Technology for Learning
Technology for Learning is embedded across all areas of the school and carefully considered purchases of hardware and software support its effective use by both students and staff. The ability for students to personalise their own learning with “anytime anywhere” access is actively encouraged.
For the past ten years, Denbigh High School has developed a “Technology for Learning Strategy” which has sought to prepare its pupils to become innovative, international digital citizens. Initially the programme was developed to support the school itself, before cascading as part of rich system leadership to all fifteen schools in the Chiltern Learning Trust. In 2019, the school was chosen by UNESCO as a case study on “Developing and delivering a successful technology for learning strategy in the UK” as part of the UNESCO-Fazheng project on best practices in mobile learning. This led the school to adapt the programme to reflect the Education 2030 agenda, with a particular focus on SDG4 “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” In 2019 the school also contributed to the work of the UNESCO-KFIT Project “ICT Transforming Education in Africa.”
Since 2020 and the global pandemic, the programme has evolved even further as part of the UK’s national EdTech Demonstrator Programme, supporting schools both across the United Kingdom and internationally with developing their technology for learning strategies and crisis resilience.
The school developed the Technology for Learning Strategy to support all areas of the School Improvement Plan (SIP) and maximise the limited access that pupils may have at home to online technology. Visionary practice included the appointment in 2013 of a Director of Technology for Learning to oversee the use and strategic development of online technology across the school and, in 2017, the introduction of a 1:1 device scheme which now allows every pupil in all year groups to purchase a Chromebook for use in school and at home (see image below).
A wide range of multimedia technologies are used to support innovative teaching, learning and assessment practices and staff development, including online Google Classrooms, audio marking and feedback, virtual tours, green screen productions (please see below for an image from our recent cross-Trust production of "A Christmas Carol"), app creation and the effective use of a wide range of mobile devices across all subject areas. Fundamental to all these initiatives has been the development of a device-agnostic, multi-platform learning environment which ensures access for all.
In 2020, Denbigh, working with Challney High School for Girls, was selected by the UK Department for Education to be an EdTech Demonstrator School, supporting other schools across the country with the urgent move to online learning as a result of the national lockdowns. This work continued over a two year period with Denbigh assisting hundreds of schools nationally and internationally with digital strategy and blended and hybrid learning.
As a result of the implementation of its Technology for Learning Strategy, the school has achieved both national and international recognition, with achievement in the past ten years including students being asked to present at the BETT Show, London on ‘App creation across the curriculum’, at the Academies Show, London on ‘Young people as innovators and entrepreneurs’, at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) National Conference on ‘Technology for young people, by young people’, at WE Day UK (at Wembley Arena, London) and on BBC World News. Students have also won the BAME Microsoft Schools Award and six awards at the national Apps for Good Awards.
Students have also been shortlisted for a Tech 4 Good Young Pioneer National Award and a BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Award (Make It Digital). Five students were also placed on The Guardian Teen Power List (of twenty-five teenagers who are changing the world).
The Chartered College of Teaching recognised the school as working at the cutting edge of pedagogy by choosing to include a paper by the Director of Technology for Learning in its special EdTech online edition of “Impact” magazine and by filming a range of staff speaking about their practice and showcasing lessons for two of CCoT’s online Technology for Learning courses.
In 2019 Denbigh was selected as an EdTech 50 school - one of the top 50 schools in the UK for effective use of technology to support and enhance learning and, prior to the pandemic, for three years the school hosted an international Technology for Learning visit from French education dignitaries, policy-makers and leaders from the Ministry of Education of France.
At the end of 2021, Denbigh’s Director of Technology for Learning was appointed to the BETT Advisory Board and also won the Gold Award for Digital Innovator of the Year at the National Teaching Awards.
Please see below for a range of links about the impact of technology for learning at Denbigh High School and across the Chiltern Learning Trust
- UK Department for Education Blog "Embracing technology in school has changed how we teach" - https://teaching.blog.gov.uk/
2022/01/17/embracing- technology-in-school-has- changed-how-we-teach/
- UNESCO Case Study - https://unesdoc.unesco.org/