Friday June 5th

Parents for your attention- An update from Youth New Ross:

An Update from YNR CEO on our Working Arrangements
“From June 8th Youth New Ross (YNR) is delighted to begin the process of a return to the work we love with families, young people, parents and children. We will be carefully following government health advice, adhering to social distancing and taking other necessary measures to protect all who use our service, staff and volunteers.
Our team will be working hard to overcome the challenges ahead over the next few weeks. For now, we are asking that you make contact with us prior to any appointments, meetings or visits so that our staff can make the necessary arrangements and ensure everyone’s health and safety.”




Thursday June 4th

With the help of a fantasy creature, Ario, “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!” explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality.The book – aimed primarily at children aged 6-11 years old – is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psycho-social support in emergency settings.

During the early stages of the project, more than 1700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world shared how they were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. The input was invaluable to script writer and illustrator Helen Patuck and the project team in making sure that the story and its messages resonated with children from different backgrounds and continents.

In order to reach as many children as possible, the book has been widely translated. It is being released as both an online product and audio book. Please find the English version below.

My Hero is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19 

Niamh Foskin HSCL Teacher.

Wednesday June 3rd

For your Information- may be useful for parents of preschool age children in the New Ross area.
FDYS County Wexford
Scoil Spraoi na Leanai
New Ross, Ireland
No photo description available.
Niamh Foskin, 086 8276511.
Tuesday June 2nd

Good Morning. I hope the long weekend was enjoyed by all. I want to draw your attention to the following service which may be of some use to you:

The Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed (INOU) provides services and information to many groups, including the following:
Unemployed people, local organisations which support unemployed people, national organisations that work on a range of equality, social inclusion and anti-poverty issues and employers.
For further information, please visit their website
Image may contain: text



Wednesday May 27th

Managing Family and Relationship Conflict during the Covid Crisis

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” – Marcus Aurelius

The Covid-19 crisis has instantly changed the daily lives of families. Pushed tightly back into our family units we are now spending our whole days and evenings with our nearest and dearest, and are more isolated from the outside world.

When families are forced to spend long periods together, conflict can be at its highest. In normal times it is during the Christmas holidays that the highest rates of marital strife and domestic violence are reported. Now with Covid-19, we face a much longer period of domestic confinement. Even couples who have previously got on well can notice their stress levels rising, and people can easily snap in anger and take their frustrations out on their partners.

Never before have we more needed self-awareness, patience and good conflict resolution skills.

Below are a set of tips for managing and de-escalating anger and rows for couples under pressure.

Press the pause button

There is a myth that in successful relationships you should always share your feelings with your partner. While this is true of positive feelings, it is much more problematic for negative feelings such as anger or contempt. Blaming or taking your anger out on your partner tends to damage the relationship, leading to defensiveness, hurt and reduced co-operation. Equally, the opposite tactic of bottling anger up so it festers and builds a wall between couples is also problematic.

When I work with couples in conflict, my first piece of advice is to always press the pause button. I invite them to take a step back from negative patterns of communication, and to discover calmer and warmer ways of communicating, so that the relationship is improved and not damaged, and couples become closer together and not further apart.

Listen first

The most important communication skill is listening. Listening is not only the best way to connect with your partner but is also the crucial first step to resolving conflict. When anger is expressed towards you, the temptation is to become defensive and angry in return. However, it is more effective to pause and to listen first. Give space and time for your partner to express their feelings and thoughts – “You sound upset, what is bothering you at the moment . . . tell me what is the matter.” This can take the sting out of stress and upset. Most people just want to be understood and appreciated when they are upset and angry. Simple things such as acknowledging their feelings (“I understand you must be frustrated”) and offering comfort (“Let me make you a cup of tea”) can make a difference.

Speak up respectfully

As well as listening, it is equally important to find positive ways to communicate your own frustrations and upsets. Rather than being overtly blaming or passive aggressive or giving your partner the silent treatment, the goal is to find an assertive, respectful and warm way to communicate your feelings and state what you need. Lots of different strategies can work such as:

Start by saying something you value about your partner: “It means a lot to me when you take over with the kids in the evening.”

Using “I” statements and owning your feelings: “I feel upset when this happens” or “I really need this to happen” or “This is important to me.”

Blaming the situation not your partner: “This is difficult for both of us,” or “I know we are both under pressure to work.”

Sometimes it is a case of choosing your battles wisely and to focus only on the issues that really matter to you. Rather than raising a contentious issue, it may be easier to accept differences, work at compromises and let go of some of your expectations.

Different things work for different couples

Remember communication is an art form and not a science. Different things work for different people. One partner could feel patronised if you were using a listening “technique” when they were annoyed, but would instead prefer that you simply stay silent and to show reassuring affection. While one person may want to talk through details of a dispute immediately afterwards, another person may want some space and to talk about it later.

The key is to find a way that works for you and your partner. For example, some couples raise their conflicts only indirectly and briefly (as getting into the details causes a full-blown row) and instead diffuse their annoyance using humour to distract to another lighter topic. Other couples are happy to have a full-blown row, because it clears the air and they make up quickly and stay connected.

Time together and time apart

Even when you are spending the whole day together it can be hard to find time for quality communication and connection. This is especially the case when the day is full of struggles to care for children, keep your work going, attend to personal projects and keep a home functioning. Your day could easily become dominated by niggles and rows over whose turn it is to cook dinner, entertain the kids or to clean the toilets.

As you evolve your new routine within the Covid-19 isolation, make sure there are quality times together as well as personal times apart. This might mean that each day you aim to go for a walk together to chat and debrief or watch a TV programme together when the kids are in bed. It also means that you allow space in the day for each of you to get personal time alone, whether this is one partner reading a book or meditating while the other is on duty with the children.

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher


Tuesday May 26th

How to get Teens to Stick to the Covid 19 Restrictions: A Guide for Parents

It can be a real challenge for parents to get their Teenagers to follow the Covid 19 restrictions by staying in and away from people that are not in their family.  It was all such a sudden change when the restrictions came in that a lot of people (including teenagers) had a hard time coming to terms with the reality of it. Change is hard for everyone but particularly Teenagers so it’s really about coming up with a ‘new normal’ that keeps the family and community safe and alive.

Step 1:  Be Clear on What the Problem is

Teenagers going out to meet their friends and then possibly getting the virus and passing it onto other people in the family and the community. Younger people might not show symptoms of the virus so they could be spreading it without even realising. This could have really terrible consequences for some people.

Check that everyone agree on what the problem is as people might be thinking it is different things. It’s important to be on the same page!

Step 2:   Tune in….

What is going on for the Teen?

These things are not true of all teenagers, but they are quite normal at their stage of development:

  • Teenagers live in the here and now and don’t really consider the future so they may not have fully get the seriousness of the situation.
  • Rebelling: Teenagers are pulling away from their parents as they work out who they are and are forming their own identity. This sometimes involves them doing the opposite to what their parents want. This is why negotiating with Teens is really important – They are more likely to get on board if they feel heard and get something in the agreement.
  • Ego: Teenagers can act like the world revolves around them and have a hard time considering others
  • Peer Pressure: Friends and peers are really important to teenagers as well as those they might ‘fancy’!

