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Message to pupils, parents and staff.

Dear Parents, Pupils and Staff

This week began with a lovely heartfelt message from our Head Girl Mekha, sharing with us a student’s perspective of how she is coping with what has recently become our new ‘normal’.  Words of wisdom, articulated so well and messages of kindness and gratitude shared with her peers and teachers.  Mekha really did sum up what we are all experiencing and I couldn’t have offered any better advice than this:

‘By supporting and reminding each other to take one step at a time, one day at a time and one hour at a time we can get through this together as part of the Thornhill Community’

It is hard to believe that one year ago exactly we were celebrating the success of winning BBC Senior Choir of the Year, an event that brought so much joy and pride to our whole school community.  Hopefully, we will get an opportunity to defend our title sometime in the future.  However, some of our choir members will add their dulcet tones and will join other musicians across the country to assist in this week’s musical tribute singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ acknowledging the tremendous work of our wonderful NHS and other Key workers. I have had the pleasure of hearing our very own Grace Doherty’s version which we will share on our Twitter feed tomorrow for you to enjoy.

This week it was our intention to host our annual ‘Wellness Week’, culminating in our Colour Run which was such a fabulous occasion for us all.  The photographs are a real testament to the fun and joy of the day and it is certainly something that we hope to reschedule and experience together in the future. 

Instead we have launched our Help Our Heroes campaign with the aim to raise much needed funds for our local Altnagelvin Hospital.  The key message that the PHA and Government has conveyed throughout this episode is to Stay Home and Save Lives.  Girls we are challenging you to demonstrate your creativity and illustrate how you are doing just that.  It could be a song, a poem, piece of art, Tik Tok video message or even your personal tribute to your own NHS hero as our Year 8 student Amy Downey did so beautifully yesterday.   

Parents and staff I would encourage you to make a small donation if you can, we are already nearing our target after launch yesterday and I would ask you to share this link with family and friends to show our support for our Western Trust heroes.  Donations can be made via the following link https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/help-our-heroes

 

I would like to inform our Year 11 students anxiously waiting their Science modular results that you will receive these in the post tomorrow. I wish you all the very best of luck.

Parents you are aware that Ofqual has published guidance on how qualifications will be graded and awarded in Summer 2020 in England.   However, we are awaiting an announcement towards the end of this week from the Minister of Education, Peter Weir, as to how CCEA propose to manage this situation and this will be shared with you as soon as it is available. 

With the Easter break commencing tomorrow I would urge all staff, students and parents to take a well-earned break and enjoy some quality time with your families.  Teaching and Learning will commence again on Monday 20th April and further guidance will be provided for all students by their teachers for the final term.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind our essential Key workers that should you require educational supervision  for your child in Years 8-10 over the holiday period (Friday 10th – Friday 17th April) you can contact us via our school info account info@thornhill.derry.ni.sch.uk

It would be appreciated if a request could be made by noon tomorrow to enable us to plan supervision should you need it and we will respond as soon as we can.

Holy Week provides us with the opportunity to reflect and renew our faith and belief in God and the power of prayer.  This morning a Special Intentions Mass for all our school communities and all former pupils currently on the frontline fighting Covid-19 was celebrated by Fr Paul Farren and we truly appreciate this kind gesture.  Similarly, I take comfort daily from the positive affirmations and prayers shared by our own RE department in the call to live out our Mercy ethos in our interactions with others. 

On behalf of all the staff of Thornhill College I would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone for your support through what has been a very unique experience for us all.  I would ask you all to ‘Keep Strong and Resolute’ in the days and weeks ahead and in the words of Maya Angelou ‘Hope and Fear cannot occupy the same space at the same time.  Invite one to stay’.

 

Wishing you and your family a very Happy and peaceful Easter.

Sharon Mallett and the staff of Thornhill College

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