Bishop Murphy Memorial School
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Policy
This document is a statement of the aims and objectives, principles and strategies for ICT in Bishop Murphy Memorial School. The policy was first developed in 2004 and reviewed in 2010. It was revised and reviewed again during the academic year 2016/17 through a process of consultation with the teaching staff. The Board of Management approved the policy in April 2017. This policy is fully implemented as of April 2017.
The purpose of this policy is to provide an overview of ICT in our school and to set out our general aims and goals in delivering ICT to the pupils. Our policy provides us with a framework for long and short term planning which will be of benefit to the teaching and learning of ICT in Bishop Murphy Memorial School. Our policy provides information for all teachers, the Board of Management and parents of the approaches and methodologies being used in the teaching of the ICT, emphasising the key messages of ICT.
Vision for ICT
In 2008, the school began a process of purchasing pc’s and by 2009 had 22 peer to peer networked computers operating within our computer laboratory. Each pc is run off the Windows 7 operating system and has the Microsoft Office 2013 suite. Creating projects, touch typing and research using the internet was the ‘order of the day’. However, it became apparent that the necessity to leave the mainstream classroom to visit the lab meant that the full integration of ICT and curricular learning was somewhat difficult. It was decided that the procurement of mobile devices could circumvent this issue due to their mobility and ensure the full benefit of ICT in the day to day curricular learning of our students. In early 2015, Bishop Murphy Memorial School empowered the learning of each of its’ students with an Apple iPad device. The first primary school in Ireland to do so, each student now has access to their very own iPad. Each iPad, sheathed within a ‘survivor’ case can be found within three charging trolleys, making easy work of storing them and getting them ready for lessons. Apple TV units were also bought for each class, enabling teachers to mirror an iPad screen and share it with the rest of the children, using ‘AirPlay’ technology to wirelessly stream the content. A new wireless network was installed and e-fibre was enabled within the school. The a/c wireless network along with the CAT-6 caballing future proofs the school for future advances in technology and facilitates, along with the e-fibre, the simultaneous use of all the iPads.The hardware purchased was only the beginning of the story. A big part of the vision is providing a process of continuous professional support to ensure teachers and pupils get the most from Apple investments. The school has arranged for an Apple Professional Development tutor to come to the school and teach the teachers after hours. There have been nine sessions to date. Right now, they are being trained on how to use the app “Explain Everything”, having successfully incorporated ‘Book Creator’, the iTunes download that lets teachers and children create multimedia projects in iBook form, into our day to day practice. Other applications are already in daily use, like ‘iMovie’, ‘Kahoot and ‘Know Your Ireland’. The iPads are supervised by a Mobile Device Management System – ‘Meraki’. This system allows the ICT co-ordinator/Principal to track internet usage, to restrict/disable certain features on each iPad – for instance – the use of ‘safari’, the use of the camera, as well as monitor battery charge levels. The school is currently exploring the possibility of using the ‘Zulu Desk’ MDM as it has even greater supervisory
ICT is now a powerful tool which is central to the educational process. The Staff at Bishop Murphy Memorial School recognise the potential of ICT at the heart of the curriculum in terms of learning and teaching and as a core competence for the pupils. We recognise the success of ICT training in raising the profile of ICT within our school and in enthusing teachers. We aim to develop and strengthen the use of ICT to support learning and teaching. We want our pupils to become independent, autonomous learners who are confident and competent using technology. We are aware of the rapid development and the increasing complexity and range of uses of ICT (much broader than just computers), the increase of interactive technologies in schools and the development of communication through broadband.
Why should our pupils use ICT?
ICT can develop thinking skills and problem solving strategies.
· ICT can enable pupils to locate, gather, synthesis, analyse, reconstruct, communicate and present information.
· ICT can provide opportunities for deeper analysis of concepts and processes.
· ICT can allow pupils to gain more control over the direction of their learning.
· ICT can present social opportunities for collaboration on joint tasks both face to face in the classroom and online.
· ICT can develop creativity.
· ICT can encourage learning out of school in other settings.
· ICT can allow pupils to gain knowledge, understanding and skills beyond that of the teacher.
Our aims in using ICT are to:
· Raise levels of pupil competence and confidence in using ICT – by developing children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in using a range of ICT tools to enhance learning experiences across the curriculum.
· Offer equal entitlement of ICT to all pupils.
