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Jane Townsend, Head Teacher
Stocksbridge Nursery and Infants School, Yorkshire, UK
To upgrade technology school-wide with the latest hardware and software, while staying on budget.
SMART Board® 6265
SMART Learning Suite Software
Up-to-date technology throughout the school giving teachers the tools they need to engage and educate their very young students.
Stocksbridge Nursery and Infant School is in a South Yorkshire township on the edge of Sheffield. The area developed around the steel industry, but with industry declining, families in the area are increasingly struggling. There are nearly 300 very young students at Stocksbridge School, all between 3 and 7 years old. Around 40% of the school’s families are on the poverty line, and fewer than half of the children there have parents at home who read to them.
Stocksbridge Head Teacher Jane Townsend has been at the school for 12 years, and she says teachers work hard to balance what for some children is an unstable home life. Technology is an important part of meeting children’s needs, helping teachers engage their young students by offering compelling, interactive lessons. Mrs. Townsend says teachers are reliant now on educational software and hardware, and the children expect it. The challenge is ensuring classes are equipped with the most up-to-date technology that meets children’s needs and doesn’t overrun the budget.
In considering a schoolwide technology upgrade, Mrs. Townsend wanted to ensure the technology was the best and latest available, and she also wanted to address two key concerns with the Promethean panels she was replacing. First, the older panels were hard to see in some classrooms, even with newly installed blinds. Second, Mrs. Townsend says that given the limited patience for turn-taking in very young children, it was a priority to find a system that allowed more than one student to use it simultaneously.
Technologists at CBC Computer Systems worked with Mrs. Townsend to address those needs. They brought in a SMART Board interactive display for teachers to look at and play around with, Mrs. Townsend says, and the technology proved a perfect fit. In addition to addressing her concerns about improved visibility and simultaneous multi-user functionality, the SMART Board displays are available using SMART’s ClaaS subscription service, meaning the whole school can be upgraded at once and the cost is spread over a flexible term.
If you’ve got 38 three-year-olds and you want to get their attention, you use the SMART Board and you have them instantly. The children have just taken to it really quickly. They like to draw, they like to play games, and it’s great for developing social skills and sharing.”
– Jane Townsend, Head Teacher,
Stocksbridge Nursery and Infants School
The new SMART Board displays paired with SMART Learning Suite software have made an impression on Stocksbridge students and teachers alike, increasing engagement and offering a platform to practice important skills like collaboration. Mrs. Townsend says the new technology has proven especially useful in terms of introducing lessons with colourful, multi-sensory tools.
With more than one child manipulating images, playing games and drawing at once, students can now work together on a task. SMART has also made a difference with shared reading time, because all the children can now read together from the displays. As just one example, Mrs. Townsend says there’s a new student who has shown a particular interest in technology, and the SMART interactive displays have helped draw him into class routines and content. Diagnosed with autism, he has special education needs, and can struggle to stay on task. His fascination and remarkable competence with technology means the classroom SMART Board offers both a special draw and a helpful reward.
To help teachers tailor their use of SMART hardware and software to specific students and to the curriculum, they are given ongoing training as part of the SMART ClaaS subscription. It helps them get the most out of the new technology, and Mrs. Townsend says the more they learn, they better they can integrate its features into teaching and learning.
“On the Promethean, only one child could touch it at one time. But on the SMART Board different children can do it at the same time and it’s better because when they are very little they find it very difficult to wait their turn.”
“We could have just gone piecemeal and replaced the hardware bit by bit, but I wanted to make sure we did the whole school at once. I wanted everyone to have the very best up-to-date hardware and software to start the year, and the ClaaS leasing model was the only financially viable way we could manage that.”
Posted: January 30, 2020
in Customer Stories