This week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Bett Exhibition.
Bett is the world's leading learning technology event; showcasing innovation and inspiring educational tools for the teaching profession. Technology is without doubt, something that we have always embraced at Invicta and we will continue to do so. I believe that we must be at the forefront of advances in technology if we are to prepare our students for the world ahead of them. I know that it is cliché but it is true, that we can all reflect back and say how things have changed so much – even over the last decade! Bett enabled me to see the amazing ways in which technology can impact upon so many aspects of school life – the creativity of our teaching and learning, the administration and marketing along with the day to day operations such as health and safety. I am sure that our Year 13 students look back on how they used to communicate with one another in Year 7, and now wonder how they would exist without Twitter, Facebook, and Facetime. Indeed, I often reflect on how things have improved for the better with the development of interactive whiteboards, i-Pads, computer controlled systems and software. Every day, we take for granted the fact that we can now process our data at the touch of a button. It is almost immediate and can be communicated to more than one person or organisation instantly. So, it goes without saying, that although I do not like the costs, I see technology as an extremely important aspect of school life and future development. It is interesting, exciting, but importantly, essential to review what is on the market and how it might further develop the quality of what we have at Invicta. At Bett, I was extremely impressed with the finger print technology for registration, library and catering services across the whole school. Equally, I could quickly see how particular software packages would support staff in giving students and parents much more detailed information on student progress. This term, we are about to launch a new administration and data interface across the school and I am now confident that it will certainly improve the speed and quality of our communications with parents and students. One particular feature will be our updated reporting system which will be a much more visual and accessible way of viewing our students’ progress profiles. I am really looking forward to February when this is launched. I think that students, parents and staff will benefit from this hugely.
Student involvement in technology is a vital aspect of our school curriculum. I have spoken about our participation in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) related projects before, but it is pertinent to use this opportunity to congratulate some of our students. Leah Pattison, Eoin Hunt and Astha Gurung who, working with Wilmington Grammar School, received the award for Team Identity and then went on to achieve 2nd place in Wednesday’s Formula 1 Schools Regional Competition. It was a fantastic achievement and they now go on to the National Finals on 12 and 13 March. The team’s ability to work with technology and develop their ideas for a racing car innovatively is a superb way to highlight our ongoing commitment to technology – both now and in the future. I am very proud of their achievement and wish them the very best of luck in March. I am equally extremely pleased that their ability to work as a team on innovation and technology has been recognised. The question for me now, really is ‘what should we be investing in to provide valuable technology and innovation for our students for the future?’ It is a nice dilemma to have and one that will be a priority on my agenda! I am determined, as indeed our students were, to embrace technology and ensure that it is utilised effectively within a culture where it has become inescapable.