Other things that might influence their behaviour are:

  • A negative atmosphere in the house – maybe it’s not a place they want to be
  • A negative relationship with their parents – Teens tend not to work with their parents if they do not have a good relationship some of the time
  • They don’t understand the situation or the consequences .. they haven’t properly talked to anyone about it.

What is going on for the parent?

  • How are you feeling? Stressed, annoyed, frustrated
  • Are you holding resentment to the Teen that is affecting the relationship? Try and let this go and consider what is going on for the Teen. As parents we might have been similar when we were that age.
  • What has worked so far? What has not worked so far? This is key information to coming up with a solution

Step 3:   Think about Possible Solutions

Now that you have a clear understanding of the problem as well as why people in the family are behaving the way they are, the next thing is to come up with some ideas of what could work in keeping Teenagers in and away from people not in their family. Divide this into two parts.

1: The Prevention Plan: What can you do to prevent the problem happening in the first place?

2: The Plan for What are you going to do there and then when the problem happens (i.e. They want to go out and meet their friends)?

Please see lots of ideas to put in the plan in the next 2 pages!

The Prevention Plan
Be clear on what you want and say it in as few words as possible – say something like “I am worried when you go out as you could bring the virus back to us and some of us could get really sick and even die”. Be calm but serious. Don’t be longwinded or get into an ‘over and back’ argument as then the main message gets lost.  
Talk about it with your Teens – Remember Teenagers are unlikely to talk to parents if they are negative or critical. Start by hearing what they think about it (really listen and avoid interrupting) – say you understand where they are coming from and then say your point of view. If it gets into an argument or becomes negative, they are unlikely to take your point on board so be careful of that. If this happens just repeat what you want to see happen and leave those words as they are.
Problem Solve and Negotiate The steps to this are: 1) Reallyhear what they think about the problem then say what you think 2) Come up with possible solutions (e.g. ways of keeping in touch with friends online) 3) Pick what ones you think would work best and try and make sure your Teen feels heard and that their opinion is part of it all. This approach is really helpful for the Teen who hates feeling controlled and does the opposite to what their parents want as a result. Taking their ideas on board takes that ‘controlled feeling’ away.
Keep a good relationship – Teenagers are much more likely to work with their parents if they have a good relationship with them some of the time.  The way you build this is spending time together that you both enjoy that is free of criticism or direction (e.g. baking, watching a programme, laughing, chatting, playing a game, going for a walk). 10 minutes a day can make a massive difference. If they end up storming off or it turns into an argument – that is ok, you still got some time.
Notice the Good they Do and tell them when they do well.This also keeps the good relationship which makes it more likely that Teens will work with their parents. If they do stay in be sure to say something like “I know this is really hard on you but I do appreciate you staying in”. If you want to get a Teen to do something, it is 5 times more effective to notice when they do it compared to criticising or giving out when they don’t do it.
Set Clear Rules that they know about in advance even if you are pretty sure they will ignore them. Rules should be clear and in as few words as possible ‘The rule is we have to stay in and only go out with the people in our family’. You can then repeat this rule in the same words every time they are looking to go out and it becomes really clear. Repetition means it sinks in.  
Link Rules to Rewards or Consequences: Think about phones, Xboxes, playstations, wifi, money as privileges that they earn or lose depending on behaviour. If they get 2 hours phone or technology time a day or 10 euro pocket money a week; maybe this is dependent on them staying in. They don’t get it if they go out. Be careful not to take everything away as then there is nothing to left to lose… so losing 2 euro pocket money every day they go out or half an hour phone or tech time is more effective than taking it all. Sometimes consequences can backfire though, especially if there is not a good relationship between the parent and the teen.    
Other ideas for Rewards This can be really effective in guiding the behaviour you want from your teen – What is it that they really want? Driving lessons, gym membership, a trip to Tayto Park, tickets to a concert – say that you understand how hard this is on them but that you’re willing to get something they really want for them when this is all over if they stick to the rules (allow for a few slipups as we all have them).
Self-care for Parents. Think about yourself as a battery – what gives you energy and makes you feel better (nice food, sitting in the sun, chats with friends, a good programme on tv, a walk, mindfulness)? Then think what drains your energy (a lot in this current situation)! It makes sense that you need enough energy in your battery to get through all this so make sure you take time to look after yourself and fill it up!
The Plan for What you will do ‘There and Then’ if Teens want to go out
Repeat the main message of “I am worried when you go out as you could bring the virus back to us and some of us could get really sick and even die”. Remember be clear on what you want and say it in as few words as possible. Leave those important words for what they are  
Use ‘I Statements’ not ‘You Statements’. Teens (and people) normally get resentful and won’t listen when they are told things that start with a ‘you’ – e.g. ‘You don’t care’ or ‘you are so selfish’… they just get peoples’ backs up. I statements are a better way of getting your message across as no one can argue with your feelings.  It works this way: I feel (name emotion) when you (name behaviour) because (say why). For example: I feel worried when you go out with your friends because you could bring the virus back to our home and an older person could get it
Remind the Teen of the agreement you came up with and why it is important to stay in. Remind them of the consequences if they do go out. Make sure to follow through on the consequences if needed.   The Gardai can fine people so the Teen should own and take responsibility for that one.
Try to avoid getting into an argument or conflict. Simply stay calm and strong and remind them of the rule that they need to stay in to keep everyone in the family safe. If emotions (anger, stress or upset) are getting the better of you or your Teen – Press the Pause Button – and take some time out before trying to sort it out. Everything is easier to sort out when people are calm rather than ‘in the height of it’ as we are much more reasonable then.
Be Positive: Even though it’s likely parents will feel very annoyed and frustrated, teens are more likely to work with their parents if they are positive and understand where they are coming from. Always start with something positive and they are then more likely to listen to what you say next: You could say “I know this is really hard for you and that you miss you friends” “You stayed in last week when the others were out and I really appreciated that” (Reminding them of a time they did well can be very effective in getting them to work with you)  
Hear the Teen out and what they have to say even if you don’t agree. Sometimes letting them get what they have to say off their chest helps them work it out in their heads and then they might be more reasonable then. Often the frustration from being in an argument is not that you didn’t get your own way, it’s that you didn’t get heard. Make sure to repeat your clear rule or I statement at the end of listening though just to make sure than main message does not get lost.
Parents work together – It’s much better if parents and other adults in the house are on the same page and part of the plan. This is the same for separated parents – Try and keep emotions or your own stuff out of it and agree to come up with a plan that is best for the kids and everyone in the family.


Monday May 25th

Good Morning Everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend and enjoyed the nice weather we had on Sunday. I am continuing with some tip-sheets for parents. Today it is about maintaining family well-being during Covid-19.I hope you find it a useful read.

