FAR from the teachers pressing chalk on to blackboards and pupils scribbling notes into dog-eared exercise books so familiar to previous generations, today’s classrooms are increasingly becoming fully digital domains. We find out how All Hallows School embraces the latest technology courtesy of Headmaster Dr Trevor Richards and Richard Kirby, Head of Digital Learning...
At All Hallows, we firmly believe in using technology only when it enhances the curriculum. Use of mobile technology is carefully planned so that the children’s use enables them to create outcomes that would not be achievable without technology. Using a green screen and an iPad to transport children to the rainforest where they create a documentary all about the Amazon rainforest means their learning is both creative and inspiring.
Utilising the 21st Century learning skills of creativity, collaboration and critical thinking children can create grouped outputs in a meaningful way which enhances both their learning and their experience at school.
Perhaps surprisingly, technology in our library is actively encouraging children to read more books. Online quizzes test reading comprehension and individual total numbers of words read are instantly updated. Pupils aspire to read a million words or more and parents and teachers can monitor progress, ready to give praise when due.
IT lessons pay due attention to ensuring the children learn how to stay safe online and robust monitoring systems are in place to safeguard them. Whilst the boarders are allowed to bring electronic devices to school, these are kept securely on their behalf and access carefully controlled and backed up by an automatic cut-off on the wi-fi network overnight. The school arranges for experts to come in on a regular basis to deliver talks on internet safety, both for pupils and parents, and particular attention is given to reminding the older children of the importance of online safety as they head off to their senior schools.
In addition to the benefits modern technology can bring, we recognise that the internet and social media can play a disturbing role in a young person’s developing psyche by helping to challenge and modify beliefs about what is normal – normal in terms of bodies, minds and behaviour. We encourage parents to work alongside us to create a set of caring, but clear, unambiguous, consistent boundaries to enable their children to feel safe and secure at home and at school and to develop their own sense of right of wrong.