Saint Brigid’s National School, is a primary school situated in the centre of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Our mission is to provide the highest quality education for all our children in a happy, safe and stimulating Christian environment, focusing on their academic, social, personal, moral and spiritual development to help them be the best they can be.

The Digital & ICT Committee

School Year 2018-19

The Parents Association ICT and Digital group have been working actively and collaboratively with the teachers in St. Brigid’s for three years to facilitate the development of digital technology in all aspects of school life. Headed by Janet Waters, Amanda Fulmer and Aisling Carroll, this group have a vision for the future of technology in the school.

The group sees technology as an ‘learning enabler’ for the children. Members of the group are aware that the more teachers use technology, the more it is embedded in the curriculum and the more it will lead to an increase in an efficient, effective and added value learning experience.

This initiative involves a new flexible way of thinking and upskilling for teachers, parents and pupils. We are, in are school. working on this together and this approach has had great success.

  • This year the Parents’ Association received a joint 1st place award at the National Parents Council conference in recognition of the input by the school body in the Digital area.
  • The school achieved a Digital School of Distinction Award and the school website received a Scoilnet Award.
  • Transition Year Students from St. David’s, Greystones assisted parents from the Digital and ICT Group teach all classes from 4th to 6th computer skills.
  • Ms. Heneghan’s 4th Class attended ‘Dreamspace’ in Microsoft

The Digital and ICT Group have assisted both staff and students in their broader technology development. They have accessed additional professional skills among the wider parent body.

As a result the school is greatly indebted to parents Ruairi O’Sullivan, Niall Harrison, Adil Touati and Milan Podhrazsky who came on board in the Summer of 2018 to offer us their expertise. They put a great deal of time and energy into sourcing, repairing and reconditioning computers. Now there is now a bank of computers available and teachers can schedule computer time for their full class. This work is ongoing.

Other than IT operational demands, the main focus of this support is with Microsoft Office. Ruairí O’Sullivan is teaching the teachers the potential of Microsoft Office for use in the school and classroom. While the TY students worked on teaching Word and Power Point to 4th, 5th and 6th class.

This year with 6th class the ICT and Digital Group are extending this learning to the development of research and presentation skills using technology. These skills are needed very immediately in secondary school given the Junior certificate is now more project focused. Teachers in secondary schools explain that there is not the time in school to teach these skills however there is an expectation that students already have these skills.

In the long term a project goal is to make this program self- sustaining, not reliant of a group of parents who are in the school for a time. Ideally this groups hopes that a bi-annual visit from the Transition Year students may be the solution.

Janet Waters, who co-ordinates the Parents Digital and ICT Group says ‘One of my other project goals is to access a scheme to increase our students of how technology works in the real world. I would like to connect the dots outside of school environment to business and the economy and show the children what can actually be done and how it impacts their world.

Many students are selecting the secondary school subjects in 5th and 6th class. I would like them more exposed so they will be enthused and passionate to select the STEM subjects. This is of particular importance for females. The government recognises this big shortfall.

I am looking external to form alliances with businesses, secondary schools & colleges to gives us the expertise, knowledge and know how we don’t have.’

If you could help us with this or know anyone who could help, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

December 2018

Ms. Heneghan’s 4th class had a wonderful day on 11th December. They went to Microsoft’s ‘Dreamspace’.

 

This opportunity is described on the ‘Dreamspace’ website as follows:

‘Through immersive teaching and learning experiences, DreamSpace at Microsoft Ireland will inspire students and teachers to see how technology can enhance education in exciting new ways, helping them to realise the full potential of what they can achieve’.

To the primary school student ‘Dreamspace’ promised an opportunity to

‘get to grips with what the world could be in 30 years by researching how technology will change our lives’.

The students were coding and also used Paint 3D

The class gave ‘Dreamspace’ glowing reviews. They really had a great day. We are hoping that other classes may have this opportunity in the New Year. Many thanks to Janet Waters of the Parents’ Association Digital and ICT Group for organising this educational treat for the class. Many thanks to Janet and Amanda for accompanying the class on the trip and helping to supervise.

