Sheffield schools join demonstrator programme to help others meet challenges of remote learning

Two secondary schools in Sheffield have joined forces to support other educational establishments through remote learning after being named an EdTech demonstrator by the Department for Education (DfE).

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 12:30 pm

King Ecgbert School and Notre Dame High School, collectively known as EdTech Sheff, are in a network of 120 demonstrator hubs operating across the country which have displayed excellence in their use of technology.

According to the EdTech Sheff website, both “pride themselves” on making appropriate but innovative use of technology to enhance teaching and learning – with their expertise in remote learning coming to the fore during the periods of lockdown.

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Design and Technology on show at King Ecgbert School.

Together they will seek to support other schools in Sheffield and beyond with written and video stories of their work, webinars to larger groups as well as bespoke work to meet the needs of individual or groups of educational establishments.

Paul Haigh, head of King Ecgbert School, said: “We aren’t pretending we’ve got all the answers. It’s King Ecgbert and Notre Dame working together.

"They’re successful schools but for a start, they’re secondary schools – most schools are primary schools – but we took on the job when it changed to support schools with their move to remote learning and added with that a lot of online technology.”

The programme was announced as part of the Department for Education’s £10 million EdTech strategy in 2019 to help teachers utilise technology to reduce workload, support professional development and improve pupils’ results.

Notre Dame High School joins King Ecgbert School to form EdTech Sheff

But, the spread of Covid and school closures prompted a shift in focus to ensure pupils could access good-quality remote education.

It aims to help education providers who are “using technology effectively” to share their expertise and will run until the end of March.

Mr Haigh added: “The reason I’m pushing it now is because we’re back in lockdown again but the school system has learned so much during the previous lockdowns about how to manage online learning.

"We really want to make sure that anybody who is still struggling gets access to the stories, the expertise and the training.

"We’ve put together so many training videos that show teachers how to do things on software like Microsoft Teams and Google Classrooms that no-one needs to be trying to work it out for themselves and struggling.”

To register your interest for EdTech Sheff click here.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.