The report will discuss a strategy for the management of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for Forest Hill Primary School. The Strategy for Forest Hill Primary School has been designed to achieve level 5 in all elements of the Becta Self Review framework.
Information Communication Technology has emerged as an important tool in increasing administrative efficiency and effectiveness in teaching and research. But the implementation of ICT in education involves environmental and monetary costs. And this cost keep increasing new technologies keep coming and become a necessity for the organisation to implement. Despite there are recurring expenses such as electricity bills that the institutions have to pay for.
How ever the benefits are far beyond the cost issues and there is external pressure (i.e. from governments, regulatory sources, public, and students) on educational organisations to adopt ICT in their curriculum.
It is imperative for successful implementation of ICT and availing its benefits that all the pupils feel comfortable and confident to use it and enjoy learning it. Likewise it is also imperative that the curriculum be strong enough to equip these students with adequate skills to cope with fast developing technology in the world. This also should be friendly effort to develop their motivational and social skills along.
Element 1: Leadership & Management
Vision - At Forest Hill primary school, ICT will be used effectively to enhance learning and teaching in all curriculum areas, to improve administration and management processes, to promote extended learning and, overall, to improve pupil attainment and also use technology to effective administration and monitoring of their all round development stages by integrating all available information into system such as their achievements, health, dietary requirements and emotional development etc.
We believe - That students should be taught in a manner that makes them used to of the future technologies and work environments. But I should be done in an enjoyable manner. They should learn new skills individually, as well as collaboratively; hence ICT needs to be involved in every area of the curriculum, where ever possible.
Aims - At Forest Hill Primary School, our aims for ICT are:
ICT should be introduced in a manner that children enjoy to learn and feel excited to do things using the given tools. It should encourage them to use their imagination, reasoning and investigative skills and take initiatives.
Children should understand the importance of ICT behavior and it application in day to day life. They should be able to use it and control it confidentially in today's social environment, where ever it is available.
As the ICT is been implemented as a National Curriculum in schools, our aim is to make our students competitive by improving the capabilities.
The ICT should be implemented with proper differentiation so that children can learn it to the best of their ability.
Staff should be trained not only with ICT skills but also with the skills on how can pupils be involved and taught in a comprehensive manner.
Strategies - Our strategies to implement ICT at Forest Hill Primary School include:
Outline learning intentions.
Plan small activities with focus on time and learning potential.
Plan activities in various sessions so that all the students get the opportunity to involve in and experience it.
Encourage students to complete the task either individually, or in group, without or at least intervention of instructors.
Encouraging students to take part in group activities and team work.
Providing sufficient rooms for intermediate discussions during the learning process so that children can clear their doubts as and when they feel one. To encourage them to do so.
Dividing large activities in parts and assign each part to different group of students, and then reach them to collaborate and complete it.
Maintaining proper record and monitoring that each student gets equal opportunity to learn and grow.
Setting targets as per individual students capabilities and capacities, not for whole class.
Provide them with opportunity to print, publish and display student's work on notice boards, magazines and school's website.
Learning & Teaching - Internet is growing to be an essential utility in our day to day life for business and social organisation. Forest Hill Primary School is committed to provide quality internet access to it pupil for their academic requirements. This will be part of the curriculum and a mandatory qualification for teachers, staff and pupils.
The internet is available for pupils under our 'Students' Café Zone. There are proper restrictions set on the network to ensure healthy use of internet by staff and students. Everyone is informed of the acceptable uses of the Internet and guided through the specified learning objectives. Students are taught to research, retrieve, evaluate and use the information from the internet. They are given proper guidance to ensure authenticity of any information they retrieve online, before applying into application. Both students and staff are both made aware about the copyright law and its complications. Pupils are not allowed to surf internet on their own, they are allowed to explore websites recommended by their teachers or ICT instructor.
Curriculum Organisation - By nature ICT curriculum is expected to change frequently. Introducing ICT at the school is going to bring notable improvement in the school performance hence considerable improvement in its current infrastructure and skills have taken place. New hardware has been purchases, spaces have been arranged so that to accommodate computers and other essentials comfortably and arrangements have been made for proper training of staff members.
We found it complicated to develop our own curriculum and adapting QCA scheme of work. The ICT curriculum has been designed by out ICT coordinator with due consolation with the Head Teacher and other key members. But is certainly incorporates the national curriculum level i.e. level 2 in KS1 and level 2 in KS4. It's been based on the small units, taking gradually students from one level to another in an easy manner.
We have made provisions to access and record development of students after completion of each unit. This is achieved by small do-it-yourself types of exercise and the end of each and performance is graded on success ratio. These grades are then used to judge the overall development of students.
