14 September 2023
Mr Tom Rattle, Senior Teacher Digital Learning and Innovation
We are delighted to announce that Woldingham has been accepted as a Microsoft Showcase School, an elite group of schools that exemplify the best of teaching and learning in the world today. Only 0.25% of schools in the UK can claim this accolade and we are very proud to be amongst this year’s cohort.
Completing a successful application for the process usually takes schools a few years, but with the strides in digital learning Woldingham has made since 2020, and the enthusiasm and dedication from our committed staff, Woldingham was able to meet the criteria needed to receive the achievement within a year. The process does not finish here. Being a Microsoft Showcase School is a rolling programme as the school continues to improve the experiences and outcomes for students in all things digital.
The programme has five strands, in which the school needs to demonstrate we are ‘advancing’: leadership and commitment to a digital transformation, improving teacher effectiveness to deliver the best possible outcomes for students, personalised learning strategies so students can reach their full potential, innovative use of technology to help students develop future-ready skills, and using data effectively to inform decisions about academic and pastoral progress.
Behind the scenes at school, a digital strategy group is leading this area and has teaching and learning at the heart of its goals. Rather than invest in technology which can sometimes offer a wow-factor but offer little in tangible outcomes for students, the group is focusing on existing provision at school with both hardware and software and making improvements.
Extensive training for teaching staff on software such as OneNote, Teams, and Office 365 means teachers can provide a seamless experience for students so they can access work, support, and communicate easily with them both inside and outside the classroom. While teachers are still the expert at the front of the room, providing guidance and inspiring students to love their subject, wireless projection technology mean teachers can do this in a more dynamic way as they move around the classroom interacting with students. Students are also harnessing technology by asking questions or sharing thoughts in discussions on the allocated Teams for their subject, or in other special interest groups such as REthink or STEM Society. This also helps prepare them for life after school at university and in work.
We are very excited to continue our journey of digital transformation with Microsoft and look forward to working more closely with students on what they want to see, including optimising the opportunities of our New Sixth Form Centre and Library, where we’ll have digital workspaces.
If you are interesting in finding out more, please contact me, or you can learn more about what it means to be a Showcase School here: Showcase Schools: Digital Schools | Microsoft Education