Specialist School in Mathematics and Computing
The School succeeded in gaining Specialist Mathematics and Computing status in September 2004 and has been successful twice in securing re-designation. This achievement has had a major cross-curricular impact on work within and across the school and also in meeting the changing and developing learning needs of our wider community which in turn both recognizes and is proud of its specialist status.
The Specialist School Maths and Computing logo adorns every sign within and around our school campus. Our status is displayed on every communication we send out from school. Our specialist work within school and with partners is proudly displayed across the school and in our many newsletters and publicity material which we send out. All stakeholders know that Colonel Frank Seely is a Specialist Maths and Computing School. All departments of the school embrace the specialism and are keen and eager to share its benefits and can explain the impact that specialist status has had on their teaching and pupil learning.
All staff have been canvassed as to their opinions on cross-curricular ICT and they overwhelmingly support not only the Specialist School ethos but also the drive to develop greater staff and pupil ICT competence so that enhanced teaching will have a positive outcome in terms of greater pupil attainment and achievement. Subject leaders have developed a better understanding of new technologies and how they can impact upon learning. We make better use of ICT to analyse data through utilising Raise online and Fisher Family Trust data.
Facilities Improvements arising out of Specialist School Funding
It was our aim to ensure that the benefits of Specialist School status were shared across the school curriculum. We have certainly succeeded in this respect and there is no department, big or small within the school, which has not derived a tangible benefit from our Specialist School provision. As illustration, new ICT suites have been created in Mathematics, History, English, Science and Technology with additional portable ICT hardware being provided for use within Geography, Science, Mathematics and Food Technology.
The school currently has fifty classrooms and laboratories equipped with digital projectors and twenty with interactive whiteboards. All teaching areas across the school are equipped with either one of these exciting teaching aids. We have established lead interactive practitioners in Maths, Technology, Science and English who have not only developed their own expertise through both internal and external training but also “cascaded” their knowledge and ability across various departments in order to further raise the skills base across the school.
In Mathematics, a difficulty in achieving regular access to ICT facilities was addressed with the construction of an ICT suite within the Maths department.
In ICT, the school enjoys 4 ICT suites. Specialist School funding ensures that each ICT facility receives an upgrading of hardware on a 4-year cycle.
There is a strong interface between discrete and cross curricular ICT within the school. The ICT Department teaches basic skills to pupils who in turn apply these via the various ICT opportunities available across other subjects. Other subjects also build upon the normal ICT skills base, for example, by using Data Logging equipment in Science, together with computerised Design within Technology.
All pupils have Internet access within school and access via the Internet to their schoolwork from home. Thus there has been a major cross-curricular impact from Specialist School Status with regard to pupil access to ICT. All classrooms have Internet connection and all staff have access to a PC in every teaching room which they also use for electronic registration of pupils each lesson.
As part of the whole school specialist school plan we now feel that we have enough computer capacity, having 400 plus computers available. Our specialist status has allowed us to fund the purchase of ICT hardware and relevant training for all staff across the curriculum so that ICT is a very evident element in all teaching programmes across the school. Our staff are well supported, confident and embrace new ICT technologies. There is a real “buzz” amongst departments all eager to share in the very tangible benefits to be gained from active engagement with our specialism.