Sandringham School is a co-educational state comprehensive secondary school of over 1600 students, based in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Sandringham is a highly attaining school, regularly within the top 100 non-selective state mixed schools nationally in terms of progress. We have recently been designated as a Teaching School Hub.
We introduced a programme called Blended Learning in 2014 that includes a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme for every student with a learning platform built upon Google GSuite for Education. Our learning goals are summarised by the phrase ‘time-shifted and place-shifted learning.’ Students in Key Stage 3 and 4 use tablet devices and Key Stage 5 use laptops delivered in a phased approach over several years. Equity of access for all is ensured by use of Pupil Premium funding.
We have developed significant expertise in digital pedagogy and deliver training via our Teaching and Research School networks. Our practices are evidence-informed and use guidance from the EEF and other expert sources. Subject leaders have had considerable autonomy in steering the programme, unearthing the best tools and teaching practices that suit their subject, and in forming the right blend between analogue and digital.
Our recent transition to remote learning has been reasonably straightforward in that all students have digital platform access. Staff and students have experience of using the main tools as a matter of routine. However, we still faced challenges during restricted school attendance with staff and students needing to not only become familiar with new digital routines, but also develop skills for using new digital tools to support a remote way of working.
Mark Allday is Assistant Headteacher at Sandringham School who has responsibility for the school’s one-to-one device programme and blended learning strategy. The school has embarked with the use of technology since 2012, with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme implemented within the school from 2014. Mark has been involved in delivering training and guiding strategy within schools for a number of years and has supported projects on a national and international scale. Mark is a passionate advocate for pedagogical approaches underpinning the use of technology within school settings, often emphasising that the technology alone is not the answer. Mark is the Director of the Sandringham EdTech Demonstrator Programme and alongside his capable team has trained and advised dozens of school leaders on Educational Technology.