Hampton Academies Trust - The Digital Journey
17 May 2022
As a Trust we have been discussing and shaping our Digital Vision for quite some time, so the HAT digital journey started well before the coronavirus pandemic but was definitely accelerated when children were unable to access the classroom in person. From Reception class to Year 13, children and young people were forced to use technology and access learning from home. Staff had to switch whole school systems overnight. The response to the coronavirus has continued to show us how technology can transform teaching and learning. The trust has (and continues to) shape its digital aspirations with a broad group of stakeholders who meet termly and ensure all voices across the trust are heard. We have focused on staff confidence with technology, from regular training, building resource libraries and accessing external CPD. The use of Microsoft Teams standardised across our trust has had a big impact in terms of joined up communication. We now use Teams effectively to support teaching and learning in a way we definitely didn’t pre-pandemic.
HAT was visited on Thursday 5 May by a team of colleagues from the Department for Education and the national EdTech Demonstrator programme looking at our use of technology across the MAT. They looked at the Trust's journey to developing its digital strategy: in delivering a high quality education, shaping its digital aspirations, the key pillars around, innovation, digital skills, infrastructure and particularly around wellbeing, and how we can be more efficient to help support students’ and staff wellbeing and the broader HAT digital planning strategies.
The team visited the Hampton Gardens site and discussed the use of key apps such as Hegarty and Century AI, which have impacted personalised learning. They heard details of: the digital teams, ‘how to’ guides, Trust Teach meets where we share best practice and ideas to innovate, Staff digital advocates and our future plans. They also showcased how Interactive whiteboards are used consistently linked with visualisers for more effective teaching & learning.
We have internal trust EdTech Teach Meets, the most recent bringing in voices of technology specialists and vendors to ensure we are getting the most out of our technology. Century joined for Catch up, Persona for wellbeing and Bromcom for effectiveness.
At Hampton College the team visited The Cloud nurture setting, where students were working on Minecraft and similar software, modelling the Globe Theatre in 3D. They saw students recording and editing their Rap songs; using Cubase and saw the use of IT & Technology with children working with the laser cutters and 3D printers, supporting their design work. All teachers have their own IPads to use in lessons to aid seamless teaching. Students continue to use TEAMS for homework, where they can communicate with teachers and access individual support instantly. Teachers save all lessons on TEAMS for students to access and go back to in their own time.
At Dogsthorpe Infants School the Reception and Year 1 children were seen on our dedicated “Learning Journey” Bus, using AR resources discovering sea creatures and VR headsets where they were able to visit a barrier reef, which really inspired our young people and our visitors. The children were seen using iPads effectively in their learning within the classroom.
The trust schools will continue to innovate and support each other in using technology and developing effective teaching and learning. It was lovely to receive such positive feedback from the DfE about our journey and use of technology, particularly singling out: the fluency of students and staff with technology at HAT and our willingness to experiment and support each other in using technology to support effective teaching and learning.
Overall, a great day and a pleasure to showcase HAT and our digital journey.