ICT Whole School Policy - StBodensNS

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ICT Whole School Policy

School Policies
St. Boden’s N.S.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Policy
Introductory Statement
This document is a statement of the aims and objectives, principles and strategies for ICT in St. Boden’s N.S. The policy was first developed in 2018.  It was revised and reviewed again during the academic year 2017/18 through a process of consultation with the teaching staff, pupils and parents. The Board of Management approved the policy in April 2018. This policy is fully implemented as of April 2018.
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 2016, the school began a process of purchasing laptops and Interactive Whiteboards. Each laptop is run off the Windows 7 operating system and has the Microsoft Office 2013 suite. In 2016, we also created a school website www.stbodensns.ie and blog to showcase our achievements. To further this, we created our twitter handle - @stbodensns. We created a ‘computer station’ in our senior classroom where creating projects, touch typing and research using the internet was the important for our pupils to learn, however, it became apparent that additional professional development was necessary for the integration of ICT and curricular learning. After training, it was decided that the procurement of mobile devices could ensure the full benefit of ICT in the day to day curricular learning of our students. In early 2017, we purchased 2 Apple iPad devices for pupils use. A new wireless network was installed and e-fibre was enabled within the school. The a/c wireless network ensures use of all the iPads and wireless devices such as keyboards attached for SEN purposes etc. 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 investments. The school has arranged to take part in CASE Peace IV a cross community project in which we partnered with St. Mura’s N.S., Buncrana and agreed to professionally develop in the area of STEM. Funding and training is provided through Leargas. Our project has successfully exposed teachers to joint professional development in this area which has been hugely beneficial for the sharing of expertees’. Our pupils are continuously exposed to new technological advances in coding, engineering etc as well as improving digital literacy skills.
ICT is now a powerful tool which is central to the educational process. The Staff at St. Boden’s N.S. 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. (see wireless devices)                     
·         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 and integrate ICT in the fortnightly plans.
To what use will ICT be put?
1.     School Administration – Aladdin software
2.    Research software e.g. Encarta Encyclopaedia
3.    Adventure games that stimulate higher order thinking skills and problem solving
4.    Word Processing of children’s work (senior room computer corner)
5.    Research on the internet
6.    Communication via email
7.    Storage of Records of achievement/portfolio assessment (following incidental inspection advie)
8.    Special Needs pupils (see additional wireless device access)
Current Infrastructure
·         In keeping with our mission, we perceive ICT technologies being used as a tool of teaching and learning in each classroom. All teachers have access to a laptop, Whiteboard, sounds system, wireless access and wireless 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.
·         We currently have 2 Apple iPads and 14 laptops stored in a charging station in the SET support room.
·         Each classroom has a data projector, interactive whiteboard and teacher laptop and visualiser.
·         There is 1 digital camera in the school for use by the classes (March 2019).
·         The office is equipped with a PC, colour printer and a photocopier/scanner
Apps purchased to date on the iPads
·         Minecraft
·         Kahoot
·         Keynote
·         iMovie
·         Garage Band
·         Jolly Phonics
Current Usage of Facilities
·         Ipads are used as a medium of teaching and learning in all the SEN classroom, therefore it is not necessary to timetable computer hours
·         Current usage of laptops and ipads with pupils include 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. (PEACE IV and Summer courses)
Teaching and Learning through ICT in our School
Organisation of Resources
There are 2 iPads which all pupils have access to which provides a connection to the internet and educational apps.                                                                                  All classrooms have interactive whiteboards.                                                            There is one networked printer located in the secretary’s office                                Digital, Video and web cameras are stored in the SEN classroom.                            A scanner and a photocopier are located in the secretary’s office.
The Internet as a Resource
The internet provides a wealth of educational resources that support the strands of the Irish Primary School Curriculum. We have created a separate policy for this. Please see www.stbodensns.ie to access policies.
ICT Progression from class to class
2nd class:
iPad Familiarity; Competency using keyboard; Write Stories;
3rd  class                      
iPad Familiarity; Competency using keyboard; Write Stories with Mixed Cases; Internet Research
4th class
iPad Familiarity; Competency keyboard; Write Stories with Mixed Cases; Internet Research, Data Manipulation
5th class
iPad Familiarity; Competency Using keyboard; Write Stories with Mixed Cases; Internet Research; Search Engines; Data Manipulation; Coding Skills
6th class
iPad Familiarity; Competency Using keyboard; Write Stories with Mixed Cases; Internet Research; Search Engines; Data Manipulation; Coding Skills; Publication of Work;
Roles and Responsibilities of ICT co-ordinator (Principal)
Ø  Provide leadership and direction                                                                           
Ø  Play a key role and liaise with the Principal and staff in the drawing up of a whole school policy for ICT.                                                                                          
Ø  Support, guide and motivate colleagues in the use and development of ICT across the curriculum.                                                                                                             
Ø  Advise staff on ICT training and support which is available to them.                        
Ø  Ensure that the use of ICT is managed and organised to meet school aims and objectives.                                                                                                              
Ø  Contribute to the monitoring and evaluation process.                                               
Ø  Keep up to date with recent developments in ICT and advise colleagues appropriately.                                                                                                        
Ø  Source and update ICT software.                                                                   
Ø  Identify and assess new approaches to the use of e-learning                                     
Ø  Report technical problems to principal.                                                                   
Ø  Monitor the work being carried out in ICT throughout the school to ensure progression.                                                                                                    
Ø  Complete action plan for dissolving boundaries project.                                       
Ø  Monitor and update the school website.
Responsibilities of Class Teachers
ü Assess pupils’ skills.
ü Share ideas, resources, skills and practices with fellow teachers on staff.
ü  Integrate ICT throughout curriculum.                                                                           
ü  Have read the schools internet acceptable use policy.                                               
ü  Inform the ICT post-holder of any technical problems and resources which need replacing.                                                                                                                  
ü  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 / 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 (inspector recommendation)
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 and by passing on samples of work
Teachers will report on a child’s progress to parents by discussion during formal parent teacher meetings
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 a 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.
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.
Internet Safety
Refer to school internet policy.

Health and Safety
In all classrooms consideration is given to health and safety in the location and positioning of equipment.

Reducing Risks
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.

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 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
St. Boden’s N.S. recognises the advantages of using ICT as a tool for teacher planning, preparation, record keeping and reporting. All teachers use ICT to prepare yearly and fortnightly plans. End of Year Digital 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.
St. Boden’s N.S. School Website
St. Boden’s N.S. 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.
Policy Review
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 Tuesday 17th April 2018.  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 Tuesday 17th April 2018.
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
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