Maintaining family wellbeing during the Covid-19 lockdown

With colleges, schools and childcare centres closed in most areas, the Covid-19 crises has instantly changed the lives of most families worldwide. Pushed tightly back into our family units without much outside contact, relationships have been put under pressure.  Stressed parents struggle to balance working and caring for children all day and bored children have to manage without normal social contacts and  school routines.  Not surprisingly there has been a big increase in family and relationship stress and child behaviour problems. Below are some tips for managing family relationships through this crisis

  1. Manage your own stress
  2. Attending to adult relationships in the family
  3. Talking to children about their worries
  4. Structuring the day/ Creating a family routine

First put on your own oxygen mask before you attend to your children

As a parent, the most important thing you can do for your own children is to first manage your own level of stress. The more you are coping and feeling positive the better you will be able to attend to and care for your children. Children need cared for parents who can care for them. The first step in helping your children and reducing family stress is take steps to ensure you are coping first. This is good for you, your children, your partner and the other adults in your family.

Stress can have a negative impact on your personal relationships with your partner and the other adults in your family. When affected by worry or depression or stress, we can become much more irritable with those close to us or we can cut off and become unavailable. Being pushed together in family isolation can aggravate tensions and difficulties. If you are a separated parent you can have the added stress of negotiating with a parent outside your home or if you are a lone parent you could feel more isolated if you are cut off from your usual supportive adult relationships outside the home.

Take time to understand

Take time to understand what is going on between you and your partner or other adults in your family. Expect that relationships might be strained  and that you and others may become irritable and upset at times. Remember that with a bit of thoughtful understanding, stress does not have to drive you apart but instead can bring you together and deepen your understanding of each other. Rather than fighting each other over the crises, recognise that you are in this together and work at finding solutions.

Listen well

The most important communication skill is listening. Listening is the best way to stay connected with a close family member and a crucial first step to resolving conflict. When your partner is upset take time to first understand what is going on from their perspective. If they get snappy, rather than reacting try to pause and listen first. Give space and time for them to express their feelings and thoughts – ‘you sound upset, what is bothering you at the moment…tell me what is the matter’. This can take the sting out of stress and upset. Whether  you are parenting in the same home or as a separated couple, taking time to understand the other parent’s feelings and what is important to them is crucial to getting  on better and reaching agreements.

Communicate well 

Equally important is to communicate your own feelings and thoughts. Rather than being angry or passive aggressive, the goal is to find an assertive respectful way to communicate your feelings and state what you need.  Using ‘I’ statements is often a good way to do this ‘ I feel this when this happens’ or ‘I really need this to happen’ or ‘this is important to me’. Find your way of assertively and respectfully communicating that gets through to the other person.

Make agreements

Rather than just winning the argument or getting what you want, you need to find ways that you both get what you want. This is the only way to maintain and good relationships. The ideal is to find  ‘win-win’ solutions that work for everyone. And when this is not possible the goal is to make an agreement where burdens are shared and you both get something of what you want. Making and keeping agreements is the key to building trust in relationships.

Just as parents are understandably alarmed and worried about current crises so are their children and teenagers.  Rather than avoiding difficult conversations it isbetter to be proactive and to plan how and what you might talk to them.

Use child-centred language for young children

In talking to young children it is important to take time to explain the message using concrete child-centred language that they understand.  For example, to explain why your 4 year old can’t visit Nana during the crisis you might say ‘There is a virus, called Covid19, that makes old people very sick. Children can carry Covid19 but not know they have it. So we can’t visit Nana in case we give her the virus. The good news is that we can talk to her and see her on the phone. She misses you very much and loves when you show her pictures or when you read your books together over the phone at bedtime’

The key is to show children how they are helping others by their actions. You are showing how your daughter can protect Nana and also be kind to her by keeping in touch.

You can also use pictures or drawings to your children to explain how the virus spreads and importance of washing hands and social distancing. There are many children’s picture books just published online to explain all about the virus that you might be able to read together

Use adult explanations for teenagers

As your children become older and your explanations need to be more adult and scientific. Teenagers appreciate being taken  seriously and being treated like adults on the same level as their parents. Be proactive and find ways to raise the issues with your older children. It is always better that your children are talking to their parents rather than relying on unreliable sources such as social media or peers.  A useful strategy might be to watch the news together and to then debate and think through the issues with them. Alternatively, you can review some reliable health information on Internet together which looks at all the facts and the protective actions you can take –  this might be a good way to calmly go through the facts and to help you both think how best to respond.

Listen carefully

Make sure to listen carefully when your children raise worries and questions. If  your teenage daughter talks of exaggerated facts, respond calmly and ask her ‘ where did she hear that from?’ If your son worries about who might die due to the coronavirus, give him space to express his thoughts and feelings – listen to his underlying worries. While you can reassure him that so far no young children have died, this may make him worried that older people ( such as his parents) may be at risk. Acknowledging this worries and putting them in context of reliable information is the best approach. You want to encourage your children to talk to you and to keep communication open. You want to give them the message that you can handle their feelings and worries

Use a positive tone

Parents are often worried that difficult facts might scare children. In reality, it is how things are explained rather than the facts that scare children the most. Vague inconsistent and confusing answers from anxious parents make for anxious children. When you are talking to your children, think through what you want to say so you can be calm and clear about what is going in they have to do.

Explore positive actions

Empower your children and yourself by focusing on reasonable actions that you can take to keep them safe. This can include agreeing good hand washing routines and new ways of greeting people outside the home ( e.g. waving instead of hand shaking). If you have to stay at home for a period, involve them in preparing a list of what food you will need and what fun activities you can do at home. Remember taking safety actions does not have to be a morbid serious affair. You can make of game of learning how to wash hands properly seeing who can follow video instructions the best. Also, there are lots of funny videos online that describe new ways of greeting or keeping safe distances when shopping.

Each family now has to adjust to new pressured circumstances of trying to study, work confined in the same household without the usual organised social activities outside the home. Learning the structure the day and creating a new family routine is a way to make this more manageable.

Build the day around mealtimes

Build your daily routine around family mealtimes.  One silver lining in the crisis is the opportunity for families to have more healthy home cooked meals. Involve children as much as possible ( according to their ages) in planning, preparing, cooking and cleaning up after meals. The more tasks are shared, the more family bonding and shared pride there will be. With older children you can set up a weekly schedule for meals, alternating who is cooking/ washing up and ensuring everyone gets their favourite meal included

Set aside parent work times

Set aside spaces in the day when you can do your own thing while the children are doing their own thing ( eg homework or play). This might facilitate you doing work projects or leisure time. If your children are very young and don’t easily give you space, then you might alternate child minding with your partner throughout the day. If you are parenting alone, then this time might occur when the children are watching TV, napping or asleep in the evening o.

