Remote Learning Plan

Scoil Maelruain Senior Remote Learning plan.

In response to this time of uncertainty regarding school closures, this policy has been formulated 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 provides information on our practice and explains protocols.

This policy does not set out to replace our  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 student learners 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:

(a) The Education Act (1998)

(b) Education (Welfare) Act (2000)

(c) Equal Status Act (2000)

(d) Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004)

(e) Disability Act (2005)

(f) Children First Act (2017)

(g) GDPR

(h) Data Protection Act (2018)

(i) Department of Education: Child Protection Procedures for Primary schools

(j) NEWB Guidelines for Developing a Code of Behaviour (2008).

(k) DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling for Primary Schools (May 2020)

(l) DES Guidance on Continuity of Schooling: Supporting Primary Pupils at very High Risk to Covid 19 (August 2020).

This is a working document. As we continue to explore options available to support distance learning, the document will be updated accordingly.

Teaching and Learning are always evolving, and developments in IT provide us all with great opportunities. Never before has there been greater scope to learn using technology and it continues to enhance the learning relationship between teachers and students. 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 child is being directed 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 student and teacher, whether at home or school, the same statutory rules apply i.e. the school’s Code of Positive 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. Scoil Maelruain Senior 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. We understand that the classroom experience cannot be replicated remotely but we endeavour to provide instruction in a variety of ways.

Guidelines on Remote Learning in a Covid 19 Context issued by the Department of Education in October 2020 state:

Where it is necessary to support pupils in their learning from home for reasons related to Covid 19 there should be:

A blend of guided and independent learning tasks/experiences

Appropriate and engaging learning opportunities

Regular engagement with pupils and

Two – way feedback between home and school.

Communication between Home and School during an Emergency Closure

Scoil Maelruain Senior will use the online platform Seesaw for communicating and connecting with students during an emergency closure.

  • Email: All teachers will provide families with a dedicated remote learning gmail address. Parents may connect directly with the teachers using this address.
  • Regular communication will be supported via Aladdin.
  • Seesaw: Teachers will post work daily on the Seesaw app. This app allows pupils to connect to their folder and to upload items for their teacher to validate. Each child has an individual access code. Activities and lessons will be uploaded with pre-recorded instructions in written, audio or video format. The voice message function enables two – way communication between student and teacher. Children accessing support teaching will be guided to complete either the activities set by their class teacher or Support teacher.
  • In the case of a prolonged closure weekly check in zoom calls will be facilitated by the teachers.

Remote Teaching and learning Protocols


  1. Check assigned work daily
  2. Submit work and pictures that are appropriate – have an adult take a look at your work before you send it.
  3. Use kind and friendly words.
  4. The normal school calendar will apply.
  5. In this evolving and unprecedented situation pupils are expected to present all assignments to the best of their ability.

For video calls/Zoom:

  1. Remember to ensure you join each Zoom meeting using your 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. If possible set up your device in a quiet space, with no distractions in the background.
  5. Raise your hand before speaking, just like you would do in class.
  6. If you have the chance to talk, speak in your normal voice, using kind and friendly words.
  7. Show respect by listening to others while they are speaking.
  8. Ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the video call.
  9. Be on time.
  10. If guidelines are broken participants will be removed.

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.
  4. 4. 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. It is important to establish a consistent daily routine. It is good practice to incorporate  breaks into this routine.  We encourage a little work every week day for routine. We provide work and guidance and ask parents and pupils to do what you can within your own circumstances.
  5. Please email the teacher if you have any queries.

For video calls/Zoom

  1. Under no circumstances should pictures or recordings be taken of video calls.
  1. Ensure that the school has the correct email address for inviting you to join meetings. Details of meetings will be sent to your email address and should never be shared.
  2. The main purpose of a video call is to check in with pupils. Encourage pupils to listen and enjoy the experience.
  3. Be aware that when participating in group video calls, you can be seen and heard unless you are muted or have disabled your camera.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Participants in the call should be dressed appropriately.
  8. An appropriate background/room should be chosen for the video call.
  9. For detailed information on GDPR and Zoom, please visit

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.

Remote Teaching and Learning Protocols for Teachers

●        Check uploaded work and offer feedback to student.

●        The normal school calendar will apply.

●        The following school policies apply to remote teaching and learning:

  • Child Protection Policy
  • 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.

Remote Communication Protocols for SNAs:

  • Support pupils with additional needs under the direction of the classroom teacher/SET
  • Act as a liason between the school and these pupils/families
  • May facilitate zoom calls when necessary.
  • The normal school calendar will apply.
  • Child Protection and Data Protection policies apply to all remote communication

Remote Teaching and Learning Provision specifically for the following Covid 19 related scenarios

  1. A. 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.

B. In the case of 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. These pupils will be supported to catch up on their learning on their return to school
  2. 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). A teacher will link in with the pupil via See-Saw.
  3. School POD (group of six) instructed by HSE Pubic Health to self-isolate. A teacher will link in with the pupils via See-Saw.
  4. School bubble (whole class) instructed by HSE Public Health to self-isolate (14 day isolation period). Teacher will engage with the bubble daily on Seesaw.
  5. Whole school closure as instructed by HSE Public Health (duration of closure will be advised by Public Health). Teachers will engage with pupils daily using the chosen online platform Seesaw.
  6. Please note that the current situation is quite fluid and these circumstances may vary throughout the year.


We understand that these are very difficult times for all of us and we will do everything we can to help each other out and ensure that the children engage in fun learning activities that mirror classroom experiences as much as possible.

We know that it can be difficult for children to settle into home learning routines. Just do what you can and remember that children learn in many different ways. Perhaps outdoor play and scavenger hunts might spark an interest in nature study, art or photography. Try to keep linked in with the work set by the class teacher or special education teacher and let them know if you are struggling with assigned activities. There is always an alternative activity!

Please remember to check your e-mail regularly and send messages to teachers dedicated email address with any queries.

There will be no school work set for planned school closures/holidays.

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

If you are experiencing difficulties with any aspect of remote learning please contact your child’s class teacher or send an email to and we will assist you in any way  we can.

Thanks to everyone in our school community for adhering to the above guidelines for everyone’s safety and welfare.

This plan was ratified by the BOM of Scoil Maelruain Senior at its meeting on:

February 10th 2021 and is subject to change, in light of any guidance or instruction received from Department of Education and Skills/HSE Public Health.

Signed: Frank Moran

(Chairperson BOM)