Not all revolutions have a happy ending. But two schools, Broadgreen International in Liverpool and Prospect House, London, have seen their fight to make ICT integral to learning and to the life of the school rewarded with the "Best Whole School" accolade in Becta’s ICT Excellence Awards 2009, and be crowned as “digital revolutionaries”.
The schools triumphed in a field of more than 100 entrants and were praised by Becta’s chief executive Stephen Crowne who said: “We believe that integrating technology across the entire curriculum – not just using it in ICT lessons – is essential to higher achievement in schools and it makes lessons and learning more enjoyable and rewarding.
“The ICT Excellence Awards are a fantastic way to show just what can be achieved to boost the achievements of young people using technology. It is a great pleasure to reward the hard work of all schools that entered. Winners of the Best Whole School awards, Broadgreen International School and Prospect House School, are shining examples of what can be done.”
The awards are in their fourth year and judges were bowled over by Broadgreen’s futuristic technology centre. Open to the whole school community, it includes an ICT resource centre for the hearing impaired and a ‘silver surfers’ group.
Meanwhile the confidence of the students at Prospect House in using a wide range of ICT tools in every lesson earned top marks for their school. Teachers encouraging them to work together and independently to film and review their sporting achievements on screen, and create animations in art lessons were just two examples of how ICT was used to engage the young learners.
Accepting the coveted award Broadgreen’s assistant headteacher Peter Banks thanked everyone at the school but, “most importantly, we want to thank the pupils who now accept ICT as ‘normal’.”
“We are thrilled to receive this acknowledgement of how far all our staff, pupils and community have travelled on this exciting and ever-changing journey. We know our school is at the cutting edge of technology, and look towards building on this,” he said.
Presenting the winners with their awards actress Meera Syal commented: “When I was at school in Walsall in the 1970s, we didn’t have anything like it. Lots of us have had to learn how to use technology as adults in our jobs, but these days kids are using it in everything they do – in and out of school. I’ve definitely been inspired by these awards to make sure I’m more up to date with the technology that’s around – I only wish I could’ve had the same when I was at school.”
Best whole school award
National Primary winner: Prospect House School, Putney
National Secondary winner: Broadgreen International School - a Technology College, Liverpool
East Midlands (joint winner): Ashover Primary School, Ashover
East Midlands (joint winner): Ryton Park Primary School, Worksop
London winner: Prospect House School, Putney
North East winner: Dyke House Sports &Technology College, Hartlepool
North West winner: Broadgreen International School – A Technology College, Liverpool
Northern Ireland winner: Belfast Model School for Girls, Belfast
Northern Ireland highly commended: St Pius X College, Magherafelt
Scotland winner: Mount Cameron Primary School and Nurseries, East Kilbride
Service Children's Education winner: Hornbill School, British Forces Brunei
South East winner: Horndean Infant School, Waterlooville
South East highly commended: The Cooper School, Bicester
South West winner: Selworthy School, Taunton
Wales winner: Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg, Barry
West Midlands winner: Trinity Church of England Primary School, Wolverhampton
Yorkshire and The Humber winner: Notre Dame High School, Sheffield
Yorkshire and The Humber highly commended: Woodhouse Primary School, Brighouse
Beyond the classroom award
Primary winner: Anson Primary School, Brent
Learning experience award
Primary winner: Alwoodley Primary School, Leeds
Primary runner-up: Herringthorpe Junior School, Rotherham
Secondary winner: Westfield Technology College, Weymouth
Secondary runner-up: Thomas Bennett Community College, Crawley