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Education continues for local pupils

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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.”

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Develop skills and improve employability

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment. Developed in partnership with industry representatives […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment.

Developed in partnership with industry representatives and employers, these programmes combine learning in the classroom with a minimum of 30 percent of learning on-the-job. The focus is on ‘learning on the go’ and developing perspectives that are in tune with the ever evolving world of work. They span across a range of industry sectors including business and retail, media, manufacturing, agriculture, horticulture and mariculture, care, construction, engineering, animal science, fashion and beauty, finance, ICT, hospitality, sports and leisure, and logistics.

At the core of the scheme is a strong collaboration with the ETBs in the provision of work-based learning opportunities on existing and new programmes. Traineeships lead to an award at Levels 4-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are between six to 24 months in duration. Over 75 programmes are available nationwide – although not all of them will be available nationally at all times – and the content, award and duration may vary. They are designed for flexible delivery to include online, face-to-face and blended learning.

NEXT STEP

Second level or higher education students who are interested in participating in a Traineeship Programme should contact their local ETB, adult learners should contact the Adult Education Guidance Service through their local ETB, and jobseekers will be able to access information through their local Intreo Office or Local Employment Service. For those currently unemployed, a training allowance or income support may be available. You can check out the range of opportunities offered through Traineeships nationwide on www.fetchcourses.ie and more locally check out the www.kerrycollege.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses

Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]

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Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.

Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.

The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Most of the courses are part-time and last for one year or less, but there are some full-time courses.
You can access a free Springboard+ course, if you are getting a qualifying social welfare payment such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). You can get a full list of qualifying payments for Springboard+ on citizensinformation.ie

If you are not getting a qualifying social welfare payment, you will have to meet the residency criteria for Springboard+.

You can also apply for a Springboard+ course if:

* You are a qualified adult of working age (under 66) on someone else’s social welfare payment
* You are signing for social insurance credits
* You are on an employment support scheme such as Community Employment (CE) or TUS

To apply for a Springboard+ course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on springboardcourses.ie and apply online, following the instructions on the website. You can apply for up to 10 courses, but you can only take one course.

If you are getting a social welfare payment, you should notify your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office and check what further steps (if any) you need to take.
If Springboard+ doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other ways to go back to education.
_______________________________________________________________________

During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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