Through the course of the day, the goal is to alternate between time together and time apart. Creating individual space and time, while in the same house with others is the key to survival

Plan some play times

Rather than responding to your children’s request to play throughout the day, try to set aside couple of fun play times in the day when you can give them your full attention. This might be doing a craft together, or a family game in the evening or watching a family TV show or doing a video call to granny together. Set one or two interesting goals each week that you can look forward to, whether this is trying a new game, learning something, doing an online quiz with extended family and friends.

Relax about homework

Rather becoming obsessed with ‘home-schooling’ your children which can lead to increased pressure and battles, it is important to relax about homework.  While you might punctuate the day with one or two learning periods the when screens are turned off, it is better to set small achievable learning goals that the children are largely in charge of. Work closely with te school teacher and avail of what online school supports might be available.

Avoid being in the role of a strict teacher. Remember  young children learn most form you during fun and relaxed activities whether this is baking or cooking, spotting nature during a walk, playing quizzes, sowing seeds in the garden or doing  a craft together. Find something your children enjoy and make this the basis of home learning. Many schools will provide support on these creative learning opportunities.

Help children plan their activities

Help you children create their own routine and to alternate their activities throughout the day For example, in a given day they might alternate between 1) screen time by themselves 2) doing a play activity 3) reading a book 3) watch a TV programme with family 4) Playing in garden 5) playing music 6) doing a craft 7) going for family walk etc.

The key is to strike a balance between screens and other activities as well as time alone and time with the family.

Take the pressure off

Being cooped up in the same house already brings a lot of pressure. Reduce your expectations and don’t expect to be a super parent doing everything. Have a gentle start to day, set one or two goals, let your children watch a bit more TV, and focus on enjoyment and relaxation as much as you can.

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher, 086 8276511.


Friday May 22nd

Covid-19 has upended our lives completely. We now find ourselves in a new world of reduced social contacts, struggles to keep work going at home and losing jobs and keeping our distance from other people. While this might have been an interesting experiment for a few days, the prospects of doing this for weeks and even months without an end in sight is particularly challenging.

Below are 16 tips to help you cope:

1) Accept your new reality
Rather than just focusing on what you have lost or the disruption to your life, make a choice to go with the flow and adapt to your new reality. Ask yourself, how can I make the most of the new situation I am in?

2) Make a plan
Make a plan for each day as well as each week. Set a couple of goals you want to achieve each day and a couple of things you would like to have done by the end of each week.

3) Keep a good routine
Just because you are at home self-isolating, don’t give up on a normal routine. Get up at the normal time, and get dressed in the normal way and set regular times for meals, work periods and leisure times.

4) Include some exercise in your day
If you can, make sure to get out for a walk or a run. A bit of fresh air and exercise will make all the difference. If stuck indoors, focus on doing indoor bouts of exercise, such as press-ups or squats or yoga stretches. Take a moment to stand at an open window or on a balcony to breathe.

5) Make the most of mealtimes
You probably now have to cook more. Make the most of these times. Try to enjoy the challenge of cooking healthy meals. Are there new recipes you want to try?

6) Plan some time for leisure
Plan something fun and interesting each day. This could be as simple as reading a favourite book, playing music, cooking a new meal, doing a crossword, starting an online class (there are lots of these now), listening to an podcast, or watching a boxset.

7) Reach out to people
Make sure to phone/ video call someone important in your life. Use all the benefits of social media to keep in touch with friends.

8) Alternate your tasks
Divide the day into manageable units of time (eg, 30 mins) and allocate your daily tasks. For example, you might alternate between meditation/yoga (one unit), breakfast (one unit), work (five units), reading a book (two units), phoning your mother (one unit), going for a walk (one unit) etc.

9) Say hello to neighbours
When going out to the shop, be polite and warm with shop assistants and say hello to neighbours from a safe distance. Even simple chats with strangers can boost your mood.

10) Think about how you can help someone
In crises it is the people who help others who cope the best. Ring an elderly neighbour or a front-line worker to see if they need anything when you go shopping.

11) Watch your mental health
Notice early if it is all getting too much for you. If you find yourself getting depressed or anxious reach out for support from friends, family or access the sources of help online or on the phone. Be gentle on yourself and realise that hard times will pass.

12) Accept your feelings
Accept that you are likely to have good days and bad days. Some days you are going to feel fed up, frustrated, anxious or depressed. Listen to and accept your feelings. Remember that you are not alone.

13) Limit news and social media streams
While keeping up with the news is important, avoid over-exposure or obsessive tracking of news coverage which can leave you depressed or anxious. Make a routine of only checking at certain times.

14) Keep a journal
Keep a journal each evening. Take a break from the screens and use a pen to write and reflect about your experiences each day. The simple act of writing can help you put your experiences into context and can be enormously satisfying.

15) Practise gratitude
Each evening take a moment to note something good that happened that day that you are grateful. This could be as simple as a pleasant chat with a colleague, friend or neighbour. Write about the things you are grateful for in your daily journal.

16) Focus on silver linings
As well as the challenges, focus on the “silver linings” of self-isolation. What is good about what is happening? What are the opportunities? Perhaps it has provided you with time to slow down or to learn and do new things.

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



Thursday May 21st

Hi All, Some of these parent support services may be if use to you:

One Family (Ireland)

Offers services and support to one parent families including training, education and a confidential helpline.

Address: One Family, Cherish House, 2 Lower Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.

Tel: (01) 662 9212 or 1890 662 212



Parentline (Ireland)

Confidential helpline for parents under stress or who are worried about any aspect of their parenting.

Address: Parentline, Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7.

Tel: (01) 873 3500 or 1890 927 277




An online resource which provides practical advice on the challenges facing parents. Chat forums are also available.


Solo (Ireland)

Supports people parenting alone through the provision of a wide range of information including, family law, child education and monetary matters.



Treoir (Ireland)

Promotes the rights and best interests of unmarried parents and their children and provides free information and referral services regarding pregnancy, counselling, social welfare, and legal rights.

Address: 14 Gandon House, IFSC, Dublin 1.

Tel: (01) 670 0120 or LoCall: 1890 252 084




Wednesday May 20th

Hi Everyone,

Just to draw your attention to this support which is available to parents.

Tusla, Barnardos, Youth New Ross, Gorey Youth Needs and Family Resource Centres across the county provide a free, confidential drop in support service for parents and carers where they can discuss a concern they have about their child. Help and support can be provided on a range of issues affecting children from 0-18years. This could include baby basics, behavioural difficulties, parenting dilemmas, issues in school, relationships, concerns around drugs or alcohol etc.

Trained staff will provide help and support or signpost you to the most appropriate service for your family.

