Contemporary education puts each student’s learning first
In a world of profound and rapid change, education cannot stand still. We are preparing students who will be adults in the middle of the 21st century. They will have to face new situations, filter a sea of unchecked information, and solve as-yet-unknown problems. The skills and abilities we develop in children must evolve too. The capacity to adjust in a fluid environment, a creative mindset that can confidently develop solutions to new problems, a critical ability to examine information, and an understanding of other cultures will be paramount.
Research in neuroscience and education shows there are almost as many learning styles as there are individuals. Education needs to be centred around each student’s way of learning.
For all these reasons, we have chosen to progressively implement the use of tablet computers to support our students and help them develop 21st-century skills. Digital devices complement — not replace — traditional pedagogy and provide a versatile means to differentiate the learning experience and encourage creativity and collaboration.
By making the best use of technology alongside other educational practices, our school continues to develop innovative and unique teaching methods. Our responsibility is not just to give students tools to make sense of their world but also mastery of those tools — thus preparing them to find their place actively and responsibly in the world of tomorrow.
Starting in Primary School Years 5 and 6 (CM1 and CM2) students have access to Apple iPad tablets to enhance lessons and academic activities under a teacher’s supervision. Internet access is filtered and restricted. Younger students may make limited use of tablets in some circumstances with the guidance of an instructor and no internet access.
In the Secondary School, all students are loaned an iPad for the academic year to be used for coursework both inside and outside school. The digital device and its contents remain the property of the school, and internet access is filtered.
We believe that digital tablets are a powerful educational tool, and the school provides them for academic purposes only. Internet etiquette and digital citizenship are integral parts of our curriculum from the age of 5. The school has clear and strict guidelines as to what sort of material is allowed on the school-owned digital devices.
Game applications and social-networking platforms on digital devices are not authorised. Students may only use their iPads for personal purposes during lunchtime (between 12:05 pm and 1:15 pm) and only in the student lounge.
Applications are used progressively on the tablets according to the age of the students. (See the chart below on our Progressive Use of Technology.) We also work hand-in-hand with our partner Common Sense to teach our students digital citizenship: They learn how to use technology and the internet responsibly and safely, and are taught to think critically and become savvy users.
Safety, security, responsibility
All students and their parents are required to read and sign our iPad User Guidelines and Agreement, which they receive before the start of the school year along with the school rules. At the beginning of the academic year, parents are invited to an iPad induction course (goals and responsibilities, setting up a specific Apple ID, parental controls, etc.). Only upon completion of the course is a school iPad provided to them for their child or children.
The school is protected by Sophos security software, a filtering and control suite that protects system access, e-mails, and the campus-wide Wi-Fi network. Sophos permits only Google Safe Search, adding an extra level of protection. Student internet access on school premises is submitted to the rigorous control of policies that allow or block certain categories of websites.
Additional IT assistance is offered every Wednesday morning to parents by the school’s technical team.