Home News In Pictures: Portlaoise College students embracing new learning challenge

In Pictures: Portlaoise College students embracing new learning challenge

Like all schools and colleges in the country, Portlaoise College is having to embrace a new and innovative way of learning.

Schools across the country closed their doors to students on Thursday March 12 and are not set to reopen until March 29 at the earliest.

The measure was announced in a bid to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.

But with plans to complete the Leaving and Junior Cert later this year still on track – learning must continue.

Over the last number of years Portlaoise College has developed a fantastic eLearning platform in cooperation with parents and students.

In 2012, they were the first school in Laois to introduce electronic devices to enhance teaching and learning in the school. Over the last eight years there has been a huge investment from both parents and the school in the eLearning platform.

In this time teachers have built up a vast library of electronic resources to enhance teaching and learning which ensures that student engagement can take place outside the classroom.

Since schools closed, teachers have distributed classwork for all of their students – through the Google Classroom platform. Students are working through this and are engaging with their teachers daily.

Parents are checking in with their child on a daily basis ensuring that their classwork is being completed which helps maintain a structure to the day.

This combined effort from teachers, students and parents is supporting the continued engagement with all our students, and will minimise any possible disruption and maximise available teaching and learning opportunities.

Deputy Principal Keith McClearn explained: “Teachers are setting appropriate learning experiences for students through a variety of methods.

“While school management are keeping regular contact with parents with updated information as it arises

“Our Home School Liaison Officer, Patrick Hamm is available if any parent needs assistance with our online learning platform.

“And we are distributing a Weekly Newsletter to parents outlining educational resources and supports that they might find helpful.”

Erin Harrison First Year Student 1E doing Google Classroom Homework in CSPE/Civics and other homework that was provided.
Patrick Cawley, Third Year working from home
Wiktoria Socha First Year Student 1F doing her homework via Google Classroom.
Saoirse Fox from 2nd Year working away on her French homework


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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.