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Remote Learning Plan

Remote Teaching and Learning Plan

Presentation Convent National School, Castlecomer.

  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 pupils 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.



  1. Context

Teaching and Learning is always evolving. 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 pupil is being taught 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 pupil 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. Presentation Convent 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.

  1. Protocol for good online communication in Presentation Castlecomer N.S.

  2. Staff, families and students are expected to behave in an appropriate, safe, respectful and kind manner online.

  3. Staff members will communicate with pupils and their families via child-friendly learning platforms, e.g. Seesaw, Google Classroom, which have been approved by the school.

  4. 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.

  5. Any electronic forms of communication will be for educational purposes and to allow for communication with families.

  6. Parental permission will be acquired before setting up a profile for a pupil on a communication forum.

  7. Under no circumstances should pictures or recordings be taken of video calls.

  8. Teachers from Presentation Convent N.S. may use pre-recorded lessons/ activities, a combination of assigned work, pre-recorded lessons (Seesaw & Google Classroom)

  9. Should a teacher engage in 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. A text will also be sent to remind parents that a Zoom call is to be expected.

  10. For security reasons, passwords will be provided to families, where applicable.

  11. Presentation Convent N.S cannot accept responsibility for the security of online platforms, in the event that they are compromised.

  1. Methods of Communication between teachers and pupils/ families:

School Email: The school will keep families updated on home learning, on policies etc via school email.

Text alerts regarding these emails will be sent on the school’s Sales Pulse system.

Each teacher will be assigned a class e-mail address through which she can communicate with parents/guardians and vice-versa. Parental queries will be addressed during school hours only (9:05-2:45) 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 in all classes and requires a QR code which can be accessed through the school email. Parental consent is required prior to using this app. There is a consent form published on our school website. Senior classes may also use Google Classroom as soon as pupils are familiar with the platform.

Teachers can assign work through Seesaw and can provide feedback on pupils’ work.

3. Google Classroom: (also includes Google Meet where appropriate)

Google Classroom is an online platform which may be used with third to Sixth Class pupils and again it enables our pupils to connect to their folder of work and it also allows access to their teacher when required. Teachers may also provide feedback and communicate with pupils via Google Classroom. Parental consent is required prior to using this app and a consent form is published on our school website: www.presentationcastlecomer.com


School Website and Blog

The school blog will be updated regularly with suitable educational resources for pupils to use at home. The school website will publish our Remote Learning Policy.

The school website will also publish consent forms for Google Classroom and Seesaw, and any other learning platforms.



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. This may be put into practice for Parent/Teacher meetings in the future. Teachers have used this platform for staff meetings during the previous school closure.

  1. 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.

In the event of a teacher using Zoom for Remote Learning, the following rules apply:


  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!

  1. 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.


In the event of using video 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 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.

  1. Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Pupils

  2. Check assigned work each day

  3. Communication may only take place during normal school hours

  4. The normal school calendar will apply

  5. The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:

  6. Code of Behaviour

  7. Anti- Bullying Policy

  8. Acceptable Use Policy

  9. 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.

  10. In so far as possible, provision for SEN students will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies.

  11. In so far as possible, provision for student at very high-risk to Covid 19 will be made when using Remote Learning methodologies.

  12. Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Parents

  13. We ask parents/guardians to ensure protocols for students are adhered to.

  14. Check-in on their child’s school work on a daily basis and talk to their child about the work being assigned.

  15. 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.

  16. Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Teachers

  17. Check uploaded work each day

  18. Communication may only take place during normal school hours

  19. The normal school calendar will apply

  20. The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:

  21. Child Protection Policy

  22. 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.

  1. 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 via See-Saw/ Google-Classroom


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

Teacher will link in with the pupils via See-Saw/ Google-Classroom


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

Teachers will engage with the bubble daily on Seesaw/Google Classroom. The teacher will send work out every day and will give advance notice to parents the evening before of the required work.


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

Teachers will engage with pupils, using a blended approach of lessons via Seesaw/Google Classroom. Please note that the current situation is quite fluid and these circumstances may vary throughout the year.

  1. Summary:

  2. Pupils: Do what you can, within your circumstances. Following books and workbooks outside of the work set by teachers for the moment is not important.

  3. There will be no school work set for planned school closures/holidays. There will be no interaction on Seesaw or Google Classroom during these times

  4. Please keep abreast of e-mails from the school – it is our main mode of communication going forward.

  5. We ask parents/guardians, students and teachers to ensure protocols are adhered to at all times.

  6. If you have yet to connect to Seesaw, please do so. When Google Classroom is embedded in the school (with senior classes), and after parental permission is granted, teachers will then invite you to connect to the platform for remote learning/ homework. If you are experiencing difficulties please email the school and we will assist you.

Please contact the school if you have any further queries. The school’s email is prescomer@gmail.com


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


This plan will be ratified early next term by the BOM of Presentation Convent N.S. Castlecomer 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 NS)




Recommended Apps




In addition to a pared back plan of work for your child/children, we suggest the following 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.

● Starfall: For spellings. Again, very child friendly and useful to keep spellings progressing without feeling like schoolwork.

● 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.

● Nessy Apps: for reading for pupils with dyslexia or difficulties.

● PinkFong: Digital stories for infant classes. Excellent and engaging.

● Khan Academy: Useful for maths for older pupils especially.

● Kahoot: for general knowledge and quizzes.

● Toontastic: probably the best app ever for digital storytelling – pupils can devise their own digital story, picking a range of characters, settings, even musical background. They plan a beginning, middle and end to their story and can record their own voices to tell the story.

● Puppetpals: similar to toontastic – useful for younger pupils. They can record themselves telling the story also.

Lightbot – Coding app – super for all ages.









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