|Launch of School Website --:
At an "Information Age Evening" held on September 25th, 1998 the staff and pupils of Edmund Rice Primary School, Tramore launched their school web site on to the internet.The site was officially launched by Mr. Martin Cullen, Minister for State at the Dept. of Finance.
In his opening address to the large group who attended, Mr Cullen praised the pupils and staff of the school for the great vision, energy and enthusiasm, in being one of the first Primary schools in the Waterford area to have a primary school web site. He also went on to say how important it was that young people are introduced to this new technology at an early age. The pupils of Edmund Rice School were in a privileged position to be in a school, where the teachers saw the importance of technology in the school. He also asked that local businesses to invest in such schools by contributing to their IT development and praised the pupils for their involvement in the new links between the Waterford and the forgotten Irish in Newfoundland through the internet.He looked forward to interesting developments over the years through this new initiative in the school and other schools in the area. Mr Sean O'Ciarba, Schools Inspector also attended the evening.
The "Information Age Evening "was part of the Information Age Magnet School project sponsored by Telecom Eireann and the INTO. The purpose of the evening was to explain to the parents, local teachers and the community at large, how information technology is been used to enhance the curriculum in the school. Mr Liam O'Neachtain, a member of staff and the IT co -ordinator, went on to tell of the development of IT in the school over the past ten years or so. From very simple beginnings Edmund Rice Primary School has become one of the leading schools not only in the local area, but also nationally in the use of Information Age Technology in the classroom. He went on to list some of their achievements.
In January 97, Edmund Rice Primary were National Winners of the Tayto
Spin-a-Web competition. Last year, a fourth class pupil Jason Milner was the
national winner of the 'Netd@ys' competition sponsored by Microsoft Ireland. A group of
pupils, parents and teachers from the school visited Microsoft Headquarters to collect a
digital camera as a prize. They are also
involved in two Internet based projects, with a school in the USA and more recently
through the "Stellar School Project" with a school in St. John's, Newfoundland,
Canada. Mr. Eamonn Pollard, a member of staff went on to explain the school's involvement
in The Stellar Schools project and how his pupils had set about their e-mail project with
their twinned school in Newfoundland. He then went on to give a simple explanation of the
internet, e-mail and many of the terms we often hear about computers
The highlight of the night was the official launch of the school website. Mr. O'Neachtain first explained why a school should have a web site and the ground work involved in getting the students organised, to putting together, what is really a brochure about the school, the locality and the work that goes on there, on the internet.
The web site is very impressive, informative and easy to follow. For those who have Internet access, the web site can be found at http://homepage.tinet.ie/~edrice. Work on the web site will be on-going, as the site provides a lot of information about Tramore itself, items of historical interest like the "Seahorse", the Metalman and the Tramore train, and what is going on in the school. The work done by the third class pupils last year on Irish birds is well worth a visit. There is also a very impressive section on "Stamp Collecting".
As one of the "Information Age Magnet" schools Edmund Rice Primary School has received extra funding from Telecom and a new Multimedia Computer. Mr Paddy O'Callaghan representing the County Manager went on to say how impressed he was by the quality of what he saw. He found the night informative and well worth while, he praised particularly the high standard of the work of the pupils involving writing skills, artistic skills and imagination. Mr. Brian O'Shea. TD, a former member of staff said that the only mouse he ever saw in the school in his day, ran across the floor but he was glad to see the mouse in the school today runs across the screen. The hard working ladies of the Parent's Council provided refreshments. There was a very colourful and impressive display of the computer generated work in the school.It was nice to see technology been used as a medium to explore nature and history. by presenting such information on a web site means that it is there for everybody and anybody to read and enjoy.
The evening proved very beneficial for the many parents and members of the public, who had never seen the Internet and to saw how computers can be used within the classroom. In his closing remarks, the Principal, Mr. Ray Prenter thanked all the various local businesses who had donated their old computers to the school. These machines have very limited use but proved invaluable for classes involved in e-mail projects. The school will soon be approaching local business interests and the local community for financial support towards the future development of IT in the school. Despite the Government investment in this area, each classroom does not have a computer and in some cases one computer is shared between two classes numbering as many as sixty pupils. It is the aim of the school to have at least one up to date computer available in each class. This will only come about through private investment. Now it is possible to go surfing in Tramore and not get wet!