Teacher Shortlisted onto the i25 List
Thursday, 05 December 2019
Congratulations have been in order this week for Nic Ford, Deputy Head (Academic) at Bolton School Boys’ Division, as he became one of the 25 nominees for the i25 Awards which recognise innovators and influencers in independent schools.
Nic has headed up the roll out of the one-to-one iPad programme to over 1,000 pupils at Bolton School Boys’ Division and ensured that they have been fully integrated into school life as a teaching and learning tool. Included within the rollout has been the introduction of AI software as an aid for learning and academic intervention. Nic also changed the curriculum to allow time for coding in the DT curriculum and introduced VR into the classroom and within months a team of boys won the Viar360 international VR film-making competition! All this has helped the School become recognised as an Apple Distinguished School and as one of the top 50 schools nationally for edtech for its innovative use of technology.
Nic said: "The deployment of iPads to every boy has raised pupil achievement. There has been a rise in academic attainment and progress made by students. In the first few years of rollout, 10% more boys achieved A* and A grades. The School has nearly doubled its value-added at A level and improved behaviour for learning – pupils are increasingly engaged with learning resources and have become better at self-study. Enjoying easy access to a wide range of tools from home, the boys can easily catch up after absences or be set work if off for longer periods. The iPads enable boys to practise retrieval and to work in more innovative, creative ways. Everyone can create resources, typified by Y7 boys last year who earnt the Junior Artsmark Award. The ISI said: “All students, especially those with SEND, were unequivocal that these technologies help them in organising work, revision and supporting their progress.
"Staff have been pleased with the rollout for many reasons, not least because it saves them time, an example being the AI programme which enables staff to spend less time on marking and more time on targeted interventions with specific students based on computer diagnostics. All staff have gone through the Apple Teacher Programme, which gives them a high level of ICT skills and helps them use technology to support teaching and learning. As a consequence, all staff have developed skills and expertise and can use the technology to support classroom pedagogy. Besides Nic, the School now has 3 other Apple Distinguished Educators.
"Parents have also benefitted from the iPads rollout and now have a clearer idea of what their boy is doing and needs to do to improve. They have access to the same learning resources as their sons and can keep tabs on their work. There has been close partnership with other educational institutions and Nic has delivered training to other schools, presented at the national HMC Conference and shared expertise both in the UK and internationally."
The awards evening will take place in London in March of next year.
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