Shacklewell Primary School
Shacklewell is an inner city primary that has innovation at the heart of everything they do.
This innovation is evident in their development of an exciting and inspiring learning environment
that is allowing pupils to achieve their full potential.
The Inspiration for iPad
Shacklewell’s vision was very clear from the onset, they wanted to put mobile learning into the classroom.
Michelle Thomas, the executive head, explains that they wanted the “children to actually drive the learning”. To achieve this they quickly realised that iPad would be the key tool in enabling this transformation.
After a successful pilot project they wanted to make their vision a reality very quickly. They wanted to make sure that every student would be given the same opportunity to take their learning to the next level.
Initially staff enthusiasm was mixed, but Michelle says that “slowly the message spread across the school and everyone wanted to get involved. Every staff member wanted to be part of the journey, to really take learning to another level.”
Aaron Webb, Education Specialist at Shacklewell, says that “Albion definitely understood what we were trying to achieve and came up with ideas and the technology that helped us achieve this.”
Aaron goes on to explain that they “chose Albion because they have a lot of things that they can offer that you don’t necessarily see in the classroom, [such as] the integration options and really helping to get iPad rolled out across the school”.
Since first starting to use iPad three years ago Shacklewell has progressed massively in terms of both academic achievement and personal development.
Michelle explains by just “watching [the children] actually smile and want to talk about their learning” she has become “a firm believer that it was the use of the technology that made that difference for us.”
Some lessons at Shacklewell have been completely redesigned to incorporate the use of Apps. Cassey Williams, a teacher at Shacklewell, says “for example in English we often use Apps such as Puppet pals, iBooks, Book Creator and iMovie in order to allow the children to create, publish, animate and record their own stories. They are doing it for a purpose, they’ve got an audience.”
Staff professional development training has also been enhanced with the use of iTunes U. The teachers find that they are able to easily share Apps and learning materials through iTunes U courses. Aaron says they can “access the materials both here in school and at home, it really does help with their planning.”
With such passion and dedication to transform teaching and learning it was always going to be a pleasure to work with Shacklewell.
Michelle sums up the relationship by saying that “Albion has been with us every step of the way. They’ve been like a partner, where they have helped us to craft and support the vision and actually enhance the vision”.
With all the teachers’ and students’ hard work the number of children achieving ‘secondary level readiness’ has dramatically improved. Michelle explains that three years ago only “51% of children were leaving at the standard that we would class as secondary ready”, but now the school “has 97% secondary ready. So for us they are leaving here more and more capable than they ever were.”