LIFT Roundtables – Online Experience
Being in the middle of a global pandemic which seems to be affecting every aspect of our “normal” society can be a bit overwhelming. Especially for our students in NCC. Their routine of school, their relationships, their interactions and their learning have literally been turned upside down. The transition onto the online remote learning was a new experience for all but I feel we have tried our best over this difficult time. Both teachers and students have been pushed beyond their comfort zone in order to keep up with our Teaching and Learning experiences.
Over the period of 2 weeks, Myself and 4 students participated in a series of reflective sessions with leadership themes at the centre. The organisation that delivered the online sessions is called LIFT which stands for “Leading Ireland’s Future Together”. This group is a nationwide initiative to help the people of Ireland reflect on some key themes of leadership through a reflective model for the benefit of the person who is completing them but also for the organisations and communities that we find ourselves in. We completed the course through their specially catered educational program over the course of 2 weeks after Easter.
Val O’Gorman, LIFT’s education facilitator ran the program with us, and we covered 4 themes – Listening, Positive attitude, Innovation and adaptability and Empathy and understanding. All four of the themes were very different but highlighted the leadership focus on each of them in the context of our own lives. The process allowed us to evaluate our own individual emotional intelligence in direct connection to the specific themes. This allowed the students to immerse themselves in a reflective experience so they could evaluate themselves on how effective they were in relation to the themes on personal level but also in relation through the leadership lens.
The model that LIFT uses allows all members of the group sessions to interact with the content both in a comfortable group situation but also on a deep thoughtful analysis of oneself. These sessions were carried out through video conference calls via Zoom and it followed the same steps that we had experienced in our facilitator training for the program back in January. Our aim is to be able to roll out this program ourselves with our senior students running the program with our younger cohort of students. I find this helps my own positive mindset on a personal and professional level with my interactions with others and my ability to carry out my own leadership roles in my own life. The LIFT program really highlights the importance of being able to build strong relationships with others in order to succeed and work effectively with others in a team situation. Effective relationships are at the core of education and as a teacher you need to recognise and engage in specific emotions and perspectives in order to walk alongside your students.
It was a pleasure to carry out these roundtable sessions with 4 of my students as an equal and to participate alongside them. Leadership isn’t just about older and most senior individuals running the show. This was the perfect opportunity to showcase the strength of our inspirational younger generations and allow them to develop their own sense of leadership for their own personal development both in the present but also in the future. I was impressed by their dedication and attentive engagement with the sessions and I look forward to seeing how they use these new themes and lessons in their own unique pathway in the years ahead. Pleasure to have joined them in the roundtables. LIFT offer these reflective roundtables to anyone in the public and it’s not just for the educational field. Further information can be found on https://liftireland.ie/. Their 10 year plan hopes to try and get 10% of the country involved. If you’re interested, why not join in on a session and see where it takes you.
Please find below statements from our 4 students who participated in the online sessions. Ellie, Leanne and Mutiat and Lucy are all senior students who volunteered themselves based on their interest of the program:
My LiFT Experience
“I really enjoyed participating in the Lift round tables. Out of the themes that were selected (resilience, Listening, empathy and understanding, innovation and adaptability, and positive attitude), my favourite was positive attitude. The round tables allowed me to not only work on my strengths, but to also work on my weaknesses and made me reflect on how I can be a better leader. I would strongly encourage anyone to take part, whether you are a student, teacher...regardless your age. It just takes 45 minutes of your time. I’m so honoured and glad to have been part of this great experience”
Mutiat Adebayo (5th Year)
“Over the last few weeks I have taken part in the online LIFT round table with Ms Piare and some other students from my school. I loved every moment of this experience. It was a really great way to take my mind off the current pandemic and reflect on myself. These round tables are such a safe space to talk and are so enjoyable. We also had a good laugh about planning a LIFT weekend in Kerry and the A team. Thank you to LIFT Ireland and Ms Piare for planning for organising this round table”
Lucy Byrne ( Transition Year )
I found the 2 week LIFT round table really helpful and refreshing. Not only was it well run, even through Zoom calls, but it was a great way of reflecting on my own experiences, especially during these unpredicted times. I definitely learnt a lot about how to handle difficult situations, be more empathetic and understanding and I find that everyday I am using skills that I learned from the video calls. The one thing that I think I’ve been using the most is “Listen to understand, not to respond”. This has definitely aided me in becoming a better Listener.
