Preparing learners for the digital world

Whether we like it or not, children today are born into a digital world. Exposure to computers, the internet, interactive televisions and tablets begins at an early age.

Bassetts Farm Primary School takes advantage of this exposure to enhance the quality of their teaching and learning across the whole curriculum, enabling children to access lifelong opportunities.

Three years ago the school was connected to the Local Authority network. Costs of more than £7,000 a year and speeds limited to 10Mbp were restricting the school's ability to deploy their vision for learning and technology. But, changes to the Government funding formula saw the decommissioning of the private network and schools were able to move to their own, independent connection. Bassetts Farm took the opportunity to switch to a superfast connection with SWGfL that provides them with download speeds of up to 80Mbp and thousands of pounds worth of savings each year. Today, the school has transformed.

Led by Mike Sargeant, the school upgraded its infrastructure to allow them to take advantage of their new connection, enabling learners to have access to speeds up to 50Mbps. The school has also moved away from having one specific IT suite that was underused, in favour of utilising mobile devices across the school, embedding computing into every aspect of the learning experience. With nearly 400 learners and more than 100 mobile devices; computing is now core to the main curriculum.

Learners are encouraged to use their knowledge and enthusiasm for computers to enhance their learning experience through a range of software and hardware. They are developing the skills needed to work collaboratively across different devices and platforms. Children are beginning to discover that by using the cloud they can access files and documents on more than one device at a time and pull individual pieces of learning together to demonstrate their understanding on a range of topics.

Mike Sargeant, Computing Coordinator said: 

“We have tried to ensure that children experience coding from the earliest stages in school to embed their understand as securely as possible.

"From Bee-bots to Scratch to Lego Mindstorms, the children at Bassetts Farm have the opportunities to succeed in a diverse range of programming challenges to support, build and further their computing knowledge within the primary curriculum”.

 
The staff at Bassetts Farm are skilled users of IT and encourage the children's learning through different cross-curricular experiences. The school has employed iPads to enhance teaching and learning for over 5 years and many staff members are now either qualified Apple Teachers or currently seeking their accreditation.

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