· Raise levels of teacher competence and confidence in integrating and using a range of different technologies into their planning, teaching and assessment of children’s work.
· To enhance and enrich children’s learning and add to its enjoyment.
· Provide access to internet, interactive learning resources and whiteboards.
· Develop children’s independent learning skills using ICT across the curriculum.
· Develop information handling and research skills.
· Embed ICT in the half yearly and fortnightly plans.
To what use will ICT be put?
- School Administration – Aladdin software
- Research software e.g. Encarta Encyclopaedia
- Adventure games that stimulate higher order thinking skills and problem solving
- Word Processing of children’s work
- Research on the internet
- Communication via email
- Music composition and digital recording
- Storage of Records of achievement/portfolio assessment
- Special Needs pupils
- In keeping with our mission, we perceive ICT technologies being used as a tool of teaching and learning in each classroom. All computers are networked to our own internal network including networked printing.
- Our current broadband provider is Eir, as dictated by Department of Education and Skills Schools Broadband scheme. We have e-fibre broadband and a/c wireless access points circulated around the school to maximise coverage. The school has used CAT-6 caballing when installing the access points
- We currently have 120 Apple iPads, one for each student and teacher, with three iPad storage/charging trolleys, each with a capacity for 40 iPads. The iPads are charged each Wednesday for 4 hours in order to prevent the over/under charging of the devices.
- Each apple device is managed through a mobile device management system – currently – Meraki.
- Each classroom has an Apple Tv device.
- Each classroom has a data projector, interactive whiteboard and teacher laptop.
- There is 1 digital camera in the school for use by the classes (March 2017).
- The office is equipped with a PC, colour printer and a photocopier/scanner.
- There are 22 PCs in the computer lab
Apps purchased to date on the iPads
- Book Creator
- Know your Ireland
- Explain Everything
- Sum Dog
- Garage Band
- King of Maths
Current Usage of Facilities
- Ipads are used as a medium of teaching and learning in all the classrooms, therefore it is not necessary to timetable computer hours
- Current usage includes early reading work and early number work; mathematical application; development of thinking and problem solving skills; word processing, desktop publishing; use of multimedia encyclopaedia and typing skills; internet work; presentation of project work; creating art work; spelling; development of fine motor skills; music composition and recording.
- Staff are encouraged and frequently attend ICT courses for up-skilling and continuous professional development.
Teaching and Learning through ICT in our School
Organisation of Resources
· There is one iPad per pupil in all classrooms which provides a connection to the internet and educational apps.
· All classrooms have interactive whiteboards.
· There are two networked printers located in the Computer Room and secretary’s office
· Digital, Video and web cameras are stored in the principal’s office.
· The data projector is stored in the staff room
· A scanner and a photocopier are located in the secretary’s office.
· The computer room contains 22 computers which are networked and connected to the internet and a laser printer
The Internet as a Resource
The internet provides a wealth of educational resources that support the strands of the Irish Primary School Curriculum. Appendix 1 of this document contains a list of useful websites for this purpose. For a more comprehensive list of websites that support particular curriculum strands please refer to the relevant Bishop Murphy Memorial School curriculum policy.
ICT Progression from class to class
2nd class – iPad Familiarity; Competency using keyboard; Airdrop; Write Stories; Competency using Drill Software
3rd class – iPad Familiarity; Competency using keyboard; Airdrop; Write Stories with Mixed Cases; Competency using Drill Software; Internet Research
4th class – iPad Familiarity; Competency keyboard; Airdrop; Write Stories with Mixed Cases; Competency using Drill Software; Internet Research, Data Manipulation
5th class – iPad Familiarity; Competency Using keyboard; Airdrop; Write Stories with Mixed Cases; Competency using Drill Software; Internet Research; Search Engines; Data Manipulation; Coding Skills
6th class – iPad Familiarity; Competency Using keyboard; Airdrop; Write Stories with Mixed Cases; Competency using Drill Software; Internet Research; Search Engines; Data Manipulation; Coding Skills; Publication of Work;
Roles and Responsibilities of ICT co-ordinator
· Provide leadership and direction.
· Play a key role and liaise with the Principal and staff in the drawing up of a whole school policy for ICT.
· Support, guide and motivate colleagues in the use and development of ICT across the curriculum.
· Advise staff on ICT training and support which is available to them.
