Duke of Kent School offers all senior pupils exciting opportunities in the area of digital learning. We ensure that pupils have the best possible access to current technology in the classroom and for independent learning.
We have made a significant investment in digital technology at the School, with a dedicated fibre optic line connected back in 2014 and wi-fi across the campus. In addition to our fixed computing, teaching staff and all senior pupils have dedicated iPads to support teaching and learning. Apple TV is available in all Senior classrooms, enabling teachers or pupils to mirror the content on one device to show to the rest of the group.
iPads are used in lessons as a tool for research, to create presentations and to make revision resources. Experiments are filmed in Science, analysis of play takes place in PE, musicians use their iPads for composition. At the end of a busy session of discussion and brainstorming, students can capture the board of notes in a photograph. They can record and revisit the teaching of tricky new concepts, reinforcing their confidence as independent learners.
Senior pupils make excellent use of the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) where resources for learning are available and tasks are set and can be submitted electronically. This enables pupils to work independently, in and out of School, knowing they will always have access to the material they need to progress or to take the study of a particular area of interest further. Parents also value having access to this resource as it helps them to see what has been covered in lessons, what revision materials are available and how they can best support their children's learning.
In our Activities Programme, pupils have the chance to explore their digital interests further, with Stop Motion Animation, Digital Photography, Computer Coding and Design Your Own Video Game among the offerings.
As we develop our pupils' use of technology, we are careful to balance this with face-to-face interactions and personal communication. When iPads are present in lessons they remain face down on the desk until teachers call for their use. From Year 7 to Year 10, devices are returned to iPad lockers at break times so that pupils can get outdoors and focus on building their friendships in the real, not just the virtual world. In Year 11, as students preparing for the world of college ahead, they can choose to use their iPads at break times, provided that they demonstrate responsible use.
Pupils are trained in 'netiquette' (manners surrounding use of digital devices), responsible care of their iPads and in the vital areas of e-safety and digital citizenship, so that they know how to protect themselves, and behave responsibly with their use of the internet and mobile devices. Senior pupils play a leading role on the whole school e-safety Committee run by Tom Southee, our e-safety Co-ordinator.
A handbook and drop-in sessions are available to parents to explain how iPads are used in teaching and learning. We encourage parents to take an active role in their children's digital lives and we hold termly training sessions for parents on e-safety and responsible use of digital technology.
"The pupils' confidence with, competence in and effective use of ICT to support learning is outstanding and is successfully supported by leadership and management within the school and strategic planning by governors." ISI Inspection Report, January 2017
Please click below for a Government advice leaflet for parents about cyber-bullying.