Information for schools with VHR Pupils

Following a number of queries received by our Centre in recent weeks I would like to bring some clarity to the role of the Education Centre in supporting the continuation of Learning for learners at Very High Risk (VHR) to COVID 19.

In some of their Guidance documents, the Department of Education & Skills had indicated that Education Centres would create a panel of VHR teachers, who are themselves working from home due to their own health status, that would be available to work with pupils in other schools who are medically certified as being of high risk to Covid 19 and so are not attending school. This support was intended to be an additional support to the work of the school.

In order to progress this panel, Education Centres made a  request to all schools in their region for information on the number of VHR teachers available for this additional support.

The response to this request was insufficient to put in place a panel of teachers to provide additional support to learners at very high risk to Covid 19. Therefore,  Education Centres do not currently have a panel of teachers to provide additional supports to learners at very high risk to Covid-19.

Education Centres are currently committed to supporting the designated teachers from within the school’s existing resources to best facilitate their remote teaching and learning needs. These supports can extend to assistance with online learning, connecting that teacher with curricular support and resources through the support services and any other bespoke requests that may arise.

Should you have any areas where you would like your local Education Centre to provide support please do contact the centre and we can discuss your request and how best we can respond.

In addition, ESCI (The Education Support Centres of Ireland) hosted a webinar on 6th Oct , in association with PDST, NCSE, NEPS and the DES Inspectorate for Primary Schools outlining the supports available for schools in supporting pupils who are not currently attending school because of being medically certified as being at very high risk to Covid 19.

A recording of this webinar is available at:

A similar webinar for Post Primary schools was held on the 8th Oct. The link to the recording of this webinar is

“Resources for Schools supporting pupils in the VHR category to Covid 19”

Supporting Schools with Very High Risk Learners

  1. Introduction to Google for Education and Google Classroom

Date: Thursday October 22nd

Time: 7.15p.m.-8.15p.m.


Tutor: Martin Hanly 

In this webinar participants will learn about the range of apps within  G Suite for Education. The main differences between G Suite for Education and a personal G Suite account will be explored. The suite of apps available within Google for Education will be explained and how they can support distance learning for pupils in the Very High Risk Category. How to set up a Google for Education account within the school will be discussed along with what apps should be enabled/disabled. Google Classroom will be introduced. Participants will be shown how digital work can be sent to pupils, how pupils can submit completed tasks and how a teacher can comment/correct tasks/assignments digitally. This webinar is suitable for Principals, Mainstream Class Teachers, Special Education Team and SNAs who are supporting very high risk learners. 


  1. Using Padlet as an Online Tool to Support Very High Risk Learners

Date: Wednesday November 4th

Time: 7.15p.m.-8.15p.m.


Tutor: Niall Larkin

Padlet is a free online tool that is best described as an online notice board. Padlet can be used by students and teachers to post notes on a common page. It is an ideal tool for sharing images, video, audio, screencasts, links and other media with students. The topics covered in this webinar include:

  • How to sign up to Padlet
  • How to create a Padlet and add posts
  • The different types of Padlets and how they can be used
  • How to share a Padlet with students

This webinar is suitable for Principals, Mainstream Class Teachers, Special Education Team and SNAs who are supporting very high risk learners. 

There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions during these  sessions.

Primary Language Curriculum PDST Partnership

PDST Literacy Webinar Series #1 –Ag Smaoineamh Mar Scríbhneoirí - 10th of November 7-8pm

Sa cheardlann ghréasáin seo beidh plé á dhéanamh againn ar cad iad na toscaí inspreagtha agus rogha a chuirimid ar fáil do dhaltaí. Déanfar forbairt ar sin leis an saorscríbhneoireacht agus anuas air sin, ar na seánraí scríbhneoireachta a mhúineadh. Déanfar iniúchadh ar an aistriú scileanna agus ar conas cruinneas a chur chun cinn i slí páiste-lárnach. Tagrófar don aiseolas agus aischothú, maraon leis an measúnú mar chuid den cheardlann chomh maith.


PDST Literacy Webinar Series #2 –Spelling and Word Study - 18th of November 7-8pm

In this Spelling and Word Study Webinar we will explore the key components of Spelling and some recommended approaches to teaching Spelling. We look at the integrated nature of Spelling with regard to Oral Language, Reading and Writing. In line with the Primary Language Curriculum 2019, playful and engaging learning experiences which may be useful when supporting children will be discussed. Is féidir na straitéisí seo ar fad a úsáid i litriúchán na Gaeilge agus pléifear é seo freisin. Finally, we will address the area of assessment and differentiation in Spelling instruction.


PDST Literacy Webinar Series #3 –Supporting Motivation in Literacy - 25th of November 7-8pm

How can children be motivated as listeners, speakers, readers and writers across languages? This webinar will highlight practical ideas to help foster an environment that is engaging for all children. We will explore strategies to encourage social interactions, facilitate meaningful choice and use a range of texts to support motivation. A range of useful resources will also be highlighted which can support engaging learning experiences in your learning environment.


EU Code Week Webinar Series Week 2

Title: EU Code Week Webinar Series Week 2


ESCI and PDST are delighted to collaborate for a series of eight webinars for Code Week Ireland 2020. The webinars are being held from 12th-22nd October. Places are limited so early booking is advisable.

Monday 19th October 7:30pm

Building a mobile app with Natasha Kiely

Tuesday 20th October 7:30pm

Making fun with code with Lorraine Underwood

Wednesday 21st October 7:30pm

Your future & robots: autonomous vehicles are coming with Martin Mullins & Martin Cunneen

Thursday 22nd October 7:30pm

Design Thinking with David Pollard & Dr Colin Keogh – Sapien Innovation

Places are limited so early booking is advisable.

Registration for all webinars is available at the following link:



Marymount, Carrick-on-Shannon
Co. Leitrim, Rep. of Ireland

  • Tel. 00353 (0)71 96 20383
  • Tel. 00353(0)71 96 22028
  • Fax. 00353 (0)71 96 21471
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