We would like to update you on our digital progress under the Grant Scheme for EU NRRP funding to Schools at Risk of Educational disadvantage. Circular letter 0060/2021
gov.ie – Grant Scheme for EU NRRP Funding to schools to address the digital divide, and learners at risk of educational disadvantage (www.gov.ie)
In 2021 our school received €8000 as part of this scheme. This funding was used to support Holy Family’s core project, within our overarching digital strategy. As you are aware we began this project in 2020 with the assistance of funding from the Dublin Lions so we could support our pupils through the covid pandemic.
The goal of the project was to ensure that every pupil in the second level section of the school and senior pupils (5th/6th class) in the primary section had access to a personal digital device i.e. a Google Chromebook. This would ensure full participation in Google Classroom for all, both in school and outside school for homework tasks or for access to teaching and learning should the school be forced to close. The wellbeing of our Deaf students is at the heart of this project. We know that they are at risk of disengagement from learning and social isolation when at home for long periods.
In addition, all pupils would have shared access to digital learning devices such as iPads and digital cameras. Deaf students are visual learners, so each class teacher was to be provided with a visualizer. Visualizers provide Deaf students with equal access to text-based learning. EU funding was also used to purchase one additional interactive presentation device- a Clever Touch Screen. Combing these technologies allows our Deaf students to engage in whole school activities such as Kahoot quizzes, digital storytelling, and other activities.
The project was led by our in-school digital team. The Chromebooks were made available to parent/guardians for purchase or rental. Families who could not afford the rental were fully supported under the EU NRRP grant. Access to other digital technologies were made available to all class teachers through a booking scheme. Teacher training was initially provided for free by the companies who provided the technology. Additional training was provided by the in school digital team and peer learning over the course of one full school year after school hours.
We are proud to report that EVERY pupil from the youngest in early intervention to the oldest in the post primary section benefited from the project. The project has been enormously successfully. We now consider our school to well on our journey to digital excellence!