Sandringham School is a co-educational state comprehensive secondary school of over 1500 students, based in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Sandringham is a highly attaining school, regularly within the top 100 non-selective state mixed schools nationally in terms of progress.
Our Journey With Educational Technology
We introduced a programme called Blended Learning in 2014 that includes a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme for every student with a learning platform built upon Google GSuite for Education. Our learning goals are summarised by the phrase ‘time-shifted and place-shifted learning.’ Students in Key Stage 3 and 4 use tablet devices and Key Stage 5 use laptops delivered in a phased approach over several years. Equity of access for all is ensured by use of Pupil Premium funding.
We have developed significant expertise in digital pedagogy and deliver training via our Teaching and Research School networks. Our practices are evidence-informed and use guidance from the EEF and other expert sources. Subject leaders have had considerable autonomy in steering the programme, unearthing the best tools and teaching practices that suit their subject, and in the forming the right blend between analogue and digital.
More about our journey can be found in the January 2019 edition of Chartered College Impact Magazine : https://bit.ly/SandringhamImpact
Our recent transition to remote learning has been reasonably straightforward in that all students have digital platform access. Staff and students have experience of using the main toolsets as a matter of routine. There have been challenges (e.g. video conference ‘live’ lessons) but parental feedback on the model has been very positive.
What are you doing now to support remote learning?
We have developed the Virtual Learning Curriculum, with a balanced approach of synchronous and asynchronous lessons following a remote learning timetable that is tailored for each year group. Lessons predominantly use tools from GSuite such as Classroom, Meet and Docs, supplemented by selected apps such as Quizizz, EdPuzzle and subject specific tools. For professional development, we have produced teaching and learning advice, case studies, blog posts, podcasts and guides and supported some schools more directly / intensively. As a Research School, Teaching School and Computing Hub, we are harnessing the expertise in these parts of our organisation to produce evidence-informed exemplars and guidance that are distributed to our own staff and via our website and Twitter presences to wider audiences.
We are in the early stages of planning a more formal collaboration with the EEF and three other Research Schools who are also EdTech Demonstrators to produce some initial remote learning guidance followed by a ‘Twilght CPD’ course that will train teachers on evidence-informed best practice in remote learning.