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Students at home should build a daily routine

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Pat Gregory

Pat Gregory

Pat Gregory

Pat Gregory, the principal of Presentation College in Bray has said that it is important that students maintain a routine while schools are closed.

He said that from the point of view of that particular school, the students are liaising with teachers via Google Classroom.

'Each school will have its own system,' he said.

The students were told last week to start bringing books home. The announcement came on Thursday that every school in the country would close until March 29. 'The students can log in for their normal time slot, for example perhaps 9.35 a.m. for Geography,' said Mr Gregory. 'The teachers can send information and set work. The students can send their assignments to receive feedback and have work corrected.'

He said that guidance in every way is still available. 'We are still supporting and working with students at a professional level,' he said.

He said that parents will also have received information on how work will be managed over the coming weeks. The students were also given information during assembly before they finished up for the time being.

'It's a continuity plan, with continuity in teaching and learning,' said Mr Gregory. 'This won't interrupt their schedule. And even though different schools have different systems to connect the staff and student body, all school students in the country are facing the same challenges.' Mr Gregory said that students need to treat the days away from the physical building as a normal school day. 'They normally have nine classes a day, unless there's a double class or half day,' he said. 'They could decide to follow that pattern, or focus on particular subjects for longer periods.'

He stressed the importance of taking breaks, and getting exercise, as they would do in a regular school week.

One of the challenges they may face is having a quiet space. Mr Gregory acknowledged that this could be difficult in some houses, and families have a part to play in helping with that.

'It can't be seen as a reason not to achieve, but rather something positive to get work done.' He said that some students might take the opportunity to catch up on work. 'We're all in the same boat,' he said. 'We have to stay positive and use whatever opportunities this presents.'

Sport has also been effected by school closures, with all rugby and basketball fixtures cancelled.

'There are a lot of questions we are still figuring out, such as managing oral exams and practical work,' said Mr Gregory. 'We will get responses to those matters and communicate with students and parents.'

Teachers and principals are still working, he said, albeit remotely. 'Everyone is still working, it's not a holiday. The students can be assured that they have the support, guidance and teaching they need.'

Bray People