Upcoming Dates for Family Support Drop In

Date Venue Tel
Wed 20th May Wexford Primary Care Centre, Grogan’s Road, Slippery Green, Wexford, Co Wexford 053 9142018
Thu 21st May Gorey Family Resource Centre, 4 Charlotte Row, Upper Main Street, Gorey, Co Wexford (053) 948 9017
Mon 25th May Taghmon Family Resource Centre, Taghmon, Taghmon, Co Wexford 053-9134465
Tue 26th May Raheen Family Resource Centre, Clonroche, Co Wexford , Y21N4V8 (051) 442 888
Thu 28th May Gorey Family Resource Centre, 4 Charlotte Row, Upper Main Street, Gorey, Co Wexford (053) 948 9017
Niamh Foskin. HSCL Teacher. 086 8276511.

Tuesday May 19th

Good Morning to all and a huge thank you to Youth New Ross for the information I am sharing with you today on Mindfulness.

Mindfulness practices help children to bring their attention into the present moment, to connect with themselves and the world around them and strengthen their capacity to be in the here and now.
In order for children to develop strategies for staying calm when experiencing difficult emotions, it is helpful to give them knowledge about how their brain works!
In the image that is posted below we can see how different parts of the brain have varying functions and today we are sharing a YouTube video by ‘Kids Want to Know’ which explains what is happening in our brains when we experience difficult emotions and how we can try to recognize physical signs that we are losing our cool.
It also looks at what we can do to help ourselves stay calm. This information is also really helpful to parents as we all ‘flip our lids’ at times and we can use this metaphor to talk to our kids when emotions get too big!
The video is called Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions? The link and image are posted below:
No photo description available.


Monday 18th May

Good Morning and Happy Monday to everyone. I hope you all had a good weekend.

This morning I want to share with you a free recipe booklet from a chef called Liam Boland who set up a website called Bia Maith- this is the Irish for Good Food for anybody who doesn’t speak Irish.

Liam gives recipes, tips, help and advice for frugal foodies and people on a budget which is more important than ever at this moment in time. He promotes good food made simple at a price we can all afford. Over the course of the pandemic Liam has made some of his e-books free for download which has been great for me as I am getting sick of making the same things over and over again!  He has a Facebook page that I also regularly check in on when I am looking for something new to make.  The book that I am attaching is one that usually costs €5 but for a limited time it is free to download and I am going to attach the link for it here for you. Happy Cooking 🙂

I hope you enjoy it.

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



Friday 15th

Barnardos will be providing the Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) programme online for parents/guardians who are experiencing child to parent violence.
Spaces will be limited
Send private message here or contact Karen on 086 0491118 ☎️
See Poster below for full details
Image may contain: text
Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher, 086 8276511.


Thursday May 14th

Good Morning,

I hope all of you are keeping well.

This virtual conference may be of some interest to you or someone you know? The details are provided below:

Save the Date Friday May 15th
💛 Families together for Mental Health
📍 Online event for families affected my mental health challenges
See details below to register 💻📱
No photo description available.
Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Tuesday May 12th

Good Morning

I hope you get to tune in to our Urban Rascals workout today. Also well done to the children who took part in the cherry blossom art competition. The work that was sent in to us was absolutely beautiful.

Did you get a chance to look at the Operation Transformation website? If you do, let me know what you think of it.

I saw this scavenger hunt on a page for parents last week and I thought that it looks like a really nice idea to do with your child/children when the weather is good or bad. There are two separate lists- one for outside and one for inside and even if you don’t have a printer you can read it out or write it down- or get your children to copy it down from the screen for a little bit of handwriting practice 🙂

Enjoy and Happy Scavenging to you all!

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Monday 11th

Hi Everyone.

It’s the start of a new week again. Weekends go by very quickly even in the middle of a pandemic!

One thing I really miss during all of this is going to the gym- I used to go a few times a week and it helped me a lot with my sleep as well as keeping fit. As of now all gyms are closed and I have had to improvise at home! A website that I have made great use out of is the Operation Transformation website, I really enjoyed the current programme which is called OT/Keeping Well Apart.

I can’t go to the gym so I have made good use of the Active at Home section- it has exercises for EVERY fitness level and you DON’T need any equipment to do it. There are 5 levels and 3 routines for each level- if you had a spare 10/20/30 minutes over the course of the day you could break it up and get it done or otherwise you could do it all in one go. I find it good as each exercise is explained and demonstrated which makes it very clear.

It is as important to look after our bodies as it is our minds during this Covid-19 crisis. Give it a go and see what you think of it 🙂

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher. (086 8276511)


Friday 8th

Hello and Happy Friday,

Enjoy the weekend, get out in the sunshine and take a break from all the home-schooling! Make sure you take advantage of your 5 km exercise limit and go for a nice walk.

If you need any support or help please give me a call or text on 086 8267511.

Take a look at for some nice resources on minding your own and your families mental health during Covid 19.

Wexford Parent’s Hub also have some lovely resources for you to use for yourself or family members also.

Best Wishes

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Thursday May 7th

Good Morning Everyone!
Hope you are all safe and well.😃
Just a reminder that Family Support Drop-in services are still available for any parents who might need some support during this challenging time.
See below the list of services, days, times and contact numbers. ☎️
You can also contact me on 086 8276511 if you have any queries, it was great to drop out to so many families yesterday and see how well you were all doing. 
Please don’t hesitate to reach out, we are all in this together. 
Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Wednesday May 6th

Welcome back and I hope you enjoyed the long weekend and got to get out and enjoy it.

5️⃣ Parents Tip Sheet number 5 from the World Health Organisation (WHO) focuses on the importance of parents keeping calm and taking care of themselves in this stressful time.
Have a look at the poster below 👍
If you need any support don’t be afraid to reach out ☎️ my number is 086 8276511.
Best Wishes
Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Friday May 1st

Hello to all, Happy Friday and enjoy the bank holiday weekend, try to get out in the fresh air if you can.

Parenting Tip sheet number 4 from the World Health Organisation (WHO) provides some helpful suggestions to manage children’s behaviour 👍

If you would like any further advice or parenting support please do not hesitate to contact me on 086 8276511.
Have a good weekend and stay safe everyone.
Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Thursday 30th

Hi everyone, I am going to keep putting up these tipsheets as I find them really useful and straightforward.

Parenting Tip Sheet No.3 from the World Health Organisation (WHO) focuses on structure 👌
We know our children and teens do better with structure and consistency so now is a great time to create a new routine that works for your family 😊
If anyone is struggling with routine and would like some support with it please feel free to message or call me on 086 8276511.
Kind Regards
Niamh Foskin. HSCL Teacher.


Wednesday 29th April

Good Morning Everyone

Tip sheet No. 2 from the World Health Organisation (WHO) is titled “Keeping it Positive”
It encourages positive communication and praising our children/teens when they are behaving well
See previous post for Tip Sheet No. 1
Stay safe and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support on 086 8276511.
I hope you are all keeping well,
Best Wishes,
Niamh Foskin.


Tuesday 28th April

Hello Everyone,

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed six helpful tip sheets for parents during the Covid-19 emergency.

The first tip sheet is about One-on-One time with your children. One-on-One time is free and fun. It makes children loved and secure and shows them that they are important.

