Schools get creative to get through the crisis

Innovative ways of learning are being used by pupils in Fermanagh.
With schools now temporarily closed teachers have been forced to think of new ways to bring education to children who find themselves removed from the classroom environment.
Principal of Mount Lourdes, Sinead Cullen, pictured below, said programmes and activities have been developed that will see students through the next number of weeks.
Noting that it was an anxious time, particularly for GCSE and A Level pupils she said, “A variety of online communication systems are being used such as Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams Virtual Learning Environments, C2K ‘MyFiles’ remote access to student’s files and email. The school website and Facebook are central hubs for statements and information.”
While initial trials went well Ms Cullen is mindful that remote learning brings challenges, including broadband coverage and access to family computers.
“We are also conscious of the strain that parents may feel under as new routines are established and we will strive to support them as best we can.”
Ms Cullen noted that she was confident in her staff were “fully prepared and ready to continue their teaching via remote communication” enabling pupils to access high quality learning as well as catering for well-being and self-care of their pupils.
At Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, principal Elizabeth Armstrong said learning arrangements had been put in place to support on-line learning where possible.
“We await further clarification from CCEA and the Department of Education as to how grades will be awarded to pupils who were due to complete public examinations in light of the cancellation of the summer examination timetable.
“We know this is an anxious time for our school community and indeed our wider community as together we deal with an unprecedented situation. We encourage our pupils and parents to keep steady and safe by adhering fully to the clear PHA guidelines including those on social distancing in their wider community.
“The challenges we all face will vary depending on our individual circumstances: each of us will be the stronger and more able to deal with these challenges when we work collectively to support each other.”

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