Headteacher Graeme Aldous of Holy Trinity C of E Primary School in Cookham, Berkshire is a firm convert to Taecanet after just 6 months of use. “There is no doubt in my mind,” said Graeme, “that using Taecanet made a significant improvement to our Year 6 Science SATS in less than 6 months.”
Holy Trinity is a medium size Primary School under the control of the Oxford Diocese and within the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. The school operates a single form entry system and is full with around 210 pupils on the roll. Whilst some of the school buildings date from the earliest date of formation, 1858, in common with many other similar schools, the school has expanded gradually and now has a number of different buildings all occupying the same site.
New Headship and the use of ICT
Holy Trinity is Mr Aldous' first Head ship; he joined the school in September 2005. He describes his objectives as including:-
“I was fortunate to find a school with excellent staff and a well thought-out strategy and policy in place,” said Graeme, “but I did think that although we had a sound ICT infrastructure we could make more use of ICT across the school and the curriculum”. Mr Aldous set about enhancing his ICT focus by:-
“We had a number of ICT programmes in the school but their use was patchy. I was introduced to Taecanet by a member of the PTA who had heard about it,” said Graeme, “and I was impressed by the simplicity of concept and how easy it is to use for both pupils and teachers. It also fitted well into my plan to implement mobile learning through the purchase of laptop technology”
What is Taecanet?
Taecanet is an online e-learning service containing content from the Internet researched and chosen by expert teachers. The content is packaged into “learning journeys” providing teachers with a ready-made, easy-to-use e-learning service for the classroom. It can be used on an interactive whiteboard by a teacher or by pupils on computers. A comprehensive, yet easy to use management system provides information and assessment statistics for teachers.
The initial Taecanet service launched in September 2005 covers 3 subjects – Science, History and Geography for Key Stages 2 and 3; all the subject content is chosen to follow the learning objectives and outcomes of the QCA scheme of work. Over 2500 learning journeys have been created and new subjects and Key Stages are under development.
How was Taecanet used at Holy Trinity?
Taecanet was first used in the school in February 2006 and was piloted with Years 5 and 6 to assess its educational value and impact. History and Geography units were used to support classroom learning and in Science a whole range of KS2 units were allocated to Year 6 pupils to assist with learning in school, homework and revision.
“We allowed pupils to use the school computers inside and outside class time and this proved especially beneficial for those pupils without a PC or broadband at home – or with older brothers and sisters who got to the PC before they did!” added Mr Aldous. “There was a real buzz about the place at lunchtimes and break times and the use of Taecanet was at the centre of this”
How did Taecanet improve Science SATS in such a short time?
“I began to think as early as Easter that the results would improve. The freedom to use Taecanet in and out of school and in and out of class just captured the children's attention and got them engaged with learning. There is also some fun built into Taecanet – so even ‘boring old revision' was enjoyable. But in the end I was surprised and delighted by just how much our Science SATS improved.”
Pupils at all levels of ability reached or exceeded their targets for Science;-
”We are also especially pleased that these achievement levels represent improvements over our expectations compared to previous Year 6 groups, so these results are even more significant.”
Why do you think Taecanet helped so much and how will you use it in the future?
Mr Aldous summed up his experience of Taecanet to date; “Taecanet is a new attractive learning medium. It engages the children's imagination, extending their attention span; it also helps develop the principles of independent, self-paced learning and reduces the time pressure for those who are not as quick to learn in class”
“There is no doubt we will continue to use it. It builds pupils' capacity for independent learning and in just 6 months has proved just how engaging it can be. We will be using the new subjects as they become available – I am especially looking forward to seeing the Citizenship and RE content in autumn 2006 and will be extending our overall use of Taecanet into Years 2, 3 and 4 as well.”
For more information on Taecanet please visit www.taecanet.com
©Taecanet – August 2006