The use of ICT in schools in the UK has seldom lived up to expectations. One very notable exception is Heronsgate Middle School in Milton Keynes. This is one of KMi’s partner schools and it has been the focus of Dr Peter Whalley’s research for over 6 years. The school has also benefited from being one of the first to be connected to KMi via a wireless Internet link.
During 1999, Heronsgate school was visited by Lord Puttnam and DfEE staff when seeking ideas for the Dome, and staff from BECTa. In all cases they were left with very positive impressions of how ICT had been successfully exploited and integrated into the curriculum. Numerous examples can be seen on the Web.
The latest acclaim for the school, and the associated research being undertaken by Peter Whalley, comes in the form of an OFSTED report which has just been published. Throughout the report, the use of ICT in the school is clearly of the highest order – excellent!
Extracts from the report include:
“The good provision of information and communications technology, including the involvement of the Open University, enables pupils to make good progress in their learning and achieve above average standards.”
“The contribution of the Open University to pupils’ learning is excellent.”
“There is also a designated wireless link to the Open University. This allows more efficient and effective teaching of the subject (ICT) and is having a clear effect on pupils’ progress.”
“The pupils’ work in control technology and multimedia presentations culminates in pupils creating and editing their own movies. A very good example of this involved a university researcher using the technique to motivate disaffected boys to write.”
“These links (OU and school) have been sustained over a considerable period of time and are of benefit to both institutions.”
Note: the picture shows a Heronsgate pupil operating a computer-controlled model of a Newcomen steam engine.