Digital distinction at Newbridge's Scoil Mhuire

Flags for digital distinction and active schools

Niamh O'Donoghue

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Niamh O'Donoghue

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editor@leinsterleader.ie

Digital distinction at Newbridge's Scoil Mhuire

Pupils at Scoil Mhuire, Newbridge, show off their digital training

Scoil Mhuire Senior School at Ballymany raised two flags last week to celebrate receiving two national awards — The Digital Schools of Distinction, and the Active Flag Award.

Neil O’Sullivan, Head of Digital Schools of Distinction Ireland, and Keith Quill PhD student and lecturer in Computer Science in Tallaght IT were in attendance to celebrate the award.

Mr Quill gave a short presentation on the relevance of technology in our daily lives and the future possibilities for children who learned to code now.

He praised the innovative Scratch coding initiative currently run in Scoil Mhuire Senior.

Students from 5th and 6th class learn how to code through a link with St Conleth’s Community College PLC Computer Science class. Mr O’ Sullivan subsequently asked Cliona Galvin, the organising teacher, if she would be interested in making this a national project in September, such was the success of the initiative.

Mr O’Sullivan went on to say that while there are approximately 3,800 primary schools in Ireland, only 380 of them have achieved this award.

This places Scoil Mhuire Senior in the top 10% schools nationally for the integration of technology in teaching and learning.

“The school prides itself on being innovative in its approach to teaching and learning, all the time striving to lead the way when it comes to best practice,” said a school spokesperson.

“Students benefit from having access to over 70 mobile digital devices (laptops and iPads) to work with. It is at the forefront of offering the children the opportunity to engage in and respond to learning using audio and audio visual technology.”

She said creativity is fostered and innovation from the children applauded and encouraged.

The staff engage regularly in training to upskill in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

This year alone, the teachers and students have engaged in training on iMovies, Stop Motion movies and creating digital ePortfolios.

One class, Ms Elsted’s 5th skyped students in America to discuss the election.

Mr O’Sullivan registered Scoil Mhuire Senior as a Digital School of Europe based on the excellence of the school report.

Former Kildare footballer, Johnny Doyle was on hand to help with the flag presentations on June 26.