Springdale National School ICT Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure that pupils will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school’s AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – as outlined in the AUP – will be imposed.
The Board of Management will review the AUP regularly. Before signing, the AUP should be read carefully to ensure that the conditions of use are accepted and understood.
Our School’s Strategy
The Internet and digital media can help our pupils learn, create and communicate in ways that we would never have imagined in our youth. The online world is very much part of their lives, they are “growing up digitally” with technology embedded in every aspect of their lives. Digital literacy skills are key life skills for children and young people today. They need to be media savvy and know how to effectively search for and evaluate online content; know how to protect personal information and reputation; know to respect copyright and intellectual property and know where to get help if problems arise. The Internet is a valuable teaching and learning tool. It can develop children’s independent research skills and promote lifelong learning. The school employs a number of strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet. The school’s policy is to look for opportunities across the curriculum to reinforce online safety messages.
- Internet use by children in school will always be supervised by a teacher.
- Filtering software such as the Schools Broadband Programme will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
- The Irish Schools Broadband Programme provides an integrated set of services to schools which includes broadband connectivity and services including content filtering, webhosting, and security services. These services are managed by the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) working closely with the Department of Education and Science and are coordinated and supported by the NCTE Service Desk which is the single point of contact for schools for all broadband related issues, providing information, advice and support to schools.
- The school will regularly monitor pupils’ Internet usage.
- Students and teachers will be provided with training and information in the area of Internet safety. (e.g. www.webwise.ie)
- Uploading and downloading of non-approved software will not be permitted.
- Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.
- The use of memory sticks or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission.
- Children are expected to respect computers, hardware, and software and not to intentionally waste limited resources in school such as paper or ink.
- Students will observe good “netiquette” (etiquette in the internet) at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
Use of the Internet
- Students will use the Internet in school for educational purposes only.
- In the event of a child accidentally accessing inappropriate material or images during a lesson, the student will immediately minimize the page and report the incident to the class teacher without attracting the attention of other students. The teacher should report the incident to the Principal.
- A list of appropriate websites will be made available to every teacher. Also a list of educational websites will be saved in the favourites folder on the school computers.
- Students will not intentionally visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
- Pupils will be familiar with copyright issues relating to online learning.
- Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
- Downloading materials or images not relevant to their studies, is a direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
- Students 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.
- Students should never leave their iPad unattended when in use
- Students should follow teacher’s instructions accessing only the applications to which the teacher has agreed.
- Students require permission before sending any form of electronic message.
- Audio or visual taken at school cannot be transmitted, broadcast or transferred without the teacher’s permission.
- The camera and audio recording functions may only be used under the teachers’ direction.
- Identity theft (Pretending to be someone else) is a direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
- In the event of a child accidently accessing inappropriate material or images during a lesson, the student will immediately minimize the page and report the incident to the class teacher without attracting the attention of other students.
- iPads must be handled with care at all times (See Student Pledge of iPad Use).
- Any damage to the device must be reported immediately to the teacher.
- Students may use approved email accounts under supervision by or with permission from the class teacher.
- Students will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
- Children are not allowed to access their own email accounts in school.
- Students will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.
- Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the Internet.
- Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.
- Students will only have access to chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic communication forums that have been approved by the school.
Information is available on the Internet on the following legislation relating to use of the Internet which teachers, students and parents should familiarise themselves with:
- Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
- Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998
- Interception Act 1993
- Video Recordings Act 1989
- The Data Protection Act 1988
- Pupils will be given the opportunity to publish work on the school website.
- Digital photographs of individual pupils will not be published on the school website without parental consent. Photographs will generally focus on groups rather than individuals.
- Pupils’ personal information (name, address etc) will be omitted from the school web pages.
- Pupils will continue to own copyright on any work published. The website will be checked regularly to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of pupils or staff.
- Pupils using their own technology in school, such as leaving a mobile phone turned on or using it in class, sending nuisance text messages or the unauthorized taking of images with a mobile phone camera, still or moving is a direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.
- All personal devices are to be turned off during school hours and given to the class teacher.
- In circumstances where teaching cannot be conducted on the school premises, teachers will use Aladdin Connect, GSuite for Education (including Google Classroom), SeeSaw, Studyladder, Sumdog, classblogs on org and the school website as the main platforms to facilitate remote/distance learning. Other approved online apps to engage and communicate through audio and video means will include but are not limited to Zoom, YouTube and Padlet.
