RATHMICHAEL PARISH SCHOOL
Acceptable Use of the Internet Policy

This policy aims to ensure that pupils in Rathmichael School will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources in a safe and effective manner, and that they will be protected from harmful and/or illegal use of the internet. The revised curriculum requires pupils to locate, retrieve and exchange information using ICT. In successfully implementing both the curriculum and educational standards, teachers need to plan to integrate the use of ICT into their teaching.
Computer skills are vital in life-long learning and employment as well as being a life-skill. In our school, internet access is a privilege allowed to pupils who show a responsible and mature approach to its use.

Our School Strategy

Overview

  • Internet will be used for educational purposes only.
  • A teacher will always supervise the use of the school’s internet resources by pupils.
  • Pupils will seek permission before entering any internet site, unless previously approved by a teacher.
  • As our Internet access is designed specifically for pupil use, it includes a filtering system, which reduces the chances of a surfer accidentally, or deliberately accessing a site with inappropriate content.
  • The school will regularly monitor pupils’ usage of the school’s internet resources.
  • Pupils receive training in the area of internet safety and are encouraged to implement learnings from that teaching.
  • Pupils are taught to evaluate the content of internet sites.
  • Pupils are encouraged to make Teachers aware of safety issues and concerns.
  • Uploading and/or downloading of non-approved material is not permitted.
  • Internet access is planned to enrich and extend learning activities and pupils will be taught the effective use of the Internet which may include but is not limited to research, locating and retrieving information, use of interactive content and the like.
  • Virus protection is used and updated regularly.
  • Personal disks, keys, memory sticks, memory cards, external drives, CD-ROMS or the like may not be brought into school or used on school computers without specific permission and a virus-check.
  • Pupils will observe good ‘netiquette’ at all times and will not undertake any action that may bring the school into disrepute.
  • ‘YouTube’ and/or similar sites can only be accessed under the supervision and direction of the teacher.

Education

  • Rathmichael Parish National School will undertake an education programme to educate children on the safe, responsible use of the internet.

Email

  • Pupils will only use email for educational purposes and will not send or receive emails that contain obscene, illegal, defamatory, hateful or other objectionable or inappropriate material, or material that is intended to annoy, or intimidate or otherwise negatively affect another person.
  • Pupils will only use approved class email accounts under supervision by or with permission from a teacher.
  • The teachers will seek to ensure that all information retrieved from the internet complies and is used in accordance with copyright laws.
  • Pupils will not disclose personal or school related information via email or the web.
  • Pupils will only send or receive attachments in their email that have been approved by their teacher.
  • Visiting/Use of Chat rooms, discussion forums or other electronic forums is not permitted.

School Website

  • Pupils may be given the opportunity to publish their work on the school website.
  • Digital photographs, audio or video clips of individual pupils will not be published on the school website. Instead, they will focus on group activities.
  • Personal pupil information/data will not be included on the school website. Class lists will not be published.
  • Pupils’ full names will not be published beside their photographs.
  • Teachers will select work to be published and decide on the appropriateness of such.
  • Pupils will continue to own copyright on any work published.

Filtering

Rathmichael Parish National School has filtering software. The access to websites from all school computers is monitored and regularly reviewed by the NCCA. Websites are only allowed through following a verification of their suitability. The school also has a firewall installed.

Sanctions/Consequences of failure to comply with this policy

Misuse of the Internet/email or other failure to comply with this Acceptable Use Policy may result in disciplinary action, withdrawal of access to privileges or suspension and/or expulsion from school. The school will – where it is duty-bound to do so or otherwise where it deems it appropriate – make a report to the relevant authorities of any internet/email misuse by pupils.