a splendid gift

Always by your side

 

It will not be this way forever

But I know this much is true

If we go through it hand in hand

Our hopes for the future will come true

 

AONTAS hosts a Virtual National
FET Learner Forum

 

AONTAS is feeding into the Department of Education and Skills and wants to make sure the Learner Voice is heard in discussions about education and COVID-19. AONTAS currently host a bi-weekly virtual National FET Learner Forums. These online meetings focus on finding solutions to the problems facing learners at this time. 

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, 13th May 2020. To take part, email kfarren@aontas.com.
Other ways you can get involved; If you would like to share how COVID-19 is impacting on your learning, you can share your experience and #LearnerVoice by sending a message to AONTAS on Facebook ,  Twitter or email kfarren@aontas.com

Click here to learn more   https://www.aontas.com/events/aontas-hosts-a-virtual-national-fet-learner-forum

 

                


Ahead Webinars

 

Transformation is a key characteristic in education and the workplace as it adapts to a changing society. AHEAD is no stranger to adaption and transformation too as they welcome everyone to their online Conference. The webinars take you through the looking glass to hear from practitioners and students about inclusion in different contexts such as FET and Higher Education.

Click here to learn more about the forthcoming schedule for May as well as links to register for each session.


One of WWETB's BTEI Resource Workers sent us this image while learning online with @AHEADireland on their webinar 'UDL and Designing for Diversity' . A Fantastic webinar series available with AHEAD, 
 
 
                                         

 

WWETB staff member Mary Walsh  makes masks from home


WWETB Community Education Tutor, Sally Murphy, has been in touch and wants to send a huge thank you to WWETB sewing Tutor, Mary Walsh. 

Mary has been busy making masks at home and has sent Sally masks for all members of her Traveller Women's groups in Bunclody. Sally said "I just received the face masks in the post. They are brilliant. I want to thank Mary and let her know the positive impact this will have on my community. Thank you" 

We got in touch with Mary to wish her well in producing the masks and Mary wanted to share a message of thanks to the delivery service 'My grateful thanks to the PPE Donations Motorbike crew member who collected some masks from me this morning to drop off to the Roma Equality Project in Enniscorthy'.


 
                                        








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Getting “outside” during a time of restrictions and limitations


We have all heard the stories and indeed many of us have personal tales of family members being required to cocoon and self-isolate during the Covid-19 pandemic. For many it meant not seeing anyone for days and days and not going outside the front door. People were required to re organize their time and fill the hours with cooking, cleaning, gardening etc. or generally trying to keep active and fulfilled.

In a similar way the Covid-19 public health restrictions caused the WWETB traditional community education programme to stop in its track and called on all involved to be as creative and inspirational as they could in carrying on the essence of the work. It required us all to think “outside” the box!

Of note for  the Community Education groups in Waterford City was one Art tutor who had really enlivened and motivated her weekly groups with water color painting, creating mind blowing gardens from recycled materials and getting one group to create a piece of sculpture which resided proudly in a Church over Christmas last. That same tutor was now forced to not see any of the groups for the foreseeable future. No one could go outside and definitely not for an art class.

What could be done? A light bulb moment came. This Art tutor decided to create a short YouTube video of how to paint a poppy. She had limited IT knowledge but the simplicity in the easy to follow steps and techniques mirror the delicate form which the students were shown how to recreate.

Given the philosophy and main underpinnings of Community Education the words of Paulo Freire come to mind when he said: “The teacher is of course an artist but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.”

So, in creating this simple video this Art tutor made it possible for numerous members of various groups to become themselves and create a piece of art which hopefully will remain a positive memory from a time of challenges and concerns.

If you are interested in giving your creative side a chance to shine the video is available on the Community Education section of the WWETB Facebook page.

                                       


Music Generation Wexford

Blackwater Bows goes online

Blackwater Bows is the after school string programme in Scoil Naomh Bríde, Blackwater. It offers the  parents and guardians of the children the opportunity to continue online as a result of the impact of Covid 19 from the week beginning the 20 April. In response they launched the Blackwater Bows Online Tutorial Series on 22 April with violin videos from Beth McNinch and Zoom cello lessons with Bróna Colfer. They look forward to developing this over the next few weeks.
 
