The focus of the service is improving outcomes for children and young people through the effective and purposeful use of learning technologies, so that all children and young people can reach their full potential.
We are able do this because we have the skills and experience to support schools in implementing technology in a way which is proven to support teaching and learning. This method includes formulating an ICT strategy, identifying and procuring suitable technologies to meet school priorities, managing a robust technical infrastructure, developing teachers to use the technology effectively and safely with young people through in-class support, face-to-face training and individual planning sessions, and to evaluate the impact on learning.
The success of our team’s approach has been illustrated by a recent Whole School Strategic Review:
“With any special needs school our concerns are whether outsiders understand our young people and the school ethos; in a short time your team clearly did and this was demonstrated in the report. During the review we were able to move quickly to address the concerns, and have experts to call on to be able to meet the needs of the pupils, their curriculum needs, the IT infrastructure and perhaps more importantly than anything else the ever increasing risk associated with eSafety.”
Paul Silvester, North Ridge Community School, Doncaster – September 2015
How we do this:
- We have nationally recognised expertise in online safety and supporting the Computing curriculum, particularly for students with SEND. Our service also provides strategic ICT consultancy, web design, school technical support and strategies for the effective use of technology across the curriculum in all phases.
- Our approach, supported by national and international research, is to improve outcomes for young people by measured interventions in line with school priorities¹, with an understanding that digital skills are at the heart of their future success². We work with a range of local and national organisations³ which informs our knowledge of the latest developments in technology, education and business.
How we support Sheffield’s young people:
- We promote achievement in schools through a wide range of projects, including supporting the Computing curriculum, whole school strategic reviews and engaging literacy and numeracy projects.
- We support inclusion through targeted interventions. This includes engaging hard to reach learners, providing access to resources for students with special needs, and supporting speakers of English as an Additional Language.
- We provide opportunities for students to improve employability skills through projects such as CAFE (Computing as a Family Experience) in which secondary ambassadors learn digital making skills alongside valuable soft skills in order to present what they have learnt to primary pupils.
- Our team helps ensure the safety of our young people in Sheffield through our work with the Safeguarding team, promoting the safe and responsible use of online technologies. This has been made easier for schools through the joint creation of an 5-16 online safety curriculum in Sheffield.
¹ “School systems need to find more effective ways to integrate technology into teaching and learning to provide educators with learning environments that support 21st century pedagogies and provide children with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s world,” Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills ² “We agree with our evidence that digital and technology skills should be considered complementary to numeracy and literacy. Digital literacy is an essential tool that underpins other subjects and almost all jobs. We welcome the introduction of the new computing curriculum in England as a major step towards giving the UK a competitive edge, but there are serious challenges delivering its content. Many teachers are not confident or equipped to deliver the new curriculum.” Make or Break – The UK’s Digital Future ³ Schools, Building Schools for the Future, Learn Sheffield, Lifelong Learning and Skills, University Technical Colleges, Sheffield Safeguarding Childrens Board, Family Learning, EMA/EAL team (ethnic minority achievement/English as an additional language), SCC Digital Strategy Group. Child Exploitation and Online Protection team, Computing At School, Parentzone, National STEM Centre, Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning, local businesses, Open Data Institute, Civica.