Bengeworth Academy is a dynamic and vibrant school for pupils from Reception to Year 5 (pupils go to Middle School at the end of year 5). Ofsted commented that the life skills of pupils at Bengeworth “are greatly enhanced by the outstanding curriculum which makes learning very purposeful and enjoyable”.
The school believes in an education that is rich in opportunities and experiences; one that influences a lifelong love of learning. It’s no surprise then that they have embraced the benefits that a BeLF iPad scheme can bring, and the positive impact it has on teaching and learning.
We visited the school to film pupils and their teacher to look at how they have been using the iPad and to find out how the BeLF project is making a difference in the classroom and at home.
We talked to Greg Satterley, Computing Coordinator at Bengeworth Academy and David Coaché, Headteacher to find out more about the success of their iPad project.
Where did you hear about BeLF?
DC: I had seen BeLF in action in my previous school and saw the potential a project could bring and I recognised that it would fit right in with what we wanted to achieve here at Bengeworth.
?What is the school looking to achieve? What is the main focus and drive?
DC: We are looking to further develop the computing curriculum in school and to further develop the link in learning between home and school. It is also helping to alleviate resources in the school and to future proof the children.
When did the project start and with which classes?
DC: The Project started in September 2015 with our year 4 classes and proved to be a success. As a result we are currently running the project with our year 4 and 5 classes and that will be an ongoing process.
Can you tell us a bit about the scheme?
GS: At the start of the scheme, it was entering the unknown. We had not done anything like this before and we were apprehensive but excited by the possibilities and potential. Since we have launched it, we have seen huge improvements in teaching and learning, engagement of the pupils, engagement from home; and parents actually being involved in the children’s work and?learning. Not only that, we have seen huge growth in the teacher’s knowledge and skill sets and they become more engaged in using the iPad and see the potential as well. We have been delighted with the way it has worked so far.
What are the continuity and sustainability plans?
DC: Support and training have been in place for the current project. The staff involved have been enthusiastic, shared ideas and developed their own skill set. A whole staff training program was planned to begin in September 2017. One of the year five staff was staying in the year group in September and a new member of staff joined the, they will need to have a full training session on using the iPad.
What difference is the iPad project making to teaching and learning?
GS: The motivation of lots of the children has been great to see, we have reluctant writers producing audiobooks and who are fully engaged in the task.
All pupils made progress in years four and five. The iPad is only only one factor in this. The influence in the teaching, the teacher and the teaching style cannot be underestimated but the iPad certainly helped. Using the iPad engages learners and gives them a real purpose when they’re writing for a wider audience. At home, parents get a chance to see the work on the iPad and when using Air Server in class, the children get to share the work they have done with the rest of the class – this facilitates great peer to peer feedback.
?What has been the impact of the scheme at Bengeworth Academy?
DC: It has helped to build staff confidence. Prior to the scheme we needed to create a solid foundation with good infrastructure, training and reliable kit. From the children, we have seen increased motivation and engagement. They have fully embraced the technology. It is helping to promote a love of learning and has definitely made a difference this year. The wide range of tasks, apps and software they have experienced has helped to broaden their knowledge and understanding of computing.
?How are you evaluating the project?
DC: Some of the evaluation is via verbal feedback. We listen to pupil voice, we also have parent voice. At the last parent’s evening meetings, we asked every parent if they were happy with the iPad and how they are being used in school; the overwhelming response was very positive.
We also look at the percentage of parents engaging in the project throughout the year. The positive word-of-mouth messages being passed on, have drawn more parents into the project, others have joined partway through the year.
Would you like to get your school involved? Contact Us for a chat and to find out more.