Leanne Gavin ( 5th Year)
“I completed a Lift Leadership roundtable during quarantine. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I learned a lot. The program lasted 4 days in total and each day we covered a different topic. These topics consisted of listening, positive attitude, empathy and understanding and finally respect. Personally, I enjoyed empathy and understanding module the most as it taught me a lot about interactions with others. I learned what my strengths and weaknesses were and how to improve in general. I was surprised to find that I was very weak in somethings that I would of assumed I was strong in. I found that the timing was perfect as it served as a break from the hectic environment we are all currently in. It was also very nice to get to talk to others at the same time. It wasn’t very time consuming (only 1 hour per roundtable), we did 4 roundtables in the space of 3 weeks. I always looked forward towards the next roundtable as it was a nice break and I learned lots. I really enjoyed my experience and would recommend to everyone to complete some lift roundtables.”
Ellie Murphy (5th Year)
Huge congratulations to Ms. Carty’s TY English class Elm4 for winning 1st place in the school newspaper category of the Press Pass competition! Well done to all students involved and their teacher for all of their hard work! http://presspass.ie/winners/winners-2019-2020/
Thanks to Ms. Lanigan for putting this video together for the TY end of year assembly today. Lot of great memories were made this year!
STATE EXAMINATIONS COMMISSION
Impact of School Closures on Examination Activities
As a result of the current closure of all schools in the State, the impact on the state examination activities scheduled at this time and in the near future has been considered by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills.
Consequently, the SEC is confirming;
•The cancellation of the oral and practical performance tests of the Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle examinations, which had been scheduled to take place from next Monday 23rd March to Friday 3rd April, and to award full marks to candidates due to take these tests;
•That schools and candidates are allowed flexibility in relation to the completion of other project work and coursework across a number of subjects which are currently scheduled to be completed in the period 20th March to 24th April. Students will now be allowed to complete this work up to 15th May, which will allow candidates time to complete this work.; and
•That the SEC, in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills, will continue to monitor the evolving situation very closely and will act in accordance with Government and public health advice
These decisions have been taken on foot of a recommendation from the SEC, working in close collaboration with the Department of Education and Skills, acting in the best interests of students in the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. The intention is to alleviate student concerns about the demands they may be facing into in the coming weeks.
The oral and practical performance tests will not be rearranged and full marks will be awarded to candidates for these components. The tests which have cancelled were due to have been held from Monday 23rd March and to run until Friday 3rd April. The tests comprise the Leaving Certificate oral tests in Irish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese; practical performance tests in Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Music; and a practical performance test in Junior Cycle Home Economics. Awarding full marks for these cancelled components guarantees that candidates cannot be awarded a lower mark than they would have achieved in the test. The SEC considers that this is the fairest approach in the circumstances. In making these arrangements the SEC is stipulating that candidates will take their final examinations in these subjects at the level they indicated when confirming their subject choices to the SEC earlier this year, other than continuing to allow Leaving Certificate candidates to drop down from Higher to Ordinary Level on the day of the final examination.
In making these recommendations the SEC has been acutely conscious that the period from now until June is an exceptionally busy period for candidates preparing for their certificate examinations especially those getting ready for the high stakes Leaving Certificate. During this period of unexpected absence from school, candidates are bound to have concerns about the demands of examination activity when they return to school particularly as they will wish to refocus their efforts on their preparations for the written examinations commencing on the 3rd June. Student welfare is of utmost concern at this time and the SEC wishes to provide reassurance to students and their parents and to provide clarity about what they need to focus on during their absence from school.
At Leaving Certificate, students are working towards the completion of project work and coursework in various subjects with completion dates between 20th March and 24th April. At Junior Cycle, students may be completing assessment tasks and project work. In recognition of the current loss of class time during which much of the project work is undertaken, schools and candidates are now being allowed flexibility to complete this work up to 15th May, which will allow candidates time to complete this work.
The SEC and the Department of Education and Skills are continuing to monitor very closely the evolving situation regarding upcoming examination activities.
Candidates should continue to prepare for the practical examinations scheduled for the end of April and early May and the final examinations scheduled for May and June. In the period Monday 27th April to Friday 8th May, the timetable includes practical examinations in Leaving Certificate Art Life Sketching, Engineering, Construction Studies, and Junior Cycle Metalwork. There are also final examinations during May which will see these subjects being completed in their entirety before June (LCVP Link Modules on Wednesday 6th; Leaving Certificate Applied ICT on Wednesday 13th; and Leaving Certificate Computer Science on Wednesday 27th May). The written examinations are due to commence on Wednesday 3rd June.
