Stocksbridge Nursery and Infant School
Stocksbridge Nursery and Infant School is in a South Yorkshire township on the edge of Sheffield. The area developed around the steel industry, but with industry declining, families in the area are increasingly struggling. There are nearly 300 very young students at Stocksbridge school, all between 3 and 7 years old. Around 40% of the school's families are on the poverty line, and fewer than half the children there have parents who read to them at home.
Stocksbridge Head Teacher, Jane Townsend, has been at the school for 12 years, and she says teachers work hard to balance what for some children is an unstable home life.Technology is an important part of meeting children's needs, helping teachers engage their young students by offering compelling, interactive lessons. Mrs Townsend says teachers are reliant now on educational software and hardware, and the children expect it. The challenge is ensuring classes are equipped with the most up-to-date technology that meets children's needs and doesn't overrun the budget.
In considering a schoolwide technology upgrade, Mrs Townsend wanted to ensure the technology was the best and latest available, and she also wanted to address two key concerns with the Promethean panels she was replacing. First, the older panels were hard to see in some classrooms, even with newly installed blinds. Second, Mrs Townsend says that given the limited patience for turn-taking in very young children, it was a priority to find a system that allowed more than one student to use it simultaneously.
Technologists here at CBC Computer Systems worked with Mrs Townsend to address those needs. They brought in a SMART Board interactive display for teachers to look around and play with, Mrs Townsend says, and the technology proved a perfect fit. In addition to addressing her concerns about improved visibility and simultaneous multi-user functionality, the SMART Board displays are available using SMART's ClaaS subscription service, meaning the whole school can be upgraded at once and the cost is spread over a flexible term.
How SMART Solutions Improved Learning Outcomes
The new SMART Board displays paired with SMART Learning Suite software have made an impression on Stocksbridge students and teachers alike, increasing engagement and offering a platform to practice important skills like collaboration. Mrs Townsend says the new technology has proven especially useful in terms of introducing lessons with colourful, multi-sensory tools.
With more than one child manipulating images, playing games and drawing at once, students can now work together on a task. SMART has also made a difference with shared reading time, because all the children can now read together from the displays. As just one example, Mrs Townsend says there's a new student who has shown a particular interest in technology, and the SMART interactive displays have helped draw him into class routines and content. Diagnosed with autism, he has special education needs, and can struggle to stay on task. His fascination and remarkable competence with technology means the classroom SMART Board offers both a special draw and helpful reward.
To help teachers tailor their use of SMART hardware and software to specific students and to the curriculum, they are given ongoing training as part of the SMART ClaaS subscription. It helps them get the most out of the new technology, and Mrs Townsend says the more they learn, the better they can integrate its features into teaching and learning.