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☰ Producing 21st Century Learners

Head's Blog

Producing 21st Century Learners

Posted on November 25 2020

Looking back on my own school days, one of the most exciting memories was when the teacher would wheel in the television on its portable stand. We knew at that moment we were all in for a treat when that seismic structure entered the classroom. Along with some sporadic use of a calculator in math lessons and brief timetabling of a BBC Acorn computer (remember those!) that was about as much technology as most pupils were exposed to back then.

Thankfully, things have changed for modern day children. There is not a day that goes by that the children of today don’t experience technology at their fingertips. From televisions, to laptops, to tablets or phones, our children are the most technologically advanced that there has been. 

At Forest Park, along with the assistance of Bellevue, we have invested heavily in our 21st Century technology at the school. We now have castable TV screens in every classroom along with screens utilised in the school hall and learning zone. Our teachers all have Chromebooks that cast links and activities directly into the classroom. This has revolutionised the way we interact with our pupils and further enhances their learning experience both in school and at home. 

Alongside this, we have also enhanced our tablet and Chromebook provision for pupils and further improved and upgraded our IT resources. The advantages to using devices in the classroom are numerous. Including the development of much needed future skills, learning through different styles and greater access and inclusion of all learners in the classroom.

Technology is not only used as a tool to research and record learning at home and in school but also as a means of developing the key skills needed to live and thrive in an ever changing modern world. 21st Century skills are essential in the workplace today and the educational technology at Forest Park provides the tools to prepare our children to engage meaningfully with the world they live in, to solve problems using critical thinking and to be able to communicate and collaborate with others. 

Combined and progressive learning has been an approach used by Forest Park for quite some time.  Incorporating the best practices of traditional teaching and learning with the innovative wealth of multi-media tools, educational platforms and accessibility features provided by technology has shown to increase our pupil engagement and learning outcomes as well as providing more opportunities for both teachers and children to personalise their learning. Never has there been a time more prevalent for these skills to be put to the test.

Since Covid-19 hit in March 2020, technology was instrumental in ensuring the continuity of teaching and learning at Forest Park. From March to June 2020, Forest Park’s teachers made the best use of these tools to help our children continue learning as successfully as possible. This could not have been possible without the background planning and work from previous years with our technological provision within our school community. 

Whilst nothing will ever replace the classroom experience and the bond between a teacher and a child, when used correctly, technology is a powerful tool that can increase safe, effective communication and collaboration between teachers and pupils. It enables pupils to learn at their own pace and in the way that suits them best, and increases their confidence and independent learning skills, helping them to achieve their potential and to learn anytime, anywhere.

At Forest Park, our team of teachers and dedicated staff have continued learning within the classroom and increased our pupils’ use of technology. We are confident that we will continue to enhance our pupils 21st Century skills so that they are best prepared to succeed in the next stage of their educational journey and also, ultimately, in the workplace. Together, both our excellent teaching team and enhanced technology in school will continue to transform the future lives of our children.

Nick Tucker

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