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UK leads the way on using technology in schools

The UK has more Microsoft Showcase Schools than any other country in Europe.

The programme works with headteachers to lead their schools through digital transformation through a community of peer support and Microsoft experts.

The UK now has 48 Showcase Schools in areas including London, Port Talbot, Paisley, Exeter and Glasgow.

In total there are 325 education institutions from 58 countries around the world enrolled in the Microsoft Showcase Schools programme.

One of those is Queen Anne High School, in Dunfermline, Fife, which teaches boys and girls aged 11 to 18.

All classes were set up on Teams, with teachers able to share weekly learning material and homework. There is an emphasis on the use of digital technology in classrooms with a “bring your own device” policy in place for all students.

See how Cornerstone Academy Trust is using technology in the classroom:

A OneNote class notebook has been rolled out, providing students with a “digital jotter” that teachers can monitor and contribute to the. Students are also using mobile phones to upload photos of their written work into the digital jotter for teachers to mark and provide feedback.

A total of 40 teachers have achieved certified Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) status – which shows their skills in using technology in a learning environment – and five teachers have been accepted onto the MIE Expert programme this year to help other staff across the school.

Another Showcase School that’s embracing the use of technology in the classroom is Downe House, a boarding school in Thatcham, Berkshire, that’s open to girls aged 11 to 18. Over the past four years the school has rolled out a new digital strategy based on M365, which has led to pupils and teachers using Microsoft Teams, Stream, OneNote and Flipgrid. This made it easier to transition to remote working during lockdown, and the school continued co-curricular activities by offering book clubs, yoga and quizzes via the internet.

Most girls have since returned to the school but due to ongoing restrictions and individual circumstances, there are some who continue to be taught online. Every classroom has been equipped with cameras to livestream lessons to those studying from home. Online pupils have a digital buddy to support them in lessons, and a pastoral buddy to ensure they are included in every aspect of school life.

David McClymont, Director of IT at Downe House, said: “We chose the Microsoft 365 platform because we aim to equip Downe House girls with both the academic and digital skillset they will need to succeed in the 21st century world beyond Downe House. We are delighted with how successful Digital Downe House has been and it is very much thanks to the commitment and dedication of our staff who have adopted and embraced the technology.”

A further three schools in England – Broadclyst Community Primary School, Ribblesdale High School, and Danesfield School – were named Microsoft Demonstrator Schools and have joined a consortium of schools that are considered leaders in the use of technology in education. They offer guidance and coaching to help other schools and colleges make the best use of technology and provide remote learning for students.

Anthony Salcito, Vice-President of Education at Microsoft, said: “The global Showcase Schools community comes together as a group to tackle challenges, celebrate successes, share learnings and try new solutions in a vibrant online community through Microsoft Teams. As Showcase Schools continue their education transformation journey, they are supported by Microsoft, their partners and each other through capacity building, transformation guidance, peer learning, amplification opportunities and early access to research and solutions.

“Thank you Microsoft Showcase School leaders and educators for all the work you do to drive education transformation, one school at a time.”

The UK Showcase Schools are:

 

Berkeley SGS Berkeley Green UTC
Berkshire Wellington College
Bootle Hugh Baird College
Bridgwater Chilton Trinity School
Brynnau Rhondda Cynon Taff Brynnau Primary
Cardiff Cardiff and Vale College
Chippenham Hardenhuish School
Clitheroe Ribblesdale High School
Cold Ash Downe House School
Denbigh Myddelton College
Derby Derby College
Derby Repton School
Exeter Cornerstone Academy Trust
Exeter Exeter College
Falkirk St Mungo’s RC High School
Ferndale Darran Park Primary School
Fife Queen Anne High School,
Filton SGS College
Glasgow Glasgow Kelvin College
Grimsby The Grimsby Institute
Huddersfield Kirklees College
Lincolnshire Skegness Infant Academy
London City of Westminster College
London Dulwich College
London Eltham College
London La Sainte Union Catholic School
London Wimbledon High School
Manchester Trafford College Group
Marlow Danesfield School
Milton Keynes Denbigh School
Milton Keynes Milton Keynes College
Northampton Simon de Senlis Primary School
Paisley West College Scotland
Peterborough Bishop Creighton Academy
Peterborough Newark Hill Academy
Port Tablot Ysgol Bae Baglan
Reading Queen Anne’s School
Reading UTC Reading
Redditch Heart of Worcestershire College
Risca Risca Community Comprehensive School
Settle Giggleswick School
Skegness Skegness Junior Academy
Smethwick Shireland Collegiate Academy
Treorchy Treorchy Comprehensive School
Twickenham Richmond Upon Thames College
Upper Largo Kirkton of Largo Primary School
Weston-Super-Mare Weston College
Woodbridge Framlingham College
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2020