St Peter and St Paul Primary School
St Peter and St Paul Primary School is game to learn with LapSafe® Products
St Peter and St Paul CE Primary School in Burgh-le-Marsh is located on the east coast, close to the busy resort of Skegness. Over the last three years, the school has used innovative digital media technologies to support and strengthen teaching and learning experiences for both staff and children. Pupils have benefited from projects supported by Lincolnshire County Council and CfBT, including visual literacy, film making, and games based learning and have even taken part in the pilot for the national FILMMark award.
Sarah Smith, Headteacher at St Peter and St Paul’s CE Primary School, believes that it is essential for children to acquire ICT skills from a young age. She said: “In a rapidly developing world, we have taken the view that our teachers need to use technology as a tool to engage and motivate children to optimise learning experiences. Children lead our developments in the roles of Digital Media Champions and have been key to driving forward our ambitions. This group of children help to inform our teachers and pupils, as well as those in neighbouring schools, about new technologies.”
Although children at St Peter and St Paul’s CE Primary School uses a variety of digital media throughout the school day, the application of games based learning has helped pupils to develop a range of specific skills, including:
* strategic thinking
* planning; communication
* application of numbers
* negotiating skills
* group decision-making
* eye-hand coordination
As Sarah continues: “As a school, we took the decision to use the Nintendo DSi as a focus to develop mental maths recall. Each class regularly use DSis to support their maths development using “Maths Trainer”. With this game, each child has specific activities to complete, from counting objects and number recognition, to times tables and mixed questions. Every time that a child undertakes an activity, the DSi records their time and score, which the child then records on a sheet. This way, the children can track their progress in accuracy and speed.”
The school’s teachers and teaching assistants support pupils to consider when they need to move on to their next challenge, based upon each child’s progress. According to Sarah: “We use mental maths DSi sessions to agree and measure targets, set by the children themselves, giving pupils greater ownership and understanding of their learning. These targets are also used as evidence in pupil progress meetings. We use DSis to support individual children, meaning that they can be used with all abilities and ages, including children with SEND and gifted and talented mathematicians.”
At St Peter and St Paul’s CE Primary School, it is not just the pupils that benefit from using digital media. As Sarah continues: “Our teachers find using handheld technology, like the DSi, an exciting way to engage children and develop their mental maths recall. Not only is the DSi affordable, portable, and very easy to use by staff and children alike, it is also perfect to stimulate a lesson starter or group activity. We use the ‘pictchat’ option on the devices to allow everyone to participate and record assessment responses in a new inventive way.”
In order to ensure that their gaming devices are charged and ready to be used, pupils and staff at St Peter and St Paul’s CE Primary School use the USB Charging Case from LapSafe® Products. As Sarah explains: “Due to the heavy demands on the DSi units, charging and storing the devices quickly became a problem. We were having to spend a great deal of time setting up each DSi to charge and then gathering them up for each week to use. As a result, we approached LapSafe® to help us to develop a charging and storage system.
“We trialled and purchased two of their cases, which have addressed all of our needs, and are easy for both pupils and teachers to use. Teachers now want to use games based learning in many of their lessons, which has put pressure on the demands for the DSis, so the Lapsafe® USB Charging Case has quickly addressed our charging needs. Each case has space for 16 DSi, which are simply housed and connected to charge. The cases are light and portable to store and to transport around school, as well as being robust, well finished and very affordable for schools.
Sarah concludes: “Our Digital Media Champions strongly believe in the impact of the DSi in mental maths progress and pupil engagement that they have led workshops for parents and governors. This quickly led them to share their expertise with other schools and teachers locally and even deliver teacher professional development across our network of local schools.”
Quotes from the children:
Cameron, Year 6, said “It is an undeniable fact that everyone wants to be involved in activities that are fun! Clearly using digital media makes our lessons more enjoyable and more likely to stay in our memories longer!”
Chloe, Year 6, said: “Using technology that we are familiar with at home helps us to feel more confident. It also allows us to set and measure our own targets in some areas – like mental maths which makes us more independent learners”.
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