Haverhill school chosen to be a mentor in online education


A Haverhill school has been selected to play a greater role in supporting online learning and education technology.

Coupals Primary Academy, together with Thomas Gainsborough School, in Great Cornard has been chosen as ‘EdTech Demonstrator’ schools by the Department for Education (DfE).

The status means the two schools, under the banner Unity EdTech, will provide advice to peers who need support with technology and those with the most disadvantaged learners.

David Maguire, headteacher at Coupals Primary Academy, in Chalkstone Way, said: “Our main focus will be initially supporting those schools that don’t have the systems in place for remote learning.

“Both Coupals and TGS feel there is a real benefit to education technology and the crisis has placed an even greater emphasis on this.

“We are also looking forward to working with other demonstrators to improve our own knowledge even further.”

Chris Ryall, deputy headteacher at Thomas Gainsborough School, said: “Both TGS and Coupals are delighted to have achieved the status of ‘EdTech Demonstrator’.

“We believe that the best use of education technology is to have students at the heart of their learning supported by skilled practitioners and we look forward to supporting and developing staff expertise, both within and outside the Trust, to create a real legacy.”

Although Unity submitted its original bid in December, the programme has been “refocused” in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent need for online learning.

Mr Ryall added: “The current school closures has made it even more important to support staff in providing effective learning at home.

“Schools are all in different places in terms of levels of confidence in IT but they have all faced the challenges and now developed their own bespoke practices.”

Both schools are part of the Unity Schools Partnership and chief executive Tim Coulson said he was extremely proud of TGS and Coupals – and the staff who had played a leading role in securing the recognition.

In total, 20 new ‘EdTech Demonstrator’ schools have been chosen by the DfE with the network offering packages of support including guidance, online tutorials, webinars and recorded content.

The full list of successful applicants can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/edtech-demonstrator-schools-and-colleges-successful-applicants/list-of-successful-applicants.

To find out more about Unity EdTech, please visit https://unitysp.net/edtech/.