NEWSLETTER - Sept 2020
14th September 2020
Please take the time to read the attached newsletter as we have made some changes to the way we operate.
The last months have been challenging for everybody but we understand the need to return to contact teaching – in fact we believe that programmes such as ours have taken on a whole new level of importance for the healthy development of our children.
You will read that we are moving ALL our classes to our HQ in Attard – at least for Term 1. While we understand that this may not be convenient for everybody, it gives us more control for keeping your children safe at a time when guidelines/directives for schools are still being decided. We simply didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks and, because our drama classes are cluster-based anyway, with no pause for breaks, we feel we can maintain high levels of safety this way.
The good news is that this decision allows us to keep our fees at €110 in spite of substantial rising costs and reducing our student intake. We will not be accepting cash at this time and fees should be settled via cheque, bank transfer or Revolut.
Students who can’t make it to our HQ or didn’t manage to book a place in time will have our wonderful online classes available to them. We’ve pretty much perfected our drama and dance online last term and they really are the next best thing. Feedback for our online classes has been overwhelmingly positive from parents and they’re a super way for the children to maintain contact with their friends.
Over the summer months we have, together with your cooperation, managed to maintain a controlled, happy, safe and healthy environment at The Fun Factory. And we had fun. Real fun. We’ve learned how to operate a safe environment.
If we work together – everybody benefits: students, teachers and parents.
Thank you for understanding.
CLASSES TO OPERATE FROM ATTARD ONLY
Please be informed that in the best interest of our students and teachers our wonderful development classes will be operating from our Attard HQ only for term 1.
We feel this is the best way forward as we will have better control over safety measures and will allow us to carry on giving your children the best that we have to give.
We hope this is just a temporary measure and will be able to return to other schools in Term 2. This will be confirmed at a later date.
Places will be limited so please do book your space as soon as possible.
We would like to take this opportunity to reassure parents that we are taking all reasonable measures to maintain a safe and healthy environment for students and teachers – we must, of course, insist on everybody’s cooperation.
By their very nature, our drama classes are cluster-based, last one hour with no breaks in between, so social distancing will be easier to control. We will be sanitising all surfaces before each class.
- Hand sanitising on entry will remain obligatory as well as the taking of temperature.
- Sick children will need to be sent home.
- Children will be required to leave their shoes outside the studio area as another precautionary measure.
- Students will be required to wear masks in common areas.
- Children should refrain from bringing any unnecessary belongings into the studio; water bottles should be properly labelled.
- Fees should preferably be paid by cheque, electronically or via Revolut. Cash payments are not recommended at this time.
It would be helpful if parents ensured their child goes to the toilet before class. With younger children, a visit to the loo can be contagious and we would like to avoid that as much as possible.
Unfortunately, parents won’t be allowed on the premises until directed otherwise. This will not affect the excellent communication we maintain with all of you via email, text or phone.
Social distancing will be maintained as much as possible.
Class size will be reduced according to health authorities and we will be operating on a first-come-first-served – so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Besides our regular contact teaching in Attard, we will also be continuing our wonderful online programmes for Helen O’Grady classes and Dance for those who wish to enjoy our classes from the comfort of their own home.
These classes are very successful and the feedback we’ve had from parents has been extremely positive across the board
The lessons have been further developed to include more movement and less sitting to really get those drama muscles working.
BIG NEWS 1 - VOUCHERS
Government-issued vouchers (€20) may be used when booking a child's place at any one of our programmes
This offer has been extended to the end of October. T+Cs apply.
21ST CENTURY LIFE SKILLS
The Helen O’Grady Academy has been teaching 21st Century Life Skills for 4 decades which is why we are considered experts in child development worldwide.
Our development programmes have been covering Communication, Creativity, Collaboration and Critical Thinking since 1979 and, according to the World Economic Forum, they are more important than ever!
Over the years, schools have taught students to follow directions, get along with others, work hard and be professional. All are still necessary skills. But to hold information-age jobs, students also need the ability to think deeply and critically, solve problems, work in collaborative environments, communicate clearly in various media (email, phone, social media, face-to-face), learn ever-changing technologies, and deal with a constant flood of information.
The mindset that what children learn at school will last a lifetime no longer applies. In today’s quick and constantly shifting world, 21st century skills are essential. Universities and employers look out for them at interview stage. When students are able to adapt to new requirements and overcome unexpected obstacles, they’ll thrive no matter where their life takes them which is why we always say that “creating thinkers will be the next leaders”.
Speak to us for more information on the benefits of 21st Century Life Skills.
HOW TO ENROL TO TERM 1
We’ve simplified the enrolment process even further for parents. All you need to do is now is send an email to email@example.com, if you haven’t already done so, and let us know your intention. That’s it!
When handing over payment to the teacher please ensure it is put in a clearly marked envelope including the child’s name and class. If you haven’t already done so, please include your ID card number. This is for your own tax benefit should you wish to apply for a tax rebate, as the tax department may contact us to verify claims.
Every student now has a PIN number. This will help us be even more efficient when it comes to administration. You will have received your child's PIN number on the report. Please keep it handy (maybe on your phone).
Your children’s safety is of paramount importance and we will be continuing with our stringent safety measures.