At Orchard House School, we believe that ICT has the ability to enhance teaching and learning in ways that brings the curriculum to life as well as giving children skills that they are likely to need for their entire life.
While ICT is taught as a discrete subject, it is also used extensively to support learning in other areas of the curriculum. Each teaching space has an interactive whiteboard and computer connected to the internet, allowing teachers to maximise learning opportunities from the huge number of resources on the internet. An additional bank of wireless laptops is also available so that children, where appropriate, can have individual access to laptops - children then use these for research, project work (such as making a presentation about a country they are studying in Geography lessons) or other educational activities, such as Mathematics games. Via high speed networks and its own sophisticated powerful servers, the school has access to the rich specialist educational resources of Espresso, a web-based information reservoir covering all subjects taught in the primary sector. Studywiz, a learning platform available not just in the school but also to the children when at home, has also proved very effective and popular with the children.
There are many other examples of ICT helping our children on their next step: children take reading quizzes using a computer several times a week, based on books they have just read, allowing teachers and parents to gauge accurately the progress being made, children recording their work in PE lessons for analysis and evaluation later and Upper School children using a variety of digital media (cameras, video cameras and digital microscopes) to plan a project leading to the Science Crest Award.
Many of the activities that take place in school are also recorded by either photographs or in 'podcast' form, which is then available to parents and pupils through the pupils' section of the school website.
In 2009 the school was awarded the Becta/Naace ICT Mark. (Becta is the government agency leading the national drive to ensure the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning, while Naace, formerly the National Association of Advisers for Computers in Education, is the professional association for those concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of ICT.) More about the ICT Mark can be found on the Next Generation Learning website.
Lower 1 during an ICT lesson
Form 6 using the digital microscopes to
assist with the Science BA Crest Award
3-D modelling work produced by Upper V
Controlling a floor robot to make it stay on
a set path during an ICT lesson