We maintain a record of students 'performance throughout the curriculum completion and do put extra efforts on weaker students. The records regularly monitored by ICT coordinator.
Access to ICT - It has been made mandatory for all the students at Forest Hill Primary School, regardless of their class, grade, race, culture or physical capabilities to take use ICT to the best of their abilities. In case where some children are not in the position to us e normal PCs for their purpose, either due to physical inability or lack of understanding, special equipment and software are provided to encourage them and improve their level of skills. Students with learning problems are guided through the entire ICT process during their curriculum. All means are implemented to motivate students and improve their accuracy and presentation skills, thus boost self-esteem and confidence.
Equal Opportunities - The Forest Hill Primary School is committed to provide equal opportunity to all students for using computers. All the students are provided equal opportunity to use IT resources for their learning activities. We also encourage students who have computers at home to use it for their benefit and parents are also advised for the same. A consistency is maintained din a pattern of lessons to make them comprehensive.
Grouping of the students is based not only their academic level but also on their intellectual level or for their learning abilities. We avoid a system of promoting high caliber students to teach the weaker ones as it gives away to dominance and inferiority complex and positivity to the weaker students and is not good for their fair development.
The school has attempted to establish a communication system between homes based computers and schools computers so that students can transfer their work direct to the school online. They are provided required training in this respect. Parents are advised to keep their computer safe for their children's access. They are informed on how they can prevent disadvantageous computers at home.
Boys and Girls, both genders of students are encouraged equally to use computers and other ICT resources. We also understand the benefit of using ICT in teaching children with special educational needs, and this is met appropriately. The lessons are designed in an appropriate manner for the children with learning difficulties and, if need be, special instruments or ICT resources will be acquired for the purpose.
Recording & Assessing - As Discussed above the administrative system is used to record the progress of students reviewed periodically by teachers and ICT instructor of the school. Children's progress is asses both short and long duration tasks and at the same time, the design of lessons is also a topic of discussion and comparison for future improvement towards to make it more comprehensive. This whole Exercise complies with the QCA recommendations to the best support the teaching and learning assessment requirements and benefits.
Teachers are required to record the process of assessment and give their reasoning behind any observation on performance of any individual student or group of students. Relevant evidences, such as photographs, saved work, print outs of pupils work and discussions, if available, are recorded for this purpose. These records of an individual pupils work is stored to his/her portfolio of exemplar assessment through out his/her time at school. The whole processed is designed on the recommendations provided on National Curriculum action site for ICT. Marking is based on our own policies though.
Monitoring & Evaluation - Introducing ICT at Forest Hill Primary School is an effort to improve the school in fact. While we understand the rapid changing nature of ICT curriculum, we are required to keep it updated always. We keep reviewing the website of National Curriculum for the purpose. Our ICT policies are reviewed and revised on yearly basis. The ICT coordinator is responsible to discuss the issues with teachers and other staff on effectiveness of existing policies as per QCA Scheme of Work. The ICT coordinator check it with the subject coordinator that curriculum is planned and evaluated.
Children's performance is monitored constantly by their teachers and randomly by the ICT instructor, who is responsible for watching performances of the teachers. ICT instructor is responsible to ensure that all hardware, software and other ICT resources are in working condition. Children's development will be monitored after every unit of work and evaluated in terms of its objectives and achievements.
Staff Development - Staff is encouraged to receive proper training on how ICT is to be implemented and oragnised in the school. They are trained in a number of schools and educational settings and provided with the opportunity to work with students of different age groups and different intellectual stages
The fulfillment of staff training requirements is ensured by:
A regular audit of staffs skills and confidence in using ICT
Individual training sessions to clear doubts and improve skills
ICT coordinator attends training sessions and help teachers and staff wherever required
Health & Safety - Our health and safety measures comply with the e-safety regulations which include use of internet and other electronic devices such as mobile phones, printers, scanners, modems etc. Proper instructions are issued to pupils regarding safe use of ICT, its benefit and risks, and its ensured they understand these instructions and use them for better work experience.
The new e-safety policy is broader and applicable to all electronic communications, including internet, thus more effective and better than only internet safety policy. These e-safety policies at Forest Hill Primary School are part of the Health and Safety policies of the school such as student behavior. Data protection, curriculum bullying, cleaning etc.
This also incorporates standard child protection policies, through:
An e-safety officer is appointed to ensure it
E- Safety policies are reviewed annually along with the review of other policies; they will not be restricted to annual review and revision though. If needed, a revision can be introduced in mid term, after due consultation with ICT coordinator staff and teachers.
