ONLINE LEARNING: Holy Cross Mercy School Teacher Rhonda Healy preparing work to give to her pupils online.

By Michelle Crean

Pupils from Holy Cross Mercy Primary School are not missing out on school work as teachers are continuing with classes online via the school’s Seesaw App.

The aim is to keep pupils up to date with the curricular schemes previously planned but also to keep an air of calm and provide learning with a sense of fun at this time.

“Children don’t need the worry, so routine and the normal every day activities they’re used to are so important for their health and development right now,” teacher Rhonda Healy told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s wonderful as so far they’ve been really engaging with all of our tutorials and tasks through the App and we are checking in with them and their parents each day. Each week I have assigned ‘Wow Work’ such as a project or some larger task and a number of mini lessons which include some video links and tutorials featuring my own voice and I assign tasks for the pupils covering each of my curricular subjects.”

She added that this week her Sixth Class pupils are making a movie trailer for a book they would like or recommend to their fellow classmates.

“Next week they will do a digital black and white photography bundle to depict the story of their next seven days in this unprecedented time in our history.”

Other tasks and suggestions the school has shared with families provides for offline time and a re-direct from the screen time. They included:

Socially distanced nature walks with scavenger hunts for items from nature, creating mandalas outdoors with natural items found in nature, reading novels for pleasure, watching some cartoons and documentaries on TG4, playing some card games to encourage revision of table facts, making pencil sketches of still life available for observation at home such as a bowl of fruit or a vase of flowers or a plant from the garden, writing a fantasy story, making models and engineering STEM activities such as Lego and robotics where available.

“Our children have most of their schoolbooks at home so it’s no harm to use this time to choose a topic or two each day to revise. They could read over with a parent at home and then discuss what has been read or create a project, drama, diary entry or mind map based on it.”

Other ideas include making up their own dance routines and performing them with their siblings, creating a garden obstacle course or relay race, making up their own songs and poetry, baking together as a family, and writing up and sharing those recipes too.

She added that they’re very grateful to Irish educational publishers who made the online editions available for free as well as other companies who offer educational Apps and websites.

“They have made our job in remote teaching and learning so much easier. Please God we will all be back safely in the classrooms before long.”