Encouraging Creativity Through Technology

 

A little bit about us

 

Marsden Junior School is located in West Yorkshire, teaching children from Year 3 to Year 6. Since we were first established in 1910, we have always embraced the tradition of success and we pride ourselves on our ability to develop our pupils into lifelong learners.

Our motto at Marsden is one of high aspiration, “Everyone Exceptional, Every day”. We strive for excellence in everything we do and promote values such as respect, honesty, integrity, morality and courtesy which are mirrored throughout our teaching methods.

At Marsden, we have created a vibrant learning environment to encourage our pupils and staff to be the best they can be. Every decision that is made is focused solely on how we can inspire our pupils to achieve their full potential.

 

Why we entered

 

I initially came across Promethean in my first year of teaching. I joined a Facebook page for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) where stories of best practice and resources were being shared. I heard about the ActivPanel through one of the Promethean Advocates who was celebrating the ActivPanel’s abilities to transform the classroom environment for both teachers and learners.

When I found out that there was an opportunity to win an ActivPanel through the Promethean Grant, myself and my Year 3 class decided to enter. In my teaching methods, I regularly try to introduce music and art as the creative subjects have been pushed to the peripheries of education. The Grant was the perfect opportunity for us to embrace our creativity as a class and the pupils were as enthusiastic as I was.

 

What winning means to us

The ActivPanel has become a great asset to our school. When we found out we had won, the children were incredibly pleased as they came up with the entry idea together. We decided to implement the panel in our intervention room to ensure all members of our school could have access to the panel.

I have always encouraged learning through creative measures, and the ActivPanel has aided the children’s imagination ten-fold. We regularly create songs to help the children remember concepts and make difficult topics more enjoyable. With the ActivPanel, not only can we all brainstorm together using the Promethean WhiteBoard App to create a mind map of ideas for our songs, but several children at a time can write their lyric ideas on the board for the entire class to see.

In our class, we use the ActivPanel across a variety of different lessons but one of which, where it has proven to be especially useful, is writing skills in conjunction with iPads. The ActivPanel’s ability to cast from our iPads to the front of class display unit has been extremely beneficial for encouraging peer assessment and interactivity within lessons. This way, pupils can share their writing skills with the class and receive feedback and ideas from their fellow classmates.

We have also been using a selection of Augmented Reality apps with the ActivPanel to help encourage the children’s imagination. With these apps, the ActivPanel has played a positive role for those pupils who have limited life experiences or who struggle to imagine different environments. It is an opportunity for us to use the AR and VR apps, connected to the panel to immerse the entire class in an entirely new environment, allowing them to experience a different reality. We have found this valuable as not only are pupils a lot more engaged with the technology, but it ensures that no one is left at a disadvantage. Overall, the technology within lessons has been a great benefit for our children, they are now more engaged and are investing more into their work, and therefore writing more detailed reports and stories on different topics.

After hearing about our experience with the ActivPanel, Promethean invited me to the Bett Show to deliver a demonstration to visitors on stand about how we use the ActivPanel to spur imagination and creative energy in a session called ‘For the Love of Writing’.

The Promethean Grant was the perfect opportunity for us to express our creative energy and win the latest EdTech. The technology has transformed the way we work in lessons, for me and the pupils. Technology is all around us and it has become an essential part of modern life and the ActivPanel has enabled us to embrace and use the technology in a way that suits us perfectly.

Kyrome Adams, Teacher, Marsden Junior School