Tottington Primary School, in Greater Manchester, and Brownedge St Mary’s Catholic High School, in Bamber Bridge were runners up in BT’s annual Tech Factor competition. The competition invited schools to provide a wish list of equipment and to demonstrate how they could make smart use of technology to enhance learning and ensure students are armed with the digital skills for a tech-savvy future. They beat around 50 schools nationally to win the runners up prize of £5,000 to spend with Business Direct, BT’s IT hardware and software reseller.
Tottington Primary will use the award to improve their physio room including installing a ground level interactive white board and creating a dedicated multimedia room with green screen and virtual reality headsets. The school received the award due to it being one of the most in need of new equipment and also the way the pupils overwhelmingly asked to upgrade the physio room, even those who don’t use it. Simon Hunt, a teacher from the primary school, said: “The new equipment is going to make a massive difference to the pupils at our school. In the physio room, the new floor level interactive whiteboard will enable children who are in physio to continue with their lessons so they won’t miss out and the virtual reality headsets and dedicated multimedia room will enable the children to further explore the world in a safe environment. Winning the prize and being able to buy the equipment means that next year we’re going to start a digital leaders group where children from different classes will be making the most of the new kit to create films and videos and teach their classmates how to use it.”
Brownedge St Mary’s will use the award to invest in Apple Mac computers to teach their pupils music and creative arts. The school was awarded the prize due to its innovative video entry, which showed that you don’t need to involve lots of teachers and students to create a fantastic video which clearly illustrates your message. Henry Perkins, head of music at the school, said: “The current PCs we’re using in school don’t give us access to the apps and tools needed for creative media. The new Apple Macs we’re going to buy with the prize money will enable us to give the children in our school an earlier start in learning about media, creative media and design. We’ll use them not just for music production but all sorts of creative arts.”
This year, BT was also able to award additional prizes donated by partners. Microsoft, HP, Kyocera, Epson, Fujitsu, Kensington and Brother all sponsored a prize, which gave more schools the chance to win technology. The Tech Factor competition is part of BT’s wider Tech Literacy initiative to inspire young people in the UK to embrace the role technology plays in their lives. Also, with its Barefoot Computing Project, BT is currently offering free teaching-resources and volunteer-led training workshops, designed to help primary school teachers become more confident when teaching computer science and computing skills.