Beyond Engagement

This is worth a read: Beyond Engagement studied the use of ICT to enhance and transform learning at KS2 in literacy, mathematics and science:

This report summarises the findings of a smallscale investigation focusing on the extent to which ICT is being used in primary schools to enhance or transform learning in literacy, mathematics and science. 21 schools were visited for a day by a DCSF School Standards Adviser. The schools were nominated by their local authorities as having at least good practice in the use of ICT and some were judged to be amongst the most effective schools in the local authority.


1. To further the development of the ICT primary schools will benefit from focusing on:
* issues of teaching and learning and not simply on the technology of the ICT application itself;
* the potential of the ICT activities to move beyond pupil engagement to supporting enhanced and deeper learning in core and foundation subjects;
* providing on-going CPD and support for staff in terms of collaborative working and sharing of effective practice.
2. Pupils’ experiences of ICT could be extended to support deeper and enhanced learning in mathematics – rather than, for example, just isolated practice/revision programs or teacher led demonstrations – by sharing more innovative pedagogical approaches of using ICT in the subject.
3. Schools should continue to build connections between the use pupils make of ICT at home to the approaches used within school. In relation to the further development of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), schools need further guidance on how these can best be developed to enhance pupils’ learning.
4. There is a continuing need for support for the leadership of ICT in primary schools. This support needs to encompass senior leadership as well as leadership at subject leader or co-ordinator level.
5. Providing an adequate level of dedicated technical support for ICT is a key priority. As more flexible hardware solutions are implemented, the requirement for expert support to maintain the ICT infrastructure In primary schools will become even more critical.
6. Schools could usefully develop their processes for monitoring pupils’ ICT capability through the key stage so that they can:
* identify aspects requiring further development and next steps for pupils;
* identify potential gaps in the scheme of work;
* be clear about the ICT that pupils should be able to apply in other subjects at each  stage of the year;
* provide meaningful transition data for secondary transfer or change of primary school to support continuity and progression.

The recommendations are interesting:

Point 1 Bullet 1 is significant as it seems to be commenting on the integration of ICT into context rather than the teaching of the ‘nuts and bolts’ … excellent!!

The idea from Point 1 Bullet 2 that ICT is an empowering tool that can have really far reaching implications in all subjects beyond the usual ideas of motivation and enjoyment is excellent and needs to be reiterated into the strategies! This is exemplifies in Point 2.

Point 3 comments that schools should continue to build connections … rather many should actually begin this process and not see it as a voluntary add on.

Point 5 emphasises the fact that this level of use of technology can only be successful if the right technical support is available to make it function and to develop. All too often the technical support is curtailing the development of creative use of ICT rather than supporting it. The expert support must be sympathetic to the aims of the use!

** Thanks to Anthony Evans, Redbridge Primary ICT Consultant,  for pointing me in this direction.

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