· Ensure that the use of ICT is managed and organised to meet school aims and objectives.
· Contribute to the monitoring and evaluation process.
· Keep up to date with recent developments in ICT and advise colleagues appropriately.
· Source and update ICT software.
· Identify and assess new approaches to the use of e-learning
· Report technical problems to principal.
· Monitor the work being carried out in ICT throughout the school to ensure progression.
· Complete action plan for dissolving boundaries project.
· Monitor and update the school website.
Responsibilities of Class Teachers
· Assess pupils’ skills.
· Share ideas, resources, skills and practices with fellow teachers on staff.
· Integrate ICT throughout curriculum.
· Have read the schools internet acceptable use policy.
· Inform the ICT post-holder of any technical problems and resources which need replacing.
· Ensure that all resources borrowed by them from the computer room are returned.
· Post updates on classwork to the school website.
Classroom Management of ICT Resources
Children will have planned opportunities to use ICT resources to carry out:§ Individual work – Each child has access to their own iPad
Whole class activities – interactive whiteboard and iPad
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
· Planning at whole school level
· The Principal and ICT co-ordinator discuss how ICT is incorporated into the school development plan
· A line of development in ICT ensuring progression and continuity for children from second class to sixth class has been drawn up and agreed by all staff.
· ICT is embedded into the schemes of work of each teacher.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
· Children’s use of ICT is assessed and recorded by the class teacher:
· Formative assessment – observing and questioning during classroom activities
· Summative assessment methods – collecting samples of children’s ICT work
Teachers will report on a child’s progress to the next teacher
§ by discussing progress
§ by passing on samples of work
Teachers will report on a child’s progress to parents
§ by discussion during formal parent teacher meetings
§ by a comment regarding ICT competence on each child’s report at the end of each year for 2nd – 6th class
Provision for pupils with SEN in Mainstream
· It is important to recognise the potential of ICT to help address children’s individual learning needs. ICT is used to enhance the learning experiences of children with special educational needs within the school.
- Where appropriate specialist hardware equipment such as iPads are used to meet children’s individual needs.
- Where appropriate specific software e.g. Switch skills.
- There are a range of accessibility features, the following is sample that can be used on iPad:
- Guided Access
Guided Access helps students with autism or other attention and sensory challenges stay on task. A teacher or therapist can limit an iOS device to stay on one app by disabling the Home button, and even restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. So wandering taps and gestures won’t distract from learning.
Hearing a word as it’s being read can help with comprehension for a wide range of learners. Speak Selection can read a student’s email, iMessages, web pages and ebooks out loud. Double-tap to highlight text in any application, tap Speak and the device reads the selected text. Students can have words highlighted as they’re being read so they can follow along. And the voice’s dialect and speaking rate can be adjusted to suit students’ needs.
iBooks Author gives teachers a way to create customised learning materials for iPad to support a wide range of learning needs. Features like multicolour highlighting, notes, search, study cards and the glossary help students be better organised and better prepared. Built-in review questions give students an immediate assessment of their knowledge so they understand where to focus more study time. iBooks supports VoiceOver, Speak Selection and closed-captioned videos to help all types of learners.
- Where appropriate, teacher developed resources such as Clicker 4 word banks are used to assist learning
· Teachers shall familiarise themselves with the variety of graded levels within suitable software in order to provide differentiation and cater for children with special educational needs within their classrooms.
Equality of Access
All children will have equal access to the use of ICT across the curriculum Children of all ages, ability levels and backgrounds will have equal access to ICT resources.
ICT in the Home and in the Community
An increasing number of children have access to computers in the home or through their out-of-school activities.
In keeping with the school Homework Policy children will be encouraged to make use of home computers and ICT resources.
Where appropriate children will be given opportunities to make use of ICT resources to:
- Carry out research to support classroom work and projects
- Use suggested websites provided by teacher to support learning
- To complete work begun in school
· Work carried out on home computers should be valued. It is important to ensure that a consistent approach to children’s use of home computers is taken in each class as a child progresses through the school.
· As indicated in our approach to equity of access, children who do not have ICT resources at home should not be disadvantaged. To seek to facilitate this, provision may be made to permit the use of computers beyond normal school hours whether through aftercare, computer clubs or time set aside within the school day.
Refer to school internet policy.
