Littletown Academy – Bringing Education into the Cloud

How do you use yours?

Connectivity can be a very personal thing, and we know that no two schools are the same. We talk to hundreds of schools every year, and the differences we see are as incredible and diverse as the students and teachers.  So we wanted to look at how some schools in the South West are using their SWGfL connections, filtering and firewalls to enhance their delivery of computing.

Whether a school teaches specific computing classes or embeds IT across the board, we will be looking at the different ways in which IT is taught across the South West. From allowing YouTube to banning mobile devices, schools are experimenting with ways to make sure young people get the best from technology in the classroom. We hope this series will provide inspiration and we would love to hear from any school that wishes to share its experience with us.

Littletown Academy

Littletown Academy, is a large academy based in the heart of the community in Honiton, East Devon.  With over 450 pupils they have exciting plans for the future.

The school is connected to South West Grid for Learning via an Ethernet over Superfast Broadband (EoSFBB) connection. This provides them with safe, fast, and affordable connectivity. It has also provided them with sufficient bandwidth to develop their IT strategy, and really embrace the power of technology in the Cloud.

Out with the old

Littletown has recently undertaken a huge overhaul of their entire IT infrastructure, the old computing suite has gone and instead pupils have access to a combination of iPads and Chromebooks to provide a more embedded approach to ICT.

“The Chromebooks can be both a laptop and a tablet with a touch screen. This means we can learn how to do cool things on both using the same device.”

Year 6 pupil

 The school has moved to a GSuite and provided pupils with access to Google Classroom, a free online resource available to schools that boosts productivity by allowing teachers to distribute assignments and provide feedback all in one place.

Pupils now have their own Gmail account, allowing them to communicate with each other internally, further enhancing their computing skills.  In today’s ever changing world, using Google Classroom helps to develop the technological aptitude they need to progress in education and beyond.

As all resources are available online, a good, stable connection is required.  It has been proven time and again that learners are engaged by technology and Google Classroom can help students become and stay engaged in the learning process. It also means that the school can benefit from the potential crossover between school learning and home learning via Google Classroom, as it can be accessed from anyway with good connectivity. Moving to the cloud will allow the school to make considerable savings, not just in terms of onsite server requirements, but by reduce printing costs and reducing printer usage as lessons and work are all stored online. 

Empowering learners

Whether accessing fun learning activities or managing their own learning journey, pupils at Littletown feel empowered through their use of ICT.

With the increased capacity offered by superfast broadband and the safe and robust filtering offered by SWGFL, Littletown has opened up YouTube to its pupils, providing them with access to the educational benefits of this rich and diverse platform, whilst remaining confident that students will not be exposed to inappropriate content.

Staff feel confident and empowered to deliver ICT, and are enthusiastic about the changes and future development. Looking ahead, the aim is to integrate the new technology across the whole school curriculum with programmes such as Times Tables, Rockstars and Accelerated Reader.

“Google Classroom is great because we can suggest things to others about our learning and we can do extra interesting things set by the teacher.”

Year 6 pupil

“Google Docs allow us to work on each other's writing and make suggestions and comments. It is great to see what other people are thinking and doing.”

Year 6 pupil

If you would like to tell us about your school’s delivery of ICT, please get in touch, we would love you hear from you at sis@swgfl.org.uk.

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