Service/Support - The staff and teachers at Forest Hill Primary School are free to seek support from the ICT coordinator on issues pertaining ICT implementation. They are free to reach ICT coordinator to clear all their doubts, confusion immediately. They are also asked to contact ICT coordinator only incase of any machine or equipment is not functioning properly, has got a problem, or needed adjusted/shifted. The ICT coordinator is then responsible to look at the situation, do the needful or call any outside service provider to correct the problem, if needed. Forest Hill Primary school has signed an Annual Maintenance Contact with appropriate vendor for speedy and accurate solution of any problem.
Pupils, if facing any problems during their ICT applications are free to reach theirs teachers and staff members though.
Element 2: Curriculum
Planning - All computers in Forest Hill Primary School are interconnected with the curriculum server. The desktop and other display schemes are identical so that they make it easier for pupils to find objects. Wherever student login from, they will see a same desktop. This facilitates a familiar environments and easy access to the desired applications.
ICT will be incorporated in all programs and subjects. Instead of following QCA Scheme of Work, the school implements it own ICT curriculum in line with the National Curriculum though this helps us revise per pupils requirements and better prospects.
Student's progress is recorded as per schools own grading system and monitored by the ICT coordinator.
Learning/skills/Opportunities - Students are taken through ICT via all their applicable subjects. They are equipped with the instructions on safe use of internet and what is acceptable and what is not. All the students have equal opportunity to use ICT resources, under supervision of their teachers. Students are divided into groups on their basis of catching power and intellectual acceptance and lessons are adjusted accordingly to ensure optimum educational benefits to each student.
Staff - School staff is encouraged and trained to comply with the standard ICT policies. Proper training is provided on how to implement ICT effectively in schools and all their doubts and confusions are cleared by ICT coordinator as and when they arise.
Up-to-date - It is responsibility of ICT coordinator to keep reviewing the curriculum and ICT policies and introduce revisions, whenever it's required, to ensure updates. Likewise it is the responsibility to ICT coordinator to keep all hardware and software updated at the school.
Leadership - while pupils are able to access their teachers and staff members for all their ICT related or any other problem they experience during the learning process, all the teachers and staff members are able to reach ICT coordinator with any ICT related issues. He is in the position of leader ship at this stage and responsible to solve all such issues in his capacity. ICT coordinator is allowed to reach the Head of School incase of any new service/support/equipment requirement.
Element 3: Learning & Teaching
All staff and teachers at Forest Hill Primary School have been well informed and trained of ICT implementation process, its uses, benefits and risks in student earning process. A fool proof monitoring system has been implemented where in performances of pupils, and their teachers could be tracked. While developments are sustained the weaknesses are worked on immediately for their removal.
There are plans in place to ensure development of pupils not only at school but at home too. For this purpose, parents are also consulted and advised on how they can implement ICT for educational benefits at home. They are guided on how they can help their ward in accessing ICT in a safe and secure manner. Students are assigned task to do independently and in team. However their activities are monitored all the time by teachers and notable comments are recorded.
Staff is taught on how to evaluate the impact of ICT on pupil's performance and how to improve it. They are encouraged to discuss things together and also with ICT coordinator for better ICT implementation.
While our prime aim is to ensure pupils development through ICT, we need to make them aware of the benefits of this system and encourage them to use it. We need to teach them what to expect from ICT and how to achieve it in a safe and secure way.
Am agreed whole school ICT policy is in place covering ICT for teaching and learning across the curriculum at all key stages. Innovation utilising ICT is encouraged for future areas of development.
Element 4: Assessment
At Forest Hill Primary school the assessment procedures are:
To observe how children perform a given task
To diagnose difficulties pupils are experiencing
To decide which strategy work best for each individual child
To collect these of his/her work as proof in portfolio development
Marking it with important notes regarding concentration, team work, time taken etc
To ask child what he/she liked or disliked in any particular task and what will make it easier for him/her
To incorporate this self and students feedback into planning process
To make adjudgment about a Childs progress and his/her level of learning
To keep a close eye on objectives and to ensure that learning is the prime outcome of this process
Regulative formative assessment of student's performance and development is the essential in good ICT practice. Main objective of assessment at Forest Hill Primary school is o make teachers aware about students capacity and match the curriculum to his/her abilities and needs thus ensure progressive learning.
Forest Hill primary school ICT capabilities are assed regularly in terms of QCA requirements. Teachers are required to assess modules and activities to match student's knowledge and capacity. Other cross curricular activities are also assessed on the same grounds of improvements could be introduced after discussion between the teacher and ICT coordinator.
Records are maintained for each child with evidence of performance. A separate file folder on the curriculum server will be assigned to each student for storing his or her work.