Have a look and see if there is anything you think you could use in your house. I will share the other tip sheets with you as I get them.

Finally, If you have a child or know any parents of children living with ADHD can you please let them know that there is a FREE talk by Ken Kilbride of ADHD on Thursday 30th April at 8:00pm. This talk is called ” ADHD: What Parents Need to Know” and will last for 30 minutes.

To register your interest contact

Have a good Day.

Niamh Foskin, 086 8276511.


Monday 27th April

Good Morning to you all. I hope you had a nice weekend and got to enjoy some of the sunshine before the rain came on Sunday. As always if you need help or support or you just want to talk my number is 086 8276511.

I had a chat with my neighbour (over the fence!) on Saturday and she brought up the issue of school work and how hard it is at the moment having her son at home and trying to get him to do this work each day. It has been a constant source of stress and battles between Mammy and her son to do the work that is being sent home from school.

As a HSCL teacher I would like to say this is not what we want our families to be spending their time at home worrying or fighting about. Teachers are setting work as an option for parents if that is something they want to do with their children and feel it will benefit them. Parents are the primary educators of their child and they know them best! Please do not put yourself or your child under pressure. Do what is best for you and your family.

I saw this post online over the week and it very simply talks about  what we are dealing with and to always remind ourselves to be supportive and respectful of everyone’s differences.

Take Care and look after yourselves.

Niamh Foskin


Friday 24th

Hi Everyone and a very Happy Friday!

Please take a look at the link I have posted below. There are some really great ideas for supporting children’s literacy skills at home using everyday opportunities like Literacy in the kitchen, Literacy with two languages and even Literacy while using your mobile phone! Basically there are chances all around us to help improve your children’s language skills just by talking to them. It doesn’t cost anything and it is an easy way to spend time together where you are chatting with your child/children and they are learning without realising that they are 🙂

Literacy on the Loose:  Supports for Families at home

Families are at home together working, learning and managing as best they can in difficult circumstances.  For UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April, we are celebrating and highlighting the opportunities in the every day lives of families for parents to support young children learning to read and write.

7 short videos on how families can support young children with their literacy during the school shutdown have been produced.

They are available  for all to see and share on the TCD Youtube playlist “Literacy on the Loose” and the link is posted below:

Have a lovely weekend.

Niamh Foskin, 086 8276511


Thursday 23rd April

A reminder to check out our Urban Rascal’s workout today at 1:30pm.

If there are parents who need support around school lunches or accessing work for your children please give me a call on 086 8276511.

Today I am attaching a useful booklet that Tusla have designed for families around having an emergency plan and to think about who could offer support in the event that the primary care giver is unable to provide care during Covid-19.

It is a really useful plan as it is one place where you can store all of the families essential information that would need to be known in case the parent/guardian was unable to look after their children due to the pandemic. It lists information such as:

  • family details
  • doctor/school/pharmacy
  • medications for each family member
  • family/friends emergency network details
  • any other information the family may deem useful

It is a resource that families might find useful in case of an emergency, feel free to download it and have a look at it in greater detail.

Booklet for Emergency Family Plan (003)

As always, take care and be safe,

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Wednesday 22nd April

Hi All

Hope you are all keeping well ? I am available via my mobile should anyone need to contact me (086 8276511). I have left a list of online resources below that may be of use to you at home while our school is closed.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you feel I might be of support.

✅ Dublin Zoo webcams

✅Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.

✅Indoor Activities for busy toddlers

✅Play games and learn all about animals

✅Travel to Paris to see amazing works of art at The Louvre

✅This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.

✅Math and Reading games

✅Phonics skills

✅This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.

✅300,000+ FREE printable worksheets from toddlers to teens

✅Geography and animals

✅Math practice from counting to algebra and geometry

✅Fave kids books read by famous people

✅Crafts, activities, mazes, join the dots etc,

✅Voice based learning… learn through Alexa

✅Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities

✅Math as a fun part of your daily family routine

✅Digital archive of history

✅35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world.

✅Printable board games, activities and more for phonics and reading all using evidence-based methods. Can be customised to any student’s needs including creating flashcards for other subjects.

✅Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.

✅Enter your math problem or search term, press the button, and they show you the step-by-step work and answer instantly. 2nd grade through college.

✅Poetry and music

✅3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving maths

✅Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science.

✅80+ do at home science activities

✅Novel Effect makes storytime a little more fun for kids (and grown-ups too!) As you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice.

✅Free videos from around the world

✅Kid-friendly workouts — choose from Strength for Kids, Agility for Kids, Flexibility and Balance for Kids, Warm-Up for Kids, Cooldown for Kids, Stand Up and Move for Kids, OR create your own custom kid workout.

✅Online digital coloring pages

✅Phonics worksheets for kids

✅Free stories online ages 3-12

✅National Geographic Young Explorers is a magazine designed specifically for kindergarten and first grade students. Children can listen to the magazine being read to them as they follow along with the highlighted text.

✅Learn all about earthquakes

✅Farmer’s almanac for kids… Date, weather, moon phase, etc.

✅Space science for kiddos

✅Maths Games, Logic Puzzles and Brain Builders

✅Games, quizzes and fact sheets take kids on a journey through time.

✅Tons of science experiments that you can do at home

✅Lets kids play instruments online. Instruments include the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos.

✅Cool Kid Facts gives your child access to educational videos, pictures, quizzes, downloadable worksheets, and infographics. They can use these to learn about geography, history, science, animals, and even the human body.

✅This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals.

✅Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design.

✅This educational website hosted by the Smithsonian Museum takes a deep dive into ocean life.

✅Alaskan Wildlife cams

✅Coding with Star Wars

✅Tons and tons and tons of games some learning some just fun

✅Crafts, projects, science, recipes for young children

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Tuesday April 21st

Hello Everyone and Happy Tuesday.

Urban Rascal’s Workout is live at 1:30pm today and there is another super prize up for grabs so make sure you tune in and enjoy the workout.

One of the projects we were undertaking before school closed was The Food Dudes campaign- you may have heard your child talking about the fruit and vegetables they were trying along with some really cool prizes they got to bring home.

As we continue to work through unknown territory and challenging times, Food Dudes has adapted like many other learning mediums.  I would like to invite parents and children to join Food Dudes Fun at Home via the website which I have linked below along with the first set of resources you might like to try at home.

Introduction to Food Dudes Fun at Home (1)

Each week on Food Dudes Fun at Home, there will be free online, curricular linked resources, activity sheets, games, challenges and brand-new Food Dudes videos for the whole family to enjoy. The resources will be fun and educational and cater for children of all levels. New resources will be online every Wednesday. The activities will cover a range of different themes each week and cover a number of curricular areas to encourage children to continue learning and having fun with fruit and vegetables.

This is a difficult time for everyone. Hopefully this website will be a resource for parents and children at home to try and maintain the healthy eating momentum that they started in school.

