Doug aranged for us to visit Heath Primary School in Derbyshire on Friday 20 January. We were warmly welcomed to the school and shown around by two of their ICT Accreditation Team (two very able girls from year 4). We saw a wide range of technology being used through out the school:
- talk buttons in reception (on a table with a log and five frogs – when pressed, the button said ‘5 little speckled frogs’, recorded by a child)
- Story phones throughout KS1
- interactive whiteboards (at child appropriate height) being used by the children
- sensory room in Nursery unit (all painted white with oil lamps, fibre optic cables, mirrors, sound)
- flip cams
- thin client PCs (at lest 4 in every classroom) with a common deployment of software across the school – I noticed Textease (of course!) and Open Office, I’m sure there were others
- use of video for lessons – Carol Vordeman’s times tables songs
- video creation – each class creates at least one video a term. One is shown at an Oscars night in the summer, with VIP guests (year 6 leavers) in prom outfits, and a mobile TV station to provide live coverage of the event (by the children)
- VLE – RM platform, areas for each year, subject and for parents.
- one to one use of eeepcs netbooks in KS2
- a large screen TV/ monitor with touchscreen facility and laptop attached on a cunning device that could move the whole system up and down to the right height for the child.
- bee bots
In every lesson we saw children using technology independently, as just another tool. The children were confident, articulate and self-assured in their use of technology. The atmosphere in the school was one of joyful learning, with enthusiastic and committed teachers nurturing the best from each child. It was wonderful to behold 🙂