Element 5: Professional Development
Implementation for ICT at Forest Hill Primary School is also an attempt to improve the school. As we are aware that ICT is rapidly developing the field and Forest Hill Primary school, being an educational organisation, need to keep it self updated to the latest developments in this sector and implement them at school so that students get knowledge of the latest technology.
For this purpose the curriculum and the ICT resources including Hardware and Software are assed periodically by the ICT coordinator and replaced with the new ones if any are available.
It is the responsibility of the ICT coordinator to keep monitoring the quality of training that students are receiving at Forest Hill Primary School is up to date. This can only be achieved when teachers and staff are properly trained to use latest applications and has knowledge about them hence a periodical check and staff meeting will be conducted to this affect.
Teaching material is stored properly so that it can be retrieved and used whenever required. External trainers can be recruited to train teachers and staff if required.
Element 6: Extended Opportunities for Learning
ICT introduces innovations in teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum. It impacts learning in a way that is not possible to achieve with conventional methods.
Impact on Pupils - We Encourage students to access all ICT in all types of learning process. There were considerable development notes in the works they produced. This could further be improved by increasing confidence and motivation.
Impact on Parent & Community - Implementing ICT in schools make is easy for teacher to evaluate and record the performance of students with supportive evidences and can even directly convey them to parents and discuss the issue mutually. This also facilitates the parent-teacher communication on the progress of students and better planning for children's development.
Transfer ability & Sustainability - ICT at school has made it possible to transfer the information of any student's development easily to any new teacher which might be taking charge of the old one. The teacher is able to look at the past performance of the students though ex-teachers comments and proof of work and then plan for future work accordingly.
Element 7: Resources
Total Cost of Ownership -
The Total Cost of Ownership of ICT at Forest Hill Primary school includes items such as:
Buying and leasing computer hardware and software.
Connection to the internet.
Hardware and software maintenance.
ICT support technicians.
Support from your LEA or from a supplier.
Staff time spent preparing/fixing ICT equipment.
Provisions & Access - Forest Hill Primary School uses two computer network systems. One for administrative purposes, other for ICT curriculum learning activities. Both the network systems run from their own respective servers. There are independent software resources for both of them. Internet is available for both of them. Internet is available on both the servers and uses restricted and filtered for any misuse.
The admin services I placed in the Main office while the curriculum server is installed in the cabin of the ICT coordinator. There are 20 laptops for the curriculum activities and one laptop for the teachers use. All these laptops and curriculum servers have been given the same display settings to render familiar work environment to pupils. Both the servers are protected with hidden passwords and USER IDs and a log of activities is always maintained through the software applications.
Network & the Internet - Internet is available on all computers and laptops but can be accesses with authorised passwords only which are available to teachers and staff members only. This is to ensure students may not misuse it and whatever they want to access online is in knowledge of their teachers.
Technical Support - The ICT coordinator is responsible to provide technical support to staff, teachers and students. Annual maintenance contract has been signed with the supplier and ICT coordinator is authorised to ensure smooth operations.
Element 8: Impact on pupil outcomes
Impact on Pupils achievements - The use of ICT process makes the earning process easy and faster than conventional system. It has been observed that children feel excited and attentive learning new things here. Parents have also identified and acknowledged faster development in the learning skills of their child because of use of computers. They are learning new things at fast pace. Moreover they are aware of the use of ICT in society and respond confidently.
Personalisation for Learning - The ease of record keeping has made the process of teaching easier. Teachers can easily identify the short comings of a student and devise a plan to provide support by Personalisation of curriculum. Beside students them selves are encouraged to and often find solution of their problems using internet and other ICT guides.
Pupils Self assessment & Peer Review - The online communication facilitates such as chatting emailing has improved interaction learning at school and home as well. Students are often observed discussing their problems with the other students and asking each other a review of their work. They have been founding helping each other in work and thus teaching and learning new things. Most of the pupils even those at 5th level can review teacher's feedback of their work online and correct mistakes.
Promoting Collaborative Learning - Many of the team activities have been included into ICT curriculum which helps to bring students together and work in a team to achieve same target. These collaborative exercises have been found very helpful improving their interaction, communication and team work habits and learning efficiency.
The overall study reveals that ICT has been helpful in improving overall performance of Forest Hill Primary School, its teacher's staff and students as well. While the schools administration has used computers for better administration and management of the school, teacher and students are availing it for greater interaction learning exercises. This is helping students to take part in learning activities actively and enthusiastically. Another benefit of the ICT is that parents can also be involved while reviewing a child's progress and development stage by sharing the works online. This parent-teacher interaction brings students and teachers more closer and results in better performance of both.