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 Farleigh School embraces the latest technology courtesy of Peter Napthine, Head of IT and Computing…

How do you utilise technology in the classroom?
At Farleigh the ICT suites house Mac computers and an interactive whiteboard where the children follow the computing curriculum in their ICT lessons. We also use a range of robotic equipment to support their learning, in both ICT lessons and during extracurricular activities.

To support teaching and learning, every classroom has an interactive whiteboard and a computer. Teachers are able to book IPads for use in their lessons and the school has 100 iPads available for use in the classrooms. Pupils in Years 7 and 8 are provided with their own iPad, which they use in lessons, for homework and revision.

Has technology had an impact on school life outside of lessons?
Pupils, especially the older children, often use iPads on educational trips enabling them to take photos or videos and record their work for future use. Using technology in school can develop an interest outside the classroom. One Year 6 pupil continued with his love of robotics at home. He built a robot that can solve a Rubix cube in about two minutes – really impressive!

How do you teach children to use technology safely?
Specific internet safety instructions are given to all pupils at the start of each academic year, and they receive ongoing reminders in lessons. There is an additional focus across the school on Internet Safety Day in February, with an assembly, follow-up lessons and projects on key themes including: cyberbullying, online grooming and safe use of passwords.

What’s your most exciting or novel use of technology?
During their ICT lessons pupils in Years 3 to 8 have developed their own online ‘e-portfolios’ using the online presentation software ‘Sway’. These portfolios showcase their academic learning, details of achievements and extracurricular activities and can be accessed via computers, tablets or mobile phones. The e-portfolio project has opened up opportunities for local community outreach with Farleigh pupils visiting local residential care homes (pictured at top of page), showing residents their work on iPads. It is also a great way for children to share their learning and life in school with their families.

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