The school has moved rapidly in its provision of digital learning. In the last year we have made huge investments in our IT infrastructure to ensure that it is robust and ready for the challenges of delivering a 1:1 device program. This includes standardising the classrooms so that they have a standard setup of a multitouch smartboard and mesh wireless internet access points. The 1:1 device program was initiated in September 2020 where every student in the Senior School makes use of their own personal surface device or laptop computer.
We are in the early stages of this project, and can already see the benefits this has brought to teaching and learning in the school. Teachers are using a blended approach in lessons, where they continue to use the most successful teaching and learning methods alongside the new technology to complement the way students learn. This approach has resulted in greater engagement in lessons, as students have access to a wide range of digital tools to complete tasks in a manner that suits their learning needs. The ability to have flexible lessons and connect to teachers on live video streams has meant that no student gets left behind in their learning, no matter what their circumstances may be. It is not only the physical environment that has aided the blended learning, the school has implemented and trained teachers to use a range of platforms to engage with the students. These platforms include Microsoft Teams, an online digital video repository, an eTextbook system and many department specific systems, that help to engage students with their learning.
There is a renewed excitement about learning taking place in St Helen’s. Technology has aided in making provision for the individual to either support them with materials to aid their learning or to challenge them to go far beyond the curriculum and engage with the topics that stimulate their interest in life beyond the school. This is just the start to our new digital transformation at St Helen’s. There is a lot more we can and will be doing to ensure that every individual student has access to the tools that enhance their learning in the way that results in higher achievement in all key stages of the school.