Digital School of Distinction
Digital Schools of Distinction is a flagship programme which aims to promote, recognise and encourage excellence in the use oftechnology in primary schools. Schools that successfully complete the 3 step programme will receive a nationally recognised Digital School of Distinction Award, accredited by the Dept. of Education.
St. Paul’s was commended as having a very high and up-to-date standard of digital learning, witnessed from Junior Infants right up to 6th class. Among the activities observed by the inspector were: use of ipads for literacy, interactive activities on the whiteboards, use of whiteboard and ipads for quizzes, green screen technology to bring a class back in time, stop-motion animation and digital journalling. These are just a small sample of the activities our pupils do on a regular basis integrating ICT with all parts of the curriculum.
The students and staff of St.Paul’s have been involved in the ‘Green Schools’ initiative for over 10 years. Green Schools was devised by ‘An Taisce’ and is Ireland’s leading environmental management and award programme working with schools right across the country. The programme promotes long-term whole school action for the environment and is student -led with involvement from the wider community. To date our school community has achieved 4 flags on the themes of, ‘Litter and Waste, Energy,Water and Travel, (each theme is considered over a two year period). We are in the process of applying for our fifth flag…’Biodiversity’ and have ensured that a number of environmentally sound initiatives have been incorporated into our new school building, such as rainwater harvesting, energy efficient lighting and heating systems and the planting of many native trees and shrubs on campus.We also gathered any plastic waste from our old school building and had it made into bins for our new school…a very visual demonstration of how we can reduce, re-use and recycle every day.
One of the most important strands of the programme is the re-visiting each year of previous themes, building on knowledge gleaned and continuing to promote the ideals behind each one so that the ethos of care and responsibility for our school, and the wider world becomes a natural part of each individual’s daily life.
Active School Flag (ASF) is an initiative of the Department of Education, supported by Healthy Ireland and administered through Mayo Education Centre. In 2016 St.Paul’s achieved its first ‘Active Schools’ Flag and this is an award which we continue to maintain every year. An ‘ACTIVE School’ is a school where physical activity is valued, promoted and enjoyed by all.We strive to have a physically educated and physically active school community through a variety of activities such as hurling, football, athletics, rounders, badminton, tennis, dance, gymnastics,unihoc, olympic handball and swimming among others. The programme advocates a whole school approach where children learn in a more physically active way, enjoy participating and have a voice with regard to activities and experiences which can be provided. Physical opportunities are provided for all, we learn from each other and work in partnership with students, teachers and outside agencies. The ACTIVE school vision is for “More Schools, More Active, More Often”.