Our Client’s Vision
At Hawarden Village Primary School, the shared vision of the staff and community is to support the children in developing a wide range of skills in literacy, numeracy, IT and thinking skills through the provision of inclusive education and care for every child. Senior Leadership engaged with Aspire 2Be to review and strengthen the provision of educational technology within the school, both within the classroom and as a means of organisation and communication across the school community.
On completing an EdTech review with Aspire2Be, the importance of consistency is one that was raised by both staff and management within the school. Therefore, one of the key elements of success is the development of a whole school plan which reﬂects the key ingredients of digital competencies to enhance outstanding teaching and learning. The review showed that, although staff were engaging with technology and were ready to learn new skills, there was a clear need for bespoke training to different degrees (depending on prior knowledge, understanding and usage) within the staff structure.
Step 1 – Workﬂow and Infrastructure
After undertaking the strengthening of the infrastructure, the decision was made to move to a GAFE ecosystem for use throughout the school. This was, in part, previously being used in a straightforward form but it was decided that three key staff would be trained in the use of GAFE within the classroom, for the wider school community and as a leadership tool. By undertaking GAFE training with Aspire2Be, the staff were able to explore and develop their understanding of a range of Google apps contextualised within an educational setting: these would form under 3 key headings.
- Beyond the Classroom
- Establish Effective Communication
- Publishing and organisation:.
In each training session, staff collaborated on how they might use these apps to enhance their In each training session, staff collaborated on how they might use these apps to enhance their In each training session, staff collaborated on how they might use these apps to enhance their and access for all.
Step 2 – Enhancing Teaching and Learning
To further augment teaching pedagogy across the school and maximise opportunities for all students, a second week of training was planned around the Aspire2Be Upbeat programme. This bespoke plan focused on speciﬁc apps and web based programmes selected by the school for use across iPads and Chromebooks.
The training sessions were dedicated to the direct training of staff and Digital Leaders from each year group based on their need (for example Year 5 and 6 trained using iPads whereas Year 3 and 4 used chromebooks) as well as practical modelling of new learning in class. During the training sessions, time was given to discussion about different opportunities for use of technology within class as part of the planning process. This was found to be invaluable time for the staff to reﬂect on what they had been shown as well as to discuss practicalities and future use. This mix of dedicated training and class based time was found to be most beneﬁcial as it gave the opportunity for teachers to further develop their conﬁdence in new pedagogies whilst working alongside the trainer. By ensuring both staff and students were competent at using a variety of different software, a greater range of new learning that can be shared across the school is available. It was decided to focus on learning a few key apps in each of the year groups in order to ensure these were embedded as part of the natural learning and teaching process, rather than spread any new understanding too thinly to be effective.
What was the impact?
After the GAFE training and Upbeat (iPad) training, the staff who attended have a clear view of how the apps demonstrated could be used within the classroom. Furthermore, to improve communication both with parents and through their leadership roles, clear plans were formed to disseminate the training throughout the school.
Despite not being familiar with the range of different pedagogical approaches available to support teaching and learning through technology, the staff undertaking the training enthusiastically identiﬁed speciﬁc areas in which they could use their new knowledge and understanding and share it with both students and other staff. By providing opportunities for both dedicated training and practical use within class, more staff are enabled to integrate enhanced learning opportunities with technology into their daily practice.
Furthermore, by up skilling the Digital Leaders to support others within the class and enhancing access to the curriculum through different recording methods, the vision of Hawarden Village Church School of providing an inclusive education for every child in all aspects of the curriculum becomes closer.
Step 3 – Transforming Teaching and Learning
Further sharing of best practice through varied pedagogies when using digital technology will be timetabled into staff meetings where all year groups will provide examples of class based learning opportunities.
In addition, system protocols will be reorganised so that, throughout the school, expectations and values when using digital technology are consistent and appropriate to age groups.