Parent / Carer Technical Support Page
Welcome to our Technical Support Page
As technology becomes ever more embedded in the life of a school child, we know it can be difficult as a parent / carer to keep up. Our IT Manager Kevin is available to assist with issues involving logins and other technical problems related to your child's work. If you do experience problems please email firstname.lastname@example.org and he will try to assist as soon as he can.
This page contains some useful information regarding online safety and computing advice. We hope you find it useful.
Systems used by St Joseph's
At St Joseph's we use several forms of communication, depending on user. Please see below for details.
Our Primary form of communication with Parents is via ParentMail, which is accessible via email or via their app. Newsletters and information aimed solely at Parents such as open mornings, events are sent this way.
In Reception the school uses an app called Tapestry Journal as it involves more visual representation of work and play captured during lessons. Parents can register to access this via our school office.
Please note, this system is no longer used in Year 1, we apologise for any inconvenience caused by this change and for any miscommunication regarding this.
From Year 1 to Year 6 our main learning platform is Google Classroom. Your child will have their own individual login to their classroom and homework is sent this way.
Parents can receive a weekly summary of work set on Google Classroom by clicking the button below and completing the form. This does not include any links but is a digest of messages your child receives in the week so you know if there is work they can logon and complete.
Please can all parents remember that their child's Google login is used in school for all computing activities and as such we request that you do not attempt to change their passwords when not in school. Pupil passwords are provided to their staff to assist with their logins and if changed causes disruption to their lessons. We thank you for your support in this matter. If, for any reason their given password does not work please contact Kevin using the details at the top of the page.
Why we recommend Chromebooks for your child
When purchasing a device, we are always aware of the need to provide the best possible experience at the best possible price and it is why the school chose Google for their learning platform. It offer the best experience for its price point and requires no specialist software or hardware to use. A lot of parents choose tablets for their child but we are conscious that typing on a screen offers a poor experience when using them for a long period of time. Although more portable, they can also break more easily. We view tablets more as a consumption device, meaning they are great for games and watching videos etc, but not the best experience for doing work. There is also a major variance between the quality of tablets and cheaper tablets do not always offer a great experience for anyone.
Windows Laptops can be great, but contrary to belief, Office does not come installed and pupils only get free access to the desktop versions if the school is paying a large subscription fee to Microsoft. You also require Anti-virus and different controls which add to the price. Again, as with tablets, the experience you get depends on the price you pay. Cheap laptops provide a very slow experience which can be distressing or demoralising when trying to complete work.
It is for this reason why we currently recommend Chromebooks. Although there are some issues with them, we believe they offer the best price / performance ratio and the great thing with them is that you do not need to buy an expensive device to get a good experience. With devices starting from £169 in major retailers they are affordable and because they work with your childs school email address, once signed in, they receive software and items we feel would be useful and they do not need Anti-Virus solutions. Google software is free to use and works with most Microsoft Office Documents and if your child moves onto a school where they use Microsoft Office, these items can be downloaded onto a Chromebook and more apps are being added all the time. By reducing the on-costs to you as a parent, it means you can keep to a budget for the device, without having to worry about finding more money just to make the device usable.
We hope you find this information useful and if you want any advice on the best one for your budget please do contact our IT support.