Remote Teaching and Learning Plan

Remote Teaching and Learning Plan for Scoil Mhuire B & C

1.Introduction

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 from a digital platform. 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.

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

  1. The Education Act (1998)
  2. Education (Welfare) Act (2000)
  3. Equal Status Act (2000)
  4. Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)
  5. Disability Act (2005)
  6. Children First Act (2017)
  7. GDPR
  8. Data Protection Act (2018)
  9. Department of Education: Child Protection Procedures for Primary schools
  10. NEWB Guidelines for Developing a Code of Behaviour (2008).
  11. DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling for Primary Schools (May 2020)
  12. DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling: Supporting Primary Pupils at very High Risk to Covid 19 (August 2020).
  13. Guidance on Remote Learning in a COVID-19 Context: September – December 2020

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

 

 

2.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 Positive 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. 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.

3. Guidelines for good online communication in Scoil Mhuire B & C

  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 via Aladdin or through an established app (e.g. Seesaw).
  5. Any electronic forms of communication will be for educational purposes and to allow for communication with families.
  6. Students and staff will communicate using tools which have been approved by the school and of which parents have been notified (Seesaw, Zoom)
  7. Parental permission will be acquired before setting up a profile for a pupil on a communication forum.
  8. 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.
  9. For security reasons, passwords will be provided to families, where applicable.
  10. Scoil Mhuire B & C cannot accept responsibility for the security of online platforms, in the event that they are compromised.

Scoil Mhuire B & C will use a number of online platforms for communicating and connecting with families/pupils.

4.Media which the school will use

School App

Staff will communicate regularly with parents and pupils via the school app Aladdin Connect. All families are asked to download the school app and to check it daily for updates and important information. Teachers will post work for pupils each week on the app.

Each teacher has been assigned a class e-mail address through which he/she will communicate with parents/guardians and vice-versa. Parental queries will be addressed as soon as is reasonably convenient and should relate strictly to your child's teaching and learning.

Seesaw

Seesaw Class App is for our pupils to connect to their folder and they then have the option of uploading items to their folder for their teacher to see.  This app is used for all classes and requires a QR which can be accessed through the school email. Parental consent is required prior to using this app. Each child will be assigned an individual access code. Unfortunately, single family log in is not facilitated on Seesaw. Some lessons may be pre -recorded and uploaded via Seesaw.

Zoom

Zoom is a video-conferencing platform which will enable teachers, staff and pupils to connect via a live link. Teachers may connect with pupils using pre-arranged Zoom Meetings.

5.Rules for pupils using online communication

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 video calls/Zoom:

  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. Raise your hand before speaking, just like you would do in class.
  7. If you have the chance to talk, speak in your normal voice, using kind and friendly words.
  8. Show respect by listening to others while they are speaking.
  9. Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the video call.
  10. Be on time - set a reminder if it helps.
  11. Enjoy! Don’t forget to wave hello to everyone when you join!

 

6. 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 video calls/Zoom

  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 video call is to engage in online learning activities while maintaining a social connection between the school staff and pupils. Encourage pupils to listen and enjoy the experience.
  4. Be aware that when participating in group video calls, you can be seen and heard unless you are muted or have disabled your camera.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Participants in the call should be dressed appropriately.
  9. An appropriate background/room should be chosen for the video call.
  10. 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.

7.Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Pupils

  1. Check assigned work each week
  2. Communication may only take place during normal school hours if the school is closed.
  3. The normal school calendar will apply
  4. The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:
    1. Code of Behaviour
    2. Anti- Bullying Policy
    3. Acceptable Use Policy
  5. 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 in this evolving and unprecedented situation.
    1.  In so far as possible, provision for SEN students will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies.
    2. In so far as possible, provision for students at very high-risk to Covid 19 will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies.

8.Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Parents

  1. We ask parents/guardians to ensure protocols for students are adhered to.
  2. Check-in on their child’s school work on a daily basis and talk to their child about the work being assigned.
  3. 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 little work every week day for routine. We provide work and guidance and ask parents and pupils to do their best and that is all.

9. Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Teachers/SNAs

  1. Correct uploaded work each week and provide relevant feedback.
  2. Communication may only take place during normal school hours if the school is closed.
  3. The normal school calendar will apply
  4. The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:
    1. Child Protection Policy
    2. Data Protection Policy
  5. 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.

 

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

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.  

Provision for 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.

 

  1. 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 daily via See-Saw/ Aladdin Connect.

 

  1. School POD (group of six) instructed by HSE Pubic Health to self-isolate.

Teacher will link in with the pupils daily via See-Saw/ Aladdin Connect.

 

  1. School bubble (whole class) instructed by HSE Public Health to self-isolate (14day isolation period).

Teacher will engage with the bubble daily on Seesaw/ Aladdin Connect.

 

  1. Whole school closure as instructed by HSE Public Health (duration of closure will be advised by Public Health)

Teachers will engage with pupils daily on Seesaw, Aladdin Connect, email and telephone or by  prearranged Zoom meetings.

 

The HSE recommends that all children who are not in the categories outlined above attend school, and parents who decide to keep their children off for their own reasons assume responsibility for their child’s tuition for the duration of their absence.

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

11.Summary:

  1. Do what you can, within your circumstances.  Forget about following books and workbooks outside of the work set by teachers for the moment.
  2. There will be no school work set for planned school closures/holidays.
  3. Please keep abreast of emails and postings on the school app – they are our main modes of communication going forward.
  4. We ask parents/guardians, students and teachers to ensure protocols are adhered to at all times.
  5. 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 BOM of  Scoil Mhuire B & C at its meeting on:

  and is subject to change, in light of any guidance or instruction received from Department of Education and Skills/HSE Public Health.

Signed: ________________________________________

(Chairperson BOM Scoil Mhuire B & C)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact

St.Mary's NS Main street, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal F93 F9TF 074 91 31877

stranorlarprincipal@gmail.com