ST. PETER’S NS: ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
The internet is a valuable teaching and learning tool. It provides information and allows people to communicate with others and share information. It can develop children’s independent research skills and promote lifelong learning. However, some material available on the internet is unsuitable for children and therefore these guidelines will be followed when using mobile devices and accessing the internet.
The aim of the policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school in a safe and effective manner. Internet access is considered a school resource and privilege. If the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is not adhered to, this privilege may be withdrawn. In certain cases, certain sanctions– as outlined below – will be imposed.
It is envisaged that the AUP will be revised on a regular basis, as deemed necessary by changing circumstances. Before providing permission for your child, this AUP should be read carefully.
St. Peter’s NS will employ a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities while at the same time, reduce risks associated with internet use.
These will include:
- Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.
- The Board of Management of St. Peter’s NS will support and encourage the staff of the school in undertaking continued professional development in the area of internet safety awareness.
- The Schools’ Broadband Programme (SBP), managed by the National Centre for Technology (NCTE), offers all Irish schools content filtered broadband. • The school will provide internet safety support for children and monitor individual pupil’s internet usage.
- The Board of Management will provide the staff, parents and/or children of the school with the opportunities to attend Internet Safety talks regularly. • The use of USB sticks and other external hardware in school requires a teacher’s permission.
- Pupils will observe good online etiquette.
- All parties, including the Board of Management, parents, teachers, staff and pupils, will be requested to adhere to the AUP of the school.
World Wide Web
- Pupils will use the internet for educational purposes only.
- Pupils will not visit internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable material.
- Pupils will never disclose or publicise personal information about themselves or others.
- Pupils will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.
- Pupils will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in accordance with school procedures.
- Downloading materials or images not relevant to pupils’ learning, is in direct breach of the school’s AUP.
- Pupils will be given the opportunity to have their work published by teachers on the school website.
- The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips focusing on mainly group activities.
- The school website will avoid publishing the last name of individuals in a photograph.
- Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will never be published on the school web pages.
- Pupils will have copyright of their own work which is published on the school website.
Misuse of the internet will result in disciplinary action, including verbal or written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
Personal Electronic Devices (including laptops, iPads, iPods, Kindles etc.) • The school acknowledges that some pupils may need to bring a personal device e.g. laptop, kindle with them to school to engage in work allocated by their teacher. However, we encourage children to bring these only when required or deemed necessary. Mobile phones are not allowed on school premises. • The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged personal devices in the pupil’s or school’s possession.
- Pupils may not take photographs or make recordings, video or audio with personal devices. Pupils using their own technology in school for purposes other than those suggested by the teacher are in direct breach of the school’s AUP. • Using personal devices in such a way can seriously infringe on pupils’ rights and appropriate sanctions may be imposed. Pupils found in contravention will have personal devices confiscated and their parent/guardian will have to collect it in person on their behalf.
- Allegations of incidents where pupils use personal devices to bully other pupils or send offensive messages or calls will be investigated under the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.
- It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a personal device to menace, harass or offend another person. As such, the school may consider it appropriate to involve the Gardaí.
- Photographs – camera and audio recording functions may only be used under the direction of the teacher.
- iPads must be handled with care at all times – protective/cases used at all times. • iPads remain the property of the school.
- Loss/damage to an iPad must be reported to the teacher as soon as possible. • Responsibility for the iPad is with the pupil and when not in use must be given to the teacher or locked in a secure place.
- The iPad should be monitored on a regular basis.
- Access to inappropriate material is prohibited.
- Screensaver – pupils are prohibited from installing a personal screensaver on school iPads or computers.
Filtering is a term used to describe a way of limiting the content of web pages, emails and other electronic data to which users may be exposed. The school will use the Internet provided and filtered by the NCTE. It is widely accepted that while essential, no filter is 100% effective. This policy stresses that the most effective filtering tool is adult vigilance. At St. Peter’s NS, we believe that the advantages to pupils having access to information resources and increased opportunities for collaboration far exceed any possible disadvantages.
The access to websites from all school computers is monitored and regularly reviewed by the NCTE. Access to websites is only allowed following a verification of their suitability.
Pupils taking steps to by-pass the content filter by using proxy sites or other means may be subject to disciplinary action, including written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges, detention and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.
When using the internet, students, parents / guardians and staff are expected to treat others with respect at all times.
Engaging in online activities with the intention to harm, harass, bully or embarrass a student or member of staff is unacceptable and absolutely prohibited and carries serious consequences and sanctions for those involved.
Measures are taken to ensure that staff and students are aware that bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons).
The prevention of cyberbullying is an integral part of the Anti-Bullying Policy.
Responsible Internet Use – Pupil/Parent/Guardian Undertaking We use Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the internet connection for learning. The following rules will help us to be fair to others and keep everyone safe. • Pupils will seek teacher’s permission before accessing any website.
- Pupils will not bring external storage devices such as USB drives into school without permission.
- Pupils will not use email for personal reasons.
- Pupils will not use internet chat rooms.
- If pupils see anything they are unhappy with, or if they receive a message they do not like, they will tell a teacher immediately.
