Apple Distinguished School
Salesian College is pleased to be recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for 2021–2024 following recognition of the positive effect our 1:1 iPad programme has had on the school. We were commended for the impact on teaching and learning and student outcomes, together with development of peer assessment and use of Apple Classroom.
Our mission is to appreciate and develop fully the talents and skills of each and every student, assisting them to grow into well-rounded individuals who will make a significant contribution to 21st century society.
- We follow the guidance of St John Bosco as we walk alongside our students, gently guiding them towards adulthood.
- Our school is a Home - where young people feel welcome, secure and loved; a Playground - where lasting friendships are made; a School - where students are given every opportunity to achieve their full individual academic, cultural and sporting ability; and a Church - where Gospel values and the presence of God in our lives is shared, understood, accepted and lived out in daily life.
Vision for digital learning
Salesian College embraces use of mobile technology, promoting personalised teaching strategies and access to quality electronic resources, allowing our students to connect, communicate and collaborate within their learning environment and beyond. Our long-term vision is supported by a 5-year strategic development plan which aims to integrate rich, effective and ethical use of technological resources into learning, helping students to excel academically and to inspire lifelong learning through 6 priority areas:
- Proficient use of iPad and other Apple resources, supported by robust systems and infrastructure
- Information, data and media literacy
- Digital creation, problem solving and innovation
- Digital communication, collaboration and participation
- Digital learning and development
- Digital wellbeing and safety
By incorporating Apple technology routinely into learning experiences, coupled with personalised learning strategies, we have changed the way our students connect, communicate and collaborate. The role of technology may be minor, for example enhancing a textbook with an animation, but it can be much more innovative when the iPad screen becomes a window into a new world of possibilities, extending learning beyond the traditional time and space constraints of the classroom.
Apple Classroom, coupled with Apple TV allows our teachers to monitor, guide and engage students, promoting discussion and sharing of ideas. Innovation, collaboration and creativity abound. Students produce videos using iMovie; use Pages to collate and evaluate resources, then present their ideas in novel ways, and learn coding with Swift Playgrounds. Third-party apps facilitate Assessment for Learning activities, virtual experiments and examination practice. New courses have been developed in subjects such as Architecture and Design Technology.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, our 1:1 iPad programme enabled an immediate switch to remote live lessons. Students were engaged via video and audio links and use of our Virtual Learning Environment has allowed us to share lesson resources. Teachers could see students’ work in real time, and offer instant and meaningful feedback. Learning Support staff were able to continue to provide personalised support to SEND students. A full curriculum experience was provided and we retain aspects of this new way of working as we reopen.
Use of Apple Technology is firmly embedded within our work. Our Senior Team, Digital Strategy Steering Group, Teaching and Learning Development Group and Student Digital Leaders undertake continued and rigorous review of provision and update our strategy regularly, reflecting on current practice and defining future development. Review is informed by questionnaires, lesson observations and informal discussion between colleagues.
Established staff have all achieved Apple Teacher status, and new staff are encouraged to work towards this designation during their first year with us. All have reported becoming more confident in delivering quality learning experiences with iPad as a result of participation in this programme. Our success was recognised by our commercial partner who invited us to participate in the BETT Show live in London in 2020 and who have recommended us to other schools embarking on a similar journey.
Moving ahead, we will continue to develop our use of Apple technology as an essential tool, to be used seamlessly alongside other resources. Our research based evaluation of strategy will inform further innovation as we seek to redefine learning through use of digital media, providing experiences which would be impossible in a traditional classroom. Innovative development of mastery learning is a key aim, but we will also develop our electronic workflow methodology and provision of individual support for students.
Members of our Teaching and Learning Development Group and Senior Team will continue to reflect, refine, develop and promote the vision, and in the best Salesian tradition we will, as staff and students, walk alongside each other, encouraging organic growth and evolution.