Please share the word about Food Dudes Fun at Home with teachers and parents in your community and join in the fun online with the hashtag #FoodDudesFun.

Wishing you enjoyment with the programme and continued wellness from the safety of your home.

Niamh Foskin, 086 8276511.


Monday April 20th

Good Morning to all and I hope you had a rested Easter, ate lots of chocolate and enjoyed the lovely weather.

Firstly my phone number again is 086 8276511 should you need any help or just a chat!

Here are some Daily Quarantine Questions that you could use to check in with yourself each day as we face this pandemic together:

  1. What am I grateful for today?
  2. Who am I checking in with or connecting with today?
  3. What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
  4. How am I getting outside today?
  5. How am I moving my body today?

These are nice to use for yourself if you wish- looking after your mental health now more than ever is of the utmost importance!

Take care and be kind to yourself.

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



A message to all of our parents,

I would like to wish you all a safe, restful Easter break. Take this time to not worry about Maths, English or any other aspect of school work- you need a break and your children need one too.

This is a very tough time for people with loss of employment and income, the constant threat of the virus and the sad events in our community. So the most important thing that we can look after is our health – both our physical and mental. It is something that I have written about on my posts many times over the last few weeks but that is because it is the most important thing we can do.

We have to remember that these are extraordinary times and we need to take every day as it comes and not be hard on ourselves. You may experience every emotion under the sun in one day and that is okay too- just remember it will pass.

I will continue to check in on my work phone (086 8276511) over Easter so if you have any questions please give me a text/call and when I see it I will respond to you.

Warm wishes and a big hello to the wonderful pupils from Bunscoil Rís- I hope they enjoy all those Easter eggs 🙂

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



Hello. Today is World Autism Awareness Day. To highlight awareness of this day we would love if you could wear something BLUE- take a picture of it and send it to the school Facebook page or 086 8276511. 

The Urban Gym Urban Rascals workout continues today live at 1:30pm on Facebook and there are two prizes to give away- one is a laptop stand and the other is a school bag- both of these are sponsored by two local businesses (EF World Furniture Shop and The Treasury).

To mark World Autism Awareness Day- how about you make something blue to eat today??

Here is my recipe to make some simple BLUEBERRY muffins:

Ingredients: (makes 12)

110g butter

250g plain flour

250g caster sugar

2 eggs

125ml milk

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

225g fresh blueberries (frozen will work fine too)


Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
Sieve flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
Mix the butter and sugar until creamy, light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs and beat well.
Add milk and flour mixture and beat until combined.
Stir in blueberries.
Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes then cool and serve.
Happy Baking!
Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



Good Morning and welcome to the start of a new month,

We can look forward to brighter evenings and maybe even some warmer weather! It has been great chatting to so many parents over the last few days and checking in with them, as well as getting the chance to say hello to some of our lovely pupils and to chat to them about how they are doing. We really miss you all and look forward to seeing you all as soon as it is safe to do so. Again, just in case you have forgotten, my number it is 086 8276511 and please call if there’s anything I can help you with or just if you’d like to say hello!

There are two attachments I am putting up for you to take a look at today if you are interested. The first is a very short guide to helping children cope with stress during the Covid-19 outbreak which I thought might be useful.

Helping children cope with stress Cov-19

The second resource is to support language and literacy of our younger children aged 4-8. The pack contains resources and activities you can use at home. There are mindfulness activities, rhyming poems, art activities, instructions, drawing activities and many more. It might be something you’d like to use.

Happy Talk Monster Pack (4 – 8 Years)

Stay safe, keep washing those hands and look after yourselves.

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



Firstly, just to remind parents if they are signing up to the school lunches please text: pupil name, class, address and EIRCODE to the school mobile. 086 0211338. Please do this as soon as you can.

Today we have our Urban Rascals workout at 1:30pm live on Facebook with the chance of winning  a wonderful prize.

Now more than ever a day can pass too fast or too slow- it all depends on how we experience it. It is really good for us adults to try to have some routines that will help pass the day.

Some Simple Tips for Maintaining Routine:

  • Value yourself, structure pleasure into your day- YOU DESERVE IT
  • Factor some physical activity into your day- be creative, even small spaces provide opportunities to move
  • Personal Hygiene-now more than ever; hand washing, changing bedding, clothes, nails etc.
  • Hydration- 6-8 glasses of water, cups of herbal tea, hot water-it really does make a difference
  • State of mind- take one day at a time- don’t disregard negative feelings and don’t be afraid to ask for help- recognise there are new pressures on your state of mind that we haven’t experienced before
  • Meal Prep-value meal preparation time- choose foods that boost your immune system, enjoy your food
  • Routines: daily and weekly routines are important-try to sleep and wake at normal times
  • Friendships: use the apps and social networks that most suit you and keep connected to maintain your friendships
  • Neighbours: Liaise with them (from a social distance!) and check in with them
  • Get Creative: There are  online activities that can provide lots of fun- online quizes, online book-clubs etc. that you can join in with.

I hope some of this might be helpful to some people, I know it was for me.

Take Care,

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



Good Morning,

I hope everybody had a good weekend.

We have a large community of families with English as an Additional Language in our school. The Health Service (HSE) has published and translated Covid-19 resources into a number of languages. The resources are available in Arabic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish which may be of some use to families or neighbours. I am attaching the link for you below:

I am also attaching a useful set of posters which very simply explain to young children what Covid-19 means and how it is spread. I know that many families might not have access to a printer but you can open them up on your phone/tablet/laptop and go through them with the children. They are colourful and written in a basic way and I thought they could be useful for our younger children who might have any worries.

Hello I am a virus

Don’t forget to to tune in to Urban Rascals  home workouts every Tuesday and Thursday- this week there is a prize of a home study centre to be won.

If you are interested in a weekly box of food you can contact the school Facebook page or text 086 021 1338.

Finally, RTE Home School Hub will present three short segments each day for 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th and 5th/6th each day from 11am-12pm. After that the children will be directed towards fun projects and content on and the RTE player.

Have a good Monday and take care,

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



Hello to all,

I would like to take this chance to remind parents that if they need help with anything or if you have a query that I may be able to help you with then please call me. These are exceptional times and I can’t bump into parents like I used to do in the reception and unfortunately neither can I visit you in your home at this time either. However I am fully contactable on my school number  which is 086 8276511. My job as the Home School Community Liaison Teacher is to try and support parents as best as I can on whatever query you might have- that is what I am here for. If you are unable to call me then What’s App me or send a text and I will call you back as soon as I can.

I hope you all have a safe weekend. Enjoy some fresh air, wave to your neighbours from a distance, wash those hands and be kind to yourself.

Have a look at the poster I have attached, it is simple, it is visual and it is important to check in with yourself everyday to see how you are doing. You can’t look after others if you don’t look after yourself!!

Minding My Mind A4 Poster

Take care of yourself,

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.




Good Morning,

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Kilkenny and the sun was shining, I hope it was the same in New Ross and that you got to get out and enjoy it. I sat in the sun and read my book- it was great to be able to sit outside in March when the sun was shining and feel its warmth on my skin.

