Archive for April 14th, 2016

The Pickwick Learning Teaching School Alliance, Wiltshire ~ Day 1

| April 14, 2016 | 5 Comments 

The Pickwick Learning Teaching School Alliance

Today, we explored some of the potential for imaginative, inventive and INNOVATIVE, “creative” use of technology, to bring our learning environments alive with the Pickwick Learning Teaching School Alliance at Springfields Community Centre, Corsham, with delegates from Corsham Primary School, Malmesbury Primary School, University of Gloucestershire, Sea Mills Primary School, Headley Park Primary School, Emlea Infants School, St Michael’s CE Primary School and Wallscourt Farm Academy.

Many thanks to James Passmore, Deputy Head of Corsham Primary, for coordinating our visit and sharing his thoughts here for the blog:

Corsham Primary School is a large academy primary school based in North Wiltshire, and prides itself as being a centre of excellence in the community constantly striving to improve. It has a dedicated team of leaders, teachers and support staff who work exceptionally well together, all focussed on improving outcomes for the 630 pupils at the school. Corsham Primary has a long history of working collaboratively and supporting other schools, and is proud to be the lead school in Pickwick Learning Teaching School Alliance.

Pickwick Learning is a growing alliance of 30 schools, a chain of nurseries, three universities and several businesses and charities, based across five local authority areas. It has recruited exceptional specialist leaders of education who provide school to school support services, undertakes educational research and identifies networking opportunities. Pickwick Learning offers a wide range of professional development opportunities and seized the chance to work with Tim and Sarah to showcase some of the extraordinary work they do helping to excite and engage writers across the world.

The Pickwick Learning Teaching School Alliance

Education can sometimes be a little slow in its uptake of new technologies.

Whatever format, whatever degree of complexity, there has been a slight history of initial reluctance, before, eventually, some have involved “this new stuff” in their classroom environments. Whether it is a stick and sand, wax tablets, scrolls, books, slides, film, video, computers, PowerPoint, YouTube films, and beyond, …they have all been integrated in to teaching sessions, in some way though.

All the way through, however, these new tools have often been used to modify the way a teacher presents facts, and information, to their pupils. They have had more impact on TEACHING, than on LEARNING.

In many educational settings, the relationships, and interactions, stay unchanged: A teacher, as “Sage on the Stage”, imparting their wisdom, information, and knowledge, to an unsuspecting audience sat in front of them. Are we training our children how to come to school, sit, bored, for a few hours, and get away with it without being spotted?

In the same way, challenges (or, sadly, what we more often call “Tasks”), the independent elements of a lesson, can remain, rooted to the spot, for a long time: children still wading through printed text books, step-by-step, and completing units set by teachers, in, and out of, the classroom?

How much ICT has impacted upon, and benefited this part of the education process, is still debatable.

Is there a chance that ICT can still be thought of as “When students go to the computers”, or “When they get to do some typing”.

Students might take notes in an electronic fashion. They might study, and research, through the internet, then use a word processor to write up that research. They may, even, produce a PowerPoint slideshow, and potentially email it to a teacher, before it is shown to a class.

On a basic level, very little has changed.