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.

Remote Teaching & Learning Policy

Click on the following link to download the school’s

remote teaching and learning policy

St. Brigid’s NS

Trafalgar Road,

Greystones,

Co. Wicklow.

16573N

Ratified: 20th October 2020

Review Date:

Remote Teaching and Learning Plan for St. Brigid’s NS

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In response to this time of uncertainty regarding school closures, we have formulated this policy to outline how the school will maintain the link between school and home. In the event of another whole or partial school closure, we aim to continue to communicate with our pupils through various means.

We recognise that online safety is of huge importance and the aim of this document is to help to protect both school staff and pupils, while teaching and learning online.

This policy does not set out to replace our Mobile Phone or Acceptable Usage Policy. Rather, it is proposed as an important addition to the area of learning using digital platforms. The policy presented here should be read also in tandem with our school’s Code of Behaviour Policy and Anti-Bullying (including Cyber Bullying) Policy.

The primary obligation of all schools is to the welfare of the learners in their school. This policy, therefore, seeks to ensure that remote learning is safe for all student learners and that personal and sensitive data is also protected under GDPR legislation. Schools must ensure that learning takes place in an environment that is respectful and fair and meets its statutory duties.

Kind regards,

Máire Costello

Máire Costello

Principal

This Policy has been formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Department of Education and relevant sections of:

(a) The Education Act (1998)

(b) Education (Welfare) Act (2000)

(c) Equal Status Act (2000)

(d) Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)

(e) Disability Act (2005)

(f) Children First Act (2017)

(g) GDPR

(h) Data Protection Act (2018)

(i) Department of Education: Child Protection Procedures for Primary schools

(j) NEWB Guidelines for Developing a Code of Behaviour (2008)

(k) DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling for Primary Schools (May 2020)

(l) DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling: Supporting Primary Pupils at very High Risk to Covid 19 (August 2020)

This is a working document. As we continue to explore options available to support distance learning, the document will be updated accordingly.

Context
Teaching and Learning is always evolving, especially, as we move deeper into the 21st century. Developments in IT provide us all with great opportunities as learners and teachers. Never before has there been greater scope to learn using technology and it continues to change the learning relationship between teachers and students. Advances in technology mean that assignments can be delivered remotely and that greater access to information on the internet affords the opportunities for real learning to take place under the watchful and professional guidance of the teacher. However, whether a child is being directed remotely or via a traditional classroom environment, it is very important that all partners are aware that once a learning exchange takes place between a student and teacher, whether at home or school, the same statutory rules apply i.e. the school’s Code of Behaviour and all of the school’s policies apply.

We recognise that online collaboration is essential for distance learning and that families are in favour of increased opportunities to maintain the connection between school and home. Saint Brigid’s NS uses a variety of child friendly, online tools, which assist in providing more effective teaching and learning, while also enabling greater communication between staff, families and students.

 Guidelines for good online communication in Saint Brigid’s NS:

  1. Under no circumstances should pictures or recordings be taken of video calls.
  2. Staff, families and students are expected to behave in an appropriate, safe, respectful and kind manner online.
  3. It is the duty of parents/guardians to supervise children while they                                                                                                                                           are working online and to ensure that any content submitted to their teacher is appropriate.
  4. Staff members will communicate with pupils and their families using school approved platforms (Seesaw, Class Dojo, Google Classroom or Zoom).                                                                                                                   
  5. Any electronic forms of communication will be for educational purposes and to allow for communication with families.
  6. Parental permission is implied when parents connect to an online platform or app
  7. For video/Zoom calls, parental permission is implied, as the link to a video call will be communicated via the parent/guardian’s email address. Essentially, by virtue of the pupil logging on to the call, permission is assumed.
  8. For security reasons, passwords will be provided to families, where applicable.
  9. Saint Brigid’s NS cannot accept responsibility for the security of online platforms, in the event that they are compromised.

Our ‘Remote Teaching and Learning Plan’ may include a combination of assigned work and pre-recorded lessons (Seesaw & Class Dojo). In addition, our SNAs will use Zoom to engage with the children they work with.

Saint Brigid’s NS will use a variety of online platforms for communicating and connecting with families/pupils.

1. School App (Aladdin Connect): This App keeps parents up to date on school and classroom news via noticeboard messages.

Administration Staff will communicate with parents via the school App. All families are asked to download the Aladdin Connect App and to check it daily for updates and important information.

2. Seesaw: This is a school communication platform used by Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class to share what is being learned in school or at home. Parental consent is required prior to using this app. This consent is implied by the parents connecting to the app. Each parent will be assigned an individual access code. Some lessons may be pre-recorded and uploaded to Seesaw. The teachers can share videos, photos, messages, workload, etc. via the journal (all parents can see) or via the inbox (private to each parent). The parents can share work with the teacher via the inbox.