Don’t forget to tune into Urban Gym at 1:30pm for Andy’s live workout on Facebook-it’s a great way for everyone in the house to get some exercise and have fun.

The Wexford Education Training Board (ETB) who provide the tutors for our Gardening/Health & Beauty/Art Classes and  many more are connecting with their community of adult learners via their Facebook page by sharing some nice resources.

You can see Irene our horticulturist talking about simple planting at home using toilet roll inserts to plant peas.

Sharon, our Health & Beauty tutor has shared some easy to use meditation videos to try at home.

Carmen, our Art tutor who hails from Spain has put up her recipe for a healthy Spanish olive oil cake.

You will find many more videos and examples of what is going on throughout the Waterford/Wexford ETB by clicking on the following link:

If you do get to look at this page and are interested in these courses that we run between Bunscoil Rís/Catherine McAuley please do have a think about joining us when everything returns to normal. These groups are a great way to learn something new and make friendships as well as get out of the house which I am sure you will be glad to do when all of this has passed! Alternatively, if there was a class or course that we aren’t running but that you’d like to do then email/text/call me and I will do my best to look into it and see if we can get it for the next school year.

Enjoy the 1:30pm workout!

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.



Hello Everyone,

I hope you are not too sore after your home workout with the fantastic Andy from Urban Gym New Ross. Make sure you tune in again on Thursday at 1:30pm and get all of the people in your house involved if you can. It is a good way to get some exercise in the comfort of your own home.

Today I want to talk about tips for making food last longer. Although we don’t need to avoid going to the shop, many people don’t want to make too many trips at the moment. We also need to avoid bulk buying so there is enough for everybody else to go around. It is important to make the most out of our food and try to minimise food waste.

Tips for Making Food Last Longer

  • try to keep a regular pattern of 3 meals and 2 snacks a day
  • make soups, stews, casseroles and stewed fruit to use up old fruit and vegetables
  • you can chop and freeze fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs
  • buy tinned, dried and frozen fruit/vegetables where you can- frozen fruit/veg is just as good for you!
  • Use up your leftovers in creative ways- leftover mash- make some fish cakes with tinned fish, over-ripe bananas- make banana muffins for breakfast.
  • Use a meal planner for the week- draw one out on a sheet of paper and get the children involved in coming up with what you are going to have

You may be surprised what you already have in your cupboards and freezers- do a stock-take, see what you have and then plan meals from that. It could be possible that you can eat well from your freezer for a few days without needing to go near a shop.

Finally, I am going to add a PDF of a cookbook that I use when I am delivering the Cook it Course to parents in New Ross. This is a SIMPLE cookbook, it is easy to read with very simple instructions and few ingredients. I always make the banana bread recipe from this book and it is delicious. If you do make any of the recipes I would love to see them- you can send a picture to my phone 086 8276511.


Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.


Good Morning to all the families of Bunscoil Rís,
Today, please take a look at Urban Rascals on the Urban Gym Facebook Page. Tomorrow they are bringing you a really fun children’s fitness class at 1:30pm live from New Ross. Anyone who posts a photograph of themselves working out on the school website will have their name put into a draw with a chance to win a FitBit! Really looking forward to seeing some photos!
Win a pizza party for your class by logging into Class DoJo.
I saw this post last night online and it struck a chord with me. It is okay not to feel okay-everyday is different and how we feel from one day to the next is going to be different too.

These are challenging times so now more than ever it is important to remember to be kind yourself. Go easy on yourself- create some time for you during the day if you can and do something that relaxes you.

Remember “Life is tough, but so are you”.

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher, 24/03/2020.



Good Morning, (23/03/20)

I hope everybody was able to get out over the weekend and got some fresh air.

Did you get to try writing down three things you are grateful for? How did it go for you if you did?

This morning I am uploading an UPDATED Wexford Services Contact Sheet that was emailed to me on Friday. These services have changed how they are working to comply with HSE Guidelines re: Covid 19 but they are still working. There are numbers on this sheet that may be of use to some of our families.  I will attach it below.

Wexford Services Update March 19 2020

One page that I have found useful on Facebook is the Wexford Parent’s Hub. This is a good central page which shows all of the services that are currently running in Co. Wexford. They can be emailed: or called on 053 9236342.

I hope this list is of some use to you or maybe to someone you know.

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher.




Hello to all the families from Bunscoil Rís.

I hope you have gotten through your first week and make sure you use the weekend to switch off from thinking/worrying about school-work of any kind. Relax and try to do some things that you enjoy doing if you can!

What I have started to do this week is remind myself of the simple things I am grateful to have.I call it my Attitude of Gratitude!

For that reason, everyday before I go to bed or when I get up I write down or tell somebody three things I am grateful for.

For example: Today I am grateful for:

  • a bright, sunny day
  • being able to go for a walk in the fresh air with my dogs
  • the power of a good cup of coffee

This is something parents, children and all the family can do! It costs nothing and you can write it or say it- do whatever works for you. I have found it’s good to remind myself of all the positive things I have in my life and hopefully it might work for you too.

Enjoy the weekend,

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher (20/03/20)  086 8276511

Good Morning to all the families in New Ross, (19/03/20)

Today’s post is a little different. During this challenging time the power of social media can be used in a good way for us to keep contact with the people we can’t see that we love and care for. We also need to think about the people who might be in hospital and are not able to see their family or friends.

St. Luke’s Home Foundation in Cork have a lot of lovely residents who can’t see their loved ones at this time.

If you or your children would like to send a letter, poem or drawing the residents would be delighted to see them and it would really lift their spirits.

You can email your letters or pictures of your letters to and they will print them off and give them to the residents.

To make it more personal here are some of the first names of the residents:



This is a really lovely thing for adults/children to do and it reminds us all to be kind and to think about others who might be going through a difficult time too.

Take Care

Niamh Foskin. HSCL Teacher




Hello to all the parents/guardians and families in New Ross. I hope you are keeping safe and well and looking after yourselves and each other.

This is a difficult and stressful time for parents and I want to let you know that New Ross Family Support Service Drop in Clinics are not running at the moment, however they are continuing to work to support families by phone instead. Contact Details are below:

The Family Project at Youth New Ross can be contacted on 086 8899153.

Please read the leaflet below for some more useful contact details should you need any help.

Stay safe and take care,

Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher, March 18th 2020

Wexford Family Support Drop in during Corona Virus



Activities for Parents:

No Cook Recipes- Use this No Cook Recipe Guide below to help children make some yummy healthy treats without having to use a heat source

It is also a good way for children to read and use instructions as well as practicing simple skills in the kitchen with a parent/adult.

Each recipe shows the time it will take and the difficulty level. Enjoy and if you want to send any pictures of your creations to 086 8276511 we will be happy to share these on our school Facebook Page.


Niamh Foskin, HSCL Teacher