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Newsletter Feb. 12th

Wellbeing Wall   
The fifth-year Ember Leaders have been busy during lockdown working with Ms Flood to create a wellness wall for the whole school: https://padlet.com/MsFlood/DCWwellnesswall
They update it with weekly challenges, quotes, upbeat songs, mindfulness tips, study tips and useful podcasts for wellbeing and study. The weekly challenges range from competitions to simple acts of kindness, and everyone is encouraged to get involved. The first week, the Embers challenged DCW to a photo competition which Amelie Birrell from 3rd year won. Then they challenged the school community to make St Brigid's crosses in honour of St Brigid's day on February 1st. This week, and for the midterm, they are challenging the school to send a nice message to someone they love, send a letter or make a phone call to someone they haven't talked to in a while. Also on the wall, the Embers are keeping track of Ms Scahill's walking challenge so everyone can see updates there as to which country we have reached so far. Be sure to check in regularly, get involved in the challenges and make the most of the useful tips.

Keeping Well Workshops
In difficult times we need to be resilient and self-reliant. We need to be kind to ourselves. Sometimes we need a little help in developing these essential skills. During the week beginning February 22nd, help will be on hand in the form of 'Keeping Well Workshops. These workshops will be presented online to the student body by the ISPCC. The Transition Year students are one step ahead- to date, they have completed study modules on wellbeing, peer mediation and conflict literacy. Hopefully, all such modules and workshops will help our students through these difficult times.

Around the World with DCW
As mentioned last week, Ms Scahill has set a challenge for the school community to see how far they could travel worldwide while staying within the 5km radius. The challenge was extended to families as well. While outdoors record your steps, take a screenshot and send to Ms Scahill (www.padlet.com/laurascahill/aroundtheworldwithdcw). Every evening Ms Scahill will add the distance travelled and post to the wellbeing wall. Currently, the school community has landed in Cardiff. Now that the midterm is approaching we will have a little more time on our hands-time to get involved and add to the kilometres that will see us travel through Europe. Let's keep moving!!

Jerusalema Challenge
Last week the students at DCW were promised a 'surprise' as a fun way to end school for the midterm. Unknown to the students, the wellbeing team working with management had issued a challenge to all the staff. The challenge was to learn, perform and video their version of the Jerusalema dance. The Principal and Deputy Principal led by example busting a groove which was enjoyed by all. Lots of the staff followed their example. Some teachers chose to strut their stuff in their homes while others braved the cold and danced in their gardens. There was even a performance on a beach! Ms Roche, having a background in hip hop dancing, put on a pretty impressive performance. Some teachers chose the cover of a costume, and others were joined by family members or furry friends! Thanks to Mr Martin for the final editing and production. The video brought a much-needed smile to everyone's face.

Thank You!
The students were not the only school community members to receive a lovely surprise during the last week of term. Once again, the Principal and Deputy Principal worked closely with the wellbeing team to surprise the teaching staff. During their online assemblies, they asked the students to write personal messages of thanks to all the staff. The response from the students was fantastic. Every staff member received a card in the post with multiple messages. The cards were timely and hugely appreciated. Thank you to all the students who took the time to write their messages.

Homework Club
Ms Mason would like to remind students that online access is available to the Homework Club. Students who need help with homework or study can contact Ms Mason via Schoolwise and arrange a meeting. The online Homework Club will be run for individual students or groups of students and can be held at a time that suits the student.

Student Council
This week the members of the Student Council met with Ms Mynes and Mr Martin. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss their experiences of online teaching and learning. It was a very positive and interactive meeting. Students shared their views on effective teaching strategies and discussed the online support networks available for the student body. Feedback at all levels is vital to ensure the best possible online experience and management would like to thank the Student Council for sharing their personal views.

Incoming First Years
There will be an online information evening for the parents of students joining DCW in September 2021 on Thursday, February 25th. A letter will be posted to all relevant parents this week. Be sure to put the date in the diary!

School Management
Ms Mynes and Mr Martin wish to congratulate the students and staff on their fantastic online teaching and learning engagement. As with any new experience, there were challenges, but these afforded new goals and achievements for both students and staff. Ms Mynes and Mr Martin, along with the BOM, would like to wish the whole school community a relaxed and well-deserved break.