Promethean ActivClassroom solutions help the new £16 million campus at St. Aidan’s Church of England Academy, Darlington, achieve a dramatic turnaround in school attendance and academic results.
Since the implementation of the Promethean ActivClassroom with interactive whiteboards (IWB), the Academy has been transformed from one of the country’s “least effective” schools to a thriving centre of secondary education and beacon of ICT best practice.
Assistant principal, Alan Dick, commented: “We know that technology is a vital part of students’ lives, and we were determined to place it at the heart of our improvement strategy. This approach has paid immediate dividends, renewing students’ enthusiasm for lessons and giving a welcome boost to their results.”
Whereas only 19% of students left the school with five ‘good’ (A*-C) GCSE grades in 2006, this had doubled in 2009, with 39% of students achieving the benchmark – well above the national target of 30%.
Key to this transformation has been the role of classroom technology in addressing student attendance and improving the former school’s ranking as eighth worst in the national truancy league.
Alan Dick added: “Since the opening of the Academy, attendance levels have increased from 81% to over 90% – in a class of thirty, that’s the equivalent of three students turning up to class who were previously disengaged from lessons. The improvement has been influenced by a number of factors but it’s clear that students are more motivated by the use of tools such as electronic whiteboards and learner response keypads, meaning that they look forward to lessons and find it easier to participate.
These results support a recent poll by Becta, the Government agency responsible for promoting the use of ICT in schools. It reported that 95% of teachers now recognise that use of technology is raising standards in schools and colleges (Becta Raising Standards, 2009).