The Willow Learning TrustDigital Project
Schools at the Willow Learning Trust have been working on a Digital Project to enhance collaboration, integrate technology to make learning more engaging and to create digitally literate pupils.
Targets of the Digital Project
We have consulted on and set up a SharePoint structure. Staff have been trained to use SharePoint and One Drive to facilitate collaboration across the WLT.
Secondary Digital Champions
The key focus for Secondary Digital Champions is using MS Teams as a planned replacement for FROG, trialling it with Y9s and planning to expand the trial in the next few weeks to Y10s, too.
Primary Digital Champions
For Primary Digital Champions, the key focus has been on using laptops in the classroom. This aspect of the project needs further momentum and Ian Sandeman, the Digital leader, will be dedicating a full day each week for the rest of the term to support staff through joint planning and team-teaching.
1-1 Laptop Scheme
This aspect of the project at Abbey Primary School has been highly successful, with positive feedback from pupils and parents in terms of increased engagement and independence. This scheme will be extended to another year group in September.
A new SharePoint structure has been created across the entire Willow Learning Trust that is not only future proof, but also innovative in nature. This site has supported access for every staff member, Governor and Trustee and will support wellbeing, strengthen collaboration at all levels and support the development of future autonomous systems.
Secondary Digital Champions have successfully begun a home-learning pilot using Microsoft Teams within one year group. There is potential and readiness for this pilot to extend to additional year groups and will begin to include opportunities available within Teams, such as collaborative assignments and independent note taking. Staff have commented on a similar number of children completing home learning but the speed efficiency and quality of response improving on Microsoft Teams.
Primary Digital Champions have begun using technology more in class as evident in peer observation activities with a focus on investigating how effective use of technology impacts the quality of children’s learning.
Feedback included higher levels of engagement as a result of anonymity, improved class discussions via a process of ‘natural scaffolding’, increased speed of whole class feedback as a result of collaborative activities and a more insightful assessment for learning process as more ‘voices were heard’.
The 1-1 laptop scheme has been hugely successful from the perspective of teachers, children and their families. Teachers have adapted their teaching style to allow for more child-led learning, specifically evident in maths where electronic manipulatives support deeper levels of understanding. Year 3 teachers have not commented on any significant rise in time attributed to additional resources and have mentioned time saved in assessing children’s progress. Children have spoken fondly of their engagement and increased independence within a lesson, developing computational skills in addition to curricular skills. They are still completing work in journals in all subjects with no reduction in quantity of writing. Parents have also spoken of a heightened interest in learning and sharing classroom practice at home and are supportive of the scheme to date.