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Ashwood Spencer Academy wins Education Today Award for best use of ICT

The school was awarded for its innovative implementation of technological resources across all areas of school activity.

Ashwood Spencer Academy was awarded the Best Use of ICT Award from Education Today.

Under the leadership of Principal Paula Baines-Chambers, the team at Ashwood Spencer has utilised a wide variety of technological resources, including Edtech to improve feedback on pupils’ work; Flash Academy to support vocabulary development for children with English as an additional language EAL; and Now Press Play to immerse young learners in story-based lessons.

The diversity of apps and equipment support pupils’ creativity, ICT skills, literacy and social-emotional development. In particular, children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are able to receive instructions in a variety of mediums and learn with support from artificial intelligence (AI) how to recognise emotions and facial expressions in their peers.

In addition to Mrs Baines-Chambers’s leadership, pupils benefit from the expertise of Mr Daniel Millward, the school’s EdTech lead and Learning by Questions ambassador. He has supported schools within the country and worldwide to successfully implement new technology to improve learning and plays a pivotal role in ensuring Ashwood Spencer Academy is using best practice.

Ashwood Spencer’s robust ICT implementation is particularly remarkable given its location in one of the country’s most deprived localities. Mrs Baines-Chambers and her team have developed a high-tech ecosystem within their school that brings the best of learning resources to a community that has a particular need for life-changing experiences. ICT is used not only to support learning, but to create a strong culture of belonging and pride within the academy. Children’s successes are shared on screens via their year group’s hashtags, and school-wide messaging is communicated on monitors around the school.

“It is wonderful to have our IT journey and the positive impact that the technology has had on our pupils recognised at a national level,” Mrs Baines-Chambers said. “This is testament to all the staff who have made our vision for the use of technology a reality at Ashwood. We look forward to continuing our IT offer to further enhance teaching and learning.”

CEO Paul West said, “Paula and her team at Ashwood Spencer Academy have been creative and ambitious in utilising ICT for the benefit of their pupils, and the results speak for themselves. This award was well deserved, and we are delighted to celebrate the innovation central to Ashwood Spencer and Spencer Academies Trust with our colleagues in education around the country.”