3 years ago the ICT provision at Compton CE Primary was constrained and their vision for technology could not be realised due to budget pressures. With over 400 students and only 17 PC’s housed in an out of date ICT suite, the opportunities for both staff and students were limited. The schools WiFi provision was ineffective and whilst their broadband provision was of a high quality, the bandwidth was restricted. Staff were persistent, continuing to utilise technology across the curriculum, but were frequently frustrated by its confines.
Headteacher, Steve Cleave, a firm supporter of cross-curricular ICT, knew that cloud computing had the potential to deliver significant benefits to learners. And when he and his leadership team saw that potential, fulfilled so simply and easily in Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom, the team set about making plans to transform the technology provision in school.
The changes to the Government funding formula alleviated the pressure on the school budget allowing the first phase of transformation to take place in Spring 2014. This first phase focussed on investment in the technology infrastructure, including a WiFi upgrade and a set of 60 Chromebooks to be shared across the 8 Key Stage 2 classes. Steve recognised that getting his team on board would be key to the success of any transformation and empowered two key members of staff, Vicky and Matt, to become Google Leaders and participate in pedagogical research, including a research project trip to Brussels working with the European Schoolnet’s Future Lab.
A further 50 Chromebooks and 60 tablets were introduced into Key Stage 1 in the spring of 2015. The influx of so many devices and their usage on the school network highlighted the need to upgrade the schools broadband provision. SWGfL’s Superfast Broadband solution not only gave the school the extra bandwidth that they now needed to realise the potential for learning impact but also reduced their annual charges, freeing up budget to invest further in their strategy for technology.
“You can plan the most amazing lesson in the world, but if all the children can’t get online, it’s a waste of time!”
- Vicky Lambert Class Teacher and Google Leader
Compton strongly believes that technology should be integrated throughout the whole curriculum and that it fuels powerful collaborative learning. The online learning environment, Google Classroom, provides an intuitive platform for teachers to effectively manage a wide range of learning opportunities ensuring that the experiences are tailored to meet students’ needs.
And learning isn’t limited to the classroom. Students can access Google Classroom from home and are empowered to manage and share their own learning journey not only with their teachers but with their peers and parents too. The students are trusted to use the resources appropriately and through their experiences are becoming accomplished digital citizenship.
Students are invited to apply to become Google Ambassadors and through a process of assessed tasks they can achieve different levels of success. To reach the highest level, students must plan and deliver an activity focussed on an App to their classmates using Google Classroom.
“Google Classroom gives us access to lots of fun learning activities. If you haven’t got it you’re missing out!”
- Year 6 student and Google Ambassador
The team at Compton CE Primary plan to continue to find new ways to use technology to support learning and improve outcomes. They are focussed on the need to keep staff engagement high and are keen to start to explore cutting edge techniques, watch this space!
If you'd like to speak to a Schools Internet Service specialist about our connectivity solutions for your school, please call us on 0845 601 3203 or visit swgfl.org.uk/sis