- Pupils know that the school may monitor their computer use and the sites they visit. • Pupils understand that if they deliberately break these rules, they could be stopped from using the internet and computers and their parents/guardians will be informed. • The school expects all parents/guardians to engage in teaching their children about the responsible use of the internet.
- As a parent/guardian, if any issues/concerns arise regarding internet safety or misuse of the internet in school, I will report it to the Principal immediately.
Staff Acceptable Use
Members of staff are encouraged to use various resources in their teaching and learning activities, to conduct research, and for contact with others.
- Each member of staff has access to an email address as part of his/her work, protected by the use of a confidential password, which should be kept secure. ● The use of email for personal use is acceptable outside of teaching hours. ● When using the internet, all users must comply with all copyright, libel, fraud, discrimination and obscenity laws.
- All users are expected to communicate in a professional manner. ● A serious breach of guidelines may be treated as a disciplinary matter. ● No person will in any way alter the filtering preferences.
Online Teaching Platforms:
Teachers may use online teaching platforms (e.g. Seesaw) primarily as a place for pupils to share their work, ask for guidance, encourage individual reflection and provide feedback.
Please note the following:
- Online teaching platforms can store pupil work in an e-portfolio. ● Access to online teaching platforms require parental consent. ● Pupil accounts are protected by a password known by the individual child, parent/guardian and teacher.
- With consent from parents/guardians, online teaching platforms can be used at home and monitored by the teacher.
- Work submitted to online teaching platforms will be reviewed and approved by teachers before it enters the student’s folio.
- Submissions of work by students is at the request of teachers. ● Teachers have control over what is submitted to portfolios, what is sent back to be worked on again and what needs to be deleted.
Online Communication Platforms:
The Zoom Guidelines for St. Peter’s NS are below
Zoom is an online tool or application that allows video and audio communication to groups and/or individuals. This guide is designed to help Zoom meetings go smoothly for all and help everyone stay cybersafe.
Guidelines for Parents/Guardians
- Download and install “Zoom Client for Meetings” from https://zoom.us/download if you intend to use Zoom on a PC or laptop. ● If you intend to use Zoom on a smartphone or tablet you can download the “Zoom Cloud Meetings” app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. ● Zoom meetings will be pre-organised by the school with a given date and time.
- The teacher will be the ‘host’ of such a meeting.
- To ensure that only a member of the class can join the meeting, your child’s teacher will be sending a Meeting ID and password to parents/guardians. The Waiting Room feature will be used which means the teacher has to ‘admit’ each child into the meeting. The message will normally be sent to parents/guardians on Aladdin and Seesaw with the work for the week
- The login details cannot be shared with anyone other than the participants the class teacher has invited.
- Please try to set up for the meeting in a space where there will be minimal disruptions.
- Please ensure that your device is charged or plugged in before entering a Zoom meeting.
- Please ensure your computer username is appropriate as it will appear on the screen.
- All members of the meeting should be appropriately dressed for the meeting. ● All members will be muted on being admitted to the call.
- The volume will need to be up on the device you are using and the video activated in Zoom.
- The recording of such meetings will not be permitted.
- Photographs of meetings will not be permitted.
- The sharing of content in relation to such meetings (e.g. on social media) will not be permitted.
- The video conference room is a virtual classroom space and the same school behaviour and codes of conduct apply to this environment.
- The teacher may end the meeting at any time if he/she thinks it is necessary.
Board of Management and Staff Meetings
In exceptional circumstances, school BoM and staff meetings may need to be conducted via video link (Zoom). In this instance all attendees will agree to Zoom
protocols (e.g. the attendees will need to verify that they are the only persons present for the duration of the video meeting, upholding strictest confidentiality during the meeting).
Traditional phone calls by the Principal, Teacher and S.N.A. will also be utilised. All private numbers will be blocked on phone settings. This will enable ‘number withheld’.
Signed: Fr. Barry O’Flynn Duncan Mc Carthy (Chairperson) (Principal)
APPENDIX 1: Pupil and Parent/Guardian Permission
Please review the school Acceptable Use Policy available on the school website. Please return permission via Aladdin to the school.
I agree to follow the school’s Acceptable Use Policy. I will use the devices and the internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to me by the school.
As parent/guardian, I have read, understand and agree to the conditions discussed in the Acceptable Use Policy.
APPENDIX 2: Advice for Parents on ICT in the Home
During school hours, teachers will guide pupils toward appropriate materials on the internet. Outside school, parents or guardians should bear the same responsibility for such guidance as they normally would with other information sources, such as television, magazines etc.
Parents or guardians should be aware that the internet service provider at home may not be filtered.
It is therefore important that these guidelines are followed:
- Discuss rules for using the internet with your children and decide together when, how long and what comprises appropriate use.
- Be aware of the sites your children are visiting and discuss with them what they are learning.
- Ensure that children do not give out personal identifying information on the internet such as a picture, address, phone number, financial information such as credit card or bank details.
- Encourage your children not to respond to any unwelcome, unpleasant or abusive messages and to inform you if they receive any such messages or images.
- Appropriate home use of the internet can be educationally beneficial and can make a useful contribution to home and school work. It should, however, be supervised and parents/guardians should be aware that they are responsible for their children’s use of the internet resources at home.