Laurence Keel is the Headteacher at the school. When the implications of the new curriculum became clear, Laurence realised that children needed access to Information Technology throughout the curriculum and in every lesson. In addition, most local primary schools had benefitted from government grants to enable them to buy Notepads for their children but Kilburn Park had not. The team at the school wanted their pupils to have fair access to new technology with particular regard to the degree of technological preparedness that their leavers would have on entering secondary school.
Laurence first became aware of LearnPads at BETT 2014 and continued to research the devices and their benefits on the internet.
The decision to purchase was based on several factors of which the most important was the way in which the devices could be controlled by the teachers.
‘We chose LearnPad because of the high degree of control that we would have over what the children had access to. We struggled with iPads in having the same Apps on each iPad and found the support for education from Apple very limited. We liked the innovative way in which we could create bespoke lessons for different classes and year groups.’
How are the devices being used?
The school has developed a new curriculum map covering all subjects. The staff are creating ‘categories’ for each topic across the new curriculum that will contain a range of resources provided by the LearnPads.
‘We also are aiming to have as many of these resources available through our Virtual Learning Environment (including using the same icons) so that there is compatibility between learning at home using the VLE and learning in school using the LearnPad.’
Formalising and developing the use of LearnPads throughout the curriculum is now part of the school improvement plan and also an integral part of the school’s new ICT subject action plan.
‘In particular we want to increase access to online learning platforms such as Purple Mash, Mathletics, Reading Eggs and Spellodrome particularly during lesson times and to see teachers planning to use these platforms as part of the teaching and learning provision.’
The staff have previously mentioned that they want to use the LearnPads as response devices so that the teacher can use them to assess how well the children have learnt concepts and ideas throughout the lesson and LearnPad staff have advised that this is simply achievable using the Socrative app available in the LearnPad Content Store.
Recommendation of LearnPad
Laurence remains convinced that the LearnPad devices have the flexibility and adaptability to be able to be used across all age ranges and subjects within the school.
‘I would recommend them because of their ability to create bespoke sets of learning activities around a topic or theme and the innovative use of Qr keys in loading resources. They also present very good value for money in terms of the processing power and the flexibility that they provide.’