When I visited Broadclyst Community Primary School it was a bit like the tardis. As I walked in through the gate I had no idea how big the school actually was and I just seemed to keep being shown new bits and more and more great stuff!
I spent a great afternoon there (on the recommendation of Merlin John) with the head of governors and the headteacher, Jonathan Bishop. Johnathan is a true visionary committed to providing high quality and engaging teaching and learning opportunities to the young people in his care.
Broadclyst is an interesting school because they were one of the first schools in the UK to truly embrace ICT in a systematic and strategic way linked to a robust and evolving learning platform. They started this vision over ten years ago and as Johnston told me the vision is constantly evolving.
The school makes heavy use of leasing to ensure that it has high ICT provision but otherwise everything that the school has been done has been done using existing budgets and resources.
Key things about learning design at Broadclyst
- All rooms have video conference facilities that are used extensively by teachers and learners.
- All rooms have high quality projection facilities (often linked to a projector and a large LCD display).
- All room have microphones for the teachers (to preserve teacher voices and also to allow lessons to be recorded).
- All rooms have cameras to allow lesson to be captured and up-loaded to the schools learning environment. Remote observation is also possible.
- In years 1, 2 and 3 each classroom has a row of between 10 – 12 machines that are available for student use.
- In years 4 and 5 children are taught in classrooms that have 1 to 1 access
- In year 6 children are taught as one large group (about 65 children) in a large NASA style lecture theatre. Again all children have 1 to 1 access in this space.
- He school has a fully functioning TV studio with green screen and a planetarium in the school field.
- As well as the main teaching classrooms the school also has specialist rooms for music, art and science.
- There is a library that is full of books that are regularly signed out by the children.
- There is loads of outdoor space that is used all the time.
There is no doubt about it Broadclyst has great ICT provision but when I spoke to some of the children about there favorite part of the school none of them mentioned ICT. This told me one extra thing about Broadclyst that it has achieved what so many other schools had been trying to achieve for years – ICT was so integrated into the everyday powerful learning opportunities on offer to the children that the technolohy had simply become invisible.
A very special school that I would recommend visiting if you get a chance.