Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The importance of ICT in Primary and Secondary Schools

OFSTED published a report on The Importance of ICT last week and it can be download from here

Be warned the report is a lengthy 40 pages, with 116 points presented in two main parts:
A) The quality of ICT in Leanring
B) Issues (which need to be takled to increae engagement and raise attainment)

A couple of points which struck a chord with our priorities and focus for our ICT strategy in Islington included:
Section B which opens with a section on Assessment (Page 29) as a driver for improving ICT capability, reporting one in five of the schools inspected had no systems for assessing levels of ICT capability. They rarely had a formal system for tracking the progress of individual pupils and students, and they were unaware of how well they were doing.

The final part of section B 'Getting ICT to the learning' (page 35) highlighted althought nationally the use of ICT in other subjects is generally improving, the picture this survey establishes is one of patchy provision and inconsistent progress.
It points to a critial issues of resourcing which we have been discussing with schools on the place for an ICT suite. The report states .... schools have successfully created a demand from teachers to be able to use ICT to improve learning in other subjects but are rarely able to meet it. Most primary and secondary schools have chosen to centralise the bulk of their ICT resources in networked computer rooms……but the result is that resources are often extremely limited elsewhere for work in other subjects. It is still common to see students taking work from other subjects to the computer room where they are using ICT, in effect, only to present their ideas well. When ICT is unavailable to students in their classrooms when they are studying other subjects, it is unable to contribute to improving learning.

Read other comments in a blog from a CLC in Manchester who had a review mirroring some of our thoughts and included other interesting points.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Bid for £1000 ICT funding for your school from LGfL - 'Durrants Den'

Ever aspired to appear on Dragon's Den? Why not participate in a school's version? LGfL are offering schools a chance to bid for a share of a £10,000 fund for ICT projects. "Durrant's Den" (named after LGfL CEO Brian Durrant) will take place via a live Video Conference on 10th July.

Bids must be towards purchasing hardware and/or software which enhance the ICT provision for the school and increase ICT learning opportunities for pupils. You will have 5 minutes to 'pitch' your idea, followed by up to 10 minutes of questioning by the Dragons. At least 1 pupil must be involved in the pitch itself.

Maximum funding is £1,000 per school, but you could join up with other schools for a joint project and therefore access a larger fund.

Why not have a go - the event will be fun and you could end up with some money to fund an exciting ICT project. Further details, including curriculum links and an application form can be found here:

Deadline for appications is 22nd May.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

HSBC/British Council CHINA Conference

HSB and the British Council held an excellent conference on educational co-operation with China just before half term.

AM Session

The morning began with key note addresses from Martin Davidson, Chief Executive, British Council, Rt Hon Jim Knight MP and Minister Counsellor Tian Xiaogang, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Sessions then focused on school and area partnerships with China.


Annette Carlon, School Improvement ICT Consultant for the London Borough of Redbridge presented. She said leading the 2008 Redbridge Beijing project has allowed her to further develop the use of ICT which has been crucial in forging, maintaining and nurturing the global links.

Redbridge project has been running for 3 years and the fact that some of the schools have made their third visit demonstrates the legacy and vibrancy of the partnership. Other schools in Redbridge, having seen the impact of a global dimension in teaching and learning, are keen to participate and there are now 8 schools involved with a view to further growth this year.

PM Session

The afternoon options covered areas including developing the link across the curriculum, and China in the Primary Curriculum. In particualr a partnership of 3 primary schools from North Lincolnshire and their headteachers spoke.

ST BERNADETTE'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE.China Link School - Taoyuan Primary School Dalian (2000 pupils) Headteacher Mr Li Shaocheng.

Link established in 2004. Worked with partner school on Joint Curriculum Projects, Professional Development for teachers and teaching assistants. Pupil visits took place 2008. International School Award achieved.


The school has been involved in a link with a partner school in Dalian, China since 2003. The study of China is now incorporated into our school's curriculum and staff visits are made annually as part of CPD. The school was successful in gaining the International Award in 2006 and is currently working towards compiling our portfolio for re-submission in 2009.


Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Primary Software Choice Survey

I have created a survey to canvas opinion on software choice for Primary Schools. Has been spread far and wide by the 'Twitter' community, but would love to get the local perspective too. Please spare 5 minutes to complete it below. Thanks!