- The school has signed up to the terms of service of the Online Platforms in use by the school.
- The School has enabled the most up to date security and privacy features which these Online Platforms provide.
- Teacher/Pupil communication will mostly be via the parents email address in order to facilitate parental supervision. However, if older students communicate via personal email addresses, the teacher will respond by carbon copying (cc) their parents.
- Parents/guardians will be provided with all account and password information. The role of the parent/guardian is to monitor the safe and appropriate use of technology and internet.
- Where necessary the school may need to create an online classroom such as Google Classroom. In order to interact with such a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) the students will be issued with a Google Education account (eg. email@example.com) The restrictions on this account will limit the student’s activity to G Suite for Education and will not facilitate email communication or access to other apps as determined by the school. Parents would be provided with the password for access, parents would be responsible for the students online activity using this account.
- If teachers are using a platform such as Zoom which provides a synchronous video opportunity whereby a staff member directly speaks to the children live – e.g. through a webinar or online meeting the following protocols will be followed:
- The staff member will invite pupils and/or their families via parents’ email addresses to these meetings using a code
- All meetings will be password protected
- Under no circumstances are meetings to be recorded (includes taking screenshots). Recording of an online meeting will be considered a gross misbehaviour and sanctions will be imposed in line with our school’s Code of Behaviour
- All people involved in the meeting will conduct themselves in a similar manner that would be expected in a regular class (See our school’s Code of Behaviour)
- When signing permission letters for use of such platforms parents/ guardians must also agree to monitor their child’s participation.
- The staff member has the right to end the meeting for any person being disruptive during a synchronous session.
- Staff will not meet any child alone using an online meeting. If there is a need for a meeting between a child and a staff member, another staff member must be present at the meeting.
- The chat feature will be disabled during online meetings and only the host (ie the teacher) will be able to share an image on the screen.
- Any interaction from a pupil that could be deemed as inappropriate may result in the child’s removal from the lesson or, where appropriate, a referral to Child Protection services (See our school’s Code of Behaviour).
- Cameras must be on during lessons. Children who do not have their cameras on will be removed from lessons.
- Discussion, such as “Chat” on online platforms will only be used for educational purposes and will always be guided by a teacher and supervised by a parent/guardian.
- Students will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails or the Internet and this is forbidden. An opportunity presents here for teaching web safety skills.
The Internet is available for staff personal and professional use. Personal use of the Internet should not occur during class time.
- The school will inform students and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.
- From time to time parents will receive information and advice regarding Internet safety in the home.
- Some material available on the Internet is unsuitable for children and therefore the guidelines in this policy must be adhered to at all times. Access to the Internet will be withdrawn from pupils who fail to maintain acceptable standards of use. Internet access in school includes a strict filtering service yet no filtering service is completely fool proof.
- Procedures are in place should a child accidentally access inappropriate material and also should a child deliberately abuse the use of the Internet in school.
- Intentional misuse of the Internet will result in disciplinary action including 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.
The AUP Policy for Springdale National School was reviewed by the Board of Management in February 2021 and ratified virtually.
Student Pledge for iPad Use
- I will take good care of my iPad.
- I will never leave the iPad unattended.
- I will never lend my iPad to others.
- I will know where my iPad is at all times.
- I will keep food and drinks away from my iPad since they may cause damage to the device.
- I will not disassemble any part of my iPad or attempt any repairs.
- I will use my iPad in ways that are appropriate.
- I will only photograph people with their permission.
- I will only use the camera or the microphone when my teacher tells me to.
- I will only use my iPad as instructed by the teacher and use the right app at the right time.
- I will never use another person’s iPad to cause offence or damage or upset.
- I will never share any images or movies of people in a public space on the Internet, unless I am asked to do so by my Teacher.
I agree to abide by the statements of this iPad acceptable use policy.
Acceptable Use Policy
I agree to follow the school’s Acceptable Use Policy on the use of the Internet. I will use the Internet in a responsible way and obey all the rules explained to me by the school.
Student’s Signature: __________________________
Parent/Guardian : __________________________
As the parent or legal guardian of the above student, I have read the Acceptable Use Policy on the school website and grant permission for my son or daughter or the child in my care to access the Internet. I understand that Internet access is intended for educational purposes. I also understand that every reasonable precaution has been taken by the school to provide for online safety but the school cannot be held responsible if students access unsuitable websites.
Please review our Acceptable Use Policy available on www.springdale.ie and sign and return this permission form to your child’s class teacher.