Covid-19 School Closure
Slemish College is now closed to students (as of Wednesday 18th March 2020) due to the coronavirus outbreak. Below you will find all materials required during this period of closure, including all letters from the College, distance learning packs and arrangements for children of key workers:
Distance Learning Packs
The packs below give some guidance on distance learning during this period of closure. They also include:
- all Google Classroom codes for every year group,
- a sample schedule for the day,
- instructions on how to use Google Classroom,
- how to reset passwords,
- how to access MySchool remotely,
- how to download Microsoft Office software for free,
- SEN Support, and
- Pastoral Support
Download the relevant pack(s) below:
Whisper - New Anonymous Reporting Service
Whisper is a new anonymous service that lets you report a problem you may be having at school or at home. Whether it be bullying, cyber bullying, issues at home or concerns about another student, this service is available to all our students.
To report an issue, you can either click the button below and fill in the form, or you can send a text message to 07860 021 323. Start your message with SCW20, followed by your own message. These messages can only be read by limited safeguarding staff in school so privacy is guaranteed. Once your message has been received, a trusted member of staff will reply to you as soon as possible.
Pastoral Support & Mental Health
In light of the fact that the listening service and our own Safeguarding team are not immediately or personally available to the students at this time, the Education Authority have provided us with a list of important numbers should students require any additional support.
Bloom, part of the charity Mental Health UK, have been developing resources for parents and carers to support them in having conversations with young people about resilience and mental health. The Bloom Resource Library is available on their website at:
They have also developed some guidance on how to have conversations about Covid-19 with young people, and provide reassurance during these challenging times. This resource can be downloaded here:
You will also find further guidance about young people's mental health on the government website at:
We are very pleased to be able to offer a continuation of the Independent Counselling Service (ICSS) for schools via online or telephone counselling. We recognise that this is an unprecedented situation, but we are fully committed to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our students. These are unusual times and this brings unusual stressors on young people and their families. There may be anxiety about the lack of exam grades, what will happen in the future, personal health or the health of loved ones. There may be grief over the loss of friendships, routine or people. We want to give a response that is supportive and safe for our young people who are the future of our world.
The online service is a confidential service for young people aged 11-18 so every year group in school, even those would leave school this year can still use it. It happens on the same day and time as counselling is usually delivered in school. If your young person is already receiving counselling you don’t need to do anything. This will continue via telephone or online and someone will be in contact with them directly.
If you have a young person who wants to refer themselves into the ICSS this can be done through the Familyworks website:
You can also refer your young person to the service but you should get their permission to do so first. You can do this by just asking them privately how they might feel about speaking to the school counsellor. It can help to make sure the young person has a quiet space to talk to the counsellor away from the rest of the family. There is a button on the website for parents and school staff to refer. The service will be delivered to the same standard as in school and will work under the school’s child protection policy so your young person will be kept safe.
Autism NI have produced an educational resource kit which includes social stories, learning plans, routine charts, ebooks and audios for children of all ages:
They have also put together a 'social story' which explains self isolation to autistic indivdiuals and have produced a list of FREE apps that can be downloaded for your child to manage their self-care and emotional well-being. All of these helpful resources can be downloaded from the Autism NI website at:
During the period of the Covid-19 crisis, the Education Authority's Autism Advisory and Intervention Service (AAIS) is suspending its normal service. As this is a very difficult and unsettling time for everyone, the Service will endeavour to provide as much support as possible in the current circumstances.
AAIS will provide telephone advice for families at home. A parent or guardian can phone their nearest office number as listed on the AAIS website. A staff member will log the particular question, query or issue with which you require help. An experienced team member will then return your call and provide advice and assistance according to your particular need.
AAIS have also created a booklet called 'Staying Safe - Dealing with Covid-19', specifically for post primary schools. The booklet aims to explain a little bit about what Coronavirus is, it provides advice on how to take precautions and how we can look after one another. It also provides advice on remote learning and a focus on emotional well-being during these challenging times of school closures.
Autism Services, CAMHS and Rise NI have made a series of resources available on the Southern Health and Social Care Trust website.
We know this can be a challenging time for all members of your family. We hope that the information provided will be useful in supporting you during this period of social distancing:
Provision for Children of Key Workers
Slemish College is fully committed to serving our community in the fight against Covid-19, and we want to support parents that are working on the frontline. However, we are also conscious that we must ensure that we create a safe environment that maintains social distancing and complies with the public health guidance for our premises. Please only use the service if you have no alternative childcare options. Again, this will help us maintain the safest possible environment for the children.
Please pay careful attention to the following points:
This service only applies to parents of frontline key workers. Please check the list issued by the Department of Education:
This service is only available for students in Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10.
To protect children’s health, it is important that social distancing is maintained. This will be impossible if the numbers become large. We therefore request that parents only use this service if it is impossible to arrange any other childcare arrangements. Provision in school should be a last resort.
Children attending will be required to wear school uniform.
Due to schools operating with a skeleton staff, we will not be able to deliver curriculum content, or teach. Children who are attending will be independently working through their distance learning packs.
It is very important that no students should attend if they have a new and persistent cough, or a high temperature. They must self-isolate for 7 days. Also if they live with someone who has symptoms, they must not attend and stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms.
Applications for this service closed at 12 noon on Sunday 22nd March 2020 and parents have now been contacted.
Parents who are sending their child(ren) to school as part of this scheme are requested to read the Risk Assessment below, sign the declaration and bring a copy of the completed form to school on Tuesday 24th March (or the child's first day at school if starting later).