Supporting Staff

 

Covid-19: SUPPORTING STAFF AND CAPACITY BUILDING  

Consider how leadership can effectively support staff during the current period

 

  • Ensure communication includes all members of staff and staff are clear on the expectations of them and the requirements during this period

  • Consider your approach to the wellbeing of staff in managing both communication structures and the continuity of learning

  • Consider the benefits of a regular check in with staff to ensure you understand the context and capacity of each member of staff

  • Routine is a key consideration here is there a clear scheduled line of communication and updates to staff bringing them up to speed on developments.

  • Is there an awareness of the  staff’s capacity to engage with continuity of learning and communication?

 

Consider the decision making structures within the school community 

 

  • Do you have a way of communicating with your Deputy Principal and post holders to consider key decisions and key communication?

  • Do you have a way of communicating with your Board of Management to consider key decisions and key communications?

  • Consider the benefits of building capacity for the Deputy Principal to be able to deputise for the School Principal during the current period. What will they need to know? 

  • List key information that the Deputy Principal needs to deputise effectively during this period.

  • Is the structure being developed to deal with the emergency clearly outlined and understood

  • Can Personnel step into roles in the event of team members being unavailable

 

Consider the building capacity of staff to support the continuity of learning

  • Is there a structure in place to develop staff capacity in the use of some of the new distance learning technologies.

  • Have staff access to support if they are having an issue with some element of the practise

 

To facilitate effective approaches to supporting learning in a remote environment, schools are advised to also develop and adopt a model for learning that will support continuity of education regardless of school closure or inability of a class group or pupil/student to attend school. Relevant guidance developed by the Department will be available to support schools with their adopted approach for remote learning. Schools should incorporate planning for remote learning into their Digital Planning to build capacity for delivery of teaching and learning which will also facilitate provision in the context of remote learning if required. A new reflective tool for schools, developed by PDST, for contingency planning is available here. There is also comprehensive guidance available to schools within the PDST Blended Learning Toolkit at www.pdst.ie/blendedlearning to support them in developing an appropriate approach to teaching, learning and assessment online 

                                                                                                                                                       (CL 0074/2020)

Identify CPD needs for teachers including:

Raising awareness about where to access professional development (internally and externally)

Implement a professional development plan for teachers to support the chosen model for remote learning

Support pupils/students in understanding and learning how to use the adopted platform

 

  • Identify the types of resources or supports needed that are not currently in the school

  • Examine elements of the curriculum which require teacher led interaction and those which are more suited to consolidation in the remote learning environment ensuring that planning includes a clear outline on how technology will be used if remote learning is required

  •  Identify supports that pupils/students need

  •  Engage with support services for advice on online learning and communication platforms

  • Determine if existing online learning platforms, in use in the school, can be expanded for further functionality

  • Establish a peer-support group of teachers and of pupils/students in the school to support skills development for the adopted platform

  • Ensure ongoing communication with staff, pupils/students and parents on updates and changes to  features and functionality of the adopted platform as contingency measures are developed.

 

Key considerations should also include the following:

  • School leadership to ensure a whole-school approach in developing a culture and climate for continuous improvement.  

  • Teaching and Learning approach underpinned by teacher flexibility and the readiness of the teachers to adapt to whatever model is put in place by the school including use of relevant technology in lesson preparation and delivery

  • Access to technology in the school and home is key to engagement with remote learning where the approach adopted includes digital technology and resources: 

    • Consultation and ongoing communication with parents and pupils/students on access to and skills to use technology will inform the approach that best suits the school community. 

    • Specific strategies/supports for disadvantaged pupils/students, pupils/students with SEN and pupils/students at risk of disengagement. Guidance available at https://www.education.ie/en/SchoolsColleges/Information/continuity-of-schooling/continuity-ofschooling.htm

    • Supporting parents to assist their engagement to facilitate the pupils/students’ work at home

  • Professional Development Support for school leaders, in promoting new approaches to teaching and learning; for teachers to develop skills to effectively use digital technologies in their pedagogy; for pupils/students in using platforms adopted to ensure ongoing engagement with education. Customised support, including contingency planning for digital technologies, leadership, health and wellbeing, is available from the PDST by application at https://www.pdst.ie/schoolsupport  
  • Poor Broadband/Access to Devices must be considered in determining how to support all learners in the school with consideration of the most appropriate approach where pupils/students do not have access to broadband and/or devices. During the Covid-19 closures some schools have supported pupils/students with loans of devices and/or preparation of tasks, including assessment tasks that do not require technology which can be worked on in the home and submitted during in-school time                                                                                                                                                 (CL0074/2020)

  • For students with additional needs you can access resources from the NCSE website   here and here 

RESOURCE BANK

Click on the images and links below to find out more about the various platforms and their online features that can be used to help build capacity among staff. 

When you’re busy, it can be hard to find the time to take proper care of yourself. 

Implement simple self-care habits every day by regularly including in your life a little bit of love and attention for your own body, mind, and soul. 

How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students

Explore online teaching with this practical course for educators designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to Teach Remotely

Everything you need to know to teach your students remotely. 

On this page you will find a selection of video tutorials from the PDST Digital Technologies team showing a range of online tools which can be used to support teaching, learning and assessment.  These tools have been selected as they can also support distance learning.