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Thai Ministry of Education Visit to Holy Cross School, Tuesday 9th May 2006

Holy Cross School Background
As part of on-going educational reform in Thailand, their Ministry of Education is developing a school improvement scheme called the “Lab School Programme” - broadly similar to the UK’s “Leading Edge School Programme”.

Holy Cross is one of the schools which the British Council uses to showcase best practice in ICT education. Chair of Governors, Vincent McDonnell, arranged with the British Council that the group should be supported in their programme by a visit to Holy Cross, where they could see the ICT work of the school, and could have discussions with Tom Gibson about whole school issues.

The group visiting the UK was made up of Directors of Secondary Schools, plus key policy members.

The Visit
A group of five Head Teachers, three School inspectors, and a British Council representative from Thailand, arrived at Holy Cross in time for a buffet lunch and discussions with the Head Teacher, followed by a tour of the new buildings, the result of a TCF bid which reflects recent government priorities.

This was followed by a talk from Lawrence Williams, Head of ICT. He described the school’s cross-curricular approach to ICT education, including the pedagogy behind the Light Project, the development of this into the NASA / Holy Cross STAR Project, and how this work is widely disseminated through the MirandaNet web site based at the Institute of Education, London University. The group found this creative approach to using ICT very interesting. They were invited to take part in the STAR Project, and to join MirandaNet.

The visitors then moved to Room 30 where they watched one of Mr Williams’s Year 8 ICT lessons. The students used the teacher’s plasma screen to present the work they had been doing in creating PowerPoint stories for younger children; using their own animations made in Paint; and how they had used Photoshop to create an Art Project of landscapes with different moods, by changing the colour values of the images. Then they showed their current work: building web sites by hyper-linking Word and PowerPoint files to create a unified structure. The visitors then had a feedback session with Mr Williams about what they had seen.

The visit ended over tea with Mr Gibson and Mr Williams, and a final question and answer session on whole school issues. The visitors expressed heir warmest thanks to Holy Cross for this insight into good practice in UK education, and expressed their wish to keep in contact with the school, including an invitation to Mr Williams to visit Thailand, in 2007, to share more of the ideas they had discovered in a very worthwhile visit.

[Visit the Holy Cross School Web Site]

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