St. Catherine's college, Armagh, has a shared vision on the Use of Technology between all leaders, staff, pupils and parents and is designed to ensure that all students leave St. Catherine's College as creators and contributors to 21st century society - not just consumers. They will leave as digitally literate, numerate, employable problem-solvers and creators with an entrepreneurial spirit who can contribute to society and the economy.
Teachers within and across departments learn from one another and share their innovative practices in the interests of all learners. All 85 teaching staff are continuously up-skilling in the use of Digital technologies and e-learning in order to enhance the learning and teaching experiences of our students.
Every teacher has a tablet device to assist in the delivery of learning; every classroom has a PC and has been equipped to enabling screen-sharing from a mobile device.
We have an iMac room as well as six computer suites for student access. Students also have access to school iPad devices to help with the completion of digital tasks.
Student digi-skills are continually developed throughout each curriculum area with learning and teaching best practice shared across all staff.
Digital safety forms an integral part of our KS3 digi-skills curriculum as well as in all Year group assemblies throughout the academic year as part of the Safer Internet campaign. All students are guided on how to ‘THINK SMART’ when online making sure they are responsible digital citizens.
With 80% of our students owning a smartphone, we have also created our own Bring Your Own Device to school policy where learners are actively encouraged to use technology they already possess for educational purposes.
Despite being an all-ability school located in the heart of a Neighbourhood renewal area, St. Catherine’s College ensures there is no digital divide as all students can access mobile devices and PC’s at break times, lunch-times and after school every day of the week.
All staff have access to and make very effective use of our online classroom platform – Google Classroom. This platform has revolutionised our learning and teaching practises and pedagogy as it offers a more flexible approach to differentiation and personalisation of learning; as well as enabling a ‘flipped classroom’ approach where students can think forward and access learning materials before entering a classroom.
It enables the creation of a 24hr classroom where learning can take place at a time that suits the learner and the teacher; questions, reminders, assessments, tips, advice and materials can be communicated at any time of the day (or night) thus reducing and removing barriers to learning for all of our students.
Teachers and students use free-form creation tools to create resources and ideas; capture learning experiences and construct personal forms of representation. These materials and resources created in or outside of the classroom can then be learned, shared and collected for revision preparation or task completion via our online classroom: Google classroom which is accessible on both PC and mobile devices.
All students have access to a range of apps and software that allows them to capture and collect information and experiences; communicate and collaborate with fellow students and staff; consume and critique a variety of texts and media, and construct and create personal forms of representation and expression. Padlet, Adobe Spark Page, Adobe spark video, iMovie, Garageband, Comic Life and Google Apps for Education are just some examples of the many that students use to facilitate and convey their learning experiences.
Apps like Google Docs and Slides allow students to collaborate meaningfully when completing group tasks while Padlet walls facilitate peer-to-peer sharing of work, ideas and resources. Pic collage, iMovie, Comic Life, Adobe Spark Page and Adobe Spark Video allow students to create 21st century media texts that incorporate both moving and still images as well as sounds and text. Podcasts and Garageband are used by our languages departments to capture language learning experiences and assist students in the preparation for oral examinations.
SIMS Parent App
St. Catherine’s College has successfully introduced the SIMS Parent app to allow parents to digitally track their child’s attendance, timetable and reports online.
Parents are also able to use to St. Catherine’s college school app to pay for all school related costs using their credit/debit card.
All staff make effective Use of Technology to manage meetings, present assemblies, share resources and materials and communicate and collaborate together. Departments have been and are continuously redesigning their KS3 curriculum diagrams to develop the necessary digi-skills of a 21st Century learner thus allowing our students to contribute to future society. These skills are mapped, monitored and evaluated for impact on pupil outcomes.
Our Mobile Iron Mobile Device Management system (MDM) helps us to manage both staff and student devices by allowing us to ‘push’ the appropriate learning and teaching apps to devices; locate devices and helps with the digital safeguarding of our students.
We use a biometric register system to register the attendance of our sixth-form students while a biometric credit system is used for cashless payments to our school canteen.
When you join the St. Catherine’s College community and download our school app, you will get up-to-date digital safeguarding information and advice, as well as clear instructions on how to set up email on your mobile devices, connect to school wifi and access Office software at home for free.
Established in 2015, the ICT Excellence Awards celebrate the innovative use of technology in schools across Northern Ireland and the positive impact this has on students’ learning outcomes and teachers.
In 2018, St. Catherine’s college was awarded the prestigious ‘Transforming Teaching & Learning through Technology’ award by CAPITA Managed IT solutions.
CAPITA Awards Video
Also, in 2018 our Year 8 Colaiste Chaitriona class won first prize in the EA’s ‘Be Safe’ internet safety competition.