Delivering the state examinations each year requires a partnership approach between the SEC, teachers, school principals and the education partners. The SEC will continue to engage collaboratively with the education stakeholders and the Department of Education and Skills in the weeks ahead. The SEC will continue to act in accordance with advice from Government and public health authorities in relation to this rapidly evolving public health emergency.
Notes for Editors
The timetables for the final written examinations and the schedules for other examinations and assessment activities (project work; coursework; practical tests, etc.,) ae available herehttps://www.examinations.ie/?l=en&mc=ex&sc=tt
All Media enquiries to:
Eela Carr Deirdre Dalton
Press Officer Deputy Press Officer
Phone 090 6442770 or 087 2830355 Phone 090 6442851 or 087 180 4466
RE: SHADOW TIMETABLE DURING SCHOOL CLOSURE
Dear Parents, Students and Colleagues,
You will find underneath the Shadow Timetable for each school year group. This timetable will be in operation until the end of the school closures on the 29th March 2020. It is subject to change and refinement, so please monitor the website for any updates over the coming days.
The medium for delivery is Schoology. Teachers will post work for each class group at the designated times and be available for questions and clarifications during the scheduled time slot. I suggest that the discussion blogs element of Schoology would be very useful in this regard. Class groups who have their classes spread over the week can be organised to have a structure where a topic is introduced; then work given and submitted; then feedback delivered.
This method of delivery should be adequate for the three days of tuition this week. Next week it is planned to add to this by having a video conferencing solution in place for some classes. This should allow teachers to deliver classes over video link in real time with the whole class having access to the lesson. More detail will be provided of that in the coming days.
Additional teaching and study resources are available at the following link: www.scoilnet.ie
Teachers might be interested in accessing resources for distance learning at the following link: https://www.pdst.ie/distancelearning
Each timetable has a section labelled Social Task and another labelled Discovery Task. The Social Task is meant to be overseen by parents/guardians. This task is where the student does something useful during this unusual time. Obviously, being mindful of the community distancing protocols, that is likely to be confined to the home. Perhaps this could include such things as making a phone call to an elderly relative; cleaning up around the house; helping a sibling with work; tidying the bedroom. I’m sure there is a long list of ways a young person could make themselves useful over these two weeks! Please note in the school journal what your child has done in this regard
The second section, labelled Discovery Task, will be overseen by the school. This section is meant to be for discovery based learning. In these unusual circumstances, we are going to find ourselves at home a lot more than might otherwise be the case. Why not use that time to achieve the things that we would like to achieve but never find the time for? This could be things like learn a song on a musical instrument; master a recipe; read that book you always meant to start; even learn that Tik Tok dance.
Again, the list for this section is probably endless and you are free to prioritise what you and your child prefer to do. One staff member will be overseeing this section and will be in touch shortly.
The school is contactable by email in the first instance at firstname.lastname@example.org and also by phone. We will have a skeleton staff in place during office hours. If your call is not immediately answered, please try again a few moments later. However the fastest and most efficient means of contacting us will be by email. If your child has any difficulty in accessing information, please contact us for assistance.
We hope that this closure will be limited, but please rest assured we will deal with any eventuality that presents itself over the coming weeks. There will of course be challenges; there will be cabin fever; and exam students will have to be prioritised, but we will be doing our best to ensure that the impact of these unprecedented times on our students’ education is as minimal as possible.
I think the seanfhocal “Ní neart go cur le chéile” is certainly appropriate at this time.
On behalf of the whole school, please look after yourself, wash the hands, use the tissues, keep the distance, concentrate on the reliable sources, monitor this website for updates and hopefully, enjoy the time together.
Today our school participated in Cycle Against Suicide’s #SchoolsGoOrange to support positive mental health.
The statistics on suicide are devastating. Worldwide it is the second leading cause of death in 15 - 29-year-olds. Ireland has the fourth highest suicide rate in the 15-19 age group across 31 European countries. Secondary schools across Ireland are joining with the national charity, Cycle Against Suicide on their awareness day #SchoolsGoOrange to reverse this trend and offer hope to students who maybe battling mental health issues.
Naas Community College is delighted to support #SchoolsGoOrange and Cycle Against Suicide school’s programme. This programme sets out to create a caring, respectful and safe learning environment that supports mental health in schools building hope and resilience and fostering a sense of belonging among students in our school. It is so important for all schools to take a proactive approach to mental health as research highlights that one in three young people in Ireland will experience some form of mental health issue in any given year. Furthermore evidence shows that early intervention is critical if treatment is to have the most positive outcomes for the future life chances of those affected.