Seesaw Class App – There is an additional feature on the Seesaw Class App which Infants to First class hope to use in the future. This allows pupils to connect to a personal folder and they then have the option of uploading items to this folder for teacher to see. Each child would be allocated an individual access code. The teacher can assign activities to each child’s folder.

3. ClassDojo: Class Dojo is a school communication platform currently used by 2nd to 6th class to share what’s being learned in the classroom and home through photos, videos, drawings and messages. Parents need to sign up for this. Teachers can send direct messages to families, share lessons or announcements, and assign classwork to students. The students can respond from home via video, photo, journal entry, or drawing and the teacher can give feedback in return

4. Zoom: Zoom is a cloud-based video-conferencing service which our SNAs will use to virtually meet with their pupils, either by video or audio only or both. All Zoom meetings will be scheduled for a time and date that suits both the SNA and the pupils they assist.

5. Google Classroom: Google Classroom is an online platform we hope to roll out with our Senior classes in the future. It enables pupils to connect to their folder of work and it also allows access to their teacher when required. The Class teacher may provide feedback and communicate with pupils via Google Classroom. Lessons can be pre-recorded and uploaded on Google Classroom. Parental consent is required prior to using this app.

Rules for pupils using online communication methods

For submitting learning

  1. Submit work and pictures that are appropriate – have an adult take a look at your work before you send it.
  2. Use kind and friendly words.

For Zoom calls with SNAs

  1. Remember to ensure you join each Zoom meeting using your family name.
  2. Pictures or recordings of the video call are not allowed.
  3. Remember our school rules – they are still in place, even online.
  4. Set up your device in a quiet space, with no distractions in the background.
  5. Join the video with your microphone muted.
  6. If you have the chance to talk, speak in your normal voice, using kind and friendly words.
  7. Show respect by listening to others while they are speaking.
  8. Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the video call.
  9. Be on time – set a reminder if it helps.
  10. Enjoy.

Guidelines for parents and guardians

For learning

  1. It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to ensure that pupils are supervised while they work online.
  2. Check over the work which pupils send to their teacher, ensuring it is appropriate.
  3. Continue to revise online safety measures with pupils.

For Zoom Calls

  1. Under no circumstances should pictures or recordings be taken of video calls.
  2. Ensure that the school has the correct email address for inviting you to join apps and meetings.
  3. The main purpose of a Zoom call is to maintain a social connection between the SNAs and children they care for. Encourage pupils to listen and enjoy the experience.
  4. You will automatically enter a waiting room when the code for a Zoom call has been entered. Please note that school staff will only accept users into video call if you can be identified by the display name on your zoom account. (i.e. Family Name)
  5. Please ensure that your child is on time for a scheduled video, or they may be locked out. Please request to join the Zoom call approximately five minutes before the scheduled start time. This will give school staff time to verify your email address.
  6. Make sure to familiarise your child with the software in advance. For video in particular, show them how to mute/unmute and turn the camera on/off.
  7. Participants in the call should be dressed appropriately.
  8. An appropriate background/room should be chosen for the video call.
  9. For detailed information on GDPR and Zoom, please visit https://zoom.us/privacy

It is important to note that any breach of the above guidelines will result in a discontinuation of this method of communication. A breach may also result in a person being immediately removed from a meeting or a meeting being immediately terminated.

Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Students

Teaching and Learning best practice will continue to apply, with students expected to:

  • Check assigned work each day/week.
  • Present all assignments to the best of their ability and on time, where possible in this evolving and unprecedented situation.

In so far as possible, provision for SEN students and for students at very high risk to COVID 19 will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies.

Responsibility of the Student

  • To cooperate with their parents and teachers.
  • To work well, to do what they can and to do their best.
  • To do the lessons that teacher asks of them.
  • To make sure that the teacher gets to see the work they have asked for when it is finished.

Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Parents

The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:

  • Code of Behaviour
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Acceptable Use Policy

The health and wellbeing of all is paramount. Circumstances may change for any of us unexpectedly, teachers or parents, so please keep schooling in perspective and do not allow anything school related to impinge on your child negatively. You are the primary educator of your child and you make those calls. We encourage a manageable amount of work every weekday for routine. We provide work and guidance and ask parents and pupils to do their best and that is all.

Responsibility of the Parent

  • To ensure protocols for students are adhered to.
  • To check-in on their child’s school work on a daily basis and to talk to their child about the work being assigned.
  • To provide the time and space to support their child/children so that they can engage, complete and return the work that the teacher has set.
  • To support the development of the child/children’s reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
  • To encourage the development of the child/children’s number skills.
  • Student use of web-based tools is for educational purposes only and at the direction of a teacher and under the supervision of a parent/guardian. Please supervise your child/children online.
  • To keep in touch with your child’s teacher and to respond to any messages sent to you. Communication may only take place during normal school hours.

Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Teachers/SNA’s

Communication may only take place during normal school hours unless otherwise agreed with class teacher.

SNAs will check in with children in their care via Zoom in accordance with the learner-specific learning support plan.

