Technology & Innovation
Our approach to technology and innovation is guided by our vision of ‘Learning by Connecting.’
Digital learning is designed to connect our pupils, parents and teachers in our community and the wider world. By bringing our parents and carers into a closer relationship with teaching and learning, technology enhances our learning environment. Parents are able to see digital learning in real-time and are given a window into their child’s day that goes beyond what can be captured in books alone. Through photos, video and audio recordings, parents receive notifications of their child’s activities providing the tools to take topics and discussions into the home, enriching the learning environment. Digital teacher feedback is available on an ongoing basis rather than being reserved for termly meetings. Engaging our pupils and parents through this platform enables rapid progress.
The technology also takes learning experiences beyond the classroom to connect and collaborate with other pupils and experts around the world. Recent initiatives include working with the team at Expo 2020; collaborating with native Arabic speakers; workshops at the Louvre Abu Dhabi to inspire the creation of art galleries in VR; and connecting with a UK-based scientist to learn about digestion. We believe that modelling and practising these collaborative skills will help our pupils appreciate new perspectives and develop the empathy and understanding required to solve complex problems and become the innovators of the future.
Technology is not just placed in classrooms; its impact is constantly assessed and measured. In 2017-18, a focused study revealed that FS2 children made twice the progress in phonics as the previous year’s cohort following a targeted intervention with iPads. Our internal qualitative studies continually reinforce the success of our vision: children and teachers alike report that classrooms are more interactive, creative and successful due to increased pupil engagement.
Continuous professional development is at the heart of our vision. All Repton Al Barsha teachers have successfully completed the Apple teacher programme, a self-paced professional development course that fosters the skills necessary to use technology purposefully and creatively. Additionally, every teacher and assistant has received training to use in-built accessibility features as well as Apple Classroom to personalise learning for each child. Our learning environment has truly been transformed.
Repton Al Barsha and Being Apple Distinguished
Being an Apple Distinguished School puts Repton Al Barsha up there with some of the most innovative schools in the world. We have leaders and teachers who demonstrate the school’s own vision, along with Apple’s exemplary learning environments. Here at Repton Al Barsha we use Apple products to inspire student creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. We seek to provide opportunities in which students are excited about learning, curiosity is fostered and learning is a personal experience.
Within our designation, we openly share our successes with other educators by publishing stories and collaborating with Apple education teams to host school visits. At these events, school leaders share their vision for their programs and educators showcase their best practices for using Apple products and content to create powerful teaching and learning experiences.
Our leaders, staff, and the extended community have a clear vision that articulates how their technology-rich environment supports their goals for learning. School leaders support their school’s vision by promoting continuous innovation—an ongoing process that requires thoughtful planning, practice, and iteration along the way.
As their technology-rich environments support the innovative use of Apple products, staff and students have opportunities to enrich their learning and teaching experiences in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
School leaders are able to show how their staff and students use Apple products and services to support continuous innovation in learning, teaching, and the school environment.
Through a creative and reflective curriculum, we respond to develop success. Having iPad devices support our formative assessment allowing timely responses to work.
Children are assessed using online quizzes and individuals’ choices of presentation apps, which then are used to measure success against a learning objective.
Teachers collaborated to create a digital skills matrix, which is adapted to reflect current issues, assess students’ abilities and monitor progressive use of technology across the school.
We utilize the Apple Teacher LTS survey and child survey, to help monitor the impact of technology on behavior, attitudes to technology and classroom practice.
As Apple technology plays a central role in the school, our Annual Summative student performance data continues to show significant progress.
Our Vision is to inspire a thirst for learning through a whole school leadership approach to provide creative, excellent, personalized teaching. Reptonians develop into happy, confident and responsible young people equipped with the 21st century skills to continue their educational journey. Reptonians are collaborative global citizens prepared for the connected digital world.
With the constant developments in technology, the school continually reviews, reflects and updates its vision to further the use of technology in school. Repton Al Barsha’s inclusive digital journey has made learning accessible for all by engaging in events throughout the community. We embrace technology as a community using technology to support learning, hosting regular forums, displaying how we develop responsible, independent and safe learners.
Children collaborate by working collectively using the full suite of Apple apps. They share tasks within groups and work with teachers, parents and via Apple TV when presenting. This, combined with Showbie to deliver and store work, means a reduction in printing and a positive impact on the environment. Our digital vision meant we could continue to deliver a full curriculum virtually during a global pandemic.
Students explore creativity in all subjects: science – apps and online simulations for virtual investigations, maths – AR to create abstract models and English to contextualize literature and bring it to life. This personal approach empowers students to take ownership of their work and deliver it in a way which suits their own path.
Using Apple Technology, we continued to connect with the wider community through a virtual Creativity Festival, using tutorials recorded by teachers exploring apps such as Keynote, GarageBand, iMovie and Clips to create presentations that shared opinions about recent global events. Apple Classroom is widely used across the school to share work with children allowing for immediate feedback on work, but also as a SEN support to help pupils with different learning needs by facilitating independence and observing from a distance, thanks to its screen-sharing tools.
All staff are Apple Teachers making them innovators of learning. Through ongoing professional development and school support, teachers ensure children are able to use the latest resources, keeping learning fresh and engaging.
The pandemic proved that more could be done to engage with learners by allowing them to access learning digitally and be more creative.
Furthermore, we plan to increase storage on devices to continue to enable more content to be stored and continue to develop creativity across the curriculum.
As we move towards using desktop devices for senior years, this will give even greater opportunities to develop the high attaining work of our pupils, so they are masters of IT proficiency, whilst using a greater breadth of technology.
We will continue to respond to ever changing Internet Safety threats, ensuring children are aware of the potential dangers they may face as they start to use technology more in day to day life.