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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
Lent Rise County Combined School serves an area of some disadvantage in outer London. There are 420 pupils on roll and about a third of these have special educational needs. The strategic vision for ICT at Lent Rise is to harness its power to motivate teachers and learners, increase access to learning and improve standards. The aim is to use ICT to promote social inclusion and create on-line learning communities within the school and through extended networks both nationally and internationally. The school seeks to use ICT to empower its pupils to become independent and collaborative learners and to ignite excitement in learning.
The development of ICT provision has been part of a broader set of developments that have seen the school make much progress in terms of pupils' achievements and the quality of teaching and learning. Standards in the school are high and the progress the pupils make during their time at the school is significant. Learning environments are ICT-rich. Interactive whiteboards are used in almost all lessons. Pupils are used to taking part in lessons through manipulating text and images on the whiteboard. Pupils also access ICT resources readily in the ICT suite and cyber café, in their classrooms through the wireless networked laptops and through video conferencing resources. Pupils use a range of resources to develop not only their speaking, listening and presentation skills, but also to their imaginative thinking and literacy.
From the age of four, children in the Early Years Department use the ICT suite with ten PCs, a printer, an interactive whiteboard, a digital camera and Lenni, the Lent Rise robot, who is heavily featured on the Early Years website, encouraging children's imagination linked to ICT. Video-conferencing enhances the taught curriculum by providing access to people, places and information in an interactive form. Pupils have one lesson per week of timetabled discrete ICT lessons. This means that pupils can use ICT tools such as word processors and presentation software confidently for their own purposes, but high quality planning also ensures that they have additional opportunities to complement this work in lessons in other subjects. Pupils develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in the use of ICT to: solve problems, find information, develop their ideas through text, graphics and video, work through a range of media, write procedures to control external robots or images on the screen, and model real situations. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for developments in the school.
There is a School Council which meets monthly and which is given a sum of money to spend on developing the school environment. This approach is important in developing an ethos in which pupils recognise that they have a share in the development of the school and in their own learning. The school is committed to professional development and each member of staff is given half a day per term to research materials on the web with a specific subject focus. The fruits of these labours are then shared with all other staff in the same year group. Staff ICT training takes place frequently so that staff can keep up to date with software and hardware developments. All teaching staff have a laptop on which they can prepare their lessons as well as access an interactive whiteboard. Time in staff meetings is devoted to ICT developments. As part of this, teachers demonstrate in their own classrooms the ways in which they have used ICT in their teaching. This sharing and collaborative approach is significant and has been a key means of establishing a consistent approach across the staff.
The headteacher is the mainspring of ICT developments in the school, which have accelerated rapidly in recent years. She has pursued links with commercial organisations so that the school has gained full benefit in developing its resources, such as network and video conferencing facilities. The ICT management team ensures that the co-ordination is shared between staff and does not fall to one teacher; it also means that ICT is firmly rooted in the role of the senior management team. The school has recognised the need for and subsequently the benefits of having two part-time technicians, one via the LEA and one from a major commercial supplier. This ensures that staff are able to concentrate on teaching rather than technical matters. The school uses its web sites to present its work to a wider audience and ICT is also reflected strongly in the high quality display throughout the school. Parents are encouraged to work with their children after school in the cyber café.
A number of factors make Lent Rise unusual: the clarity of vision, determination and tenacity of the headteacher, combined with the sheer hard work and commitment of her staff. This has ensured that the common obstacles of lack of resources and staff competence have been systematically broken down with notable success. Staff respond well to the head's challenge and are effectively supported. They are willing to take risks and to try out new ideas and see this as a hallmark of their professionalism.
(Taken from Ernist report for EUN)
The above was done a few years ago. These days we have added remote access to learning for children from 4 to 11 years of age and for their parents and we have encouraged the use of media work to inspire the imagination
I am asked to speak about 21st Century Leadership and international Collaboration and this obviously has a major focus on ICT.
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