The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:

  • Child Protection Policy
  • Data Protection Policy

Teaching and Learning best practice will continue to apply with students expected to present all assignments to the best of their ability and on time, where possible.

Responsibility of the Teacher

Our staff have made a considerable effort to develop their skills to provide for distance learning. If distance learning becomes necessary in the future, they plan to continue to:

  • Motivate and engage pupils
  • Check uploaded work each day
  • Facilitate the further development of reading and writing skills
  • Develop number skills
  • Provide opportunities for students to practice listening and speaking skills
  • Develop children’s creativity
  • Provide a variety of ways in which pupils can demonstrate learning

Remote Teaching and Learning Provision specifically for the following Covid 19 related scenarios:

  1. Provision for children who are at very high risk to Covid 19:

The school will engage directly with relevant parents, regarding remote educational provision for children who are deemed to be at very high risk to Covid-19 (see HSE Guidelines) where medical certification has been provided to the school.

  • In the case of all other children who are instructed to self-isolate by their GP or HSE Public Health, educational provision will be provided as follows:
  1. Children who are awaiting Covid 19 test results for themselves or a family member and have been instructed by their GP to isolate at home for a few days – These pupils will be supported to catch up on their learning on their return to school. There are educational links on the school website that children can use while they are absent from school. 
  2. Children isolating at home on instruction from their GP due to a confirmed case within their own family/close contact outside of school (14-day isolation period) – Teacher will link in with the pupil via See-Saw/ Class Dojo (not video conferencing).
  3. School POD (group of six) instructed by HSE Pubic Health to self-isolate. Teacher will link in with the pupils via See-Saw/ Class Dojo (not video conferencing).
  4. School bubble (whole class) instructed by HSE Public Health to self-isolate (14 day isolation period). Teacher will engage with the bubble daily on Seesaw/Class Dojo and the SNA will engage once or twice a week on Zoom. Teachers may differ in their methods under this approach.
  5. Whole school closure as instructed by HSE Public Health (duration of closure will be advised by Public Health) Staff will engage with pupils, using a blended approach of pre-recorded lessons, Seesaw/Class Dojo and Zoom.
  6. Live tutorials and live video lessons will not be facilitated during any school closure.

Please note that the current situation is quite fluid and these circumstances may vary throughout the year.

Summary:

  • We are encouraging parents to “Do what you can, within your circumstances”. 
  • There will be no school work set for planned school closures/holidays. There will be no interaction on Zoom, Seesaw, ClassDojo or Google Classroom during these times.
  • Please keep abreast of postings on the school app and school emails – These are our main modes of communication.
  • We ask parents/guardians, students and teachers to ensure protocols are adhered to at all times.
  • If you have yet to connect to any of the on-line platforms/school app, please do so. If you are experiencing difficulties please email the school and we will assist you in any way that we can and please contact the school with any further queries you may have.

We thank the school community for adhering to the above guidelines for everyone’s safety and welfare.

This plan was ratified by the Board of Management of Saint Brigid’s NS at its meeting on: 20th October 2020 and is subject to change, in light of any guidance or instruction received from Department of Education and Skills/HSE Public Health.

                                                                                                      Date: 20/10/2020

Tom Sherlock                                                          

Chairperson BOM

Appendix A

Recommended Websites/Apps

In addition to a pared back plan of work for your child/children, we suggest the following websites/Apps for your child’s use too, if you can access them. If not, do not worry, they are helpful but not essential.

Cúla 4: Excellent for younger pupils for Irish vocab – very child friendly. There are also videos of your children’s favourite cartoons here as Gaeilge which would be useful to watch occasionally to keep up with Irish.

  • Doulingo: most suitable from 2nd class upwards. Excellent app. Tests your child Irish ability level at the start and they work away at their own level for 10mins daily.
  • Mathduel: For tables. Fun and interactive.
  • Khan Academy: Useful for maths for older pupils especially.
  • Khan Kids: Maths for younger pupils.
  • Top Marks: Maths.
  • Starfall: For spellings. Again, very child friendly and useful to keep spellings progressing without feeling like schoolwork.
  • Freerice: For vocabulary development.
  • Jolly Phonics App: to keep up phonics learning for infant classes.
  • Dolch words Apps: (there is a wide range available): for the development of sight words.
  • PinkFong: Digital stories for infant classes. Excellent and engaging.
  • Puppetpals: Useful for younger pupils. They can record themselves telling the story.
  • Teach your Monster to read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
  • Epic: For reading.
  • Oxford Owl: For reading. Has a free ebook library with over 250 books in it and offers free access to teachers and parents once you create an account, for children aged 3-11 years old.
  • Scholastic: is offering free, structured, easy to navigate, quality content for learning at home.
  • Readtheory.org
  • Readworks
  • Code.org: Coding app – super for all ages.
  • Beebot: Coding for younger children.
  • Go Noodle: (Free) provides movement breaks that the children benefit from and enjoy.
  • National Geographic for Kids