Health and Safety
· Each classroom has rules for safe use of the iPad – please refer to iPad acceptable use policy – devised and discussed with children. In all classrooms consideration is given to health and safety in the location and positioning of equipment.
· The following issues are addressed.
· Position and posture of the child.
· Children should be seated correctly at the iPad.
· When using the iPad the child should be able to sit upright on a chair which gives some back support, having their arms roughly horizontal when using a keyboard.
· The child’s body should face forwards, not twisted sideways.
· Due care shall be taken not to overload extension cables or double socket adapters where it is necessary to use such equipment.
· Leads should not trail on the floor.
· Damaged plugs or leads shall be replaced.
· Ventilation grills should not be blocked as overheating may occur.
· There is a slight risk of triggering epileptic seizures from excessive screen flicker. As monitors can vary in the steadiness of screen image due care will be taken to use a monitor with minimum screen flicker where an individual child may be at risk.
Continuing Professional Development
Staff development in ICT is ongoing within the school. It is our aim to raise the level of teacher competence and confidence in ICT by:
· Becoming familiar with digital and online technologies.
· Continuing to have Apple Professional Development training where possible during Croke Park Hours
· Making provision for ICT in-service training.
- Providing in–school support for teachers requiring assistance in developing particular aspects of ICT skills knowledge and understanding.
- Displaying information on the staff notice board for ICT courses.
Teacher Planning and Reporting
Bishop Murphy Memorial School recognises the advantages of using ICT as a tool for teacher planning, preparation, record keeping and reporting. All teachers use ICT to prepare yearly, fortnightly and weekly plans. End of Year Reports are also completed using ICT, facilitated by the Aladdin Admin Software System. Teachers make use of the NCCA online planning tool to inform their planning. Additionally, the school has access to a number of educational companies’ online resources for planning including cjfallon.ie and folensonline.ie.
Bishop Murphy Memorial School Website
Bishop Murphy Memorial School’s website will be kept updated regularly with current information regarding events and ongoing work by pupils in the school. It will also be used as a tool for informing and involving parents in their child’s education.
As ICT resources increase and pupil and teacher ICT competence develops the ICT Policy will be reviewed to evaluate its effectiveness. This policy will be updated when further information becomes available.
Ratification and Communication
The Board of Management ratified this revised policy at its meeting on 7th April 2017. Copies of the policy will be circulated and communicated to all members of the staff, parents and guardians. A copy will be available on the school website.
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting on the 7th April 2017.
Appendix 1 Websites
www.starfall.com Website offers early literacy activities.
www.themathworksheetsite.com Generates maths worksheets based on what the teacher wants the children to focus on.
Using%20ICT/using%20ict%20for%20history/resources.htm Partition and the 1916 Rising
www.ireland.com/focus/easterrising Created in association with the Department of Education & Science, this site explores the events surrounding the 1916 Rising.
www.araskids.ie This is the official website of the President of Ireland for children. It describes the president’s home, a typical day in the life of the president and provides other interesting facts regarding Áras an Uachtaráin.
http://cyberschoolbus.un.org/otherunsites.html Lots of information and links on developing countries.
www.kbears.com Lots of information about animals and countries provided in a fun interactive way.
http:library.thinkquesr.org/J001159/famart.htm All about famous artists
http://www.cul4kidz.com GAA resource page: includes activities, worksheets, history, photos, quizzes, coaching tips, action videos.
http://test.scoilnet.ie/res/crosswords/MM57PEGAA.html GAA crossword
http://www.teachnet.ie/stpats2006/athletics/Athletics%20Powerpoint%20final%20one.ppt Overview of athletics in Powerpoint
http://www.rte.ie/sport/gaa/championship/mediaplayer.html?fundo/fd_skilllist Videos of hurling/football skills
http://ceim.gaa.ie Céim ar Aghaidh/Step Ahead uses the fun of Gaelic games to deliver an exciting range of exercises and worksheets to support all subjects
http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/resources/restop.htm priory woods (special needs)
http://www.bpl.org/KIDS/Netiquette.htm netiquette for kids
www.topmarks.co.uk Gives suggestions for sites that work well on the interactive whiteboard.
www.schooldays.ie Information for both teachers and parents.
http://www.ceim.gaa.ie/ GAA website has excellent resources to support all areas of the curriculum.
http://www.higherpraise.com/PassionMovie.htm has a movie which tells story of Jesus’ life.