November 2018

Our digital year has gone from strength to strength. In the last week of November, Ten TY students from St. David’s secondary school worked in St. Brigid’s teaching 4th, 5th and 6th computer skills. Having a large group of secondary school students in to work teaching classes IT skills is a new  development for us. It is going so well that we hope this can happen each year from now on. The TY students have been very good teachers, establishing a great rapport with the primary students and having great patience. They were excellent ambassadors for their school. The younger students in turn are very engaged in learning about computers from young people that they look up to. This is another great initiative from the Parents’ Association, more specifically the ICT committee. Thank you to parents Janet, Amanda and Aisling for co-ordinating this for us.

If anyone has any IT EDUCATION SKILLS that could contribute to our IT program and are able to give a few hours of volunteer time during the school day please contact the Digital and ICT group via the school office.

Areas of particular interest to us are coding, multimedia robotics etc. We are always open to new ideas and suggestions. Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.

A sincere thank you to the Parents’ Association’s DIGITAL & ICT COMMITTEE who were very busy over the summer configuring the school’s laptops, renumbering them and setting up the charging trolley (see picture below). THIS IS OUR NEW MOBILE IT ROOM. We are very fortunate to have parents with such expertise giving so generously of their time. All this work will certainly enhance the children’s experience of using technology in the school.

September 2018

Our digital year started well.

The students and staff in St. Brigid’s were very happy to be chosen as a Scoilnet’s Star Site. Scoilnet is the official education portal of the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland. We would like to thank everyone who contributes to our website especially the Parents’ Association Digital and ICT group who advise us and often make suggestions about how to improve our site.

June 2018:

We were awarded the Digital Schools of Distinction Award at the start of May. We know we owe a huge debt of gratitude once again to the PA’s Digital and ICT group for all they have done in the school which contributes to it being a Digital School.

Most recently members of the Parents’ Association Digital and ICT group completed desktop, word and PowerPoint sessions with 4th Class, Rooms 17 and 19. These classes were super students and really enjoyed it.

The group said; ‘We were able to deliver this program to all 3rd and 4th classes this year. We are pleased with our achievement’.

The PA Digital and ICT group want to thank lecturers Aisling Carroll and Barbara Beatty and all the parent support team. Without all their hard work and commitment none of this would have been possible.

A message from the Parents’ Association’s

Digital and ICT Committee

Digital STRATEGY FOR SCHOOLS 2015 – 2020

Department’s Goal

To realise the potential of Digital Technologies to enhance teaching and learning in our education system. The Department recognises that all of the education partners (including parent associations) also have a major role to play in achieving this Vision

To facilitate this last April your PA formed a Digital and ICT sub committee to enable direct collaboration with our school and support where possible (focused approach)

Our Committee Role

In consultation and co-operation with the Principal & ICT co-ordinating teachers, the team is engaged in devising and implementing a programme to equip students with IT skills in order to support their broader educational experience.

THE Future

We aim to create a self-sustaining programme guided by the school and the parental team to support digital education going forward.

If you are a PARENT that can help

PLEASE CONTACT

Janet Watters (c/o school office)

We wish to set up a database with the contact details of parents with any IT skills and expertise that can assist and support our IT collaboration with the school

The Digital & ICT Committee’s role is to facilitate and enable a collaborative relationship between the parent body and the school. The goal is to consult, support and assist where possible in the roll-out, and continuous maintenance of, the Department of Education’s Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020

The Department has identified how it foresees the role of parents in the implementation of that strategy:

  • Engage with their children’s learning through the use of digital technology;
  • Collaborate with and participate in school activities and programmes using ICT.

While our school has made fantastic progress over recent years, there is more to be done. The PA wants to contribute to and influence this ongoing development in technology-enhanced learning to meet our student’s needs. We will endeavour to tap into the vast array of expertise and experience available within our parent body. Our goal is to be prepared to support the IT skill development of our children now and into the future.