I teach at St Cyres School Penarth which is the first and only Apple Distinguished School in Wales. In 2014 we moved into a brand new building, adopting a one-to-one iPad scheme. This not only allows us to keep up with the current technological demands but through forward-thinking leadership and staff we are pushing the boundaries in digital teaching and learning.
Before our pupils start at St Cyres they may have had one or two lessons using iPads in primary school but to switch to a one-to-one scheme, using iPads every day in almost every lesson creates a learning curve for pupils as they adjust to this way of learning.
Therefore, to give a taster of what lessons are like at St Cyres, over this academic year I have arranged to visit all five of our feeder primary schools to lead iPad workshops, preparing the pupils for Year 7.
I recently visited Llandough Primary and spent the morning working with a Year 5 class. I took iPads with me so that all pupils were able to have access to a device during the session.
We started by learning about the way St Cyres School use iPads and I introduced the pupils to the most commonly used classroom apps. The pupils were highly engaged and excited to see how much the technology can enhance lessons across all subjects.
The main task I set for the pupils was to create a video or vlog about themselves. The pupils used the Notes app to digital sketch ideas and a mind mapping app called MindNode to plan and create the content for their videos. These were topics such as hobbies, family and activities with their friends. The pupils were all very engaged, comfortable and confident using the iPads which allowed the focus to be on the task and not on how to use the device.
The second part of the session was spent using the video camera app to vlog themselves and each other. They went to different areas of the classroom and spent about ten minutes creating their video. It takes a lot of confidence and it’s very challenging to deliver a good presentation to camera but the pupils gave a very natural performance.
We then spent time AirPlaying the vlogs to the class and we discussed what went well and how to make them better. We also discussed the next stage of creating the vlogs by using iMovie to edit and produce a final video.
To end the session I took along St Cyres School’s video drone and we flew it over the school. Again this proved to be a very engaging experience for the pupils as the majority have never seen a high-quality video drone before. The pupils learned about how high and far the drone can fly as well as capturing different video footage angles from the air. The footage was then edited and uploaded to YouTube to thank the pupils for a fantastic video workshop at Llandough Primary School.