St Mary’s first with parent portal

St Mary's College pupils pictured at the launch of the SIMS learning Gateway at St Mary's College.
St Mary's College pupils pictured at the launch of the SIMS learning Gateway at St Mary's College.

A Derry college has become the first school in the city to introduce a new system which aims to keep parents engaged with their children’s education.

St Mary’s College has just introduced the SIMS Learning Gateway (parent portal) which is an electronic means of communication between parents and the school.

Claire Devlin and Siobhan Devlin pictured at St Mary's College, Derry for the launch of the Learning Gateway for parents.

Claire Devlin and Siobhan Devlin pictured at St Mary's College, Derry for the launch of the Learning Gateway for parents.

Parents are able to log on to a secure website with a unique username and password to access information on their child’s attendance, homework (red and green flags to indicate if it has been handed in), exam results and behaviour in school.

On Friday parents of Year 8 pupils were invited to the school to try out the new system.

However the school stressed that the SIMS (Schools Information Managements System) is not a tool for parents to “snoop” on their children, rather a way to actively engage.

Principal Marie Lindsay thanked the Year 8 parents for agreeing to take part, adding that she would have loved to have been able to use a system like this when her own children were at school.

Paul and kaley sheerin and pictured at the launch of the SIMS learning Gateway

Paul and kaley sheerin and pictured at the launch of the SIMS learning Gateway

“We are delighted that you are able to go on this journey with us,” she said.

“But we want your feedback.”

Trevor Millar from SIMS said that every survey that has been carried out into how we can maximise the potential of children, highlighted that parental engagement is key in unlocking that potential.

“This is a gateway that allows you to go in 24/7 from any device and look at your child’s attendance, behaviour and performance, end of term report.”

Naoise Johnston and Donna Johnston explore the new SIMS learning Gateway at St Mary's College, Derry

Naoise Johnston and Donna Johnston explore the new SIMS learning Gateway at St Mary's College, Derry

Parents, Staff and pupils, pictured at the launch of the the new SIMS learning Gateway at St Mary's College, Derry. Included, are Marie Lindsay, principal, Paul Wade and Aine Thompson IT department and Roisin Cutter, Microsoft specialist.

Parents, Staff and pupils, pictured at the launch of the the new SIMS learning Gateway at St Mary's College, Derry. Included, are Marie Lindsay, principal, Paul Wade and Aine Thompson IT department and Roisin Cutter, Microsoft specialist.

Erin Hutcheon and her daughter, Amy pictured at St Mary's College learning of the new parent portal programme, the SIMS learning Gateway.

Erin Hutcheon and her daughter, Amy pictured at St Mary's College learning of the new parent portal programme, the SIMS learning Gateway.