Musician educator, Brona Colfer made a little ditty for all those returning to Blackwater Bows via online! A very impressive form of adapting to the current situation in a hands-on way with a positive attitude.  


                                                   Click link to view video 👇 

 

 

Singing and Instrumental Programme
 

We offered all National Schools on the singing and instrumental programmes in Wexford the opportunity to continue their music sessions online, as a result of the impact of Covid 19. The schools participating are: Ballaghkeene NS; Scoil Naomh Bríde, Blackwater; Our Lady of Lourdes Bunclody; Scoil Ghormáin Naofa Castletown; Court NS Monamolin; Davidstown NS; Scoil Mhuire, Horeswood NS; Scoil Realta Na Mara, Kilmore; Kilnamanagh Community NS; Kiltealy NS; Mercy School; Murrintown NS; Poulpeasty NS; Shielbaggan NS; Tara Hills NS. They have received the Singing or Instrumental Online Tutorial series from the week beginning 20 April.
Music Generation Wexford’s Musician Educators have been developing their work to be presented online, primarily through video. They have been researching methods, gathering resources, preparing and practising their online musician education programmes for each school, or for social media resources for the programmes in general. Check out some examples of videos on the Music Generation Facebook & Twitter pages.
 

Mini Maestros join together via video

Mini Maestros Early Years Music took place online on Wednesday 29 April. The students have been working with Musician Educators, Aileen Donohoe & Pete McCamley, along with and a couple of Mini Maestros on hand to join in, to develop the online content for Mini Maestros – adapting performance and participation for parents and toddlers in their homes, making this an interactive programme.
 


Music Generation Waterford

 

On behalf of us all here at Music Generation Waterford, we want to say a huge thank you for all the support and patience you have given us, and our incredible team of musician tutors these past few weeks. Even though we are all working from home, Music Generation Waterford continues to run in full swing with over 270 children joining us online to continue their weekly lessons and over 20 weekly music video lessons going out to all the wonderful boys and girls in our primary schools to enjoy music at home with us every week. Meeting up online and seeing you all has made this challenging time that little bit better for us and we hope you are all enjoying your online lessons and ensembles as much as we are.

If you are at home and thinking of taking up an instrument or looking for some tips on playing the recorder, ukulele, brass, wind or some nice songs for young children to sing check out our YouTube Channel – Music Generation Waterford for lots of fun tutorials and videos to keep you going.

With both Shauna & Áine working from home every day, the Music Generation Waterford home office has welcomed a new member to the administration team to help us respond to all our leaners meowical needs – meeting kitty Diego, paws at the ready!


   
 

 

A reflection on surviving Covid from a
teacher in China, sent in from WCFE


"We are just finishing our 7th week of E-Learning, seven weeks of being mainly housebound and seven weeks of uncertainty. 

We are healthy, we are happy, and we are humbled.  We are allowed to move around freely now with a green QR code that we show when we get our temperature taken. You get your temperature taken everywhere, and it's just become part of the routine. Most restaurants and shopping centres are now open, and life is coming back to our city. 

As we watch the rest of the world begin their time inside; here are some of my reflections on the last seven weeks:

1. Accept that you have no control over the situation. Let go of any thoughts of trying to plan too much for the next month or two. Things change so fast. Don't be angry and annoyed at the system. Anxiety goes down, and you make the best of the situation - whatever that might be for you. Accept that this is what it is and things will get easier. 

2. Try not to listen to/read/watch too much media. It WILL drive you crazy. There is a thing as too much! 

3. The sense of community I have felt during this time is incredible. I could choose who I wanted to spend my energy on - who I wanted to call, message and connect with and found the quality of my relationships has improved.

4. Appreciate this enforced downtime. When do you ever have time like this? I will miss it when we go back to the fast-paced speed of the 'real world'.

5. Time goes fast. I still haven't picked up the ukulele I planned to learn, and there are box set TV shows I haven't watched yet.

6. As a teacher, the relationships I have built with my students have only continued to grow. I have loved seeing how independent they are; filming themselves to respond to tasks while also learning essential life skills such as balance, risk-taking and problem-solving, that even we as adults are still learning.

7. You learn to appreciate the little things; sunshine through the window, flowers blossoming and being able to enjoy a coffee in a cafe. 

To those just beginning this journey, You will get through it. Listen to what you are told, follow the rules and look out for each other. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

  




 

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