Essex school shows Sweden how to do it

A PRIMARY school welcomed 100 international visitors last week to showcase how they have bridged the gap between IT and other subjects.

The visitors were Swedish educators who were in the UK for the annual British Educational Training and Technology (BETT) show in London.

But, after hearing about Flitch Green, they decided to pay a visit to the school to see how they have seamlessly integrated IT into the entire curriculum.

The pupils and staff presented their guests with the history of the school and how it was set up, followed by the vision the school has for its students and the future. This preceded a tour where the Swedish visitors could see the integration in action.

Headteacher Helen Johnson said: “We do not teach IT on its own because we feel this actually limits what they can achieve. We give the children real-life situations and a reason to use IT and as a consequence their enthusiasm and interest enables their learning to reach a higher level.

“Through the creative curriculum we are able to drive the children towards independent learning making them aware of what skills they have and how they can improve.”

In years five and six, the children were learning about persuasive writing. To do this they had written a script to convince a panel to allocate them a place in the last rocket leaving from a dying earth, then read it in front of a camera before using editing software to add music and graphics.

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In the younger years, the children were using the internet to aid their understanding of space, art and creative writing. Their work is then published on blogs, which the children set up, so their parents can see their work which, according to Mrs Johnson, makes the parents feel more involved.

“The feedback we have had from parents has been really positive,” she said.

“I think that using technology in the way we do, by incorporating IT in to every other subject, is the best way to teach children.

“At no time in their lives will they face maths, english or science in seclusion, they will always be integrated so that is the way we teach.”

Flitch Green Primary School opened in 2008 and had only 55 pupils in the entire student body. Two-and-a-half-years and an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report later, the school now teaches over 150 children.

Mrs Johnson said: “When I started the school some parents were willing to take a chance by sending their children to an unknown school.

“After only 18 months we received an ‘outstanding’ grade which is a way of repaying their trust to send their children here.”