Demonstrator Schools and Colleges
Coupals Primary Academy with Thomas Gainsborough Secondary School
Coupals Primary Academy is a modern primary school in the growing town of Haverhill, Suffolk. It is supported in the Demonstrator Programme by Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury, Suffolk.
Our Journey With Educational Technology
After being judged inadequate in 2014 the Coupals school went on a journey of improvement before being judged good in 2017. As the journey continued we explored the potential of harnessing EdTech in our school in September 2018. This led to the deployment of 1:1 iPads across several year groups in Key Stage 2 leading to four classes in 2019-20. Underpinned by effective teaching, our Ed Tech approach is focused on high quality learning with children at the centre. Pupils recognise the strength of Ed Tech but also that it is a tool to support their learning (one of the key points of this being that they know when tech will help their learning).
What are you doing now to support remote learning?
Our use of Showbie as a ‘virtual classroom’ has been expanded across the whole school.
Work is set, completed and marked on Showbie for pupils of all age groups.
Some learning is being supported through the use of Seesaw (particularly in Reception and Year 1). Previous use of One Note class notebooks is being used in some classes across the school too.
New content is being delivered through demonstration videos using Explain Edu and also through ebooks created by the school. As the role of pastoral support is so important during partial closure we are continuing to run assemblies and storytimes weekly through Zoom.
Why did you apply to become a Demonstrator School?
The staff of Coupals Primary Academy prioritise working with other schools regardless of their context as they believe it always brings benefits for both institutions.
Chris Ryall from Thomas Gainsborough School explains why spending time with other schools is of value to both his school and the schools being supported.
What have been the challenges and successes on your Ed tech Journey?
'The teachers really understand that this is a tool for their teaching and when it's the right time to use it and when it's not, they don't. The best example out of this was when I spoke to one of our pupils a little while ago as I was showing some visitors around the school. I said to them, "Why are you not using your iPad in this lesson?". The girl in Year 4 very articulately replied, "Because it's not the right thing to do at the minute." And I remember thinking, okay, this has worked ....... children understand.'
David Maguire - Headteacher - Coupals Primary Academy